Buckley Blog Bits – August 22, 2016

I was doing some reading over the weekend (big surprise there), so I’d like to share some of my thoughts on what I was reading, along with some quick thoughts on UFC 202 and WWE SummerSlam, and of course the Jays series with the Indians.

  • The first book I read some of was The Confidence Gap by Russ Harris. I’m only partway through the book, but I really enjoy reading his perspective on confidence and how we seem to fall into a trap when it comes to obtaining confidence.  He does a great job of reiterating how confidence comes from experience, and how even if we have confidence it’s still very normal to feel nervous.  In addition, his take on how you should view thoughts as “helpful” and “unhelpful” instead of “positive” or “negative” is pretty intriguing.  It wasn’t until I read this book that I really thought about how negative thoughts can actually be helpful under the right circumstances because they make you ask yourself further probing questions.  I’m looking forward to finishing this book, as it’s already made a pretty big difference with my mindset, which I think really helped me out with setting a new personal best score while I played park golf (it’s a Japanese game, but there’s a course nearby) yesterday.
  • The second book I’m in the midst of reading is called The Fighter’s Mind by Sam Sheridan. I only had a chance to read the first chapter over the weekend, but Sheridan discusses an interview with 1972 Olympic gold medalist Dan Gable (one of the greatest wrestlers in history) and during the interview, Gable said something interesting that I have always felt.  He discussed how no matter how well you’re performing, or what the “gold standard” (my words, not his) is, there is always another, greater level that you can achieve.  Personally, I agree.  Regardless of how I’ve performed a task, I’ve always felt that I could’ve done “a little bit better.”
  • If I can combine my two “book reviews” here, it seems like it’s important to acknowledge how you can always achieve better, but to avoid being too harsh on yourself along the way. It’s good to be a realist and take accurate assessments of yourself, but not to the point to where you’re killing your self-esteem and self-acceptance and making yourself miserable in the process.
  • I enjoyed the main event of UFC 202 over the weekend. I’m not sure if I’d label it an “instant classic” like some of the media have, but it certainly was an enjoyable fight to watch.  I had McGregor winning it 48-47 (I wouldn’t have argued it if someone scored it 48-47 for Diaz since the second round could be seen as a little ambiguous, but I was surprised by one judge scoring the third round 10-8 for Diaz), and was very surprised at the way McGregor rebounded in the fourth round when it looked like he was set to gas out.  I wasn’t a big fan of the immediate rematch between these two, but it was a fun fight to watch so I’m happy they went through with it.  But I’m not super eager to see part three of the trilogy quite yet, so I hope that they put that off for a year or so and let the two fighters return to their natural weight classes for a little while.
  • Meanwhile, I feel like I’m one of the only people who enjoyed WWE SummerSlam as a whole last night. Mind you, it felt like the show sucked after the A.J. Styles/John Cena match, but I think that’s cause that match might’ve been too early in the card (to be honest, the match order really puzzled me…I know it’s “fake” but why would you have a United States title match on the card after the two upper-tier title matches?).  Furthermore, I didn’t have much of an issue with Brock Lesnar winning via TKO over Randy Orton, but the sequence of events just seemed weird.  It felt almost as if some sort of an audible was called on the spot due to Orton bleeding (I’m convinced he didn’t blade).  It does kinda annoy me though when wrestling fans complain about the particular finish of a match, however, without waiting to see how the story unfolds after the fact.
  • The Jays series in Cleveland was fun to follow. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to watch Friday’s game (I saw the obligatory highlight of the walk-off inside-the-park homer and immediately thought about how angry I’d be at that moment had I driven all the way to Cleveland to watch a loss like that…) but have to say that even though the Jays lost two out of three, all three games were pretty closely contested and that a playoff series between the Jays and Indians would be fun.
  • I don’t have an issue with the Jays sending Aaron Sanchez down to the minors for ten days since he was going to skip a start anyways, but I kinda would’ve preferred they call up a bench player rather than another reliever. However, I do understand calling Loup up since they needed another lefty in the bullpen, and Loup has done very well for Buffalo as of late.
  • Lastly, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but if you can’t accept the randomness that occurs during a 162-game season, then find a different sport to watch and comment on. I just cannot believe how after every Jays loss I have to read comments like “good teams don’t allow this to happen.”  “Good teams” in baseball still lose about 70 games a year.  When you think about it, a “good” team in baseball finishes with pretty much the same winning percentage as a team who finishes 9-7 or 10-6 in the NFL does, while the “bad” teams finish with the same winning percentage as an NFL team that finishes 6-10 or 7-9 does.  When you think about it, that’s a decent amount of parity.  Shit happens along the way, and baseball fans just need to accept that.
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