Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My Real Sports Fan Top 10 Bucket List

Not Dying Is The Big One
Baseball season is ending, which means it's time for everyone to wax rhapsodic about the changing of the seasons. Since MLB is the only sport that ends with the same timing as Nature, it just lends itself to all kinds of dime store poetry and awareness of Finality, which is just all kinds of fun when it comes to realizing that there is just a need to get things done soon, dammit. Which is why you get all kinds of happy little lists about what the writer needs to do before they become worm food, and far be it from me to say these desires are wrong. Taking the mound at Fenway or Wrigley, seeing a game at every venue, driving from coast to coast and seeing minor league games or foreign lands... that's all great. Really, it is.

It just doesn't seem, you know, big enough. At least not for me.

I mean, come on -- these are the accomplishments before you are no longer able to make accomplishments. When it comes to sports,I want bigger paydays than just I Went To That Place And Spent Money Like Everyone Else. Instead, give me...

10) Designating a guy for assignment

Imagine, if you will, the pure thrill of calling up Delmon Young's agent -- or better yet, Delmon his own damned self -- and telling him that he will no longer have to come into the office. Will you do it flippantly, or with fake sincerity? Would you draw it out with lots of feedback on how this could have all been avoided, or talk about how wonderful Reading is this time of year, and how you think the local fans will really take to having a former big leaguer in their midst? This could really be a nice money maker for clubs with truly frustrated fan bases.

9) Having the posse

How many of us have had the experience of rolling into some club with a half dozen friends and hangers-on, treating waitstaff and outsiders like garbage, throwing around loose bills like they were fake, and generally acting like your bowel movements don't exist, let alone smell? I think we all want this, really. Especially if we can slight beautiful people while doing it.

8) Ditching the old sweetheart

Remember that girl that broke your heart in so, so many places? Being a big time sports guy means that you get to live well for the best revenge, knowing that while she's trapped underneath some trailer park behemoth or coming up with too many names for too many cats, you'll be on the arm of someone half your age and weight. And on the tee vee to boot, maybe listening with that dopey "eh, whatevs" grin on your face as she talks about her commitment to saving puppies and watching your every game. Guess you picked the wrong horse, Cat Lady...

7) Abusing the media

Why go for the cheap thrill of calling the game for an inning or getting to go on the field, when you can tell your least favorite local sports talk radio or newspaper hack how little they know about anything, or that since they haven't Played The Game, their opinions are not valid? With the decline in fortunes of old school media, I bet you could rent out these guys for less than you'd pay a pizza delivery man, too. Though the dunking tank probably costs extra.

6) Originating a false media rumor

Ever wonder what it's like to have your own lies travel halfway across the world before the truth can put on its pants? Then step on up and cause mindless speculation and personal trauma with your complete fabrication, preferably with a previously untouchable young player. He's going to likely wind up getting traded later anyway, but you can be the first one to pop that cherry, and remind him that his career, and the club's commitment to him, is the result of a cruel calculation. Fun!

5) Having your own false media rumor

Ready to experience the sheer thrill that only pro players can have? Then it's time for you to take the fifteen minutes of infamy that is total strangers expressing interest and/or revulsion about your moment of indiscretion or complete personal shame. After all, few of us can experience the athletic thrill of being A-Rod, but all of us can have people look at us and think about how we believe that we are centaurs and kiss our reflection in the mirror. That's just... special.

4) Appear on television to discuss sports with no qualifications whatsoever

Do you long to share your opinions and mastery of cliches with braying jackassery on a major media network? Well, of course you do: that's the American dream. It gets even better when you can do it with people who have actually done the job or studied at length. Just remember, the camera subtracts fifteen IQ points. And gets you really third-rate tail!

One For Each Fist
3) Lord of the Ring(s)

You know what's better than winning a title? Watching other people win a title and gravy training on their run, and having the same supposed reward as everyone else. Adam Morrison has two times infinity the number of championship rings as Charles Barkley, which means that he's got one in each fist for all of eternity. Or until he gets tired of that feeling and hocks it on eBay. Either way, that's a beautiful bucket moment.

2) Legacy Liability

For true immortality, nothing beats naming a team. The knowledge that your term is going to live on in merchandise, scoreboards and game accounts is the ultimate passdown, and if you can somehow get your poison pill of casual racism, homoerotic double-entendre or historical inanity -- I'm looking at you, lakes and subway avoiders of Los Angeles, musical groups of Utah and NFL Team That Shall Not Be Named -- that's even better.

1) The Big Payoff

The dirty little secret of your team finally winning a championship is that it's far more of a relief, especially if your club hasn't been there during your lifetime, than it is a moment of joy. But you know what lasts for a good long while? A big honking hunk of cash, preferably from some breathtaking bet or parlay. Plus, you'd get the unspeakable karmic bad-assery of finally getting your money back, in spades, from the team that's been leeching it away from you.

So that's my Bucket List. And the real plus of it is since so much of it is pretty much unobtainable or impossible. I get to live forever, possibly with my conscious in a robot avatar, trying to knock these all down. Bonus: immortality!

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