I’m too cool for several things.
I’m too cool to approach famous or semi-famous people in a setting where a conversation between us would never naturally occur.
For example: I went to see Stephen Malkmus in concert last year. Prior to the show, Malkmus walked into the pub where I was having dinner. Now, I wasn’t too cool to text two of my friends to tell him he was there. But I was far too cool to get up and say hi to Malkmus, who was sitting alone sipping water and watching an NCAA basketball tourney game. He gets bugged by strangers all the time. Why interrupt the dude just to have a brief and awkward conversation? I’m way too cool for that.
Another thing I’m too cool for is fantasy sports. I played fantasy football once a couple of seasons ago, just to see what it was like. It was predictably lame, no doubt due partly to the presence of several profoundly apathetic players in my league. By week 7, half the owners stopped bothering to update their rosters. After it was over, I walked away thinking, “Man I’m glad I’m too cool for that, because it’s really boring.”
So you can imagine the vortex of bewilderment I was thrust into when I read, via Deadspin, that Stephen Malkmus is an avid, passionate fantasy sports player. According to an interview with Malkmus at Rotoworld.com (its tagline: America’s #1 Source For Fantasy Sports News!) Malkmus “is one of those guys that who will always field a strong fantasy team, regardless of the sport.”
The writer (who, coincidentally, mentions seeing Pavement in ’95 at Lollapalooza in Indianapolis) continues: “He’s smart, committed, does his research and is active on the waiver wire. Regardless of what else you have going on, those ingredients are the start to a recipe for fantasy success.”
This isn’t some joke article from The Onion. This is a real interview posted on web site devoted exclusively to fantasy sports news. It also tells us that Malkmus’ fantasy sports basketball team is named “Widespread Perkins” and that his wife gets pissed when he’s one the waiver wire while cooking dinner. “It’s better than internet porn, right?” Malkmus quips. “Especially during dinner!”
It’s good to know his wit is still intact. Meanwhile I’m left wondering what to do with this information, or how it will affect the things I thought I was too cool to do. Because Malkmus used to be the poster boy of too-cool. In the early ’90s he was too cool to tune his guitar, sing on key or dress like a rock star. Yet in 2009, he isn’t too cool to utter the phrase, “Baseball is all about the roto, basketball is all about the head-to-head match-ups.” What does it all mean?