Judging cheerleaders, frozen floors and my new hero

I think it goes without saying that there are few worse ways to spend a Saturday than judge the local Arena Football squad’s yearly dance team tryouts. Yes, this is my life.

This past weekend, the Manchester Wolves did their first round of cuts for their dance squad and thanks to my involvement with the Monarchs, we were asked to send a person over to help out. Needless to say, I got the call from the bullpen and was ready to throw fastballs to strike out the side. Because when you think dancing and cheering, you think N-A-S-O-N…goooooooooooooo Nason! Right? Hello? Is this thing on?

I arrived on Saturday not knowing what to expect, getting the usual, “You can be like Simon Cowell” comments from a few friends that knew I was going. I can’t believe this guy who was a no-name five years ago is now synonymous with any form of judging, probably from now until eternity. Even worse, all of these new skating and dancing shows all have to have the ‘Simon,’ the annoying non-American jerk whose occassional praises mean someone must be really good. I must admit that I was a little intrigued about being that guy, at least to some extent. Having power like that is a sick thing, so I can’t imagine how much of a big head Cowell probably has now. Come to think of it, he probably has always been that much of a pompous ass.

But as thoughts of being a prickly Brit crossed through my head, I found it wasn’t going to be like that as there were five or six judges simply marking down notes and grading the 24 girls that were trying out. The first round was meant to pare down the group for a final round by more ‘celeb’ types in a week or so. After gathering in the ‘green room,’ the only issue was that I was the least qualified judge by far as almost everyone had some sort of dance training/Broadway experience. Even the only other guy on the panel – a general contractor – had 30 years of ballet dancing experience. A contractor! I almost wrote down that my formal dance training came at various Canadian clubs while under the influence of Alexander Keith’s and Player’s, but I thought it might go over people’s heads. Just think that Nextel commercial with the office guys dancing to 2 Unlimited: Ooooh bab-a baby…bab-a baby!

By the way, some of the various categories I had to grade: splits, high kicks, appearance and stage presence. I just went on instincts and wrote down a few notes. The woman next to me (who told me anywhere from six or 100 times that she was ‘unretiring’ to dance again) took pleasure in telling me how she was being so critical on her forms, even saying multiple times, “I’m like Simon Cowell!” Ooooooo-kay. In all, it was an interesting day that was pretty fun. Hopefully, some of my top choices make it. I’ll let you know as I assume you’ll be on the edge of your seat ’till then.


Up until last year, I wasn’t really much of a tv watcher in terms of shows. Games and occasional movies? Yes. But as far as ‘90210’ (affectionally called Nine-o by most that I know), Melrose Place or any other hot buzz show, I just didn’t really pay that much attention because of time and resources (HBO ain’t cheap for college kids). Sure, there was Seinfeld and random Simpsons but who wasn’t watching that? Then came ‘The Shield.” Then, “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” I got OnDemand and found a love for “The Sopranos” again. And then last Thursday, I popped in the first episode of a series I borrowed from my parents and watched all the episodes in a span of three days including an eight-hour binge session Sunday night. I am now addicted beyond my own belief and signed up for Netflix today so I can keep going. What is this show, you ask?


I had never seen one episode, despite the critical acclaim and the fact it’s been on for four seasons. I am now one of the converted. Jack Bauer forever! (Okay…kinda gay there. Sorry.) I can’t believe it took me this long to check this out. What else have I missed? Are there flying cars? Is there a woman president? Have the Red Sox won the World Series?’ From what I’ve been told, ‘Rescue Me’ will also become a must-watch for me soon. I might need an intervention here. I definitely don’t want to turn into a couch potato, but there’s a lot of good shit that I have apparently missed.


-So I bought my mom a TiVo for Christmas despite the fact that mine is still unoperational. I thought she’d like it, but attempting to explain what it ‘does’ makes me think that some sort of pot-holder/basket location might have been better.

-It’s always great to notice a leak in your car the night of a rainstorm and then the next morning, the weather suddenly goes sub-zero and your floor freezes. Just f’n awesome.

-Finally, could there be a better potential cult hero to replace Johnny Damon than a guy named after a breakfast cereal. I mean, Coco Crisp?!? I expect to buy this shirt very, very soon.

Battle of the Genders coming next week…


p.s. Pat Haney, I – and the rest of your friends – officially give up on contacting you. Are you on a CTU mission?

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