I am an orphan.
I thought long and hard about it, and this seems like the best way to get it out there for everyone. It’s still a fresh wound and very painful to talk about, but my therapist seems to think that confronting it head on is the best way to get my life back on track.
My week was moving along perfectly fine, and I was living my typical carefree life as if all were right in the world until a bombshell was dropped on me. As I was leafing through my mail out in front of my house Tuesday, I got an invitation to attend a party at my father’s house. Hmmm … interesting, I thought, not knowing what was coming next.
I am hosting a Pampered Chef Cooking Show at my house, and I want you to join in the fun! You’ll try innovative, high-quality kitchen tools and learn easy cooking and entertaining tips that will impress your family and friends. And you won’t believe how simple the delicious recipes are. Plus, we get to catch up while we shop … and eat! I can’t wait! Bring a friend, too. The more the merrier! Please let me know if you’re coming.
I read the invite at least two dozen times. Four exclamation points aside, anyone who knows me knows this is not something that I should ever, under any circumstance, be a part of. But then I noticed a major detail that had eluded me up until this point – the date this “merry” get-together was being held is April 26.
My knees weakened. I felt a shortness of breath. The harsh reality that my life, as I knew it, would never be the same hit me like a ton of bricks, and I had to sit down on the curb for fear of passing out. I struggled for answers as I realized the man who raised me – one of the biggest sports fans in modern history – is hosting a homo party at his house on one of the most sacred days of the sports calendar, the NFL draft.
I am not proud to say this, but I am honestly missing a funeral for a loved one because I will be spending the weekend engrossed in the NFL draft. I will be working at Redskins Park, taking photos of the new players and conducting interviews to see the reactions to the newest additions to franchise. Meanwhile, the man who I thought was my father will be attempting to sell kitchen tools and food products. I felt dirty. I’m talking like Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura dirty, you know, when he figured out Lt. Lois Einhorn, whom he had just made out with, was really a dude. No shower could erase this pain.
I was hoping to focus my column on Tiger Woods showing signs of actually being human after failing to catch someone named Trevor Immelman at the Masters last weekend, and then undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, shelving him for the next month.
Or maybe I’d have devoted this week to the upcoming playoff battle between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Washington Wizards, who in the ever-enjoyable words of Charles Barkley are the “dumbest team in the history of civilization.”
Barkley had some choice words after Wizards guard DeShawn Stevenson called LeBron James “overrated,” and Wizards star Gilbert Arenas openly hoped to face the mediocre Cavs in round one of the NBA playoffs in his latest blog.
“I think the Washington Wizards have got to be the dumbest team in the history of civilization,” said the Chuckwagon. “I think for them to rile up LeBron, who is the second best player in the NBA, I think that’s just stupid.”
Or I would have spotlighted the NHL’s wonderfully-exciting playoffs – starting with the seventh-seeded Calgary Flames and their playoff-tested captain, Jarome Iginla. He’s proven once again why he’s the ideal role model for aspiring young hockey players because he plays every shift like the game is on the line. Iginla’s effort shows why he is universally respected, as opposed to someone like Philadelphia Flyers forward Daniel Briere, who is apparently allergic to his own defensive zone, preferring to let his teammates do all the hard work while he cherrypicks on the other side of the rink.
But every time I sat down to write about anything sports related, I got distracted (how distracted? We’re talking Sean Avery standing between me and my computer distracted) by the thought of my father in an apron offering cooking advice on my holy day.
So if you see me on April 26th, and I have a single tear streaming down my cheek as the New England Patriots forfeit their draft pick, just know it’s not because of my love of cheaters – no, it’s because I’m just a bastard learning to cope in this cruel world.
Brian Murphy is an award-winning sportswriter, and still doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.