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Random thoughts on a Monday after a 12-round fight with what I suspect was food poisoning

Here's how bad things were on Sunday: I refused to eat my favorite pizza. There we were at my cousin's 40th birthday at Marion's Pizza in Englewood, OH and I was completely miserable. I love that pizza and yet I couldn't wait to get out of the building. I was so beat up that I left my wife and kids inside and I went and sat in the car.

Then we still had a two-hour ride home. It was such a bad day that I had my wife drive home while I laid there in the passenger seat completely useless.

• I was so miserable that I laid there and didn't critique my wife's driving

• At some point in life, I need to sit there at The Players and just watch guys hit irons into that green

• It's amazing how a dog knows playtime is over after smashing a tooth into your finger

• I watched 15 minutes of the Lakers-Suns game last night and didn't see LeBron James play much defense or much of anything. And NBA fans say I should invest my time in this on a Sunday night? Nope. Give me the Eastern and Western Conference Finals.

• I saw people trying to argue that it's not fair to make No. 16 seeds play in Dayton and how at-large teams should be sent to play those games. Are you kidding me? Tell that to Wright State fans who get to see their Raiders play in UD Arena for the first time since December of 1997.

• It's going to be 65-plus this week and it's time to start making tee times. Will it snow again? Yes, but you're damn right I'm going to take advantage of this weather

I have more thoughts, but this food poisoning has my mind foggy this morning.


On March Madness and bracket challenges

• Rather than have multiple bracket challenges at OutKick, the powers have decided to do a site-wide bracket challenge via the OutKick 360 team who have a prize package that many of you just might be interested in.

I know a $500 bar tab in Nashville will go a long way for those of you who like to travel to Music City. Get in there and get signed up. That's where I'll be playing, so sign up and beat me. Win a big bar tab.

• Mark P. in Indiana had quite a weekend. He was the reader who needed a March Madness pep talk. His Hoosiers had gone five straight years missing the tournament and he was a mental mess. Then IU beat Illinois Friday night. I wrote Saturday about how Mike P. needed to stay positive.

Then I receive this email:

Your comments on my original email reminded me that it is a sport I love and not to take it TOO seriously and to find the fun again.  Thanks for the reminder! I did take a long lunch at BW3 with my wife on Thurs and Friday to watch the Hoosiers and win or lose i was enjoying it.  I hope you saw Mike Woodson's comment on TJD and his 20 yr old legs.  a classic.   Keep up the good work.  

And then I received this follow-up message from Mark.

Last email from me; but i was watching the IU/Illinois game and Illini just went on a run to go ahead and IU was reverting back to old form.  The camera pans to the crowd and for 10 seconds they are showing an IU fan on the screen that look very frustrated. It just happened to be my old backcourt running mate in HS whose father was my freshman and JV coach. I played basketball with him from 5th grade to our senior year.  Seeing him so frustrated reminded me that it is just a game and i need to treat it as such and enjoy it.  What a combo of your words and seeing him.  My faith is restored!!!


No. 11 seed IU faces Wyoming Tuesday night in Dayton. They're in. Now Mark just has to keep staying positive. One game at a time, Mark.

On Naomi Osaka being one of the softest athletes in sports history

If you listen closely, you can hear a fan yell "you suck" at Naomi Osaka, the world's former No. 1 ranked tennis player who is now ranked No. 78 in the world. This went down Saturday night at Indiana Wells and reminds us that Osaka, who doesn't want to talk to the media, who can't smile on a red carpet because she's in some designer dress and you have to look miserable while wearing said dress, and who loves to play the victim card, is theeeee softest women's athlete we've seen in a long time.

Here's my advice to Osaka: disappear for a year or so. Go find happiness. This woman is 24, and she is completely broken. I don't know if she has been broken by her handlers and it comes out on the court or if she's just this soft as an athlete.

Whatever the case, this shouldn't reduce a world-class athlete to tears. Toughen up girlfriend, or spend some of that money to start a new life.

On father-son moments

• Indy Daryl writes:

Good morning! I know I was supposed to be watching college basketball, blah blah blah. But, the day I have been dreaming about since my son was born, finally happened! We hunkered down on a frigid Saturday and made a Star Wars movie marathon out of the day! We had only planned to watch A New Hope (of course we started with the originals) in the morning, but there we were crushing pizza watching Luke and Anakin defeat the Emperor just before bedtime.

All three in one day was a fantastic way to dive deep into Star Wars and my son couldn’t have been more ecstatic. His “tweet-length” review of A New Hope was: “This is the best movie ever! This is my favorite movie of all time.” And after that how could I resist not pressing play on the next two.

Hope the SC community had a great weekend and I can’t wait to watch some college hoops! Praying for all the madness to happen!

On Mexican tacos rankings

• Mike T. and Cindy T. have concluded their Mexican winter vacation and I assume they're back in Idaho because Mike has sent out his taco rankings.

Seafood taco/burrito goes to Tacon De Marlin in beautiful Puerto Vallarta. Cindy will tell you it’s one of her top dishes on the planet. They serve it with a jalapeño salad and a jicama salad that are both fantastic. Their aioli (“crema”) sauce is unbelievable. Cost, $6 USD each, buy your beer at the Oxxo across the street.

Pork tacos/burritos, El Bigotes in sunny Mazatlan.

Unbelievably delicious whole pig, deep-fried and you order by the kilo. White, dark, mixed or intestines🧐 We go 50-50 white/dark. Served with corn tortillas and fire-roasted jalapeños along with marinated white onions. It’s a build your own taco thing. Oh, don’t forget their city famous “criminal salsa“ because it’s so hot! We absolutely love this place. 3/4 kilo, feeds 4, $15 USD , buy your beer at the Oxxo.

Last, but definitely not least is Super Tacos El Carreta. This place does only beef items and is an institution in Mazatlan. The owner commands much respect in the community and we were honored to eat here several times. No alcohol is allowed in the restaurant, so water it was. Delicious flavors, unbelievable salsas and the Pico de Gallo out of sight. Mike gives it a 10 out of 10. Cost for tacos $6 USD

On many different topics, but there's a turf question in here

• Resident college football referee Michael F. writes:

Hope you and the crew are having a great weekend. Looking forward to a week of craziness with all of my basketball teams, but had a couple things for you unrelated to the impending week of basketball.

On youth sports: I know there are a lot of parents out there who want to coach but for one reason or another, are unable to do so even for a season. One thing I recommend, since I’m one of those parents, is help out wherever you can, whenever you can.

All of my sons now play youth baseball, and even though I can’t be a full-on team coach, I’ve attended practices and been an extra pair of hands to help run drills, helped wrangle kids on game day, and even been an “umpire whisperer” to the head coach of one of my son’s travel teams.

You’d be surprised how many youth coaches don’t know how to interact with game officials, so the coach in question relied on me quite a bit when I was around to help him decide when to go out to ask an umpire to get help from his partner on a call, or how to navigate a rule, or even how to discuss a play or a rule with an umpire (hint - asking an umpire what he saw on a play is a better way to operate than going out there guns blazing and telling him he got a call wrong and he’s horsesh*t!). If you want to get involved, do it - even at the smallest level.

Now, I have a question for the TNML hive mind. My yard is okay-ish to decent, not great, and for the last few years I’ve always thought “well, I’ll get it in better shape next season.” Next season is here, as I essentially have 5 months to get this lawn looking TNML-level before we put this house on the market. I’ve sent a picture of it with this e-mail, and as you can see, it’s kinda thin, a little dry, patchy in areas, and needs quite a bit of work.

My biggest question is, where do I start? Do I get a bunch of seed and spread it, and just water the ever-loving crap out of it? Is there a good technique to shore up the patchy areas? Despite my years as a homeowner, I honestly don’t know where to begin on this project. Any and all help is appreciated!

Have a great rest of your weekend and go Loyola!


Remember, I'm not an expert here. Next, I'll need to see a wider shot of this yard and what's going on. Where do those stepping stones go? My basic advice, if those stepping stones don't serve a purpose is to rip those out, have a load of dirt brought in, seed, straw, water.

I don't need Michael to straight up reveal his location or his house, but we definitely need a broader view of what he's working with.

On parenting fails going all the way back to 1956!

• Michael V. writes:

Hi Joe, I would like to put Adam D's mind at ease because I have a sports parenting fandom move worse than his. My story isn't about me, it's about my father. My grandfather came home the night before Game 5 of the 1956 World Series with tickets for him and my dad.

My dad was a die-hard Yankee fan and was in elementary school. In those days world series games were played during the day. My grandmother (who was a great person and thought she was doing the right thing) told my dad he couldn't go to the game because he had school.

For those of you who don't know what happened that day Don Larsen threw a perfect game for the Yankees against the Brooklyn Dodgers, something that hadn't happened before and probably never will again. My dad loved my grandmother but I'm not sure he ever forgave her for that. I grew up a Mets fan because if you lived in NY and started watching baseball in the late 80s that's who you watched.

They owned the town at the time which is hard to believe but true. Fast forward to 2012 and I was fortunate enough to be in attendance for Johan Santana throwing the first and only no-hitter in Mets history. It was an amazing night, one I will never forget. Maybe attending no-hitters skips a generation because my grandfather did attend the Larsen game with a friend instead of my dad. That's rough. Sorry dad


And with that, let's get the week rolling!


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Written by
Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America. Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league. Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.