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The Breakdown: Just wasting time

BRYCE EVANS
summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado
Sports editor Bryce Evans
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I am the master of all things useless, or at least things that serve no practical purpose to society. You know, unless you’re writing a sports column. (Lucky me, right?)

I don’t know how to change the oil in my car, but I can tell you every single member of the NHL’s 500 goal club. I can’t replace a fuse, like the one that’s been blown in my apartment for the past three months, but I can tell you off the top of my head which 13 American cities have all four major professional sports. Cooking something that tastes half-decent? Not a chance, but I can whip up the last 50 or so winners of golf’s U.S. Open (and where they won).

And, as they said in “Spiderman,” with useless power comes useless responsibility. OK, so that’s not exactly how it goes, but the point is that I feel the responsibility to give anyone and everyone the chance to have as much useless knowledge as I do.

We’ll get to that in a minute, but first, we have to take a little tangent here.

So, one of the reasons I have stored so many pointless facts into my head is that I am also a master of procrastination. One of my favorite things to do is to do nothing at all, simply waste time until I’m actually forced to do something practical.

When I sat down to write this column, instead of actually hunkering down to the keyboard and cranking out something about the world of sports, I stalled.

I mean, I could have just as easily – and probably in less time – whipped up a column about Alex Rodriguez and his eventual 600th career home run, the dinger everyone seems to be dismissing. You see, A-Rod is going to soon be the indicator of how everyone — at least in the media and Hall of Fame voting — will perceive juicers. If A-Rod’s celebrated for his milestone and eventually reaches the Hall, doesn’t that mean Bonds, McGwire and Sosa have to be included as well?

It’s an interesting thought, but, instead of writing about that, I decided to watch part of a replay of a lacrosse game on ESPN-U.

I also could have written another semi-juiced column about why Floyd Landis isn’t being investigated for perjury. After all, his recent “coming clean” goes back on everything he said under oath in his trial a few years ago when he was trying to get reinstated into cycling. Do we only seek “justice” when it’s a name like Bonds or Clemens or Marion Jones? Is cycling not a big enough sport to warrant prosecution? And why is someone who’s been documented as a liar now the main source of an investigation against Lance Armstrong? Is hearsay from a creep evidence?

I didn’t write about that, though, and instead made funny noises at my month-old son for 30 minutes.

You see, one of my most useless (or useful, depending on how you look at it) abilities is to find a way to keep myself occupied by doing nothing at all. Usually, my route has something to do with sports.

And recently, I found one of the best tools to do so, and maybe, it can help you build up as much useless information as I have. (I told you we’d get back to the point.)

There’s a website called sporcle.com, which is filled with different trivia quizzes and has a whole boatload on sports. You can try to name every current NBA player to score over 40 points. You can try to name the last four coaches to head up each team in a certain sport.

Really, sporcle.com is the place where all useless information is rewarded – and possibly, attained.

One of the best parts of sports is that, in all reality, everything we get so fixated on is actually pretty pointless in the grand scheme of things. All sports is – at least in terms of being a fan – is a release from your daily grind, a way to escape for a little while and not have to think about anything serious.

Some of us choose that escape more than others, and in a way, that kind of makes all of these random facts and statistics not so useless after all.


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