As a teen in the mid-90's, I looked up to two guys: Drew Bledsoe and my older cousin.
Now I know: Both should stay out of nightclubs.
If you don't live in New England, you probably don't remember this: Back in November '97 -- just 10 months removed from the Super Bowl -- Bledsoe and two Pats teammates brilliantly decided to stage-dive at an Everclear concert at Boston's Paradise club. One of them landed on a girl, breaking one of her vertebrae discs. The Pats got smoked in Tampa Bay that Sunday. The media went after Pete Carroll. The season went in the tank. Everyone got sued. And Bledsoe was never the same. I'd say it worked out badly all around, except maybe for USC.
Now flash-forward seven years.
My cousin, who's eight years older than me, was going out Sunday night with a girl he just recently met. Three of her friends were coming, so I tagged along on the off chance their names were Monica, Rachel and Phoeb ... eh ... Jill Goodacre.
One thing you need to know about me: I'm not the greatest wingman. My attention span is notoriously low, to the point that my roommate tossed around the slogan "Refuse to Lose ... Interest" last year, applying it to tons of things I actually like (baseball, PS2, french fries). You can imagine how I'd fare amusing the uninteresting friend of an acquaintance. Through two hours, the conversation at our table was flowing, allowing me to relax and slip in and out of the Tennessee-UNLV game. I even avoided choking when one of her friends claimed Jennifer Love Hewitt is a hermaphrodite (I checked; she isn't). And my cousin was cruising. But then he pulled a gentlemanly, yet completely unthinkable move.
"Hey, do you want to check out the dance floor?"
What the hell was he doing!?! You dance to get women IN your booth, not the other way around. And this wasn't even a dance floor. It was a dance floor on Martha's Vineyard. There were wooden cages that may at some point have been lobster traps. And it was half-empty, so he had a two-foot-halo around him. From the stationary feet, the bobbing head, the raised arms, and the goofy expression, it was clear he wasn't Vincent Vega; he was Mark Madsen. Where were Robert Horry and Shaq hiding? It was atrocious.
At first, the only saving grace was two sketchy characters bopping around, moving in on our girls, then giving them the "Talk to the hand" and shimmying away -- the kind of stuff that would have gotten you beaten up on "The Grind." As I expected, after a few minutes I heard a line I've heard before: "Come save us."
So there I was, standing on the fringe, nodding my head, tapping my foot, sipping my drink, pondering what to do. I had three options: try to dance better than my cousin; mimic him and divert attention; or try something so spectacularly bad, nobody would want to dance anymore. Option A was out, because unlike Bledsoe, I wasn't born with happy feet. Option B could have been done, but I figured if I was going down, like any good wingman, I might as well go down in flames. The best option was ripping off the worst parade dance in history: Bob Kraft from the 2002 Pats parade. Just as "Crazy in Love" ended, I was preparing to unleash the rocking, running arm-flail followed by a couple of claps, as if I had a few too many gin and tonics and Ty Law just pushed me from behind.
Then the most amazing thing happened: The lights went on. The place was closing. We were being kicked out at 12:30 a.m.
God Bless the Puritans!
Onto the links ...
Seattle Post-Intelligencer (9/8) -- "We'll take the ball and we're going to score" will never be quite the same, will it?
ESPN.com (9/8) -- Apparently "battering ram injuries" aren't just for Mike Alstott and Jerome Bettis. This name actually makes "B.S. Exposed" sound innocent.
SF Gate (9/7) -- A group of Bay Area kids decided to spend their Labor Day weekend riding San Francisco's buses ... all of them. If I didn't know of some Wake Forest kids that spent Spring Break picking up a bucket of sand at Myrtle Beach, driving it to the West Coast and dumping it out, this would be the stupidest, funniest quest I've ever heard of.
NY Daily News (9/7) -- Proof that you've failed at raising your socialite daughter: She yells out, "Who the (expletive) are the Gottis?" when they're in the room. You may want to give Nikki the poster paper and glue sticks, Paris.
MSNBC (9/7) -- Newsweek reports on a potential merger between TiVo and Netflix, a stunning development also known as ... KaZaA!
Spinkstech.com -- If this how-to by the brother of Leon and Michael Spinks slips by the Page 2 editors, consider it a big victory for Dave Chappelle. I think this belongs on the bookshelf next to "Sinbad's Funny, Funny, Funny Guide to Life," even though Spinks isn't necessarily trying to be funny. For example: He did "come close to selling his company for $15 Million during the dot com corporate explosion of 2000." Well done!
Newsday (9/5) -- Could somebody make Larry Bird aware of this?
CNetNews.com (9/3) -- So there's a glitch in Madden that makes it plausible for Troy Hambrick to rack up 400 yards. And you wouldn't know it unless you spend significant time online. And Madden machines are popping up in dive bars. Yeeah ... I don't like where this is headed. Not one bit.
HowDoYou.com -- Says Tom Brady, dressed like a Czech exchange student, "The Gap outfit that most fit my body was the one with the hoodie." Where can Tim Couch get one?
Denver Post (9/3) -- Credit where it's due. On Sept. 4, Simmons wrote: "Within the next two weeks, either LeBron or Carmelo will come out and slam Larry Brown for the way he coached the team in Athens, followed by at least 3-4 other players joining suit, leading to a national story, capped off by LeBron saying something along the lines of "Let's just say I'm looking forward to our first game against the Pistons." Thanks to Melo, the wheels are in motion.
(Remember, he also wrote, "'The Benefactor' will be a full-fledged disaster." If Mark Cuban's reaction to Donald Trump's criticism is any indication, the wheels may also be in motion for Simmons' house being crushed by a tank.)
CNN.com (9/2) -- A handful of colleges have started to offer casino management courses.
Boston Globe (9/2) -- In the span of a week, a teen living in Babe Ruth's house was drilled in the face with a Manny Ramirez line drive, a 1918 penny was found on a counter at Fenway, and the Sox were on the cover of Sports Illustrated. I'd say the chance of being killed by a cataclysmic storm this year has risen from 1 in 5,279,515 to 1 in 3 ...
Yahoo! News (9/1) -- In Bosnia, they've decided to honor the one man that bridges the gap between Serbs, Croats and Muslims: Bruce Lee! Not sure how much this sculptor from Mostar is charging, but for $750,000, why not honor another great peacemaker?
Boston.com (8/30) -- "Well, what the hell do you know about it, Capone?" Just one thing: The fact this took place down the street makes me feel much, much safer.
starandal.com -- Finally, here was my thought process when I got this link: "Okay, this one's like ChrisRix.com and DarrenSproles43.com. Virginia Tech made a Heisman site for Bryan Randall called "Star Randall." But shouldn't there be another R? And another L? And ... oh, no."
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