Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Korked Bats

That Funny Sports Blog

Take That LA! (Finally)

Finally, a little bit or revenge has been served to the evil empire that almost put a poor kid to tears in 1996.

A young boy, that we’ll just call, for the sake of this story, Justin Duff, was a huge Orlando Magic fan in the mid 1990’s. He loved watching the NBA on NBC and followed the Orlando Magic as well as a nine year old could. He was a big fan of Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway, Darrell Armstrong, Nick Anderson, Horace Grant, Dennis Scott, and of course THE Shaquille O’Neal. In 1996, Shaquille O’Neal was one of Aust… I mean, Justin’s favorite player. For many Christmases and birthdays Justin would ask for an Orlando Magic Shaquille O’Neal #32 jersey and for many Christmases and birthdays, Justin Duff came up empty with no jersey.

In the summer of 1996, after the Magic were swept in the Eastern Conference Finals by that one team led by Michael Jordan or whatever (which was actually Justin’s second favorite team at the time), Justin’s family went on a trip to Los Angeles for his dad’s business. While on that trip, I… errrr, Justin recieved the worst NBA news he has ever gotten in his nine year life.


Justin sat in his room stunned. A tear began to stream down his eye (What a little sissy, I know…). His favorite player is leaving his favorite team. The sports world could not get any worse for Justin.

But then it did.

My parents… excuse me, Justin’s parents were talking amongst themselves in the hotel room as Justin watched the news unfold on TV. They got Justin’s attention and proceeded to tell him that they had finally purchased him an Orlando Magic Shaquille O’Neal #32 jersey.

What was this? Justin and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day?!

His parents were going to wait to give it to him for Christmas that year but with the recent news, they decided they would just give it to him now. Thanks a lot, right? So Justin’s dream of owning an Orlando Magic Shaq jersey was finally granted… only not during Shaq’s stint with the Magic. The only magic Justin saw out of Shaq for the rest of his career was in that crap film, Kazaam.

This began the disliking of Shaquille O’Neal and after promising himself that he would never let go, Justin eventually let his love of the Magic slip away.

Now thirteen years later, Justin Duff is probably living in some suburban city outside of Nashville, home from college for the summer watching the NBA Finals at home alone while drinking a glass of milk. Who knows?

Regardless, I think it’s safe to say that over a decade later, he feels a little bit better now that the Magic have beaten the Lakers. With or without Shaq on either team, it still feels good. Or at least I assume, it feels good for him.

But he’s such a sissy, he’ll prolly cry if the Magic don’t win the series. Much like he stayed up well past his bed time for four nights in 1995 to watch the Magic get swept by the Rockets and had trouble being put to sleep after the Finals as he cried for hours.

This is probably what he looked like back then.

What a panzy! I’m glad I’M not him!

But for Justin Duff,
TAKE THAT LA! (Finally)


Austin hosts a country music morning radio show in Chicago after nearly a decade in sports talk radio (The Jim Rome Show, Steve Gorman SPORTS!) Colin Cowherd and Smash Mouth follow him on Twitter and he wears pants every day.


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