Browsing Category: "Off Topic Week"

Homestander: Fantasy And Reality

Baseball, Off Topic Week, Off-Base April 4th, 2013

HomestanderEach Thursday preceding Brewers weekend home stands, Tyler Maas will help prepare fans for all elements of the upcoming series with the Homestander. Tyler prints Wisconsin-themed shirts at Forward Fabrics and contributes to such fine publications as Milwaukee Magazine and The A.V. Club Milwaukee. All views, naughty words and weirdo sentiments are his own. Follow him at @TylerJamesMaas.

Last weekend, my fantasy league had its draft in a secluded backroom at a bar (creatively called "The Bar") back in my hometown of Appleton. This is the eighth year of my league, so we all kind of have our tendencies. Some over-study, others do next-to-no work (me), there's the guy who takes five minutes to pick, the dude who always drafts Shin Soo Choo two rounds too early, the one running two separate projection aps on his elaborate bar-table war room. Among other tendencies I have (taking too many starters way too early), I've always been the guy who doesn't draft any meaningful Brewers.

A good portion of our league either keeps Brewers or draft them way too early. Since I'm not about to take Aramis Ramirez in the second round or have Mike Fiers on my team at all, I usually miss out on the homer picks and try to get the best value left. This year was different. First, I reacted to a run on middle infielders by snatching up Rickie Weeks way too early. Whoops! Then I used the free pick from a trade to reach for Carlos Gomez in the sixth round (well, ninth including our three keepers) because he's my favorite Brewer. That's not even the worst of it. A mixture of taking down multiple buckets of beer and wanting to screw over other teams without shortstops yet, I drafted Jean Segura way too early... meaning I drafted Jean Segura.

Just days into the season, I've realized an underlying reason why I don't traditionally draft Brewers. I get too wrapped up in both being a Brewers fan AND being a fantasy nerd. Mixing the two has already led to lofty highs and crushing lows for me. When CarGo had a .125 OBP and no steals in the first series, it sucked all the more. When Weeks hit a homer last night and Miller Park went wild, I high-fived a friend and said "FANTASY!" which made me feel lame for putting stat priority over a player on my favorite real team doing well. As Jean Segura is blistering hot, I kick myself for having him on the bench. In short, it's weird to own Brewers in fantasy. Juggling fantasy and reality is tough. Rickie Weeks is available.
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Pants Party 2 and the end of Off Topic Week

Off Topic Week August 3rd, 2012

As I write this it has been 19 days since Miller Park Drunk Pants Party 2. It seems like yesterday and it seems like forever ago. I didn't write about it before because everyone who came knows they had a good time and everybody who didn't probably doesn't care. An average post gets anywhere from 500-1000 views and there were 60 people are our party. The odds are that you don't care, but I do and since this is the end of Off Topic Week I am going to talk about it a bit.

When we had the original Pants Party two years ago things were kind of messed up. I wasn't as prepared as I would have liked to been and I didn't really know what to expect. I was just a dude with a silly blog that somehow convinced a bunch of people he's never met to go to a party. I was nervous and worried and probably a little bit awkward at first. I was mad at myself for not budgeting correctly and losing a couple hundred bucks. I drank too much the night before to calm my nerves and ended up being late. Then the party started, I drank some beers, Ryan cooked some awesome food and everything was good. It was a really fun time and I have no regrets, but I knew it could have been better. Real life got in the way in 2011, but in 2012 there was no way I wasn't going to do this thing. Tyler and I discussed this party as far back as Game 5 of the NLDS. I wasn't going to let another year go by without having a party and thanks to my good friend Sam I was able to get it done.

I wanted everything about the party this year to be bigger and better. More food, more booze, more games, more prizes and t-shirts for everybody. I wanted a larger crowd and I wanted that larger crowd to have more fun than the previous party did. I wanted somebody to have sex in the bathroom. I was driven. If I had to spend the entire party in my H&M boxers to make that happen I would do it.

Everyone had fun. I can't speak for all of those who were at both, but I think we exceeded Pants Party uno in many ways. It just seemed more alive. The people who returned from the previous party had a camaraderie that carried over to this one even if they hadn't seen each other since that made everything a bit looser. The new people fit in great and I think if everything works out right we'll see about 80% or more return again next year. Which is an awesome number. Seriously, I love you guys.

I probably started fifty conversations that I couldn't finish that day. I'm really thankful for the sisters who made their way from Minnesota or California or wherever. I enjoyed the young crowd even if they did break all of my fashion rules and drink Mike's Hard Lemonade inside the game. Who invited the umpire? He was cool and all and I appreciate him bringing a crew with him, but you know how I feel about umpires. It sucked for Tony that his boys couldn't handle their liquor and no-showed on him, but it was cool that we got to party together. Tyler and the former Right Field Bleachers crew brought it as always. The Stevens Point people saved my life, but we'll get to that later. It was good to see the Madison bloggers alliance make an appearance. Love that all those Brew Crew Ball people were able to make it (except Kyle.) The guy and the girl where the girl lives in St. Louis, good luck with that. You guys seemed cool. A lot of my friends that I've sort of drifted from, but still enjoy (marriage cult) were able to make it and it was great to see them too. Nick, Nate, Matt, Ang and everyone else I am forgetting and didn't get enough time to talk to good to see you too. Thank you. My only regret is that I didn't get to spend more time with everyone and finish all those conversations I started.

At some point in the day I decided that we should all rip our sleeves off and wear them as headbands. Why? I don't know. I think it was a desire to look like Hulk Hogan or something, but as someone would point out to me later I ended up looking more like Brooke Hogan. :( After that things get a bit messy. We hit the Fridays and somehow I didn't get to the seat until the 6th inning. (A new personal record.) Didn't matter. I saw all the important runs, saw Axford close it down and the Brewers are now 2-0 at Pants Parties. After that some of us decided to hit the Friday's again and well... let's just say I told someone that they could drive my truck home without me and they listened. Then I told another friend that I didn't need a ride and he'd be alright to leave without me too. One more friend asked, I said no and the next thing I know this happened.

Passed out. In a car. Bound for Stevens Point. Three hours from where I live.

Best in the world? You know it.

Pants Party 2 was the very best day of my year and that's saying a lot because my year has been amazing, but it's true. It was the one day in my life when I was almost sure that everyone really liked me and were glad to have me around. People bonded over knowing me or who I was. How weird is that? It was a day in which I was able to say thank you to everyone for that and for putting up with me and all the dumb stuff I do. For that I threw a party and I am glad everyone liked it. I'll do it again next year if you'll still have me.

Well, that was fun. Thanks to everyone who stuck around while we ignored our favorite baseball team. We'll be back doing our thing on Monday. In case you missed anything here's what we did.

Read the ones about dumb people, the Chikara one (then come join me) and the music one. We'll be doing part two of that sometime.

Chikara is the greatest thing ever and you should go see it in Milwaukee on 8/17

Off Topic Week August 3rd, 2012

I love wrestling very, very much. When I was 16 I saved up money and flew to Philadelphia by myself where I attended an ECW show at the ECW Arena. I went with a guy I met on the internet and stayed in a hotel with him. After the show we had breakfast at Denny's with D-Von Dudley, Jason and Chastity. No, really, that happened. It was a great time. Last year I went to Wrestlemania and I've said enough about that. The year before that I went to Money in the Bank and witnessed probably the greatest WWE pay-per-view of all time where CM Punk shocked the world by walking out with the WWE title. I've been to Raw, Nitro, ECW, Ring of Honor and some weird thing at a local high school gym that was headlined by Steve Austin's "brother" Rick Austin, but of all the wrestling events I've ever been to the very best is Chikara pro wrestling. Other shows might have had better matches or bigger stars, but it was at Chikara that I've had the most fun. It was at Chikara that I never stopped smiling. It was always Chikara that I loved the most.

So what is Chikara? Well.... Read the rest of this entry »

Six stupid things people need to stop doing right now

Off Topic Week August 2nd, 2012

I really didn't mean to do two "people are dumb" posts in a single Off Topic Week, but sometimes you just have to. I have a captive audience here and hopefully my words can hope to better mankind. It's the entire point of running a site called Miller Park Drunk really.

I am a writer and as a writer I am a keen observer of the human condition. I am also a borderline alcoholic so I spend a lot of time drinking in public with other people. Thirdly, all my best friends are dumb (except for you, best friend who is reading this.) Because of this unique combination I have a window into humanity that not many other people do. I see people do things on a daily basis. I see things that bother me, things I love, things I hate, but mostly things that annoy the hell out of me. Look, I'm not one of these people who hates everyone and everything. I really want to like people. I want to have a good time and have lots of friends and be happy, but some people just make it so hard to do that. What is the problem guys? Be young. Have fun. Drink Pepsi.

There are many annoying traits in people that I can handle. Stupid laughs, loud gum chewing, bad taste in movies and overuse of cologne are all traits that I dislike, but can accept and remain friends with you. However, if you do any of these following six things? Fix it. Right now. Or we are donezo. Read the rest of this entry »

The Best and Worst Songs of the 90s

Off Topic Week August 2nd, 2012

My taste in music can be pretty varied at times. Playlists will jump from Electric Light Orchestra to Childish Gambino to They Might Be Giants to Hall & Oates and I don't blink an eye. I like what I like. I mostly prefer older stuff, but my taste in modern music is a bit more hipster than I'd like to admit. I think that everything that I like is "good" and everything that I don't like is "bad." So if you don't like what I like then you have bad taste in music. I don't mean to be like this, but I think most people are the same way. We're all dicks.

However, there is one soft spot in my tough music facade and that is the 1990's. I am completely unapologetic about the music of my youth and I love it no matter how bad everyone else in the world thinks it is. It's just wrapped to my memories so tightly that I can't think it's bad. If you think "Torn" by Natalie Imbruglia is bad then you think I am bad. I am not bad, I am riding the chillwave bro.

Whenever I hear "Two Princes" by the Spin Doctors all I can think about is the girl I liked in 6th grade that ended up going to rehab for huffing things. If you play me "Don't Turn Around" by Ace of Base I don't ask you to change it. I tell you a story about a girl who dumped me and how I spent the entire weekend locked in my room listening to The Sign album on repeat and punching holes in the wall. "I Don't Want To Wait" by Paula Cole isn't a very good song, but it reminds me of the days when Pacey was my idol and Joey was the most perfect girl in the world. I was young and dumb and I recorded songs off the radio onto a tape to play them later. It was a simpler time.

Occasional contributor and MPD fashion expert Steph shares this love of all things 90s with me and might actually love them more than I do. I've honestly never met anyone who loves Color Me Badd more than her with the possible exception of Donna Martin. This is why we're friends. This is why I have her contribute to the site. Because she likes the same stupid stuff that I like. (That's all friendship is really.) Anyways, since it's Off Topic Week here at Miller Park Drunk Steph and I decided that it was time to find out what the very best and worst songs of our favorite decade were. Read the rest of this entry »