Wasif's World: The One-Year Anniversary

  • Friday, July 16, 2010 12:01 PM
  • Written By: Andy Wasif


Trying to figure out my next blog to write, I looked at the calendar and realized that this week marks my one-year anniversary here at SportsFanLive. (No, please, I don’t want any gifts; your readership is enough. Besides, what would I do with a second horse’s head to go along with the one a Raiders fan sent me after one of my previous blogs?)

So much has happened in the world of sports over this time that I thought I’d take this opportunity, if you’ll indulge me, to recap the events I’ve blogged about during the past year. (If not, that’s fine too. Just reading to this point has allowed my computer virus enough time to access all your personal files and send them to me. So your readership and all your confidential information is enough.)

In order to remain consistent with engaging content, I’ve been fortunate enough to have a supportive leadership team at the website, a slew of fascinating stories to follow, but mainly, it’s been the fans who have been my rock, my Dwayne Johnson, if you will.

Yes, it is you, the reader, who have been so kind to me over the past year and I am so grateful. Your comments let me know you care. Rest assured, I read them all and please know that the comments about my mother and the female body parts that I resemble have been much appreciated. Sports and the opinions associated with it should never be treated flippantly and demand an overly critical eye toward the subjective.

I cherish our relationship. It’s because I feel so close to you that I’ve trusted you enough to bare my soul. (Or is it bear my soul? What does that even mean? Is that where Brian Urlacher tackles my celestial inner being?) For instance, I came out to you in this, the most public forum, in announcing my love for Peyton Manning, which screamed in opposition to my positive feelings for Bill Belichick. I didn’t care who knew it.

I relived a most painful experience of my being picked off second base by the hidden ball trick in what was actually a balk. So instead of third base, I was forced to sit on the pine, a most heinous crime perpetuated upon me by “the ill-informed.” Even now, it still makes me well up, but I felt comfortable enough to be vulnerable in front of you all.

I shared the tale of my day sitting amongst Raider Nation at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium. Instead of finding them dangerous as I had expected, I was surprised to learn that they’re nothing more than really very scary people who you don’t want to look in the eyes.

Yes, we’ve been through quite a 12-month period together, haven’t we? We’ve witnessed some incredible events like an entire tournament of curling, each time alternatively wondering why we were watching and making plans to take up curling with the goal of participating in the 2014 Winter Games in Russia; we watched the World Cup, longing for the excitement of curling; we watched a five-set tennis match that lasted longer than the Orioles season before being mathematically eliminated from playoff contention; we saw the best heavyweight battle we’ve seen in years in the McCourt v. McCourt fight (they’re talking sequel); and we saw a 28-out perfect game, which is most definitely once in a lifetime!

And we laughed together too. Remember when Mercury Morris tried to act relevant, like his 1972 Dolphins team’s 17 consecutive wins still meant something even though teams like the Patriots and Colts surpass it routinely? Or when the Philadelphia Phillies fan outran the guy with the Taser gun ... for a few seconds?

And then there was the time Mark McGwire told us he did steroids, as if it was a big reveal akin to the “Sixth Sense” or “The Usual Suspects.” Instead, it came off with all the suspense of an ESPN special to announce where Brian Scalabrine is going to end up playing next year.

This year was not without life lessons as well, like the fact that men entering Yankee Stadium are forced to check their bags across the street for $7, but then can literally climb into a woman’s purse or duffel bag and be smuggled into the park without even a suspicious glance.

We also learned that Big Papi doesn’t ask what’s in his “protein shakes” and Manny likes to get in touch with his feminine side with a cycle of drugs for women.

Oh, and we also learned that it was Derek Jeter that was leaking the names of those players on the infamous steroid user list. (Disclaimer: I’m the one that started that rumor.) (Disclaimer on the disclaimer: Or did I?)

But one giant lesson that we learned from Tiger Woods was that if you’re going to cheat, don’t text. Remember, texters never win and winners never text.

Though I can’t blame him for his mistake, for I’ve made mistakes too. For instance, I thought there was no way the Lakers and Celtics would’ve been able to “flip a switch” and start playing well through the playoffs after coasting through the end of the season. Well, like Arthur Fonzarelli, I am more than man enough to admit when I was wr--, when I was wrooo--, when I was wrrrrrrrrr--; well, nobody’s perfect.

And speaking of the Lakers, their fans were the focus of most of my attacks this year, but only because – well, they’re still around. I must apologize. I had originally planned for them to get all of my attacks. I promise that I will do better next year.

To all of you who’ve enjoyed a year of blogs, thanks for reading. And to you Lakers fans out there, thanks for finding someone to read this to you, explaining all the big words.

(See, never let it be said that I don’t keep a promise.)

Just What Are We Supposed To Believe, Mark McGwire?

  • Thursday, January 14, 2010 11:56 AM
  • Written By: Andy Wasif


Mark McGwire, you’ve come out and said that you used steroids. Well, you’ll excuse me if I don’t believe you, Big Mac. I mean, up until recently, you said you didn’t use them.

You’re telling me that for years, almost a decade of speculation, you were lying to us and only for the past few days, you’re telling the truth? You’re saying that the whole “I don’t want to go into the past” thing was something you thought would help your case if you were really a user? You’re saying the Cardinals would hire a hitting coach who was only hitting as well as he did because of an illegal substance? Yeah, right. I don’t think so.

Sounds like you’re just trying to jump on the “Apology Tour” bandwagon. It’s a great scam. I can’t blame you. It gets you national exposure, whether it’s a seat with Katie Couric or Oprah; a shot at the Hall of Fame; perhaps some more endorsement deals after a brief interruption as “outraged” sponsors pull back; and the potential for book deals and speaking engagements as a “reformed” user.

It’s worked for Kobe, A-Rod, and will work for Tiger. You were wise to give this a shot.

But your whole explanation needs work. Did you really expect us to believe you when you said you only used performance-enhancers to get back on the field, even though that would mean you kept breaking down because you were using them? Ha! I did a classic spit take when I read that, which was embarrassing because I was sitting in the barber chair at the time. (I’m going to have to find a new barber as he was none too pleased.)

I mean, you are, after all, a college graduate. You must’ve known this statement would raise some red flags.

Tony La Russa never thought you were on steroids. He just thought you worked harder than anyone else, as if pushed beyond one’s human capabilities by unnatural means. The man’s a genius.

Of course, I am always skeptical of La Russa since the man separates his name. What’s going on there? Is “La” his middle name? Was there a mix up in the hospital’s maternity ward as there was with former Houston Oilers wideout Haywood Jeffires, pronounced Jeffries?

Mark, we watched your career. We know you had good years and bad years. It’s quite reasonable to assume that your best years yielded more home runs than anyone before you ... two years in a row. What’s not mentioned by the media is how pitchers wanted to surrender tape measure blasts to you. They wanted their name associated with you, the home run champ.

It is feasible to think you could have taken something as they were pretty prevalent in baseball during his career, but if you’re gonna spend a decade planning your defense, do a little research first.

For instance, you now say you took steroids, but they didn’t enhance your home run power. See, if you truly had taken them, you would’ve seen a marked (pardon the pun, if there is one) improvement in your numbers. You probably could’ve hit 80 or 90 in 1998. That would’ve given the American public quite a thrilling race to witness. In fact, you should be apologizing to us for missing this golden opportunity to really set the bar.

And blaming the “Steroid Era.” C’mon, Mark, that doesn’t wash, baby! By the timeline of your career and chronology of events, it was only the Steroid Era because of your now self-admitted use. You would have been the trend setter.

Finally, I think the most pointed flaw to your story is Jose Canseco’s report that he personally injected you with steroids. We all know that Canseco is a no-good liar, out to make a quick buck. He lies more than the imported Persian rug in your foyer purchased with money you earned using your God-given, natural ability. (Well, except for the stuff he’s said that’s turned out to be absolutely true.) So you can’t believe him.

Steroids did not enhance your home run power. You were given that gift by “the man upstairs,” as you said, who we can assume is God, unless you literally owned a condo underneath Victor Conte’s place, which would change things.

With all your contradictions, however, I know you’re as innocent today as you were in 2005 when you sat in front of Congress and translated English for Sammy Sosa. And you can rest assured that if I had a vote for the Hall of Fame, I still wouldn’t vote for you, not based on any one thing you did or didn’t do, but because I really think you were a one-note player. (Hey, if it makes you feel better, I’m not voting for Dave Kingman or Greg Lusinski either.)

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