Just when we thought that a fortnight might pass without hearing a peep from Elijah Dukes, the Devil Rays outfielder went ahead and threw a fresh coat of paint on what is quickly becoming a modern masterpiece of sketchiness.
The latest news: Dukes threw a Gatorade bottle at a foster child living with one of his relatives.
Wait, it gets better.
He actually threw the Gatorade bottle at the girl when she informed him that he had gotten her pregnant.That's just horrible.
Oh yeah, one more thing: She’s 17 years old.
Yes, you read that all correctly. According to the article in the St. Petersburg Times, the sex was consensual and “no crime was committed,” which we find kind of confusing, because we were under the impression that there may be a “statute” in place that pertains to the sort of behavior discussed above.
But we’re not here to play investigator, detective, prosecutor or person who annoyingly stands on moral high ground. Instead, we’d like to focus on the role that the refreshing sodium-filled sports beverage played in the incident. Explains the woman (girl?), “we sat down and told him [about the pregnancy] and he got mad and threw a Gatorade at me.”
Why does this strike us as noteworthy?
In part, we find it rather amusing to picture Dukes sitting down on his sofa to crack open a refreshing Gatorade only to find out something he very much did not want to hear and then in turn discard the beverage. This is amusing, we think, because Gatorade clearly tries to associate itself with relief – i.e., it’s really what you’re looking for after a grueling, strenuous workout. But this episode casts the drink in an entirely different light. It is now the beverage of grief, anguish, anxiety – a drink you’re meant to hurl at somebody after they deliver some of the worst news imaginable.
Also, we find it funny that the foster girl/woman/child chose to invoke the brand name, instead of just saying “he threw his drink at me.” Why was the brand name really necessary? There’s no mention that Dukes “removed his New Era cap in exasperation and put his head in his hands.” If the Gatorade brand suffers an epic and devastating downturn in worldwide sales as a result of this incident – which at this point seems highly likely – the arbitrary choice of the girl/child/infant to mention Gatorade specifically will prove to be very costly indeed.
In light of all this, we’d like to propose an amendment to the English language: From this day forth, the term “throwing a Gatorade at someone” will mean “to assault an individual with unexpected, undesirable news.” So, as an alternative to the very much overused “Listen, I’ve got some bad news,” you can now say, “Brace yourself, [Insert person’s name]. I’m about to fire a 32 oz. Gatorade bomb in your general direction.”
And then tell that person whatever awful thing you have to say.
Coming soon: A breakdown of our week long and occasionally death-defying trip to South America and what it taught us about the world of sports.