Breaking News: Mike Apathy Hits Free Agency!!!
Let me tell you, Folks…I’ve been waiting a LONG time to get out of this contract that I signed back when I was 8, or 9, or 10, or so… Yes, Friends…I’ve finally hit Free Agency. I will no longer be embarrassed when people I meet ask me what my favorite pro football team is (well, I could always say Tottenham Hotspur, but that’s a different post…). Here’s my story. Enjoy.
Many moons ago, when I was just a lad living in Orange County, we had two NFL teams that we could support. We had the family friendly Los Angeles Rams of Anaheim, who shared a field with my beloved Angels and we had the dark and mysterious Los Angeles Raiders. The latter was a team with history. It was a team with some serious credentials. Plus, to a young kid of 8, their black and silver uniforms looked unbelievably cool. Now, I’ve always been more of a baseball guy, so I can’t go toe-to-toe with NFL stathead-geeks and cite obscure games (or a lot of the classics), players who weren’t big names, etc… I’ve just been a casual fan for the most part. On the other side of the coin, though, even when the Raiders packed up and left LA for Oakland, I kept my allegiances in line. Afterall, I did know the value of having a team and sticking with them. I wasn’t going to suddenly become a Rams fan, or a Chargers fan because it would’ve been more convenient. Hell no. I have
stupidity loyalty, dammit, to a team, that when it boiled down to it (like any pro team in any sport really…), couldn’t have given two shits about me. But I digress…
I stayed with the Raider Nation and backed them up through the Snow Bowl fiasco* in the ’01 Playoffs. I stayed with the Raider Nation through the 2002 season’s Super Bowl debacle**. I have stayed with the Raider Nation through Tom Cable, JaMarcus Russell and the Randy Moss experiment. I’ve purchased some memorabilia and been a good supporter, contributing my hard-earned dollars to Al Davis’ Galactic Death-Ray fund. Well, I’m done. I’m sick of it. It’s not even the losing that’s bugging me. I can take that…I’m an Angels fan, and a lot of people are spoiled with our new-look, Mike Scoscia-led team. People forget how terrible we were in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. I’m sick of the way they go through coaches. I’m sick of the way others look at me and lump me in with all the other knuckleheads that support the Raiders. I’m sick of the overall stigma that comes with the turf. Frankly, I’m exhausted.
*My take on the Snow Bowl game against the Patriots in 2001 is this…that call may or may not have been the right one. Personally, I don’t give a shit anymore. Either way, my point is this: Had the Raiders beaten the Patriots that game, two things would have happened that would’ve changed the course of NFL Football throughout the ‘aughts.
- One, Tom Brady would have never had the opportunity to shine in the Super Bowl, defeat the Rams and become the household name that he is today, on par with Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana and Sebastian Janikowski. We might still be talking about Drew Bledsoe and his mediocre career.
- Two, the Raiders would’ve whooped the Rams that year in the big game (they had the better, more seasoned team and a better coach), therefore John Gruden would’ve stayed in Oakland and gone to at least one more Super Bowl with an offensive core of Rich Gannon, Jerry Rice, Tim Brown and the aforementioned Sebastian Janikowski.
**There are two Super Bowls I’ve watched within the last 12 years where I have gotten fucked up beyond all recognition, and this is one of them (maybe I’ll talk about the other one in a future post). The idea was this: For Super Bowl XXXVII featuring the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Oakland Raiders, we would make things interesting. There were two 2-man teams; Mike Apathy and Ringo on one, and who-the-fuck-cares (or remembers) on the other. The game worked like this: For every time that your team, the Raiders in my case, turns the ball over, you must shotgun a beer. For every time the other team scores, you must shotgun a beer. Lets break this down by the numbers, shall we?
- Tampa Bay had 8 scores during the game. 4 came in the 1st half, while Oakland managed to kick 1 lousy FG in that time. Tampa Bay had another 4 scores in the 2nd half. Although Oakland’s 3 2nd half TD’s were better than their showing in quarters 1 and 2, we were still going 100 mph, in the fast lane, speeding out of control towards Plowed-Ville. That’s 8 shotgunned beers right there if you’re counting.
- Oakland had 5 turnovers in the game, all of which were interceptions thrown by the 2002 season’s MVP, Rich Gannon.
- This brings the grand total of shotgunned beers taken down by Mike Apathy to 13. Keep in mind that shots were also being poured and our shotguns were not the only beers we were consuming…by a longshot.
So, without further adieu, here’s what I’ve been getting at for the last 900 or so words. I have officially declared myself a free agent. Much like Nnamdi Asomugha, I have declined my offer to resign with the Oakland Raiders. I have moved on in my life, at a time when I felt it was the best thing to do for me and my family. I feel like this move will give me the best chance to win championships now. I’m not doing this for the money, I’m doing it for the passion. In fact, here are some choice excerpts from the transcript of an interview I did with Jim Gray, to be aired on national TV, to break the news:
What have you thought about this process?
This process has been everything I’ve thought and more. And that’s what I did a few years ago; I put myself in a position to have this process where I can hear teams’ pitches and figure out what was the best possible chance for me to ultimately win and to ultimately be happy.
What was the major factor, the major reason in your decision?
I think the major factor and the major reason in my decision was the best opportunity for me to win and to win now and to win into the future also.
And winning is a huge thing for me. Jim, you know ever since I was a rookie or even in high school, we always talked, that was the number one thing for me: Help my teammates get better and just wanting to win. And I’ve done some great things in my seven years, and I want to continue to do that.
Do you have any doubts about your decision?
No. I don’t have any doubts at all.
Would you like to sleep on it a little longer, or are you ready to make this decision?
I’ve slept enough. Or the lack of sleep.
Are you still a nail biter?
I have a little bit. Not of late.
You’ve had everybody else biting their nails. So I guess it’s time for them to stop chewing. The answer to the question everybody wants to know: Mike, what’s your decision?
In this fall, this is very tough, in this fall I’m going to take my talents to the Big Apple and support the New York Jets.
I’m officially a Jets fan baby! And to the inevitable haters that will undoubtedly be coming out of the woodwork any minute now, guess what else? (Please play the below video and listen while reading through the rest of this post. Thank you.)
(I’m really enjoying this by the way…)
I jumped on a bandwagon that I have absolutely NO association with, and let me tell you, it feels good. REAL GOOD. Livin’ the dream baby…just livin’ the dream.
(I feel like I want to get up and dance…I wanna kiss myself. CEEELEEEBRAAATE GOOOOD TIIIIMESSSS C’MON!)
My Super Bowl prediction for the 2011 Season:
New York Jets 56; Green Bay Packers 0
For Tyler, Rex Ryan’s foot-fettish and all the other suckers out there that are still begrudgingly rooting for the Raiders,
This is Mike Apathy signing off.