Friday, May 8, 2009

Testing, Testing

Because nobody seems to be talking about swine flu, I kind of feel obligated to explain it to everyone. I know you probably aren’t taking swine flu all that seriously, but keep in mind that the first known case of swine flu turned a regular, upstanding citizen into Hoggish Greedly, the most hated nemesis of Captain Planet. One day you’re wondering whether jean jackets will ever come back in style and the next day you’re telling Al Gore and his global warming to shove it, all because you want to make a quick buck. Do yourself a favor and go get tested if you start to grow a snout and/or a curly pink tail.

Speaking of getting tested, I experienced the worst part about playing college basketball for yet another time today. A complete stranger watched me urinate while I had my shirt off and my pants down to my knees. No, I’m not trying to join a fraternity, even though it is Greek Week at tOSU. I was simply being tested to see if my level of manliness falls within the normal range. Or something like that.

I would estimate that I get drug tested anywhere between four and way too many times a year. I’m not entirely sure what I am being tested for so I always make it a point to ask. I usually do this by saying something along the lines of “Are you guys testing for awesomeness? Cause I can tell you right now that I will most certainly test positive if that’s the case.” I then follow that up by laughing at my own joke and doing that thing where I tap people on their shoulder/upper arm with my backhand until they laugh or at least half-smile out of pity. On second thought, maybe I wouldn’t test positive for awesomeness.

The drug testing process begins when I walk into the gym and immediately remind myself that my bladder is full and it needs to be relieved ASAP. I then will walk into the locker room and see a sign that says “DRUG TESTING AFTER PRACTICE. DON’T PEE BEFORE THEN” (yes, it’s in all CAPS), at which point I will get visibly upset. After my frustration subsides, I go to practice and perform at an even lower level than I usually do because my bladder is so full that it quite literally stings.

Following practice, I rush back to the locker room so that I can be the first guy tested, which is a strategy that always fails. For whatever reason, I always end up getting stuck in line behind Jon Diebler, who is easily the worst drug test taker in the history of both drugs and urinating. Every time we get tested, Jon explains to everyone how badly he has to use the restroom and then always proceeds to choke when the spotlight comes on. Honestly, Jon’s inability to urinate while someone is watching is a little bit ridiculous and needs to come to an end. That’s why I’m calling on the Trillion Man March to help build Jon’s confidence. If any of you ever see Jon in a public restroom, simulate a drug test by staring at him while he’s using the urinal.

(Wait, what did I just suggest?)

By the time my turn comes around, the guy conducting the test explains to me that he needs me to generate enough urine to fill the cup to a particular line. That’s when I let out a few confident laughs, look him in the eye and say “watch this”, and proceed to practically overflow the cup while “Welcome To The Jungle” resonates throughout my head (not too sure why, but I’ve found that when I have GNR on my mind, I’m much more effective at urinating). After I’m done, I take my sample over to the dude conducting the test and wait a few minutes while he picks his jaw up off the ground. It’s performances like this that make it easy to see why I’ve been the team MVP for three straight years. I’ll let you figure out what the “P” in that acronym stands for.

Personally, I don’t think that the drug test could have come at a better time, seeing as how the news just broke that Manny Ramirez decided to embrace his feminine side by taking women’s fertility drugs. I used this news to my advantage, as I explained to the conductors of the test that I too had been taking fertility drugs because I’ve unsuccessfully been trying to get pregnant for a few years. Again, this awful attempt at a joke ended with me doing the backhand tap thing, which, come to think of it, has become my bailout plan for all of my jokes. If ever a joke doesn’t work, I use the backhand shoulder tap as a recovery tool and immediately recapture the audience’s attention. I encourage using this move in your life when applicable.

Every time I get drug tested, I can’t help but laugh at the notion that I might be taking performance-enhancing drugs. If it weren’t for the fact that a random guy is staring at my genitals, I’d almost be flattered. Seriously, do you really need to test my urine to see if I’m enhancing my performance? All it takes is one look at my career stats to conclude that even if I am taking performance-enhancing drugs, clearly they aren’t working. Maybe they are testing for drugs that would enhance my blogging performance, in which case, I really can’t blame them one bit. Still, even though everyone on the team gets tested, I can’t help but convince myself that someone out there thinks that my abilities on the court are so spectacular that there’s a chance I could be doping.

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I want to take a quick second and disregard all the rules I laid out for this blog that pertain to how I distribute shout-outs, because it was brought to my attention that my new favorite football player reads this blog or at the very least is a fan of it.

I don’t talk about other sports all that often on my blog, so most of you probably don’t know that I have been a pretty big fan of the Minnesota Vikings since I was seven years old. My dad roomed with Cris Carter’s brother, Butch, in college, which prompted me to go around school when I was younger and brag about how I was friends with Cris Carter. I was never much of a football fan as a kid, but when I realized that I kind of knew a pro player, I latched on and watched every Vikings game I could. I tell you that to tell you this.

In the May 6th edition (Page 3) of Sporting News, Vikings quarterback Sage Rosenfels listed this blog as one of three of his bookmarked sites. Because Brett Favre decided to stay retired and because nobody in their right mind has any sort of confidence in Tarvaris Jackson, there’s a solid chance that Sage will be the starting quarterback for my favorite football team this fall. This is a huge deal to me. I’ve endured the 1998 NFC Championship meltdown, the 2000 NFC Championship blowout, and the dissolving of one of the greatest offenses in NFL history, but knowing that the current Vikings quarterback digs my blog more than makes up for those heartbreaks. The Vikings have the best running game and the best defense in the league. Now that they have a solid quarterback, you can put them in the NFC Championship game right now. At the very least, you can mark them down as starting the season 1-0, because the Browns stand no chance in Week 1. I might just have to make the short drive up to Cleveland and taunt the Dawg Pound in my horned viking hat thing and my Rosenfels jersey. That would certainly make for an interesting blog entry.

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After me and my sorry attempt at a faux hawk were on the front page of Yahoo! and after I prompted the Trillion Man March to send in questions for a future mailbag (don’t worry, the new name is coming in the next paragraph), my inbox exploded. I got something like 250 e-mails, all of which I have read, but I’m now taking the time to sort through them and pick out my favorite questions. The Trillion Man March continues to impress.

Also, after dropping a line about wanting to come up with a new name for the mailbag, the Trillion Man March offered a ton of suggestions. The best name, which also happened to be the most frequently sent in name, was “Shark Tank.” Therefore, the mailbag will now be referred to as “The Shark Tank” or simply “Shark Tank.” The first edition of The Shark Tank should come within the next couple of weeks, provided something awesome doesn’t happen in the basketball program between now and then. Keep sending in questions and I’ll do my best to dodge your question and find a way to tie in an otherwise completely irrelevant YouTube video.

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Streak for the Cash Group Leader: J. Hughes (streak of 13 wins)

Streak for the Cash Group Loser: B. Truslow, for the second entry in a row (streak of 13 losses)

Your awesome YouTube was sent in to me by Matt S. There's your shout-out, Matt. And here's your video.




Your Friend and My Favorite,

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder