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Al DeLuise Headshot

The Three-Word Guide To Greater Knowledge

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I am not a big sports fan. I can't quote stats and say who the Super Bowl MVP was in 1993. Except for the one year I was in a fantasy football league and could sit in a bar and say, "Freaking Aikman throws more interceptions than touchdowns, he's killing me. Carney gets four field goals and I still lose." Outbursts like that would make my friends turn and say, "Who the hell are you and what have you done with Al?" And usually adding, "Not that we want him back -- it would be nice to talk to a guy who knows more than who played Scarlett O'Hara's little sister in "Gone With the Wind." (Ann Rutherford)

This does not mean I don't like sports, I'm a Yankees fan for baseball and a Giants fan for football. It doesn't mean I never played them -- in high school I threw shot put and discus and played freshman football. It was that one year of football that made me stay away from team sports and do more individual ones, like track.

Football practice meant triple sessions (one in the morning, two in the afternoon). It was hot; I was fat and exhausted. The freshman did not practice with the varsity team -- we were banished to the dust bowl behind the bleachers where crushed beer cans and broken bottles wandered off to die. After one of these sessions, my friend Harry and I were the walking wounded as we headed back to the field house. At one point we both just sat down on the ground to catch our breath. Apparently, that action was frowned upon by some of the varsity players who stood watch near the parking lot.

"Hey," a voice boomed. We could see one of them as he moved towards us, anger apparent on his face, "You assholes get up! You don't sit down -- get up!"

With a reddened face he now stood above us -- I barely had the energy to look up at him, sweat and sunlight in my eyes. Harry, who was not a small guy, pushed himself off the ground, raised his right index finger level with the player's nose and said, in a very calm and chilling voice, "F*ck you" then sat back down.

It was my favorite high school football memory and it wasn't even mine.

Sometimes my lack of sports knowledge leaves me in an awkward position at parties or bars. I'm very much out in the cold when it comes to hockey, so when my friends start talking about the Rangers or the Devils or the lockout (is that still a thing?) I have nothing to say. Fortunately for me I recently and inadvertently stumbled one day upon the one phrase that I can use in any sports situation.

I had dated a woman for a while who liked to travel -- I do not like to travel which was one of the many reason we are no longer together. Without fail,though, when she returned from a trip, I would get a t-shirt (along with other gifts) bearing the name of the city she had just visited.

One day, at a party at my friend Tammy's house, I was wearing a t-shirt that read "Boston". Almost immediately one of her friends shouted, "Red Sox suck!" at me from across the room. I tried to explain that I wasn't wearing a Boston Red Sox shirt, but just a shirt that represented the city of Boston.

"They suck," he said. Then turned and walked away.

A few months later I was at another party at Tammy's when the same man who had informed me without invitation that the "Red Sox suck" called out to me.

"Hey, you're the Red Sox fan, right?"

Before I could say anything about my shirt just being a shirt he added, "How about that game last night?"

I had no idea what sport he alluded to, let alone what game he was talking about. I had no real answer for him so I said:

"I know, right?"

He looked at me for a second, then nodded, smiled, and walked away. It was like he was saying, "Yeah, you get it, you know what you're talking about."

It was my greatest sports moment. I was one of the guys.

It wasn't until later that I realized this magic phrase was not just confined to sports. It would work anywhere.

Politics

"I couldn't believe that presidential debate last night."

"I know, right?"


Religion

"It amazing that Pope Boniface II was the first German Pope and yet he wasn't born in Germany."

"I know, right?"

Science

"It's fascinating that wave-particle duality states that particles display both wave and particle properties, and that a central concept of quantum mechanics addresses the inability of classical concepts like particle and wave to fully describe the behavior of quantum-scale objects."

"I know, right?"

You get the idea.

So one day if you find yourself in a conversation with me, and I don't seem to be attentive and keep giving the same answer over and over again, its not that I don't want to talk to you.

It's just that I don't know what the f*ck you're talking about.

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

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