The day Sidney Crosby got drafted, I realized that my NHL dream was effectively over (not that I had even a remote chance of being in the NHL). Even though someone my age had been drafted, do you think that slaked my thirst for competition in hockey and beyond? Hell naw!
Ever since I was young, I loved competing. It could be sports, video games or even power walking competitions. I loved it all. It was a way to stack up against other people and see what you got. And you better believe I was going to stack up pretty high one way or another.
I’m a fairly lazy person, but once I get the dedication to doing something, I read about it, learn about it and study the game, sport or activity. A while back, I used to be really into chess and I think my Yahoo account has over 1,000 games played. I started League of Legends in college and have kept playing as some of my fraternity brothers across the country still play. They never really got better, but your boy pwns high school kids and much more inclined Asian kids just because I think if you’re going to do something, at least do it right (I’m somewhere in the top 3-5%).
I thirst for competition. The idea that everyone gets to play is lost on me. In my summer co-ed softball league, the team captain would play the “everyone gets to play equally” card. This boiled my blood so much, as we had some incredibly incapable people playing. I decided to play as a favor to a friend of mine (and the best girl by far on the team). We finished somewhere around .500 and it would drive me into an internal rage when they’d pull me from left field (where most of the balls go) to put in some dipshit that couldn’t throw a ball into the infield without it bouncing.
To be quite honest, I hate losing more than I like winning. When I was younger, losing would often put me in a day funk. It was around this time that I reevaluated my life and realized that life is too short to be impacted by a meaningless game. I’m still competitive, but I don’t let it get to me like I used to.
In college, I loved playing FIFA. We’d play for 40s in the frat house; your prowess was something to be boasted about and people would always try to usurp the reigning FIFA champion. I’d also play on Xbox Live when our house’s shitty internet allowed for it. Our house’s internet was often throttled due to the degenerates that couldn’t control themselves, constantly streaming porn. Needless to say, my Bayern Munich game was otherworldly. Anyway, there used to be a glitch in FIFA that let you to score a goal off the kickoff, a bush league tactic in my opinion. I was playing some German kid and he used it. I remember hitting post after post, as the pre-pubescent German kid taunted me. At the end of the game (1-0 for those keeping score at home) he just screeched at me I took my controller and launched it into the wall, shattering it. I didn’t even care that I jettisoned a $50 controller, it was liberating.
I can’t help myself. I’ve tried to not be an asshole, and I’ve come a long way. In my high school days where I thought I was a too-cool-for-school gym class warrior, I put a blistering wrister right into some girls face and gave her a black eye. “Bernie you aren’t supposed to lift the puck!” to which I replied, “she shouldn’t have been standing there”. Truthfully, I would have felt bad but she was a huge bitch (any girl named Madison is generally a bitch).
These days, I channel my over-competitive nature in my beer league. I haven’t exactly kicked my habit of trash talking people, but at least in hockey, it is socially acceptable. As I get older, I fear the inevitable slowdown and deterioration of skills. Maybe I’ll be resigned to play in fewer leagues, stretch a bit more than my usual, eat better and not drink beer before the game. I figure if I can remain competitive, it won’t be too embarrassing. One day, though, a kid like now me will tell old man me, “get out of the way old timer, I don’t want your broken hip on my conscience”. If you ain’t first you’re last, right?.
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