September 15th, 2008


Giving Up On Sports

You think I'm kidding, but I'm more than serious. I'm half-way there ... whoooa-oh.

When you think about it rationally, what do sports give you, REALLY? Obviously, if you're participating, then you get the exercise and the camaraderie and whatnot; but if you're like me, then you're unathletic and uncoordinated, so you just sit around and watch. And what TANGIBLE benefit do you accrue from being a guy like me, rooting for the teams I root for.

I can tell you all the detriments! There are plenty of those! First and foremost, the LACK of exercise and camaraderie. Oh sure, you could maybe ride a stationary bike while a game's on; and you could have a second stationary bike with a buddy next to you. I GUESS that would qualify. But really, who's doing that?

There's all the time wasted. From the actual games - that's a good three hours right there - to the articles read, to the highlight shows, to the pregame shows, to the sports radio, to the travel to games or bars.

There's the money wasted. From tickets to magazines to beer to food to gasoline to books to souvenirs.

There's the stress involved. All the close games, all the playoff defeats, all the seasons that started slipping away, the losing streaks, the teams that have nearly moved, the teams that HAVE moved, the coaching controversies, the bad general managers, the unlikable players, the horrendous contracts.

And how about this: for all the years I've been a sports fan (starting with the Seahawks in the mid-80s, to the Sonics in the early 90s, to the Mariners in 1995, to the Huskies in 1999) I've never once rooted for a champion.

I've rooted for lots of really SHITTY teams! I've rooted for some surprise teams who were better than they should've been. I've rooted for some legitimately good teams who couldn't get it done in the big games. I've rooted for some legitimately good teams who ran into some legitimately better teams. But, all told, aside from the Sonics in '96 and the Seahawks in '05, I haven't rooted for one team who even sniffed at a possible championship.

I'm tired of bemoaning the fact that I've always been surrounded by losing. I'm tired of lamenting over 2008 as the worst year in the history of sports by any city EVER. I'm tired of saying, "Why me, when other cities get their shots?" I'm just fucking tired of always being disappointed.

But, let's take the converse of this situation. Let's say my teams were generally good. And let's say I've been able to participate in a couple championships in my lifetime. How awesome could it be, really? Like, do you think people in Miami are still buzzing about the Heat championship three years ago? Are they still talking about the big super bowl victory in Baltimore over the Giants? Do the citizens of Toronto sit around only mildly irritated in their recent misfortunes because the Blue Jays got a World Series ring or two in the early 90s?

I doubt it.

Because while it may be nice to glance at that championship pennant you've got hanging on your wall and think fondly upon the season from which it derived, as a sports fan you're always looking forward to the next one. It's a never-ending cycle of constant disappointment with a very light sprinkling of euphoria. Except for me. I'm still waiting for my moment of euphoria.

Only, I don't know how much longer I'm willing to suffer.

Steven A. Taylor's Drunken Podcast

Weak Stream

That's where you can find me now. As if I wasn't already wasting enough of your hard-earned time with my writing ... now you can hear me in my drunken fury blathering on about nonsense for a half-hour a pop.

The only rule for being on my podcast is: you have to be drunk. Actually, that's not necessarily true. I have to be drunk! It's probably more fun if you're drunk too, but that's neither here nor there.

I wanted my brother on for the first podcast because A. we're always drinking together on the weekend anyway, B. we have conflicting political views that should translate well to the podcast format, and C. I wanted to discuss a topic that would be sure to fill the 30-minute requirement I'd set as my goal.

We probably could've talked for three times that length, but I'm pretty sure 90 minutes of drunken podcasting is a federal offense in this state.

And having done it with flying colors, I have to express my gratitude for Josh's girlfriend who was my assistant coordinating producer in this thing. Namely, she watched the clock and told me how much time we had left at various intervals. I really only had two agendas going in: talk about the failings of the current administration, and talk about the Worst Possible Scenarios that would happen if the other person's candidate got into the White House. Other than that, we'd go in whatever direction our drink-addled brains would take us. Well, if you listen, we don't get to the Worst Possible Scenarios until LATE in the podcast. And even then, we constantly get off track.

This could be genius, or it could be a huge debacle. Either way, it's a fun way to spend a Saturday Night.

I'll say this, though. Doing the drunken podcast is VERY risky. I'm not just talking about the health problems derived from heavy drinking. I'm talking about the fact that - when I drink more than my body can stand - I tend to lose all brain function. Trains of thought collide against impenetrable brick walls. I become this dottering wasteland of non-thought. So, I've got to remember to drink enough to be drunk, but not so much that you get 30 minutes of me saying, "Uhhh." Trying to think, but nothing happens, as Curly from the Three Stooges would say.

By the way, after the election, I'm going to do a part 2 with my brother on politics. In spite of the fact that he says at the end he'll never appear on my show ever again.