(Yes, that’s my dad with Ken Griffey Jr…. Respect that.)
2017 Guide to Watching Sports
***Disclaimer: For those of you familiar with my writing, or just me in general, I do stuff like this when I drink. I’ve had about 4 glasses of a nice red, 2011—after I let it breathe—and I felt like writing. I have an idea in mind, but it will probably go to shit and the form will break down. That’s Ok. 2017 is about trying new things.
Also, @barstoolsports, if you read this, please return the emails I’ve sent you. I’ve told several girls in the greater Baton Rouge area I am going to write for you guys and they are starting to get skeptical. HJ’s stop when skepticism starts. Thanks.
I hate New Year’s resolutions.
They are dumb, strictly for show, and typically appear on the IG and Twitter accounts of girls who caption everything with “I can’t even” or don’t understand that hashtags are intended to organize expansive social content into subcategories—no one is looking for #THISDRESSWASSOUNCOMFORTABLEWHENIGOTHOMEANDCHANGEDIWASLIKEOMG. That is typically where New Year’s resolutions appear. Again, they are dumb, arbitrary—why wait for one day a year to make changes—and something middle-to-upper class Caucasian woman love. But, having said that, so you know where I stand, I have some thoughts of my own for 2017. Hopefully they help you.
Recently I was in New Orleans. I was at a bar and I was drunk; I’m putting this on Facebook, where my Mother’s reach is omnipresent, so I didn’t take drugs that night. Just drunk.
At this bar, a couple different quality football and basketball games were being shown. Four things happened that made me realize I needed to write a sport’s guide for next year:
- I heard multiple individuals hate on LeBron or KD (Durant—quit reading if you needed to know who KD was).
- A gentleman in plaid, standing to my left, broke down to a young lady how both a Tom Brady completion and Martellius Bennet reception correlated to his high school career.
- Darren Rovel (ESPN Financial analyst) was mentioned in excess of five times in a fifteen minute period.
- Hand job. I received a hand job—over the pants—from a waitress who received information, from me, that I was a famous writer… Nothing to do with sports, I just need to write more.
Now, let me expand upon those, explaining why they led me to this guide. Let me also touch on a few other things of note and illuminate some suggestive paths one should take when watching sports.
- First, 2017 is going to be an amazing year for the sport of basketball. That’s something that has to be pretty close to irrefutable amongst any fan of competition. That is the case, in large part, because of Kevin Durant and LeBron James.
- Kevin Durant is one of the most exciting players to ever play this game. He is a 6 ft. 10 shooting guard who can score from anywhere on the floor; any time he wants. He can catch fire like few can and he is becoming an elite, long defender. He can also probably slay beef any time he wants, because he is a 6 ft. 10 shooting guard. KD has a chance to end his career—barring injury—as a top 15 player of all time. But people want to hate on him. People want to disparage and claim he is soft, that he sold out. They give him grief and elicit disrespect. All because he joined the Golden State Warriors. This doesn’t make sense to me. It actually bothers me. The Golden State Warriors, in the year of 16, were the most exciting ticket in sports. Really, nothing came close. With the three-point shot, the high paced offense, the aggressively dressed IG models courtside, and the fast, small lineup, they made shit fun. They also beat the OKC (Oklahoma City Thunder, I told you to stop reading after KD) in a dramatic Western Conference Series. They beat Durant. So, when he signed with GSW in the offseason, the uproar began. It shouldn’t have. When you break it down, it should have been applauded. The man—a top 5 player in the game—made the most exciting show on Earth that much more exciting. He also exhibited some prudency and commitment to greatness realizing that winning comes above all else. Going to Golden State gave him the best chance to win. He is part of a team playing the most selfish basketball I’ve ever seen. They pass more and dribble less than even the best wheelchair hoop squads. It’s amazing. KD made it that much better and is playing MVP type basketball. He went to a selfless organization and he went there for a ring. Don’t be that guy and hate on that. Hate him for stroking your lady, sure, but not for wanting to win. Watch KD and the Warriors with some zest and anticipation, because chances are you may never see another team assembled like this, leg or wheelchair.
- It absolutely blows my mind that people still want to discredit LeBron. It baffles me even more that people want to dislike him. How? Did you see “Trainwreck”? Do you know his life’s story? I understand liking and favoring other superstars above him. I understand that because I did that. I was a Kobe guy. A Mamba man through and through. And now Steph is my favorite player. But never could I even try to deny how amazing of a player he is. His numbers, and titles, and accolades speak for themselves. People always cite his jump shot, or lack of one. They say he isn’t Michael, and that he shouldn’t be in that conversation. They say a lot of things about his game, which is ridiculous, considering his size, skill, and unequivocal ability to impact an outcome. But to dislike LeBron—statistics and skill aside—is the most asinine thing I can fathom, and I watch a lot of porn. Who has been a better ambassador for the game (if you say Shane Battier go walk into traffic)? Who has brought more joy to a fan base and uplifted a city more so than this man? No one, truly. The man has been under a microscope since he was 14. No scandals, no ill-suited or disrespectful behavior. He is active politically and in the communities he plays. And, like noted earlier, did you see “Trainwreck”? Outside of Amy Schumer, who is a goddamn angel, LeBron was the man. He is a charismatic, funny, jovial, philanthropic dude who may or may not be the best player ever to walk this earth. Get on board with that in 2017. Look forward to the NBA Finals rematch.
- High school Harry is a bit of alliteration that aptly describes certain people. These certain people aptly choke on dong. Don’t be high school harry in 2017. Let it go.
- Mindfulness is important as you enter in the New Year. In essence, it calls upon you to be aware of your thoughts and present attentions. This can apply to watching sports. It should apply to watching sports. Enjoy the present moment and the present display of superior athleticism you are watching. Every pass, every extra base-hit, every bucket…Should be just that; a pass, an extra base-hit, a bucket. They are not invitations to retell your title run of years past or recall a third team all-district selection in 04. Embrace 2017 and the amazing collective advancements in sports we are all audience to. Keep mindfulness with you this year, especially as you watch athletic competition.
- Darren Rovell isn’t the worst. That needs to be said or else I will come off as hypocritical. I’m not going to hate on the man, I would just like to see less of him. Or, to be more accurate, hear less of him. This ties into the mindfullness2017 movement (that is what a hashtag should be). At the bar, referenced earlier, it seemed every big play, or every penalty induced a mass movement amongst the other bat patrons toward their cell phones (Twitter). “O man, did you see that roughing the passer flag? ESPN insider Mike Honcho said the NFL has accumulated 34 billion dollars in fines thus far this season!” Or, “What happened on that last possession, I missed it? Tampa Bay beat writer Turd Ferguson reports that the team will be flying home on a new 777 Jet that offers free wi-fi!” I used these examples because, aforementioned, I didn’t want to deuce on Darren Rovell. He is just doing his job. But this distraction is something that should be addressed when viewing sport in 2017. Mindfulness calls you to focus upon what you are currently doing to more fully experience it. Multi-tasking is for the birds. Watch the game and make your own observations this year.
- Baseball is meant to watched in October (playoffs), or in person. It is a game full of nostalgia: sounds, smells, beer, unhealthy food, offensive banter in front of children, and more beer. Stop saying baseball is annoying this year. Just, don’t watch the Royals play the Angels in June on Channel 37. Experience more baseball in person, with people you care about or people you want to have sex with.
- As much as I hate New Year’s Resolutions, this is something I MUST do in 2017. I will not let Fantasy Football ruin my life. I won’t. It is gambling and games meant to be played amongst pals. I will rise above the overtly degrading comments my “friends” make and continue to watch football in good spirits. You should too, in 2017.
- Don’t watch soccer.
- Use snapchat less at games. If you sit courtside, like I do, because my best friends are wealthy, you should create one or two brief clips that comprise your snapstory. This will ensure adjacent beef will see how well you are doing and note your proximity to the floor. Don’t ruin the experience with multiple snaps. Mindfulness and sports, 2017.
- Don’t be the negative fan. I live in Baton Rouge, so the Monday morning coach is of the ubiquitous variety, but that doesn’t have to be you. And, when you watch college games in 2017, understand these athletes are 18-23 (28 if you’re playing BYU) kids.
That was a long rant.
I’m sorry. I did include a disclaimer though.
If you made it this far and didn’t understand the context in which this was supposed to be read, again, I’m sorry. Chalk it up to the vino. I hope we are still friends.