A very weird Thanksgiving
Sometimes sports can blur reality, fantasy ... or was it too much turkey?
Posted: Thursday November 27, 2003 9:10PM; Updated: Friday November 28, 2003 10:34AM
I lay on the couch last night, bloated and unable to move, floating in that netherworld between life and a turkey-induced coma. I finally let sleep overcome me right there in the living room, oblivious to relatives and guests. And I had this dream of a most peculiar Thanksgiving gathering:
David Vecsey: I'd like to thank you all for coming. It truly is a blessed occasion when we can all sit down at the same table to break bread and give thanks for all that we have. If I may lead us in saying grace ...
Bob Knight: Just a minute, just a minute. You know ... you being a sportswriter, obviously you're too *&#@ stupid to say grace. Why don't you leave grace to somebody who's actually recognized by God as a human being.
Vecsey: Coach Knight! I didn't see you down there. I had heard you weren't coming!
Knight: Who told you that!? Did I tell you that!? Did somebody from Texas Tech tell you that?! No! Now listen to me you &$*@# idiot: Unless I tell you I'm not coming or somebody from Texas Tech tells you I'm not coming, don't say another *#$&* word about it, OK?
Vecsey: I'm sorry. Can I just say the grace?
Knight: No, you've already *&#$* this up enough. I'll say it. ... Bow your &$#*@ heads! ... When my time on earth is done and my activities here are passed, I hope they bury me upside down ...
Vecsey: OK, you know what? That's just not appropriate. Is there anybody else who'd like to say a little something? Barry?
Barry Bonds: No, I can only say grace for myself. All of you are going to have to say your own grace.
Vecsey: Well, would you at least like to come sit with us?
Bonds: No, I can't. I hate to come across as a complete jag, but it's in my best interests to sit at my own table. I don't want any of you eating off of my plate.
Dick Vermeil: I'll say grace.
Everybody: Ohhhh, geeez ....
Vermeil: We'd like to give thanks for all that we're about to share. This is such a special group of people ... sniffle ... really great, special, wonderful folks, who ... sniffle .... Have made this a special ...
Knight: Hey, Majerus, you wanna put that down until this &@*# guy is finished watering down the @*#& gravy!
Rick Majerus: There's gravy?! OK, but just half a glass.
Bill Romanowski: Is this a free-range turkey? I can't eat it if it's been pumped up with all kinds of chemicals and performance enhancing drugs. I don't believe in that stuff. (Sound of a wrist watch beeping). Uh-oh. Time for my 3:15's.
Bonds: Yo, Romo, you can have some of my specially prepared turkey. Us BALCO guys, er, I mean Bay Area guys have to stick together. There's nothing wrong with my turkey.
Romanowski: Are you kidding me? Your turkey wouldn't pass inspection from Hans Blix. (Sound of a wrist watch beeping.) Time for my 3:17's.
Vermeil: ... some situations are so unique ... sniffle ... I love you all. I love you all. Amen. Sniffle. Sniffle.
Vecsey: Coach Carr, would you like more stuffing?
Lloyd Carr: Why would you ask me such a stupid question?
Vecsey: Let's just eat, OK? ... How's everything over there at the children's table?
Keyshawn Johnson: Keenan McCardell has more yams than me! I want more yams! Gimme more yams! .... Just give me the damn yams!
Ricky Davis: Yeah, baby! Where are my damn yams? If I pass them to myself, do I get an assist?
Jeremy Shockey: Why are we at the children's table anyway? Freddy and LeBron are at the big table and they're not even old enough to hang out in Vegas strip clubs.
Brian Cashman: This turkey sure is good. But that piece over there looks even better. Can I have it?
Billy Beane: But I'm eating this! Eat your own turkey.
Cashman: But I want your turkey. I'll give you $18 million for it.
Theo Epstein: I'll give you $20 million for it!
Cashman: Butt out, Junior, I'm buying his turkey!
Epstein: No, I'm buying his turkey!
Cashman: Fine, I didn't want turkey anyway. I want pie. Listen up, everybody: I'll buy every piece of pie at the table for $14 million each.
Epstein: Listen up, people: I'll buy every piece of pie at the table for $20 million each.
Jack McKeon: When I was a young GM, we didn't just lean over and pluck the turkey off of the plate next to us. We had to walk to sign free agents, sometimes two, three miles in the snow, uphill ... both ways. And we liked it like that. Could someone pass me more turkey?
Moises Alou: I'll get it for you.
Steve Bartman: Here, let me help you with that.
Alou: No, thanks. I'll get it myself.
Bartman: It's no problem. I got it.
Alou: I got it!
Bartman: Really, let me ...
Alou: I GOT IT!
(Sound of turkey platter crashing to the floor. Dishes break. A cat screeches. The needle skips off a record.)
(Long awkward pause in the conversation as everybody glares at young Steve Bartman, who still has his headphones on.)
Peter King: Coffee, anyone? More coffee, anyone?
Romanowski: Only if it's decaf. The body is a temple. Oops, time for my 4 p.m.'s.
Bonds: Brought my own coffee.
Epstein: (To Cashman) Are you having coffee?
Cashman: I don't know. Are you having coffee?
Epstein: Asked you first.
Knight: Happy &@#&* Thanksgiving.
David Vecsey's Voice of Reason column appears weekly on SI.com.