I have a problem. Well, I have a lot of problems. Today, we will focus on one. It ends with a funny story, though, and you all like funny stories.
Here’s the problem: I have to peak.
It says something terrible about our society that that sounds dirty. But, it’s peaking not peeping. And those are very different things.
My problem involves other people’s computer screens, cell phones, ipods etc, etc.Â If I’m at work and I walk by someone’s desk while they’re writing an email, I try to read as much as possible in the 3 seconds I have to glance and keep moving. Who are you emailing? What are you writing about? Is it about me? Is it PERSONAL? Do you have problems at home? Do you have AIDS?
It’s the same thing if I’m next to someone while they’re texting or tweeting or facebooking. I’m just so damn curious.
Luckily, I’ve never been caught and I’ve never actually read anyone sending someone else a message warning them to “go get tested.”Â Cause what do you do then?
Here’s the closest I’ve ever been.
A few years ago, I went to see Weezer and the Foo Fighters at the Meadowlands. I live in Manhattan and don’t own a car. I was meeting a friend who lives in New Jersey at the concert. So, I took the bus from Port Authority to New Jersey by myself, met my friends, watched an AMAZING SHOW (actually Foo Fighters were (was?) amazing, Weezer was average at best,) then got back on the bus to head back to the city.
If you’ve ever been on a commuter bus, you know that the seats have gaps between the headrests. I was sitting by myself. It was getting late. I had had a couple of beers. So, I leaned my head against the seat in front of me and just sort of stared into the gap. In the row ahead of me was a girl who appeared to be about 3 or 4 years younger than me. She pulled out her cellphone and flipped it open. It was right in my sight line. OF COURSE, I WAS GOING TO READ WHATEVER SHE WAS GOING TO WRITE. She scrolled through her phone book to select the recipient of her message and clicked on the name. IT WAS MY BROTHER! This random girl on a random bus in East Rutherford, NJ not only knew my brother but she was about to send him a text message.
At this point, I immediately averted my eyes. While my desire to read the personal messages of complete strangers is strong, my desire to know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about my brother’s personal life is even stronger. Ignorance is bliss on that front.
But, now, I was left in a quandary (is it “with a quandary?” Either way, I was quandared.) This random coincidence had occurred, but I couldn’t share it with anyone. I couldn’t say to the girl, “Hey, you know my brother.” Because after the initial “Oh what a small world,” would come, “Wait, how did you know I was texting your brother.” And then I would be a creep and my brother would be the guy with the creep for a brother. (Save the “he already is the guy with a creep for a brother” comment. That’s too easy a joke. You’re better than that. Well, most of you are.) My brother was on a flight to Vegas, so I couldn’t even call him and tell him what was happening.
I just had to sit there with this creepy coincidence stewing in my mental crawlspace. It was terrible.
But, time has now passed, and I’m a little more comfortable with my “habit” now. I’ve decided it just means I’m inquisitive and concerned about the well being of others. So, random girl who was texting my brother from a bus after the Foo Fighters/Weezer show at the Meadowlands that time, have I got a coincidence to tell you about.
We’ll start, as we have in the past, by making fun of people who felt strongly enough about something they read in Sports Illustrated to sit down and pen (or type) a letter to the editor about it.Â Because, what kind of loser writes a letter to the editor of a magazine? Who cares so much about what they read in some dopey sports weekly that they actually set aside time from their lives to write about it?
Spain was one of the most beautiful sides I’ve ever seen, and it deserved to be on SI’s cover. I have to wait four years to see this wonderful tournament again, but I’ll be hearing about LeBron every week for the rest of his career.
Steve Caraffa, St. Louis
And that, Mr Caraffa, is exactly why LeBron was on the cover instead of the Spanish World Cup team.Â Â Sports Illustrated is designed to attract readers. The fact that you’ll be hearing about LeBron every week for the rest of his career means people are incredibly interested in him. That is why the publishers felt fit to put him on the cover.
Now, let’s discuss the other problem with your letter. Spain was one of the most beautiful sides you’ve ever seen? Why are you so fucking pretentious? First of all, don’t call it a side. It’s a team, dick-o. Secondly, let’s all stop calling soccer beautiful.Â Sunsets are beautiful. Paintings by Monet are beautiful. The laughter of children is beautiful. Titties are beautiful. Soccer is a sport. It’s guys in shorts running back and forth. It is not beautiful. Don’t be a douche.
I was disappointed in the article about Lance Armstrong’s performance in the Tour de France (End of the Road, July 19). Even if Armstrong’s days of winning the Tour are over, I think it’s important to show respect for his achievements.
Rick Loscalzo, Tampa
No, Rick. No it is not.
It’s important for critics of an administration to show respect for the Office of the President. It is important for people entering nature to show respect for the ecosystem. It is important for Marty McFly to show respect for the space time continuum.
It is NOT important for sports fans to show respect for the accomplishments of a lying, cheating rider of bikes who has screwed over his family and Sheryl Crow and probably is funneling money from his livestrong campaign to help fund nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea.
Now, let’s move on to the self-hating Jew portion of our magazine. I was recently pleased to find out that the newest Knick has decided to explore his Jewish roots. Amare Stoudemire seems to be taking this entire thing quite seriously, and I respect him for that. Unfortunately, as a people, we Jews tend to fall into the “make fun of yourself before someone else can make fun of you” school of self-deprication. Such is the case with David Friedman’s little scorecard column about Stoudemire. It’s full of jokes about Jewish mothers and yarmulkes and Sandy Koufax. If Stoudemire is, in fact, trying to find out more about his past, shouldn’t we treat that journey with some level of respect?
Finally, a quick comment on Joe Sheehan’s Inside Baseball sidebar.Â He suggests the Red Sox start dumping players. Trade Papelbon. Trade Victor Martinez. Trade Adrian Beltre. I support this plan. Theo Epstein, please do so.
Stealing Home by Bruce Schoenfeld
I’ve never seen someone steal home in person. I recently witnessed my first inside the park homerun while actually inside the park. It was incredibly exciting. I can only imagine how cool it would be to see someone take off on a mad dash for home. And now, thanks to this fantastic article, I can better imagine it.Â It’s a great read from start to finish. It has interesting interviews with guys who have stolen home. It includes comments from coaches and managers. It paints perfect word pictures of specific plays.
My compliments to the chef.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREVIEW 2010
It’s time for me to make an admission. I do not care about college football. I never have. I’ve always gotten by knowing just enough to make small talkÂ with people who do like it. But I will never, by choice, watch a college football game. Whether it’s an early season matchup between Ohio State and Southern Illinois or the BCS Title game, I don’t give a shit.Â I’ll look for a re-run of Gilmore Girls before I settle on a college game. One of the reasons I have never minded having to work on Saturdays is that it prevents me from having nothing to do and being stuck with a TV menu comprised entirely of college football games.
I don’t have a particularly interesting reason for this. I have all the same complaints that most people do. The vast majority of the games don’t mean anything. The number of teams who actually have a chance of winning the title is small and predetermined. I didn’t grow up in an area where college football had a large following. I didn’t go to a school with a dominant (or even existent) football team. I don’t gamble.
I do not like college football games. I do not like them, Justin I am(e.)
All of this is a long winded way of saying I did not read the Sports Illustrated College Football 2010 preview section.
POINT AFTER by Phil Taylor
I have utterly no opinion of this week’s column about people who hawk balls at major league stadiums. It seems like a peculiar and expensive hobby, but the people who do it seem like good people. I made no emotional connection with them.Â The whole thing was sort of Blah.