In one of our recent Monday morning meetings the Old Hatters shared how sports had influenced them to want to work at a place like Old Hat. I remember a few of those stories, mainly the one Jared shared about liking a Milwaukee Brewers hat and being more intrigued by logos and jersey designs than the sports themselves. I don’t want to paint the wrong picture of Jared though- this guy also hit 12 home runs at the age of 13, and still reflects on those days anytime he starts feeling like a loser (sorry Jared, but you tell some great stories). 

I shared something lame about not being that into sports, how I had met Zac in college, worked with him at an advertising agency later on, and then eventually came to work at Old Hat. All of it true, but after thinking about it later on I realized I had done a real disservice to the influence sports has had in my life.

I’d call myself a late bloomer when it came to sports. I have an older brother who was always bigger and a much better athlete- the speedster, quarterback, soccer and basketball player- and although I like to think maybe our games of one-on-one football helped to make him better, I don’t think I can take full credit. But I DO think being the practice squad dummy for my older brother somehow gave me a greater appreciation for sports.

My siblings and I after a successful fishing trip, another "sport" that I still love.

I grew up in rural Oklahoma with no neighbor kids to play with, but there were four of us siblings so it wasn’t like I was all alone. But we still had to be resourceful when it came to sports. Soccer was easy enough, we always had a soccer ball handy, and a fence section to use as a goal. Basketball was a little trickier. We used the soccer ball as a basketball too, and instead of a basketball rim, I removed all the spokes from an old 10-speed wheel and nailed it to the side of a wellhouse. I was able to find a picture of the wellhouse with the bicycle rim still attached, about 20 years and a few tornadoes later (pictured below, you can see the rim barely hanging on at the top).

One-on-one football was our biggest challenge in keeping the game’s integrity in tact. How the heck do you play football with two people and still make it like football? Well, in our case, each player had to be both the QB and receiver. You had the standard 5-Mississippi rushing rule by the defense, but the QB could throw the ball behind the line of scrimmage and catch it on the other side, resulting in a completed pass. Once the pass was completed, it was either tackle, two-below, or tag to end the play. I think we did a lot of two-below because our driveway was mainly gravel and hard dirt. My brother found the loophole in our system though- he would continue tipping the ball in the air as he was running down the field with me trying to tag him. It was clear in the by-laws that you had to have possession of the ball to be downed. Aghhh, stupid rules…

I think because of the work we put into these games, both physically and mentally thinking up all the strategies, it gave me a greater appreciation for sports. Plus we had very little else to do out in rural Oklahoma, except maybe burn tumbleweeds, which is also a lot of fun (rural Oklahoma pictured below).

I still really enjoy sports. I’ve played basketball since putting up that first makeshift goal so long ago (I’m not gonna say how long ago, for fear of sounding old, which I’m not). Some of us play a few days during the week at lunch, which is great for clearing the head and getting re-energized. I love football too. It’s a lot harder to get an organized game going, maybe I should start up a one-on-one league. But I have my college and pro favorites, which incidentally were also formed when I was growing up. I watch a lot of high school football and basketball these days, and I’ve gotta say I might enjoy that more than watching any other level of sports.

I tell you all this in lieu of my lame response I gave all my co-workers. I don’t think I had realized up to that point how much sports have influenced my life and decisions I’ve made along the way.

So thank you sports. Keep doing what you’re doing and I’ll keep watching and playing.

 

When I was in college, I started watching tennis. Not just any tennis though. The Australian Open. Like most college students and young people in general, I was up pretty much all night long either studying or just hanging out with friends. Sleep? Who needs sleep? And since Australia is on the other side of the planet, the matches are live in the the middle of the night. A+B=C. Up all night + live sports = I'm watching it.

But now that I'm old and cherish my sleep, I haven't been able to watch the Australian Open live but I've been keeping up with most of what's going on down under. It has been some super awesome tennis so far and it's way better than "Deflategate" and "I'm just here so I don't get fined". This Friday and Saturday night, I will be staying up late to watch the finals. The women's final is going to be amazing. Serena vs Maria. #1 vs #2. Both have been playing extremely well, but Serena is absolutely tearing it up. Obviously I'm going to be cheering for her to win because U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! but mainly, I'm just stoked about an awesome tennis match. So far, Andy Murray has made it to the men's final and he'll be taking on either Djokovic or Wawrinka. Can't wait! 

A lot of our readers or followers out there recently got a gift from Old Hat, Limited Edition Gold Pack Select Old Hat Playing Cards.  For me, it is a bit weird to be on a playing card, but it turns out they are pretty popular, well at least with my nephew.  Last week, I got a video of my nephew asking if his father had any more Uncle Kevins.  Weird at first, but then it made me laugh. 

So in effort to help Zac learn more card games and to teach our readers out there a valuable lesson, I present, Old Hat Go Fish…

Rules (guidelines or things that most people try to break when playing cards):

Five Old Hatters are dealt from the Limited Edition Gold Pack Select Old Hat Playing Cards.  You can choose to deal seven Old Hatters if you choose, but usually having that many Old Hatters in one hand can get a little awkward.  The rest of the neglected Old Hatters are placed in a pile in the center.  In Old Hat Go Fish you refer to this as the “Puddle." 

The person who goes first (Duey), looks at another player (Gnorman), stares at them a bit, and then asks for a specific Old Hatter.  The person (Duey) asking must have at least one Old Hatter in their hand to ask for that specific Old Hatter.  If Gnorman does not control any Old Hatters at the moment, he tells Duey to “go jump in a lake”, signifying that Duey can now steal an Old Hatter from the puddle or choose to jump in a lake.   At this point, everyone must stand up and turn around twice.  If the Old Hatter that Duey stole from the puddle is the same Old Hatter that he requested from Gnorman, only Gnorman has to turn around twice and Duey gets another turn.

Once the turning has been completed, the next person repeats the process.  If at any time, one player has managed to kidnap four of the same Old Hatters, then that Old Hatter is laid on the table in front of the kidnapper.  

The game ends when Robert gets frustrated and starts throwing cards or all of the Old Hatters have been kidnapped.  

I hope you enjoy playing Old Hat Go Fish but don’t worry the fun doesn’t stop there.  Check out the other games you can play with the Limited Edition Gold Pack Select Old Hat Playing Cards like “Try, try, to Slice My Eye” or the always classic “Lick Your Cards.” 

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