One of my favorite Chick Flicks has got to be Fever Pitch. While Jimmy Fallon certainly explains my admiration for the movie, I just loved the concept behind owning season tickets to your favorite sport team. Nowadays, there are celebs and families that get as much air time as some of the players do, thanks to their court side presence at what seems to be every single home game. Jack Nicholson is right next to the scorers table at the Lakers Staples Center. Spike Lee rocks the most vibrant orange and blue outfits he can find to every Knick game at the garden. And Mark Cuban…well…I guess you can say he technically owns every single seat belonging to the Dallas Mavericks. While these guys have made names for themselves outside of being a superfan, none of these register as my favorite regular. Tip your hat to Marlins Man. Let me ask you something? Have you ever randomly turned on a game and saw a bright orange Miami Marlins jersey burning your retinas. This may be expected at, well, a Marlins game…but this jersey is every where. I’ve seen him at Yankee Stadium. SuperBowl 50. Bostons TD Garden. Everywhere. And no this is a coincidental happening…Giancarlo Stanton jerseys aren’t selling for $5 or anything like that. Enter Laurence Leavy.
Leavy gained national fame at his random appearances across the sporting world in 2012, donning premier seats at every game you and your soup to nuts salary wishes you could afford. Fortunately, theres no secret underground story behind Leavy, hes a self made man, who was a practicing attorney for years. While I don’t have his financial reports on me, its very very very very easy to say, he made it for himself….BIG time.
Yesterday, I was sitting on my couch with the boys trying to figure out our schedule for the night. Last night was a night of sporting infamy. There was simply way too much going on to catch all the action. Opening night of the NHL playoffs. Final games of the NBA regular season. And of course, the two main events….the Golden State Warriors quest for 73 wins, perhaps the most impressive team record in basketball, and the curtain call for Kobe Bryant, as Mamba was hanging up the sneaks on a legendary 20 year season. You know the expression too much of a good thing? Well last nights sport calendar was enough to cause a cardiac arrest. As me and my friends tried to prioritize the night, the question came up “Where will Marlins Man be?”
A quick scan of his Twitter showed that he would be attending TD Garden in Boston to watch the Celtics trump the Heat. Blasphemy in my opinion, but he explained that it was the only game last night with playoff implications. Maybe he didn’t want to drop the 28k for court side seats to Kobe and the Lake show or Golden States record breaker, understandable considering he brought 9 guests to the Marlins game the day prior. Whatever though, thats his prerogative. Heres the point though. Me and my friends were trying to plan our channel flipping, timing out when we were watching what…from the fucking couch. Marlins Man more or less, had the choice! He had built himself a life so large, that on this seemingly outlandish night of sporting history, he could cut the check and get himself in the building to see EXACTLY WHAT HE WANTED. Lucky guy right? I don’t think luck had anything to do with it…hard work baby!
So why the fuck am I talking about a face in the crowd on a night Kobe Bryant perhaps showed the greatest retirement game in sporting history (although Derrick Jeters curtain call brought a tear to my eye). Well, its because of something a friend said immediately after Kobe left the court for the last time….’Now what?’ At 38, Kobe has been balling his entire life, making a lifestyle and career out of the game. Of course he’ll still play pick up and what not, but his competitive career is over. All he’s known his entire life just got packed up into a box and put into storage. 5x champ and 18x NBA Allstar Kobe Bryant, while not immediately, will have to answer the question…NOW WHAT!?
Perhaps he should look towards the Marlins Man and take a note out of his book. Clearly, Leavy did his thing, stacked his paper, and said fuck it, I’m just going to watch sports until I kick the can. I paid my dues and now I get to enjoy my booty. I worked…and now I’m going to kick back and watch these guys play. EPIC.
Maybe he should look at someone who had the same career choice as him…NBA 3 point shooting legend, Ray “Jesus Shuttlesworth” Allen. Of course we all know Ray, bald and beautiful, the man was automatic behind the 3 point arc, highlighted by “The Shot,” a game tying 3 he swished to send the Heat into overtime in game 6 of the 2013 finals. Once again, EPIC. Well, Ray packed it up after that season and I can imagine he spent some time trying to answer the million dollar question….NOW WHAT? If you’re a Miami local, you know what Ray Rays up to. He’s not jet setting and sinking his toes in Tahitian sands. He’s not filming car commercials, telling consumers how “this car is clutch…like me.” Nay, Ray is humble. Modest. A real worker bee. Go on Yelp right now and look up Grown. Its an organic, health nut restaurant serving people seeds and berries as part of todays laugh-worthy ultra vegan, I only eat Kale that was read a bed time story before being picked out of the ground, consumer trends. To each his own. Anyway, Ray opened up the shop and financed the project obviously. His work wasn’t done there…not by a long shot(punny). Nowadays, no less than 2-3 days a week, Ray suits up, not in hightops but instead a hairnet and gets to work. Making sandwiches, blending smoothies, and even mopping up the floor. You heard me right, 2x Champ and 8x All Star Ray Allen, is draining the mop buckets and taking your order at his restaurant…once again ladies and gentleman…EPIC.
So heres to you Kobe Bryant, you fucking legend. You changed the game as we know it, showing tenacity and athleticism, and perhaps the most electric performances the world will ever see. You’re a roll model and an inspiration to us all. Now, 20 years after joining the League, your time has come and its time to hang em up. I pray you continue to make us all proud as you take on the next stage in your life. Just know that when I’m sitting behind my desk, crumbling up shitty blog post ideas and tossing them towards the trash can across the room, I’ll be saying “Kobe!” under my breath. Hopefully, in my lifetime I can score the way you have. Rest up Mamba, well deserved.