A SPECIFIC AND IN-DEPTH COMPARISON OF STUPID THINGS I'VE DONE TO STUPID THINGS OTHERS HAVE DONE
The lexicon of the sportswriter is rarely a diverse one. A familiar collection of metaphors, clichés and turns of phrase crop up with rhythmic regularity when recapping sports. Never is this truer than when the subject is a painful loss.
A "sucker punch." A "punch to the gut."
We have so few ways to describe how a loss hurts, when in fact there are so many wonderful ways in which to lose.
Fortunately, as a native of Cleveland and a graduate of Cincinnati, I'm uniquely acquainted with the concept of painful losing; as a deeply stupid man for much of my life, I'm also quite acquainted with ways in which one can be injured.
Follow along with me as I provide handy new points of reference for sportswriters on a deadline, all through actual, real, unexaggerated injuries I've incurred in my years of stupidity.
That Time I Stabbed Myself In The Hand In An Ill-Advised Attempt To Open A Slim Jim With A Pair of Scissors
Utilize when describing: an instructive loss; one that educated you to some, but not all, of the things you'd been doing wrong up to that point
Example: West Virginia-Texas Tech 2012
That Time I Was Punched In The Face By A Crazy Person On The Way To The Gym But Still Had To Go Because I Had Already Paid For The Class
Utilize when describing: a loss you have to play through even when you really just want to go home
Example: Wake Forest-Florida State 2013>
That Time I Sliced My Thumb Open While Cutting The Final Piece Of An Architectural Model That I Got A B-Minus On
Utilize When Describing: a loss that could've been avoided if you'd known when to quit
Example: you could've been very happy with a Capitol One Bowl in 2012, Notre Dame>
That Time That I Sprained My Ankle In A Mosh Pit At A Nickelback Concert That I Actually Paid Money To Attend But Hey It Was 2000, Okay
Utilize When Describing: a loss that becomes even less explicable with the passage of time
Example: the 2004 Music City Bowl (Minnesota 20, Alabama 16)
That Time I Brushed My Foot Against A Trash Bag That Apparently Had A Sharp Can Lid In It And I Didn't Even Feel A Thing Until The First Pint Of Blood Was Already Out
Utilize When Describing: a loss that came out of nowhere and drained you before you even knew what was happening
Example: The 2013 Sugar Bowl (Louisville 33, Florida 23)
That Time My Roommates Woke Me Up Drunkenly Playing Deafening Ska Downstairs At 5AM And I Went To Yell At Them But Didn't Realize I Was Also Still Drunk Until I Was Already Falling Down The Stairs
Utilize When Describing: a loss where a perceived flaw in your opponent's game turned out to be present and even more problematic in your own>
Example: This feels like Vanderbilt-Georgia 2013.
That Time I Woke Up On My Living Room Floor Covered In Scratches From Apparently Falling Down A Hill And With Several Confusing Voice Messages From The Cincinnati Police Department The Day After My 21st Birthday
Utilize When Describing: a loss that, while somewhat painful, is kind of a thing of beauty to sit back and look at once you're fully healed and it's clear no charges were filed
Example: 2011 Northern Illinois 63, Toledo 60
That Time I Was Spinning Drunkenly In A Desk Chair And Everything Would Have Been Fine If My Idiot Friend Didn't Spin It Faster But He Did And It Tipped Over, Throwing Me Through A Plate-Glass Window
Utilize When Describing: a loss that, while we can admit there were many contributing factors to, we collectively agreed that we were going to blame Greg for it and he had to pay to replace the window
Example: Arizona State-USC 2013
That Time I Slammed A Sliding Door And The Square, Wooden Clock Mounted Above It Fell Off The Wall And Hit Me On The Head
Utilize When Describing: a loss where the clock unexpectedly hurt you
Example: I'm not going to say it but you know which one it is, Nick.