2009 has been a fun year in sports, and nobody has been more awkwardly involved than our sports editor David Breitman. Here are some of his random and, quite frankly, disturbing thoughts from the athletic (and not so athletic) world over the past few months.
Source: Rob Tringali/Sportschrome/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
If you can call yourself an "actress" because you've been in a few student plays and attended film school, I can call myself a "hockey player" because I spend every Wednesday night in a very competitive Long Beach adult league and own all three Mighty Ducks movies on DVD.
Sportsbooks are posting record losses this year because everyone is making money. How's it feel, Vegas? I hope you have to eat nothing but Ramen noodles your sophomore year of college because the Baltimore Ravens decided to take a knee on 2nd and goal. (I swear to God, Kyle Boller I’m still coming after you!)
I think I actually spent less time picking a college or buying a house than I did on setting my fantasy football roster during Week 12.
It's always nice playing hockey in a rink that has barbed wire around the parking lot. That way the guy who stabs me for twenty-seven dollars will have a slightly more difficult time walking across the street to spend it at the yogurt shop or abortion clinic.
Apparently when a girl tells you "My dream is to be a Mom and raise a family," the correct response is not "Oh, so you have no professional ambition?"
Trying to defend the BCS to my Australian co-worker who has never watched college football (or understands how important corporate sponsorship and excluding the Big East is to the game) is proving rather difficult. The whole "doesn't everyone deserve a chance?" argument is difficult to combat.
There's nothing I love more than elderly people at a grocery store. If only Whole Foods sold "smell of death" and "two-for-one cottage cheese coupon"-scented candles, I could bring this experience home with me.
If my hockey pool went by the less conservative "point per time you slept with your teammate's wife" scoring format, Jeff Carter would be a much bigger asset to my fantasy team. (Finally, Chris Pronger - the guy who got a reporter pregnant when his wife was at home - is the second sleaziest guy in the locker room.) The NHL… where "At least we don't get arrested" happens.
How do normal, well-adjusted people without curling-related gambling debts deal with crippling depression when the tequila and hair gel run out? Is there a general "What the hell happened to my life?" support group that coincides with the NFL bye week I can attend, or perhaps a local wizard that can cast an apathy spell? (Not like a Hogwarts Valedictorian, maybe like the sorcerer equivalent of an ASU communications major?)
I know what you're thinking and the answer is yes... Albertan sex symbol Kevin Martin did win the Canadian Olympic curling trials this year - keeping his hopes of the sport's elusive Triple Crown alive. He's like the Albert Pujols of a sport I actually care about.
If taxis are going to have a "no vomiting out the window when you're drunk" policy they should at least make a mild effort to ensure that the vehicles don't smell like body odor and rotting goat carcasses.
After seeing a co-worker post pictures of his son dressed in a Minnesota Vikings "onesie" I finally realized the benefit of procreation - increasing the fanbase of your favorite sports team. (Every time a friend of mine back in Calgary knocks up a girl, instead of saying "thank God she's not Catholic," I'll immediately think "there goes a 2044 season ticket holder.")
Nice to see Los Angeles decided to have the most depressing, rain-filled evening ever on my birthday. It is, however, perfect weather for the emo hipsters in Silver Lake to talk about existentialism while refusing to get jobs and/or bathe. (One man's "This storm sucks, I want to kill myself" is another man's "This storm rocks! I totally want to kill myself because nobody gets me" weather.)
Getting a dirty look from the heavily-pierced waiter at Denny's when I asked if they served alcohol is an exciting new low for me. (IHOP doesn't have "unfair life judgments from community college dropouts" on their kids' menu.)
I don't care what any of my exes say, half price night at the Soup Plantation isn't just for emotionally crippled war veterans or people who have given up on basic human hygiene. It's where dreams come true! (Provided of course your dreams involve watching a homeless guy getting Tasered for stealing saltines.)
Not saying "You're the single worst thing to happen to the Calgary Flames" to Elisha Cuthbert is my biggest regret since attending that all-you-can-eat kitten bar. (Damn it, Cuthbert! If you were battling obesity and mild retardation you'd be Alberta's less interesting version of Jessica Simpson.) P.S. Huge fan of your ass.
Cheat on me once, shame on you.... Cheat on me 14 times with a collection of girls that look like they're straight off of Brett Michael's Rock of Love bus while making me look like a female version of Hilary Clinton and I'll take our children and half your money." Words of wisdom by Elin Nordegren (who, by the way, is now officially on the market!)
It appears I'm the only person on the planet who thinks the BCS is awesome. This is what it must feel like to be a fan of Joan Cusack, genital warts, or The Olive Garden. (Join a real F*****g conference, Boise State, or at least start offering unlimited salad and bread bowls at your games!)
I had an extra ticket to the Flames-Kings game in November. Nobody wanted to join 11,218 of the quietest hockey fans on the planet wonder why there's no first downs on the second inning power play, in an area of downtown Los Angeles that is working really hard to reduce the number of heroin overdoses and random immigrant stabbings.
I watched the civil war game between Oregon and Oregon State at an Oregon-themed sports bar, met a girl who referenced the Selke Trophy in casual conversation and went to a grocery store after my hockey game at 2:35 a.m. reeking like a Slovakian bomb shelter filled with wet garbage and Peja Stojakovic. Basically, I'm a road trip to Winnipeg away from living the dream.
Is it politically incorrect to go to a Home Depot to pick up a day laborer to fill in as a goalie in our street hockey game?
Stumbling out of a sports bar half drunk at 2:00 p.m. while a group of Rabbis walked passed me going the opposite direction may have been the most metaphorically symbolic thing to happen since that time I stopped along the highway in order to savagely beat a dead horse laying at a fork in the road.
During Thanksgiving I received 17 different “don’t try to celebrate our Holiday you dirty Canadian bastard” texts. I would have been offended, but the chance to gamble against both the Lions and Raiders on Turkey Day filled me with too much joy to feel upset.
Fact: Countries with Universal Healthcare tend to have higher divorce rates. Nobody cheats on their spouse while they're sick, so curing them clearly just leads to adultery. (Enjoy your 55 percent divorce rate, Sweden! The Republic of Macedonia barely has any doctors and they have virtually all their marriages end happily, with one partner dying of the flu.)
Somebody asked me if I’d like to do any sort of editorial on Vince Carter. I responded by asking if I could punch him in the ovaries, because that’s the only thing I wanted to do to the man who turned his back on the Toronto Raptors.
"Hey Breitman, you going to go watch your boys lose by 35 points to UCLA, or see the Flames get blown out by the Kings? Lot of great options in the greater Los Angeles area to watch your favorite teams get embarrassed today." This text message is why I'm changing my phone number.
I’m going to be launching a crusade against "Sports Bar Segregation." It's unfair that NHL supporters are forced to sit in the corner like burn victims or Norwegians and be reluctantly waited on by the ugly waitress who's working there as some sort of favor/hideous girl affirmative action program. Hockey fans are people, too! (I didn't spend four years at Delusional Grandeur College to avoid becoming the next Nelson Mandela.)
Apparently Forbes didn't take into account "talent," "management" or "the ability to make the playoffs before 2017" when they named the Toronto Maple Leafs the most valuable franchise in the NHL. (They're like the General Motors of Hockey - too big to fail?)
The guy at Ticketmaster thought I was prank calling him when I asked for tickets to the Raptors-Clippers game this Friday. Apparently the Andrea Bargnani-Chris Kaman showdown is not the headline grabber I assumed it would be.
Note to self: Walking into a sports bar and proclaiming "Nobody tell me what happened on Gossip Girl, I'm totally DVR-ing it," is a great way to get made fun of by your buddies, the waitress, and that snarky homeless guy in a Steelers jersey.
I wonder if they call it fantasy football because every time I realize Steve Slaton is on my roster I dream about killing myself.
After five Kurt Warner interceptions, the Cardinals didn't even let Matt Leinart put his helmet on in their game against the Panthers. At this point does he even get a seat on the bus, or does he just ride in a small van with the player’s wives?
It was great seeing all these Yankees fans in Los Angeles during the ALCS. So reassuring to see that the douchebag community is bi-coastal.
I could really use the win in my "sports writers’ fantasy football league" this week. The winner gets four months of health insurance, and something tells me Swine Flu isn't really a "walk it off" disease like Scurvy or Postpartum Depression...
It's nice to see that Lakers' fans haven't missed a step over the offseason and are already annoying everyone in midseason form. (Oh, and TNT.....please keep showing me 13-14 Khloe Kardashian crowd shots during the game. Because as much as I love the actual "basketball" aspect of the NBA, I did find myself wondering just how many hot dogs one reality television reject could eat.")
Dear Peja Stojakovic: If you sleep with a second rate porn star, it's generally a good idea to ask her not to tweet about it afterwards - ya know, just in case your wife finds out. The NBA, ladies and gentlemen. Catch the fever…and maybe a little Herpes.
Thank God the NBA starts again today. I'm running out of things to gamble on, and I think FDR Jr. High School is shaving points again.
When someone calls in sick, I think it's completely professional to ask them "How long do you figure you're going to be on the I.R. for? Am I going to need to call an intern up from the minors to fill in?"
That's what makes baseball so great. It teaches kids that underdogs rarely have a chance to actually defeat the bigger, stronger, richer teams and that the only time people care if you took steroids is when they stop working. If Adam Banks had juiced up, he could have re-signed with the Hawks after two seasons with the Ducks - sort of how A-Rod did it when he realized the Rangers were a go-nowhere franchise.
Great job to the people who put a "Caution, Baby on Board" sticker on their smart car. Now everyone on the 405 Highway knows you're a sh***y parent.
ASU football… I'm pretty much just watching to show my friends here the girls in the student section. Great game out there "blonde chick in the third row with a learning disability, drinking problem, and boob job you got as a high school graduation gift." I forgot how slutty gold t-shirts can look when cut up properly.
If baseball players don't have to go to work when it rains, so why should I?
If there was a universal "Douchebag Power Ranking System" I have no doubt that Kobe Bryant, Kobe Bryant fans, and anybody who has ever worked at a Whole Foods would top that list.
I know I'm not the only guy out there who's not sleeping tonight because the 1992 NBA title marathon is on till 7 a.m. There's got to be a meth addict, Ron Popeil fan, or confused Ukrainian immigrant being held hostage in a Van Nuys warehouse that are also watching. (a.k.a. "my posse")
I imagine people that like watching baseball are also fans of Nicolas Cage movies. Slow, easy to follow, low-rated, and mind-numbingly boring.
Is it possible to still enroll in classes at USC? Because after this weekend I would love to check out the "How to Be a Douchebag Aports Dan" lecture that every single one of their alumni at Barney's Beanery seemed to have taken. (I just hope the "over-celebrating a punt return" lab and "yep, we're 37-years-old and... playing beer pong in public" tutorial don't fill up too quickly).
I can't wait to not care about the Summer Olympics in an exciting new country that promised "kidnapping wouldn't be a problem" during their pitch.
Tim Tebow edged out "Yom Kippur" and "Iranian weapons" for the most searched term on Yahoo today. (Tim Tebow may not be more important than God, but it looks like people find him slightly more interesting)
I got flack for the headline "Lamar Odom Gains 270 Pounds over the Offseason" when writing about his engagement to Khloe Kardashian. It seemed pretty fair; I just want to make sure he’s taking his offseason seriously.
I'll tell ya what; the biggest thing I'm repenting on Yom Kippur right now is starting Kurt Warner in my fantasy football league yesterday. I guess you should never bet money on a guy who lists Jesus Christ as a character reference on his resume during the Jewish high holidays.
Sometimes when you fall off the horse, you just have to get right back up, dust yourself off and then shoot it in the head. Because when things are going badly - you can always try to glue them back together.