Wednesday, September 09, 2009
***WARNING! I am once again going to delve into a high school football story. Apparently, these are the only memories that I have. That makes me sad. But it is only used to help illustrate a point and it is some advice that I recommend to everyone. I apologize in advance. It is going to take awhile to get to the lesson learned, but we will get there eventually.***
Let's head back to the only time of my life that I ever talk about...1998. It is September. We're about 3 weeks into the high school football season. Nothing big. I do need to refresh everyone's memory about something though. In 1998, America was in the middle of what was affectionately known as the "Monday Night Wars". Both WCW and WWF were trying to one-up each other when it came to scripted and 'roided out television. For someone with a short attention span and a lot of testosterone, this was some quality programming for me. And if memory serves me, pro wrestling may have introduced me to one of my favorite things in the world...the televised thong. Nevertheless, 1998 was perhaps the height of professional wrestling's popularity in America.
So when I saw that Monday Night Raw was going to be in Columbus on the second Monday in November, I immediately got on the phone with a few buddies and we decided that we were going. Apparently, our parents had no qualms with 4 17-18 year old males driving 2+ hours to a big city for fake entertainment. God Bless America. The only thing that could have ruined this evening of assured debauchery would have been an extended football season. Seriously though, what were the odds of that happening? Our school had not made the playoffs since 1986 and even if we bucked the trend of failure, we would still need to win our first game.
Ugh. But we did make the playoffs. Our first opponent was the delightful inner-city youths from Columbus Mifflin. They were an all-black school and we had one black kid. Speaking of which, we just assumed that our black kid was going to be this stud but it turned out that he was the worst player on the team. WHY WON'T YOU PERPETUATE STEREOTYPES, ANTHONY WHITE!!! This was sort of like Hoosiers in which the cornball white kids from--well, the corn--took on the pigment-rich school. But instead of Jimmy Chitwood drilling a buzzer beater, we kicked the shit out of those fucks, 35-0. It was a strange feeling for me. Obviously, I was happy that my boys and I won and were advancing (to only get DEMOLISHED by the enventual state champs the next week) but I really wanted to see Degeneration X and The Rock do their thing.
During the game, I believe in the 2nd quarter, we were leading 14-0. I still remember this as plain as day (what does that expression even mean?). It was one of those "what kind of a man are you" moments that all of you should have had in your lives. It was time to put our foot on Mifflin's throat and let them know that they were done. The play came in and it was designed to be a run right over my right ass cheek. Even when I'm getting into my stance, I'm thinking about those WWF tickets and the fact that if we win, they get thrown away (this was well before eBay or stubhub).
I wasn't covered up by the DT so I knew that my job was to get out on the MLB and send him to fucking Hell. But I thought to myself, "do I tank this play on purpose in hope that a big hit would spark Mifflin for a comeback?" It was an incredibly scumbag thing to even think about. But there I was...thinking about Goldust. The ball was snapped and my mind was still racing with possibilities. I can sense our RB, who was once photographed nude in a gay magazine (seriously), coming through the hole (get your mind out of the gutter). It's do or die time on this MLB. Do I make my integrity a fucking joke or do I stand with my Band of Brothers (I actually watched this ENTIRE series on Monday--noon to midnight--damn near killed me)? In the end, I came to my senses, jammed my thumb in the MLB's neck like I always tried to do, and sprung the guy whose dick I would eventually see on the internet for 20+ yards. I don't regret it at all. So what, 4 $25 tickets would need to be pitched, life would go on. I have given money on a few occasions to Vince McMahon since. It's not like that block would have mattered since we killed them, but doing the right thing was the only way to go. I'm proud of myself that my morals won out over my selfishness in Lima that night.
And that leads us to our lesson today, kids. In case you didn't notice this past weekend, my Miami RedHawks were fucking destroyed by a mediocre Kentucky team who just so happens to be quarterbacked by Brian Hartline's brother. It was even uglier than the 42-0 score. We fucking suck. I knew that it was going to be a tough rebuild in Oxford, but I was hoping that it wasn't going to be this tough. In the end, I have to be patient and presume that Coach Haywood, once the shit is cleared out, will get us back to the top of the conference.
Miami heads out to Boise State on Saturday evening. This Broncos team crushed Oregon on Thursday and now gets a group that has won 10 games in the last 3+seasons. The line on this contest is BSU -36. Personally, I think that this line should be -70. I really want to bet on Boise State. I mean, I REALLY want to bet on the Broncos. This is the easiest money ever. If you are looking for this year's team to bet against every week regardless of who they are playing, the Miami RedHawks are probably that team.
But I just can't do it. I can't bet against my team. It's deplorable. It's a scumbag thing to do. It's throwing away your morals for a few bucks. It's letting a teammate get drilled for the chance to yell "SUCK IT" from the upper deck of The Schott. It's not cool. And I was literally ready to book my anti-alma mater bet last night until I thought about that football story. You shouldn't even be betting games in which YOUR team is playing. Even when you bet with your team, you already lost for numerous reasons: you are never unbiased, you always think that your team is better than they are, and what happens if they win but don't cover? The last scenario is the strangest. Are you going to get pissed if your team wins but not by 6.5 or more points? There are plenty of other games out there to put some action on...I suggest that you do that.
Could I have saved you all ten+ minutes and left out the long story which turned out to be a great segue into a lesson that you probably already knew anyway? Sure, but it would not have had the same effect. And since the bulk of you are Michigan and Ohio State fans, just stay away from those lines this weekend. You are going to be tempted as both of you are home underdogs. Let me help you...both of you are going to lose by more than a touchdown now save your money and invest it wisely (on Boise State). Don't say that I never help you.
NFL Previews the rest of the week...AFC tomorrow.