Police Lights, Big City

This is not the kind of reaction you would have in a situation like this in your hometown.  But here you are…

Okay, enough of the homage.  You’re I’m not going to write this in 2nd person.

On my way home from dinner the other night, I turned onto my street and immediately noticed that at least twelve police vehicles were lined up outside an apartment building just a few down from mine. One of the cruisers was parked just a little too far away from the curb, which made driving between it and the car on the opposite side of the street a tight squeeze.  I managed to wiggle my way through unscratched and pulled into my driveway, all with a single thought running through my head:  “Man, these cops really need to learn how to park.”

So to clarify:  In relative extreme proximity to my home was an incident that required at least a dozen squad cars.  Assuming (for dramatic purposes) that each car housed two cops, then there were approximately twenty-four police officers.  Just a few houses over.  At night.  Clearly, something big was going down.  Was it a huge drug bust? Domestic violence involving a gun?  It doesn’t even matter, because all I could think about was how terrible of a job they did parking.

I believe this is somewhat unique to living in a city, because when a major incident likes this occurs, you don’t think of what the hell could be happening — you only think of how it’s going to inconvenience you.  See, if I was back in Oklahoma, and two cop cars showed up in front of someone’s house in a town that was fifteen minutes away, then boy oh boy.  You’d best believe that we’d be gathering up some canned food, grabbing a battery-powered radio, and beelining it to the safe room.  Lock the door and get cozy, y’all — we’re riding out the apocalypse.

But now, ehh whatever.  Just don’t let your armed robbery interfere with me getting my Starbucks in the morning.



My Clippers Hat From Hell

During the early years of the 2000s, I developed a heavy dose of superstition surrounding my hometown University of Oklahoma Sooners football team. This included sitting in a particular spot on the couch, only eating certain foods during the game, and even went so far as having to hold my thumb and middle finger together the entire time we were on offense. And you should know that I fully believed I was playing a vital role in the team’s success.

I look back at these times and think, “My god, I was an idiot.” Bud Light ran an ad campaign this past NFL season focusing on the superstitions fans may hold. And every time the commercial would air, I would think, “My god, these people are idiots.”

So as I’ve matured, I’ve let the superstitious me reside in the past. In fact, I’ve pretty much moved on from being a die-hard Sooner fan in general (partially thanks to Bob Stoops’s arrogance, but that’s a whole other blog post). I’ve learned that basketball is my true passion and I haven’t looked back.

But unfortunately, my ideas about a divine connection between fans and the team they love are beginning to resurface. Only this time, I’m afraid my actions have only jinxed my team.

Since moving to Los Angeles, I’ve become a Clippers fan. The star player Blake Griffin went to Oklahoma, and I’ve always been a de facto Lakers hater, so it was a natural fit. After a sluggish first season, we signed megastar Chris Paul, and the Clippers have been on the rise ever since.

The beginning of this season couldn’t have been better. Best record in the league, Lakers playing like absolute shit, and even Magic Johnson was saying the Clippers are the new Showtime—the nickname given to his Lakers teams in the 80s. I loved being a Clippers fan. My girlfriend was so pumped up about the season that she demanded we go buy hats to show our pride for the basketball team that now runs L.A. I’m not really a hat guy, so I was a little hesitant, but again, she demanded, so I went out and got a hat.

Literally, the day after I purchased this hat, Chris Paul is sidelined with a bruised knee. After that, the Clips go on to lose 7 out of 10 games, Blake Griffin is now out with an injured hamstring, and we just lost to the Washington Wizards—who are, for lack of a better phrase, the worst team in the whole damn league.

Meanwhile, the Lakers have figured out how to play basketball again, have gone on to win 7 out of 10 games, and Kobe continues to cement himself as one of the greatest of all time. Talk about a quick change of events.

So, Clipper Nation, while my girlfriend refuses to admit that our purchasing of the ball caps had anything to do with this recent collapse, I feel it is only appropriate for me to apologize. If I could take it back, I absolutely would, but sadly, they don’t allow returns on cursed paraphernalia.

The saddest part of this tale? I don’t even look that great in a hat. I can only hope that, in a few weeks, I will again believe that superstitions are for idiots.