Thursday, March 11, 2010

Winks Thinks: The Jim Sorgi Edition

While browsing the internet hoping to find something newsworthy that I could turn into a quick Bucky Channel article, I found an interesting little scoop about former Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Jim Sorgi. Here's the anecdote: The guy that used to backup up Peyton Manning for six seasons is now going to back up his brother, Eli. What an hilarious and crazy circumstance, backing up two different quarterbacks in your NFL career who happen to be brothers! Oh, hilarity.

I had planned to use that information the same way I often use information when creating a typical post. Come up with a stupid headline, find the dumbest picture possible, provide a link to the real story, and try to make a joke somewhere in the article that usually falls flat. But with this particular Sorgi information, I just couldn't do that. For some reason, this particular news item didn't strike me as just another story that I could throw up on the site. I pondered over why that might be more a few minutes before I realized it - I wish I had Jim Sorgi's life.

Have you ever asked yourself that question - If you could have anyone's life who would it be? There was a time in my life when I would have went for the big guns. For instance, I'd want to be people that were rich, maybe athletic or funny, did something they love for a living, and also famous. A few names would come to mind - Aaron Rodgers, LeBron James, Conan O'Brien, George Clooney, Tom Hanks. You know, the usuals. But when I really look at myself in the mirror and evaluate just what it is I want out of life, I can think of no man I'd rather be than Jim Sorgi.

1. He's From 'Sconsin - When I was trying to plan just exactly which university I was going to attend, I only had two in mind. One was UW-Eau Claire, and that was only because this girl I liked from work went there. As pathetic as I can be, I was not going to let one girl determine the next four years of my life, so I went to UW-La Crosse instead. Why did I go to La Crosse? I have no idea, I really don't. I know that I didn't want to go to UW-Madison for some reason, although if I could do it over again that may be the school I would have went too. I've never had a bad time in Madison, it's a great city. It would have been a blast to attend school there I'm sure, especially if I got to start at quarterback my senior season. Even though his team that year wasn't that good (they went 7-5 and lost to Auburn in the Music City Bowl, gross), he still got to be the BMOC starting games under center at Camp Randall. Not a bad career either, as he's the school's pass efficiency leader and is 6th on the all-time passing yards list. I'd take that.

2. He was a stud in high school - Now, he did grow up in Michigan, so that's a minus, but he definitely did make the most of his time there. He was a letter winner in baseball, football, and basketball, which is much more impressive than the sports I had on the back of my letter jacket. I was a letter winner track (everyone lettered), swimming (I made the letter time in practice, not an actual meet), and soccer (my dad was the coach). Sorgi actually played sports that other people liked to attend, whereas I don't think I've ever played in an athletic event where a ticket had to be purchased to watch me.

3. The Hometown Bar Scenario - The previous two reasons I would want to be Sorgi lead easily to the third one. One of my many unrealistic dreams in life is to move far, far away from Fond du Lac and do something wildly successful. Then, when I do come back home for the holidays or something like that, I would be treated with a King's welcome. I want it to be so that when I go out to a bar, some people don't have any idea who I am, some people are like, "Hey, is that that Winkler guy?", and some people are like, "Holy Shit, It's Winkler!" I imagine that's the case when Jim Sorgi either makes it back to Madison or his hometown of Fraser, Michigan.

4. He's relevant - Maybe he is, maybe he isn't, but to me the definition of relevant is anyone that has their own Wikipedia page. I'm on Wikipedia, but I added myself on there, so that doesn't count. Sorgi's got an entry though, and in addition to the fact that you can also buy a replica jersey of him, I'd say he's at least somewhat relevant in society. Me? Well I'm writing a piece on how much I want to be Jim Sorgi, something I'd say has to be the opposite of relevant.

5. His phone contacts are cooler than mine - Peyton Manning, Tony Dungy, the perennial fantasy bust that is Lee Evans. No offense Bear, Gweeds, and Double C, but I think Sorgi wins on this one.

6. He's got better random stories to tell - Take the above picture of Jim Sorgi trying on a Maytag repairman hat. This occurred during a situation in which Jim Sorgi, as part of a promotion, actually went through some auditions in an effort to be the new spokesman for Maytag. That's a hell of a lot more interesting than any story I have, all of which seem to center around how drunk I got at a townie bar. Oh that, and there's a little thing called a Super Bowl ring that he can tell you all about.

7. He gets paid to do nothing - Here's the icing on the cake - his job is that of a backup quarterback. On some teams, this would mean that you'd have to see an extensive amount of playing time, but not when you're behind Peyton Manning. Sure, Sorgi had to practice and be prepared if Peyton ever did go down, but Peyton Manning is the future record holder of the most consecutive starts by a quarterback streak so Sorgi didn't have to worry about seeing too much playing time. That means his job was essentially to be Peyton's buddy, live the life of an NFL player, and have the best seat in the house on Sunday afternoons. His salary for doing that? Try the $1.6 million he made last year, even in a season in which he was injured. Not too shabby for a position in which you're required to do nothing. Most of us would be lucky to make 1/45th of that this year, and there's no way he goes through as much hell as some of us do at our jobs.

8. He's good at what he does - Despite the fact he does nothing, he has to be pretty damn good at it. The Colts are a team that has revolved around Peyton Manning for the entire time that Manning has been there, and for an organization to trust Sorgi as an effective backup to their franchise is actually a pretty big compliment. I'm sure Sorgi could have started for a few teams in that run, and he maybe could have tried to sign somewhere to try and be a starter this year, but he realizes that being a backup quarterback is a sweet gig. I don't blame him at all for going to the Giants. In fact, I applaud him for it.

9. His future looks bright - Think for a moment what would happen if you were fired today. Would you be financially secure for even a little bit? That's definitely something that Sorgi does not have to worry about. Sorgi was cut by the Colts last week, he lost his job. Less than five days later, he found a new one, almost just as good. He's in a situation where if he was released, other companies (teams) would at least know about him and what he could do. If we got fired, it would be months and months of sending out resumes, before finally settling down in some job we only got because our brother-in-law knew a guy. Even when Sorgi is too fragile and old to play in the NFL, it's not like he won't be able to find something profitable. At this point, he can just throw a couple grand at a car dealership and reap in the profits without doing any of the work. He can coach at a high school and live off of his pension. He can do a couple of Maytag commercials and call it a day. Lot of options for this guy.

10. He's got a wife and kids - Yeah, that's nice and everything. Maybe this is the one thing about him that I'm not envious of.

It's sad to realize it, but there are six billion of us in the world, and only a select few get to have it all - the power, the money, the good looks, the fame. The rest of settle in to lives we never wanted in cities we never wanted to be in. But then there's people like Jim Sorgi. He's got all most of us are looking for, and yet he could still be one of us. He didn't do anything special to get to where he is, he just took a little bit of talent and a whole lot of luck and became one of the most profitable backup quarterbacks in the entire NFL. He works hard enough to make his paycheck, but not hard enough where that it's too taxing on the rest of his life.

When I was five years old, I wanted to be an astronaut. When I was ten, I wanted to be a fireman. Even at fifteen, I thought I could one day be President. But I'm twenty-five, and I realize, there isn't anything more I want to be than a Jim Sorgi.

*****

Quick note on the Oscars, besides Holy Self-Absorbed Shit Fest. Generally, I'm happy for all of the winners, as I really can't say I was passionately rooting for anyone to win in the first place. There was one person I was rooting for to lose however, and that was Mo'Nique. She's become quite a darling lately for her dramatic turn in "Precious", and maybe she does deserve the award for best supporting actress, I don't know. All I know is I hate her, and it's not because she's taking a stand against women shaving their legs (although after looking at that picture, I literally did get sick in the stomach).

Mo'Nique actually came into my life about six years ago, when she starred in a little UPN comedy called "The Parkers". Under no conditions in my life would I have ever willingly watched that show, but I did at the time happen to work at a UPN television station. Not just any job either, but I was the guy that actually controlled what was being broadcast at all times, so I literally just sat there in front of the television watching her and her Tarzan legs perform awful comedy. Try and see how much of this you can stomach:


The worst part about this show is that I was at that UPN station so damn much that I actually started to follow the storylines of this little "comedy", and was slightly curious about how the series finale would play out. If you're not aware - and I hope you're not - the show basically centered on Mo'Nique's character trying to win the love and affection of a community college professor. For five seasons or so, the professor can't stand her, but then all of a sudden, during the last episode he does a complete 180 and doesn't just start to like Mo'Nique, but he flat out falls in love with her. The End. Happily Ever After.

Say what you want about how some shows decide to end their run, but I will always contest that "The Parkers" had the worst series finale in television history. You can't just change a character's personality so drastically like that after establishing over and over again he would never fall for her! It's no wonder UPN doesn't exist anymore, but it's a mystery to me how we are letting Mo'Nique enjoy this level of success after putting out such a crappy product (sort of like how I'll never make up for The Bucky Channel).

*****

I actually am heading back to the land of that UPN station, as well as my former news station, in a few weeks when I journey back to La Crosse. In honor of this much anticipated trip, here's a nice clip from The Onion showing just how bad local news, and news in general, can be (note: there are swear words, and this might not be suitable for a working environment!)

And now here's a song I heard last night that made me miss the '90s.



See you at some tacky Irish bar...

1 comments:

Winks said...

Not sure why the video won't play, I'll link to it.

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