12 Years…and I have nothing to say

While reading Bill’s latest Sports Guy mailbag, he brought up several points in one question that i feel must be addressed immediately, hence the 11:42 PM post.

Q: We had the Ice Bowl, now it’s up to you to dub the Packers-Seahawks playoffs the HD Bowl. Can you make this happen?
— John H., New York
SG: I’ll do my best. By the way, I decided after the Packers-Hawks and Sabres-Penguins games that the snow/HD combination makes any outdoor sporting event mesmerizing regardless of what it is. You could show me bull riding, bowling, horse racing … hell, you could show me a WNBA game and I’d watch if there was snow.
(Actually, that’s not a bad wrinkle for Year 12 of the WNBA: Snow! It could become the first professional sports league specifically targeted toward people who will watch any sporting event in HD if there’s snow. Let there be snow! You have to admit, it’s a better game plan than the current one.)
(Parentheses to the parentheses: That’s right, Year 12 of the WNBA. You read that correctly.)

1. HD Sports are amazing, Just think back to New Years day, the Winter Classic, wow was that awesome.

2. The WNBA has been around for 12 years…Did anyone know this? Does anyone care? I was shocked it survived this long. The only WNBA moment I can recall is the Lisa Leslie dunk and the Jim Rome rant that I’ve come to remember nearly word for word….Dunking, she had three dunks in practice, how many succesful lay-ups did she have? Can the WNBA now have a slam dunk contest? If she makes just one, does she win?

This post requires your full attention when reading this question/answer. It clearly answers any doubt on why the mailbag is amazing.

Q: One of my favorite gimmicks that you missed in the column about pregame shows is the use of the in-studio “field” to diagram plays. Who doesn’t have a good time when the guys get comfortable by taking off their jackets while leaving their ties on and sleeves down, then “line up” opposite each other and rush the “QB” in slow motion? Sometimes you even get to see a wide-open Chris Mortensen waving his arms downfield and yelling, “I’M OPEN! I’M OPEN!” like Corey Haim in “Lucas.”
— Bob, Philadelphia
SG: I’m always relieved after those segments that nobody pulled a hammy or strained an Achilles tendon and had to limp off the set while Chris Berman awkwardly threw it to commercial. By the way, I’m writing a big chunk of this column in a Starbucks that always has a bizarre older customer sitting at the biggest table near the front door, almost like it’s an office or something. There’s a 95-percent chance he’s completely insane because he spends the time crumpling and uncrumpling pieces of paper, making phone calls to people who might not be real and reading the same page of the same book for hours on end. (OK, maybe it’s a 99.9 percent chance.) I have never been to this Starbucks and NOT seen Crazy Guy at that table.
Anyway, as I was typing the last question, I noticed him grab a New York Times from the newspaper rack, pull off the front section, then head over to the bathroom, go in and shut the door. Horrifying, right? So about five minutes pass, and I’m typing away, and finally a female customer walks over there, realizes the bathroom is locked, and decides to wait for the door to open. Another five minutes pass, and a third customer joins her, and some more time passes, and now they’re exchanging looks like, “My God, I wonder what’s going on in there?” Around the 15-minute mark, there’s a flush. About 45 seconds later, the door opens and Crazy Guy comes out holding the Times.
I’m telling you this story for two reasons:
1. You know someone has logged too much time in the same Starbucks when he feels totally comfortable grabbing a newspaper, hanging out in the bathroom for 20 minutes and walking out in front of multiple people with that same newspaper. It’s the final stage. It’s like getting to fourth base with Starbucks.
2. When the guy walked out with the paper, the female customer who had been patiently waiting for 10 minutes immediately turned into Jerry Jones after Romo’s final interception in the Giants game. She didn’t move, she didn’t flinch — she just stared straight ahead and tried not to have an aneurysm. And I’m sitting here thinking, “I wish time could stop right now because I’d love to wager on this with the two baristas and offer them 2-to-1 odds that she says ‘Screw it’ and doesn’t go in there.” But she took a deep breath and waded in there. The entire sequence was incredible. And you wonder why I write in public places.


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