Getting fired blows. We’ve all been there. But sometimes it can be a blessing in disguise, at least for a short time. I mean, if you think about it, most of us have been going non-stop since we were six years old. Elementary/Middle/High School led us to college, which led some of us to grad school, and others of us straight into the working world, and we’ve been toiling there ever since. Long hours for no money. And if we’re “lucky,” all we’re gonna do is work until the day we drop dead. Getting fired can actually give you the break you might need to get your head straight, change careers, or pursue a hobby or passion that working may have otherwise prevented.
For 32-year-old Dennis Doyle, who lost his job as a lawyer sometime last year, that passion is basketball. Specifically, that passion is his beloved New York Knicks, so he decided that this was the year he’d go all-out, balls-to-the wall and see them every game, and maybe even chronicle the whole thing on his blog, The Oakman Cometh. Sounds fun, right?
Except when you factor in that the Knicks are sitting pretty at the bottom of their division, the Eastern Conference and, well, almost the entire NBA right now with a 17-64 record, save for the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves, who eke them out for worst record with 16-65. The two teams are currently duking it out for worst record and best shot at the #1 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft. Aging superstar Carmelo Anthony played about half the games this year before shutting it down with a knee injury after the All-Star Game. Team President/Zen Master Phil Jackson traded half the roster away for basically nothing, including Tyson Chandler, J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert, all of whom have found considerable success on playoff-bound teams.
And while tanking seems like a good idea from an empirical and managerial standpoint, there’s one group that’s always overlooked and caught in the middle — the Fans. Fans like Doyle, who doled out a whopping $26,000 to see his favorite team enjoy their worst record in franchise history. Yikes.
“I’m so shot,” Doyle said. “My senses are just done. My memory all runs together. It would have been a totally different experience if they’d been good.”
Can you imagine going from a situation where you lost your livelihood, comforts, and possibly a bunch of other things you hold dear, and deciding to go on a crazy 82-game bender following your favorite team, just to see them get their asses handed to them on a historical level? The Knicks should give this guy fucking season tickets for life.
Of course, that seems pretty unlikely, as team owner James Dolan called a fan who sent him an email voicing his displeasure with the team an alcoholic, said that his “life is a mess and [he is] a hateful mess”, and told him to “start rooting for the [crosstown-rival Brooklyn] Nets because the Knicks don’t want you.” That’s the tip of the iceberg for Knicks fan this season.
At least Doyle’s getting something out of it — he signed with a literary agent to turn his blog into a book. He traveled all over the country, and even went to London to see the team lose on another continent. After a loss to the Phoenix Suns, he visited the Grand Canyon and obtained a new perspective on life: “Staring into the abyss, it was hard not to think of the Knicks.”
And in typical Knicks fashion, they’re even fucking up the end of their season. They went on a 2-game winning streak, which, in a normal season, would be a good thing, but it took them out of dead last to a game “behind” the Timberwolves, giving them only a 19.9% chance at the top pick. Good odds, but they could drop as low as the fifth pick overall. Wouldn’t be a Knicks season if they didn’t somehow manage to ruin everything; they can even mess up being the absolute worst. Doyle called it a “Nightmare.”
Doyle’s “nightmare” is almost over; the Knicks dreadful season ends tonight, much to the jubilation of ownership, management, the players, and Knicks fans all over the world. It’s a season that many, including Doyle, want to forget.
“If I had better health care coverage,” he said, “I’d seriously consider therapy.”
Cheer up, dude. There’s always next year. To paraphrase the great comedian Artie Lange, that’s why being a Knicks fan is better than having a girlfriend or boyfriend. Because when there’s times your girlfriend or boyfriend won’t fuck you, the Knicks will always fuck you..
[via New York Times]