The next American Idol is … me? |

The next American Idol is … me?

ANDREW GMEREKspecial to the daily

It’s going to be a tough year. I have a lot to accomplish before next January roles around, and so far I’m running behind and it’s not even the end of the month. In this year alone, I have to win American Idol, take Olympic gold and then capture a Tony, Emmy, and Oscar in the writing category. And none of that includes the time it will take accepting a Pulitzer and Nobel Prize in physics. Now normally, just one of those accomplishments would be enough for any man or woman in any given year. For me, however, it’s not that simple. I have this strange affliction, based oddly enough on television, which makes me want it all.Because of some sort of quirk in my personality, anytime I see a contest on television – except maybe for that golfing thing – I automatically believe that I should not only enter the competition, but also that I have a superb chance of taking home the blue ribbon, the winning cup, the biggest trophy.

Now I can already hear some people chuckling at this notion, but it’s not funny so stop it. It’s brutal always thinking that if you just got off the couch and stopped staring at the television you could be the best at everything. I watch the Olympics and my mind kicks into overdrive thinking I could still compete in some dangerous competition like the skeleton. Yes, the sport where you slide face-first down a track and just hope you don’t crash and break every bone in your skeleton.Soon I’ll watch the Academy Awards and when they announce the best screenwriting award I’m sure I’ll be sitting – probably on my sofa eating Cheetos and drinking a Mountain Dew – and I’ll promise myself that next year that I’ll be at those awards, and I’ll be the one on the podium. Then I’ll start rehearsing my acceptance speech.I’ll thank my wife and kids, my parents for being such wonderful, loving individuals, and then I’ll say something important about growing up in the Midwest and living a dream. My speech will bring tears to the eyes of the world.

Of course, I know that rationally I’ll never be able to accomplish certain goals. I’ll never win the Super Bowl with an amazing catch in the final seconds or score that Stanley Cup winning goal but for some reason my mind just can’t get around the concept that certain boats have most definitely sailed. I mean 43 years old is probably a bad time to start working on the old Olympic dream and a short bald guy who can’t sing a lick is never going to get past the judges on American Idol.Now granted I could possibly move to some hot and sunny country where there is never any snow or ice and then become the captain of the bobsled team, but I seriously doubt that’s the way to win gold. Not only would it be hard to practice with a sled but I have a feeling my exercise regiment would fall apart in a margarita-induced haze.Eventually I’ll find a goal that I know I can accomplish at my state of vigor. It probably won’t be a young man’s game like NASCAR or Dancing with the Stars but you can bet I’ll find something that will set me apart and make me the hero.

Maybe I’ll take up competitive eating. Andrew Gmerek writes a Friday column. He can be reached at

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