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Hot Avocado Takes: California is actually a hyperbole for my awkward adolescence

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Spring is coming up, which means I need to get my #RossFit on before I take my shirt off to cut the grass.

Winslow Townson/Getty Images

WESTERN MICHIGAN WILL PLAY FOOTBALL AT USC IN REAL LIFE. COINCIDENTALLY, REGGIE BUSH WAS RELEASED FROM THE DETROIT LIONS ON THE SAME DAY.

This is really big news for the Western Michigan Broncos football program. As many of you already know, I'm an Eastern Michigan guy, so it pains me to say nice things about WMU, but it's pretty hard not to be optimistic about their future over in Kalamazoo. I get that my Eagles will be playing at LSU and Kent State will be at A-LA-BA-MA, but there's some good context with their near-future matchup at USC. Plenty of #exposure and recruiting gains that could be had for them targeting kids out West.

I've been to California on a pair of occasions with my pop. The hotel we stayed at was in the Orange County area, and we'd spend a week there during October at these Hot Wheels conventions where my dad would buy, sell, trade, window shop and volunteer his time at. Yes, I know exactly what you're thinking: that sounds nerdy as shit. Well rest assure, compadre, it was absolutely nerdy but I fit right in. Kinda.

I was a kid surrounded by big kids with a mortgage. That kind of sucked because 1) I didn't know what a mortgage was, 2) everybody was having fun with my dad at 1am and quit giving me Pepsi I want a beer or whatever it's called, 3) I had this one friend that I met (he was there for the same reasons I was, but he was more into it than I) but he lived out in Aurora, Colorado which is a really far drive from my hometown in Melvindale, so our friendship was always on a deadline, 4) I had to do homework. I never did it, but I had to do it, and 5) nobody gets Pokemon. When there's literally nothing more important than making sure that I'm always grooming my Eevee on the right days of the week, making sure he or she is always happy happy happy and so happy that it eventually evolves into a young, badass Umbreon at night instead of an Espeon during the day because I told myself that I could only choose one and Umbreon, not Espeon, would be that one that I'd put all my efforts into for a solid week and a half, and nobody understands why it's more than "just a Gameboy", then why bother explaining?

Spending time outside of the hotel wasn't really a thing for me. And whenever I did leave, I was either going to the airport to go back home or playing shooty hoops on the outdoor courts at the hotel. I remember one year I would shoot around with some other stranger kid for like two days. It was awesome. Nobody let me play baskets with them at school. That's mostly because those rat bastards were too cool for me and this one clearly has no one better to play with. But we were friends for less than 48 hours and we talked about whatever kids talked about. I remember "pornography" being a funny word to us. I don't remember his name.

There was maybe a third or fourth time where I would go out to those courts and played tennis with some girl that was a the hotel with her parents. We played tennis together one day for the same reasons the other kid played baskets with me. I totally thought she was into me.

Don't ask (Alex Alvarado)

I don't think she was into boys that had necks as chins. Personal preference, I suppose.

I COULD REALLY USE SOME HELP NAMING MY FANTASY BASEBALL TEAM THIS YEAR. I ALSO NEED A FANTASY LEAGUE TO PLAY IN, SO THAT'S PROBLEMATIC.

We may or may not have a Hustle Belt fantasy baseball league. If we do, we'll let you know. But as it stands, I don't have a league to play in. I was really hoping to join a legit keeper league, but I didn't search hard enough, nor did I search often enough. Eh well. Saves me money, I guess.

In any case, I need a fantasy team name. Last year, I was in a little fantasy league with some peeps from work and I'll tell you what, that owner for the Big Trumboners was really smooth talker with the other commissioners. Or warlords. Or warlocks. Or cohorts. I was in another league too. My team name for that was I'd Fister. Pretty sure I'm just going to put that one in retirement, but at least it's not being carried off of the field after a bad altercation with Lawrence Taylor.

That's not the way to go out.

Then I've been in a bunch of leagues that sucked where some people bailed out after they didn't like the draft and yeah, you know how that goes. You're probably one of those people. That's not the issue here. The issue here is that I need a team name ready to go just in case I do find/make/join a league. Here are some possibilities.

Speed the Game Down Milton Bradley Toys Sandlot 2 was ok
What Would Kurkjian Do? #SMELLBASEBALL Pooholes
Better Safe Than Soria Bosch's Med Students Miggy's Designated Driver
#YEAHJEETS Choo Chainz You're a clown question
The Kekambas 50 Cent Pitching Academy Tacoby Bellsbury
Blessed by Christ Davis s/o to all the pears Alex Alvarado's Team
PUIG DESTROYER FAN CLUB Team Mustard Verlander's Huge Ass
Bleached Buccholz We Will We Will Rock Yu The Oakland Raiders

SHOUTOUT TO ALL THE PEARS (EVEN THOUGH I'M AN AVOCADO).

For a few years, a couple friends of mine would joke around and post pictures of Rick Ross eating pears on each others' Facebook timelines and I never got it. Now I got it.

(NSFW)

"I do this shit called 'cross-fit'." -Rick Ross

Avocado isn't my alter ego, it's a stupid nick name that never left me. It's gone from 7th grade football team to high school to college friends and has been floating the ghettos of our Internet for some time now. Last name's Alvarado, and that sounds JUST LIKE avocado I guess. But whatever, at the time, I wanted friends and beggars can't be choosers. Rolling with the punches, I just sort of dealt with it and faked a smile whenever referred to me as that fruit.

But then I eventually really liked it. It's even on the bottom of my HS varsity jacket (putting nick names on the bottom of the jackets was a thing for our school).

Alvarado varsity jacket (Alex Alvarado)

But then I eventually really liked not being in high school any more. But somehow the friends I made in college made that Alvarado-avocado connection much like my 11-year-old, Elmer's glue-sniffing cohorts did and there's just no running from this damn thing is there?

It'd be considered cannibalism or something anyways, but I don't even like avocado. I don't like guacamole. If I wanted to eat boogers, I'd do it organically.

Somehow everything spiraled out of control everywhere and here I am telling you about this weird love-hate relationship I'm having and its origin. S/O to all the pears out there being better-recognized because of a shout out by Rick Ross and not because nobody disrespects you enough to not address you by your last name. Lucky bastards. I envy you other fruits.

KEVIN GARNETT WENT BACK TO MINNESOTA VIA TRADE. MY INNER-BOY IS HAPPY.

More weird stuff from my middle school days: I used to like basketball a lot. We all go through phases. That was mine.

Kevin Garnett was an awesome forward for the Timberwolves. I thought that his offensive game was really neat and played some good ass defense. On the video games, I'd always trade him to the Pistons. Him and Vince Carter and I don't really remember who else, but KG for sure. Garnett goes to Boston and finally wins that title, heads to Brooklyn and he's back in Minnesota.

The song is about Chicago, but I digress. The Bald Mamba was only on the floor for 19 minutes in his first home game back with the Timberwolves with only five points, but eight boards with a pair of assists and blocks is all good in my book. I've also never written a book and have low standards. But in writing this, I decided to YouTube search "Kevin Garnett" and found a bunch of videos about him dogging Craig Sager's clothes. I never knew these things existed. I knew that there was a Tumblr blog about Craig Sager's suits, but I didn't know that these videos existed.

THIS MAY OR MAY NOT BE A REGULAR SERIES BY ME. WE'LL FIGURE THIS THING OUT AS WE GO.

Sorry dudes and dudettes. I just have a lot of things I like to share with you. Sometimes we'll talk more MAC, other times we won't. I promise you'll be entertained either way. If you have any questions that you want answered, I just might share my thoughts. Sports, not sports, whatever, just e-mail me at hustlebeltblog@gmail.com. Be sure your submission is with "#HustleBag" in its headline. Let's have fun.