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Memorial Day Murph

On Memorial Day, it is tradition for my Crossfit gym to do the classic HERO WOD, “Murph.” This workout is named after Michael Murphy, whose story you should familiarize yourself with. It is easily accessible, both in book form as well as in recent movie form.

Here is the workout as described by the Crossfit site:

For time:
1 mile Run
100 Pull-ups
200 Push-ups
300 Squats
1 mile Run

 

In memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005.

This workout was one of Mike’s favorites and he’d named it “Body Armor”. From here on it will be referred to as “Murph” in honor of the focused warrior and great American who wanted nothing more in life than to serve this great country and the beautiful people who make it what it is.

I completed this workout in 49 minutes, about 6 minutes faster than a year ago. I substituted the squats with medicine ball crunches, and did ring rows instead of strict pull-ups.

Michael

We get things going with a special workout, courtesy Crossfit Nassau in Princeton, NJ, which is where I work out. Within the Crossfit community, there exists something called a “Hero WOD.” These workouts are special not only in the sense that they are tough, but because they commemorate the men and women in the military who gave the ultimate sacrifice in battle. 

This workout of the day, called “Michael,” is named after Lt. Michael McGreevy, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2005. Making it particularly special is the fact that his wife, Laurie, is a member of Crossfit Nassau and participates in this WOD each year, which always falls upon Michael’s birthday, April 24th. 

This is the Rx workout:

3 rounds

  • 800 meter run (0.5 miles)
  • 50 back extensions
  • 50 situps

For a total of 1.5 miles, 150 extensions, 150 situps

For my purposes, my mobility prohibits me from doing back extensions or full situps, so here is how I modify it:

  • 800 meter chair push (no change)
  • 50 back extensions = 50 pushups
  • 50 situps = 50 stomach crunches (I added a 10lb medicine ball as well)

This is a difficult workout for me, mostly because every motion incorporates shoulder movement. By the end of the workout, my shoulders are completely blasted. 

This is the 2nd time I’ve done this workout, and my goal was to finish in under 35 minutes. I knew that each round would take about 10 minutes, and adding in the time it takes to transfer in and out of a chair, I thought this was a realistic goal.

Final time: 34:48

Goal: Met

 

POTENTIALLY Disastrous


This post comes from a former life where I joined blogging luminaries such as Celticsblog‘s Jeff Clark, Baltimore Sports Report‘s Matt Sadler & Jeff Pilson, and theJetsblog‘s Brian Bassett to lay the groundwork for future blogger superstardom. The original post date (I promise you) was July 20, 2001 on the now defunct site, sportsrant.net.

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Hey kids, we’re here to talk about a very serious issue.  Let me throw some statements at you and see what happens.

“It’s all about future potential.”

“We’re going for the home run.”

“There’s a lot of conservative picks out there, and it’s always hard to pass up on them…but…”

“It’s not about status NOW, it’s about where it’s GOING to be in three years!”

So, I’m talking about the upcoming NBA draft, right?

Nope.

I’m talking about something different, but entirely similar, based on signs, hype, and what I think the future outcome will be.

I’m talking about Internet stocks.

I was inspired by Mr. Clark’s pre-draft piece and his analogizing players to different stock types.  In reading the various fluff pieces as well as the more thoughtful pieces on the NBA draft, I began to see a striking similarity between our current crop of young stud’s-to-be and the Internet stock phenomenon that took the nation by storm five years ago.  If you’re too young or too naive to remember, it was only in 1995 (long ago, and seemingly not so long ago)  that a little start-up called Netscape hit the scene and lit the fuse that was to become the Internet boom.  Even though they had no sellable product, no revenue, and certainly no earnings, Netscape’s initial public offering went through the roof.  For the next five years, thousands of Internet companies, nicknamed ‘dot.com’s,’ popped out of the woodworks.  Each one of them hoped to cash in on the red-hot Internet craze and capitalize on the greedy investors who knew for sure that any company that had the ‘dot.com’ in it’s name had to be a home run.

Unimportant to them were things like revenue growth, product development, fundamentals (interesting word there), and earnings sustainability.  All that mattered was that it was a company that nobody knew of, it had all the ‘potential’ in the world, and stock prices soared because of it.  Companies such as Amazon.com, Priceline.com, and Yahoo.com were all the rage, making the stock market, not baseball, our national pastime.  Never mind the fact that these companies had yet to actually MAKE any money; the consensus was that they HAD to…I mean, how could they not?  Sure, we the investors had no idea what they did or when they would become profitable, but the experts knew, didn’t they?

So the experts hyped them and the portfolio managers hyped them and the institutional investors hyped them and then individual investors hyped them…stock prices climbed higher and higher and higher and higher…until suddenly, all that held them up was their own hype.  Finally, it hit- savvy investors- those people who refused to listen to the talking heads and decided to do their own research and form their own opinions- said…”these companies suck!”  And it all fell to the ground like a house of cards.

Fast forward five years and you have the current landscape.  No longer are there companies like Pets.com, Dash.com, and Nextoffice.com making headlines and recording record stock price gains.  That ‘potential’ that everybody was willing to invest millions into was over-hyped fluff, a product of its own distorted view of reality.  It was a risk taken with the hope of a home run at the end of the giant swing.  They forgot that, ultimately, the companies have to actually PRODUCE something to warrant that huge stock price.  Unfortunately, not everyone possess the home-run hitting ability of a Mark McGwire or a Barry Bonds.  In fact, very few do.  They are guys like Warren Buffett and Peter Lynch, guys who ignored the hype, did their own homework, and said, “companies that succeed are the ones with good vision, wise leadership, and outperforming fundamentals.” (there’s that word ‘fundamentals’ again)  And they got hits.  Not always home runs, but an awful lot of base hits, doubles, sacrifice flies, and walks, and sometimes they even squeezed home the runner.  And they ended up putting together portfolios that contained stocks like Ron Harper, Derek Fisher, Robert Horry, Tyronn Lue, and Rick Fox.  Sure, they’re unspectacular, but they give you the foundation so that when you do hit the big home run and acquire a Shakobe, you have already got men on base and you can capitalize on the homer.

Do you see where I’m going here?  Do I need to lay it on any thicker?

Fine, then let’s take it one step further.  Say you do take that pick that’s got loads of upside potential, but you know virtually nothing about it.  All that buoys it is the hype that surrounds it.  How long are you going to have to wait for that pick to show positive returns?  If we use examples such as Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant, two players that have remained with the same team, it took them approximately four years to really ‘arrive.’ The other success stories?  The Jermaine O’Neal’s and the Tracy McGrady’s?  They are no longer with the teams that drafted them – in essence the original gamble lost, just like investors of Netscape did when the company had to sell itself in 1999 to survive.  Dig a little deeper and you’ve got your Taj McDavid’s, Korleone Young’s, Ellis Richardson’s, and the Leon Smith’s.  Never heard of them?  Those guys are the Pets.com’s and Dash.com’s.  If you forget those guys, history will be inclined to repeat itself.

Guess what?  As the number of high school entrants increases, so will the number of Kozmo.com’s until one day, someone is going to utter those fateful words, “these high school players suck!” and it will be all over.

Better sooner than later, for everyone’s sake.

…But then again, for every 10 Taj McDavid’s there is also one eBay…

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To see an image of the original post as it originally appeared, you can click here.

I’ve Decided to Take My Talents to South Beach

And by South Beach, I of course mean OKC.  And by OKC, I of course mean Loud City.

Kiss the ring, Iceberg Jim*

Yes, starting pretty much immediately, I’ll be moving my wares to join the crew at Welcome to Loud City.  They have decided to invite me to join their most excellent site where they hope I can offer some more of my amazing luke-warm regurgitated blogging analysis and a plethora of ideas.  The joke of course is on them, since the next original idea I have will be the first.

I am most indebted to everyone who has joined me as I started my experiment here.  It is not over by any means; it is just moving to the SBNation empire where we can continue to discuss all things Thunder related.

*If you don’t get the reference to Iceberg Jim, I refer you to the late, great Ralph Wiley.  He coined the moniker for Gray and I think it fits him better than the ill-fitted suits he sports.

ThunderGround Radio is Up With Their First 2011 Podcast

Go check out the new podcast over at Daily Thunder.  They’re back with all sorts of fantastic observations, including the revelation that a leaky septic system is trifling indeed.

TGR #33: A Cheap Triple Double?

They first chime in on the Westbrook “controversy.” Aside from my “meh” perspective, here are a few more thoughts:

  • Why were the Hawks more upset at this perceived slight than they were about the fact that they lost?
  • At the end of the day, I feel like so much of the outrage is just for show.  On the vengeance scale, where does this register? A 1.2? And are they really going to do anything, the way the Pistons or Knicks from the ’90’s would do? No, of course not.  They all have too much vested in maintaining the status quo.  It was momentary bravado, and now it’s over. I hope the talking heads don’t cover this anymore.

The follow that up with something that Mayberry highlighted and I chimed in on – the TNT crew’s criticism of the Thunder.  So give the guys a listen and see how their arguments stack up with what Mayberry & I put forth.

New OKC ThunderCast

The trio has a final podcast for 2010.  This time out, they offer their New Year’s resolutions for the Thunder and the Thunder-faithful.  Give it a listen as you are floating through work today, filled with a mixture of holiday spirits and leftover ham.

ThunderCast #56: 2011 Thunder New Year’s Resolutions

1/3 Daily Links

A new year, and new links.  That’s called symmetry, baby.

What the pros are saying:

What I’m saying:

  • In re: the whole Westbrook kerfluffle (kerfuffle if you’re Scottish) – meh.  Seriously, meh.  Players do that kind of crap all the time; they care way more about statistics than we the viewers think they should, even though we too care way more about their statistics than we ought to, say, in comparison to our monthly credit card statement balance, for example.  Players chase personal milestones all the time, and we applaud them for it.  How many of us were excited about Durant going for 50 in the win against the Nuggets on Christmas Day?At the end of the day, I imagine the conversation between Coach Brooks and Westbrook went something like this:

    Brooks: “When you do stuff like that, it means you’re loosing focus on what we’re really trying to do here.”

    Russ: “Yeah coach, you’re right.  Point taken.  See you at practice.”

    End of story. Right?

Game 35 Results: Still a Long Way to Go

Final Score: Spurs 101, Thunder 74

Record: 23-12

Stat Leaders

Points: Duncan with 21, Durant with 16

Rebounds: Ibaka with 13, Duncan, Blair with 9

Assists: Tony Parker with 10, Sefolosha with 3

I think it’s safe to say that the Thunder are a better team than they were the first time they played the Spurs.

Guess what? So are the Spurs.

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Game 35 Preview: Thunder at Spurs

Tipoff at 8:30PM EST

Game Preview

Previous Game

Key Players

Manu Ginobili – 19.0 ppg, 4.8 apg
Tony Parker – 17.8 ppg, 7.0 apg
Tim Duncan – 13.3 ppg, 9.4 rpg

Can the Thunder reverse their fortunes against the best team in the NBA?

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Game 34 Results: Steady as She Goes

Final Score: Thunder 103, Hawks 94

Record: 23-11

Stat Leaders

Points: Durant with 33, Crawford with 26

Rebounds: Westbrook, Ibaka with 10, Josh Smith with 9

Assists: Westbrook with 19, Johnson with 9

Is it just me, or did both teams kind of have a whole “where the New Year’s party at?” vibe throughout?

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