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Friday, March 06, 2009

Nats’ Olsen Lights It Up With His Arm, Mouth (a dozen times a day)

Scott Olsen pulled out a cigarette, one of the dozen he allows himself every day, though sometimes, with a beer or two, he’ll smoke a few more. He tried to quit on his 25th birthday, in January, but that didn’t work. Now he’s thinking he’ll give up the habit only when his girlfriend gets pregnant.

“I just have to get motivated,” Olsen said.

Gamingboy Posted: March 06, 2009 at 04:58 PM | 25 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nationals, obituaries

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   1. JimMusComp likes Billy Eppler.... Posted: March 06, 2009 at 05:40 PM (#3094589)
Egads....

I'm in my mid-thirties and smoked from 21 to about 30. I decided to give the Nicotine Patch a try to see, if nothing else, if I could reduce the number of cigarettes I smoked per day. At first, I would smoke one cigarette in the AM and one in the PM with the patch. Within 7 days I had stopped altogether and I gradually weened myself from the patch (over about 10 weeks - a few weeks longer than suggested) and haven't had a smoke in nearly 6 years. I was stunned at how easy it was with the patch.

I'd like to think that if I was making 6 or 7 figures per annum based on my physical well-being and abilities therein I'd find that to be motivation enough to stop smoking, but to each his own.

Good luck, Scott.
   2. DKDC Posted: March 06, 2009 at 05:45 PM (#3094598)
Nice lede.
   3. PerroX Posted: March 06, 2009 at 06:04 PM (#3094626)
Now he’s thinking he’ll give up the habit only when his girlfriend gets pregnant.

Mail both of them a patch before it's too late.
   4. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: March 06, 2009 at 06:09 PM (#3094638)
I used to smoke Lucky Strike non-filters, almost a pack a day.

I still remember the last one I had - Dec. 1, 2001. I stubbed out the cigarette, threw the half-pack I had away, and never lit up another one. Cold Turkey.

It would probably be harder for me to quit posting on this site than it was for me to quit smoking.
   5. Roadblock Jones Posted: March 06, 2009 at 06:16 PM (#3094647)
Nice lede.


That was exactly what I was gonna say. Thwack.

Actually the whole story is dynamite.
   6. twon8 Posted: March 06, 2009 at 06:22 PM (#3094670)
So is he planning to have a child out of wedlock, or just figuring it's bound to happen sooner or later?
   7. flournoy Posted: March 06, 2009 at 06:32 PM (#3094694)
Something I've never really understood: Why would you start smoking in the first place?

It's terrible for your health, it's probably terrible for the health of people around you, it makes you stink, it's expensive, it could hinder your ability to get a job, it will definitely hinder your ability to get health insurance, and it turns you into a social outcast of sorts. Is there a single positive aspect?
   8. PerroX Posted: March 06, 2009 at 06:39 PM (#3094704)
Blame James Dean.
   9. Esoteric Posted: March 06, 2009 at 06:41 PM (#3094707)
I started smoking as a 9th grader. But I didn't do it to be cool. Quite the opposite, in fact...I hid the habit from everyone for fear that people at my (magnet) school would ostracize me for being a smoker.

Bizarre, but not as bizarre as the reason I started smoking: because I liked having something to do with my hands & mouth while I was reading. Seriously. (Insert dumb masturbation joke here.)

I will say this though: once I got to college, being a smoker (plus a singer...not as odd a combo as you might think) was actually immensely helpful in meeting the most physically attractive girls and opening the door to scoring. It's sad to say (and I don't want to sound like a shill for the tobacco companies here), but it really was an immensely valuable ice-breaker with girls who otherwise would have been hard to approach. Oh noes! All the wrong messages are being sent here!

As it is, I still smoke on the level of one or two light cigarettes a day. (I never had a hardcore habit on a the half-pack a day level...my vocal cords wouldn't allow it.) My girlfriend tolerates it but really would prefer if I quit altogether.
   10. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: March 06, 2009 at 06:43 PM (#3094710)
it turns you into a social outcast of sorts.

I actually socialize a lot less since I quit smoking. Because smokers are corralled off into little areas and not really allowed to do anything else while they smoke, they end up talking to one another.

As far as positive aspects to smoking, it's a great way to relieve stress. I still haven't found anything better.
   11. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: March 06, 2009 at 06:43 PM (#3094711)
Something I've never really understood: Why would you start smoking in the first place?


I was 16 and thought it looked cool and I knew my parents would hate it.
   12. 47YOUNEVERKNOW47 Posted: March 06, 2009 at 06:43 PM (#3094713)
Is there a single positive aspect?


Easy way to meet girls.

Gives you that bad boy / Hollyweird appeal to begin with, and being asked for a light and vice versa is an easy way to start a conversation (and continue it while the cigarettes burn).

You know some people get (or borrow) a dog to do the same thing, but with cigs you don't have to clean up poop.

I quit cold turkey at the end of 1996, but I still remember.
   13. Nasty Nate Posted: March 06, 2009 at 06:45 PM (#3094717)
Why would you start smoking in the first place?


i have no good answer for this.

Is there a single positive aspect?


tiny "buzz" from the nicotine. some camraderie. the small pleasure of fulfilling an addiction.

Ive been trying to quit. Had zero cigarettes on Monday and Thursday this week (but chewed nicorette). This morning in between the subway and work, the line at dunkin donuts was too long, so i went to 7-11 instead and bought a pack. I'm an idiot.
   14. Esoteric Posted: March 06, 2009 at 06:46 PM (#3094718)
Easy way to meet girls.

Gives you that bad boy / Hollyweird appeal to begin with, and being asked for a light and vice versa is an easy way to start a conversation (and continue it while the cigarettes burn).

You know some people get (or borrow) a dog to do the same thing, but with cigs you don't have to clean up poop.
It's the absolute truth. Thankfully now that I've settled down I don't have to worry about meeting girls, but still...even *I* was surprised at how much my smoking habit made it easy to meet desirable women. Even girls who didn't smoke, but just wanted to be around guys who did! How weird is THAT?
   15. Crashburn Alley Posted: March 06, 2009 at 06:48 PM (#3094722)
I'm proud I've never, ever put a cigarette in my mouth but I can certainly understand and empathize with those that have succumbed to the habit. I've seen first-hand its destructive power and it's just something you don't account for at the time when you're thinking that it looks cool and it'll help you meet women, and stuff like that.

However, despite not smoking, I probably have other habits that have some negative effects like being on the Internet so much. Everyone has their vices. I'm in agreement with #4, I'd have a hard time letting go, cold turkey, of the websites I visit on a frequent basis. If someone took FanGraphs away from me, I'd probably throw a temper tantrum.
   16. Esoteric Posted: March 06, 2009 at 06:49 PM (#3094726)
I've actually found it remarkably easy to quit for extended periods of time (I'm talking about months at a time -- and at one point even a year -- not days.) I guess that's a function of having such a light habit plus hating the effect that oversmoking has on my singing voice.

I remember once when BBTF went down for what seemed like an entire day as some big baseball news was breaking. It was the nearest I can imagine to what it feels like to withdraw from a hardcore drug. Congratulations, fellow Primates: you are my heroin.
   17. Craig Calcaterra Posted: March 06, 2009 at 07:16 PM (#3094763)
I worry that I've gotten to that point with blogging. Even if there's nothing going on and nothing worth writing about, I find myself absently scanning headlines to see if there's something even remotely blogworhty. I'm not even sure what the deal with this is. I don't make any money doing it. It probably keeps me from doing things that would make me more money. It's a major souce of sleep deprivation for me. I'm beginning to think that it's much like the hands/mouth thing that smokers talk about. I get what can only be described as the minor high of additction fulfillment when I click, copy, paste, type, and post.

This is probably the most pathetic admission I've made in years.
   18. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: March 06, 2009 at 07:21 PM (#3094768)
This is probably the most pathetic admission I've made in years.
On the plus side, this will save those of us at Hardball Times from having to do that intervention we were thinking about.
   19. Philippe Posted: March 06, 2009 at 08:25 PM (#3094840)
Don't blame James Dean. Smoking rates in North America peaked just after World War II. The backlash against smoking actually started around Dean's time.

I've never smoked (literally) but I used to be quite tolerant of smokers, since most of the people I hung out with smoked. Now, I can't stand it if anyone smokes anywhere nearby. I've recently lost a good friend to lung cancer. He was in his mid 40's and a regular smoker. Really, really sucks.
   20. Obama Bomaye Posted: March 06, 2009 at 08:38 PM (#3094854)
i smoke trees
   21. PerroX Posted: March 06, 2009 at 08:42 PM (#3094863)
my smoking habit made it easy to meet desirable women

Not to make light of cancer, but at 19, I might have agreed to give up a lung in the future if it would've helped me meet women.

...it's a great way to relieve stress.

Ironically, it's the deep breathing. Most of us breathe poorly.
   22. simpleton & childlike gef the talking mongoose Posted: March 06, 2009 at 09:10 PM (#3094895)
I smoked for maybe 5 or 6 weeks to cope with really excruciating stress during a hideously hard time back in late '01.

Quitting was easy as pie -- why people whine about it, I have no idea.
   23. The District Attorney Posted: March 06, 2009 at 09:44 PM (#3094935)
I'd like to think that if I was making 6 or 7 figures per annum based on my physical well-being and abilities therein I'd find that to be motivation enough to stop smoking
We're talking about Scott Olsen here. I don't think he's one of the nation's great intellectuals.

I smoked tobacco exactly once... I had just been laid off, and the laid-off and non-laid-off alike congregated at a bar; I figured it was the time for slightly suicidal acts. Without alcohol, the tobacco tasted godawful; when I alternated the smoking with drinking, it actually tasted pretty good. So at least as far as the latter goes, I could see how it would be appealing. But I don't feel like dying a moment sooner than I have to. Admittedly, I don't have the perfect eating or exercise regimen either, but the risk/reward on smoking seems exceptionally bad to me. Also, I hate the smell.
   24. Nasty Nate Posted: March 06, 2009 at 09:56 PM (#3094948)
I smoked for maybe 5 or 6 weeks to cope with really excruciating stress during a hideously hard time back in late '01.

Quitting was easy as pie -- why people whine about it, I have no idea.


harder for some than others

and 99.9999999% of the people who whine about it have been smoking for longer than 5 frickin weeks
   25. Greg K Posted: March 06, 2009 at 10:03 PM (#3094956)
One of the reasons I stopped doing acid is that the only time I ever smoked a cigarette was because my friend tricked me into it while I was tripping out.

Talk about scared straight!

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