He was a great writer and all, but F. Scott Fitzgerald was a dick. Yeah, Zelda was mentally unbalanced when they met, but his behavior didn't help the situation. But give the man credit, he knew it. He said - and here I'm paraphrasing, if not wholly making it up - that in order to be great, a writer must be a bastard, selfish, and greedy. I don't know if that's the only way to do it, but of the many published writers I know (2? No, definitely at least 3) 14% are complete douchebags. So there's gotta be something to it, right?
Right now, in my e-possession, I have 40-odd stories in various stages of completion. I also have a large unwieldy, thing, codenamed "Olga," that at this point I am consciously avoiding. I also have a wife who is slowly going insane, as the weirdness of moving back in with her parents splits her brain in two. Then there is Child, who at 4 months doesn't need to demand my attention because he gets it anyway, being obviously the smartest, handsomest, and kindest soul ever to inhabit a onesie.
I need time for all that, plus keeping up with the politics thing, and the Jewness thing, and the experimenting with transvestism thing...there's a lot on my plate. So something has to go. And if you'll notice, there is one substantial portion of my focus, one particularly dear to at least two of my six (seven? Is it seven yet?) readers, that is missing. And that would be sports.
Starting today I am giving up my passionate devotion to all sports, except for football.
My first thought was equivocation: I could put this off a month, and wait to see how the Penguins do in their pursuit of the Stanley Cup, whether the Hornets can prove themselves to be a second generation Phoenix Suns, or whether the Celtics can give their fantastically non-clutch superstar Kevin Garnett the title he so achingly desires, or whether Lebron could really take a mediocre Cavs team, less impressive even than Jordan's Jordanaires, all the way to a championship. Then I thought of the Brewers, and all that young talent, and that it looked like maybe Ben Sheets would stick around for 200 innings, and they might give the Cardinals a run for their money, and that could take me all the way to August, when training camp starts for the NFL. Then I realized that this was the sort of thing I wanted to avoid if I was going to do this.
So. Since Friday I have not once logged on to ESPN.com, nor Kissing Suzy Kolber, nor Free Darko. I won't even link to those fantastic sources of information, for fear of getting sucked in once again. And I will continue not checking those websites - or any sports website - or watching games on TV, excepting, again, football, until one of two things occurs: either I publish a story in some obscure, online-only literary magazine with a readership of 12, who themselves were assigned to read it as a writing workshop experiment in awful internet writing, or I finish a draft of Olga.
To put the questions to the answers in the post's title: "Are you fucking serious?" and "Do you have any idea how long you think you can keep this up?"
I assume Brothers A and S will keep me updated somehow, and I am still getting ESPN the magazine, so it's not like I'm going to shack up in the cave next to Bin Laden. But no TrueHoop, no Deadspin, no WithLeather, no Sporting News. No NBA on TNT, no Versus, no ESPN. Don't think I'm not terrified. But it's either this or I get Wife another husband, and she's already had it with the one she's got, so she's not really inclined to get all Mormony.
As a last hurrah, though, here are some thoughts on the NBA playoffs and one or two on baseball, which, now that I don't live in Boston, I don't really have to care about.
- I hate his team, I hate his style, I hate his combover, but Greg Popovich is simply a great coach. He will do whatever it takes to win, even if it means taking the entire sport of basketball down into the Dungeon of Unwatchability, which is what we in the bizz like to call San Antonio. Tony Parker has gotten too good for a French guy married to Eva Longoria, and with all those titles there is no doubt that Tim Duncan is better than Kevin Garnett. This will bear out if they meet in the finals: Popovich will take Doc Rivers into the deep grasses and show him what it is to be a real coach of men.
- I don't know if you noticed, but Chris Paul? That guard on the Hornets (when did they leave Charlotte?) is pretty good. He can dribble, and he's got a bit of touch around the rim, and he can poke that ball away with those sticky fingers, and that 3-pointer looks near effortless, and he throws lobs like parabolic poetry, and his teeth are perfectly white and straight. I bet he's real good to his mama, too.
- Now that Barry Bonds is gone, and Julio Franco is retired, there's no reason to care about baseball. I can't even root for the Diamondbacks to keep up their hot streak because they're an expansion team, and have already won a championship, over the Yankees, no less. So baseball isn't such a loss.
- Oh, and Cedric Benson? Don't think there's not plenty of time between now and August for me to find you, and slice your Achilles tendons while you're not looking. The only compelling reason for me not to bother is that I don't have the time for Chicago to host a parade in my honor, and give me a key to the city.