Daniel B. Silver


Friendship and Feetballs


As I write this, Dear Reader, Adam is precariously perched upon a ladder attempting to open a rain gutter covering at the “Cabin”. The “Cabin” is a place we occasionally go to under the guise of being around nature and trees but really it’s just an excuse to start drinking before noon and not stop until after we watch whatever 80’s movie is on Encore On Demand ™ because that’s the cable package Adam’s mom bought for some reason. It’s not even a cabin. It’s a nice house with multiple bathrooms, a formal dining room, and there is a hot tub. I’m not going to lie, it’s a huge part of why Adam and I are still friends. You don’t want to lose access to such amenities. And he cooks. I don’t even put out.

Okay, now he’s placed the ladder directly over me like an A-frame house. Adam is wearing loose shorts and I doubt he’s wearing underpants. I’m not looking up. The things I put up with for cost-free accommodations.

PART ONE: The Fartening

This year marks the first year Sam (2), Adam (3) and I are in a fantasy football league together. We are all excited about it because it’s a whole new realm in which we can taunt one another and gamble, two of the fundamental glues holding together our friendship, drinking and the “Cabin” being the other two. For those of you who are asking why Kevin (AKA - the 4 seed) isn’t in the same league, clearly you do not know Kevin very well. Everything Kevin knows about sports was absorbed by watching the jock character in every stupid 80’s horror film (probably available on Encore On Demand!).

We forgive Kevin for his sports ignorance, though. That’s because we value his friendship for more than one reason (there were four, remember). This brings me to my next point: don’t be a dick to your friends. I’m not talking about not insulting them or stealing from their poker winnings when they go to the bathroom – such things are par for the course and I’m not stopping either of them. I’m talking about being an actual jerk, not the playful kind.

There are a number of ways to be a Genuine Jerk (I bet The Jerk is on Encore, hmmm – noted for later this evening) to one’s friends. Here is a short list:

  1. Be an asshole to his/her boy/girlfriend (mix and match).
  2. Attempt to or actually have sex with that person without the consent of said friend (some people swing; you never know – worth a shot).
  3. Steal from them (poker winnings don’t count).
  4. Ask them to choose sides in your messy breakup though you are friends with both parties and have equal equity built into both relationships.
  5. Do physical, malicious violence (not the funny kind).

 

And that’s pretty much it.

Now I am in no way stating that violations of these basic tenets are unforgivable offenses for all people. Hell, Kevin and I got in a fistfight once and I was naked (long story). I’m merely stating that it is best practice to avoid such violations lest one terribly test the bonds. Also, DO NOT get in a naked fight. Take it from me.

PART DEUX: Adam Brings Me A Gin And Tonic

(I wonder if Hot Shots is on Encore. Why am I even wondering; it TOTALLY is.)

If you are hurdling headlong into middle age such as I, chances are that you’ve been in a messy breakup, the only kind I know! And if you are meekly raising your hand, CONGRATS! You survived! Look at you go! Breakups are rough. Everyone knows this. Know what else is rough? Football (I’ll get to the point soon).

Football is the most complicated sport known to mankind. Every single second of the game is choreographed – even the parts wherein the choreography goes to shit because Rex Ryan sends the blitz again (How the hell do you not know that’s coming on 3rd down still?!). It’s also the most obsessively practiced sport compared to actual gameplay. A traveling football team, sports staff included, is like 100 freaking people. I know I could Google the actual number but the wifi at the “Cabin” is spotty (roughing it).

And for all the staff, practice and planning, a football season only lasts sixteen weeks. Literal years of preparation and build up can pass by in the span of a few months. Then Bruno Mars does some shitty halftime performance mashup of “Happy” with Jimmy Buffett in which they somehow incorporate “Margaritaville”, Eli Manning stumbles his way to nine goddamn miracle touchdown passes and another undeserved Lombardi Trophy, and it’s over.

And if that isn’t representative of breakups, I don’t know what is. Because if football season was longer than sixteen weeks, everyone involved would be disabled at best or dead at worst. And if you find yourself in a hole of self-loathing and tenuous sanity well after sixteen weeks of even the worst kind of breakup, it’s time to let go. Maybe you were the good guy/gal. Maybe you were the bad guy/gal. It doesn’t really matter. Learn your lessons and move on.

Because it’s spring training soon.

Oh we are SOOOO watching Major League tonight!