Fourth and Long

Published 8:13 am Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I try to treat these weekly columns like a personal conversation between me and you. That’s how I talk and that’s how I write.

Because of this I find myself revealing a more personal side of me than most might expect I would and that is ok because let’s be honest, you and I are friends. I can trust you.

For the sake of complete honesty and disclosure I must confess that I have not watched sports in over two weeks. My wife and I have moved and I have yet to have the cable cut on at the new place. I gotta tell you, I did ok for a few days, but now I am starting to have some serious withdrawals.

I have noticed myself making what used to be normal “every day” activities more competitive.

I haven’t yet begun to try to drag race people at stop lights, however I have found myself choosing a favorite between the two cars in front of me and cheering on one or the other to victory in a race to the next inevitable light.

I saw two brothers arguing and fighting at the grocery store a few days ago. The fight got my undivided attention and normally would have been the cause of embarrassment for some poor mom or dad.

This time, however, it appears that others were less interested in the two children fighting and more amazing by the sight of me seated a few feet away on the floor with a open bag of pretzels giving play by play (in the voice from Mike Tyson’s Punch-out of course….BODY BLOW) and encouraging the smaller boy to put together combinations.

My coworkers have grown tired of my victory dances every time I finish a project and have still yet to figure out who I am talking to when I do my post celebration interview. It tends to be a lot of gibberish mixed in with a lot of me thanking my parents, friends and sponsors.

Despite my coworkers concerns about my behavior I must admit that they have reacted better than the other gentlemen I have encountered in the restroom. It seems that despite my obvious enthusiasm other people are not always understanding of a guy lifting his arms in celebration for having finished urinating first.

Apparently yelling “I win…I win” after flushing before the guy next to you makes some people feel uncomfortable. My apologies to the older gentleman in the restroom at JC Penny’s the other day. Had I known in the beginning that you had kidney stones I would not have trash talked you so much while standing beside you at the urinal and I certainly would not have mocked you for whimpering.

I was not a good sport. Much like Charles Barkley, I too am not a role model just because I am an athlete. Still I must apologize to my family, friends, fans and sponsors. You all deserve more.

You deserve more too and I promise I will get back to writing about real sports as soon as I get the cable or dish cut on. In the meantime I hope I made you smile.

David Friedman is a long-time contributor to Roanoke-Chowan Publishing. A Bertie High School graduate, he and his wife currently reside in Wilmington. David can be reached via e-mail at