Debatable: What Makes An Athlete?

Chapter 1, Blog 3

By Chuck Wells As Told To Ray Hochgesang


“HELL NO,” I shouted. “I wanta talk BEARS.”

“Screw da Bears,” said Ralphie. “Dey’re dead in the wuter.”

Even at halftime, we had our fair-weathered fans, didn’t we? They say realists. We say quitters. Diehard drunk or not, Ralphie hated what he was watching.

“Well, at least the Bears aren’t a bunch of pampered pansies who think they’re goddamned jocks,” said Nicky. “Ya know what? I bet most of those Olympic jags don’t even need jocks.”

Nicky and Ralphie hive-fived, spilling beer into the Doritoes bowl – and on my new carpet. I sat and questioned the wisdom of hosting the party at my house.

Here, I’m sure, some might say was Exhibit A that I was, in fact, an idiot: In order to host the Super Bowl party, I had assured my all-knowing, yet still-loving, wife of 18 years, Melinda, that we as grown men could – and would – behave.

To further prove the prosecution’s case against me, I handed over the Carson Pirie Scott card and told my beautiful, petite mate to go enjoy herself. That, your honor, was Exhibit B.

I believe the next appropriate phrase is nolo contendere.

“Seriously, da Bears, they look like ass-wipes today, but they’re still damned athletes,” said Nicky. “Every one of them can bench press at least his weight or more. How many freakin’ Olympic athletes, ya know, not countin’ the shot putters or fat-ass wrestlers, can do that? Huh? Huh? Jist how many? I bet Michael Phelps can’t. Jist how many can, ya think?”

“I don’t know,” I played along as if I gave a rat’s ass. “How many?”

“Don’t know,” said Nicky. “Have to look it up.”

And I knew he would.

“Thar’s not a jock in da bunch,” said Ralphie, catching up after a good guzzle of beer. “Da Bears. Dey suck bad. But most of dem are still goddamned athletes.”

“Oh, c’mon, Man, athletes my ass,” said Frank, my next-door neighbor and the only Colts fan in the house. Frank was the one drinking Coors Light, know what I mean? Even though he had the guts to wear that stinking Colts blue jersey, we let him in. He did bring all the beer he could carry.

“The Bears are a bunch of freakin’ crackheads. How in the world did they get to the Super Bowl? All Marvin Harrison has to do is run a fly pattern and … ”

“And whut?” interrupted Ralphie. “Git his freakin’ clock cleaned?”

“Marvin could run freakin’ circles around every Bears he wants. Uh, well … ” Frank stopped to think. “Maybe not Hester. But it’s obvious. Peyton’s got way too many targets already. He doesn’t even need Marvin.”

“DA HELL!” shouted Ralphie. The mountain stood up, and the house began to quake.

… OMG…

Copyright © 2012 by Chuck H. Wells/Ray Hochgesang

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