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156 NOVEMBER 6, 2003
  Pontificating and Emoting Professional Athleticism
(Talkin' Sports)

By Jamie Gadette

The RED staff predicts the rowdiest Wimbledon of all time.

or those who think RED is just a synonym for anti-jock, the following information will challenge your conception of what it means to be an artsy-fartsy elitist punk. Here’s a real news flash—our writers know a thing or two about football. And basketball. And squash. In fact, we’re so confident in our firm grip on athletics that we’ve complied a list of picks for the upcoming sports season. The idea came to RED editor Jeremy “The Hammer” Mathews while members of The Chronicle’s sports staff watched the destiny of Major League Baseball unfold in a most colorful fashion. Listening to the endless stream of profanities (“Suck it!” being a favorite) and other sounds of wall-banging passion, the virile RED editor decided his crew had been a little too quiet.

“We’ve got a lot of fierce enthusiasts on this team with more heart than any of those supposedly diehard ‘fans’ getting paid to cover sports,” Mathews said. “These kids might not know the difference between a crossover and a touchdown, but they can definitely hold their own. I mean, we’re talking about an event that doesn’t even hold press screenings—how hard can it be?”

Mathews called an emergency meeting, asking writers to share their insights on everything from championships to sensational on- and off-the-court brawling.

RED Assistant Editor Jamie “Knuckles” Gadette focused her analysis on the current relative absence of violence in televised sports. “I’m sick of passive players like that Heidi Kournikova. She’s all sex and no balls. What we need is another John McEnroe to shock the monkey,” she said. “Since that’s pretty unlikely, I’m just going to place my bets on Asashoryu Akinori. That fatty is going to take the entire Grand Sumo Tournament.”

After a critical review of the various genres, Christian “Gamut Runner” Gentry decided that hockey holds the most promise for potential upsets. “Hypothetically speaking, in a general sense, it seems obvious that every puck-wielding virtuoso will be master of his domain,” he said. “In layman’s terms, the Philly Flyers are going to engage in some major whooping of ass.”

Speculations regarding recent developments in the NBA generated heated debates.

“After reviewing my copy of ‘Space Jam,’ I am certain that Michael Jordan is going to first emerge, then retreat back into retirement,” Mathews said as curious onlookers watched him compiling picks. “MJ’s going to come back with his trusty intergalactic team—with Air Bud, the golden receiver, replacing Daffy—and steal another championship from Karl Malone.”

Gadette disagreed. “LeBron James and the next wave of prematurely overpaid athletes are going to knock the Mailroom down,” she said. “Didn’t you see ‘Hoop Dreams’”?

“Didn’t you see ‘Rudy’?” Mathews retorted. “The underdog always wins.”

Other writers weren’t taking any chances with their speculations.

“I’m pretty good at fixing things, if you know what I mean,” Stephanie “Dice” Geerlings said. “Trips to the tracks have kept me in tip-top shape—no one can stop my picks.” Geerlings went on to list the number of “people she knows” who could “help influence certain players” to do their best. She went on to lay out a list of “sure-ins” such as David Robinson, David Beckham, David Carr and David Lee Roth. Geerlings admitted an affection for names that start with D. “Usually it’s a good indicator of defensive skill,” she said. “And I just really love Van Halen.”

Some categories were eliminated on the basis that they were not actually sports. Craig “Boom Boom” Froehlich headed the campaign to discard unapplicable picks. “NASCAR is just a way for rednecks in heat to get their rocks off,” he said. “Let’s get those ‘athletes’ to drive around the Woodward Corridor in Detroit—then we’ll really see how fast they can go.”

Other voided entries included Archery, Billiards and Rock-Paper-Scissors, however the latter is admittedly the number one method to end a debate or stalemate and Mathews is, in fact, an all-star in the strategic game.

RED plans to post the final picks on a giant board in The Chronicle sports office.

“We want those psychos to see how easy their jobs are,” Mathews said. “It’s all just fun and games.”

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