I have learned in life you have to pick and choose your battles…

Read it, don’t read it, I don’t care…just needed to get some things off my chest.

In no particular order of chronology or importance…

Not on the clock.  Relaxing on a Sunday and don’t remember the last time I haven’t blogged in more than two days.  Back home where there isn’t a beach right down the street.  Let’s turn and burn.

EMAIL: mark_filler@hotmail.com


1)       Congrats to Andy Murray who took down Djokovic in a surprising straight set win this morning.  It is not surprising that he won, but Djokovic getting beat without winning ONE set on a fast track (mixing sports lingo is fun to me) is extremely odd.  Turning point?  Djokovic up 4-1 in the second set after dropping the first, questioning a couple line calls, and then getting broken by Murray AFTER he had already fought off two break points.  Murray ended up fighting back to win the second set 7-5.  It was looking like Djokovic would take that second set and make this a war.  Murray showed the learning curve of dropping a couple Slam Finals previously by fighting back and NOT ALLOWING Djokovic to do this.  Murray has a chance at a #1 year end ranking if he can have a good showing in New York, and now has two recent Slams on his resume.  Murray has been documented at refining EVERY part of his game and working nonstop.  It showed today BIG time.  Fun also that his coach watched him win the one event he never could.  Congrats, and well deserved.  Congrats to England also, who got its first local winner in 77 years.

2)      Marion Bartoli won the women’s the day before.  I caught none of it I am sad to stay.  When it is a beach trip vs. two chicks playing in a final that doesn’t get me pumped up, the beach will win every day and twice on Sunday.

3)       Josh Smith agreed to ridiculous terms with the Pistons.  This confused me and then some.  One of the problems of the Pistons?  Perimeter shooting and spacing the floor.  This doesn’t fit well.  Second?  They are HAPPY with their front court presently, with promising youngsters Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe looking good.  Why throw in Smith to this mix?  Shame too.  Smith is a nice player if put in the right role.  Confused.

4)      Stop bothering Urban Meyer about any type of blame with Hernandez.  It doesn’t matter what type of program you run.  If someone is going to kill someone, I don’t think anything in college would have stopped that from happening.  He is a bad seed.  That is it.

5)      Shaq says the bright lights of L.A. were too much for Snowball.  I.  Couldn’t.  Agree.  MORE.  Houston will be more low key for him until he finds something else to irritate the media and fans with.  Can’t wait.

6)      Has anyone asked Omar Asik how excited HE is to have Snowball?  Pretty sure we will see how his acting skills are if he puts a smile on that mug in any interview.

7)      Thanks to my college buddy, Scott, for the great trip over the Fourth to his crib in Santa Barbara.  Great home, great kid and wife, fantastic beach town, and awesome Mercedes convertible he let me borrow.  I will throw in random things about the town throughout this rant (yes, I am JUST getting warmed up).

8)      Odd event to be congregating for, but I bet you that whole Aaron Hernandez jersey swap event was a pretty decent party.

9)       Ummm.  Welcome back, Landon Donovan, to U.S. soccer.  Two goals in your return against Guatemala, and you joining an already peaking soccer team without you gives me quiet hope of this team making some noise soon…hopefully in summer of 2014.

10)   Is there any greater risk in free agency over the last few years than Andrew Bynum?  Throw in a TRUE NBA center body, a couple of injuries, a season or two of showing what you can do when you are healthy and are focused, and a slightly “off” mentality, and you have the definition of risk/reward.  The Mavs are “carefully” pursuing him.  Yup.  You better cross all of your “t’s” and dot ALL of your “i’s.”

11)   If you make a trip to Santa Barbara, and want food and drinks near the beach, I highly recommend the FisHouse (yes, that is the spelling of it).  Large timeframe happy hour specials let you get by for a good price, the atmosphere is tops, and whatever sauce is put into the shrimp and scallops plate is RIDICULOUS.  Lindsey got the recipe for it for a replication attempt, which she is usually pretty darn good at.  If Yoda spoke to Lindsey, he would say “Awesome cook, you are.”

12)   It was on a classic top 10 on ESPN, and is 4 years old, but still funny.  The Virginia Cavalier mascot gets bucked from the horse.  That is how we roll at UVA.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFb5lLhJYjw

13)   Lindsey and I went jet skiing and paddle boarding while in CA.  Jet skiing is ALWAYS a must on my list at any beach town.  This was our first paddle board experience.  Let’s just say that I am already aware that balance is not my best athletic gift, I didn’t really succeed at standing up in this attempt, and Lindsey was a natural and even saw a dolphin.  She is good a most things.  Had I been successful, it LOOKED like it would have been fun though.  I tried for 10 minutes, and then handed off the keys to her for someone who knew what she was doing to enjoy it the right way.

14)   Congrats to the Atlanta Hawks for paying lots of money to one guy I would have stayed away from.  They replace a guy like J Smooth with toughness, sure, in Paul Milsap.  That being said about the toughness, you will lose some scoring and I SURELY don’t think this gives you a chance versus a healthy Bulls, Pacers, or Heat.  Not a chance.

15)   I have only driven on the PCH twice thus far.  Both times were all that and a bag of chips though.  BEAUTIFUL road (especially in a convertible silver old school Mercedes).

car-photo (30)

16)   Major moves in hockey thus far after last season, especially with their strict cap rules that require imagination and strategy.  We already have Iginla going to the Bruins, Alfredsson to the Red Wings, and a SEVEN player trade between Boston and Dallas.  The first and last trade listed here don’t surprise me except for the aggressiveness this early, but the Red Wings signing does a lot.  The contract is just for a year, they are now fourth highest in the league in cap number, and that means one of their 3-4 young promising studs is out the door.  It doesn’t make sense to me at all.

17)   It seems weird to say this about the team AND the player, but I like the signing by the Bucks of OJ Mayo.  Mayo showed some promise in his stint with Dallas, and I think he fits in well role wise on this team.  Maybe the ex-super recruit won’t be a bust after all, and this is his chance to do so…in the weaker Eastern Conference and with an up and coming team.

18)   Seriously, check out the Imagine Dragons.  Since Lindsey has introduced them to me when they were no one, they are now all over the airwaves and in a BUNCH of commercials in the background.  It’s Time.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sENM2wA_FTg  Radioactive.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktvTqknDobU

19)   It came up in funny conversation on the trip to CA.  Yes, I have literally an unprofessional, improve, wire hanger brand on my skin of Sigma Pi.  It probably wasn’t the brightest idea back in college, but nor were a lot of my ideas.  Considering there have been no consequences from it (except an obviously wire hanger brand look), this might have been one of my BEST decisions.

20)   I don’t understand why Andre Iguadola would leave Denver with the role he had, but he did.  He signed with the Golden State Warriors, with the Warriors doing a trade with Utah to clear some cap space and make it a legal move.  It is arguably a good move as the Warriors gave up just one guaranteed quality player and now have a clear cut wing man, but along with the players, they also gave up their 2014 and 2017 first round pick.  It gives them a formidable starting five to say the least in Curry, Thompson, Iguadola, Lee, and Bogut, but I think it is too large of price to pay for a moderately good offensive, defensive stopper.  He will miss the Denver lineup without a doubt.

21)   Scott, I am opening up my fridge at home and immediately putting my hand behind the door to stop it from slamming…except that I am not at your house anymore.  I just got used to it once I got home.  His fridge makes a crash that rocks the house and wakes up his baby if you allow it to open on its own.

22)   Sorry for my high five by to the 8 month old son, Zack.  I will be more lovable with you, kid, when you are about 3 years old.  Promise.  I am not a baby guy.  3-7 years old is my range.  Seeing you was fun AND birth control, Scott.

23)   I hear that Bryce Harper “texted” his way into the starting lineup after his injury.  This also gives me an excuse to play this old school Harper video.  Thanks, Matt.  With all of the Chase Utley injuries over the years, Bryce is now officially my boy.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0aYcnAQssY

24)   Making sure the NFL stays in the headlines, Giants LB Dan Connor got arrested for having a knife at the airport.  At least it wasn’t Aaron Hernandez.  He might have gotten busted for USING it.

25)   Even the slow, AWESOME, Santa Barbara airport security line would have found THAT knife.  The security people just stand there and wait only on YOU in that line.

26)   Thoughts and prayers to anyone involved in the horrific crash in San Fran.  Hate to hear about those tragedies.  Weird having the story break as Lindsey and I were about to BOARD a plane.  Sad, sad, sad, no matter how few lives were lost.

27)   I might not sound like a purist, but I do hope that Yasiel Puig somehow gets voted on the MLB All Star squad.  It just feels right.

28)   Anderson Silva lost last night in UFC, giving a loss to one of the 5 people I still recognize the names of in the sport.  What is that really fat Irish/ Scottish guy’s name with the full beard?  I would pay to see HIM fight ANY day of the week.

29)   Johnson wins the second Daytona race.  You are now updated on people turning left.

30)   Do you think those guys play Rihanna’s Irreplaceable before races very quietly in their car garage?  To the left, to the left.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EwViQxSJJQ

31)   It took me until only 3 months ago to figure out that by typing anything in the URL line, you ARE using Google.  I am slow.  I was still typing in google.com first.  Once again, thanks, Lindsey for THAT obvious guidance.  Just like a lot of the foregin guys drafted in the NBA draft, I am a “project.”  Glad she is not stashing me in a Lithuanian league across seas.

32)   I hear that I supposed to check out the comedian Mitch Hedburg.  Apparently, we have a very similar type of humor…except that he is actually funny.

33)   Speaking of comedians, I caught a McDonalds skit by Jim Gaffigan last night when we got home.  It was FUNNY.  http://vimeo.com/40843163

33a)  I LOVE McDonalds.

34)   Which was funny, because Scott played on our trip to the mountains another skit by Gaffigan.  Hilarious.  He talks about the spelling of “bologna,” and the guy who picks the pronunciation of it says “don’t worry, I was the guy who picked the “colonel” pronunciation.”

35)   The Sixers picked up ex-Iowa State 1st rounder Royce White this weekend.  I LOVE his talent, but has someone addressed the problem he had with the Rockets?  Dude can’t fly on a plane.  Do the Sixers have a plan for this, or is this going to be another he said, she said media circus?

36)   That bicycle race across the ocean with people paying other people LOTS of money to jump through the drug testing loopholes is still going on if you care.  I don’t.

37)   Scott has a Seinfeld reference RIGHT around the corner from him in Santa Barbara and didn’t even know it.  He has a house with a couple Little Jerry’s cruising around the front yard.  Excellent.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4nS53iuXsA

38)   Man U says that Rooney is not for sale.  Good.  I can FINALLY get some sleep tonight knowing that THAT soccer situation is resolved.  World Cup and EURO only for my soccer caring.

39)   The Clippers got Matt Barnes.  LOVE this move.  A role player who has won (or at least have been in the mix for it all).  With Paul and Griffin aboard, this pickup gives them a more dangerous aspect that will give them a chance at a seed better than the 4/5 matchup, which they now know to stay FAR away from in future years.

40)   Now that Snowball has found a new home, and since Lindsey and I might watch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind again tonight, I think it is best to share the link once again of Bill Simmons comparing Snowball and Carrey’s careers.  http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9308573/searching-dwight-howard

41)   I went wine tasting over my trip.  TOTALLY not my thing, but I hadn’t done it (meaning I would give it a go), it involved some alcohol and scenery, Santa Barbara IS known for it, and I could check it off my “list.”  It was SO cool.  We went to these local wineries that were beautiful.  I actually kind of “liked” three wines.  THAT surprised me to say the least.  I immediately came home and had a bourbon and water though.  No danger in me becoming a wine guy, I assure you.  They did have an AWESOME shirt for sale that I almost bought.  It had a winery logo on it, and I knew it would make people who knew me wonder where the inside joke was that Filler had on a wine shirt.

42)   THAT family must have some money.  I found out the Firestone Winery we went to also has someone in the family who…sells tires.

43)   Since I was with Lindsey and Scott, I am proud to say I got ONE text from anyone I knew the entire 3 plus days in CA.  Kind of funny that an unpopular guy like myself even needs any type of unlimited texting plan.

44)   I guess THAT pep talk didn’t work, Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash.  Maybe your “title” theme was not of interest to Snowball.  I wouldn’t be surprised.

45)   Another member of the Overpaying Players Club is present and accounted for.  Charlotte got Al Jefferson.  If that guy wanted to win, he would recognize that he would be an awesome fit into an ALMOST championship team.  You are second tier, bro.  Admit it.  It is all about the Benjamins with you I guess, as I haven’t seen ANYTHING by MJ’s team making me think they can judge talent or are serious about winning.

46)   The Knicks re-signed JR Smith?  Wow.  Will SOMEONE realize that his occasional barrage of three pointers is NOT worth the headaches he provides?

47)   Joey Chestnut ate 69 hot dogs the other day to break his own record.  I was less surprised about this as I was that he also has titles and records in like FIVE other types of food eating contests.  If I joke about me having a tapeworm, I guess he has a FAMILY or trucker sized tapeworms camped out in HIS stomach.

48)   I want to know how the Black Widow (female version of Joey Chestnut) sleeps at night when there is already a pool legend chick called that.  She had 36 plus dogs.

49)   We really never doubt what the Spurs do in moves.  They signed Marco Belinelli, meaning I assume Gary Neal has had his last Spur moment.

50)   Watching fireworks anywhere is cool.  Watching fireworks on a wharf on the water in CA is STELLAR.

51)   Now it has come out A-Rod “won’t quit on Yanks.”  STOP.  Everyone.  STOP!  Can the microphones form a union and make a bylaw to NOT approach A-Rod until we know what is going on?  I feel like Brett Favre 2000’s Take II.  Can’t take it.  Go throw to receivers in a MS high school field, A-Rod, and complete the cycle.

52)   Nebraska is working on a revolutionary 10 minute concussion test for the football sidelines.  That is great, and teams will use it right after they get over the absolute surprise of something this smart coming out of anything associated with Nebraska.

53)   No, I am not a Buffs fan and have not totally taken in their hate of the state of Nebraska.  I have TWO reasons to hate Nebraska while being out here.

54)   Where exactly do you find a “flop house?”  Can anyone have one?  Are they in the Westword ads?

55)   Moving, finding a shirt you haven’t worn in two years, and then finding $60 in the front pocket is like one of my favorite feelings in the world.  Think of it as a clothing version of being tipsy, staying in a hold’em hand with an off suited 3 and 7, and then pulling a straight.

56)   The Flyers signed Claude Giroux to an eight year deal.  This is the second thing in a WEEK that gives me hope that Philly isn’t “rebuilding.”  Nice to know for next season.  I WAS worried.

57)   Lindsey and I had a really nice bartending guy at a stop over the holiday.  He was REALLY friendly.  Too bad he was new enough to not realize he actually still sucked at bartending and niceness does NOT override us not getting drinks for ten minutes.  Focus, new guy.  It will come.  I was there for the first few weeks of my bartending “career.”  When we come back in a year, I hope to see you at “moderately efficient.”

58)   Speaking of bartenders, the guy at the Fishouse had a lime squeezing tool that was off the hook.  If I still tended, I might have been worried I would have reached over and taken it.

59)   Oh, that’s right.  I don’t think I have even stolen a stick of Chapstick in my life.  Thanks for raising me right, mom.

60)   Santa Barbara is weird because the way the town is positioned, the sun sets over the mountains as opposed to the beach.  Odd.

61)   Final beach note.  Go to Butterfly Beach if visiting SB.  Plenty of public parking, right by a 5 star resort, and worth the trip.

62)  GREAT article in ESPN Mag about racism in soccer in Italy.  Check it out.  http://espn.go.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/9338962/when-beautiful-game-turns-ugly

63)   That is it.  Hope you enjoyed.  Will I blog tomorrow?  That is a CLOWN question, bro.  Peace.

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