Spoiler Alert: Some People Never Learn

A couple of years ago I blogged about spoilers, and while it was specifically about a TV show it really is about anything in this digital age. And now with the Olympics winding down the issue of “spoilers” has once again rearing its ugly head. I simply don’t understand how people can’t figure out this one easy rule to follow:

If you don’t want to know about an event (TV, sports, book, whatever) don’t go to websites where that event will likely be discussed.

It truly is that easy. You don’t want to know the results of a sporting event that was streamed live but will be shown on TV later, don’t visit ESPN, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, or any of those types of places because the information as to who won will likely be found there. You don’t want to know about a movie, going to websites that review and talk about movies seems like a place you should avoid.

I don’t get the arrogance of people who get angry when they go on social media or forums and find out things they didn’t want to know about. How about you show some willpower and don’t go to those sites. It’s different if you stumble into that information in a place where it probably shouldn’t have been, like someone you follow on Twitter that never talks about sports suddenly starts tweeting results. But to actively go to sites that talk about the very thing you’re trying to avoid is stupidity to the Nth degree.

You have a responsibility to avoid information that will spoil the enjoyment of watching an event, movie, or TV show. People don’t have any responsibility to avoid discussing those things, especially in places where discussions of those topics is what usually takes place. It’s one of the reasons I don’t follow on Twitter or “like” on Facebook many TV shows; they talk about those shows seconds after the episodes air. I tend to DVR stuff, so I need to avoid the places that talk about those shows until I get around to watching them.

Spoiler Alert: It’s so easy to do I never have an issue.

Thirteen Month Old Baby, Broke the Lookin’ Glass

Wasn’t planning a sequel to yesterday’s post, at least not so soon after making the first one. I had something else I wanted to blog about today, but now I guess I have something I can use on my getaway day on Saturday. Something related to yesterday’s post happened over the last couple days and now seems a good a time as any to talk about it.

Yesterday’s post was about being superstitious and how I might be a tad more than I think I am. Now I know I have some things I do because I suffer from a mild case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but it isn’t superstition that makes me do those things. Last night showed I’m more than a tad superstitious.

On Monday night the Bravehearts were in Lynn, MA to take on North Shore in game one of their series. It was 1-1 late in the game and Worcester really hadn’t had much going on for a few innings. So I decided to tweet out some encouragement despite the fact I know there’s virtually no chance they’d see it.

Simple and direct, right to the point. Only autocorrect took over and changed the spelling on one of my hashtags. “#Mission3pete” should be “#Mission3peat”. Had I noticed at the time, and I should have because autocorrect has done that same thing to me before, I would have deleted it and tweeted again with the “correct” correct spelling. But I didn’t notice until much later, and out it went.

Within minutes the Bravehearts scored four runs and went on to win.

Obviously my tweet played no role, right? It’s not like they even saw it. Heck, I’m not sure anyone paid the least bit of attention to it. “Post hoc ergo propter hoc” (Latin for “after this, therefore because of this”) is one of my favorite sayings because many people presume that things that come before other things caused that other thing. It is virtually never true that what came before is the cause of what comes now. Basically, correlation does not imply causation.

But what if it happened twice?

Tuesday night, with the score once again knotted in the bottom of the eighth I scrolled back to the misspelled tweet, copied it, and tweeted it out again. This time it was noticed by “SC” who runs the Bravehearts’ in-game twitter account. He direct messaged me that I had misspelled “#Mission3peat”. I replied that I knew but had made the exact tweet the night before (in fact I’d copies and pasted it) and what happened. I got a “LOL” reply back.

In the top of the eighth Worcester manufactured a run and won to advance to the finals.

I’m guessing we’re both laughing at it now. And you can bet if it’s needed in the finals I’m absolutely tweeting that out again, misspelling and all. Can’t mess with the magic.

Like “SH” commented on my link on Facebook, “Superstition in everyday life is silly. In sports, it’s gospel.”

Amen, brother.

Very Superstitious, Writings on the Wall

I am not a superstitious person. While I do avoid walking under ladders (let’s be honest, you shouldn’t do that for any reason), I don’t care about black cats crossing my path, or breaking mirrors, or any other of the hundreds of things that supposedly bring bad luck. Superstitions are just plain silly, and I really don’t get people that truly believe that things like that matter one bit.

But I just canceled a bunch of blog posts for that exact reason.

As silly as it sounds I’m not making planned blog posts on 210Sports specifically because I’ve never done that before during the previous Worcester Bravehearts playoff runs. They won both times, and according to at least one person I shouldn’t mess with karma. For some reason I can’t really explain, despite being ready to mash the “post” button as soon as the game was over last night, I instead dumped the post in the trash and tweeted I wasn’t going to make post-game blog postings.

Now before you call me crazy, something like this has happened before. Before every Bravehearts’ playoff game last season I retweeted my preview for the current match-up. Well, almost every. I didn’t do it once. You see, it didn’t make sense for me to retweet it, unlike the early rounds of the playoffs in the finals they played the same team in a best of three. Retweeting my link before each game made sense when it was a different team everyday and folks might have missed it from the night before, but to do it before game two? Why would I do that? I had already retweeted it twice by that point. So I didn’t do it again.

And they lost that game.

Of course my not retweeting played no role in the loss, but the next day I retweeted it and they won. So now that the example has been set, I’ll retweet those previews before every game. Hardly anyone clicks on them after day two, but hey, if people demand I do it because they think it helps the Bravehearts win, I guess I’ll do my part.

The thought of not making those post-game blog posts never entered my mind. I was asked a couple weeks ago if I was going to post some post-game recaps and thoughts, and without really thinking about it I decided right then I was going to do it. Seems like something someone blogging about a team should be doing, so I figured I’d spend a few minutes after each game mashing out a post.

In fact, I had one ready last night. It was all set to go, just waiting for a quick update if anything “newsworthy” happened late in the game. And then I heard my phone chirp that I had a new email. It was from “LF”, and she begged me not to make game posts because I didn’t do it last year, and we have to do everything the same as to not “change our Karma”.

I have to admit, I thought this woman was a kook. Seriously, how could that even be a thing? 210Sports didn’t even exist in the Bravehearts’ first season, and blogging about them in year two didn’t stop them from repeating. So why would me adding more coverage of the team cause them to lose? I mean, come on. No reasonable person would even think that.

Then I put the post in the trash.

I guess I’m a little more superstitious than I think I am.

The Silliness of Sports Motivation

If you’re someone that’s doing something to improve your health or life, being motivated to continue doing a thing that is likely contrary to how you’ve been doing stuff before is important. To convince yourself to walk that extra half mile, to eat that piece of fruit instead of a doughnut, or to have the willpower to not have that drink, motivation is an incredible tool for your success.

But if you’re an athlete that needs outside motivation, you certainly won’t be a successful one.

You always hear about great pregame speeches that helped a team to victory. Odds are in the opposite locker room there was a speech just as good, but because they lost no one hears about it.

In the movie Miracle Herb Brooks’ speech to Team USA was brilliantly reproduced by Kurt Russell. It’s a great speech, although not not exactly word for word what Brooks said. No matter, it’s still a great moment in the movie. How much would anyone care about that speech if Team USA lost the game?

Yesterday the North Shore Navigators retweeted some comments I made weeks ago, paraphrasing Lloyd Bentsen, saying the Navigators weren’t the Worcester Bravehearts. Called it “bulletin board material”. I call it silliness. Are they going to play better because of something anyone says? Are they going to run faster, or throw harder, or see better to hit the ball? Of course not.

To be honest, I’d be insulted if it was insinuated that I wouldn’t have won were it not for some speech or tweet. That would mean someone else gets credit for my victory.

That doesn’t sound very motivating to me.

Can’t play

This morning the first thing I thought when I looked out window was “Can’t play”. Having to go to work had nothing to do with that thought, it had everything to do with the weather.

When I was in high school and had summers off I spent a lot of time either caddying or playing golf. In either case the weather is important, and really came down to two options: “Can play” or “Can’t play”.

This morning was absolutely “Can’t play”.

What’s funny about the two terms is even if you’ve never heard anyone say anything like that, and you’re a golfer, you know exactly where the line between the two is without thinking about it.

Case in point, when I walked into work today the first thing my boss said to me was “crappy morning”. I replied “Yep, can’t play”. He just nodded, although I know I’ve never said that to him before.

It was later in the morning when I saw him looking out one of the bay door windows, leaning to get a better look toward the west. I asked him if it was still raining. Without looking toward me he kept looking out the window and replied…

“Can play”.

Sportsmanship wins every time

This is not the post I intended to make today. The one I was going to make today I’ll get to eventually, but instead I’m reposting this one from 210Sports that I made this afternoon. The reason I’m reposting it here was a friend suggested my new blog wouldn’t get the message of this posting, that sportsmanship wins every time, out to enough people. It’s only tangentially about sports. It’s really about kindness from the most unexpected places.

We unfortunately live in a world where far too often people thrive on putting others down, or take joy from the pain of others. A chance encounter Saturday has really given me a lot to think about, and I hope that you can spend a few minutes reading this and that it will give you all something to think about too.

* * * * * * * * *

I think it’s a safe bet that most reading this will know that I cover the Worcester Sharks over on a blog called Sharkspage. My original goal here on 210Sports was to keep the two absolutely separate. I intended to have all the WorSharks stuff over there and everything else sports would be here. When you figure there’s an almost endless amount of sports going on to talk about, I didn’t think it would be that hard to keep the two entirely separate entities. But something happened on Saturday that has made me decide to violate my own rule less than a month into my blog here.

For those that don’t know some of the particulars, we’ll backtrack just a bit. While it was fairly well known in these parts that San Jose was going to move the Worcester Sharks out to the west coast at some point, over the last couple months it’s became pretty clear it would be sooner as opposed to later, and last Thursday and Friday word began to circulate through legitimate news outlets that this would indeed be the final season for the WorSharks.

Despite knowing the news was coming it was still a shock for some, but those of us that went through this once before when the St. Louis Blues moved the Worcester IceCats away ten years ago are making sure “the next generation”, as friend Rich calls them, knows that despite the team leaving it doesn’t mean friendships end. In fact, if evidence from last time is any indication those friendships get stronger. But I digress a bit.

On Saturday the Booster Club had a bus trip to Albany set up, and despite the heavily falling snow it was still a pretty good turnout. With it being a long drive the bus made a scheduled stop at a rest area off the Mass Pike in Lee, Massachusetts. While everyone was stretching their legs and grabbing a quick snack a couple of folks, seeing we were wearing WorSharks jerseys, came over to us to talk about us losing our team. They were from Adirondack, another AHL city that’s going to see their team leave heading out to the west coast. It was a nice conversation, talking about the potential for other lower level teams moving into the abandoned markets.

We got to Albany a little later than we were hoping to because of the snow, so into the Times Union Center most of us went. As we walked around the concourse a few folks stopped me and asked about the trip from Worcester (it was snowing in Albany too from the same storm), and briefly touched on our losing the team. It was the kind of friendly conversation that you’d see in many AHL arenas. After finding our seats Rich and I quickly decided there wasn’t enough leg room so we moved to a different location where we could spread out a little.

The WorSharks ended up winning the game in overtime, sending the home team fans out maybe not in the best of moods. In those situations it’s usually best to keep quiet and just go about your business hoping no drunken opposing fans start trouble. A few of us gathered to keep watch on some of our group that have been known to get into altercations, but nothing like that came even close to happening. After the crowd thinned out I headed down the stairs toward the rest rooms.

A few minutes later as I was at the bottom of the stairs waiting for my wife to come out of the ladies room I noticed a man and a young boy, I’m guessing age seven or so, looking over in my direction. Within a few seconds they walked over to me and the boy said, “That’s a cool jersey”. I was wearing the WorSharks teal 5th anniversary jersey, and said thanks and told him what it was and who the player was (#35, goaltender Harri Sateri, who isn’t on the team anymore). I figured that was going to be the end of the conversation when he said something that surprised me. “I don’t like it when the Devils lose, but my dad says you’re going to lose your team next year so it’s okay that you won today. That way maybe you won’t be sad”.

I was stunned to silence.

What do you say to something like that? I just stood there staring at the kid, not believing what I had just heard. I mumbled something like “thanks, I appreciate it”. Without missing a beat he quickly added “You know, you could always move to Albany and root for the Devils”. I laughed at that, and then he stuck his hand out. I shook it, and then his dad’s who added “Good luck, have a safe trip” as they walked out the door. I walked back up the stairs half in a daze, totally forgetting I was waiting for my wife.

I told those gathered at the top of the stairs about what happened and everyone thought it was awesome and got a chuckle out of it. But all through the bus ride home I was thinking there was a bigger picture here. Some seven year old kid convinced his dad to walk over to a complete stranger–and those that know me know I’m not exactly the friendliest looking fellow–so he could say he was sorry I was losing my team. I’m thinking it may have been bothering him from the moment his dad told him, and the offer to come to Albany and root for his team was his solution.

The Albany Devils may have lost the game, but that young man earned a victory that I hope he carries with him forever: that with good sportsmanship in the end you always win.

Happy New Year, and a new blog from me

Just a quick post to inform anyone that might care that I’ve started a second blog. It will be sports related, and it’s over at A look at sports by 210Darryl. I’m not expecting that there will be a ton of crossover traffic, but you never know.

I’m back at it here tomorrow with a list of what I read in 2015. Until then…

Some random book thoughts for October 2014

Well, once again we enter into a new month and I still haven’t figured out what I’m going to be writing about in these monthly updates. Like last month (and the month before) I’ll just start typing and we’ll see what we end up with when I get to the end.

Despite a couple of trips to Barnes & Noble I didn’t pick up anything new. I did go hog wild at a local used book story, picking up books that I was missing in a few series. I finally have all the books in W.E.B. Griffin’s “Badge of Honor Series”, so I will likely start those soon. My wife also found the trade paperbacks she was looking for, so we didn’t make an order with Amazon. That will happen in October as there are two things she wants (neither books) where Amazon is the cheapest. I will undoubtedly include things for me in that order.

Over the previous few months I’d been reading faster books faster than I’d been buying them, and discounting the used book haul that’s still true of last month only because I didn’t buy anything. A lot of my reading time has been taken up by another project, plus the book I started earlier in the month just hasn’t grabbed my attention. By the time I post this that book will be done and hopefully I’ll be back up to full steam. With hockey season coming up my free time dips a lot, so I may go from four updates a week here to three. Not excited about posting less now that I’m on a set schedule (that I’m actually following!), but we’ll see how that works out.

Just saw the list of new science fiction/fantasy books coming out in October, and like last month it’s a great month for hardcovers and not many paperbacks (actually, there’s none) that I’m looking for. I’m definitely at the point where I should create a “waiting for the paperback” list. There’s got to be dozens of them. Maybe I’ll do it this weekend. Because I’ve not yet found a comprehensive list of new thrillers and mysteries coming out I’ll just have to stumble into the ones I might be interested in. Knowing my luck they’ll all be in hardcover.

In the near future I’ll have a post coming up soon about negative reviews on books that I loved. I know there will be a post because I just edited three paragraphs about it out of this post and into another. The review I wrote that resulted in those words being typed hasn’t been posted here yet, so once I do that I can reference that book review as I compare it to some others.

Well, not as long a post as the last. Maybe by November I’ll have an idea what I’ll be talking about in each monthly update. If you were smart you wouldn’t bet on that.

Until next time…

Spoilers in the information age

This exchange, edited for brevity and language, took place on a forum I visit where on occasion TV shows and movies are discussed. This was in a thread labeled as “NCIS/NCIS:LA”, so it was pretty clear what one would find being discussed should they click on it.

ME: Hey did anyone catch the NCIS that aired Tuesday? The one with the drone hitting the intelligence gala?

#1: Yeah. It was pretty good episode. They’re obviously setting up a big story arc for McGee and getting everyone to know about Eleanor Bishop.

ME: I’m trying to figure out with the explosion that was shown and McGee standing outside the building why he wasn’t more severely injured. I get he’s a main character, but they’re usually pretty good with that stuff and kind of dropped the ball there.

#2 HEY, how about a spoiler warning guys, I haven’t seen that episode yet.

From that point on a bunch of people piled on to #2 for clicking on a thread about a TV show where they weren’t up to date in watching. A second smaller group was supporting #2, and said there should have been a spoiler warning in my first post followed by “spoiler space” (which is several presses of the return button creating a buffer so a person wouldn’t accidentally see a spoiler) because the next episode hadn’t aired yet, even though that’s not the custom on that forum. The fact I posted the question five days after the episode originally aired and there was a blog post about the episode on the site’s main page seemed to be lost on some people.

I simply don’t understand why someone who didn’t want to know about a particular TV program or movie would intentionally go to a place that information was being discussed. There are a couple shows I’m planning on watching over the summer on Netflix. Isn’t it my responsibility to make sure I don’t go places where those shows are talked about it if I don’t want to know what happens? And wouldn’t it be the same with shows I record on my DVR?

To take it to the next step, how long until would it be “safe” to discuss something that contained spoilers? Can I openly talk about The Crying Game or The Sixth Sense now, or because the plot twists in each are essentially the whole movie should I always include a spoiler tag? Should I stop posting “Rosebud is a sled!!!” every time someone talks about spoilers? (Even if I should, I won’t; I love the joke too much).

It’s even more ludicrous in some places. During the World Juniors hockey tournament this season held in Sweden many of the games were shown tape delayed in the US and Canada, but could been seen live on the internet. Two different hockey message boards, both with threads for each individual game, required spoiler tags until the game aired on TV. Those tags hide the posts by changing the font color to the forum background color unless a link is clicked on.

Really? I mean, REALLY? Scores and accounts of sporting events are news, so we need spoiler tags for news events now? And spoiler tags in threads specifically set up to discuss the games?

REALLY?

Really. This is because too many people are self-centered idiots that need help to make sure they don’t accidentally stumble into information they don’t want to know when they click on links that take them to the information they don’t want to know. Which, in the long run, spoils things for the rest of us…

Worcester IceCats from the past: where are they playing now? (2013-14 edition)

I know what you’re thinking: what’s this hockey stuff doing on his non-hockey blog?. Well, I’m going to tell you. Both the lists of active former Worcester Sharks and San Jose Sharks end up on Sharkspage, but while I posted the IceCats list there a couple of seasons it didn’t seem like it belonged. So, since this space is all mine I decided it belonged here.

Below is a list of every former player for the Worcester IceCats still playing pro hockey, and where they are playing this season. The teams that are listed are the highest level a player had played this season. Back-up goaltenders and other players that were signed but did not appear in games are not listed. When you consider the last IceCats game was played in the 2005-2006 season, there are still a lot of guys playing. This list is accurate as of November 1st. Players in the NHL are in bold.

Jason Bacashihua – Straubing Tigers (DEL)
Christian Backman – Frolunda HC (SweHL)
Lubos Bartecko – Chomutov Pirati (Czech)
Radim Bicanek – Karlovy Vary HC (Czech)
Brendan Brooks – Dornbirn EC (Austria)
Ivan Ciernik – Augsburg Panthers (DEL)
Daniel Corso – Ilves Tampere (SM-liiga)
Greg Day – Graz EC (Austria)
Jon DiSalvatore – Munich EHC (DEL)
Brian Fahey – Salzburg EC (Austria)
Trevor Gillies – HIFK Helsinki (SM-liiga)
Mike Glumac – Zagreb Medvescak KHL (KHL)
Michal Handzus – Chicago Blackhawks (NHL)
Jochen Hecht – Mannheim Eagles (DEL)
Jeff Hoggan – Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL)
Barret Jackman – St. Louis Blues (NHL)
Aaron MacKenzie – Denver Cutthroats (CHL)
Jay McClement – Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL)
Mike Mottau – San Antonio Rampage (AHL)
Jame Pollock – Nuermberg Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers (DEL)
Libor Prochazka – Kladno (Czech)
Ryan Ramsay – Schwenningen Wild Wings (DEL)
Arvid Rekis – Riga Dynamo (KHL)
Bryce Salvador – New Jersey Devils (NHL)
Curtis Sanford – Yaroslavl Lokomotiv (KHL)
Peter Sejna – Rapperswil-Jona (Swiss-A)
Igor Valeev – Chelyabinsk Traktor (KHL)
Sergei Varlamov – Donbass HC (KHL)
Patrick Wellar – Hershey Bears (AHL)
Alex Westlund – Wheeling Nailers (ECHL)
Dennis Wideman – Calgary Flames (NHL)
Jeremy Yablonski – Idaho Steelheads (ECHL)
Konstantin Zakharov – Minsk Dynamo (KHL)