About Last Weekend: Durant Wins Bragging Rights

DurantIn case you were out living a life of leisure, here’s what you missed in sports over the weekend.

  • Kevin Durant scored 36 points in an MVP performance as the West beat the East 152-149 in the NBA All-Star Game. The game’s defensive MVP award was given to former NBA legend Bob “Dutch” Pettit.
  • Kobe Bryant suffered a broken nose when he was fouled by Dwyane Wade, but still managed to stay in the game and pass Michael Jordan’s career All-Star scoring record. “Just like the ’97 flu game, right?!” said Kobe, staring down the media after the game and daring anyone to disagree. “Yeah,” said the media. “Definitely. Kinda.”
  • Heavy rains in Florida prompted NASCAR to postpone the Daytona 500, which will now be run on Monday. “Luckily, the last NASCAR fan with a steady job died years ago, so the delay won’t affect anyone’s ability to watch the race,” said NASCAR official Joe-Bob Adcock.
  • Thomas Robinson scored 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as no. 5 Kansas rallied from a 19-point deficit to beat no. 3 Missouri 87-86 in overtime. Missouri will move to the SEC after this season, making this the last game in the historic rivalry where one school’s fan base wasn’t a collection of total d-bags.
  • Jared Berggren nailed a go-ahead 3-pointer with 31 seconds left to help no. 15 Wisconsin defeat no. 9 Ohio State 63-60 in Columbus. It was a critical moral victory for the Badgers, who are facing NCAA allegations after head coach Bo Ryan took certain members of the team on a shopping trip to buy new denim overalls.
  • Hunter Mahan won the Accenture Match Play title, defeating Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy 2-and-1. McIlroy’s countrymen were either pleased or upset at the loss; first, they’d like to know where the boy worships.
  • The ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s has apologized for including fortune cookies with its new “Taste the Lin-Sanity” frozen yogurt flavor. And I would like to apologize for including this item in the About Last Weekend wrap-up. Why? I’m not sure. It was on the ESPN front page, so it’s totally normal for me to include it. But if I’ve offended anyone, well … I’M A WITCH! IT’S NOT MY FAULT, I’M A WITCHHHHH!!!!
  • Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton clarified that his loyalty is to the Texas Rangers, and that if he becomes a free agent after this season, they’ll be the first team he contacts. “The second team I contact will be the Brewers,” he said. “And then the Twins. And then, as usual, the Padres and Angels.”
  • Robert Griffin III was the fastest quarterback at the NFL combine in Indianapolis, running the 40 in 4.41 seconds. He also impressed scouts by winning the Pizza Showdown, eating nearly 45 slices in an hour.
  • And now it’s time for Revelation Monday! On Friday, I asked you to send me stories of your 15 minutes of fame. These were pretty solid all-around, so let’s get right to the list.

    Bonus: This is also how Tom Brady made his move

    My senior year of high school, our class took a trip to New York. MTV’s TRL was huge at the time and we were on the show one of the days we were there. The guest on the show that day was Gisele, or as she’s known now, Mrs. Tom Brady. Needless to say, being an 18-year-old male at the time, I was excited. When we entered we were told there was to be no “touching or talking to the talent.” A couple friends and I were sitting front row and getting great camera time. After Gisele’s interview they went into another video. This was my chance. I screamed out “I love you” and asked for a hug. She obliged. I then jumped up and down like a kid on Christmas morning as my friends cheered me on. Two seconds later, security comes in and tells me I need to leave the studio. When I returned to school the following week, a couple people asked me why I disappeared during the middle of the show. I was more than happy to tell them the story.
    — Nate from Kenosha, WI

    Bonus 2: Necessary shots at Ryan Doumit

    (Beginning of this story was about how a dude caught a Doumit home run)

    My favorite part of the story, though, was that it was Ryan Doumit’s 100th career home run. A man from the Pirates came over to ask for the ball back so he could give it to Doumit. He said that they would send me an autographed one in the mail. Being that I had been to games during the previous five Spring Trainings and had never seen him sign an autograph, or be friendly in any way for that matter, I said screw him and kept the ball. I’d rather have the memory and story than his autograph anyway. Let’s Go Bucs.
    — Andy V., Carnegie, PA

    10. I was running for Treasurer of the student council in the first elections our school ever had, and everyone who wished to be elected to one of the four offices had to stand up in front of the student body and make their pitch to their classmates. After the people running for President and Vice-President finished their long-winded campaign speeches, the other person who was running for Treasurer made a long prepared speech about how she would be great for the job, and all the things she would do if elected. Then came my turn. I promised that if elected I would not loot the treasury and flee as far south as the money would take me. I won in a landslide.
    — Andrew in Ann Arbor

    9. I was the promotions director for an alternative newsweekly in the ’80s, and one of my jobs was to figure out clever ways to give away tickets to movie screenings. When the film Crazy People (Dudley Moore and Darryl Hannah) came out, I ran an ad which said “To win tickets, come to our offices and show us you’re nuts!” The next day by 10 am, we were being protested by local mental health advocates, with picket signs and all. By noon, we got a call from Entertainment Tonight about the “controversy.”

    By 2 pm, a camera crew was on its way, and I was interviewed at 4 pm (complete with a good-looking shadow beard by that time in the afternoon), apologizing for making light of a serious disease (I don’t know why they didn’t focus the double-entendre in the headline). And there I was on the 7 pm airing, sandwiched in between stories on Schwarzenegger and Stallone’s latest films. It took me a while to figure it out, but Paramount (which released the film) also produced ET, and it was all done in the name of publicity (the fact that the movie dealt with truth in advertising was also a nice tie-in) … but I still have the VHS tape of the episode to show my kids I was once part of the big Hollywood machine (if I can find a working VCR).
    — PhillyDude

    8. Back in the good old days of high school my friends and I were lucky enough to attend many Cleveland Cavaliers games for the low, low price of basically nothing. Keep in mind, this was the pre-LeBron days and any time there were more people you could count during a 2.5 hour game that was considered a big crowd. A few of my friends had the idea to paint their chest at the games and be obnoxiously loud to get the 432 people in attendance and Gund Arena to make some noise in support of Darius Miles, Ricky Davis, Chris Mihm, and Co.

    After a few games this stupidity finally paid off. Ricky Davis had noticed us and decided he’d buy 10 of us tickets to every Cavs game for the rest of the season (it ended up lasting a couple of seasons), and Ricky D’s Renegades were born. So, game after game we would paint ourselves at our buddy’s house and head over to the Gund to watch the woeful Cavs. Yes, we were even there when Ricky D tried to get a triple double by shooting on his own hoop and grabbing the rebound. We still cheered.

    This video can probably can explain just exactly how “famous” we were. We’re so cool.

    Anyway. This all ended when LeBron came and the place started selling out. Yet another reason to hate that atrocious piece of garbage.

    Not bitter at all.
    — Derek, Columbus, OH

    7. In order to make a little extra money while I was a graduate student at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, I did some acting (to be honest, it was also fun to dress up like I lived in the early 1800s) for Colonial Williamsburg. In one particular gig, I played a fairly major character who was a young Naval ensign assigned to a vessel charged with patrolling the African coast and seeing to it that no illegal slave traders got away with slaves bound for destinations like Brazil and the Caribbean. Fun times spent filming out on the Chesapeake Bay in an old sail boat. The movie, named The Slave Trade, was part of a series called EFTs (Electronic Field Trips) that are broadcast nationally on PBS. Just to reiterate the point, I played a good guy.

    A couple years later I was working at a school in Baltimore. I was one of the few white males working at a predominantly African-American school (both students and faculty). The local PBS affiliate was rerunning The Slave Trade on a day that we were out for snow. The next morning, in the crowded hallway, one of my favorite, albeit not the brightest, students came up to me with a fascinated look on his face. “I saw you on TV!”, he shouted. “You were a slave owner!”
    — Joshua L.

    6. While I was in high school, a local car company ran a promotion called, “Keys to Success.” The premise was that if you achieved something important, like having perfect attendance for the semester, receiving a high GPA, serving in leadership positions, etc, you were awarded a key card. This key card was redeemable for a small prize and it also entered you into a drawing to have a chance to win a free car. One student from every high school in Utah won a free car from this promotion.

    In my senior year, I was selected to go with a group of about 30 students, all of whom had received a key card, to be on a feature the morning news of the local CBS affiliate was airing. I was then selected to be one of three or four students who would be interviewed and asked why I had received a key card. When the interview started, the news anchor asked a student or two before me why they had received their cards. They mentioned reasons like the good grades or perfect attendance I have already mentioned. When it came to me, referencing an episode of Boy Meets World, I told the news anchor that during a fire in our school, I had saved the life of a janitor. She believed me for a second, realized I was lying, and punched me in the arm.

    Needless to say, I embarrassed the principal and one of our teachers who had joined us on the air, but when you have the opportunity to make a reference to such a classic show on your local morning news, you have to take it.
    — Nate F., Salt Lake City, UT

    5. At the tender age of 13 in 2004, nine fellow comrades and myself were walking home from middle school in New Jersey on a rainy Tuesday afternoon when we stumbled upon a box full of Yankees playoff tickets strewn about the damp street. Amazed by our luck we quickly divided these up deciding who would go to which games. When we got home our parents decided we couldn’t keep these tickets and made us turn them in to the police. By Wednesday afternoon the local news had picked up the story and was billing us as “The 10 Most Honest Kids in America.”

    We then proceeded to appear on Good Morning America, attend 3 Yankees games (including Game 6 of the ’04 ALCS “the bloody sock game”), a Nets game in a luxury box (courtesy of Wachovia, the rightful owners of the tickets), and get flown out to Los Angeles to appear on the Tonight’s Show with Jay Leno (long before the Conan fiasco). The other guest that night was ’04 VP candidate John Edwards who was a royal prick (no surprise given his more recent behaviors) he quickly gave us all limp handshakes before disappearing beyond a wall of security. Years later we would appear in some random edition of “Ripley’s Believe It or Not.” To this day a plaque still hangs in my room back home from UPS (the tickets had fallen off one of their trucks) that says “Thanks for making great catches and great choices!”
    — Matt S. in Charlottesville VA via Summit NJ

    4. In 2002, as a congrats on graduating from college, my dad bought a pair of plane tickets and box seats to Fenway. Very cool graduation gift.

    During the game, all these dudes dressed in Dutch national soccer gear were making their way in front of us when I remembered that the Netherlands were in town for a friendly. And since Boston sports fans are bunch of provincial idiots, the only people in Fenway Park to recognize some of the most famous athletes in the world were me and a bunch of Asian people (the Asians, for whatever reason, only took photos from a distance). Boston fans were ticked — they’d been inconvenienced by the impromptu photographers.

    I grabbed my program, walked down a few rows, and asked the guy on the end of the row for his autograph. That guy just happened to be Patrick Kluivert. For you Bostonian idiots, he’s really, really good. So, Kluivert signed my program. I’m excited and happy for him just to give it back to me. Instead he passed it down the line. Every freaking member of the 2002 Dutch national squad (the one Dutch team that didn’t make the World Cup) signed my program.

    Then, no kidding, Edgar Davids turned to me and said, “Why isn’t Pedro pitching?” “He pitched last night.” “So?” I said, “You guys don’t understand baseball, do you?” Nope. Davids says, “Sit. Tell us the rules.” The team cleared out a spot for me right in the middle and for five or six innings I hung out with the Dutch national soccer team to explain baseball. Nice guys.

    My dad was, shall we say, nonplussed. It was supposed to be a father-son moment. Sorry dad.
    — Greg, Lilburn, GA

    3. When I was 12, my dad and I were attending a Houston Aeros AHL hockey game. Walking around the arena before the game, we passed a booth for Cavender’s Boot City and a burly gentleman sitting behind the table noticed my dad’s clearly new and admittedly embarrassing cowboy boots. Now, we had just moved to Texas from Colorado, so this was my dad’s way of trying to fit in. The man told my dad that he was clearly a man with great taste and asked if he would like the chance to win another pair of boots, and my dad jumped at the opportunity.

    During the intermission between the first and second periods, my dad and I were taken into the bowels of the Toyota Center by a man in a suit who was explaining the spectacle that my dad was about to take part in. They were going to take the boots of four more pseudo-cowboys and put them in the net at the other end of the ice. At the buzzer, they were instructed to get to the other side as fast as they could, put on their boots, and shuffle back to the tunnel, the first one back deemed the winner. The race was on and to my surprise, my dad was in the lead, with another man sliding/slipping/falling close behind.

    My dad made it to the net, (not so) gracefully put on his boots, and headed down the home stretch. I’m sure in his mind, these next few moments were an odd mixture of excitement and then shame because after crossing the finish line first, looking at me to celebrate, and seeing my finger pointing to the other end of the ice, he realized that he had just beaten a man with a broken leg in an epic battle for boots. The gentleman close behind my dad had slid into the net and broken his leg on the right post, but he wanted those boots so he did his best Jack Youngblood impression and hobbled across the ice, only to make it to the blue line, unfortunately. So there we were, me giddy that I was on the JumboTron, and my father receiving his $100 gift certificate as the paramedics rushed by, mortified at what had just transpired.
    — Benjamin K.

    2. My local rock station had a nightly “battle of the bands”. The DJ would play 2 new songs from current bands, and callers would call in and place their vote, and then be aired on the radio. Most calls were short and to the point.

    DJ: Who are you, where are you, what’s your vote?

    Caller: Nick from Albany, Anthrax

    Click

    Now, I grew up in a suburban area and went to a nice sized middle school. My 8th grade technology teacher, Mark Sheffer, was from a very small rural town over an hour away. Mr. Sheffer was known for his ridiculously low gravelly voice and uber eccentric stories about life on his farm. So one day I called into the radio station to vote for a band, and instead of Nick from Albany, I became Mark from Argyle. I had the voice down pat, and hearing “Mark” on the radio was pretty funny. A few of my friends had heard it that first night and thought it was pretty funny, and suggested I made it a recurring thing. The next night I was back at it. The DJ had recognized the outrageousness of the voice coupled with the preposterousness that someone from Argyle was calling into this rock station. So instead of quickly hanging up and moving on, he would engage me in conversation. This went on for a solid 2 weeks.

    “This is Mark, rolling around in the mud with my pigs in Argyle, I want to vote for Shinedown! Yeaaaa!”

    “This is Mark, out here milking my cows in Argyle, I want to vote for Evenesence!”

    “This is Mark, can you send someone for help, I slipped on a pile of horse manure in Argyle and I think I broke my ankle. And I want to vote for Metallica!”

    After a day or two, word had spread from my circle of friends to everyone in school and I had a pretty wide audience. Mr. Sheffer himself even caught wind of the happenings and confronted me, “Mr. Sheffer, they say imitation is the highest form of flattery.”

    For the rest of the school year I was known simply as “Mark from Argyle.”

    Three months later I went to high school and I was back to “That fat kid with braces.”
    — Nicholas P.

    1. Last October, I was home from college for the weekend, and I went to the University at Buffalo’s Midnight Madness. I arrived at the arena early, planning to meet my friend to hang out for a while before the festivities started. Walking through the arena, I decided to take a dump before getting a seat. I was greatly distracted by the UB cheerleaders, and this led to a grave mistake; I walked past the entrance to the women’s bathroom, and turned into the next entrance without looking. No one was in the bathroom and at first nothing was amiss … I just picked a stall and got down to business. A couple minutes later, I heard numerous female voices — I just assumed they were outside the bathroom and didn’t really worry about it. But eventually my spidey sense began tingling … something was weird. I tried to remember my entrance into the bathroom, and realized I hadn’t seen any urinals; always a red flag. I braced myself for the ultimate test … and turned around …*shudder* there was the dreaded metal box. I was in the women’s bathroom. Shit.

    As I cleaned up and restored my pants to their proper position, I debated my options. I figured making a run for it might be problematic for me … so I tried to figure out how to get the hell out of there without causing a scene. As I debated, I heard a voice on a police radio approaching — “brown haired male wearing white and blue nikes … ” and my stall door was kicked in by a female cop, who loudly demanded “Why the hell are you in the women’s bathroom?” I acted like the shocked and frightened young man I was, apologizing profusely and trying very hard to explain my mistake.

    After being interrogated by four separate cops, all of them looking at me like I was some sort of insane pervert, my friend showed up and saved my life, explaining that he knew me and I was actually there to watch basketball … not girls using the toilet. They finally let me go with a skeptical warning — “Watch what bathroom you walk into next time.” Why one bathroom needs two separate entrances … I’ll never know. But I was famous for all the wrong reasons at this point, as I was only well-known because 200 people in the arena concourse had watched me exit the women’s bathroom and get questioned by the cops.

    Well, things could obviously only get better from there. I was picked from the crowd to participate in a shooting contest, which was pretty cool. Then I proceeded to hit three straight shots, and the crowd was in an uproar. Then I lined one up from half court … and NAILED it. Over 1,000 people were on their feet screaming and cheering for me, marking quite the turn of events from an hour before. I couldn’t help but laugh as they announced my name over the loudspeaker, and I pictured the cops’ reactions as they recognized my name. The agony and the ecstasy made for quite the dramatic fifteen minutes for me.
    — Andrew M.

    You know the saying — the darkest hour is just before dawn, in a women’s bathroom in Buffalo.

    Previous Participation Fridays:

    Personal Mottoes
    Worst Dates
    Worst Breakups
    Best/Worst Excuses
    Heckling Stories
    Weird Laws
    Animal Facts

Filed Under: About Last Weekend, Jeremy Lin, Josh Hamilton, Kansas, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Missouri, Nascar, Ohio State, Robert Griffin III, Texas Rangers, Wisconsin

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Shane Ryan is a contributing writer for Grantland. His book about the young stars of the PGA Tour will be published by Random House in early 2015.

Archive @ ShaneRyanHere