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The Best Sports Day of 2010 (So Far)

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Alex Quigley

Former rock DJ, currently a multipurpose Chicago media guy.

I woke up this morning covered in Cadbury Creme Egg foil wrappers. I could not remember if they were mine or my daughter's. So goes sucrose-induced post-Easter amnesia. But after I shook the sugary cobwebs, I remembered that today was Opening Day for our baseball teams. I put my feet on the floor and thought, "Tiger's press conference thing is today, too." Brushing my teeth: "Holy crap, Butler and Duke are tonight!"

I sat down with my morning banana-strawberry smoothie, picked up one of my morning newspapers, and saw that the Daily Herald's Mike Imrem basically wrote the exact column I was going to write. (And he did it better than I would've.)

Instead, I'll choose to rely upon one of my superpowers - time travel - to give you a glimpse into what today will bring for sports fans. Events occur in real time and are listed as Central Daylight Time.

11:35am: Tiger Woods bangs his head against his shower's tile wall for ten straight minutes, repeating only the word "stupid" with every head bang.

11:46am: Mark Buehrle pulls into the players' parking lot at U.S. Cellular Field. His car's tires end up parked juuuuust on the outside of the white lines of his parking space.

11:49am: Bobby Jenks arrives at the Dunkin' Donuts at 31st & Halsted.

12:05pm: Jenks departs carrying four boxes.

12:07pm: Media members begin to fill the conference room at Augusta National. David Feherty is openly drinking scotch from a plastic milk jug.

12:11pm: Butler coach Brad Stevens wakes up in a panic, realizing he has slept through his alarm. He hurriedly throws on clothes, hops on his bike, and finishes his paper route in record time.

12:19pm: Ozzie Guillen tweets: "Day is awesome we know this year great for all fans thank yo to all people loving life and sunshine".

12:28pm: At Augusta National, Tiger walks over to the driving range to hit a bucket before his press conference. He does not have sex with any women on the way there.

12:45pm: Lou Pinella wakes up in a panic, realizing he has slept through his alarm. He hurriedly saunters to his hotel room's minibar and makes himself a Bloody Mary.

12:49pm: Nancy Faust gets begged for the 496th time today to please, please stay for one more year.

12:56pm: Tiger enters the building where his press conference will take place.

12:57pm: Brett Favre is escorted from the Augusta National grounds, wearing a Nike visor and red Nike golf shirt, screaming "I just want to talk to the media. I JUST WANNA TALK TO SOMEONE!!!"

1:00pm: "The Star-Spangled Banner" begins at the Cell. Somewhere in suburban Detroit, columnist Rob Otto screams at his television.

1:04pm: Tiger Woods enters the press conference to a storm of flashbulbs and one Hooters waitress flashing her bulbs. She is escorted from Augusta National much more slowly than Brett Favre.

1:05pm: Mark Buehrle throws the first pitch of the White Sox 2010 season. It is a called strike.

1:06pm: Three up, three down for the Cleveland Indians.

1:07pm: Tiger's prepared introductory statement, continued.

1:08pm: Gordon Beckham launches a 3-run homer off Jake Westbrook into the Bullpen Bar. 40,000 fans simultaneously record the scoring on their scorecards, because that's what all true Sox fans do and they definitely weren't talking or texting on their cell phones and not paying 100% full attention. NO, NEVER.

1:13pm: Tiger's prepared introductory statement, continued.

1:20pm: Derrek Lee finishes light batting practice at Turner Field. While walking from the cage to the dugout, he narrowly avoids stepping on a loose bat, being hit by an overthrown ball, and a piano dropping on his head.

1:25pm: Nine up, nine down for the Indians.

1:29pm: Tiger finishes speaking after 24 minutes, 22 seconds of uninterrupted talking. He appeared to only breathe twice and blink once. The floor is now "open for questions".

1:30pm: A visibly-drunk David Feherty asks "Tiger, my man. Hey...huh...wha...wherrrrre's Eeee-lin at, man?"

1:31pm: David Feherty is escorted from the Augusta National grounds.

1:34pm: Alexei Ramirez lays down a sacrifice bunt, and all 40,000 Sox fans in attendance give him a standing ovation, because THAT'S HOW YOU PLAY REAL BASEBALL AND REAL FANS KNOW THAT.

1:35pm: Milton Bradley shows up for his Mariners' season-opener in Oakland eight hours early and holds an impromptu press conference, blaming the Chicago Cubs for his 0-4, 3 K performance coming in tonight's game.

1:39pm: After a couple of softball questions, ESPN's Erin Andrews stands up and asks Tiger, "How would you feel if your wife had done this to you?"

1:43pm: Four uncomfortable minutes of absolute silence and unsettling staring later, Tiger asks Andrews, "Could you repeat the question?"

1:52pm: Fifteen up, fifteen down for the Indians. Buehrle's teammates stop talking to him in the dugout.

1:57pm: The Tiger Woods press conference ends when David Feherty somehow crashes through the ceiling of the conference room, bawling "I was mistress fifteen! I was fifteen!"

2:06pm: Duke players sacrifice a less-than-one-year-old calf and spread the blood on their lockers, in accordance with the Dark Lord's wishes.

2:19pm: Eighteen up, eighteen down for the Indians at the Cell.

2:30pm: Gene Hackman arrives at Hinkle Fieldhouse. He walks to center court, puts his hands on his hips, and inhales deeply through his nose while cracking a thin smile.

2:31pm: Gene Hackman is escorted from Hinkle Fieldhouse.

2:32pm: Hinkle Fieldhouse security apologizes profusely to Hackman, after hearing his voice and realizing he's that guy who does all those commercial voiceovers for Lowe's.

2:40pm: Perfect through seven for Mark Buehrle. Sox lead 5-0. Tension is palpable at the Cell.

2:49pm: David Feherty's body is discovered floating in Rae's Creek at Augusta National.

2:54pm: The Cubs have a quick players-only meeting in the visitors' clubhouse at Turner Field. Jeff Samardzija stands up at yells, "Let's win this one for the Gipper!", then looks around the room with a goofy smile. He is met with stone-faced silence. "Get it, 'cause I went to Notre Dame? Huh....get it?"

2:55pm: Jeff Samardzija is escorted from Turner Field.

2:56pm: Mark Buehrle is perfect through eight innings, ready to face Cleveland's 7-8-9 hitters. All 40,000 are standing at the Cell, BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT REAL FANS DO. An Orland Park man who answers his cell phone is immediately beaten by 24 fans in his section and Nancy Faust.

2:59pm: With two out in the top of the ninth, Bobby Jenks suddenly appears in the Sox dugout. Jenks is covered in a sticky white powder and holding a nearly-empty Dunkin' Donuts box. He yells to Buehrle from the dugout, "Mmph mooh grrph ghmm, Marrff!"

3:00pm: Buehrle gives up a solo shot to Indians catcher Kelly Shoppach. He retires the next batter for the complete-game one-hitter, then starts running toward Jenks. Jenks comically throws his donut box in the air, scattering powdered sugar everywhere, then runs in the clubhouse.

3:07pm: "The Star-Spangled Banner" beings at Turner Field in Atlanta. Detroit writer Rob Otto shoots his television.

3:08pm: Bobby Jenks is somehow discovered floating in Rae's Creek at Augusta National, next to David Feherty. Somehow, both are alive. When asked what they were doing there, both replied "just hangin' out."

3:10pm: Ryan Theriot hits the first pitch he sees 460 feet into the Atlanta sky. Unfortunately, those 460 feet were straight up. One out.

3:29pm: An non-eventful Cubs-Braves game remains scoreless into the third inning. Lou Pinella falls asleep.

3:35pm: Tiger Woods is definitely not having sex with anybody right now.

3:46pm: Duke star Nolan Smith watches "Revenge of the Nerds" to pump himself up for tonight's game. Smith wears his lucky Alpha Beta sweater for the viewing.

3:50pm: The Braves score first in the bottom of the fifth inning, when Troy Glaus hits a lazy fly ball to left field that Alfonso Soriano runs to center field to catch. Glaus lumbers around the bases for an inside-the-park home run while Soriano hops to the left field fence to retrieve the ball. Marlon Byrd stands motionless with his hand on his forehead. Lou Pinella is still asleep.

3:59pm: Carlos Zambrano melts down on the mound after Alfonso Soriano's fourth fielding error of the inning. His first pitch to the tenth batter of the inning hits Yunel Escobar. A bench-clearing brawl results in twelve ejections for the Cubs, eight for the Braves.

4:09pm: Pinella wakes up, asks "What'd I miss?"

4:14pm: David Feherty and Bobby Jenks use wormhole-stabilizing technology to transport themselves instantly to Scotland, where Feherty promises to show Jenks "where the good stuff is made".

4:17pm: Due to the massive number of ejections, Tyler Colvin is forced into play for the Cubs. He hits a homer in his first at-bat, drawing the Cubs to within 4 runs of Atlanta but still down 6-2.

4:45pm: Butler star Gordon Hayward saves a kitten from a tree.

4:59pm: In his third MLB at-bat, Tyler Colvin hits his third home run. Cubs tie the Braves 7-7 in the top of the 8th inning.

5:03pm: Feherty and Jenks use their wormhole technology to warp to Oakland, where they appear in front of Milton Bradley. They throw 120-year-old single-malt scotch in his face.

5:09pm: Every television station in the Indianapolis TV market begins airing Hoosiers.

5:18pm: Tyler Colvin hits his fourth home run in four at-bats, eventually leading the Cubs to a thrilling 10-9 victory over the Braves. Colvin finds the TV camera, grabs it with two hands, and shouts into the lens, "That's for you, Tuffy!"

5:22pm: Tiger Woods is doing the opposite of having sex.

5:56pm: Lou Pinella wakes up on the Cubs' dugout bench when a stadium maintenance worker accidentally sprays him with a cleanup hose.

6:02pm: Gene Hackman delivers the greatest pre-game speech ever made in sports history to the Butler Bulldogs.

6:03pm: Mike Krzyzewski angrily grabs each of his players by the shoulders with eyes glowing red, screaming "Your soul is mine if we lose!"

6:05pm: Feherty and Jenks end up orbiting Jupiter's moon Europa, where they discover the icy surface of the moon harbors algae-like life that gets you really, really high when you eat it.

6:30pm: Everyone in Indianapolis takes a mandatory 90-minute nap. It's called Naptown for a reason, and that reason is that I can't think of anything to write for those ninety minutes.

8:00pm: Wake up! It's time for some college basketball!

8:19pm: Gene Hackman walks out to the basketball rims and measures them as exactly ten feet off the floor, showing Butler that this is just like any other game. Mike Krzyzewski shoots flames from his nostrils at the rims, incinerating the nylon nets instantly.

8:20pm: The nets are replaced.

8:21pm: Duke wins the tip-off and immediately scores ten unanswered points.

8:57pm: Duke leads Butler 44-32 at the half. There are many confirmed reports of unexplained bleeding from the eyes of fans at Lucas Oil.

8:59pm: Another awesome episode of 24 ends on FOX, and you totally forgot to TiVo it because of all the sports action today.

9:03pm: Gene Hackman delivers the greatest halftime speech in the history of sports to the Butler Bulldogs.

9:17pm: Gordon Hayward emerges from the Butler locker room wearing a new jersey that reads "CHITWOOD" on the back.

9:34pm: Feherty and Jenks appear in a luxury box at Lucas Oil with 12 minutes to play in the game. Duke still leads, 57-50.

9:45pm: Butler slowly chips away at the Duke lead, drawing within three points with four minutes remaining. Coach K rips the heart out of his team's head trainer and gnaws on it for an entire full timeout.

9:48pm: Feherty, Jenks, and announcer Gus Johnson appear at the CBS broadcast table, where Johnson taps Jim Nantz on the shoulder and calmly states, "I got this from here."

9:54pm: With 13 seconds left and his Bulldogs down by one, Gordon Chitwood and crew execute a perfect picket-fence screen at the top of the key. He rises and fires...and hits the shot with no time remaining. Butler wins 63-62.

9:55pm: Gus Johnson's head explodes.

9:56pm: The state of North Carolina is set ablaze.

9:57pm: West Virginia students set couches on fire.

9:58pm: Detroit is set ablaze, although after careful examination it is revealed that the fires were not new, and instead still burning from last year's Stanley Cup celebration.

10:00pm: All celebrations in Indianapolis are promptly shut down due to city curfew, except for establishments in the city's rowdy Broad Ripple neighborhood. They are allowed to remain open until 10:30.

10:01pm: Ozzie Guillen tweets "Good job Butlers. You guys are best. I hate Kenny Williams. HEAR ME KEN"

11:39pm: Bobby Jenks asks David Feherty where they should go next. Feherty stares in the sky wistfully and says, "Bobby, second star from the left...and straight on 'til morning."

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3 Comments

The Langer said:

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f'ing genius.

Dmband said:

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Awesome and hilarious. Well done.

Alex Quigley said:

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Thanks, fellas.

It appears thus far that I miscalculated on Tiger's press conference, though. Feherty was drinking *whiskey*, not scotch.

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