The New York City Subway system is the exact nexus where crippling mental illness meets moneyed liberal guilt. Up until this point, mental illness has usually come out on top. Today, I’m here to declare an end to that.
Allow me to cite an example by way of explanation.
Last night, I boarded an uptown 6 train at Spring Street at around 7:30. A young woman got on at the same time. I sat in one empty seat. She sat down across from me, next to a seemingly normal guy reading the paper. SEEMINGLY.
A couple of minutes into the trip, the guy forcefully folded up his copy of the Daily News by delivering a hard slap to the crease. Uh Oh. That’s a bad sign. At that point, I held out hope that he had just read something that made him angry. That dream was dashed a couple of minutes later when he started punching at the air. “Yup,” I thought, “He’s a crazy. That’s annoying.”
But, what was annoying for me was potentially dangerous for the woman sitting next to him. I looked at her. She was trying to look calm and relaxed and New York-y, all the while wishing she could be somewhere else. And the truth is, she could have been. There were a number of open seats all over the train. But, in situations like this, people tend to stick it out. I think it’s because they don’t want to insult the maniac. And that’s because, as edgy, yet bleeding heart, New Yorkers, we want to act like the crazy people are just another part of the rich tapestry that make up our great city. And it sucks.
So, new rules, New York!
-That girl is now completely free to stand up and find a new seat. No one else on the train is allowed to look at her with silent judgement.
-If you board a train, sit down and then realize, as soon as the door closes, that there’s a stench eminating from the sleeping hobo splayed out on the bench across from you, You may now get up and crowd everyone on the other side of the car to avoid the fecal bouquet festering in his pants. You no longer must worry that it makes you look like an insensitive pussy.
-If someone is loudly begging, singing or dancing for money on your train, you are hereby granted license to be annoyed by it. You just worked a hard day at your job. Your tie and expensive shirt collar have been cutting off circulation to your head. All you wanted was a quiet ride home. These people have ruined that. There is no reason for you to consider the life circumstances that led them down this path in the first place. Just, be pissed. You’ll feel better. (BUT FOR GOD SAKES, DON’T SAY ANYTHING OUT LOUD. THOSE FUCKERS COULD CUT YOU!)
None of this will be easy. It may feel insensitive at first. You may feel like you are turning your back on the New York Liberalism that has carried you through life. And, in a way, you are. But that’s ok. The other side has begun booing gay soldiers and cheering executions. We’re allowed to be a little bit selfish.
For the second time in two weeks, Chris Mannix decided to write about Floyd Mayweather, Jr. This time, he’s pushing for Mayweather to fight Manny Pacquioa. This gets two pages. I think that space would have been better spent remembering Dave Gavitt, whose death got just a quick mention in the “For The Record” section. Gavitt was giant in basketball history and the first commissioner of the Big East, who died just a day before the conference he dedicated so much of his career too was decimated by defections. There’s a tragic irony to that. It could have been mined for great writing.
The Art of Winning An (Even More) Unfair Game by Tom Verducci
The great part about the way Theo Epstein has built this version of the Red Sox is that his amazing drafting skills make it so that the franchise is so deep, it can withstand injuries and ineffectiveness in it’s lineup and rotation without really missing a beat. Oh wait. That’s not what happened. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. They’re throwing Eric Bedard out there every fifth day, while trying to pry Chris Capuano away from the Mets for one start.
The Red Sox are one of 20 teams who run their front office this way. The advantage they have is money, not smarts. And I’ve had enough of the media fetishizing Boston. ESPN the Magazine’s entire issue this week is dedicated to the Boston Sports Scene. Drew Magary at KSK wrote a great take down. You should read the whole thing, but here’s the best part.
New York Sucks, by Denis Leary
Oh, thank God. Because here it was unclear to me that Denis Leary wasn’t a Boston fan. Hey Denis, here’s every episode of “Rescue Me”:
LENNY CLARKE: Tommy, stop drinking!
TOMMY: Screw you!
LENNY CLARKE: Ah, I’m just giving you shit!
TOMMY: Me too! Now let’s go drink and give each other MORE shit and that’s the episode! 9/11 9/11 9/11.
HAHAHAHA! ( I spoke with Denis Leary briefly on 9/11 this year. He was very nice.)
Brad Pitt Deals by Austin Murphy
I don’t know, you guys. I think I’m on totally on Team Aniston. Why does Brad have to keep taking shots at her? Just when she seems like she’s ready to move on with her life, he says something in the media that forces her to confront her issues all over again. It’s just not fair!
(I’m incredibly psyched to see Moneyball. It looks awesome.)
(I’m using a lot of parenthesis today.)
The Real Thing by Tim Layden
It’s kind of funny to jump from a story about sabermetrics and advanced statistical data in baseball straight into this piece about Cam Newton, where everyone is going nuts about his passing yardage. There’s only one stat that matters in football. And that stat is pancake blocks by left tackles. JUST KIDDING. It’s wins. Cam Newton has none.
Back Of All Trades by Pablo S. Torre
Somewhere in the recesses of my mind, I already knew Ken Starr ran Baylor University. But, reading this article reminded me all over again. And then, I couldn’t get back to a place where I cared what the rest of the article is about.
Sports Saves The World by Alexander Wolff
This is super. It tackles the issues of sports as social facilitator from both sides, providing the pros and the cons. I was worried that Sports Illustrated would present sports as an almighty salve to the world’s wounds. It does not.
Point After by Joe Posnanski
Is Thailand all of a sudden in deepest darkest Africa? Why do the villagers in this story sound like extras from “It’s a mad mad mad mad world,” praying to a Coke bottle? They have the internet. They should at least know the concept of a stadium.