Remember back when I told you that I was traveling with my wife to Europe on a so called “vacation” where I would refrain from writing and tweeting about sports for over three weeks? It was all a ruse.

The truth is I was suspended by the IBC (International Blogging Commission) for 24 days after testing positive for a lethal combination of caffeine, IPA and Claritin. Rather than contest the ruling on the basis of a technicality, a la Ryan Braun, I decided to step aside in order to get my life in order. As a part of that process, today I decided to come clean (no pun intended).

After all, someone has to think about the kids. If they can’t look up to someone who writes about guys who talk about sports on the radio between car donation commercials … well, I don’t even want to think about what type of world that would be.

(Also, I did take the opportunity to check out Europe, and it was awesome. It’s weird being back in the country where guys don’t roll up the sleeves of their t-shirts and/or the bottoms of their shorts, but hopefully I can assimilate in short order. Actually, going from 35 degrees Celsius in Europe to 55 degrees Fahrenheit in San Francisco is probably the toughest adjustment.)

Luckily, I had several teammates pick me up during my Guillermo Mota-like absence. Scott Warfe took over as team captain, writing several posts as well as handling the BASG Twitter and Facebook accounts while I was gone. Yes, I refrained from social media the entire time I was away, although my wife couldn’t stay away from Facebook. I found Twitter to be a much more difficult habit to break than Zuckerbook, but after a while my debilitating case of “the shakes” subsided.

Bay Area Stats Guy, Ruthless Sports Guy, Bay Area Duck Guy and Ryan Leong all chipped in with huge contributions of their own, and the site seems to have gotten by just fine without my ramblings. Thanks to all of them for holding down the fort.

But now you’re all stuck with me again. And once again, those “Life is Good” shirts are proven to be so, so wrong.

As opposed to my life in the United States, which is ridiculously sports-centric and horribly unbalanced, my brushes with high profile athletics were few and far between during my time abroad in Portugal, France, Italy and Greece:

— We watched Andy Murray get everyone’s hopes up at a British Pub in Lagos before Roger Federer won the last three sets in the Wimbledon final. Nobody seemed all that surprised.

— I splurged on the online MLB TV package before leaving, figuring a little more debt couldn’t hurt. Then the first two times I tried watching the Giants around midnight local time in Rome, the game was in a rain delay. Not exactly tragic by any means, but for a person with my maturity level it was a tough blow. I ended up watching parts of three games, with the Giants winning one game and losing two. I didn’t feel like I needed to watch the A’s since it seemed clear they wouldn’t lose while I was out of the country.

— I wish we could’ve checked out a soccer match somewhere along the way, but with Euro 2012 concluding right before we arrived on the continent there didn’t seem to be much action in July.

— Today started for us at 6:45 am in London (which would be 10:45 pm on Friday night Pacific Time, and I hope that explains any parts of this post that trend towards the delusional). The only things we saw that would tell us the Olympics were in town were a sign that said to avoid driving in Central London during the Games and a very cramped 2012 souvenir store in Heathrow.

— A couple nights ago we flew from Greece to London at 1 am, so most of the other passengers on the Easy Jet flight (where we were encouraged to “enjoy a sandwich, like a ‘Cheesy Toasty’ a ‘Sausage Surprise’ or a ‘delicious Meat Feast'”) were young British blokes and birds. Most of the guys were wearing New Era hats, including a powder blue Dodgers hat and a snapback Reds hat.

— Of the caps I saw, the Yankees easily led the way (100+), followed by the Red Sox, Mets, Phillies, White Sox, Braves, Angels, Dodgers, Reds, D-Backs (seriously) and A’s. Have to say I was surprised to see a guy wearing a game model green-and-yellow A’s cap at a train station in Bologna. Didn’t see one Giants hat on the trip. You’d think the team that gave Rikkert Faneyte a shot would get a little more international love, but no.