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Showing posts from November, 2015

How 49ers QB Blaine Gabbert's Press Conference Really Happened

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Suppose they gave a press conference and nobody came?

Last week, the 3-and-7 San Francisco 49ers held a press conference for their new starting quarterback, Blaine "Yo Gabba" Gabbert, but forgot to actually tell the media. When Gabbert showed up, he was the only one in the room, other than a 49ers staffer there to record the event.

It was Gabbert's second week as the starting quarterback, after he replaced former starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was benched after seven games and only two wins.

"Hey, good to see you," he said from the podium. Then he sat in the front row and said, "I'll be the one asking questions." Local media reported that Gabbert chatted with the staffer for a few minutes before leaving.

Except the camera was rolling the entire time, and it captured the questions Gabbert actually asked.

"So what do you think of the team's chances this week?" Gabbert asked from his seat.

Gabbert ran up to the podium to give…

Loving On People And Hugging Your Kids

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What does it mean to "love on" someone? Why is that even a thing? It sounds weird and awkward, and I don't know whether to appreciate it or be creeped out by it.

I hear it a lot, especially in church when people describe what they do in their small groups.

"We get together, do life, and just love on each other."

We'll ignore the "do life" thing for now. You know, the phrase that means "to live" or "spend time together." It's an empty phrase that doesn't actually express anything.

You're "doing life" right now. You were "doing life" when you got up this morning and made coffee. You were "doing life" when you went to work. And you were "doing life" the entire day right before you met with the small group of people you "do life" with.

"Doing life" is not any different from what we've been doing all along: living. It just sounds so. . . California.

But we&…

How About "Big Daddy?"

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Erik is out of the office this week, moving to his new house, so we're reprinting a column from 2003, because we didn't think anyone would notice.

I've wanted a nickname ever since I was a young boy. I like my name, but I've often wondered what it would be like to have a name that would sum up my passions and interests, like "Stein," "Wheels," or "Collectible Elvis Plates."

I'm named for Erik the Red, the famous Viking explorer. Although my dad says he liked the name because he smoked Erik the Red cigars. I tried them once many years ago, and thought they were nasty, so I don't tell that story. I prefer not being named after something that can kill you. At least that's what I tell my friend, Ernie "Barbecue Ribs" Tutwiler.



I was four years old when I lobbied for a new name. One of my friends at preschool was named Sam, and he was a fast runner. I thought if I was named Sam, I could run fast too, so I asked my parents i…

A Rational, Scientific Explanation of Luck

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I don't see the point in good luck charms. I don't believe a little trinket can bring good luck, so I've never carried one.

Sure, there are times I wanted a good luck charm, but rational scientific thinking stopped me. How can a fake crystal strung on a cheap necklace made in China, which I bought from a street vendor for five bucks, affect whether the entire universe will grant me favor?

Actually, I do carry one good luck charm in my wallet: a $2 bill my mother-in-law gave me many years ago. It's a reminder of her hopes for me, more than a belief that my efforts will fail if I forget my wallet. Of course, I take my wallet with me everywhere, so we'll never know, will we?

Carrying items for good luck is completely different from preventing bad luck. Everyone knows that. But you don't do it with charms or little tchotchkes in your pocket. That's just silly.

Instead you speak little incantations, make signs with your hands, or complete some small action to war…