I am a terrible driver.
I always have been. The day I got my driver’s license, I picked up BShrek and BHersk at their houses, pulled out of the driveway and proclaimed, “Oh my god. We’re going to die!” There was a car coming the other way. I was scared. I imagine they were too.
As time (and tires) rolled on, I became a bit more proficient. But then, ten years ago, I moved to Manhattan and no longer needed to drive. For awhile, I would still head home to my parents’ house, take their extra car and drive to visit friends in Boston or DC. That stopped in 2008, when Manny Ramirez got traded to the Dodgers and my parents got rid of the extra car. (There is no correlation between those two events, except that the Manny trade happened the night before I drove to Boston for the last time.) Since then, I’ve only driven a couple of times and never further than a few blocks.
Until last Friday. I drove with my brother and his fiance from Manhattan to Livingston, NJ. That’s 27 miles. That may not sound like a long distance. Hell, Paul Ryan can run that far in less than 3 hours (TIMELY NEWS REFERENCE!) But, trust me, that was far enough.
It took me about 10 minutes to remember to look at my mirrors. Those are important when you’re driving through midtown during the Friday afternoon rush. We couldn’t figure out how to get the air conditioning on. And then, once we did, we couldn’t figure out how to regulate the temperature. It was freezing cold. Then we put the heat on full blast. Then we finally managed to get it right. AND THERE WERE BUSES EVERYWHERE! They are huge and scary and make it hard to change lanes, especially when you keep forgetting to look in your mirrors and the car is shooting hot air right into your face.
But we made it. And we made it back later that night too.
I returned the car to where it had to be returned, walked out of the garage and breathed a sigh of relief. Then I walked home.
And tripped over a crack in the sidewalk. Walking ain’t no picnic either.
I certainly hope Austin Murphy’s Scorecard column about Lance Armstrong is the last we ever hear about this fraudulent dick bag. I would be willing to bet that Sports Illustrated has written more columns and articles about Lance Armstrong than there are actual cycling fans in the United States of America. No one cares.
Speaking of sports with fading fan bases, I very much enjoyed Andrew Lawrence’s argument for switching the US Open from hard to clay courts. He makes a compelling case for a change I didn’t even know was possible.
The Sky’s The Limit by Peter King
Peter King begins the SI NFL preview by writing about the explosion of the passing game. Four of the the top six QB passing yard totals in NFL history happened last year. If this were baseball, I would be horrified about how traditional statistical signposts no longer held any significance. Football records hold no such allure. I love the fact that stats which were once unimaginable are now common place. King says a 6,000 yard season is just around the corner. I welcome it. I just hope whoever does it is on my fantasy team that year.
Megatron and Mega-arm by Michael Rosenberg
Rosenberg, who came to SI from the Detroit Free Press, continues to write articles about athletes in Michigan. This time its about Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson, two men with no discernible personality between them. Rosenberg adds the personality himself:
Those comebacks start with Stafford, but the franchise comeback began with Johnson, who must be on God’s fantasy team.
That’s a great line!
American Badass by Jim Trotter
Trotter writes about Justin Smith of the 49ers. We have the same first name!
The Last Happy Man by Chris Ballard
Does Rob Gronkowski deserve such a huge profile? What did we learn about him? He’s a big guy with a lot of brothers and he likes to get drunk.
Scouting Reports by SI Staff
Good format for the individual team scouting reports. SI has decided to do away with the division preview articles that it used for the past few baseball and NBA preview articles, but I don’t think you’ll miss them.
Point After by Phil Taylor
Phil Taylor writes critically about the NFL’s ongoing effort to hit it big in London. He makes excellent points throughout. I agree with everything he writes.