December 3, 2008

Fuck Up Athletes...

...piss us off. And by us, I mean those of who delayed our virginity (if for only a moment) and sacrificed our marks (meaning we had to go to Universities near the bottom of the MacLean’s ranking), growing up in the pursuit of some sport. Life as a Tim Hortons commercial isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, when at 6AM on a Sunday morning, you’re putting on an ice cold jockstrap in Astorville, while your friends are just getting in from a party at someone’s house where there was a bonfire—I mean, come on, a bonfire!

A pro athlete who throws it away isn’t the same as say, an actor who dies early. I don’t care what you say, a fourth line centre in the AHL has sacrificed more to get where he is than River Phoenix, Heath Ledger, or anyone else a teenage girl cries for when he dies. Having tried to learn even the simplest of guitar, you could convince me that Kurt Cobain worked hard to get where he did before he threw it away, but then again, he could do heroin and drink at work: name a pro sport where I can do that, and I’m hitting the gym/pipe. Maybe it’s not a fair comparison, since for athletes, it’s usually not such a matter of life and death, but rather, prison or suspension or looking like a lame ass.

For a number of boys, the youthful pursuit of sport with an eye to “the pros” was with hockey, but for some it was baseball (though Terry Puhl and Larry Walker were the only Canadian baseball players I had ever heard of), or if your parents were eccentric, you had outliers like tennis, golf, or track. (*I won’t even start with the girls, who endure the mysterious phenomenon of stripper training known as competitive dance—come on, Jazz Dancing? Really?).

So when a professional athlete spits in the face of all us losers, we get angry. I don’t mean to say jealous. After the age of about 16, you pretty much realize there are a lot other things to do, a lot of other paths to follow, other than pro-athlete. And while only few people actually live in a Deloreon, I don’t know anyone who grew up playing a sport at any level, who truly says “I wish I could go back and do something about the fact that I’m not a pro athlete,” as though they could do something about being 5’8, 140 pounds.

In light of this week’s multitude of fuck up athletes, I’ll start periodically profiling athletes who...well...are fucks ups. Who have taken a gift (a gift they WORKED for no less) and usually through sheer stupidity, treated it like Sean Avery’s sloppy seconds.

So with that, I’ll start with the biggest fuck up out there right now: Sean Avery.

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