So what do we do now? Spring Training is a long time away. Four months is like…a year from now, you know? Sure, there’s the Winter Meetings, free agency, arbitration, etc, etc, zzzzz…but out of all that, you get like three newsworthy days and a bunch of B.S. speculation in between. Speaking of which, those of you that think the Tigers are going to sign Jose Reyes are crazier than Jim Leyland bringing in Schlereth with the bases loaded. If they do, I’ll start a Don Kelly Fan Club.
Yes, it’s this time of the year that we are forced to seek other forms of sports as entertainment while baseball is away. And today, I thought I’d take a look at our other options available until pitchers and catchers report…and why none of them are decent enough alternatives to my favorite sport of baseball.
And sure, he NFL is a fun distraction on Sundays, but in my profession of bar management, it brings in the dregs of society acting at their worst. Groups of ignorant, front-running Steeler and Packer fans screaming over every two yard gain like drunk 17 year olds on Spring Break is killing any love I have for the sport. Well, them and the wit of Peter King and Tony Dungy on NBC. They make Terry Bradshaw seem intelligent.
And for the first time in over a decade, I’m not playing fantasy football this year. The commissioner of the league I always do kinda ruined the league for me with silly scoring, new members that I despise, and a ridiculous entry fee. Attempts to start a new league this year were ruined by most of my friends being low-rent asshats. So, the one thing I had to enjoy about the NFL season while my team was on bye or down twenty points at halftime is no longer there for me. Screw football…it’s overrated.
I Root For: Chicago Bears
When I first got into the NFL, the ’85 Bears were the greatest thing in the world. Walter Payton and Jim McMahon were the coolest people that 8 year old Rogo had ever seen. I can still remember telling my mother that I wanted to spike my hair, wear goofy sunglasses, and sport a headband. I also remember her response of throwing a half-empty beer can at me and telling me that I was a mistake that had ruined her life. Good times…
Despite somehow making the NFC Championship Game last year, the Bears are a .500 team most years and the only unsure aspect of their season this year is if quarterback Jay Cutler’s season will end in diabetes costing him his foot or his terrible offensive line costing him his life.
During one such game, tables were tipped over being used as forts while people threw bottles at each other. Once, a Texas fan started a brawl that ended with my 95 pound female bartender taking a glass to the face leaving her permanently scarred. Over college effing football. Blows my mind.
Plus, with the idiotic BCS ranking system, approximately five teams are in the running for the championship every year. Every school (except mine) runs a dirty program. Lee Corso does the same tired schtick of wearing a dumb mascot head every week. And basically, the only reason college football exists is so Vegas and bookies all over America can make money.
I Root For: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Yeah, I know. If there was one team of mine that I wish I didn’t like, it’s the Irish. People call them the Yankees of college sports, but that’s ridiculous. The Yankees actually win. I do think their “higher than thou” attitude and the way the media fawns over them is ridiculous, but you can’t help who your team is. That stuff is decided early in life and there’s NO going back when you’re an adult. Otherwise, you’re a bad fan and should be beaten to death with a shovel. It’s the Fan Code rules.
All my friends in school when I was a kid were all into the Ohio State/Michigan nonsense and were always bugging me to choose a side. Reluctantly, I chose Michigan just to get people to leave me alone. They had cooler team colors. Then, I saw Rocket Ismail play for the first time and I was a Golden Domer for life. As an additional bonus, I get to root against OSU and Michigan every week. I enjoy pissing off as many people around me as possible. On a related note, I have few friends…
I think I grew up in the best time ever to watch the NBA. Magic, Michael, Bird, Hakeem, Malone, Barkley, Wilkins, and so on. Today’s game has Kobe, LeBron, and a bunch of schmucks that couldn’t sink a free throw if their lives depended on it. They travel on every possession. I know I sound like the old white guys that I usually mock here, but the NBA isn’t the same game as the one I grew up on and my interest in it isn’t half of what it used to be. And judging by the lockout, I’m not the only one.
I Root For: Chicago Bulls
My friends were all into the Bad Boys Pistons when I first started watching the NBA in the late ‘80’s. And the hopeless follower that I was, I joined them at first. I loved Joe Dumars, James Edwards, Vinnie Johnson, and Dennis Rodman. But the more I watched those Pistons, the more I grew to despise them due to two players: Isiah Thomas and Bill Laimbeer. Here I was rooting for Detroit, which felt nice since I adored the Tigers, but I couldn’t stand how dirty Thomas and Laimbeer were. Along with John Stockton, they were the dirtiest players I ever saw. Drove me nuts, and though my friends thought it was great to root for the cheaters, I turned my allegiance to their chief rivals at the time, the Bulls…again, just to be a dick to my friends.
Of course, they had Michael Jordan, which made the transition easier. But it was the hard working and underappreciated supporting cast of Horace Grant, Bill Cartwright, Scottie Pippen, and especially sharpshooter John Paxson that won me over to the Bulls team. And a year after I had my first badass Bulls Starter coat, they began their impressive run of championships. It was great timing on my part, although my dickhole friends all accused me of being a bandwagoner, even though they knew the real truth. Jerks. I’m glad their bodies were never found…
The other joy I got out of being a Bulls fan was the constant supply of big, uncoordinated, slow, terrible white centers they had. Will Perdue, Luc Longley, and Bill Wennington stick out in my mind. The reason? That was me when I tried to play. I was tall, so everyone wanted me to play basketball. Meanwhile, I was the drizzling shits. My average line in a game was something like 5 minutes, 0 points, 2 rebounds, and 5 fouls. I was that guy. In fact, my group of pickup basketball friends used to call me “Bear” for my tendency to maul anyone that was dumb enough to drive the lane on my goofy ass. Seeing “my kind” on the court being ignored by Jordan made me smile.
/Old Dominion loses by 58
I Root For: No one.
I’d feel foolish saying I have a favorite team when I don’t watch any regular season games. Gun to my head, I guess it would be the Irish, but that’s only because of my love of their stupid football team. But if you are a Duke fan, you are an insufferable prick. That’s just a given in life.
My favorite time in hockey was 1994 when the Rangers broke their “curse” and beat Vancouver to win the Stanley Cup. I was really into Mark Messier at the time. But that was also the year I discovered Pavel Bure and decided he was the coolest player in sports not named Higginson. Dude was amazing on the ice and later banged Anna Kournikova behind Sergei Fedorov’s back. Nice.
I Root For: Colorado Avalanche
Quite simply, Red Wing fans make me want to choke a newborn. When it comes to being loud, rude, ignorant, and front-running assholes, Wings fans are second only to Steeler fans in professional sports. Again, this comes from me working in bars MUCH longer than any human should. I know you’re not all bad…don’t go throwing a dead eight-legged water creature at my house. But they say one bad apple ruins a bunch. Well, dozens of bad apples make me want to burn down every Granny Smith tree I ever come across.
So, I root for the Avs. Just to piss off Wings fans. Also, your famous ex-captain that you all love so much? His secretary is/was a bitch. I almost threw her and her friends out a couple years ago when they came into my bar with the Stanley Cup and acted like they were better than everyone. Obnoxious twat. I also told that “Keeper of the Cup” guy to go fuck himself. That was fun.
I Root For: Brock Lesnar
Brock’s a beast and he uses some of his ex-WWE personality to rile up the fans. I enjoy that. Personality goes a long way with me in my athletes since most of them in every sport are so boring. That’s why I root for Phil Coke despite him not being very good. The guy makes me laugh. And Brock Lesnar makes me laugh either by taunting the UFC crowds or beating some poor dude to death in 30 seconds.
I enjoyed Hulk Hogan as a kid. I got into the storylines and crazy spots of the late 90’s. But today, I’d rather watch a dog lick his balls than watch John Cena badly act his way through a promo written by an ex “Days of Our Lives” writer. It's not a good sign when one of the only tolerable active wrestlers is The Miz, a guy that's most famous for being on "The Real World".
I Root For: I don’t watch as much anymore, but when I do, I get into CM Punk. He’s a lifetime fan of pro wrestling and wants to change how the business is presented. Sadly, as long as Vince McMahon is in charge, it’s going to remain a silly circus product geared toward the booger-eaters of our society. Don’t believe me? Go to a WWE event. Eighty percent of the crowd looks like they starred in “Deliverance”.
I hate NASCAR. Forty rednecks driving 500 miles in a circle while thousands of racist hillbillies in the crowd get wasted and not pay attention? Sorry. They make the WWE crowd look like the Princeton debate team.
I Root For: The end of the sport. I just don’t get it.
I Root For: Riots.
So yeah. Nothing competes with baseball to Your Party Host. It’s going to be a long, cold winter as I wait for JV, Big Mig, and the boys to return from their time away from the game.
I guess I could spend more time reading books or spending time with my family.
Ha…right. Football it is, I guess.