Tuesday, April 13, 2010

SteveCentury: Crossover battle

Working in the rough-and-tumble sports world, one tends to get into many arguments. I am no exception. I can't count how many time's I've argued for Tom Brady over Peyton Manning.

Still, it all comes down to personal opinion. It's not crazy to prefer to Peyton Manning over Tom Brady, just like it's not crazy to dislike 24 (that's only unpatriotic). But tempers flare nonetheless and I'm here to recount a moment from high school that popped into my mind during a random debate last week.

The year: 1997. The president: William Jefferson Clinton. The location: Cranston East High School Briggs building.

I was a freshman that year, hair parted down the middle and terribly awkward. (Much has changed.) I had this "friend" I will call him Stan for the purposes of this blog. We weren't really great friends, but we did hang out every now and then. I don't know why, looking back at it. Let's just say if I met a similar person today, I'd have nothing to do with him.

Anyway, we're in a group talking about Allen Iverson's crossover of Michael Jordan. This friend believed this proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Iverson was the better player. This statement is as stupid now as it was then. I pretty much said so, though I don't recall using the word "stupid." I merely said that Michael Jordan was better, regardless of one play. Granted, I was a big bandwagon Bulls fan back then, but my point still stands.

He didn't take too kindly to this, proceeding to get in my face, aggressively reiterating his insane opinion. I backed up until I couldn't back up anymore. I wanted no part of any fight, especially right before class. Then he took a swing, which I dodged. This set my animal instincts into high gear and in pure Jack Bauer style I grabbed him and tossed him against the radiator. We grappled some more until the Spanish teacher finally appeared to break it up.

This woman also happened to be my homeroom teacher and we were on good terms, so I didn't get sent to the principal's office. Neither did Stan. So we have our normal Spanish class and the bell rings, meaning I had to go all the way to the main building for my next class. This took me outside into the parking lot past City Hall. While swimming with the school of fishes outside, Stan followed me the entire way. He cussed up a storm and got so close to me I practically felt the spittle protruding from his foul orifice. Everyone noticed this. They had to since he was so loud.

Obviously, I was extremely uncomfortable. I avoid confrontation at all cost and I could not believe he was acting like this. He normally carried on like a street tough, even though he was just another middle class kid from the suburbs. But all this because I had the temerity to suggest Michael Jordan - widely considered the greatest basketball player of all time - was better than Allen Iverson? Half out of embarrassment and half out of pure confusion, I refused to say another word until, thankfully, we had to part ways to get to class.

I never got into trouble for it and he eventually cooled down after that. We may have even hung out again, but eventually we parted ways. For the life of me I don't know why we were friends. Anyway, the important thing is A.) I won the fight and B.) I was right. Jordan was better then and he is now, reinforcing another of life's basic truths: Don't mess with Steve Sears.

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