It's every man's worst nightmare, right?
You have a daughter. A young daughter. A young and delicate and virginal daughter—a house of gold, a tower of ivory—on whom you've pinned nothing less than your faith in and hope for the entire extent of the human race. She's on the cusp of womanhood, your daughter is, but she's still your little girl, will always be your little girl, and that's why your left is eye twitching, and your stomach seems to be trying to eat itself, because it's Friday night, Meat, and she's got herself a date.
Of all the questions spinning manic circles around the inside of your skull, there's one you just can't seem to shake: who's it gonna be? Who's the overpolished, undersexed punk who thinks the car keys and the you-want-to-knock-his-teeth-down-his-throat smile make it okay for him to ask for the one thing you can't bear to part with? Does he have character references? Vaccination records? Because here's the rub, Meat: if you've got to lend out the light of your life for the evening, you're going to make good and damned sure she's in safe hands. And if the dude who comes knocking throws a bad vibe, or looks at you funny, or smells like he's wearing even so much as a squirt of Polo Sport, you won't hesitate to slam the door in his all-too-expectant face.
What follows is our list of the five athletes most likely to get the not-on-our-watch treatment, a quintet of jocks we wouldn't let near our dog, much less our daughter. We at the Spot don't actually have kids yet—and hey: a rumor is just a rumor, all right?—but we can certainly project, and the thought of these guys cozied up to the fruit of our loins is—well, it's enough to make our skin crawl. It might be true that loving ultimately means letting go, and that every baby bird's got to leave the nest sooner or later, but come on, Meat:
You can't let her fly with off with the first chickenhawk who comes buzzing around the place...
Number Five: J.J. Redick
Forget the DUI—we're more worried about the mug shot. Have you seen this thing? The glassy eyes, the gelled hair, the pathetic little smirk that's somehow both smug and scared at the same time: Redick looks like the kind of guy you wouldn't even trust to park your car. Throw in what we're pretty sure is a Lacoste shirt with a popped collar—a must for douchebag frat boys everywhere—and the erstwhile Blue Devil more than earns his way into this week's lineup. And that's to say nothing of the LSU game in the Tournament. 3-for-18? Three-for-eighteen, Meat? We might maybe consider letting our daughter date a convicted felon, but there's no way we're letting her go anywhere—anywhere—with a pretty boy choke artist.
Number Four: Tom Brady
Didn't see this one coming, did you? Brady's got the all-American heartthrob thing pretty well down: the earnest blue eyes, the million-dollar smile, the adorable little chin dimple that makes octogenarian schoolmarms swoon right along with their prepubescent granddaughters. In fact, we'd almost be inclined to call him the ideal suitor...if only he weren't so, well, ideal. With two Super Bowl MVPs and zero paternity suits on his resume, the Patriots' signal caller is a little too perfect, if you know what we mean, a little too evocative of Eddie Haskell not to arouse our doting-daddy suspicions. Anyone so aggressively wholesome must have something to hide, and while the crew at the Spot doesn't believe in casting unfounded aspersions, we will say this much: we're onto you Tommy boy, we are most very definitely onto you.
Number Three: Mike Tyson
If you have to ask, Meat, you ain't ever gonna know. A matter of general principle: when a cat with a history of public cannibalism has threatened to eat another man's children, it's a good idea to keep him away from your own. That said, the absurdist surreality of the thing would almost be too good to turn down. Hi I'm Mike Tyson, and I'm hear to take your daughter to the movies. In fact, we'll be damned if that doesn't have the makings of a primetime reality show: Robin Givens on the pilot episode, insider commentary from Desiree Washington, all of it chaperoned by Buster Douglas. Forget this online sports rag—we're catching the next Greyhound to Hollywood...
Number Two: Raphael Palmeiro
—Roid rage and Viagra are a dangerous combination, no matter how empathically you wag your finger at a gaggle of good-for-nothing congressmen. And that's not even the half of it. Truth be told, Raffy could spend a year in Juicers Anonymous and pass a hundred lie-detector tests and still not earn a night out with our daughter—not until he does something about that godawful mustache, anyway. Is he serious, Meat? Does he really see anything other than a sleazy wannabe porn star when he looks in the mirror? Then again, maybe the world's second-most notorious Cuban (after Fidel, not Mark) is just trying to wear his heart on his upper lip. If you don't know what we're getting at, ask Ryne Sandberg. Or Ryne Sandberg's wife, to be a little more exact. Dirty laundry, there. Dirty, dirty, delicious laundry.
Number One: Kobe Bryant
Forget about it. Uh uh. Under no circumstances are you going out with this, this, this—this guy. Why not? What do you mean why not? Do you read the papers, for godsakes? Eagle, Colorado? Does that ring a bell? Consens—no I don't care if he says it was consensual. Don't you lecture me on evidentiary standards, young lady. And what about the Suns series then, huh? What about Game Seven? Within the system? Surely you don't—you can't really believe that, with the sulking and sneering and everything else? What he had to do? Doing what he had to do? Listen now, I'm your father, and I don't know what sort of bunk this guy's managed to—what? What did you just say to me? Eighty-one—so what eighty-one points? How are eighty-one points supposed to help me sleep tonight, when I know you're out doing God-knows-what with—no I'm not trying to control you life. No I'm not. No I am not—you're my daughter, don't you understand that?, and I love you, and I'd never forgive myself if anything—what are you doing? Where are you—where do you think you're going? Don't you walk out that door, young lady. Don't you dare walk out that door, because if you—where do you—you can't just—
Be home by midnight, you hear me? You—you in the purple and gold Ferrari: you have her home by midnight, you hear me?, you have her home by midnight or so help me God...
It's every man's worst nightmare, right?