Last night, I stayed awake to watch the end of the Indians and Royals game. I’m not sure why I chose to do this to myself, as extra inning games in visiting parks typically don’t end well (especially when your team has as many problems as the Indians do lately). Chalk it up to a combo of stubbornness, mixed with a bit of misguided wishful thinking. Even though the Indians inevitably (and not surprisingly) lost the game, I still determined it was “worth it” to hang in there until the bitter end on this one. It’s simply thanks to the STO broadcast team of Matt Underwood and Rick Manning, and they probably never realized that one random person would find their throw-away comment so hilarious.
That’s because as Chris Perez came into the game with two outs and runners on first and third, with the game knotted 6-6- in the 11th inning, Underwood and Manning decided to discuss some of Perez’s Kansas City-based exploits. Apparently during the pitching change commercial break, the Royals had something referencing John Cena on the scoreboard. You may remember at the end of May, that Perez caused a bit of controversy when he performed Cena’s “you can’t see me” hand wave taunt after retiring Kansas City’s Jarrod Dyson for the final out. After all of the comments he’s made this year, a lot of people may not remember one of my favorite Chris Perez moments from May 2011. Once again in Kansas City (what is it with Perez and the Royals?) he became frustrated after he completed the save, and whipped the ball over the outfield wall while standing in the infield. The reactions of Matt LaPorta, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jack Hannahan were three of my favorites of all time – I took a picture of the moment paused on my computer.
Back to Underwood and Manning’s broadcast of the game. While they didn’t mention the ball-throwing incident, they did talk about some of the other Perez moments. Upon completion of the story telling, one of them (I forget which) laughs and goes “Chris Perez is high energy.” This is the comment that subsequently made my night. I was laughing so hard, I barely paid attention to the fact that Alcides Escobar had just hit a walk-off single. You may find yourself thinking, “what in the world is so funny about that?” You still may not find it amusing after my explanation, but you’ll at least hopefully understand why I was so entertained.
A number of years ago, I taught high school and middle school. I really enjoyed it for the most part, but I have to admit that middle school just wasn’t for me. It’s really not for everybody, it takes a special brand of patience and saintliness to deal with 100+ hormonal preteens and teens, eight hours a day, 180 days a year. While there’s something that’s really fun and sweet about that age, I found it completely maddening most days. Everybody had that one kid – maybe one per class, sometimes just one per year – that just truly made you want to pull your hair from your head. You’d have talks with the kid, you’d have talks with other teachers, you’d have talks with the kid’s parents; it still would end up being a challenge. I’m talking about kids that are so bad/annoying, that the other students are even upset or annoyed by his or her behavior. I didn’t necessarily dislike these students either; it’s just that they made my life very, very difficult some days. The best way I know how to describe it, is that I wanted to laugh and shake my head, but at the same time I also wanted to wrap my hands around their throat. At some point they’d move on to another grade, and you hope that with age comes more maturity and self-control.
Because it’s really not polite (or professional) to walk around saying “s/he is such a little bastard” you had to come up with some form of code to let others know what you were dealing with. And so came the term “high energy.” Every time you’d hear other teachers talking about how “so and so is high energy” you just knew. I remember one student in particular, where I was trying to talk to his parents about behavior issues. With a completely forced smile and my teeth clenched, I uttered “he’s just so high energy” in my most positive voice. (That’s not what I really wanted to say, FYI.)
Even though I probably haven’t stepped foot in a middle school classroom for almost 10 years, when I heard “high energy” on television last night, my ears just perked. It was like Underwood and Manning were speaking to me in some kind of code…like they wanted to say something more, but in order to remain professional and polite, they could not. It’s like Perez was the bad kid who drives everyone nuts, that keeps doing crazy stuff that makes you want to laugh and strangle him all at the same time.