Back in the period of time known as the 1990’s, a then 17-year-old OCC went on a school-sponsored trip to Ireland. During said trip, for reasons unbeknownst to anyone, all of the students were given permission one evening to go to a pub.
The only condition of our visiting this establishment was that under no circumstances would we partake in the act of drinking alcohol.
It probably goes without saying that this particular decree held up for all of about five minutes. Next thing you knew, virtually every kid on the trip was holding a pint of Guiness or Harp, and the more ambitious among us was sipping from a glass of Bushmill’s on the rocks.
It also probably goes without saying that later that evening, after we had all returned to the homes of our various host families, one of the students in the group (not yours truly) was spotted by the confused young son of his host family drunkenly urinating on the TV set.
After this unfortunate micturation, the rest of us were suddenly under alcohol-related scrutiny, and a full-scale investigation began.
In the tense day or two that followed, a handful of us decided that our gooses were essentially cooked, and fear of being found guilty (and possibly suspended from school) if we didn’t cooperate made us think it would be wise to fess up.
But when the first one of us returned from his confession, he informed us that he had put a subtle twist on the confession process. Instead of admitting the full quantity of his consumption (a pint, or two pints, or six glasses of Bushmill’s), he had said that yes he tried alcohol at the pub, but had only had one sip.
This confession style quickly grew in popularity. It seemed perfectly logical. This way, we’d have partially admitted our guilt but wouldn't have it on our record that we were completely reckless, drunken fools.
Of course, what we didn’t realize at the moment was that it must have been horribly blatant how much we were all lying. In our desperation to clear our names as best we could, we had all made ourselves look like mildly pathetic – people who knew we had done something wrong but didn’t have the stones to fully admit it.
This story comes to mind from the annals of the past in the wake of all the new allegations that have surfaced due to the publication of George Mitchell's findings, and Brian Roberts’ corresponding claim that he used steroids, but only did so once.
Is this the same Brian Roberts who suddenly went from 4 to 18 homers between 2004 and 2005?
Because I’m one of the guys who broke the drinking rules on the school trip back in 1995 and then copped the “just a sip” excuse, a smaller scale but nearly identical principle to the soon-to-be-rampant “I only tried steroids once” line.
And as someone who understands the mentality, I’m not believing a word of it. Liquor gets you drunk, steroids make you big, and lying about all of it is much, much easier than telling the truth.
Not a lot of fresh or comforting insight to share on the day that Michael Vickgets sentenced to 23 months in federal prison, so we'll leave it to this clip fromThe Wire to pose the question that could apply to both the absurd dogfighting mix-up between Cheese and the Baltimore police and the epic self-destruction of Michael Vick's career: How the hell did this happen?
Even if you're not a Wizards fan, or a pro hoops fan, it may be time to start reading Dan Steinberg's D.C. Sports Blog. I have a feeling that if The OCC and Dan Steinberg were to meet, they would most likely find themselves to be kindred spirits.
Case in point: Steinberg seems to have a knack for and an interest in digging up inconsequential yet highly entertaining tidbits about the team he covers.
DeShawn Stevenson buys deodorant in bulk from Costco. Why? "In case I lose one, so I won't be musty." Great word, musty. Terribly under-used. Makes me giggle just about every time I hear it.
There's also an exchange between Ukranian rookie forward Oleksiy Pecherov and Dominic McGuire about some recently purchased Dickies suits, during which rookie guard Nick Young was practicing his dance moves in the background -- a hilariously-documented exchange that you need to read.
Also of note, Caron Butler used to have (and may currently be recovering from) an intense addiction to Mountain Dew. Steinberg reports that Caron would ingest a two-liter bottle of the semi-toxic liquid before games until he was recently banned from doing so by the Wizards.
There's also mention that Nick Young has an outrageously good nickname, a handle so unique (and presumably so offensive) that his teammates couldn't share it.
Put me down as "Desperate to find out what this nickname is at all costs."
Also put me down as "Likely to test out the effects of chugging a two-liter bottle of Mountain Dew prior to my next time playing hoops."
Thank you, Dan Steinberg. Thank you, D.C. Sports Blog.
Before you proceed any further, please watch the video above.
Now that you’ve done that, take a moment to reflect on what you’ve just seen – you may need it.
Okay, let’s break it down:
The first noteworthy moment happens almost immediately, when the decidedly goofy Elie Seckbach says to the camera:
“For centuries, Jews all over the world have been celebrating Hanukkah. But now, for the first time in history, NBA stars and celebrities want to wish you a happy holiday.”
Yes, you heard that correctly. NBA stars and celebrities have completely ignored Hanukkah all throughout history, until this moment. Now they’re finally on board. Pretty incredible stuff.
But as much as we may want to write off our friend Elie as a complete goober from the very outset (which he clearly is), you have to give him credit for managing to get access to a shocking number of players. His first interview is Shaq, who has this to say about Hanukkah: “To all my Jewish people, I love you. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah. Stay out of trouble. Love you.”
You’ve gotta love the “Merry Christmas” message, and the gratuitous and slightly disarming use of “love you” from the big fella.
A minute later, we transition to the next interview via a remix of Hey Ya that has the following lyrics:
My dreidel just spins around and then falls to the ground as we light the candles…
And since I don’t even know what to say about that, we’ll move on. The next interview subject is Heat forward Dorell Wright, who makes a respectable effort to sing a couple of traditional songs, including Hava Nagila. And even though he completely butchers it (singing something along the lines of “hava naveevah” and then breaking into a mumble because he knows he hasn’t gotten it right), you’ve gotta give him credit for trying.
On the flip side of the spectrum from Dorell Wright’s courteous effort was Jason Kapono, who had the following exchange:
Elie Seckbach: What do you have to say to Jewish fans for Hanukkah? Kapono [looking pleased with himself]: Mazel Tov. Elie: How do you know about that? Kapono [summoning his most condescending tone]: I got a lot of Jewish friends, bub.
Use of “bub” = red flag that Jason Kapono is a medium to large-sized douchebag.
From there, we cut to Kobe, whom Elie has somehow managed to corner in what appears to be the tunnel underneath an arena. Asked what he has to say to the people of Israel, Kobe responds:
“Stay up. I know you guys are going through a tough time right now, but stay up.”
Yet again, I’m kind of speechless. This is kind of the point in the video where you realize that it’s all at once surreal, confusing and utterly hilarious that this Elie Seckbach character is somehow getting Hanukkah commentary from some of the premier players in the NBA.
Dwayne Wade, initially looking pensive but by the end of his statement barely able to keep a straight face, had this to say to his Jewish fans:
“I hope everyone has a great holiday. Spend it with the ones you love, cherish every memory because time is moving fast.”
Pretty clear that by the time he gets to the "because time is moving fast" line D-Wade is 100 percent aware of how ridiculous he sounds.
But the best interviewee of them all was very clearly Ricky Davis. His response when asked if he had a message for Jewish fans was a very enthusiastic “Happy Hanukkah! You guys have fun and blow out all the candles.”
A second later he was told by a perplexed Elie Seckbach that “No, we don’t blow them out…”
Which prompted Ricky to say, “Oh, well… just keep ‘em torched.”
Don’t think I could have come up with a better Hanukkah slogan myself.