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How To Keep Your College’s Athletes Out Of Trouble: An Overcomplicated And Impossible Guide

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“No. NO!” I shrieked at the news that had come across my cell phone. “This can’t be happening!”

I leapt from my desk and in a fit of rage and hammer-tossed my chair at a group of sleep-deprived TFM interns, striking several and knocking them from their purposely uncomfortable stools. They lay on the ground, unconscious, though I was not sure whether they were knocked out from the blow or simply using the opportunity to steal a few moments of sleep. This, however, was not a concern to me as I kicked their lifeless bodies, and, between blows, took gratuitously large pulls from a bottle of scotch to numb the immeasurable hurt I felt inside.

Across the room, Brian roared, “Why! Why? Bad! Why?” while sidestepping and Hulk-smashing hole after hole into the office walls, both fists interchangeably penetrating drywall with a machine-like repetition. Rage was the machine’s fuel, its engine fires stoked by shovelfuls of incomprehensible stupidity. He then tore a flat screen from the wall and tossed it through a large window, breaking the glass and crushing a cleaning lady two stories below.

Across town, Geoffrey was on the highway when he heard the news. He drove angrily and began laughing maniacally. He swerved into passing vehicles, forcing them to run off the road. He rear-ended a Smart Car, which lost control, crashed into a small shrub, and violently imploded on impact, killing both of its passengers.

“Fuck it all! Burn everything! It’s all over,” he howled, as his insane cackling grew louder and more shrill.

Geoffrey drove further, and, deciding that he had nothing left to live for, resolved to drive his car off a cliff. Speeding toward the nearest ravine, Geoffrey spotted a giant yellow school bus with black trimming. It was full of happy, sweet-faced children. The yellow and black enraged Geoffrey, and he veered into the path of the school bus. The bus driver saw Geoffrey and quickly yanked the steering wheel to the right, but he adjusted to sharply, and the bus jolted sideways. The bus tipped over and tumbled forward. Inside, the children screamed in terror, bouncing from floor to wall like little screaming beans inside a maraca of death.

Ahead, at a stoplight, a gasoline tanker sat at a red light. The school bus bounced once more, high in the air, and crashed down on top of the gasoline tanker. The explosion was instant and powerful. As burning metal and flaming school supplies rained down around him, Geoffrey threw in a lip, spit toward the deadly school bus inferno, and watched the black and yellow wreckage smolder with satisfaction.

“Burrrrnnnnnnn, black and yellow. Burn,” Geoffrey said with sick satisfaction.

The three of us were upset beyond rationality. We were angry. We were confused and sad. Five-star prospect and likely first round draft pick Dorial Green-Beckham had been suspended indefinitely from Missouri’s football team, and we reacted the only way we knew how: like total assholes.


The above passage, you may be surprised to hear, did not actually happen. I am, however, fairly confident in my assumption that we all three mentally envisioned having those reactions after we heard the news about Dorial Green-Beckham.

This is inspired by DGB, but it’s not about him. It’s certainly not in defense of DGB–that kid is a painfully poor decision maker, and now it appears he is dangerously short tempered, too. Furthermore, his most recent incident is incredibly messed up, and he should be ashamed of himself. Sadly, like DGB, many college athletes, at your school and mine, are short tempered and short sighted. They get themselves into trouble, which affects the team–and most importantly, you and me.*

*Ed. Note: Oh yeah, also the victims.

The question we now have to face is how do we keep our star athletes out of trouble? How do we keep them out of their own way? Maybe some sort of mentoring program? Perhaps a psychiatric outlet for the players? Nah, the teams already have that. That shit doesn’t work.

In order to help keep these athletes out of trouble, the fans–and most importantly, the student fans who are around these athletes every day–need to go into full-on Gnome Mode. What is Gnome Mode, you ask? It’s a simple concept, really. Regular students need to quietly and stealthily infiltrate every part of these athletes’ lives, making the correct adjustments and taking the necessary actions in order to ensure that everything goes smoothly and no one ever gets into any trouble. All of this must be accomplished without the athletes ever knowing.

If your star point guard likes to get stoned, pay every weed dealer in town not to sell to him. That will probably set you back a few grand, but so what? Hold a bake sale or something to fund it. People would support that cause. On a side note, if you’re a fan of a college team and you sell those players drugs, you deserve to be taken to the town square in kicked in the nuts by every season ticket holder–especially if those players get caught and subsequently suspended or dismissed because of your drugs. Think that’s excessive? Remember that sometime in the past, a Maryland fan probably bragged about giving Len Bias cocaine.

Hide all the guns. Throw them in a fucking lake.

If a cornerback happens to be in a car full of drugs with some of his shithead friends and a cop hops on their tail, quickly swerve your car (that you’re following them in) off the road and into a ditch, so that the officer must pay attention to you instead. Then, have another gnome disguised as the cop pull the car over and quickly confiscate the drugs before letting everyone on their way. After that, feel free to sell the drugs–but not to athletes–to fund your intricate and wildly expensive operation.

If an athlete attempts to drive home drunk, steal his keys and call him a cab. That one’s pretty straightforward, actually.

The gnomes must be everywhere, silently influencing everything, like those guys with hats in that mediocre Matt Damon movie, or the way Charlie keeps The Waitress’s life in order in “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.”

Gnome Mode isn’t intended for every athlete. Most of the time it’s not necessary. Sometimes, however, people can’t stay out of their own way. Unfortunately, if you’re like me, those same people play sports games that have a direct effect on the self-esteem of your empty life. Hell, maybe I should just be the gnome.

There is also another option, though the onus falls more on the player than the fan.

Better gnome up.

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