Monday, July 27, 2015

Pop Goes The Hamstring!

Pop goes the hamstring.

Two days earlier I celebrated my 42nd birthday.

Coming off a pretty majestic fence-clearing blast, my next hit was a solid line drive into the gap. For some, "gap" means double. For Timmy it means least. In full stride, at the half way point, I had already assessed that nothing was going to stop me from scoring.

Pop goes the hamstring.

I gave up my major league dream when I realized I wasn't willing to pursue it with the necessary 100%. Plus I was 38. However, whenever I've stepped foot on any diamond - as a kid, adult or as an adult against kids - I've always given 106%. Minimum. I mean, just because I'm not in The Show doesn't mean I can't put on a show.

Pop goes the hamstring.

I've spent all 33 years of my double-digit life playing some form of "baseball". It's my happy place. As a result, I have a deep love-hate relationship with winter. I hate it because the deep freeze keeps me from a fiery passion and love it because the icy break gives my broken body a chance to heal.

Pop goes the hamstring.

Playing the Grand Old Game has left me injured many times. Although I'm not a doctor (officially) I am convinced there isn't a muscle or joint in my body that hasn't been tweaked, twisted, strained or sprained over the years. But...I have never been to the hospital and I've never, ever, had a game ending "boo-boo".

Pop goes the hamstring.

It is no secret that I have every intention of playing ball for most, if not all, of my 140 years on this planet. In fact, my heart is set on being a senior citizen center fielder who boldly - and correctly - tells the young hot-shot teammates on either side of him to play the lines...and “stay out of my way!”

Pop goes the hamstring.

In sports, even at the highest level, athletes make errors and get hurt. But, at some point in a player's life, elements once recognized as universal "part of the game" realities transform into solely "age-related" phenomenons. At 18, when a ball rolls out of your glove after a great diving attempt it's “Wow. How'd you even get there?” At 36, when the same thing happens, it's “You would have had it when you were 18.” If you pop a hamstring legging out a triple at is an unfortunate fluke. When you pop a hamstring going for third at was a foregone conclusion.

Pop goes the hamstring.

I didn't fall. I didn't scream. I didn't cry. But when I felt it...I knew. Everyone knew. In an attempt to continue, I stood on third base for a few seconds as an inner battle raged. With Wisdom winning a super tight decision over Pride I limped into the dugout. For the first time in my life, I wasn't going to “walk it off” and take the field again. I was heading home...

...but not before I heard this: “Your getting old.”

Believe me. That bothered me WAY more than the pop.

I'm actually okay with the aging process and have zero problems telling people I'm in my 40's. But aging comes with it's own real issues, so don't attribute it to things that aren't age-related. The hamstring pull has proven to be no respecter or age or physical fitness. In fact, joining the Hammy Club has put me in the elite company of some very young major league baseball players who have recently suffered a similar fate. 

Will my recovery time take a little longer because I'm 42? Quite possibly. Should I be more dedicated to an exercise & stretching program because I'm in a 5th decade? Definitely. Am I currently decommissioned because I'm getting old?

No way!

It was an unfortunate fluke...not a foregone conclusion. My leg is resting, iced, compressed & elevated because of one thing: I'm still playing ball incredibly well and hard!

When I pop a hammy while watching TV then we'll talk age. Until then, once I'm healed, I'll keep diving, sliding & laughin' my way to triples.

42 and still putting on a show,

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Friday, May 29, 2015

Part 5: Timmy's Top Ten Letterman Related Moments (2 & 1)

I've finally had some time to reflect. This week I'll be sharing my favourite David Letterman moments. Enjoy. Check out PARTS FOUR, THREE, TWO, ONE

2 - Drew Barrymore's "Appearance" (1995)

The April 12th 1995 appearance of Drew Barrymore on the Late Show was simply...the breast. I mean breasts. I mean best...plural.

Disclaimer: She was a 20 year old female who happened to be pretty darn cute. I was a 21 year old male who happened to be...a 21 year old male.

Drew was absolutely giddy that night and I'm pretty sure I was as well. Quite frankly, for a hot-blooded young man, a giggling, playful Drew Barrymore made for great TV. In fact, had the interview ended without incident it still would have been discussed in length the following day. But it didn't end without incident...and, as a result, is still being discussed 20 years later.

When Barrymore got up on Letterman's desk no one imagined what was about to happen.

When, with her back to the camera, Drew gave Dave a birthday one believed what just happened.

What did happen? A dime a dozen episode became one in a a flash!

I always wanted to be David Letterman, but on THAT night...more than ever!

1. Saying Goodbye with My Kids (2015)

Over the last year few years my regular routine was to record The Late Show and watch it during breakfast. Partly because I could, partly because I hate commercials...

Book comedian Timmy Boyle for your next function. Visit for details.

...and partly because 11:30pm is way passed my bedtime.

Every once in a while my kids, both of whom stay up later than me, would join me for Dave & Eggs. Nothing made me happier because, as a father, there are three things I believe every child should do:

- play with a yo-yo
- learn how to score bowling
- watch Letterman

I pity the "Dave-less" Generation that is about to be raised.

Throughout my lifetime, I've witnessed the sunset walk of Hawkeye, Alex P. Keaton, Carson, Dick Loudon, "May Day" Malone, Kramer, Frasier & Rachel.

The M*A*S*H* finale ('83) was a legendary tear-jerker, Carson's goodbye ('92) was beautifully intimate & Newhart ('90) orchestrated the best sitcom-ending twist ever. However, the only finale I anticipated more than Cheers ('93) was the one about to air.

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015 - 11:30pm

There are "must-see" television moments and then there are those that you "must-see live". I was going to stay up for this one...and so were my kids.

I didn't force them to watch but I did make it clear that this was going to be a historic moment. I told them a once-in-a-generation personality, who radically changed the face of television, was about to sign-off and they may never see someone like David Letterman again. I actually don't think it was a hard sell.

There was only one rule. No cell phones or computers. There would be no distractions. I wanted my kids to see the history. I wanted my kids to see the present. I wanted my kids to feel what I was feeling. The loss of a legend.

We had a great time. Hearing the laughter of my children while we watched the final Late Show together was without a doubt my number one Letterman related moment.

During my 40+ years, the late night world consisted of Carson, Letterman and...the rest.

I count myself blessed to have witnessed the final tributes to both of these brilliant comedic forces. I'm so glad my kids got to see at least one of them and hope they will one day tell their children, with great fondness, about the night they hung out with "grandpa"...and the LAST King of Late Night.

Goodbye Dave.

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Part 4: Timmy's Top Ten Letterman Related Moments (4 & 3)

I've finally had some time to reflect. This week I'm sharing my favourite David Letterman moments. Enjoy. Check out PARTS THREE, TWO, ONE

4 – “Uma. Oprah.” (1995)

Hosting the Oscars is a tough gig. The person entrusted with overseeing the festivities as host must understand that every single word & action will be closely watched by the eyes of the world...and the eye of the one world.

The Oscars is a celebration of an industry that not only takes itself way to seriously but is so full of sequels, remakes & reboots that it has begun to actually revel in it's ability to create nothing new. The person who thought it was a good idea to put David Letterman in charge of this pompous affair was either drunk, ignorant or a genius.  I'm going with a genius...who was a little tipsy.

There are many who have been quick to list Dave's Oscar hosting gig as one of the worst all-time. Why? Two words: "Uma. Oprah."

On March 27th, 1995, David Letterman took the stage at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California and proceeded to do...David Letterman. If his brand of humour didn't go over well with the stuffy Hollywood A-listers...blame the drunk genius who hired him.

His performance was refreshingly quirky for an Academy Awards show and, like it or not, Dave is the architect of one of the most memorable Oscar moments ever. E. V. E. R. Ever.

"Uma. Oprah." is legendary not because it "killed" but because it stood out and, like always, once the spotlight was on Dave didn't play by anyone else's rules. Dave did Dave...and I loved every moment of it!

3 – Visiting New York (Mid 90's)

As I sat in front of my television set watching Dave's final show unfold, I kept feeling a slight twinge of regret.

You see, over the last 20 years I've often considered getting Letterman tickets so I could freeze my butt off while watching him do his thing in person. And since his retirement I've asked myself, more than once, "Why did you wait?" The answer..."I thought he was immortal." After all, David Letterman was always on TV...and was always going to be. Despite lacking complete logic Despite lacking complete logic, I simply assumed the opportunity would always be there.

Well, with reality now setting in, I've come to realize how really special my mid 90's New York visit was. I remember my friend & I taking turns, depending on who was driving, reading "The Late Shift"* out loud in an effort to finish the book on our journey. While in the city, I visited K&L's Rock America to have my photo taken with Sirajul and or Mujibur (two local business men who made regular appearances on The Late Show)

...and stopped by the theatre to get a photo of me standing under The Late Show marquee.

Although it would turn out to be the closest I would ever get to Dave, I believe it's closer than many other Letterman fans got so I'll take it.

Sadly, Dave's TV presence wasn't eternal & the marquee will be changed. However, my photo will stand as proof that the King of Late Night, was indeed there...and so was I.

*"The Late Shift" (''94) documented the Leno vs. Letterman battle for The Tonight Show. Dave didn't get the throne...but he ultimately wore the crown.

COMING UP: "For a hot-blooded young man, a giggling, playful Drew Barrymore made for great TV." Tune in TOMORROW for #2 and #1.

Have a good one,

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