Hot Takes with Max Zhuang '19

by Max Zhuang | 10/31/16 12:01am


I’m not going to lie — I get surprised very easily. Not usually even in a surprise birthday party kind of way where everyone generally ends up thinking that the surprise is cool and well-intentioned. Rather, imagine something more along the lines of casually tapping your friend on the shoulder and watching him seize, proceeding to cramp up throughout the rest of the day. Between random Homecoming shenanigans and some unreal happenings in sports, this past week was full of surprises, both good and bad. From the potential heartbreak between the Chicago Cubs love affair and destiny to some of the most amazing events before the weekend, I can only be sure of one thing; it’s been incredibly fun.

5:06 p.m. Oct. 24, Arian Foster retires — It’s a little sad because injuries prevented Foster to continue, but if you read what he had to say about his retirement story, you’re happy for him. “Faceless gladiators have been shuffled in and out of this arena for decades...but my body just can’t take the punishment this game asks for...This is a beautifully violent game...That bittersweet taste will forever linger with me.” His exit is emotional and the way he respects and honors football as an intellectual makes me glad that he figured out it was time to move on. However, the story he spins his retirement around sounds creepy and a lot like “Westworld.” Yeah, part of the plot in the HBO show “Westworld” is literally, “these violent delights have violent ends.” Foster has taken too much punishment from the game of football and now his career in football ends; could it be that “Westworld” is really based on the true story of Foster’s retirement? Is Foster a “Westworld” superfan, perhaps even a Host? Or maybe Jay Ajayi stole Foster’s starting running back position, and Foster doesn’t have the wheels or the self respect not to dwindle on his NFL days in mediocrity? Take it easy, Foster. Goodbye.

8:48 p.m. Oct. 25, the Chicago Cubs drop their first game — Corey Kluber. The man threw down eight strikeouts in the first nine outs, setting a World Series record for the most strikeouts in the first three innings. I would imagine facing Kluber would feel like having someone only serve aces to you in pong. Surprise number one, Roberto Perez homers to break the game open 3-0 for the Cleveland Indians. Cleveland won 6-0, and I was extremely disappointed not because I’m a bias sports fan who’s still a little bitter that the Cleveland Cavaliers spoiled the best regular season team in the history of the NBA, but because...actually I know it’s stupid but that’s exactly why I’m going to continue rooting for the Cubs. Yeah, I hold grudges.

9:50 p.m. Oct. 25, Golden State Warriors blown out by the San Antonio Spurs — You already know what it is, you know the routine; I have to mention the Warriors, at least a little bit because with the new addition of Kevin Durant, who played his first official game with the team, and the energy from the crowd in Oracle, it would be a blow out. Surprise number two, only I was wrong about which team was blowing, us.

7:08 p.m. Oct. 26, Cubs are back — The Cubs tie the series, 1-1. Kyle Schwarber is a legend, and Arrieta looks like the ace that he is. Quality from the Cubs that you expect; for not one second did my confidence waver. The Cubs are back!

8:08 p.m. Oct. 28, just kidding Cubs lose, again — In what can only be described as a pure arms race, Cleveland’s bullpen just edged out Chicago’s, making the Cubs lose, 0-1.

11:03 a.m. Oct. 29, Jose Fernandez toxicology report released — Fernandez’s death has been a true tragedy. I can’t really say if this is a surprise or not, but Fernandez’s toxicology report revealed his blood alcohol limit was nearly double the legal limit while his other two friends were under the legal limit. Fernandez and one of his two friends who also died had cocaine in their system as well.

8:08 p.m. Oct. 29, Cubs down 3-1 in World Series — This was not good. Kluber was back to deliver an almost fatal win to dash Chicago’s World Series hopes. How did this happen? Cleveland is just one win away from clinching it all and against the team that I thought was destined to win. A team that not only won a ridiculous amount of games during the regular season but also had what seemed to be the perfect combination of young talent and innovative coaching. Why does Cleveland have to ruin everything that’s nice? The Tribe’s performance as a whole in this series has been, to me, the greatest surprise this week and it pains me.

I guess most surprises really aren’t that great. I don’t even want to talk about the Homecoming football game.