You know that Geico commercial where the spokesman asks if you have been living under a rock because you do not know you could save 15% or more on car insurance? That is this column. Living under a rock, and only now, popping up in amazement to see how much has happened since last surfacing. The shock of what has happened is not even the astonishing part. The recognition of how long the column has gone silent is the shocker. And is not exactly like I have stopped writing, rather I have stopped posting. I was in a funk, what can I say?
It was not writer’s block, but more of a writer’s what-the-eff-did-I-just-write-about-no-one-is-going-to-read-this, you know, block. But then I had an epiphany that nobody reads this anyways—so why not publish and at least appear to be productive. At least I would have that going for me. Literally, I would sit down, punch the keyboard for a 30-40 minutes every couple of days and then send those 40 minutes, of whatever it was, to the save folder. Hopefully be forgotten like Tai Lung. (Weak Disney reference nobody got. Redo.) ... and then send it to the save folder to be abandoned like Christina Aguilera’s diet. (Bad fat joke. Plus nobody really cares. Plus that was a really crappy attempt at a joke. Plus you suck. Try again.) … to be swallowed up like a Christina Aguilera Krispy Kream donut. (No, don’t try another Aguilera fat joke, like, try another simil… you know what, just forget it. Don’t publish this.)
You see what I am dealing with? Poisonous self-talk. (Just stick to sports. Seriously.)
The Seattle Mariners dealt their kickass pitching prospect, Michael Pineda, to the mother effing New York Yankees on Saturday because, that is what you do with a 22 year-old proven prospect who gets voted to the All-Star game in his rookie year. I mean, why else would you develop someone in your farm system since signing them at the young age of sixteen, unless you wanted to trade them away for… ???
(I would write their names down, but you would not recognize them, so I have omitted and replaced those names with three question marks for dramatic and illustrative writing purposes.)
But on the bright side we have learned one very important lesson here, so fear not faithful Mariners fan. The lesson being, that it if there is one thing Seattle Mariner’s know how to do better than anyone else in Major League Baseball, it is trading away a sure-thing, proven talent—for a no-so-sure-thing, unproven talent. So, as M’s fans, we got that going for us. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you your 2011 season… 67-and-95 worst record in baseball… trying to shoot for 62-and-100 in 2012… Seattle Mariners. Give them a hand everyone. And then take those hands and give them the middle finger. I hate my life.
Eff word. Seriously, what the eff word? To quote Hall of Fame Mariner sportscaster, Dave Niehaus, who was often, found screaming this sentiment on various Seattle homeruns, “I DON’T BELIEVE IT!!” How do you do this Seattle?!! Or should I say, how do you do this large growth cap market Nintendo?! You are worth $17 B-I-L-L-I-O-N dollars! Spend some damn money on bats and do not trade away your pitchers to do so! Sending away the number two guy in your pitching rotation, really? For a gosh damn hitting prospect? JUST LIKE YOU DID LAST SEASON WITH CLIFF LEE FOR JUSTIN SMOAK?!@!!?!?!? I could kill somebody!! Justin Smoak hit .234 and 15 homeruns last year! Great trade.
I will never purchase a Wii for this very reason. Until Nintendo decides to dip that finger a little deeper in to the sugar basket, and stop gutting themselves (and the fans), I am boycotting their gaming platform/products. When the Supersonics were pillaged a few years back, you would think they would see this as the market opening up and break out the checkbook better. Hey, Mark Cuban, save yourself $400 million dollars and forget the Dodgers.
If the Mariners win more than 65 games this coming season, I will shave my head.*
In other sporting news, Jimmer Fredette plays for the Sacramento Kings for those of you who live outside the 801 and 435 area codes. And because I attended every Brigham Young University home basketball game for the last five years, it is safe to call me a BYU fan. If not, then I do not know why I am a season ticket holder for both football and basketball. Anyways, as a BYU fan, I can confidently proclaim that BYU fans are the worst fans on the face of the planet. I do not claim this because they do not turn out in support of their team or anything like that, but instead it is their collective idiocy in talking about any kind of sport, at any time. Any time I hear a sports statement made at a game from someone sitting behind me or in line, I want to commit mass genocide. It is the worst. Now, for those of you who have never read this column or do not know me, I am a Sacramento Kings fan and I have been since the days of Mitch Richmond. If you do not know what that means or know when Mitch Richmond played for the kings, read that as I have been a Sacramento Kings fan since I 1992 or the waning days of New Kids on the Block popularity. I think you can see where I am going with this.
When the Kings drafted Jimmer it was a bittersweet day. On the one hand I was excited to transition my Jimmer fanship in to my NBA fanship. I knew I would have to do less leg work in keeping up on his stats. In the other hand, there was that gut dropping feeling, knowing a slew of BYU fans—and more importantly—brand new BYU fans that hopped on during Jimmer’s senior season, would now become “Kings fans” or “Kings experts in every minute detail related to Kings basketball operatations”… only I did not know it would be this bad.
It is unbearable.
It is worse than when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, and you would turn on MTVs Total Request Live, and see the host (not Carson Daly, but the other dude) rocking a Sox hat, hamming it up to the crowd in a shoulder-shrugging, kicking the tires sad tone, “I’m bummed that the Sox lost today to the Yankees. We’re always getting shat on, or at least that is what I read on the internet and have heard in bars. I wouldn’t know because I’m not really a fan, but I hope that if I play the part of tortured fan, even though Boston won the World Series and can’t call themselves tortured anymore—it might help me get laid because some chick saw Fever Pitch. Go Sox.” I thought that was bad. This is much worse because the Kings still suck. We are talking about a team that went 24-and-58 and won more games on the road than they did at home last year. It is not like the Kings took home the title and all anybody has to do is like a good team. Now I have to deal with a bunch of idiots that think their crappy ideas will make this team the 1996 Bulls. It is unrelenting. This happened to me the other day.
The Boss and I were at the mall doing some shopping for her friend that is getting married next month. Another way to tell it is, we were at the mall waiting for my wife to buy an item that I frankly could care less about at Victoria’s Secret. If I am not going to be the one to wad the negligée in to a ball and throw it in to a corner on a sexy night, then I want nothing to do with the purchase. I would rather wonder in to a Brookstone and sit in one of those $5000 dollar massaging chairs for forty minutes. Which I did. This is off topic. During my search I wandered by a DirectTV kiosk and they had the Kings/Rockets game on. Naturally I watch, and naturally the sales guy walks up to me.
In a buddying tone, “Watching the Jimmer game?”
Rolling eyes and saying to myself, “No, I’m actually using my X-Ray vision to stare through this TV at the store behind it” but recognizing the obvious BYU fan that wanted to talk idiot talk, I answered, “Yeah, just watching the Kings game. I hope they trade Jimmer. If I see another person rocking a Kings jersey around town I am going to puke.”
Switching gears, to agreeing sales person mode who thinks I do not like Jimmer and probably BYU, “He’s not playing well this year. Thomas is playing much better. If they played Thomas more and got rid of Cousin’s they would do better.”
Pause. Fellow rookie, Isaiah Thomas, who I have written about before, had scored 20 points off the bench the night before. Other than that he has had a handful of DNPs. Furthermore, Jimmer is averaging 25 minutes a night and has started three games. For a rookie, that is pretty amazing, and a lot more than I personally expected this year. Anybody who thought Jimmer was going to drop 30 ppg like he did in college is high… or an idiot BYU fan. They are called rookies for a reason. Expect growing pains.
Since the Jimmer drafting anytime I hear a ‘the Kings should do X, Y, Z’ statement my immediate goal is to stab them in the neck, but seeing how that is illegal, I do the next best thing and turn in to a dick, “Mmm… I want to see more than one 20 point game before I pass judgment on either of the two rookies who have not even played 10 games in the NBA.”
“I just think he is better.”
“Why is that?”
Me, “I’ve been a Kings fan since I was a little kid, and I like Jimmer, but I want him traded so I can go back to being a real Kings fan. That way my genuine fanship doesn’t blend in with all of these BYU fans.”
Getting defensive now (my goal is nearly complete), “Well, people can like Jimmer and support the team he plays for. I’m a big basketball fan and Jazz fan, and I now follow the Kings closely.”
“You follow the Kings closely?”
With my trap now set, turning to homeboy and looking him dead in the eye while smiling, “Then tell me who their starting power forward is.”
By this time The Boss had finished shopping, and had been standing there for half of our conversation. She was uncomfortable, sales dude was comfortable, and I was relishing in the moment. He did not say anything because … wait for it… he did not know the answer. I told him to have a good night and we left.
Did I come off sounding like a douche. Of course, and to that guys defense, I think people can be “fans” of teams when they only know and like one player on said team. The particular problem in this case, is the vast majority of these fans that are now “Kings fans” are the terrible BYU followers I mentioned earlier. I cannot stand to be associated with them more so than I already am.
It comes down to this. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, also known as the LDS or Mormon church, owns and operates Brigham Young University. One could safely say that 85% of their fan base are also members of the Mormon church. It could be higher. Who knows? When you are talking about religion you are talking about a very personal and life defining thing, and because this thing can be so personal, individuals feel a special ownership. It literally is a part of them. Members of the Mormon church are asked to pay 10% tithing, and with this tithing the LDS church uses these funds for buildings, charity—a million different things—but also these funds go in to the operation costs at BYU. This includes their athletic department. Now you get these LDS people who are fans, and their ownership, which they feel towards their religion, now spills in to their fan ship. This pride, this imperiousness, and self-certainty, is a good thing to lay out as a foundation when talking religious faith. When it comes to sports… well, sports are way more black and white than religion. It does not mix well. By and large, most BYU fans do not cannot see it; they are too close. And you cannot tell them this, because… I just explained why.
Go Kings, go Mariner’s. FML.
* - This is on the contingency the M’s do not sign or make a deal for some blockbuster talent.