April 24, 2007

The Origins of Scotty Doesn’t Know

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When this all began seven months ago, I was told my last column should explain why I chose the “Scotty Doesn’t Know” title.
First off, I didn’t even choose it. Former assistant sports editor Paul Testa said I could only have the column if I agreed to that name. For that reason, and the fact that I had no clue what else to call it — efforts to create a clever pun using a Chicago sports reference were disastrous — it became so.
Nevertheless, I think it fits well. I’ve put up with hundreds of references to that song since EuroTrip came out a few years ago. And, no, I don’t know any Fiona’s, but I’ve got the perfect opening line for when I do.
However, it’s also true that I really am clueless — about life, girls, my future job and, especially, about sports. In fact, I wasn’t even supposed to have a column because I couldn’t come up with just two ideas for sample pieces. Only when a column became available this fall did I half-jokingly ask former sports editor Olivia Dwyer for the spot. I never thought she’d actually agree.
Since then, I appreciate those who have been readers. For what I’ve lacked in sports knowledge or sheer opinion, I’ve tried to make up with self-humiliation, stories of drunken revelry and pure randomness. For instance, one column celebrated the letter “B” in honor of spring break while another explored the mystic connection between the study of BioChem and the Chicago Bears — lesser writers would have shied away from these topics, but I prevailed relying on only three guidelines.
#1. Don’t get fired. I’m not sure how this could happen being that I’m not paid, but it was still in the back of my mind.
#2. Write as much about Chicago sports whenever an opportunity presents itself — I did at least three times and many more passing references.
#3. Try to piss someone off or at least get one angry letter to the editor.
However, after eight months of writing, all the comments I have are four online posts — two from parents thanking me for writing about their kid’s obscure sport, one from a fellow bears fan and one more from a community member completely ignoring my column’s topic.
Come on, I wrote that volleyball was more important than the Cornell-Harvard hockey game, and not one member of the Lynah Faithful challenged me to a fight.
Thus, in a last ditch attempt to stir something up, I’m ready to tackle the one topic that’s guaranteed to get a reaction. I’m talking about that one issue that has so much support on campus to voice an opposing opinion is just plain crazy. Ready, …
The New York Yankees are the worst thing that has happened to Major League Baseball.
Any team that spends three times more than 13 other teams, twice as much as 25 other teams and still fails to make it out of the first round of the playoffs deserves something beyond humiliation. Further, the fact is, with the Yankees spending like they do, MLB salaries across the board have skyrocketed with such a high bar set on the free agency market.
Consequently, small budget teams are forced to remain laughing-stocks year after year, while part of baseball’s purity erodes away.
The only thing more disgusting than the Yankees, however, is their whiny fan base. First, a World Series drought is 99 years, not six like many of you seem to think.
Second, It’s just plain un-American to be a Yankees fan — its like rooting for Apollo Creed in Rocky I, and then celebrating when he wins the split decision. You’re supposed to root for the little guy, commiserate when he loses and experience elation at his victories. Instead, you choose to be content with a win, while express some sort of angry confusion at a loss.
The worst part, though, has been that every girl I date has to be a Yankees fan. She may have to fake orgasms, but I have to pretend to like a team that is pure evil — you know which is worse.
In fact, I want to put it all out on the table right now. The other day when I said I was “sad” about the sweep at Fenway — well, it wasn’t real. Actually, I was thinking of the Red Sox’s four-game division lead and I was happy about it.
Further, I’d like to make a declaration. I’ve essentially lived in New York uninterrupted for the past two years and will likely be here for at least another two.
Thus, considering I have to continue to watch New York teams — and if its allowed under the rules of sports fandom — I’d like to proclaim a new sports allegiance. As long as they’re not playing the Cubs, I am now a New York Mets fan. David Wright, Jose Reyes, Willy Randolph — I’m yours if you’ll have me.
So, here’s my requisite shout-out section before I sign off for good. I bet if you don’t know me, you probably stopped reading after that sentence.
Thanks to everyone at the Sun, especially the sports editors who have put up with my disregard for any deadline and a refusal to take their calls. The guys at Sigma Phi, Joe, Chris, Jeff, Nick, Orientation folk and everyone else who I’ve spent the past four years with, it’s been incredible and we’ve got plenty of more memories to make.
To the girls that have been in my life (I like making it sound like many, but its been very few), you’ve all left your mark on me and keep on cheering for your Yankees. A, I can’t wait for us to travel and to turn you into a Cubs fan also.
Mom, Dad, Ali and Marissa, you’ve all been there for me in different ways. Dad, I don’t think you know how many life lessons I’ve learned from you in a sports-related capacity over the years. Whether it be “quality over quantity” (trading baseball cards), “be aggressive” (youth soccer), or “never say its over ‘til it’s over” (everything), they will stick with me for always. I still don’t get the message to your “I can pick up any putt I want” rule, but maybe it’ll come to me someday.
Lastly, Cornell, I’ve loved you since arriving here four years ago and really don’t want to say goodbye. I’m sure I’ll be back soon, if just to say “Let’s Go Red” one more time.
Scott Reich is a Sun Sports Writer. He can be contacted at sreich@cornellsun.com. Scotty Doesn’t Know app­ears on alternate Tuesdays.