Bradford Applin

I wish it were Wednesday. If it were in fact next Wednesday, you, my faithful reader, would have so much more to look forward to than just my musings on the week in sports. Not only would you be hours away from watching the NBA conference finals unfold before your eyes, you could also be gearing up to watch the Yankees and Red Sox renew their hatred on ESPN (there’s nothing Boston fans anticipate more than an opportunity to boo Johnny “I sold my beard and my soul for $13 million” Damon).

But more importantly, you could be (insert: should be) gearing up for one of the most climactic events in the history of television. OK, OK, maybe I exaggerated, let me rephrase that: You should be preparing for the most exciting and engrossing drama to grace a screen since “Casablanca.” Ok, so maybe I’m a little over-dramatic about this particular event.

Normally my idea of a well-done drama is Ben Wallace missing two potentially game-tying free throws to all but give King James the Eastern Conference crown. Or watching the Astros’ Russ Springer throw inside to Barry Bonds not once, not twice, not three times, not four, but an unfathomable five times before finally hitting everyone’s favorite medically enhanced ghost whisperer. (In case you missed Barry’s quote, he is apparently actively engaged in “hunting two ghosts” and Babe Ruth is “hovering” over him. Who ya gonna call?)

But much like my quarterly battle with PoWeR (our fine institution’s registration system), and my monthly all-nighters, one other thing has remained constant in my two years at Cal Poly: my weekly watching of the television drama “Lost.”

In honor of the season finale of “Lost,” I present to you the rules of the only sport that requires a television (or iPod if you’re into watching “Hurley” take up your entire 2.5-inch screen) that I like to call “Interactive Lost.” Please note, I am using the term “sport” in the loosest sense of the word possible. As in, by calling it a sport, my column can run in the sport’s section. There are also no real winners of losers – only the ashamed – and score-keeping is discouraged.

If it seems like you’re about to read an overly complicated and contrived column, you’re right. But gather some friends for Wednesday’s finale and follow me down the hatch; I promise you’ll enjoy the descent.

Sawyer nickname swap

Sawyer, the con man with wit to spare, has a nickname for everyone on the island.

Whether it’s “Freckles” for Kate or my personal favorite “Jabba the Hut” for Hurley. Whenever Sawyer calls a fellow castaway by a nickname, everyone has to blurt out an alternate nickname for the character. Five points to the best, and negative five points for the worst. Calling Walt, “Freddie Adu” earns you a cool five points, while an ill-advised shout of “Gary Coleman” will get you negative five points, muffled laughter and one guilty conscience.

Don’t hesitate to try this trick at sporting events too. For instance, every time I hear Shaquille O’Neal refereed to as, “Shaq” or “The Big Diesel” or “Big Daddy” I shout at my flickering tube, “Baby Toes!” or “Mr. 53 percent free-throw-shooter!” or when I’m feeling particularly evil, “Kazaam!”

The numbers game

For every reference to the numbers you can point out first in each episode, one point. For every visualization of the numbers (including 108), one non-existent point can also be tallied to the person who jumps and yells the loudest while pointing at the television.

For every obscure reference that a viewer feels is critical to the plot and must be mentioned such as, “There are five people Michael wants to take with him back to ‘The Others’ and he got three minutes with his son Walt. When you add those two together, you get eight – think about it-” re-enact Michael’s reaction to finding Libby with said friend.

For every number that reminds you of a statistic from a previous night’s game (i.e. thinking to yourself, “18 – that’s the number of points Manu Ginobili scored, one of which was a free throw with 15 seconds left to give the Spurs the win and force a game six”), quietly keep it to yourself.

Lost instant-awards show

This is the one game with perhaps the most potential for creativity. At any point in the show, feel free to pronounce spontaneous awards upon various members of the cast. The more random the better, with extra points awarded if you can name the person who previously held the title. Take this example from a recent episode: “Patchiest beard ever seen on television goes – hands down – to Eko of ‘Lost.’ He takes the much-respected title from Ricky Williams, who promises to return to Dolphins training camp two years from now 100 pounds heavier with his beard more sporadic and longer than ever.”

Predictions and Theories

The one who comes up with the craziest theory as to what is actually happening on this forsaken island, and then manages to back it up with ridiculous evidence that makes sense only because you truly are “lost” is the default winner. Bonus points awarded for insane looks in player’s eyes, as well as for using full body gestures to illustrate their point.

But predictions alluding to the fact that there is no island, magnetic fields are in control, or that they are in purgatory are all played-out and inadmissible.

In addition, theories such as, “On next week’s finale, someone will die, they won’t be rescued, and the episode will end with more questions than answers,” or “The Miami Heat will win the Eastern Conference” are not original, nor creative, even if they may be true.

Bradford Applin is a sophomore journalism major. Catch his last column of the year next Thursday as you start to suffer the pains of “Lost” withdrawal. E-mail him at bapplin@calpoly.edu

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