If only there were an app to explain the craziness of sports.
I bet you’d buy. I would, too, although I was born absent all tech skills, so I’d have to ask my kid to install it on my smartphone, then ask for another app that might explain 15-year-olds.
Actually, I don’t think a smartphone would be enough to handle the sports app. It would have to be installed on a savantphone, or Mensaphone, maybe a Godphone (it’s Sunday, so I suspect God is in a good mood).
The app wouldn’t ding like that silly Siri software. Instead, a tap of the finger would produce your favorite sound from a sporting event, perhaps a huge cheer from the stands, or maybe that steel-beam-rattling ship’s horn that bellows at the Garden with each Bruins goal.
And, of course, the app would have to have ’tude.
App (after ship horn fades): “Whattup?’’
User: “Explain Lance Armstrong.’’
App: “Please ’splain more.’’
User: “OK, thought that was your job, but . . . how could he ever have thought that such an elaborate, devious scheme could be kept secret for a lifetime?’’
App: “You were around for Richard Nixon. See: Watergate.’’
User: “Uh, follow the money?’’
App: “Dude, c’mon, it’s always about the money. So, sure, this was good ol’ greed, but with a humongous amount of hubris. And my neuro-physio-psych buddies have convinced me that mainlining huge amounts of oxygenated blood over years and years sorta messes with your brain cells.’’
User: “You think?’’
App: “That’s what you’re paying me for.’’
User: “OK, fine, Armstrong is another victim of brain rot.’’
App: “Yeah, but look, it’s cycling. Everyone knows the whole sport is filthier than a 10-speed’s greasy chain. Yellow shirts. White lies. Dirty secrets. D’oh.’’
User: “I bet you Tweet on the side, don’t you?’’
App: “Even Nike and Budweiser finally figured it out, yanked their sponsorship, although it was their money that helped him keep the whole crooked wheel of fortune turning for all those years. They hopped on his back and went along for the ride.’’
User: “You aren’t saying Nike and Bud were in on it, are you?’’
App: “Follow the money. They were in it. Time will tell whether they were in on it. Remember, they may be the two greatest sports marketing forces of all time, Swooshes and Clydesdales, and they had some very bright people working intimately with Lyin’ Lance for years. I won’t allow you to believe they were 10-speed smart on one hand and dumber than a tricycle on the other. If so, I have a mountain in the French Alps to sell you. What Nike and Bud didn’t know was what they chose not to know.’’
User: “You are some kind of buzzkill.’’
App: “What, you thought this was the Miss Manners app? Tell it to Shaughnessy.’’
User: “This is way too heavy for a Sunday morn. Can we move on?”
App: “I’m all about mobile.’’
User: “So last Monday, a guy in Chicago bought a gallon of vintage ‘McJordan’ barbecue sauce. Got it on eBay. Paid $9,995.’’
App: “Yep. McDonald’s product. They used to sell McJordan Burgers around Chicago. Tons of ’em. Lathered that sauce all over the burger, the cheese. Stuff was thicker than the broth in Jed Clampett’s possum stew. Your question?’’
User: “Why would someone dish out nearly $10K for a 20-year-old gallon of BBQ sauce? Jordan was finished with the Bulls in ’98. Not even a Twinkie is edible beyond 13 years. Even the guy who sold it said he hopes the buyer won’t put it on his ribs or his burger.’’
App: “I bet he could have said that back when they were selling those burgers in the early ’90s.’’
User. “I’m paying you for fact, not opinion.’’
App: “Sorry, I have 98.5 The Sports Hub on here in the background.”
User: “You are listening to Felger?!’’
App: “He’s paying me, too, so why not? Look, they sold a few million of those McJordan burgers, and you should know they used the very same sauce around Boston about the same time.’’
User: “No way!’’
App: “Way. Just like McD’s was slimin’ up Quarter Pounders with McJordan Sauce around Chicago, it was doing the same in the Hub of Hamburgers, very same ingredients, selling the ‘Larry Bird Big 33.’ Chicago got Jordan. Boston got Bird. I like to say Buffalo got the indigestion, but that’s sort of an old NBA joke.’’
User: “Get . . . outta . . . town! I remember that old Bird commercial. This is killin’ me.’’
App: “Well, that’s what McDonald’s Quarter Pounders have always been about. The sauce just made them go down a little easier, that’s all.’’
User: “This is not what I expected when I bought this app.’’
App: “Look, big boy, I’ve got calls waiting, so I’m going to tie this all together for you before you get back to raking leaves before the Pats game starts.’’
User: “Wait, how’d you know . . . ?’’
App: “There really isn’t much difference between the kind of week Lance Armstrong had and the guy who paid all that money for that expired gallon of burger goo.’’
User: “Oh, this oughta be good. Tell me what Lyin’ Lance and a biggy-sized jug of mystery sauce have in common.’’
App: “Pretty obvious. In both cases, it’s about appetite and gullibility. People around the world have an insatiable hunger for sports heroes, and even when they know a career is built on lies, or openly acknowledge that the ingredients are all kinds of bad, they just keep coming back for more. Fans buy. Athletes and companies keep dishing it. There are still people out here who believe that Armstrong was clean, or even if he wasn’t, that all his Livestrong charity work along the way provided him absolution. I think he was counting on that as he built the scam.’’
User: “And the guy in Chicago who laid out the $10K. He did that from hunger?’’
App: “No. Again, brand identity, connection to a product, a link to a time gone by and an icon, Jordan, perhaps the greatest player in the game’s history. Big names. Big products. Inseparable in sports, and not going to change, no matter how ridiculous it all becomes. In 20 years, Armstrong will be 61 years old and his old bikes, yellow shirts, and blood tests will be selling for huge money on eBay.’’
User: “Heck, the way he’s going, Armstrong’s junk could be on eBay tomorrow.’’
App: “One man’s junk, another’s treasure, my friend. I learned that when I was an 8-track player.’’
User: “Wait, 8-tracks — now that’s an app I understood. It had a rewind button. Do you have a rewind button?’’
App: “Searching . . . ‘rewind button’ . . . searching . . . searching . . . searching . . .’’
User: “App, end search. You’ve made it clear. There is no going back.’’Kevin Paul Dupont’s ‘‘On Second Thought’’ appears on Page 2 of the Sunday Globe Sports section. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeKPD.