(I worked as a Sports Editor from late 2004 until the summer of 2006. This is one of the many columns I was able to save that were originally published in The Sun-Times of Heber Springs, Arkansas.)
Is four years a long time? The answer lies with who is being asked.
If you were to ask a high school freshman, they would reply that it’s an eternity. Pose the same query to a college freshman having the time of their life, and they might reply that it’s no time at all.
Parents of four-year-old children would probably say it’s a blink of an eye, while professional coaches would pray to have a four-year tenure.
If you were to ask me, I would say that four years is not nearly long enough to be married to the most wonderful woman in the world.
See it’s my anniversary today, and I’m celebrating the fact that my wife Maggie hasn’t come to her senses and decided to trade up yet.
We met five years ago this September, and while I’ve gotten dumber, she just keeps getting prettier. I know most men like to think their girl is the best, but fellas, in this case your girl is second best.
Not only is she the most beautiful (I simply call her pretty girl in the instances I can still form syllables while looking at her), but she’s also the coolest chick in the universe.
She puts up with my constant need to watch sports and dissect major plot points in the latest comic book movies. She is patient with me when I don’t deserve it, and she’s the best mother any child could ever hope for.
So Happy Anniversary Maggie. I love you, and here’s hoping we never turn into a ‘Sports Kids Mom & Dad’.
9:02 – It’s 6:45 in the evening and Sarah is passed out asleep on a way to the meet. Sarah’s mom Sharon says Sarah has to practice because she doesn’t have a choice. She admits Sarah has swollen glands, but she makes her go to practice anyway. Miss Nicole drops the whip and reveals that Sarah is under a lot of pressure. Sharon says with a revealing face twitch that she doesn’t believe anything Sarah is doing is hurting her.
9:04 – Father of the year Craig is writing Michigan’s head football coach a letter to make him aware of Trenton. While Trenton eats Jell-0, he says he wants to go to Michigan because he likes their colors. This letter is supposed to be from an 8-year-old, but Craig uses the words prestigious and Bo Schembechler, and then has Trenton sign it in cursive. Craig looks like he’s going to start weeping with pride.
9:07 – Bryce signs in for a qualifying meet. Kim doesn’t even want to talk about if he doesn’t qualify, but does say if he fails to do so, he’s “done”. Bryce timidly and with great apprehension says, “I have to qualify”.
9:12 – Karli is happy because the potential buyer isn’t going to get Disco. Denial is Karli’s friend as she refuses to believe that Disco will be sold, and Karen thinks Karli is self-centered. Despite Tom Cruise’s objections, these two should schedule some serious psychotherapy.
9:15 – T.J. has to keep Lindsay out of practice because of grades again, and sternly says Lindsay is in lockdown, which I’m pretty sure is a straight-to-video Master P movie. T.J. goes on a venomous rant detailing all of Lindsay’s shortcomings with her in the background and says Lindsay has to put in the time to get to the next level. How about putting in some time to pass algebra?
9:17 – A horrifying moment as Sharon makes Sarah run through the gamut of jazz faces. Not only is Sarah an ultra-competitive cheerleader, but she is also going for the national championship in jazz dancing. Sharon says if Sarah doesn’t take first, she’ll be mad, and then kicks a bunny rabbit that crossed her path.
9:23 – Trenton has a baby sister. I hope to all that’s good in the world that she has no athletic ability whatsoever. The term ‘must win’ and 8-year-olds shouldn’t go in the same sentence. Trenton’s football coach sets the world record for fastest and most passionless prayer in the history of mankind. Craig’s cute little daughter wants his attention, but he steadfastly ignores her then gives the girl to her mother by saying, “she won’t stop talking”.
9:26 – Karen stays sane by going to yoga classes 6 or 7 times a week. Her yoga was able to help her decide to sell Disco and helps her to be so self-centered that she blows up about every little thing that’s wrong in the house. Maybe she should seek some hormone therapy for ‘the change’.
9:30 – T.J. says her mom is “a pain in the butt” and “annoying” and that’s all I have to say about that.
9:34 – It’s 24 hours before the competition and it’s time for Bryce’s one official practice. Kim looks like she’s about to throw up because Bryce is so bad. Bravo makes the whole thing that much more surreal by playing a whacked-out version of the ‘The Ants Go Marching’.
9:37 – Karen has decided to let Karli attend an equestrian event in Florida. Whoa, back up. Karen messes with Karli’s mind by making her think her slot is filled, but then admits she was just tricking. If I lived with Karen, I would need an IV drip of Dramamine from the motion sickness.
9:39 – Lindsay’s grades are back up to snuff and she’s reinstated just in time to play a team full of D1 prospects. They lose by 32 and T.J. rips her team a new one and then says in a one on one with the camera that she “wasn’t concerned with that rinky dink game”. It sure looked like she was concerned when her eyes were popping out of her head.
9:46 – It’s time for Bryce’s competition and Kim can’t watch, so she stares blankly out of a window instead. Bryce busts his butt 10 seconds into the routine and falls again on the dreaded triple axel. Bryce and Kim are both crying, and Kim actually tries a little tenderness for once. Bryce looks at her like she’s speaking Cantonese.
9:51 – It’s the second half of Trenton’s game and it’s 0-0. After Trenton’s team scores the other team has a fourth down on their own 30 with 35 seconds to go. Trenton makes the game saving tackle and USC coach Pete Carroll runs onto the field and offers Trenton a scholarship right on the spot. At least that was the scenario running through Craig’s delusional membrane.
9:54 – Sarah’s main competition is a former friend of hers. After her routine, Sarah and Sharon watch the frontrunner dance. I can’t tell who should win because they all dance like 9-year-old girls. Sarah wins and Sharon lovingly says, “Her trophy will get pushed in the corner and forgot about, because it’s on to the next thing”.
9:59 – Highlights from next week include T.J. yelling, “I’m tired of this crap”; Sharon accusing competitors of videotaping Sarah’s routines; Trenton playing another ‘must-win’ game; and Bryce remaining confused.