We’re only five days into the new year and already I have a list of things that irk me.
Forty of ’em, in fact:
1. Bowl games that are played after New Year’s Day.
2. That cell phone commercial where the dad says, “Because you’re my No. 1.”
3. Conan O’Brien. He still isn’t funny. Even after all that time off to sit around trying to think stuff up.
4. The word “change” in political speeches. Think of a synonym, guys. And madam.
5. Women driving SUVs. Sitting up there all big like they’re getting a horsey ride on daddy’s knee, sipping a $6 cup of coffee from Starbucks. While talking on a cell phone.
6. Starbucks coffee.
7. The people who stand behind the counter at Starbucks. Even Lindsay Lohan doesn’t have this much attitude.
8. That guy who does the play-by-play on the Cavs TV games. The guy next to him (Austin Carr) is no gem, either. The two of ’em can really suck the drama out of a game.
9. Danny Ferry. For a minute there I coulda sworn the Cavaliers had themselves a GM. Then he spent the summer playing golf decked out in a swell pair of rose-colored glasses. Nothing like a roster with five No. 2 guards and five small forwards and zero point guards, eh, Dan? C’mon. You’re a Duke grad. Use your noggin. Make a deal, for cryin’ out loud.
10. Derek Anderson as the Browns No. 1 quarterback. Like the cashier who, after seeing his nightclub act, tells Jerry Seinfeld, “It just didn’t do it for me.”
11. Mitt Romney’s sweater.
12. Paula Dean (Food Network). Her accent is as smooth as two long fingernails scratching across a blackboard. (Don’t you just love it when her two grown boys are there in the kitchen helping her?)
13. The horrible, nagging suspicion that George W. will declare martial law before the year’s out so he can keep himself and Vice in the Oval Office.
14. Bryant Gumbel. (I’m cheating here. Haven’t heard or seen him yet this year. Still, just knowing he’s out there …)
15. Only 1,864 more hockey highlights on ESPN until spring training.
16. Any day where Bruce Drennan isn’t playing dress-up. Like to see my man in a coat and tie, smiling at the camera, showing us he understands even some of the caller’s bigger words.
17. Letterman’s beard.
18. That no one has yet to take out the screamer abusing the P.A. system at the Cavs games. (Nothing drastic, mind you. A simple bruised larynx would probably fill the bill.)
19. Hillary’s pant suits. What’s up with that? All those things in her closet and not a single A-line tweed skirt among ’em?
20. Have I mentioned Starbucks coffee yet?
21. Just knowing that three people on the street are gonna keep their insipid Christmas decorations up until May.
22. Reading some columnist’s New Year’s resolutions. (Reading someone’s cranks, like this one, is OK, though.)
23. Mitt Romney.
24. Reading Cleveland State basketball stories. It’s just sad, is what it is.
25. Speaking of filler, there was the newspaper that ran four (four – count ’em ) overlarge photos on Page 1 of the same woman with four different (sort of) facial expressions explaining the use of paper and pencil ballot.
INTERMISSION: Have to break out a new box of Crayolas. My original box is all down to nubs writing out the above 25 things.)
26. Mike & Mike in the Morning. I wish they’d start sleeping in. Wa-a-ay too much energy and verbiage spent on sports for that hour of the morning. Besides, they always agree on everything.
27. Paul Shaffer. There’s just something annoying about the guy. So tragically hip.
28. Tucker Carlson on MSNBC. This is the guy Jon Stewart left in a puddle of sweat after the two went at it on the air. Carlson’s the fraternity guy who carries an umbrella on sunny days. Just on general principles alone, you want to slap him.
29. Any uninformed voter who votes for a candidate “because I like the cut of his jib” regardless of his party or politics. This is how The Decider got into the Oval Office in the first place and turned the place into a romper room for the likes of the Cheneys and the Rumsfelds.
30. That I can’t get Imus’ new show. So sue me.
31. Knowing that there are something like 742 more hockey games to go this season and not ONE of them will be played outdoors. (Loved that Penguins-Sabres affair outdoors in the snow that was televised.)
32. Drew Barrymore. No particular reason. Just becuz.
33. Don’t you just hate it when you come back from the restroom at a restaurant and your dessert and coffee AREN’T there waiting for you?
34. The phrase, “At the end of the day …”
35. The writers strike. Leaving Jay Leno out there on a limb without a script is cruel and unusual punishment. Also, I miss “Friday Night Lights” and “House”.
36. Waking up knowing that on any given day the most interesting thing in the sports pages will be women’s basketball, the Monsters and men’s hoops at Akron, Kent and CSU. (This is why they have places out in the country with rubber rooms and bars on the windows. Why, just last year I was in and out of such a place four times before pitchers and catchers reported. You can look it up.)
37. Lou Holtz. He simply has to find better-fitting dentures.
38. Knowing that the winner of a Georgia-USC game should get the winner of the OSU-LSU game for the BCS title.
39. The name Mitt.
Contact Doug Clarke at email@example.com.