AJ Daulerio's Cultural Oddsmaker runs every Friday. Email him to let him know what you think.
Today, is sort of an anniversary. It was one year ago this week that this column was rescued from the grimy death of Oddjack and reconstituted for mass consumption via Deadspin. Admittedly, it got off to an extremely slow start that deserved all of the derision and deafening silence that it endured through those first early, abysmal columns.
The goal of this rebirth, if there was any, was to completely destroy any last remnants of "oddsmaking" that I had to endure and parse through as part of my daily Oddjackian grind. I do not have fond memories of that blog, but the Oddsmaker column was one that sometimes contributed to a little traffic spike, giving me a sliver of hope for my survival as a "professional blogger" under the auspices of Gawker Media. However, one fluky traffic spike per month did not a successful blog make. So I was canned. Over IM, no less. (Thank you, Lockhart Steele, you WASP-y cocksucker.)
Anyway, last year at this time I was miserable. I was a runny-nosed mess, half-assing my way out of another "job" and barely able to hold a conversation with a bowl of fruit, let alone an actual person. Today, it's different; I'm more focused, motivated and invigorated by life. I no longer spend my weekends taking quick morning naps on the F-train platform next to pigeons nor urinate on inanimate (or, sometimes, animate) objects. Now, my weekends are spent furniture shopping at Raymour and Flannigan or learning how to make a fritatta. And I'd like to introduce you to my new friends: Orange, apple, the internet. The internet, this is orange, and that handsome devil right there is apple.
Onto the issue at hand, which is acknowledging this column's jaunty goose step towards death. I'm celebrating by going all soothsayer and attempting to gaze into the murky future to predict what the major sports stories will be at this time next year.
So this week, I'm putting on my purple turbin, lathering up a gypsy and placing odds on the lead sports stories for June 2008.
J to the Ump.
Serena Williams Catastrophic Breakdown: 3/1
Even though sports entertainment has become more and more tabloid friendly, it's still in dire need of a female equivalent of a Lohan/Hilton/Spears downward spiral into pantyless lunacy. There are plenty of candidates (See: Wie, Michelle), but Serena Williams seems to be teetering ever so closely toward fuck-it-all complacency. The signs are all there: Demanding father, talent regression, nagging injuries, curious choices in boyfriend, and the loss of competitive drive. Not to mention, not answering calls from her personal trainer. It appears that someone put too much yeast in those brownies.
Alex Rodriguez Can No Longer Hide His Secret Lover: 2/1
The new Mrs(Mr.?) Rodriguez shall finally be unveiled to the wanting public, as A-Rod's mistress will no longer settle for being devoid of the spotlight. There's a reason why the man is on pace for a career year with the Yankees; it's because of a woman who's full of heart, wisdom and androstenedione. But no one can deny what a weekly bedroom workout with a lady who can bend a nickel between her rhomboids does for bat speed. Rodriguez will also attempt to change his nickname from "A-Rod " to something more befitting his current emotional state: Rod Sonja.
Barry Bonds Goes Into Hiding: 5/1
On the heels of his 764th home run, Mr. Bonds has decided to walk away from the game — and the rest of society — because he's "done everything he can" with his baseball career and can no longer suffer the disrespect of fans and media. And therefore the greatest player in baseball history has decided to just...vanish. Would anyone care? Only because he'd no longer be around to poke with a stick. Giant head or not, Mr. Bonds has to be considered a tragic figure, but one who ultimately doesn't realize his surly attitude and ignorance has tarnished records, but also deprived fans of the game the opportunity to actually root for a guy that's making baseball history. He'll realize this. Someday. Maybe next year.
San Antonio Spurs Win Fifth NBA Title: 10/1
The chances of this being a major story while the top two are circulating are very, very slim. Who watched last night's game? Who watched the NBA reveal its newest dynasty? Echo, echo, echo...
Unless the NBA decides to provide up-skirt camera angles for Eva Longoria next season, there's absolutely no chance that the Spurs "domination" would achieve front page news any place outside of San Antonio. And even there, it's still a risky play. But things change. They always do. For better, for worse, forever. Finis.