The Top Ten Moments In Evan’s Sports History

May 20, 2005

i can’t wait for this “subway series” to commence so i can momentarily emerge from this facade of eerie-calm-quasi-sedate persona and bust out the insane drunken-sports-fan-frat-boy brashness. here’s your very relative weekly top ten!

the top ten moments in evan’s sports history

10 – senior year of high school my intramural basketball team (“the van buren boys”) traded me to the all-asian team for dennis chan. i was very insulted, and wanted to get back at them. being the showman i am, i also wanted to give a hilarious performance. in my first game as an asian, we played the soccer boys. early on i tripped eric bronstein running down the court and a double technical foul was called on the both of us. he was none to pleased, considering i intended to tackle him. on our next possession, i took a three-point shot and fired the ball over the backboard. on the next trip down the court one of the female gym teachers made a questionable call. i turned to her and inquired, “what the hell does a woman know about basketball anyway?” i was immediately sent home. do not pass go. do not collect 200 dollars.

9 – it was a lukewarm day and several friends had gathered at evan cohen’s house. it was the sunday after his bar mitzvah and his parents had made a post-party with snack foods for friends and family. we were in the yard playing football. the game got off to a quick start with mike levine threatening to kill me after i sorta tore his shirt. it wouldn’t be the last time he threatened my life. suddenly the opposing team called a running play, and marc olsen began to rush forward. we all tried to tear him down, and eventually we cut him down. right on my hand. i ran inside and got a plastic spoon and some rubber bands to make a splint for my finger. when mom came to pick me up she barely noticed. at dinner later that night it had doubled in size. later, sitting the emergency room, a doctor approached us. “well, is it broken?” my mother inquired. “hah!” he responded. “obviously!” that was broken finger number two in my life.

8 – summer camp. the week before the big tennis tournament (the staff was looking to me for a trophy winning performance) our division was playing our weekly game of flag football. with the girls watching on the sidelines, expecting me to do something insane and outlandish, they soon got their wish. someone snapped the football. a fumble! no wait, it’s a dead ball. i wasn’t one to listen for whistles, i dove on the ball like an olympic high diver, landing on my left hand and burying it into the dirt. of course, being at overnight camp, the medical staff was none too interested in sending me to the hospital. i played in the tennis tournament the next week and won two matches before losing. as i talked to the camp owner after my last match, he noticed my left hand was turning blue/purple. he sent me to the hospital the next day. by that time, the pinky finger, was badly broken and the ring finger had been dislocated. the owner even brought me to mcdonalds to make up for his staff’s stupidity. when i called mom from the emergency room in port jervis new york, she told me “evan, this is why little jewish boys don’t play football.”

7 – when i was playing competitive tennis, i used to go to a weekly clinic at the courts in west orange, new jersey. after 2 hours of lessons, we would get to play matches against the other kids in the clinic in a series of “king of the courts” ladder matches. one week i was matched up against a girl named lindsey. she was overmatched, to say the least. my serve, which was the strongest part of my game, was sending her flailing all over the court. except for one serve i remember in particular. i put some spin on the serve, and it bounced up towards her, striking her in her right thigh, left thigh, and then smack in the crotch. it was like watching a pinball find one of those wormholes. i laughed loudly and she forfeited the match.

6 – in one of many embarrassing little league baseball moments, we were playing a game against the blue team in which there had been some questionable calls. suddenly, in the middle of an inning, my father rose up off the bench and left the dugout and started running (actually it was more like quick walk- i can’t remember my father ever running) into the outfield. he made his way to the outfield bleachers and began screaming at a man who i later found out was the president of the league. he was ejected after threatening the man for what he said was allowing a relative of one of the other team’s players to umpire the game. this was just the first of several times my father was asked to leave one of mine or my sister’s sporting events. yes, he was “that guy,” always picking fights with anyone and everyone.

5 – despite this frequent occurrence, our little league baseball team was incredible. i didn’t play for as long as i would have liked, because having dad as a coach became tired after a while. we won back to back championships and the thrill of winning a championship is something that is hard to rival. looking back on that team it’s hard to see how the hell we ever won a game, with a slew of mildly retarded players on our roster. a win is a win, i say, no matter if i was surrounded by kids i wouldn’t dare hang out with in a social setting. the pizza parties and trophies were the best part.

4 – i used to fly out and visit my uncle in chicago all the time, and one week i went out to his house in galena (on the border if illinois and iowa) to play golf for a week. i never particularly enjoyed learning how to play golf but i was naturally good at it. i couldn’t hit a driver well under the pressure of standing at a tee, so i usually played the entire round with a five iron and a putter. the one time i made par on a hole was a great feeling. i even broke 100 once, which, so i’m told, is very difficult to do for a novice. i think i finished with a 97? the worst i ever performed was a 120. that’s an average of about six shots per hole.

3 – i liked playing shortstop or third base or second base, despite always dreaming of being a pitcher. so on days when the little league coach asked me to pitch, i was delighted. i never pitched more than 2 or three innings, but i relished my time on the mound. in one game, i struck out two batters in the first inning and then hit evan cohen and gavin barnhard in the second, injuring them both. in another game, i struck out the side in the first inning and then gave up 12 runs in the second inning. i gave up two identical grand slams that went through an infielders legs. i’m not sure if any of those 12 runs were earned, but once i was pulled and had to sit out the rest of the game brian konopka’s dad told me i pitched really well.

2 – when i was playing little league, i had a great moment that i will always remember. one morning i woke up sick and found myself vomiting into the toilet. i couldn’t play. my dad, being the competitor he was (perhaps the reason i am not competitive at all) told me to go to the game anyway and support the team. i hung out in the scorebox with evan mcgoff and we operated the scoreboard for the game. until evan went to go get a hamburger for lunch. he got back and said, “hey ev, you want a bite?” and i couldn’t make it down the stairs before vomiting all over the place. mom took me home. a few days later we had another game, and i decided i was well enough to play, in my first at bat i hit a long line drive into right center field, by far the longest ball i had seen hit in little league baseball. everyone cheered and told me that i should play sick more often.

1 – this is a story my mom tells to this day. i was in kindergarten and my mom had driven matthew cohen and i home from school for a playdate. when we got out of the car, matt looked at me and said, “i’ll race you to the house!” and i said, “ok.” he started running as fast as he could toward the front door, and i turned around and started running toward the street. he couldn’t quite figure why i had done that, but now we are well aware that i’m simply not at all competitive and don’t care whether i win or lose at anything, so long as i’m having fun or being a complete jackass for the benefit of my friends. it never mattered how talented i am, if i was playing a sport i just wanted to enjoy myself. winning and being the best isn’t everything. happiness, man. that’s what life is about.

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