Guys I Love, Guys I Hate
Matthew Berry [ARCHIVE]
ESPN.com
March 14, 2012
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It's a very simple question and yet, I can't get an answer to it.

What is wrong with people?

Quick backstory: I am a diehard Lakers fan. Have been a season-ticket holder for 15 years, even keeping them when I moved from Los Angeles to Connecticut in 2007. Too valuable to give up, I mostly just alternately give them away to friends or sell them. OK, backstory over. Time for, er, front story. Or now story. Which is it?

While you ponder, I'll tell you about this past Valentine's Day, when, surprisingly, I had an idea. "Who wants my Lakers tickets tonight?" I tweeted to my followers. "In honor of Valentine's Day, because I love you, 24th person (for Kobe!) to tweet 'Go Lakers' at me gets 2 tix."

Responses come in fast, I find the 24th person to do it, I tweet him and ask for his email address. I also re-tweet his winning entry, congratulating him. So this guy and I go back and forth, I make sure he gets the electronic tickets, which he does. He's good to go, he's psyched. And I feel pretty good. Lakers games are sometimes a tough ticket, not everyone gets to enjoy them, it felt good to give them away to a Lakers fan who followed me. "I need to do this more often," I say to the Current Mrs. Roto. I shut off Twitter and we head out to a romantic dinner. Romantic as evidenced by the fact that I shut off Twitter.

The next morning, I find out that five minutes after I give this guy the tickets, he posted this tweet: "#Lakers tickets for sale tonight! Message me or go to Ebay" (and he includes the link).

What? Really?!? Seriously, dude?

What is wrong with people? I specifically waited until three hours before tipoff for this exact reason. The odds of selling tickets online to a Tuesday night regular-season game 2 0.5 hours (at the point he got the tickets) before tip aren't great. He messages me the next day. He tells me "turns out he couldn't make it," (he doesn't think I know about his trying to sell them. Or that I now know he lives in Florida) and says that he ultimately donated them to charity "so it's all good."

No, jerk, it isn't. I've donated plenty to charity. And if I wanted to do it this time, I would have. Well in advance, so the charity could auction it off, get some real donations, etc. But I wanted these tickets to go to a Lakers fan. A nice surprise for someone who follows me. What is a charity going to do with two tickets one hour before tipoff (which is when he pulled them off eBay)? Do you have any idea how hard it is to get to a game in L.A. with all the traffic? Of course you don't. You live in Florida!.

When he finds out I know about eBay and the selling attempts, he backpedals even more, more excuses before eventually apologizing but I don't want to hear it. I'm disgusted by this guy and the whole thing has been ruined for me. That's what I get for trying to be nice. I ask you, gentle reader.

What the hell is wrong with people?

I have a personal Facebook page where I interact with people all the time. Now, to get on that page, you have to actively seek me out, click "subscribe" or whatever, sometimes it's like a two- or three-click process, right? So I assume everyone there is someone who really wants to be there. And remember, it's not a fan page, OK? It's my personal page. I do keep some things private, but I only have one Facebook page and that's it. So my longtime good friend Melissa Masse, who is a great dress designer, posted on her Facebook about her upcoming spring line at Neiman Marcus (a big deal for her). I shared this link on my page, wishing her luck. Some people went nuts, yelling about spam and how they came to me for fantasy, not dresses, and then of course they wrap all that in personal insults as well. It's my own page, I'm supporting someone I'm close to and no one forced you to "friend me." Who is against helping a friend?

What is wrong with people?

Get an email from a total stranger. He's an author, his first book is coming out, says he's a big fan of mine, would I mind reading an advance copy and maybe giving a blurb? I have five kids, so I don't get a lot of non-sports reading time these days, but you know what? Many, many people helped me when I was starting out, I always like to encourage young writers when I can, so I think "sure." I write him back and say you bet, send it along, I'll be happy to do that. And congrats on getting your first book published!

He writes back. "Thanks. Hey, could you ask Bill Simmons and Chuck Klosterman to read my book and give a blurb? They're actually my favorite writers."

What is wrong with people?

Came across a story the other day. A 24-year-old unemployed Michigan woman won a million-dollar lottery. Awesome, right? Good for her. Except … she decided to remain on unemployment. That's right. She still gets $200 a month from the state, in addition to all the money she has in the bank from the lottery. When confronted about it by a local news team, Clayton said "I feel that it's OK because I mean, I have no income and I have bills to pay," she said. "I have two houses."

What. The Hell. Is wrong with people?

Every day I'm baffled by minute stuff like this. Life isn't that tough. As the great Bill S. Preston, Esq., and his fellow Wyld Stallyon Ted "Theodore" Logan once advised us, not so long ago … "Be excellent to each other. And party on."

I get it, life's not always easy. There are ups and downs. Good days and bad days. But how hard is it to follow one simple guideline: Don't be a jerk. Fairly straightforward, right? But that's a pipe dream. Especially because "jerk" is in the eye of the beholder. I think I read that on a Hallmark card.

The Twitter guy probably thought "Hey, they're my tickets. I won fair and square, Berry just gave them away with no stipulations, I can do with them what I want, including selling them."

Maybe the jerks on Facebook thought they were being funny. Or really hate women's fashion. Or only want fantasy information from me. Boy, are they in for a rude awakening. We're roughly 1,200 words into this thing, how's that working out for you?

Maybe the aspiring author is just super-enthusiastic, is excited that I seem so nice, so what's the harm in asking if I do one more favor? I mean, we must all hang out in the same office here at ESPN, right?

And the lottery winner, she probably… … yeah, I got nothing. Sometimes a jerk is just a jerk.

The point is, San Dimas High School football rules! The other point is that people approach everything differently. What seems jerky to me might be normal to you, and vice versa. Which brings us, meandering slowly, to the 2012 baseball edition of "Love/Hate."

A player you think is a fourth-rounder I may feel is a second-rounder. A guy you're drafting in the 10th is a reach for me, as I'm not touching him...
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