Yanders Law

Great news! I am now the Blogger for Yanders Law – a 17 and under  AAU basketball program spread around the Midwest.

My work with The Basketball Movement as their blogger and occasional reporter/analyst has paid off nicely! Not only is it just fun to write about basketball, but I am now also doing similar stuff for Yanders Law, a grassroots basketball program for boys and girls from 17 down to 11 years old.

Aside from enjoying being around the sport of basketball, this is also another paying gig for me. Side-hustling is taking off and I am pretty excited!

Yanders Law has several boys and girls team in Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. I am currently helping them to establish their new site as I learn more about their players and teams.

While I was here, I noticed that I did not create a post in November. While that is a bit sad, it is a good things as well. Not only have I been busy getting paid to write, I have also been spending every other bit of free time soaking up my family.

Luke is almost four months old now and couldn’t be better. We are afraid to ever have a second kid because he/she will likely be a disappointing handful after our current angel. That is probably a post for another day.

As always, thanks for your continued support! See you (hopefully) soon!

Sportz stuff 10-2018

I spelled sports with a “z” at the end. I hope you liked that flashy attention grabber.

Now that you have read the title and sub-heading, you are likely thinking “I still don’t really know what this is going to be about.” That’s the fun of my personal blog, my friend; if I choose to throw search engine optimization out the window and have a title, header, and first paragraph with no nice keywords or even any real meaning, that’s my prerogative.

It is at this point that I would like to apologize. So… sorry. Let’s blame all this coffee. Damn you, coffee.

Actually, the title of this post was decently descriptive for what I plan on writing about. There are a lot of fun sportz things happening right now in October of 2018. Basketball is fun, football is fun, and baseball is still on.

Baseball

I tried to get more into baseball this year, I really did. I joined a public fantasy league, vowed to watch more regular season Cardinals action, and kicked myself for missing what was apparently a great World Series last year. Baseball on TV just blows.

I stopped paying attention to my fantasy team as it is far too tedious. I never watched a regular season game because it is so boring. The World Series is currently underway and I just. Don’t. Care. If it isn’t postseason Cardinals baseball, I ain’t watching.

Basketball

The NBA is back baby. There have been seasons in the past in which I find myself slightly disinterested for this reason or that. This year – I am all-in.

I am pleased with my fantasy team as I was able to secure some players I genuinely enjoy watching as well as some promising breakout talent. My top three picks were Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid, and Kyle Lowry. They were followed up closely by my favorite player, Blake Griffin, who just dropped 50 points in a OT thriller. MY MAN.

I am pumped about basketball this year and am going to try and follow more college hoops as well. Check out a couple quick NCAA hoops articles I wrote for The Basketball Movement over here.

Football

*insert tomahawk chop gif here* Three words: Kansas City Chiefs. Two more words: Patrick Mahomes. Many more words: The Chiefs are amazing this year and I am so excited.

Rookie QB Patrick Mahomes is a legitimate threat to take the MVP honor this years as the Chiefs offense blasts other teams out of the water. The defense isn’t great, but hey, it’s the Chiefs. It won’t all be perfect, but it is so much fun.

My two fantasy football teams are having very different years. One is good, one is bad, and both have several Chiefs players. I still stand by the idea that fantasy football is the fantasy sports king.

THAT’S IT. I genuinely can’t believe you made it to the bottom of this post. You must be my mother. If not, you are at least one of my closest friends. I love you. Talk to you soon!

Returning to the grind

I have been back at work for a while now, but hey, I don’t post very often if you hadn’t noticed.

I am so, so sorry. You are my most loyal reader (yes you) and I have deprived you of new content for almost a month and a half. You may already know this, but time slips away like crazy in the early weeks of becoming a parent. Which day of the week it is, if it’s morning or evening, and how long it’s been since you’ve blogged all begins to blur.

I took off three full weeks following the birth of my nugget of a human. That figure seemed to really surprise some people, which is a shame. Babies obviously need their mothers for various reasons. However, bonding during the earliest stages seems just as important for the father as much as the mother in my opinion.

I understand that not all dads desire that much time either, and that is perfectly alright. There is no set way to bond with or care for your child. To me, three weeks went by in the blink of an eye (ironically, a blink of an eye is how much sleep I got for the first week or so too). Work is good and being paid is fun, but being home helping my wife and son made for some of the most fulfilling time of my life to date.

I joke about sleep, but honestly, Luke has been a great sleeper. Newborns have to be fed so often that the sleepless nights are not even their fault (most of the time). We have almost always had to wake him to eat, not the other way around. Now, he sleeps in large blocks at night and is even more generous to Mom and Dad – nice fellow.

From the start, I have gotten up every time he is up at night. This isn’t entirely necessary of course as again, it’s his Mom that he needs. I just want to help my wife for one, but also being there for my son as much as possible just. feels. good.

Emily is still home with him – she is taking 12 weeks off, though it is not all paid. She is pretty big on soaking up time with Mr. Handsome as well, so we are willing to take the hit to stretch this time as much as possible.

What I’m up to

Working, changing diapers, and checking my fantasy team are still the names of the game. This personal blog has obviously slowed down, but I haven’t missed a beat writing for The Basketball Movement multiple times per week. Tonight, I am interviewing some top high school talent for them at their invitational camp. My write-up on that and more: here.

The writing I do for other outlets such as Thunderous Intentions is on a volunteer basis, so I am still on a “OMG I have a baby” hiatus for the time being. I will likely start that back up when the season begins. I am still squeezing in Uber trips here and there as well, which you are sure to hear more about eventually.

Aside from all the working and portfolio building, I am pumped that the NFL and K.C. Chiefs are back. I am in two fantasy leagues. One is going well, and one is not. The one that is going well is made up of members of my wife’s family – it is hilarious. Emily is having the most enjoyable string of bad luck already and it is a beautiful disaster.

Thanks for reading and catching up on my life. It is cute that you care and I love you for it. I have also been stepping up my Twitter game recently, so remember to follow me over there. UNTIL NEXT TIME.

The universe has a new center

Some labor, some learning, and several dollars later- our son Luke is already over a week old!

I just did not have it in me to write anything about the birth of our son. The fatigue, emotion, and time that go into the birth of your first child is overwhelming as many of you know. So here I am, with a son over a week old and I am just now starting to find a few moments for things besides feeding, changing, dishes, laundry, and runs to Target and Walgreens.

Going over your due date by five 97 degree days is pretty tough on a mother. Who knew? Apparently not my wife, because we stayed in her parents camper at the lake Friday, went out to shop and have Buffalo Wild Wings Saturday, and had friends and family over for grilling and yard games Sunday for my birthday – all her idea.

She took it all in stride, though I did have to kick her off of grilling duty because that’s just ridiculous. She was scheduled to be induced the following Tuesday morning, but this kid recognized all the fun we were having and wanted in.

She worked from home Monday, but was having a tough time by the end of her day at 4:00. I got home with roses around 4:30 to thank her for the weekend (and putting up with a stubborn rascal) and knew something was different.

She walked around the house all evening because no seated or lying position felt good. By about 11:00 that night, we knew she wouldn’t be able to sleep, so we decided we might as well go to the hospital to see where we were. Hey, we were already going hit our out-of-pocket insurance max anyway, yah?

She was worried that we would get there only for them to tell us that it was common pre-labor pain, making her “a weenie” (her words). Luckily, once we got there, they double-checked and confirmed that she was dilated to an 8.

Things happened quickly from there. Fortunately, she was still able to get an epidural and I was able to get the word out to our squad. After handling labor like a champ at home, she eventually progressed at the hospital and had our son at 5:43 Tuesday morning.

Risking losing out on a very masculine father moment, I opted to not cut the cord a.k.a. slice through a nerveless, fleshy rope that connected my son to his life-support sack. Sorry, traditionalists.

Luke William Harrington was and is a very healthy boy. Outside of a spooky moment when my wife passed out during her first time walking since the event, things went swimmingly for her also. I did not even throw up, pass out, or flee for my life once. Victory.

Life at home has been a tad different than what we are used to. He is an excellent sleeper as well as a curious and adorable observer of his surroundings. His eating habits leave a bit to be desired, as he tends to fall into a coma right when dinner is served. We are still trudging through this, but his weight is good and we are getting the hang of things.

Eating every two hours starting from the second you start the feeding is admittedly exhausting. Takes an hour to fill him up? Be ready to start again in 50 minutes… at midnight, two, four, six, and eight a.m… KIDS AMIRIGHT?

Our lives have been focused on survival for the past week. Eating, sleeping, and excreting waste have been all we have had time for. Things are already normalizing though and the intense joy Luke brings us is going to continue to propel our already great family dynamic for the rest of our lives.

In summary:

We survived the hospital.

We survived some intense diaper (or mid-changing) situations.

Our son is healthy despite his non-hereditary dislike of food.

Life continues to improve everyday.

That is it for now, but I hope that you will stay tuned for more updates and experiences as we navigate the most intense and wonderful chapter of our lives yet!

Bun in the oven likely getting crispy

Hello. If you’re reading this, my wife is still with child despite passing the “due date”.

Why is there a due date? Why can’t we just say due range or something like that? 40 weeks have come and gone and overall they have gone really well. For all the horror stories you hear about pregnancy, either Emily has been very lucky or she is not much of a complainer, comparatively. I’d say it’s both.

But now going over 40 weeks, experiencing August heat, having gestational carpal tunnel (apparently a thing) for months, etc. we are ready to have this tiny man.

They gave us an induction date in case we do not have Luke sooner than later. That means, we are at least operating under a known window at this point. After craving labor pains and the birth, it is now actually a little spooky to have a looming date somehow. Life is funny.

Our son appears to be a bit of a procrastinator, so I have reason to believe that he has more in common with me than his Mother to this point. Poor fellow.

Just the two of us is coming to an end

We are well aware of the joys of parenting and how we won’t understand how we could have been so happy before Luke was born. That said, savoring our last days as just a couple has been a really nice way of feeling okay about how long these last few weeks have been.

Being a couple since we were 15, we have already spent nearly 12 years together, five of them married. Being together for so many formative years as such a strong couple has been an incredible experience. We have grown alike in many ways, yet stayed true to ourselves and enjoyed each other through hundreds of incredible experiences.

Soon, we’ll get to share thousands more with our self-inflicted third wheel. That sounds pretty nice too.

We are excited to share him with family and friends as well as have him all to ourselves. He still could have had the decency to show up on time. Not very thoughtful, son. We will do our best to love him anyway.

For shorter, more accessible thoughts of mine, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @WilHarrington

Update: My birthday is Sunday, which could easily have been overlooked in all this. My wife just gave me some early presents and filled me in on plans for Buffalo Wild Wings, cake, yards games, and more presents. Whether or not we squeeze all of these things in over the next few days, this lady is nuts. I have no excuse for not providing the ultimate birthdays for her in the future – GREAT.

Not prepared, but practiced

Less than four weeks until I will be a full-on, real life Dad. Am I prepared? YOU KNOW I’M NOT. But, I do have some practice.

As I’ve been told, not much can fully prepare you for parenthood. Poo poo explosions, various forms of destruction, and overwhelming feelings of love all lie in wait. I may have never dealt with a feces catastrophe, but I have experienced a degree of overwhelming love.

Marrying my wife has come with some great benefits #wifewithbenefits

Her two sisters have raised three incredible little girls. They are seven, four, and one-and-a-halfish. There for a while, I (and many others) thought that this branch of the family was only capable of producing girls. It appears that I have finally injected the appropriate amount of testosterone to go against the grain. Anyone who knows me could probably have guessed that… right?

Anyway, these nieces of mine have brought a ridiculous amount of joy to my life. Technically I was still just dating my wife when the first was born, but I’ve still been lucky enough to be “Uncle Wil” for their whole lives. The middle niece kind of attended our wedding, though she was still in her Mom’s belly.

I was hesitant to hold the first when she was born since I’d never been around babies. I held the middle one immediately. The first time I saw the youngest, I tossed her up on my shoulder and burped her on the spot – all the doctors clapped.

They all have distinct personalities, ways of displaying affection, and other delightfully unique qualities. Watching them grow up and be raised so magnificently has been an excellent window into parenthood for me into life’s highest points, challenges, and hilarious moments.

As you may know, I haven’t known how to ride a bike for very long. We went camping recently and had some bikes for a few terrifying laps around the campground.

I was begged to go on a few rides, so I obliged even though I didn’t have the bike I was used to. I used my sister-in-law’s instead even though she may or may not be taller than me (I make up for my height with the aforementioned ample testosterone).

Long story short, I was on a foreign bike stopped in the road with a vehicle behind us closing in at 5 mph about 200 yards away. As I tried to scootch to the side, I stumbled and did a full roll backwards on the pavement. What did my niece/riding partner do? Help me up? Offer Band-Aids or refreshments?

She rode away laughing to tell everyone.

Riding gingerly back, I couldn’t stop smiling. Kids are the best people to share life with. Sometimes they ride their bikes a little too fast or slow, laugh at you, get laughed at, cry in sadness or joy, and everything in between. Every experience that I’ve had with each of my nieces has been positive no-matter what.

My own son will be a 24/7 gig, so every feeling will be amplified. I am excited for that. The highs, lows, and everything else will be an amazing experience that I can’t wait to share with him.

First (unofficial) Father’s Day

Does your kid have to actually be born before you can celebrate Father’s Day? Oh my, no.

I’ll celebrate anything, really. A good quinceanera, your kid getting a 1 on his trombone solo, Friday, Father’s Day despite my son still incubating for a while… I’m there.

I got a few gifts, including a sweet new dad hat this Father’s Day. I also got a kind card signed with two names that filled my heart to the brim (though at the brim, nothing spilled over -don’t worry). Getting something from my wife and son (kinda) already made for a fond memory of my first Father’s Day.

Not to beat a dead horse, but I am very pumped about being a daddy-o. I am confident in my ability to only screw up a few times a day.

A good dad, like mine was/is, seems pretty perfect most of the time. Growing up, they are one of the strongest, smartest, and fun people that you experience. Despite the probable, daily screw-ups, Dad’s don’t have to try hard to stay golden in a kid’s eyes.

Father’s Day serves as little more than a reminder to give a shout-out to your pops. Much more necessary than many may think. Not everyone has had a great dad or even a dad at all. Those of us that have a good one, need to take this time (and other times) to thank them profusely.

My Dad was also my coach, protector, and friend. I am supremely thankful for him. If I can be half the dad that mine was for me, then my son is in an enviable position.

Dads (or whoever fills that role for you) are special people, certainly deserving of their own day. I look forward to joining their ranks.

 

 

Terrors of Fatherhood

Am I terrified of becoming a Father? No. Do I occasionally have irrational fears brought on by the concept of raising another human? I guess so, yah.

Okay, those things sound pretty darn similar. But, I am not afraid of becoming a father. I embrace the challenge of raising not just a baby/kid, but a young man. I am confident in my ability to teach him right from wrong, how to conduct himself, and how to be an effective member of society.

It is the ability to keep him alive and fully funded that spooks me. It is the cost of college, the watchful eye, and the ability to fulfill his every need that I am a touch nervous about.

The thing that I am the most confident about in my life is my marriage. I have the utmost confidence in the example my wife will set, as well as the example we’ll both set as a happy and loving couple.

Just a couple hours ago we had dinner. We shared a pizza, though she had a salad and a water besides, while I had a Blue Moon or two. We were enjoying each other’s company so much that we walked a block down to a pub where I had a couple or three more drinks while she had an O.J. She can hang in the weirdest situations and has been a great sport through this – above and beyond, really… and I could not be more grateful.

Anyway, back to the kiddo

There have been a few unexpected side effects of this pregnancy on me. I had a nightmare about the world ending, which may or may not have been related.

I was working for a company in a high-rise office building. My coworkers are made up of mostly strangers, but also a few high school classmates. Classic dream. There had been talk on the news about a cataclysmic event, but no-one believed it.

Sure enough, we all gathered around the window, and the world was ending. Water was rising and I saw some unusual stuff, even for a dream. The Sydney Opera House appeared in the distance, then the Eiffel Tower. The Roman Colosseum popped in as well as a a few other historic landmarks as the water rose.

As the final wave crept over the sky-scraping office building, I remember thinking “It’s too bad I couldn’t be with Emily in these final moments.”

It turns out world-ending dreams aren’t uncommon for expecting parents, or so the internet says.

This strikes me as a little hilarious, but also a little meaningful, as one chapter of life quickly closes and another begins.

I am excited and prepared for our son in many ways. I am also anxious and apprehensive about the unknown. Weird times that many of you have been through and the rest of you will likely experience for yourselves.

Nervous as I am, I am excited. Weird-ass, smart-ass, however he turns out (likely ass-related I would wager) this will be the best part of my life and I appreciate you being along for the ride.

What I’ve been up to: Basketball writing

Hello! It has been a while – my bad. I have been writing, I promise!

I keep saying that I will start posting on here more, but it keeps turning out to be a terrible lie. Don’t worry, I have actually been writing more than ever! You just have to know where to look.

As I’ve mentioned before, I write articles for Thunderous Intentions, a Fansided website that is dedicated to the OKC Thunder. I do a couple of articles per week on average.

My articles vary from grading the player’s season performances to giving them all Avengers alter egos. To see everything that I’ve been doing for T.I., click on the link below!

Wil Harrington – Thunderous Intentions

The site that takes most of my writing time currently is the blog for The Basketball Movement. T.B.M. is a hoops training facility in Nixa (formerly Fox Hollow).

I am the sole contributor for this blog, so everything you see there was done by yours truly. I try to crank out five or so pieces per week. Most are about news from high school to the pros, motivational pieces, or T.B.M updates.

To see all of my blog posts, hit the link below!

The Basketball Movement – Blog

Per usual, this is the time in which i try to convince you that I will focus more on uploading content for my personal blog. You may not believe me any more, but I’ll see what I can do anyway. Follow the above sites and keep checking in to stay on top of my wring adventures. Thanks for stopping by!

Oh, and follow me on Twitter @WilHarrington

Baseball fan then and now

I grew up in the days of McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds. Things are different now and so am I.

The Harrington household was definitely baseball-first in terms of sports. Aside from Dad recording Chiefs games to watch on his own time, Cardinals baseball was the dominant sport on our television. In some ways, it seemed like those were baseball’s glory days. Turns out it was mostly steroid’s glory days.

Juicing does not really bother me like it seems to bother a lot of people. It was legal at the time most of them were doing it, so of course the top athletes turned to something like roids to set them apart. Anyway, the point here is that everyone was hitting homers like crazy, especially my childhood hero, Mark McGwire.

As the steroid era closed and McGwire faded away, the Cardinals brought up a new HR champ. Albert Pujols stepped up to fill the void McGuire was leaving with some of the greatest hitting the sport had seen. Long underpaid, Pujols left to chase money out west. Again, I do not blame him in the least. I’m still a huge fan of both Pujols and McGuire.

Photo from NBC Sports

Once Pujols was gone, the game quickly stopped holding my attention. The World Series wins in 2006 and 2011 were the pinnacle as a Cardinals fan. Yearly trips to the playoffs were exciting, yet eventually just routine.

Regular season baseball is ridiculous

When the Cardinals are not in the playoffs, I struggle to take note of anything going on. The regular season is so long that it cannot hold my attention. The games themselves are already crazy-long. I am not going to spend dozens of Summer nights sitting on my couch for hours on end hoping that the Cards get to bat soon.

Going to a game is different. The ballpark atmosphere is a blast, filled with tradition, a sense of Summertime, and delicious, expensive snacks and brews. Making it to a game and having the money to spend is an obvious issue. Dropping empty peanut shells onto my carpet at home just isn’t the same somehow.

I tried fantasy baseball for a while in high school, but it is easily the most tedious of the major fantasy sports. Your players play almost daily, so you need to determine who starts and sits everyday, keeping in mind pitching matchups, stadiums, and weather conditions. For the casual fan, it is too much.

I like the sport, so I’m going to give it another shot

Recently homerun hitting has been on the rise again in Major League Baseball. Hitters like Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge are bringing the long-ball back. Numerous hitters last year had 30+ homers, which is my kind of baseball if it’s going to keep my attention.

I’ve said before that fantasy is the Rosetta Stone of sports. Playing fantasy forces you to learn a bit more about the players and get more familiar with trends in the sport. I’ve joined a public fantasy baseball league with strangers this year so that I can have a no-strings-attached window into the MLB. My team is extremely Cardinal-heavy 🙂

I’m going to do my best to get back into the sport this season, especially on the StL Cardinals side of things. Maybe baseball could be just the thing I need when I’m rocking my new son to sleep many nights. Or maybe it will continue to bore me and I won’t want to risk falling asleep and falling over onto the little fella. Time will tell!