Wednesday, November 4, 2009

don't be a goofus

Caught a little bit of Mike and Mike talking about this ESPN Page 2 list of things that make you a sports doofus. Had to share the top 5 with you.

1. Wearing a team jersey inscribed with your name

Dubious behavior: Simple. Show up to a Cleveland Cavs game in a No. 23 jersey, only with F-O-R-B-E-S stitched along the back.

Doofus factor: High. It's one thing to create yourself as the cannon-armed quarterback of your favorite squad in "Madden," living out vicarious athletic fantasies in the privacy of your home. It's quite another to drape those same fantasies across your pudgy, rounded shoulder blades as you slouch over the guardrail behind the home team's bench, waiting for a call-up that will never, ever come. Really. Your team would rather sign Jeff George.

Suggested solution: Stick to stock jerseys, the way the NFL sometimes must wish it did.

Mitigating circumstances: If you're a Seattle Seahawks fan … and you pick the retired No. 12 fan jersey … and you don't have a favorite player … or a favorite former star … and you don't mind looking just a bit like a doofus … go ahead and customize your shirt. Sigh.

Related behaviors: Women wearing pink team gear, especially Boston Red Sox hats and Dallas Cowboys jerseys. Wake up, America! Doofusdom does not discriminate on the basis of gender!

2. Owning wild-card paraphernalia

Dubious behavior: Purchasing and/or having in one's possession a hat, T-shirt, banner, wall pennant, novelty towel or framed newspaper clipping that commemorates a wild-card playoff appearance by a team you root for.

Doofus factor: Very, very high. The equivalent of putting cubic zirconium under glass, surrounded by a cat-burglar-foiling laser light array. After all, your club didn't win its division, smiting its hated rivals in the process. Uh-uh. It simply backdoored into the postseason, NHL No. 8 seed-style, the better for leagues and networks to maximize their revenue streams. Like the flash-flood river from which you pulled that ridiculous New York Yankees Wild Card '07 cap.

Suggested solution: Credit cards and scissors before the fact; gasoline and matches after.

Mitigating circumstances: If you root for the Houston Texans, and they make the playoffs for the first time ever via a wild card, you're completely excused from shame and scorn. But just this once.

Related behaviors: Wearing or owning 2008 New England Patriots 16-0 merchandise, a USA Basketball 2004 men's Olympic jersey, Memphis basketball Conference USA champions gear or anything Duke basketball that doesn't mention the Final Four.

3. Shooting an air ball in a promotional contest

Dubious behavior: Hitting everything but net (and iron) when hoisting a free throw/3-pointer that could win you a car, a couple of thousand bucks or free chalupas for everyone in the building.

Doofus factor: Moderate for missing with a rushed, halfway-decent-looking jumper. Astronomical for missing with an awkward two-handed push shot that wouldn't be out of place sailing toward a peach basket. Here's the thing: Between nerves and adrenaline, shooting in front of a large crowd can get the best of anyone. Understood. But if you can't shoot a basketball in the first place -- if you have no idea what a guide hand is, let alone when to snap your wrist -- you probably shouldn't be on the court. Even if your law firm has really great seats.

Suggested solution: DO NOT SIGN UP FOR THE CONTEST. And decline if selected. If someone asked you to retake the SAT in Mandarin Chinese, right now, in front of your entire office, would you do it? No? Exactly.

Mitigating circumstances: If you're shooting from half court or currently using crutches.

Related behaviors: Bouncing a ceremonial first pitch, blowing a trampoline slam dunk, botching a coin toss (Phil Luckett only).

4. Wearing a Bluetooth earpiece during a game

Dubious behavior: Manning your seat, strolling the concourse, standing in line for curly fries or saddling up to a urinal with one of those unobtrusively obtrusive hands-free cell phone earpieces hanging from your dome.

Doofus factor: Significant, for at least four reasons: (1) You're on hand to watch sports, not prattle on about the Hong Kong stock exchange; (2) everyone around you is on hand to watch sports, not listen to you prattle on, which you'll have to do loudly, because you are, in fact, at a game; (3) you look just as borderline Marbury-ish talking to yourself in a stadium as you do on the street; and (4) real life isn't "Star Trek," Lt. Commander La Forge!

Suggested solution: Tell your friends to text you. Alternately, stand down your electronic communiqu├ęs for a few hours. Seriously. Just try it. You'll be surprised by how unimportant you are.

Mitigating circumstances: Medical doctor on call? Work for the home team's public relations staff? You're good.

Related behaviors: Checking your BlackBerry 47 times during the fourth quarter of a tight NBA contest or the fifth inning of a baseball game. Aren't you trying to get away from work?

5. Going crazy over giveaway T-shirts and burritos when you're occupying $500 seats

Dubious behavior: Responding to ballpark freebies as if you've been ingesting nothing but prune juice and boiled sand weevils for a month, and the CO2 cannon is loaded with invitations to be the next contestant on "The Price Is Right."

Doofus factor: Moderate. Gratis goodies have a way of warping the mind -- drivers will happily spend two hours waiting for $20 of free gasoline -- but when you can afford primo seats, you also can afford room-temperature fast food and cheap, one-wash-and-it's-ruined shirts that you'd never, ever be excited about under any other circumstances. Which means it's the cheerleaders, "Austin Powers" sound snippets and annoying stadium PA guy who are whipping you into a Pavlovian froth. Which means you probably should be embarrassed.

Suggested solution: Get ahold of yourself. Step back from the ledge. Stop waving your hands as if the ballpark prize patrol is a U.N. relief convoy. To use a sports chestnut: Act as if you've been there before. And if a goody happens to land in your lap, give it to a child.

Mitigating circumstances: If you're under the age of 12 and/or still get excited about Happy Meal toys, stay pumped.

Related behaviors: Vigorously cheering for the home team to top 100 points so that everyone in attendance gets a free pizza, then putting in a last-call drink order with the courtside seats waitress.

Read on for more from Page 2...

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