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It's Not You, It's Me

By Ryan Hohman

I would like to apologize ahead of time to Jenn, Melissa, Kristie, and Meghan. The afore-mentioned ladies were my ill fated middle school girlfriends, on a rotating basis, usually in bi-weekly increments. I’ve decided I’m going to start treating the Phillies like I treated these four young ladies. So listen Phillies, it’s not that I don’t like you, it’s just that I’m not that interested right now and I have a lot of stuff going on. Basically, it’s just too much work keeping up with your demands. April is too soon to be scrutinizing every game and with Harry’s death and your inconsistent play, can you really blame me? Look, the NBA and NHL Playoffs have started, the NFL Draft is this weekend, the Triple Crown events are jumping off, and my daughter craps out the back of 3 diapers a day. I’m busy. No, I’m not dumping you. I’m just going to try to alienate you to the point that you don’t like me anymore so you eventually dump me. That way I don’t have to hurt your feelings. I know, I know, it’s not you, it’s me! Maybe after the All-Star break when there is absolutely nothing else going on in sports, and I’m terribly bored, I’ll have time for you. For now, I just feel like I need some space.

Whew! It feels so good to get that off my chest. The guilt I’ve felt over the past few days for my wandering eye has been alleviated. As a newly single sports guy I feel I should fill you in on what’s been keeping my attention. The month of April is the perfect recipe for my adulterous fandom. Meaningless April baseball pales in comparison to playoff basketball when, for the first time all year, teams actually hustle and might even play some defense. Playoff time is the only time of year when hockey is actually relevant. A fan finally doesn’t have to double as a game gum-shoe, trying to find the wonderfully hidden match-ups between perennial powers on nonsense networks like Versus. Anyone who isn’t at least a little intrigued by the Flyers-Pens match-up doesn’t really like sports. The NFL draft is Saturday and, as always, there are some intriguing storylines. How will the Lions butcher their first pick? Will Matthew Stafford (if he’s chosen first) be more Peyton Manning or more Tim Couch. Is he John Elway or Steve Bartkowski? Will the Eagles draft another freaking lineman when they are famished at the skill positions and Brian Westbrook has proven that he’s not durable enough to be a 3 down back? Most importantly, will Mel Kiper Jr’s hair move this year? Then there’s the Triple Crown which begins, as it always does, on the first Saturday in May. There is no American sporting event that can match the pageantry of Derby day. “The Sport of Kings” could really use a Triple Crown winner and soon. The average fan has suffered through some heartbreak and near misses recently and as slot machines have driven the purses up at some tracks, it has also caused the die-hard bettors to be treated like second class citizens. Have you been to Philly Park lately? You have to go to like the 6th floor to make a wager. It’s a complete farce. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like there is a dominant horse in this year’s extremely solid and evenly matched crop of 3 year olds. As always it will be a matter of who will be able to handle the eight week grind. Let’s just hope none of the horses pulls and Eight Belles or our hearts may explode also.

Here are some random thoughts from a week of channel surfing and laying around. Let the clickety clacking of my remotesky begin!! CLICK!

Just saw an ad for “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” Someone needs to tell Khloe that she looks way too much like Chyna of WWF fame to be traipsing around like Kim does. Besides the Melendez Brothers, there may not have ever been as much collective hate aimed at a co-family member as Kris, Kourtney, and Khloe secretly have for Kim. It’s written all over their less attractive faces.

Sunday was a fantastic Philadelphia sports day.

-Jimmy Rollins got a hit…a big one! JRoll’s pinch hit dinger opened the door for my boy Raul Ibanez to hit a walk off bomb that I’m pretty sure splashed down in the Delaware. After I wiped my tears of joy I racked my brain for 20 minutes trying to remember who played left field for the Phillies last year. His name was Pat something or other if I remember correctly. I wonder how he’s doing this year. Click!

-When you read the next line, make sure to do your best Mark Zumov impression. The Sixers came roaring back in the fourth quarter to stun the Orlando Magic! Zumov, a true company man and master of hyperbole who seemingly gets a cut from ticket sales said at the games end that “You’ve simply GOT to see this team live folks!” No we don’t, so take it easy Mark. It was a nice win, but I’ll still take the Magic in 6. Van Gundy and his boys will look at the tape and decide to dump it in to Superman every time. They should also think about tying Rashard Lewis’ hands together so he can’t hoist ill-advised 3’s four seconds into the shot clock with a 14 point lead. Hey Iggy, nice shot, weak celebration. Iguodala looked like he wanted to spin his “six shooters” into his holster but remembered he had to play some “D.” He ended up looking like the lone 6’9 member of D-Generation X. Click!

-The Fly-guys mashed the Pens 6-3 to claw back into the series. I love how Philly renames players. My dad and I have talked at length about this phenomenon. Marty Biron spent 7 years in Buffalo as “Mart An” and is now “Marty.” Danny Brier split 10 years with Phoenix and Buffalo as “Dan yell.” He lands in Philly and boom, he’s “Danny.” To refer to these two as anything but Marty and Danny in this town would be preposterous. We have to take all semblance French Canadian pronunciation out of all names. I’m all for it. Next up Claude Giroux. I’m not sure how to skin this cat but I’m gonna go with “Chet Garix” as a substitute. Whatya’ think? Pretty lame right? Whatever… anytime a Pittsburg team loses, I’m ecstatic. Nothing bugs me more than when people say, “Well they’re from Pennsylvania too so it’s okay.” No, loser who says that, it’s not okay. Pittsburg fans are obnoxious because no matter what sports subject is being talked about it always comes back to the Steelers. In annoying addition, Steelers’ fans sit really close to their TVs and call the players by their first name as if they were buddies. Every time I hear a Steelers’ fan yell, “Great tackle Troy!” or “Awesome throw Ben” I want cut my right hand off, replace it with a hook and dig both of my eyeballs out. Yeah, Busy B I’m talking to you, you non-Pen’s fan masquerading as a Pen’s fan just to be difficult. Do some yard work! Click!

The Detroit Lions reported that they may explore other options with their first pick because Daunte’ Culpepper has had some impressive workouts. This is so ridiculous that I couldn’t have possibly made it up. Can you even imagine being a Lions fan? I would go on a shooting spree. Click!

Game 1 of the Hawks-Heat series was shocking and kind of weird. First, I’m not sure why the Heat had the dad from John and Kate Plus 8 as a guest coach. Has he been there all year? I can’t imagine a guy who gets bossed around by his wife and dominated by his kids so thoroughly would be my choice as coach, but hey, do you think anyone in Miami cares? Also, I’m absolutely positive that I saw Webster in the crowd sitting just to the right of the scorer’s table. I almost fell off the couch when I peeped him. I wouldn’t have been more surprised if I had been knocked over by Gargamel chasing Alf who was chasing Azrael through my living room and right out my side door. Webster must travel with his booster seat because I could actually see his lovable, chubby cheeks and his size one Docksider’s at the same time. At what point do Webster (Emmanuel Lewis) and Gary Coleman duke it out for 80’s Sitcom Midget supremacy? I’ll get the newly retired “Golden Boy” Oscar De La Hoya on the horn so he can hook this up ASAP. Click!

At what point does ESPN stop showing the WSOP Main Event. I’ve seen Chuck Liddell catch a straight on the turn after making a call that only MMA fighter playing poker would make, at least 467 times. I still can’t believe Mark Seif didn’t get beat up after they turned the cards over, because I would’ve gone for the throat punch and ended up on a gurney in ICU. Click!

The Bulls-Celtics series has been a real treat. I simply can’t get enough of Vinny Del Negro. I am completely mesmerized by his beautifully feathered hair. His “do” ranks up there with Dirk Diggler, Sarah Jesse Raphael, and the majority of the Cobra Kai from Karate Kid as some of the best feathered hair to appear on television. The basketball games have been awesome too. I think Derrick Rose has a rocket up his bum, because I’ve never seen someone get up and down the court like he does. Paul Pierce’s on-court demeanor is hilarious. I can’t tell if he’s going to blow up for 30 or fall asleep during the next media timeout. This series has had more slow motion cursing than any I can think of in recent history and Kevin Garnett the preeminent slow-mo curser isn’t even playing. In fact, he’s been sitting on the bench in a suit getting more face time than Doc Rivers. KG has been consistently shown smashing his lips together with wide eyes and an elongated jaw in a show of either anger, intensity, or constipation. I’m sure it’s one of those three things or the G2 that was delivered to the Celts has been tainted with “stink juice” by a certain Gatorade endorser because the new drink wasn’t dubbed G23. The fact that the C’s haven’t covered in either game hasn’t helped things either. I’ve now established a motive. I’m staying tuned to this series, and hoping to get to the bottom of this.

Note to self: consider adding Marc Andre-Fleury to kill list for multiple reasons
1.Your policy of dislike for French Canadiens who don’t play in Philly
2.He was like Spiderman in pads in game 4…45 saves are you frickin’ kidding me
3.He looked at Chet Garix the wrong way, an offense punishable by death
4.He has shown more improvement in his play than Goldberg, the net minder in The Mighty Ducks. If you recall Goldberg was a Flyers fan and anyone trying to show him up must die.
5.He just ended the Flyers’ season
6. Click!

The Phils were up 5-3 last time I checked…wait now their up 11-3 and it’s pouring. My plan is working beautifully. Click!

The more I watch TNT, the more I wonder why no one makes a big deal about the fact that this network is the Cincinnati Bengals of networks. Only in America could Sir Charles admit having a ruthless gambling addiction, then add a DUI after partying the night away with Strahan and Urkel, do his jail time and be back on the air as if it didn’t happen. I knew Urkel partied! Were Eddie and Laura Winslow at this shindig? And somehow, Chuck is still a popular choice to run for governor of Alabama in 2014? Exit polls will surely show that “Partying with Urkel” was the primary reason for the Round Mound of Rebound’s victory. What is the world coming to when a drunken loud-mouth is a state’s best choice as governor? This would be unfathomable if I didn’t live in Pennsylvania. Seriously, it’s just a matter of time until Ed Rendell’s inevitable DUI arrest is all over YouTube. I can picture it now. It will probably rival the Bob Huggins video in which a sleeping Huggybear is found covered in his own vomit. I remember thinking at the time, “he’ll never coach a big time program again.” It’s unreal how these guys get free passes. We haven’t even gotten to Marv Albert yet! In case you forgot, Marv liked to dress up in lingerie and bite women. He was originally charged with forcible sodomy, a felony kids, but ended up pleading guilty to assault and battery after biting a women in a hotel room tryst after she refused to introduce another man (allegedly a transvestite) to the mix. I just threw up in my mouth! Marv defended himself by saying that the biting was “consensual” and a “normal activity” within the context of their relationship. Well now, that puts the whole thing in a new light, wait, that’s sick too. I just threw up on myself! Since when is biting consensual or normal? Ugh, I can’t get the picture of Marv Albert wearing lingerie out of my mind. Click!

Since sleeping is now out of the question, I guess I’ll be able to catch a Western Conference Playoff game which apparently start around 2 am EST. I need more Brandon Roy in my sport’s diet.

This just in: TNT is in preemptive contract talks with Isiah Thomas. They plan to add him to the broadcast team in 2012 after his inexorable dismissal from Florida International University. Isiah couldn’t keep his hands off executive Anucha Browne Saunders, do you really expect him to not pull a Larry Eustachy at FIU? I can picture Isiah sitting in his office watching Girls Gone Wild on his laptop with his recruiting schedule on one white board and the beer pong bracket on another.

Here’s an excerpt from Isiah’s eventual interview with TNT:
Turner Crony: “So you played in the NBA right?”
Thomas: “Yes that’s right.”
Crony: “Have you ever been convicted of a crime, you know misdemeanors, felonies?”
Thomas: “Uh, yes, I’m sure you read about it. I was convicted of sexual harassment. It cost me 11.6 mil. Women, you can’t live without’em and they can’t pee standin’ up.”
Crony: “Welcome aboard! We’re really excited to have you!”

So “The Dikembe’s” career is over. That’s upsetting because there is no better post-game interview than the “Cookie Monster.” The only thing that can replace Marv in thigh-highs in my mind right now is the picture of Dikembe clutching the ball under the hoop after the Nuggets 94’ upset of the top seeded Seattle Supersonics in the first round of the playoffs. I’ve never seen another human’s mouth so wide open, and I’m convinced he was trying to eat the ball whole. Thinking about Dikembe conjures up fond memories of the most dominant season of fantasy sports ever recorded, turned in by yours truly in 2003. If it weren’t for Dikembe, my squad would’ve only been great. Our hippie friend Max (“Wacks” as I dubbed him because if life were like Madden and people were rated according to their attributes, “Wacks” would’ve been a 99 in wackness and about a 37 overall) decided to play even though he only pretended to like sports because he thought it would help his credibility as a businessman. He’s a real loser. This dumsky took Jordan, who had just returned to become a member of the Wizards in the first round and backed up this pick by taking Mutombo in the second round. We tried to talk him out of it, but “His Wackness” simply stammered, “Duhhhrlll, I’ll pick my guys and you pick yours, blurlllll!” Meanwhile, I scooped Shaq first, and followed it up with eventual fantasy MVP Paul Pierce, added Steve Nash just in time for his breakout season, and surrounded these studs with box scorer fillers like Carlos Boozer and Elton Brand. This draft was the funniest event I’ve ever attended and my dominance was purely the result of other’s ignorance. Other draft night highlights included:

-My roommate Faherty who wasn’t drafting just drinking and singing “Who Gets a Quarter Keg” to the tune of “Who Let the Dog’s Out” (a hit at the time)to belittle our buddy K-Man who answered this seemingly rhetorical question by purchasing and bragging about the purchase of a quarter keg. Faherty was nice enough to do this while drinking more than his fair share of said quarter keg and screaming at the top of his lungs.

-Our buddy Dave screamed, “I want Stoiko kid” after which I attempted to take Peja Stojackovic who Dave complained he had just taken. The most legendary moment from this fiasco impersonating a fantasy draft was when Dave picked Jason Kidd by hollering, “GIVE ME KIDD, KID!” As my boy Trom would say, “that’s real man.”

The worst part about all of this is that I didn’t win the league because “Bobby Bustarino” also known as Michael Olowakandi decided to go crazy during championship week with an unprecedented streak of 20 and 20 games to mush me. This is my fantasy life. My real life is even sweeter.

I left my cable box on all night so when I turned the TV back on I caught about 45 seconds of Charmed. What a disaster. The 45 seconds of hellish hilarity included Alyssa Milano yelling at Happy Gilmore’s grandmother telling her, “If there’s one thing you and I agree on it's that all magic happens for a reason.” You’re telling me. I’m going to make you magically disappear now Sam Micelli. Click!

Oh great the UPS guy wears sunglasses now! I’ll smash that whiteboard over his head and jam that brown marker right up his …nostrils sometime real soon. He better watch his back; he’s creeping up my kill list leader board rather quickly. Click!

The Sixers-Magic series is like the red-headed step-child of the NBA Playoffs. The series was relegated to NBATV which nobody has. As a result many people didn’t see Van Gundy in a breathtaking spandex mock neck last night. Apparently Van Gundy was too busy watching his “How to Grow a Great Porn Stache” instructional videos instead of checking out the game film. Dwight Howard was 4-6 from the field and Rashard kept firing, going 4-14 and 1-6 from 3 point land. The Sixers should just foul Howard every time. The charity stripe is Dwight’s Kryptonite. Oh yeah, the Sixies got 30 from crusty, old Andre Miller, 21 from Iggy and 20 from Thad, and still lost…not good. Click!

I tuned into the Phillies just in time to see JRoll pop out, then switched it back just as “suckmaster” Chris Coste whiffed to end a 3-1 turdfest at Citizens Bank. I still need more time Phils.

The Phillies almost got no-hit by Dave Bush? Who in the World is Dave Bush? Prince Fielder's heat seaking missle hits Hamels in the pitching shoulder? This just keeps getting better. Okay Phillies, maybe it’s not me; maybe it’s you!

This ends your broadcast day…CLICK!