Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Hey, sports fans!

I'm not really one of you. A sports fan, that is. I love baseball, and if it weren't for that and my enjoyment of gangster movies, I might be kicked out of the guy's club. (I mean, I hate NASCAR, professional wrestling and beer… but I swear I don't watch the Oxygen network.)

But last weekend, I was exposed to some exciting new sports. New for me, anway.

I was invited to an Easter gathering at an attorney's house. She represents and knows a lot of Hollywood big shots, and she said that it would be a good networking opportunity for me. I'm not really into schmoozing, and frankly, the real reason I thought it would be nice to work with some of these playahs is that their production company's office is in walking distance from my apartment. If I worked for them, it'd be a huge paycut, and probably just as boring and as much of a dead-end position as where I am now, but – no commute? Sign me up!

Anyway, when I arrived, there seemed to be 3 groups of people. The kids, who bounced around in one of those moon rooms, which looked awesome, by the way. But I think if I joined them, I'd pop the inflatable place – even if I hadn't been noshing as much as I have since my birthday. Then there were all the moms and moms-to-be, who were shouting at their kids: "Taylor! Play nice! Don't hit Megan! I don't care where she stuck that Easter egg!" The rest of the people were downstairs in the den.

When I went to join them – the directors and actors who could supposedly jumpstart my career – I saw they were all engrossed in the TV. I kept quiet and joined them, curious to see what was so mesmerizing.


At first, I didn't get it. I mean, in the Master's Tournament, they don't allow players to use the golf carts, and they don't allow CBS to air any commercials. So a lot of time was spent watching these guys in ugly polo shirts and pleated khakis walking across the course. Why not zoom in on the turf to watch the grass grow?

Even playing the game is kinda tedious. Especially if you drive as well as an old lady who can't see over the steering wheel. I once played 18 holes with a friend and I swear, my swing sent the ball 400 yards… straight up in the air so that it landed back on the tee. I had to yell "fore" to myself. Let's see Chi Chi Rodriguez do that.

But during the Masters, I learned more about the game. Like when the ball hugs the rim but doesn't go in the hole, it means "he lipped it". And since Tiger Woods didn't perform well, there was a whole new cast of characters to know.

Specifically, Phil Mickelson. Now, you sports fans already know the story, but those of you who don't know a bunker from a wedge, here's the scoop: Mickelson has come in second or third in every Masters. Always a bridesmaid. Some say he's a choke artist, others say he's just not that good. I said he's the Susan Lucci of the golf circuit.

It came down to one last putt. And just like Lady Lucci… Lady Luck finally shined on Mr. Mickelson. The crowd went wild. Even in the den at the attorney's house.

I don't know how much elbow rubbing I got to do, but there was a lot of high-fiving going on. Good times had by all.

Later that day, I was invited to a Clippers game. I haven't been to an NBA game since I moved out to California. As a kid, my family was Knicks fans, but since Ewing retired, I couldn't name a single player.

It's hard to avoid Laker-mania out here, and I have been subjected to a few games on TV. Regarding that Kobe-Shaq-Fox-Phil Jackson crew, I have only three words: Talented but lazy.

Now, ask me about Barry Bonds and his tying Willie Mays' home run record, and I can spout off all over-500-homer people and their batting average within a few points. But my hoops knowledge? I'd be tossing bricks.

The LA Clippers were playing the San Antonio Spurs, who I learned were the reigning world champion. The Clippers on the other hand, had lost 12 games in a row.

Ooh, another underdog overdue for victory! Right?

Sorry to say, no. Though they played well, the Clippers could never get more than a one-point lead over the Spurs (to which the crowd was briefly exuberant). It was kinda like watching a minor league team getting to compete at the Staples Center.

I know some Clippers fans, and I admire their dedication, but pity them at the same time. After my first game, I gotta say the team is like Norman Bates' mother – forever stuck in the basement, and anyone who thinks otherwise is crazy.

That's the best part of my intro to these sports – having enough knowledge to make wisecracks like that. What's next? NASCAR? Professional wrestling? Bocci ball?


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