The perpetual grey clouds of Seattle I can take. The rain? No problem. Mornings when the sun doesn't rise until nearly 8am and then sets at 4:15pm, I can take. Windy days I can take. Snowy and icy roads I can take.
Yup, this hearty Seattle-ite can take everything winter throws at him.
Except for February 4--April 6. My personal sports version of hell.
The Super Bowl just ended and all I see is this long and dark sports tunnel in front of me. Like the tunnels they have in Switzerland. Only longer, and slightly less claustrophobic.
It's about this time every year that I've often pondered volunteering for secret military psychotropic experiments. I mean, I survived what I did in the 80's, how bad could it be? Maybe a new truth serum to replace waterboarding as a means of extracting information from terrorists. Yeah, I could do it.
This sports vacuum all makes feel like crying, "I got nowhere else to go! I got nothin' else!" But I can't cry like Richard Gere because there's no crying in sports. Unless you're Terrell Owens. Or a male figure skater.
But you retort, "Oh, it's a great time of the year for sports! Why just think about these great sports going on with lots of action, like...":
Oh, you mean the Nothing But A**holes league? I hear "NBA" and I think Allen Iverson. I think Isaiah Thomas. I think Stephan Marbury. I think Ron Artest. I'm almost certain every team has a designated asshole representative. In short, I see more assholes than a proctologist.
There hasn't been a likable player in the league since Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley retired. I can spot and name about 4 players who are even mildly likable: Kobe, Shaq, Tim Duncan and Dwayne Wade. Oh, and Tony Parker is likable because he's banging Eva Longoria. Way to go, Tony!
And what a great societal signal and message the NBA sends to American youth by allowing college players to leave school early: "Hey, kids, if you can play basketball, you too can cut your education short! Or, fuck it, skip college altogether like LeBron James did and come play in the N....B....A!"
"Come on, Peter, there's college basketball!"
Yup, if I wanna see Chattanooga State vs. Winthrop, baby, it's on ESPN! That's followed by San Diego State vs. Chico State, in the Battle of The Party Schools! Then it's Duke vs. Some-Team-Whose-Ass-Will-Get-Kicked! Finally, at midnight, it's Northeastern Kentucky vs. Southwestern Ohio State for the 23 AAA Championship! And it all comes down to 64 teams and March Madness, an amateur sporting event, sponsored by Cadillac and the new Cadillac Escalade!
Finally, two words for you: Dick Vitale.
Women grunting like men. Yeah. Not hot.
"NASCAR heats up!"
Some day somebody needs to sit down and explain this sport to me. And make me excited about it. (Darren, buddy, bless you for trying. But you enjoy your Sunday mornings where cars go around and around and around and around...)
"The Winter X Games!"
Wait, let me grab my bong and fire up a bowl. OK, good. Now I can watch.
Now hockey I can stand. I even kind of like it. It's football on ice. And I really liked the Stars when I lived in Dallas. But the closest team to me now is the Vancouver Canucks. Rooting for them would mean I'd have to like something from Canada. I don't like much from Canada. Except for maple syrup. I like maple syrup. Go maple syrup!
Ok, you got me. I will watch golf. Well, more or less keep the corner of my eye on it. But I won't go out of my way to sit my butt in front of the idiot box until the Masters. (Psst, between you and me I usually like to (cough, cough) get a "cold" on Thursday and Friday morning during the Masters. I've gotten those "colds" on several occasions. Please don't tell The Wife.)
And if you even bother mentioning "spring college scrimmage games!" you deserve to be punched in the nuts. Seriously, you have social issues if you watch those games, or even listen sports radio talk about them. Get. A. Life.
This is why I would have made a really lousy sports journalist.
So just what's a guy like me to do?
Well, what really gets me through these months is looking forward to when pitchers and catchers report. And the first televised Mariners spring training game. And reading my fantasy baseball players guide backwards and forwards in the john, out of the john, before bed, at lunch, between meals, during meals, in meetings, between hands of poker and walking the dog. Yup, I'm that much of a dork.
Hmm, anything else to look forward to?
Oh, my first child will be born in late March. So there's that...