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sports

My Political Party? Fandom.

Fall is my favorite time of year. From the leaves falling to the Halloween stores popping up – I adore it all*.  Aside from that big shindig every four years that causes advertisements to turn to hell and Facebook updates that make me want to deactivate. However, while I stray away from politics, I think I finally get it.

Whether your a democrat or republican, you’re probably quite passionate about your decision. You may choose to argue with members of the opposite party, almost to the point of distress. You’re willing to shove your point of view on anyone who will listen (or read, or like). I get it.

That’s how I feel about sports. 

My blood boils when my team is insulted. If a good season is upon us, I’ll shout it from the rooftops. I cringe when I witness others in opposing team merchandise. The mere mention of Gary Bettman will ruin my day. Instead of leaning left or right, I lean forward, in my seat, in anticipation of the next play.

I may not support a political party, but I will support my St. Louis Blues until I’m 6 feet under, regardless of our lack of a Stanley Cup. I will tweet using the hashtag #12in12. I will never, ever pass up the opportunity to laugh at a cubs fan.  The same passion, desire and distaste that fuels political debates fuels my fanhood.

The campaign ads can be pretty awful, too.

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Parks Picks

Top 5: Celebrity Crushes

Every morning I listen to Mason & Remy on 93.7 the Bull on my way to work. Lately, Remy has been following the Amanda Bynes blow up – she’s basically gone nuts – as she was his crush in prior lifetimes. It got me thinking about how the posters in my room have changed from being a young whipper snapper to an awkward preteen to an adult. So let’s take a trip down memory lane…

Early 90s: Brett Hull’s Son, Jude Hull: I was 7 years old when Brett Hull scored his 500th goal on a hat trick against LA on Dec. 22, 1996. I don’t remember if this was the event our great city celebrated, but I remember watching Brett, his then-wife Allison, and little Jude walking out on the ice to accept some kind of recognition. I also remember looking at my dad, saying “Dad, I want to marry him.” My dad looked at me, confused, “Brett Hull? He’s a little old for you honey,” to which I responded, “no, his son. Then Brett Hull can be my second Dad!” What can I say, my love of hockey players came early. I find it ironic doing some google searching to find that Jude is actually just starting his freshman year of college, meaning he was easily 5 years younger than me. Whoops.

Mid 90s: Leonard DiCaprio: Sigh. Oh Leo. This may come as a surprise, but I was a bit of a tomboy back in the day. Before viewing Titanic, I would see Leo’s face come across my Teen Beat magazine and say “yuck, Leo DiCraprio!” Then, I saw Titanic, and it all changed. This pretty face was plastered all over the walls of my spare bedroom (because I couldn’t mess up my nicely decorated bedroom). I still think that bitch could have made some room and saved you…

Early 2000s: Nick Carter: Those blonde locks, those blue eyes, that dreamy voice. Be still my heart. Although I liked *NSYNC’s music a bit better, Nick Carter was the bees knees. My first email address was iluvbsb@swbell.net. Just saying. BONUS: Aaron Carter – the man I got my first manicure for. Saw him at Fox Theatre, only a few rows from the stage. Ah.

Late 2000s: Zac Efron: Here we go again with another hottie who made it from the ashes. I refused to watch High School Musical, for the pure fact that I was in high school, in choir, and thought it was idiotic. However, I watched it before heading off to college, shortly before the release of Hairspray, and well – the rest is history. Zac has that perfect level of boyish cute mixed with man hot, and the boy can sing. Let’s be honest – I’m not giving up this crush anytime soon.

2012: David Freese, Ryan Lochte & Andy Parks: I guess I’ve matured, and so has my taste in men. What isn’t there to love about David Freese? World Series MVP, hometown hottie, and a former Tiger. Ryan Lochte won the hearts of many at this years Olympic Games, and I must say I have a soft spot for my Boston loving, beer drinking, video game playing boyfriend :). (NOTE: I went through probably 15 photos before finding the perfect one for you, Andy!)

So there you have it – my crush list through the years. Who was your biggest crush growing up? 

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Parks Picks

Top 5: Moments of 2011

Don’t judge on the cliche topic – I had a damn good year! Let’s go backwards.

5. Mizzou 100th Homecoming: You never forget where you came from, and Mizzou homecoming will always be a top event in my heart. After spending four years pomping house decorations, glittering alpha phi posters and watching Mizzou football, I was happy to be able to just enjoy this year’s festivities.

4. World Series Win: OK – I wasn’t directly involved, obviously, but I truly enjoyed watching along the Cardinals journey. (did that really just come out of my mouth?) I went to easily 10-15 games, including a few Cubs series with my favorite Chicago kids (the Cards won, of course). We also traveled to Pittsburgh for a series with the Pirates, so I felt like I could really enjoy this season’s victory.

3. Getting my first job: Now you might ask, “Ashley, didn’t you quit there?” And yes, I have since moved on, however, getting your first job is quite an accomplishment that should not be ignored. O&B gave me tools that I needed to enter the professional world as well as giving me my first real paycheck, which is pretty awesome.

2. Moving out: Sorry Mom & Dad, but moving out is awesome. Sure, it’s a lot of hard work and a lot of time spent cleaning, decorating, organizing, etc., but I now am able to truly appreciate everything you’ve done for me in the past 22 years. Plus, I love being able to cook for myself [hi, half my Christmas gifts were kitchen supplies!] and decorate myself [thank you Hobby Lobby]. Oh, and that cute roommate of mine helps. 🙂

1. My first puppy: I doubt this comes as a surprise to anyone. Yadi has been the best thing to happen to me this year, if not the past 22. There is something so special about coming home to a wagging tail and a huge lick on your face, and since July 30, I’ve been able to experience it first hand.

What will 2012 hold for me? Who knows, but I’m sure next year at this time, I’ll have five more great things to share.

Editors Note I’m not sure how I missed this, but I’d like to add a tie with #4 – watching the Boston Bruins clinch the Stanley Cup at the ESPN Zone in Orlando with my dad and a room full of Bruins fans. Nothing can beat that experience, unless of course the Blues bring home the prize in 2012.