Issue #86 – “Sports Fan” – March 27th, 2006

-When Penn clinched the league championship my sophomore year of college, fans rushed the football field and tore down the goalposts.  When security locked the gates of the stadium, we used one of the uprights as a battering ram to plow our way through, at which point I fell and was almost trampled to death.  A few months later, when the basketball team clinched a berth in the NCAA Tournament, we rushed the court, at which point I was again trampled, this time dislocating my shoulder.  These incidents taught me two things.  One, I’m not a very good field/court rusher.  And two, “supporting the team” is probably one of the most exhilarating, addictive, and sometimes downright dangerous activities that a twentysomething can engage in.  But I can’t help it if I’m hooked.  My name is Aaron Karo, and I’m a sports fan.

-I am a Yankees fan, as is my father, and as was his father before him.  Therefore, I hate the Red Sox.  Hate, hate, hate them.  I don’t even like when my phone rings and a 617 area code comes up.  However, I will say that I’m very jealous of Red Sox Nation for winning it all in 2004.  I mean, it must have felt so good to bust that 86-year-old nut.  I’m guessing it probably felt like back in the day when you were afraid to masturbate at summer camp so you held out for eight weeks until you got home and then let loose.

-In 2000, I was desperate to get tickets for the Subway Series between the Yankees and Mets, but the line was busy for hours.  So I decided to try something I saw on TV once – only I didn’t quite think the whole plan through first.  I called the operator and was like, “Operator, operator!  I need an emergency breakthrough!”  And she was like, “OK sir, right away, what’s the number?”  And I was like, “Uh…1-800-555-TIXX?”

-Everybody has that one male friend who knows nothing about sports.  I actually have two: Chi and Big Dave.  I’m not sure what they were doing between the ages of six and sixteen, but it clearly wasn’t assembling and memorizing the entire ’87 Topps baseball card set with the wood paneling background, like I was.  What losers.  Non-sports-fan guys sometimes try to fake it but are easily exposed.  Just ask them to get a score for you.  If they return with two digits but forget to say who’s winning or what quarter/period/inning it is, you’ve found yourself a childhood comic book collector.

-My mom a sports fan?  Not so much.  In 2003, I was in a bar in Manhattan with Triplet #1 when all of a sudden the New Jersey Devils rolled in with the Stanley Cup.  Despite being a die-hard Rangers fan, I eagerly took turns with Trip 1 gulping Michelob Light out of the exalted chalice – which is quite an unwieldy task.  A few weeks later, I excitedly showed my mom a picture from the night and she was like, “Oh honey, look at your shirt, you spilled all over yourself.”  “Mom,” I urged, “Do you see what I’m holding in this picture?  It’s the Stanley freakin’ Cup!”  “That’s wonderful honey, but I don’t think that stain’s gonna come out.”

-In the end, being a sports fan can be a crushing experience – both figuratively and literally.  I still haven’t quite recovered from scalping one ticket to Game Seven of the ALCS in 2004 and sitting by myself in the last row of Yankee Stadium, only to watch the Red Sox complete their historic comeback.  And I still can’t properly throw overhand after being trampled on the basketball court in college.  But I want all the face-painting, game-DVRing, constant-box-score-refreshing, PTI-watching, ticket-scalping, girlfriend-ignoring, field-rushing fanatics out there to know that I feel your pain.  The Final Four and Opening Day are both this week.  Let the pain begin!

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-The fact that “socialite” is even a word makes me angry.

-Why is it that whenever I call a wrong number, the person who picks up is always completely psychotic?  The other day I made a call and I swear Sloth from “The Goonies” picked up.  I was like, “Uh, is Andrea there?”

-I love Family Guy and have seen every single episode.  But do you think they could at least try to make somewhat of an effort not to make every secondary character sound exactly the same?

-A few weeks ago, for lack of better options, I bought a bottle of water and a scone at 7am at the Indianapolis airport.  When the cashier rung me up for $3.87, I asked, “Oh, did you get the water too?”  The cashier laughed unusually hard then said, “Of course – that’d be a pretty expensive scone, wouldn’t it?”  I actually had to think about it for a few moments before realizing that, no, I had no fucking clue if that’s an expensive scone or not.

-I don’t know why, but I’ve always wanted to marry a doctor.  I think maybe it’s because being a doctor is probably one of the few things I can’t do.  I mean, let’s be honest, I could probably be a lawyer if I really wanted to.  Law school would blow, but I could do it if I tried.  But I find doctor chicks so hot because I definitely couldn’t get past the first day of medical school without puking on a cadaver.  Well, either that’s the reason, or I’ve been watching too much Grey’s Anatomy.

-Memo to waiters:  please stop describing entrees as “very nice.”  That’s how my grandma describes me and it’s not true either.

-And, finally, probably my finest athletic achievement took place on October 14th, 2003, during Game Five of the American League Championship Series between the Yankees and Red Sox at Fenway Park.  Despite rocking my Yankees cap and Derek Jeter t-shirt, I went unharassed for much of the game.  That is, until I went to take a piss after the sixth inning.  The bathroom was absolutely packed of course and while I’m not pee-shy per se, I’m still somewhat “pee-introverted.”  Thus, urinating was already a bit of a struggle before the inebriated Red Sox fan on line behind me noticed my shirt and screamed, “Hey Jeetah!  YOU SUCK!”  Instantly I became the focal point for a vicious torrent of anti-Yankees epithets.  But, despite being screamed at like a fat sorority pledge, I hung in there, and with my face turned beet-red from effort, managed to finish my business.  As I zipped up, the Red Sox fan at the adjacent urinal turned to me and said, “Dude, I hate the Yankees, but that was the most clutch piss I’ve ever seen.”  “Thanks,” I responded with a tip of my cap, “But I think I just shit myself.”  Fuck me.