Friday, December 21, 2007

A Few Of My Least Favorite Things

As you all know, we are in the midst of the holiday season. This means that for a few weeks, everyone is kind and generous and the world is wonderful. People spend time with family members that they don’t talk to for the other 364 days a year. There is an air of happiness that is only around for this brief period of time. You even have to read sappy blog entries about things that the writer is happy about or appreciative of. Well I’m going to be the Scrooge to my partner’s Bob Cratchit (if you don’t get that reference, then it’s time for you to read a book). Here is a list of my least favorite things.

Duke Basketball—I can’t stand them, their coach, their student section, or their fans around the country. The players, past and present, walk around like their shit doesn’t stink. Their coach is a rat-faced, whiny punk who complains about every single call for 40 minutes a game. Their student section is more concerned about performing their men’s choir-like, synchronized in-game chants than actually watching a basketball game. Then they play a bunch of D-III schools (ALWAYS at home) early in the season to make their record look good. Yeah, it sure is a shame what Pitt did to them last night…

Steve Lavin—Actually, it’s just one thing that he does that bothers me. For the most part, he does a very good job at both announcing games and analyzing them in studio. But Mr. Lavin has fallen in love with a particular phrase this year: “Off the bounce”. According to Stevie, you have to have wings that can take guys off the bounce. You have to be able to defend off the bounce. Highlights always include someone going off the bounce. It’s a stupid phrase that he uses 16 times a night and I’m tired of it.

3-21—We all knew that the Wolves were going to be a bad team this year. You don’t purge your entire roster of 80% of its scoring and rebounding and expect to play well. You can’t have half of your roster be guys still on their rookie contracts and expect to make a playoff run. So the losing isn’t what bothers me, it’s the way we’re losing and frequency with which we are doing it. Losing because of brutal fourth quarters night after night is frustrating. Watching ¾ of a game and talking yourself into things like “Sebastian Telfair could be our point guard of the future”, only to watch him make terrible decisions for the next 12 minutes as we blow another lead is frustrating. Breaking the 72-73 Sixers record would be beyond frustrating.

The 2007 Fantasy Football Season—In no particular order, I hate Bill Belichick, Thomas Jones, injuries, Bill Belichick, the Rams offense, Frank Gore, Bill Belichick, Cedric Benson, the Patriots ridiculous offense, Bill Belichick, my instincts in August, and, most importantly, Bill Belichick.

Packer Fans—Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, “How many Super Bowls have you guys won?” The only thing worse than the Pack having a good season is listening to their fans brag about it. Even as the Purple reel off 5 straight W’s, all you hear from Green and Gold fans is “What’s your record?” and the infamous Super Bowl question. We get it, you won a few titles in the 60’s and one in the late 90’s, but that last title was 10 years ago. Get over yourselves already. I really hope the Vikes get a shot at the Pack in the playoffs and end their season—again.

Carl Pohlad—Open up that vault you have your money stashed in and spend a little to give us a fighting chance! Why do I have to talk myself into guys like Tony Bautista and Mike Lamb every spring? Why can’t we just keep the guys we have and make a run? I know he’ll say that he loses too much money. But you’re a freaking billionaire and have a new stadium (and thus a ton of new revenue) coming in two years. Give us a reason to come to the new ballpark and cheer.

Slow Mall Walkers—There’s nothing I hate more than shopping. When I have to get my Christmas shopping done, I try to get it all done in one day and be done with it. I want to spend as little time as possible in the malls. The only problem is that you get all of these people who are out for a leisurely walk while I’m trying to get stuff done. The Mall of America is the worst when it comes to this. While I’m trying to buy a few shirts and other gifts, others are visiting like it’s the Taj fucking Mahal. It’s incredibly frustrating to try and avoid all the gawkers and picture-takers. Get in and get out or at least stay out of my way.

Skip Worthless—Shut up, shut up, shut up, SHUT UP! We get it, you make ridiculous statements and predictions just to cause a stir and create controversy. But you can’t consider yourself a legit sports analyst when you spew that trash out of your mouth on a daily basis. Do some research, watch a game or two, and do your job.

1 Hour After Eating Chipotle—I don’t know if anyone else has this problem, but virtually every time I have a burrito from Chipote’s, an hour later I’m sitting with my pants around my ankles and reading Entertainment Weekly—if you catch my drift.

The Writer’s Strike—Admittedly, I don’t know much about the reason for the strike. I’ve heard it has to do with money from internet and DVD sales, but I’m not sure. Doesn’t matter. I just want it over with. I’m tired of watching old reruns and movies I’ve seen 40 times. Figure it out, get everything settled, and bring back my shows.

Bobby Petrino—What a selfish chump. He signed a 10 year deal with Louisville in 2006, and while he was there, flirted with Auburn, LSU, and the Oakland Raiders before leaving after one year for the Atlanta job (a 5 year deal by the way). Then 13 games into his first NFL season, he bolts to take the Arkansas head gig. Do you think there’s any chance he doesn’t bail on them when a higher profile job becomes available? He’s the most selfish man in sports, and that’s really saying something.

MLB’s Pay Scale—What is it going to take for baseball to put in a salary cap? Teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, and Mets annually spend upwards of $200 million, whereas the Royals, Pirates, and Rays can only afford to spend in the $60-70 million range. How are these teams expected to compete when the big dogs are spending 2-3 times as much on players? You have to put in some sort of ceiling (and a floor for that matter) on spending to give everyone a shot and reign in some of the ridiculous contracts that are being thrown out there (I’m looking at you, Carlos Silva). Plus, it would give teams a chance to resign their own players and keep their fan base interested and loyal.

Euro-Trash NBA Players—They have long, greasy hair that flies around all over the place. They shoot (and usually make) the most ridiculous, off-balance, garbage shots routinely. They flop to the floor anytime anyone comes within 5 feet of them and bitch about every call in every game. I can’t stand watching the Ginobli’s of the world, they’re ruining basketball.

Parking Spot Creepers—Every time I go anywhere, my least favorite thing to do is deal with parking. So I always find a spot at the very back or far side of the parking lot and walk to my destination. Apparently I am in the minority in this practice. I always see cars slowly creeping up and down the rows, waiting, following, hoping to find a spot 10 feet closer to the building so that they don’t have to walk as far. Just park already! And people wonder why our country is so obese.

Blockbuster’s TV/DVD Section—All I want to do is watch seasons 2 and 3 of The Wire. But unless I buy them, I have no chance at seeing them. Why does Blockbuster insist on carrying just one season of certain shows? I understand that you can’t carry every season of every show, but if you’re going to have season 1 of a program, then you should have all of the other seasons available as well.

The GMAC and International Bowls—Where do these bowls get off? How can you showcase teams like Tulsa, Bowling Green, Rutgers, and Ball State after every other bowl game other than the National Championship? Those teams should have played Wednesday morning at 9 am. How can they get away with trashy games like this being played after the New Year? Between this and the lack of a playoff system, I don’t know why anyone would ever watch college football.

Round Numbered Lists—Why does every list have to be a multiple of 5? There’s no reason for it, and it usually causes bad writing just to add numbers. Well I’m not going to do it. I’m out.


Anonymous said...

Nice piece Q.

Sow Cow said...

Q... I have an idea - Stop clinging to a blockbuster store and try Netflix. They have all seasons of the Wire, and it's pretty easy to get them.

Also, season 2 of the Wire is 1000x worse than the other seasons, so you may just want to skip it altogether. Season 3 was my favorite.

K-Bag said...

Great piece Q. I only disagree with one of your least favorite things, and that is, I tend to enjoy my time an hour after Chipotle. There is nothing like a good long read on the shitter. I wouldn't know half of the useless sports tidbits I know if it weren't for that hour after Chipotle. Otherwise great writing.