As we prepare to gorge ourselves today on turkey (Cajun fried is the choice here), stuffing, pumpkin bread, and perhaps something green (maaaaybe, but probably not), I want to first thank all of you who stop in and read the stuff on the blog here, not just my stuff but all of the talented folks here on the site. You make the world go round.
And those of you who run to each cubicle in your office and click on my stuff from a bunch of different unique IP addresses to help get my hit count up -- well, you REALLY make the world go round. God bless you!
But more than anything else, I want to thank stupidity, for without stupidity, we have no stupid athletes, and without stupid athletes, let's face it, my portion of this blog would be about as exciting as the first hour of Rocky 2. (People forget that the first hour of Rocky 2 featured a domesticated Rocky scooping up cow innards at a butcher shop; the movie got bailed out by his title win.)
So without further ado, I want to thank the real heroes of the past year. The many, the proud, the stupid....
- Thank you, Tiger Woods. Specifically, thank you for your shoddy driving skills. And I'm not talking about your one wood off the tee, I'm talking about your ability to successfully navigate your SUV out of your own cul de sac. Without your taking out that fire hydrant on Thanksgiving last year, there's a strong possibility that our lives would be void of Rachel Uchitel, Joslyn James, and the slew of Perkins waitress jokes that we now have available, and that's a bad thing. Your re-conversion to Buddhism during the recovery process was a nice added bonus. (That was the best, Tiger talking about taking up Buddhism like it was a hobby, like he was taking up skeetshooting. Top notch.) Yeah, Tiger, 2010 was your year, for sure. Huge. Quickly. Bye.
- Thank you, Mark Mangino. Ironically, this of all days would be the one day where you'd be least likely to hear my words of thanks and praise, because frankly it's awfully hard to hear when you're playing "Bobbing for turkey legs" out of a vat full of brown gravy. Nonetheless, I'm thankful for you -- specifically, this last year for your verbal abuse of your players, and in general for looking like you just ate Willy Wonka's magic gum. ("Oh my God, you're turning violet, Violet!")
- Thank you, Brett Favre. Not that you weren't already the gift that kept on giving with your narcissistic drama each summer and the inevitable meltdown at the worst possible time (Tracy Porter, feel free to climb on the Favre Thanks train, too.), but who knew that the Ol' Gunslinger had the pictures to prove it! Jenn Sterger may not be thankful, but you gave snarky blog writers everywhere a true gift, Brett. If the gift were an automobile, it was more compact car than SUV, but nonetheless, you gave us at least five or ten days worth of material that we could write in our sleep. And that's all we ask, really -- for you to help us be lazy.
- Speaking of unfortunate sexting follies....thank you, Greg Oden. I hate calling Greg Oden "stupid." In fact, you know what? I'm not calling Oden "stupid." I love Oden. He blogs, he dances, he parties, and when he takes pictures of himself, he appears to be riding an anteater or some sort of trunked mammal. Microfracture surgery this month will mean a ton of free time on Oden's hands. History tells us we'll be thanking him again in 2011.
- Thank you, Tracy McGrady's Expiring Contract. From now and henceforth, you will always be referred to as Tracy McGrady's Expiring Contract -- one, because it sounds funny, and two, because you will spend the rest of your basketball playing existence on one year deals anyway. Your crowning moment this year was scoring 26 points in your Knicks debut and then actually managing to turn all of that goodwill into hatred in record time. Seriously, within four days of that performance, Tracy was clanking jumpers before finally sitting down with wraps on his knees (headlines of "KNEE MAC" in the New York Post). (Runner up for Best Tracy Moment of 2010 -- after his tryout for the Bulls this summer he was referring to the Bulls in the first person as if they had signed him. Unfortunately, nobody told the Bulls that T-Mac had basically signed himself to the team. Wisely, they quietly let T-Mac skulk off to Detroit where he was last seen sarcastically taking blame for botched beer orders.)
It's his fault.
- Thank you, Brian Cushing. Fear of tumors, overtrained athlete syndrome, you were a gift that kept on giving when it came to finding content. Unfortunately, you have been far less giving when it comes to the important things like keeping opposing offenses under 400 total yards. (Honorable mention: Cushing's dad, Frank, who took "little league dad" to a whole other level by writing an accusatory soliloquy in the comments section of Lance Zierlein's blog, in a post that said nothing false about his son.)
- Thank you, LeBron James. Good Lord, how boring would this summer have been without "The Decision"? Without the cold steely dagger you plunged into the hearts of Cleveland? Without the awkward introductory party where Chris Bosh posed like he had actually accomplished something and you awkwardly bobbed your head with the same look on your face that Jerry Seinfeld had when he wore the "puffy shirt"? And what would we possibly do without the new ctachphrase "I'm taking my talents to (fill in place here)." Hell, last week my 12 year old son posted on his Facebook before a family trip that he was "taking his talents to South Memphis." So if you're keeping score at home, it goes like this -- Michael 6 rings, Kobe 5 rings, Shaq 4 rings, LeBron 1 catchphrase. Also, the Heat are 8-7 right now. Nice work, guys.
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- Thank you, Vince Young. It started with a strip club fight in Dallas this summer (which I think Vince won -- why do I say that? Because all of the apologists quickly pointed out "See? All VY does is win!") and ended this past weekend when Vince threw his pads and jersey into the stands (greatest souvenir ever, by the way), was banned from the Titans facility, and then decided to apologize via text message (over/under on number of emoji happy faces is 1.5). Thank you, Vince.
- Thank you, Carlos Lee. Everyone knows that Carlos Lee's gargantuan contract is crippling the Astros. The team is paying $19 million per year to a guy who is giving you about $4 million worth of production. Moreover, he navigates left field with the grace of a hippo. In fact, he might even be part hippo. That said, when Carlos Lee's contract expires and he leaves Houston, he will take with him a license to print fat jokes for me. It will be a sad day.
- Thank you, JaMarcus Russell. Maybe you'll bring your jug of purple drank, sign with the Texans, and BOOM...fat jokes back in play. Dare to dream.
Enjoy the holiday, everybody! Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 3-7 PM on the "Sean & John Show" and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.