Cleveland’s Got Nothin’ On Me

Copied from my latest freelance, just-for-fun published article on http://www.Sportscolumn.com (aspiring sports writers, or sports fans check out the website and join for free!)

Hi, my name is JDWC and I’m addicted to sports. I was hooked from birth, because my father is an addict too. Like him, my drugs of choice are the Dodgers, the 49ers and the Oakland A’s. But, like most addicts and sons, I pledged to be better, to be more. So I surpassed my father…I became a basketball fan and chose the most depressing depressant known to man: the Golden State Warriors. The high school years were a brief, four-step recovery program. I graduated from the program in 2007, proclaimed clean and cured!

Alas, tragedy struck again. I was thrust into the real world and sent up to Pullman, WA to educate myself in the arts of Journalism and Creative Writing. From the first time I tasted Washington State University football, I was hooked again. Years passed and I drifted back into my addictive haze. Over the last week, I have hit rock bottom. If only I had chosen St. Louis. New York. Boston. Even Seattle. Instead, I got what I deserved. My teams have taken years from my life I will never get back. This is the uncut, untold story of my struggles:

I literally can’t remember the last time I was completely clean. I’ve been an on and off user of the Warriors. I didn’t discover the Cougars until I was a freshman in college. But the strongest, longest-lasting addictions have been to the original three. I’ve never wavered, never lessened my dosage; in fact, I’ve only increased the amount of attention I give to my drugs. Each year of losing worsens my dependence, yet I still fail to get clean. Now, they are beginning to fail me. The A’s, Dodgers and 49ers have all provided me with some great trips. In particular, I remember the 2003 A’s and the 2009 Dodgers and the 1998 49ers. Oh, those were the good old days. Young talent, Hall-of-Fame veterans, tons of money…just riding out the wave.

Since the glory days, things have gotten ugly. The A’s are a revolving door of Moneyball prospects and injury-riddled stars. It’s still a strong drug at a cheap price. A well-known brand. But, I’ve started to lose trust in my dealer. Goes by Beane, Billy Beane. He laced my last dose with a little Matt Holliday. That was the definition of a bad trip. Now St. Louis and Colorado (the Carlos Gonzalez-laced stuff) are reaping the benefits. Those damn spoiled junkies. There is always so much potential with this drug. It can be so good. So good. But nobody supports it, nobody will pay for it. As a result, the taste and the strength of the actual product is turning sour. Don’t get me wrong, a new shipment of young pitching and a small does of strong stuff from Sacramento gives me hope. But the inconsistency kills me. Almost makes me want to go clean. Almost.

The Dodgers’ downfall has been the result of a power struggle among drug lords. Destruction has started from the top, between Capo’s Frank and Jamie McCourt. Ned Colletti is Frank’s right hand man, and is just as much a part of the problem as anyone. The 2009 stuff was delicious. All new on the market; a strain of Kemp, a little Ethier, a splash of Loney and a hint of Kershaw. Sprinkle that Manny-weed throughout and that sweet, easy taste of Broxton at the end of each hit…it got me so, so high. We were never going to be as good as that stuff from Philly, but we were on the way up. Unfortunately, the drug became too popular. My addiction soared. I was strictly ingesting Dodgers on a regular basis; everything else was secondary. The money became too important, and the users suffered. Now, the Kemp is stale, the Ethier is thrashed, the Loney is weak, the Manny is gone all together, and the Broxton tastes like shit. I could care less for a hit of the Dodgers at this point.

Until this year, I had never been as high on anything as I was on Warriors in 2007. Everyone I knew was on that stuff heading into the playoffs. Baron Davis endorsed it, and We Believed. Sure, we were wasted, but we all knew our stuff would take down Dallas’ best. When our prophecy came to fruition, we drank it and smoked it and injected it in every orifice. Since that trip, the drug’s popularity has seen a steep decline. Disappointment after disappointment has left me wary of trusting it again. Of course, some good comes out of every bad: I can safely say I’m no longer hooked. That’s one drug down, four big ones to go. Although I’m always on the verge of relapse…

Thankfully, I had my hopes up for a brand spankin’ new shipment of 49ers. That red and gold goodness that I missed so much. The real stuff hadn’t even hit the market yet when I was already smoking the tester. The teaser. All I could think about was 49ers. Finally, a much-needed drug in a year of disappointments. I was so high on 49ers before it even came out, I was actually skipping class to check the status of the delivery. Finally the big day arrived. Sunday, September 12, 2010 – the day the new 49ers were introduced to the world. A confident Alex Smith, a revamped line, a healthy secondary…it smelled so good. Pretty bubble-wrapped packaging and a shiny, silver box. It all turned out to be a big hoax. A small name operation from Seattle tore it apart, bit by bit. There was no Crabtree in the drug as promised, hardly any run game and the line was far more shaky than advertised. I still hit that line, I fell for the hype and now I’m giving the 49ers one more chance to prove that I should continue to be an addict. Never in my life have I been so disappointed by a single substance. From sky high to rock bottom, in a matter of four very long, very ugly 15-minute quarters. One single season, one Singletary reason to prove to me why I should choose them.

The 49ers is still my drug of choice. It is supposed to last at least four months…if it lasts longer, it was a success. And if it was a success, my craving is cured. In the mean time, I’ve got one on the side. I do it every weekend because it’s local and extremely cheap. It’s never a good trip and I’m never high for long, but as other Washington State Cougar fans know, it’s still worth doing. The football team is awful, squeaking out a 23-22 win over Division-II Montana St. last weekend. The basketball team underperformed last year and now has lofty expectations of a 2nd place Pac-10 finish to live up to this year (according to ESPN). Truth be told, taking Cougar is more like a shot of bad vodka and a midday nap. A win and I’m drunk, anything less is a waste of time and money. Since I got hooked on Cougar, I’ve been drunk less than ten times in four years. What a terrible, terrible ratio.

I’m not one of the strong ones. I can’t go to Changes Rehab or Winehouse Springs to get clean. I can’t resist the urge, the pull of my addictions. I will always be hooked on A. I will always be hooked on Dodger. I will always be hooked on 49er. And honestly, I probably won’t forget the glory of Cougar. I’ll hit Warrior when it’s good and keep paying for the others even when the crop is weak. That’s the nature of a true addict. While I can’t ever be healthy, I’ve at least accepted that resistance is pointless. These drugs will be in my blood forever. They are a part of me. I can’t stop now.

The days ahead may be dark, but the sun always rises eventually. I just hope it warms me up before the addicts of Huskies and Giants, those filthy, rotten druggies. And god forbid, I hope the sun warms me up before Cleveland.

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