The Time I Applied For The Jim Rome Show

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Throughout high school and college I often listened to The Jim Rome Show. Jim Rome is a popular sports talk radio show host known for controversy, pleading for callers to “have a take a don’t suck” and his legions of followers called clones.

A year out of college I worked as an account coordinator at an Orange County public relations firm. I applied for a writing position on The Jim Rome Show for shits and giggles. I believe at the time Rome broadcasted out of Burbank or Woodland Hills. Or Sherman Oaks. It’s all the same to me. At the time I lived in Orange. The commute would’ve been hell.

But it was a writing gig. About sports. I knew Rome’s style. I knew his gloss (vocabulary Rome developed over years). It’d be a dream job.

I applied and received an email from Travis Rodgers, Rome’s producer at the time and now sports talk radio show host himself. We spoke on the phone for a few minutes and he asked me to submit a writing sample.

I never heard from Rodgers again.

A Smiling Through Tearz EXCLUSIVE, here is the failed writing sample that didn’t get me a call back for The Jim Rome Show.

But first, a Wiki snippet of background about the piece’s star, former outfielder Carl Everett.

Everett is quite outspoken with his beliefs, and his remarks have proven controversial on several occasions. Perhaps the best-known of these was his denial of the existence of dinosaurs. He was quoted as saying, “God created the sun, the stars, the heavens and the earth, and then made Adam and Eve. The Bible never says anything about dinosaurs. You can’t say there were dinosaurs when you never saw them. Somebody actually saw Adam and Eve. No one ever saw a Tyrannosaurus rex.” He also derided fossils of dinosaur bones as man-made fakes.[3] In reference to these comments, Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy dubbed Everett “Jurassic Carl.” Everett, in turn, referred to Shaughnessy as the “curly-haired boyfriend” of Globe beat writer Gordon Edes.[4]

Everett in an interview with Shaughnessy, questioned the validity of the Apollo Moon Landing.[5]

Each season in the MLB, Everett tended to get into altercations with umpires. Some of these tirades have resulted in suspensions and fines. Everett’s longest suspension came during the 2000 season after an incident in which he bumped heads with umpire Ron Kulpa while arguing Kulpa’s ruling that Everett’s batting stance was illegal. Everett was suspended for 10 games and fined $5,000. Everett has stated that he thrives on being hated, and that it keeps him on top of his game. Opposing players, umpires, and even his own teammates are not immune, as evidenced by his postgame shouting match with Seattle manager Mike Hargrove after a 14-6 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on July 5, 2006.[6]

Everett has also made controversial remarks about homosexuality. He once said that if he had an openly gay teammate that he would consider retiring, or, at the very least, “set him straight.” In the 2005 season, he told Maxim that he has had gay teammates and accepted them, but, “Gays being gay is wrong. Two women can’t produce a baby, two men can’t produce a baby, so it’s not how it’s supposed to be. … I don’t believe in gay marriages. I don’t believe in being gay.”[7]

In 2011, Everett was arrested at his home in Tampa on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and tampering with a witness. Everett reportedly held a handgun to the head of his wife of 18 years.[8]

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March 6, 2003

Travis –

Here’s my writing sample.  I’m trying to sneak it in before the show starts, in case you guys refer to it today.  If you need anything else from me, by all means, let me know.  Thanks again for the opportunity.

Seth Tearz

Thump is in midseason form.  And no, I’m not referring to Texas Rangers outfielder Carl Everett’s timing of his swing or the strength of his legs. 

The all-around bad guy went OFF on John Gonzalez of the Dallas Observer in the Rangers clubhouse as Gonzalez interviewed Thump for this week’s cover story on the Texas Rangers. According to Gonzalez, Everett dropped a tirade of F-bombs and got into a screaming match with Gonzalez after the reporter asked some tough questions.

But really, who can blame Thump?  This isn’t Watergate, it’s spring training.  These tough questions just don’t belong.  You know, tough questions such as:

“Are you ready for center field duties?”
And…”What’s it like playing for Buck Showalter?”
Or, worst of all…”Do you think you can contend this year?”

Obviously irritated by these OUTRAGEOUSLY inappropriate questions, Thump responded like any normal person would.

“If you’re gonna ask some f-ing ridiculous questions, then I’m gonna give you some f-ing ridiculous answers…I mean, that’s just f-ing ridiculous.”

“Asking me, how do I like Buck? Asking me, can we contend? That’s some stupid f-ing s**t. That’s some s**t your editor told you to come down here and ask.”

- Carl Everett

Classic Thump right there. Carl, check yourself.  We know you hate the media. But what else do you expect them to ask you!?  It’s spring training for crying out loud. Asking about a previous injury, a new manager and the team’s expectations for the year are pretty common right now.

What would you prefer to talk about? How dinosaurs never roamed the Earth? How man never landed on the moon?

“Carl, tell us how those large bones found by scientists that fit together like a puzzle aren’t from dinosaurs.”

“Hey, Carl. Give me your insight on how the government used Hollywood magic to create astronauts planting a US flag in the moon.”

Thump, you play baseball. That’s your job. You get paid millions to play it, and part of your responsibility is to spend a few minutes a day answering innocent questions. Stop threatening the media. They’re just doing their jobs. Listen to the questions and fire back with an answer. It’s that simple.

Note to Fatty – If the ancient bones that scientists dug up look like a giant bird, then it probably is a Pterodactyl. Unless you think that blue jays were six feet tall a thousand years ago.

And last thing. You’re not Oliver Stone, so stop selling your conspiracy theories and start tracking down fly balls and digging for doubles. Your teammates might actually start respecting you.

Cheshire Murders, Journey Tribute Band and Bite Marks – How Was Your Weekend?

I just wrote this about Albert Pujols over at Bugs & Cranks if you want to check it out later.

Friday

On my morning commute to work I juggle my radio listening between The Dan Patrick Show, The Travis Rodgers Show, ESPN’s Colin Cowherd (if either of the other two are on a commercial break) and Kevin & Bean. I’ll stoop to KIIS-FM or Amp Radio if all the others are airing commercials. Oh how I miss Sirius.

Earlier in the week Dan Patrick discussed The Cheshire Murders documentary he watched on HBO. For some reason, I subjected myself to the horror Patrick described. To cut to it, the film is very well done. But it’s hard to watch. Very hard to watch. According to HBO’s website, the film “explores the triple rape-arson-homicide that rocked the quiet town of Cheshire, CT.” While it details the events of the horrific burglary of the Petit family in 2007, it also raises questions about the police’s handling of the crisis and examines whether the men charged with the heinous crimes deserve the death penalty.

If you don’t mind your soul getting a little dirty, watch it.

Saturday

Multiple times a day I check my blog’s stats. How many visitors come to the site, which pages they’re viewing, where they’re from in the world, etc. I can even see what search terms were entered into Google that led a visitor to my site. Sometimes I come across some odd stuff, but Saturday I had the pleasure of hosting a visitor with the highlighted inquiry below:

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To the man or woman (I know, I know, 99 percent chance it’s a man) who landed on my site from that search query, thank you for visiting, and I do hope your first “experience” was excellent.

At night we celebrated my dad’s birthday at Woodranch restaurant at The Shops Dos Lagos in Corona. Through August 17 the upscale shopping center is hosting “Rockin’ at Dos Lagos” in one of the parking lots. This night DSB, a Journey tribute band performed. The place was packed. The band sounded good and they reaffirmed Gray’s wish to have his own band. But from what he and Ellie said, they’re going to be fighting over who plays the drums. I think Gray finally conceded and said he’ll play the guitar. But he doesn’t want to sing.

As Gray rooted DSB on, I found Ellie doing this.

If you know my wife, you’ll know Ellie’s urge to clean is buried deep within her DNA. But I feel pretty uncomfortable with her need to clean the stick man’s crotch repeatedly.

Sunday

My wife worked Friday and Saturday nights so I talked the kids into going to the park to play with their new soccer ball. I went to a park without a playground to avoid any distractions. Apparently I underestimated the power of a tree and pebbles, or anything that wasn’t soccer related. Ellie dribbled and scored twice before taking off to join Gray who decided to run 300 yards away. Once I herded them back they pretended to “work” on a tree with rocks.

Ellie took full advantage of her lunch break.

ellieshade

Earlier in the morning they were playing on my bed with the iPad. They jockeyed for viewing position and control over which apps to launch and that point, Ellie became pretty upset. But Gray held his position. There was some wrestling, but neither of them cried or complained much.

When we got back from the park I noticed this on Gray’s right forearm.

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Bite marks. I asked Ellie if she bit him, which she copped to. I asked why and she said it was because of the iPad. I guess those five minutes of Sharknado I let them watch just before bed the night before was a bad idea.

Once my wife woke up she asked Gray where her iPod touch was. She likes to catch up on emails and Facebook to help wake her up. Gray ran to my room to get her device. After a couple of quiet minutes, I went to check on him.

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At night we dropped the kids off at my parents and went to dinner before catching The Way, Way Back, a film which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and has a very familiar feel to Little Miss Sunshine. It doesn’t help that it stars two of that movies actors, Steve Carrell and Toni Collette. While not as memorable as Sunshine, this one delivers a charming, funny, coming-of-age tale set in the summer on the east coast. If it doesn’t want to make you quit your job and work at an outdated water park, then nothing will.

Here’s a trailer. We both dug it.

(T)GIF – Make Your Day Awesome

It’s Friday, Friday….gotta get down on Fri…

Ugh, nevermind. But ya, it’s Friday. It’s raining and thundering across southern California. Maybe you need some help to kick-start your day. If this doesn’t make you feel more awesome, then you’re dead inside.

firekick

(T)GIF is a regular Friday feature at Smiling Through Tearz. Know of an animated gif that makes you tinkle with laughter, cry or cringe that you think should be featured at STT? Let me know at seth@smilingthroughtearz.com.

Go On

While deciding on songs to use during the video for Jax’s remembrance I came across Jack Johnson’s “Go On.” While my wife purchased the album Sleep Through the Static, I never recall hearing this tune. Taylor Swift’s “Ronan” deservedly drew the majority of everyone’s attention who viewed the video. However, I wanted to bring attention to this song, as well.

Jax LOVED Jack Johnson. My wife listened to his music constantly while Jax was in utero and the little dude came out constantly comforted by Johnson’s soothing voice and laid back guitar. When he was 4, while in the back of our minivan, my wife told me Jax once shouted his disagreement with the radio choices “I only want Jack Johnson or rock and roll!” He was pissed at what I can only assume was KIIS-FM playing.

Anyway, here are the lyrics and the song on YouTube below.

In my rearview
I watch you watching the twilight
Behind the telephone lines
Nothing to prove, or to assume
Just thinking that your thoughts are different than mine
In my rearview
I watch you
I give you your life, would you give me mine?

I see you slowly swim away
Cause the light is leaving town
To a place that I can’t be
There’s no apologies

Just go on
Just go on
There’re still so many things
I wanna to say to you
But go on
Just go on
We’re bound by blood that’s moving
The moment that we start
The moment that we start

I see perfect little eyes
Watch the shadows of the clouds
And the surface of the ocean out the window of a plane
I get nervous when I fly
I’m used to walking with my feet
Turbulence is like a sigh that I can’t help but over think

What is the purpose of my life
If it doesn’t ever do
With learning to let it go
Live vicariously through you
You can do the same
It’s the least you can do
Cause it’s a lonely little chain
If you don’t add to it

So go on
Just go on
There’s still so many things
I wanna say to you
Go on
Just go on
We’re bound by blood and love
The moment that we start
Just go on
Just go on
There’re still so many things
I wanna say to you
Just go on
Just go on
We’re bound by blood that’s moving
The moment that we start
The moment that we start

Finding Happy Happy Joy Joy

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Often times I feel like Ren Hoek, the grimacing Chihuahua above on the right, from Ren and Stimpy. But I’d rather feel like Stimpy, the barrel-chested feline on the left with the catchphrase “Oh, Joy!” I’m tired of anger. I’m tired of being grumpy. BRING TO ME UNADULTERATED JOY!

Or, at the least, bring me some peace.

The website Elite Daily recently posted The 20 Things You Need To Let Go To Be Happy. Ashley Fern, who you may know from other posts such as Why You Should Chill the F Out With your PDA and The Reasons Why Nice Guys Always Finish Last, states the following:

The biggest factor holding us back from achieving our dreams is, simply and sadly, our own selves. We put limitations on ourselves everyday, whether intentionally or unintentionally. There are so many ways we can alleviate these restraints.

Remember, life can either be something you embrace or something you hide from. Stop making things complicated and just live your life. It would be so much simpler and more enjoyable if we learned to just release certain limitations.

As a fairly pessimistic person, especially recently, I tend to fall into many Fern’s listed “things.” These are the top five that I struggle with.

1. The Approval of Others

Fern: Who gives a sh*t what other people think? If you are happy with the decisions you have made, then whose business is that but your own? Think of how much you could achieve if you stopped letting other people’s opinions dictate the way you live your life. Do you, and engage in whatever actions you think might better your life.

Um, I GIVE A SHIT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK! I have since I was 5-years-old, maybe longer. I care if you think I’m smart, handsome, funny, nice. I care if you think my clothes are lame, or if my hair looks stupid, or if you think I’m wrong. Now, I might care a tad less than I did 13 months ago, but I still care. And I hate that about me. I hate allowing others define my self worth. I don’t know how to do me (Well…I mean I do, but not in this….just nevermind). As long as I could remember this is what’s driven my actions, my decisions. What will my parents think? What will my wife think? What will my friends think? What will that stranger I just met who seems kind of nice think? IT’S EXHAUSTING!

7. The Idea That Good Fortune Will Arrive At Your Doorstep

Fern: You need to go out into the world and actively look for fulfillment. You cannot take a backseat in life and expect things to happen for you. Appreciate the life you live, and be grateful for what you have. Value each minute of every day. Live like there’s no tomorrow, and make the most out of any situation.

If expecting things to happen for you is taking the backseat in life, then my butt’s stuck in the last row of the Rose Bowl.

8. Excuses

Fern: Make no time for excuses. You want to work out, but you don’t have the time? Wake up early and get your gym on. Excuses are only rationalizations that make you feel better about yourself for not doing something you want/need to be doing. You desire results? Stop bitching, and start doing.

I can rationalize just about anything in my head. Not exercising is a big one. How come I’m eating that double double with animal style fries today? Oh, because I’m sad. I deserve this. Two days later. How come I’m eating that double double with animal style fries again today? Because it’s Friday, bitches! Let’s celebrate!

11. Procrastination

Fern: Stop thinking you will finally get to whatever task is at hand tomorrow. Live in the present, and get your sh*t done when it needs to be done. Maximize your time to the best of your ability. Complete each task you need to as soon as you can. This allows you to feel free from worry and stress by getting things out of the way as soon as possible. You also allow yourself more free time to enjoy the things you love.

I do my best when I’m up against time. A lot of us think that, don’t we? I know I do. Or at least I like to think I do. Just because you haul ass pumped up on adrenaline to complete a deadline doesn’t mean it’s your best effort. And the anxiety I feel about dreaded tasks or a giant to-do list eats at my sanity. Seems easier to get my stuff done early, wipe away the worry and have time to correct any mistakes, right? Rigggghhhhht.

13. Negativity

Fern: What you put out into the universe will come back to you, so change the way you think, immediately. Stop thinking of life as a glass half empty, but rather, half full. You have so much to be grateful for, if only you took a moment to appreciate it. Anything is possible in the mind of a positive thinker.

And this is where I swing and miss completely, like Mark Trumbo chasing a slider low and away. When I was 9 I signed up for baseball for the first time. For some reason I was drafted to the Majors (10-12-year-olds) although I couldn’t hit a lick. As the first half of the season came to a close I was hitless. I’d go home and tell my parents I’d never get a hit. Eventually it all clicked, I ripped the first hit of my career to the left-field gap for a double and eventually moved from a three-inning platoon player to the starting third baseman who slammed a home run in a city championship game at the end of that season.

That same line of negative thinking feels like it’s stuck with me. Unless things are going well, my instinctive reaction is pessimism. I have a job (a soul-sucking one). I have a house (that we overpaid for and are stuck in). I have my health (I’m overweight, on anti-depressants, blood pressure medication and pop a thyroid pill). Those parenthetic notes highlight the pessimistic thoughts that over take things I should be grateful for.

So how do we just let go of things we’ve used to define our thinking and behavior for most of our lives? I don’t know. But I’m tired of letting these “things” determine who I am and what I do.

Unlike Fern’s assertion, my goal isn’t to achieve true happiness. Rather, I just want to be a big, dumb, happy-go-lucky cat. Happy, happy, joy, joy.

Karaoke Bar and The Viper Room – How Was Your Weekend?

Before I jump into the weekend, a little story from Thursday. Following soccer class through the City (Gray likes to use his hands…a lot) we baby-sat my nephew, who is about four weeks younger than the twins. In that 90 minutes he pooped, so I was going to change him.

I saw him waddling towards the changing table in the twins’ bedroom. That’s not a good sign. Either it’s oozing out his diaper or he crapped the Rock of Gibraltar. I placed him on the changing table, removed his shorts and then froze. I can’t do this. I can deal with loads of poop stemming from my own kids’ tushes, but not others. And it’s totally different when they’re 2 compared to 9-months-old.

A crowd now developed in the bedroom. The twins wanted to hang out and experience it too. Those freaks. I stood staring at my nephew.

“I need a mask,” I thought out loud. My wife went on a mission. I continued to stare at my nephew. He stared back with a look like “What’s the hold up here?”

My wife returned after a couple of minutes with panties hanging on her fingers. I was desperate.

pantiesmask

She hooked the strings around my ears and the fabric around my mouth and nose. I felt like a surgeon. As I began to operate, I gagged. It turns out my nephew had been backed up for a couple of days. Had we chipped down that poop, I’m 90 percent sure we would’ve found a diamond.

I finished cleaning up and dressed the boy. I was still wearing the mask.

“Daddy wears a mask,” Ellie observed. “He wears mommy’s panties for a mask.”

I’m sure this will come up again in 25 years when she’s in therapy.

And now on to the weekend…

Friday

Panoramic shot outwide Angels Stadium 7/19/13.

Panoramic shot outside Angels Stadium 7/19/13.

Despite breaking up with the Angels last month, I still had previously purchased tickets lying around, so my buddy Ian and I attended the start of the second half of the season against the Oakland A’s. Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Erick Aybar homered while Angels ace Jered Weaver tossed 6.2 innings of scoreless baseball which led the Halos to a 4-1 victory.

Saturday

A friend from college celebrated her birthday at Bobby D’s Bar and Grill in Lake Forest. My wife worked so I went alone. Located at the end of a strip mall, the Bobby D’s is a classic southern California dive bar adorned with ancient tube televisions and a handful of local regulars all 55 or over.

My friend and her boyfriend arrived to join me and my Bushmills and we caught up while the joint slowly filled up. My friend picked the place because it features karaoke. White butcher paper hung behind the stage with hand-written rules prohibiting the F word and swinging the microphone from the cord.

A mix of young, old and in between packed the bar. Five of the six singers I watched were really good. Unfortunately I had to leave before anyone from our party shined on stage.

Sunday

While my wife caught up on sleep, the twins and I played throughout the day. They were both in a good mood and especially enjoyed closing their bedroom door and playing alone. Which, as long as they’re not emptying the diaper trash or flinging folded clothes, is an awesome thing. It’s a sign of independence. They can entertain themselves for a bit and let us go ten minutes without a munchkin chirping in our ears for more pirates or “daddy hold you.”

Saints in Rehab at The Viper Room 7/21/13.

Saints in Rehab at The Viper Room 7/21/13.

At night my buddies and I drove out to Hollywood to watch some friends of ours perform at The Viper Room. Their band, Saints in Rehab, rocked the famed tiny venue with their self-proclaimed wickedly styled, deadly funk rock. It was good to see familiar faces in the crowd. And that uber drunk chick hanging on her boyfriend as a crutch didn’t puke on me outside the club after the show. So it was a good night.

(T)GIF – Major League Baseball’s First Half

Tonight, the second half of the Major League Baseball season kicks off following a four-day break for the All-Star game. To celebrate the return of baseball, here is my favorite gif from the first half of the season.

favegifhandslapThat is Boston Red Sox reliever Koji Uehara (2-0, 1.70 ERA, 8 saves, 0.76 whip) pumped up following an appearance and slapping the silly out of a surprised innocent teammate. This is also what I do after I remember to take out the trash without my wife asking me.