Behind Bars: My Weekend Without Sports.
(ThyBlackMan.com) I just spent this past Saturday night through Monday morning at the Butts County (Ga.) Sheriff’s Department’s jail in beautiful Jackson, Georgia. Leaving my weekend job at a very popular shopping outlet I was stopped by a sheriff who was very concerned about how I was failing “maintain a driving lane” on my way to I-75 leaving town. Upon answering the run of the mill questions of if I’m drunk or high or both, I was asked (very politely I might add) to hand over my driver’s license. “No problem, here you go,” I said in all of my New York accented glory. A minute later I was handcuffed (again, very politely I might add) due to my license being suspended. This was news to me, I like everyone else in the world thinks I am the most careful and most skilled driver in the world.
Apparently my license was suspended due to a ticket I got back in December of 2011 on my way to a New Year’s party on the other side of town. Ironically I got the ticket at the same spot but opposite sides of the street. Ironic but nowhere near funny. Ever so apologetically the officer let me know he had to take me to jail and we could sort any license confusion out there, basically this was his way of telling me ‘I don’t give two shits about your driver’s license.’ And off we went.
After neatly folding my Brooks Brother dress shirt and slacks in neat squares (if you know me you knew I’d be dressed like the reporter I claimed to be) above my grey suede Bass deck shoes I proceeded to change into the ” Inmate of Butts County” orange jumpsuit that the good people of the Sheriff’s Department so genorously provided me.
NOTE: Orange was my favorite color up to that point. Key word “was“. The thing about not being home when you want that bothers me he most is the access to the things that make me the most comforatble and happy.
My sons, my daughter, my books, my dvds, my queen size pilow-top mattress and sports. You’d think in a building full of men with a television there would be something on tv resembling a sport. Some remnant of competition on the goold old idiot box. Nothing doing. The tv was settled on TNT for the entire two and a half days. TNT. Who the hell watches TNT when it’s not basketball season anyway? Now I have the answer, everyone locked up in the Butts County Sheriff’s Deaprtment that’s who. I didn’t have my Blackberry Curve with me to check my Twitter account or Facebook page to read sports updates. This is no way to live.
Having spent the last 30 or so years of my life enveoped in sports this was a real culture shock. Every male in my Brooklyn neighborhood played sports, all of my brothers, my father, the old guys down at the pool hall on the corner of Sterling and 5th Avenue even played softball, sober or not. In college I couldn’t turn a corner without hearing how great somebody was in some sport that they no longer played “because I just dfon’t want to anymore is all.”
Upon further investigation (I am a reporter after all) I found out that there used to be plenty of sports on the televisions at the jail but competitve rivalries would develop eventually leading to violence. What a relief, I thought the majority of these dudes didn’t like sports and preferred to watch old PG-13 movies with the curses blurtted out and Great Escape (which ironically played an episode with teams attempting to “escape from a prison. How’s that better than baseball?).
The lack of sports on televison this weekend meant I didn’t get to see Roger Federer beat Andy Murray in four sets in the Wimbeldon final, absolutely no baseball (never a good thing in my opinion), no Dwight Howard trade rumors (well that wasn’t too bad) or any Major League Soccer action (the European leagues are on break, how else am I going to get my soccer fix?). The books available for perusal were either not up my ally (spanish romance novels or crime novels. Again, why are those better than sports on tv in jail?), so I read the Bible. Now don’t get me wrong I read the good book on Sundays at service but admitedly don’t flip through it as much during the other six days of the week. I have various excuses for that but will save them for another column on another day.
I’m home now and will take care of this driver’s license confusion and the subsequent fines after work today. In the end I think it wasn’t as bad as it sounds. I got a much needed chance to pull away from the internet, my cell phone, stupid and pointless phone calls that last way too long and catch up on my sleep (there wasn’t any sports on tv, what the heck else was I going to do in there, have political debate?), do more dips, pushups and jumping jacks than I have in one sitting in some time and quiet thinking. They could have at least had a few issues of Sports Illustrated in there though. Hey, I am who I am.
Staff Writer; Donnell Suggs