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"The Sports Basher"
By Bettina Burke

It's about time. Finally something not-as-wicked comes along to shift the nation's focus from, not war, but the slew of reality shows that are to our culture what Michael Jackson is to plastic surgery. Um, horrible?

March Madness. That whimsical time of year when men would rather watch ten of their sweaty brethren competing to throw a ball through a hoop than do something constructive for the world. Like, say, hmm…finding our G-spot once and for all? Or does that futile hunt have to wait till Easter again?

Okay, okay, I'm not here to go all masochist on your Madness, or stand in the way of your DNA -- especially when it's glued to a television set worshipping a "bald, one-eyed Italian" maniac who suffers from a severe case of the Basketball Jones (because he can never get enough). I'm here to demonstrate what good sports we ladies can be and how, if given the opportunity, we like to participate. That said, please accept my token of affection in the form of a pop quiz.

Remember: there are no stupid questions. Only stupid athletic directors who look the other way when stupid athletes find someone else stupid enough to take their quizzes for them. Please. Eyes on your own computer screen.


1. What is a RPI rating?

a. An impossibly complex system that together, the CIA, FBI, NSA and PTA wouldn't be able to figure out, especially if the nation's security depended on it.

b. In Venusian terms: Ratings Penetration Index. (What you should be figuring out instead of your brackets.)

c. An anagram for R.I.P.-- her last letters to you as she's walking out the door after deeming your RPI rating unsuitable for any woman outside of a Jerry Springer posse.

2. The real fear factor during March Madness is

a. Having to watch grown men reduced to blathering babies after their teams lose.

b. When your idea of Survivor is not getting off the couch for three weeks and living off the leftover potato chips and cockroaches you find between the cracks.

c. Having your every household chore scrutinized as if we were UN Weapons Inspectors and you were that country who ends in a "Q."

3. If we happen to be gracing you with our presence when the savvy director cuts to the proverbial low-angle "Cheerleader Crotch Shot," you should

a. Hit pause button on TIVO and use Sharper Image Tellustrator to point out artistic significance of angle.

b. Ask us to do a reenactment so you can sell the pictures to www.MILF.com

c. Describe how being a cheerleader is a vital stepping stone to much grander things, citing as examples Paula Abdul and the entire cast of Pom Pom Girls Gone Wild.

4. You know a coach is on the bubble when

a. His team votes themselves off the island and swims ashore before the final two immunity challenges.

b. He makes his assistant coach/son break the news to mom -- it was all his fault.

c. While on summer vacation he gets hundreds of long-distance calls from players who just wanna holla "wassup?"

d. The jury is deciding whether he'll be coaching major college ball next year, or on an Indian Reservation.

5. A man knows he's on the bubble when

a. His buddies vote themselves off the island and swim ashore before the final two-minute warning of the Significant Other arriving.

b. He discovers his TV set has been TP'd and his remote control reprogrammed to open the trap door that leads straight to the doghouse.

c. He tries to create a "living room wave" and all she'll lift is a middle finger.

6. When your game conflicts with any FOX Reality show you should

a. Find the shortest route to any sports bar. Note: Hooters does not qualify as a sports bar, unless you consider Boob Hunting a sport.

b. Understand: for each game videotaped, you get 80 extra minutes to do something useful for the universe -- like commiserate with us over what tough choices the Bachelorette has to make.

c. Realize the reality that the reality of us arguing over what to watch could make for compelling Reality TV of its own one day.

7. You know you're a real basketball addict if

a. Due to possible game preemptions, you're sending the White House protest letters that read: War any time after the middle of April is cool with me. Go team!

b. You can recite the entire bracket in under two minutes, and name the turnons and turnoffs for each of the 65 tournament team mascots.

c. You believe all adult education schools should be required to offer a Stuart Scott-as-a-Second Language course and all writers of Slam Magazine be given honorary degrees.

8. If a bald, one-eyed Italian maniac shows up at your door to get quotes from the "Average Joe," AND convince you of the purity inherent in College Basketball

a. Tell him you'll only accept cash for your answers.

b. DO NOT let him in for the free vacuum display -- his exuberance may suck the life right out of you.

c. Ask him if his Basketball Viagra comes in any other flavors.

9. If withdrawal occurs when the games are all over, you should

a. Join a 12-Step program moderated by Jim Gray.

b. Get over it.

c. Find something else to pour your passion into. Um, I'm thinking: Relationship?

Friday Night Sports Viewing:
(in order of preference)

1. Lakers vs. Jordan Scrubs
2. Texas vs U Conn
3. Maryland vs. Mich St.
4. Power Puff Girls vs. Dr. Evil
5. USA vs Iraq

10. How to get drafted from the doghouse back to the bedroom

a. Diamonds are a girl's best friend. Second choice would be taking out the garbage, shaving and actually bringing home a real paycheck once in a while.

b. Be understanding when OUR season begins. Oh right, it all ready did, silly me. It's called Shopping, and it never ends.

c. Figure out OUR RPI rating and stay in the game long enough to hit the G-Spot, pal!

Do me a favor, wake me up when it's Easter. I'm outta here.

Bettina Burke is president of the Beverly Hills Chapter of W.A.S. (Women Against Sports). A single mother of one gorgeous child, she runs the Bettina Burke Beverly Hills Dance Academy -- basically training women to instill "awareness" in sports-addicted husbands with the aide of a pole or lap. This is her first assignment for The Ave.

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