Latest posts by Ian Scott McCormick (see all)
- Remembering Defunct NFL Teams: The New York Giants – August 20, 2019
- The Narrative: Thoughts and Prayers From the PUBG Hellscape – August 9, 2019
- From Off The Streets Of Cleveland- Harvey Pekar’s 2019 Browns Preview – August 8, 2019
God, Jared Goff fucking blows.
There are no free lunches. I had been handed a car, a prehistoric 2004 Toyota Prius that allows me the freedom to leave the city, and the promise of better summers, so long as I can keep it running. But even free cars come with their costs.
The story starts a little before the boundaries of this past week, to the prior Saturday. As is my tradition, I like to move the car to the south side of the street, so that I am in compliance with the street cleaning cycle a day in advance. Monday mornings on the south side, Tuesdays on the north, and the understanding that you can do whatever the hell you want on the five days in between. Unfortunately, as I walked to the car my key fob refused to open the doors, and the car itself refused to start. It turns out not starting the damn car for 12 days in the dead of winter was an insult to the auxiliary battery, and while I would have loved to attend my friend’s 40th birthday, I first needed to figure out what was wrong (at the time, I wasn’t sure that it was the battery). Unfortunately cars are not standard issue in the New York metro area, and I didn’t know anybody with their own ride who could provide a jump, so it was time to call roadside assistance, who took forever to arrive. But the car eventually started, I drove it around the block, let the engine run for the prescribed 30 minutes and walked away assuming that it was fixed.
Nope. Monday evening I went to discover that the battery was dead again. Maybe it’s gone bad. Car problems are never a good time, but car problems on the street when failing to obey the alternate side of the street parking can get you a shitty ticket, are stressful as hell. Fortunately I have an aunt with a driveway up in White Plains. So I set the DVR to record the game, called roadside assistance, started the car and headed north for the night while my wife dealt with putting our 2 year old daughter to bed. I resolved to fix the problem in the morning, and watched Rachel Maddow with my liberal aunt. The next day I drove to an auto parts store, tested my battery and discovered that it was…fine. Great.
I went to work, and carefully avoided all mention of the Nets/Celtics game. The plan was to burn through the DVR quickly before the Nets/Bulls game began at 7. Midway through watching the 2nd quarter my dad called me up.
“Tough loss last night.”
Well, that happens. Whatever. My wife wasn’t thrilled that I’d left her with the girl last night, and I DVR’d the next game as I fed her and put her to bed.
Then it was time to quickly get up to speed with Chicago. The Nets were on the 2nd leg of a back to back and struggling against the tanking Bulls. It was going to be tougher that should be expected, but playing two nights in a row is never easy. I settled in as the 3rd quarter raged on and-
Wait, my phone is buzzing.
Come on, maaaaaaan.
I guess I should have still enjoyed the game, secure in the knowledge that my team would win, but I can’t do sports with spoilers. I never knew what to enjoy and the only element of surprise was that RTD got his facts a little screwed up and they actually won by five. Whatever. They won the game at least.
The Bulls represented the break in their schedule, but a game against the Spurs in Texas is never a comfortable affair. But at least I would have something to distract me from my damn car. I actually looked forward to the tough game, until my wife texted me at work to let me know
Oh for fuck’s sake.
Whatever. I’d deal with it Saturday. The Nets were going to distract me. I would be distracted, as God is my witness.
They actually did alright in the early going. And then came the bats.
Yup. Bats. Apparently bats are a thing in San Antonio. Here’s Manu Ginobili killing the shit out of a bat with his bare hand.
That happened a decade ago. Manu needed to get shots after the incident. So let that be a lesson to you kids who think it’s smart to go slapping bats in their sonar catching faces. Anyway, they never really fixed the bat problem, so much as they leaned into it.
Here’s their dumb mascot wearing a Batman outfit.
If there’s a silver lining to be had, it’s that Popovich probably hates this corny bullshit more than anybody on earth.
The problem is that apparently the Spurs are more used to this bat stuff than the Nets, because they immediately went on a 9-0 run. The Nets kept it close before eventually losing. Sucks. But its San Antonio at home, a place where the Nets have won five times in my life. I’m 38 by the way.
The next day I got a text at work.
Well fuck my butt.
The side effect of all of this is that power was quickly out in our apartment. So to recap, I live in a basement apartment where darkness reigns supreme at all hours of the day, with a toddler and a mother in law and wife and now have no power or heat. My wife said “We should go to my parent’s place out in Jersey” and I was on board by the time she got to “We should go.” Let’s get the absolute fuck ou-
Well, I’ll just fill the tire. Of course, I can’t drive on that, but whatever. I used to have a car and dealt with flat tires all the time. I’ll just jack it up and put on the donut. First things first, loosen the lug nuts. Okay, those are essentially welded on and I just threw out my back getting them loosened, but we’re good. Now it’s time to jack it up.
Unfortunately, the jack they gave me was designed by the devil.
Look at this son of a bitch. The hook design means I have to reinsert the damn hook every half crank. And it takes roughly 1,000 cranks to get my tire off the ground. And it was about 20 degrees outside, and my family is literally huddled in the dark waiting for good news. Time for Plan B: Fix A Flat. I walked in the freezing cold, got a can of magical compressed air and glue, and sealed up whatever had gone wrong with the tire. Now to get everybody in the car, drive the required 3-5 miles, and have a pointless argument with my wife over why I have to drive 5 miles before I put air in the tire.
Because that’s what they say to do on the can, sweetie. No. I have no goddamn idea why, but I get the sense that they know better than your or I.
Finally it’s time to get air, only holy shit, I cannot walk. My back is shredded, as I hobble to the cashier to make change. And then remember that it’s been roughly 15 years since I’ve put air in a set of tires, and have no idea what I’m doing. And then we’re off. My wife and mother in law bitching that we’re going to die on the highway to the middle of New Jersey, a place that is 30 miles away, and yet takes exactly an hour to get to without any traffic. Of course, because my Toyota Prius has apparently contracted car AIDS, I cannot go at a normal speed. A grinding sound has gotten worse, and as I approach 60 miles an hour my ride breaks out its new killer Michael J Fox impersonation.
Just get to the in laws place. Just get to the in laws place. We’ll deal with everything tomorrow. Just get to the in laws place.
Turns out I need two new brake drums and a shoe. I go to some scumbags who charge me $490. I get the sense they’re fucking me and ask for the keys, to which they hit me with a $55 labor fee. Then I find a guy who will do everything for $375. So I ended up splitting the difference and paid $425 when it was all said and done. He told me that for $60 he could realign the wheels and rotate the tires, but I’m too shook by everything that’s simultaneously gone wrong with my car in the past eight days, and tell him that I’ll have to come back.
I’ll deal with it later.
The Nets ate shit against the bad Magic and I don’t care. Sports exist as a distraction. They’ve lost two games in a row in what seems like forever, and will likely lose more in the coming days with games against the Bucks and Nuggets. Whatever.
Sports are never going to make you whole. Look at the goddamn New England Patriots. Do you hate them? Well guess what? Your team is never going to win as much as they do. You might win the title one time, but they’ve won six titles since 2002. Do you hate the Golden State Warriors? They’re about to win their 4th in five years. You hate the Red Sox? They’ve won four since 2004. Your team isn’t going to match that. It can’t erase that. Eventually one of the teams you really love might win a championship, and the next day you’ll wake up to discover that the season is over. There are no mountains to climb. Free agents will leave. Players will retire. Eventually all of them will die. The group will try to get together sometime down the line, and all you’ll think is “Why can’t the current crop of guys make me feel the way that old crew did?” It’s a distraction. Enjoy the distraction.
Because the reality is
The Brooklyn Nets are 28-26 and in 6th place in the Eastern Conference.