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Charlie Hatton
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I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
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I’m an Athletic Supporter!

If you’re a sports fan like me — and in North America, I suppose — this is a magical time of year. At least, it’s one of the magical times of year, when three of the four major U.S. sports are happening at once.

The four major U.S. sports being baseball, football, basketball, and — if we’re feeling charitable — hockey. Hockey’s had a rough decade or so of things, though, and hasn’t really kept up with the other kids in the class. They didn’t even play the games last season — some sort of strike, or boycott, or visa issue or something, I expect. I wasn’t really paying attention, honestly. If ‘major U.S. sports’ was a foot, hockey would be the pinky toe. Or maybe just the toenail. Or possibly a bunion. There’s a little bit of catching up to do there.

And yes, I’m aware that there are other sports out there. The (rest of the) civilized world is all about cricket, for instance, and “football which we call soccer, apparently just to reinforce all of those ‘arrogant difficult American bastard’ steroetypes” is popular, too. Past that, and the sports I mentioned above, I’m not sure what the world is into. Maybe the Patagonians watch nothing but jai alai. Or the Estonians love nothing more than a skeet shooting tournament. And for all I know, the Djibouti National Tiddlywinks Champion is a hero to millions. Anything’s possible.

I’m also well aware that other ‘sport crazes’ are sweeping the States these days. People tune in to watch auto racing, and figure skating, and dog grooming, and cow tipping, and nipple piercing, and — frankly, people will watch just about anything that smells and walks and quacks like a competition. Especially if there’s betting involved. But gambling doesn’t make somethig like ‘candlepin bowling’ a real sport, any more than me watching my wife undress makes her a stripper. But Lord knows I’ve tried.

Anyway, it’s nice — for some of us — to be able to turn on the TV at any hour of the day or night and be treated to a sporting match of some kind. There are some months when that’s just not the case. For instance, June. Baseball’s keeping the faith in June, but what else is going on, sporting-wise? Golf? Meh. Tennis? Yawn. Beach volleyball is nice — but that’s not a sport. Technically, that’s soft-core porn, so it doesn’t count.

November, though, is positively teeming with sports action. NFL football. NBA hoops. NHL hockey. And college versions of all three, too, as an extra bonus. Not that November is the ideal month for, say, college basketball. March is much better for that. November is the time when teams from big universities like Duke, Michigan, and Stanford play powerhouse schools like South Carolina A&T, St. Xavier Mary Catherine State U, and the Northeastern Idaho Barber College Extension School for Prematurely Balding Frenchmen. Ah, who can forget those Stanford-NIBCESPBF games? Instant classics, they are.

Still, hoops is being played. Lopsidedly and sadly at times, but there’s roundball on the hardwood, and that’s what counts. And the other sports are in full swing, too. It’s entirely possible to spend an entire waking November weekend on the couch, switching from college football to college hoops, from pro ball to the NHL, and then to NFL football — delicious football — to wrap things up. And I should know; that’s basically how I just spent my November weekend. Jealous much?

Of course, the problem now is tomorrow. After pressing my assprint into the cushions of the couch for the past thirty-six hours or so, now I’m expected to go be productive. Without TV, or sports, or beer, or even cheese doodles — all of the things that make the weekend warm, wild, and wonderful. Frankly, I’m not sure I’m up to the critical reasoning that work requires.

(This post so far should be ample proof of that. I haven’t seen this much incoherent babbling since we visited grandma in the Alzheimers ward. And at least she didn’t mention her bunions. I’m so sorry.)

Maybe a few hours of sleep will do the trick. Right now, all I can think about are yard-per-carry averages, power play percentages, and rebound-per-game stats. The work-capable bits of my brain shut off somewhere around halftime of the third game today. No telling when they’ll power back up — or whether I’ll find them some day, cold and limp and dead on my pillow.

(It wouldn’t be the first time; last March Madness, I watched twelve hours straight of NCAA basketball games. When I woke up the next morning, my pillow was soggy, and I couldn’t taste ‘salty’ any more. I think the neurons committed hari kiri somehow. Losers.)

Anyway, it’s pretty clearly time for bed, so I’m wrapping this train wreck up. Here’s hoping we have dreams tonight of third-down completions and five-hole slapshots, of pick-and-roll layups and tight nickel defenses. Cherish these times, sports fans — and remember them in June, when you’re stuck watching reruns of Gilligan’s Island at three in the afternoon because the baseball games haven’t started yet. Perish the thought.

Permalink  |  3 Comments

3 Responses to “I’m an Athletic Supporter!”

  1. buzz says:

    Funny that you mention it, but I actually WAS the Djibouti National Tiddlywinks Champion at one time. Three years running. Untouchable! They wrote a song about me, yanno. But that was long ago and far away and it’s a part of my life that I really don’t like to talk about thankyouverymuch so I’ll move on.

    Not much of a basketball fan (seems like a bunch of freakishly tall dudes running around in their underwear playing a game that has clearly become too easy for today’s athlete) but I do lurve (are people still saying ‘Lurve’ or did I miss that boat? Lurve? Boat? Lurve Boat? Haha!! Oh man, I slay me!)….what was I saying?…Oh yeah, I do, indeed lurve (snorf) me some football and hockey. Ahhh, sweet sweet hockey. It’s like a breath of fresh air. And a little like a wooden stick upside the head as well! Good stuff, man. And football? Well, that’s just life, man. What’s life without football, right? Oh wait, I guess that’s called baseball season. Anyway, you get the idea. My point is, I’ll be over next weekend to share some of those Cheez Doodles! I’ll bring the beer.

  2. RRaccoon says:

    “That’s soft-core porn, so it doesn’t count.” Doesn’t count? Are you NUTS? If porn isn’t a sport I want no part of your world.

  3. “I’m an Athletic Supporter!”

    what nuts are you holding up?

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