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12 Things You Should Avoid Right Now If You’re A Professional Athlete

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1. Horse races.

“Come to the Kentucky Derby, bro! We got a box! Let’s watch these majestic beasts gallop together! It’ll be awesome!” Yeah, right. Next thing you know, someone slips all kinds of molly and cocaine into your drink, and you start handing out $100 bills to strangers and failing drug tests. Have fun getting suspended because you just had to watch Seabiscuit run in a circle.

2. Emails, text messages, all other forms of recorded communication, and computers in general.

What are you, stupid? Don’t even leave your grandmother a birthday voicemail. If the last several months have taught us anything, it’s that everything is accessible. Your weird, racist emails, your barely legible text messages, even your Snapchat dick pics–these things only serve as evidence in the inevitable criminal court case against you. The only approved method of long-distance communication is smoke signaling, so familiarize yourself with that shit. Just by reading this column, you’re exposing yourself.

3. Having a wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, or interacting with another human being in any way, for any reason.

Sure, human interaction might seem like a good idea, but I assure you, it is not. Because you’re a professional athlete, odds are, these “relationships” you have with other Homo sapiens will only come back to haunt you. You could accidentally punch one of them, one could record a conversation in which you come off as a tad bit irrational out of context, one could force you to unknowingly consume illegal substances, or, if this other human is a female and you’re a male, she could become pregnant and later give birth to a child that will inevitably misbehave and force you to violently punish it. It’s just not worth it. If you get lonely, talk to yourself in a mirror.

4. Making eye contact with Chris Brown.

Don’t do it. Don’t even fucking look at him. Just walk away.

5. Participating in any type of viral internet sensation.

I don’t care if it’s the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge or yelling, “Fuck her right in the pussy!” in a public area, stay away from these viral internet fads. One minute you’re dumping a bucket of ice and water onto your head in the name of charity and awareness, and the next, you’re being accused of exposing your erect nipples to underage children. You gave up the right to have fun and make silly jokes when you were born athletically dominant. Deal with it.

6. Trees, tree branches, and particularly pointy shrubberies.

These things are weapons. If you’re seen hanging around weapons, your sponsors will run for the hills. Do not touch, look at, or associate yourself with twigs, switches, branches, bushes, shrubberies, large flowers, tree stumps, or logs.

7. Social media.

This should be obvious based on previous points, but using social media in any way is completely unsafe. Delete your Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts, and then hurl your smartphone into the fires of Mount Doom. This will help tamper your urge to defend yourself, argue with members of the media, or make any statements whatsoever that could potentially be misconstrued as “idiotic” or “unbelievably ill-advised.”

8. Gas stations.

Based on recent headlines, the odds that you’re mentally competent enough to operate a gas pump are slim to none. The last thing you want is to end up dead in a freak gasoline fight accident. If you must leave your home, I recommend you purchase a transporter like the one from “Star Trek” with all that money you have, and only use it to travel to and from the practice facility or stadium at which you work.

9. Disciplining your children in any way.

Do not spank, whoop, whip, beat, wallop, smack, slap, punch, or flick your kids. If one of the many, many spawn you’ve created with multiple, random women disobeys you, let it slide. Just let the little bastards do whatever the hell they want. If you even yell at your kids, you could be extorted, whether by your offspring themselves, your baby mama or baby daddy, or a member of the media who has illegally installed surveillance technology in your home. Let the kid grow up to be a shithead. They’re not your problem anymore once they turn 18 years old, anyway.

10. Moving your body in a way that could be interpreted as an act of violence.

Obviously when you’re on the court, field, or wherever it is that your particular sport takes place, you’re required to perform. But outside the lines, it’s incredibly important that you’re never deemed dangerous in any way. Avoid making any quick, deliberate movements. Google some videos of sloths in the wild, and emulate them whenever you’re forced to exit your home. The slower and more docile you appear, the less likely it is that you’ll terrify people or attract unwanted attention.

11. Speaking in public.

This is a big no-no. Odds are, whatever word vomit comes spewing from your mouth will only make matters worse. Hush now. Just don’t talk. Shhhh. “But I’m scheduled to speak to a high school football team next week!” Fuck that noise. Have you seen the video editing technology in existence today? They can make it look like you said anything. Suddenly, “Make good grades and stay in school!” becomes “Give girls AIDS and take whiskey pulls!” Just keep your mouth shut and everything will probably be slightly less shitty, maybe.

12. Speaking in private.

On second thought, never talk at all. Just learn sign language, or only communicate via written message like the members of the Guilty Remnant in “The Leftovers,” but immediately shred each message in a paper shredder after it’s read.

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Ross Bolen

Ross Bolen is a New York Times Bestselling author, host of the Oysters, Clams & Cockles podcast, host of the Back Door Cover podcast, Rockets, Astros and Texans internet mascot, cheese enchilada aficionado, nap god, 2017 Masters attendee, and Editor-in-Chief of Grandex Media.

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