Ashy Ward Wednesday: Your Easy Guide to Sports Abstinence During Lent

Angry Ward, Kyrie Irving, Lamar Jackson, Derek Carr, Jets, Ash Wednesday, NFL, Meet-The-Matts, Ward Calhoun, #GoogleAlerts

NEW YORK, NY – It’s time for another Wednesday in February column, jam-packed with fun and frolic. It’s also that magical day on the calendar where I, working a stone’s throw from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, get to witness scores of faithful folks ambling around midtown with ashes on their foreheads. Now these ashes are supposed to be in the shape of a cross but, I swear, some of these priests must just run out of gas and get messy because half these people look like they either just finished cleaning their ovens or are leftover members of the Manson Family. Anyway, as Short Matt would be the first to remind you, today also begins the period of Lent. These 40+ days (46 including Sundays, I think?) are often used as an opportunity for people to abstain from certain things. It’s been a while since I participated; but this year I’m in! Here’s what I’m giving up for Lent.

N.Y. Jets Quarterback Speculation. I don’t really care, so this one’s easy. Even if you DO care (*cough* Junior *cough*), it’s easy. Y’see, it doesn’t matter. Whoever the Jets choose or whoever chooses the Jets, it will end up being 180 degrees wrong. It’s simply the Jets’ way. They will not make a wise QB decision. Bet the house on it. But, by all means, pay no attention to any of the lead up. Just enjoy the laughs in 2023.

Kyrie Irving. I’ve forgotten him already.

Beer. I’m so close to abandoning beer for good, that this seems like as good a time as any to make a real commitment to it. I used to like it (A LOT), specifically in summer, but as the years have passed we’ve become less fond of one another. I’m hoping this trial separation leads to a full-on divorce.

XFL and USFL. I think you have to have actually participated in something to actually be “giving it up,” so I’m not sure if this one counts. But, yeah, I won’t be watching a second of action from either of these leagues.

Stuff. I’m well into being on the wrong side of 50 now, so I think it’s high time I started getting rid of many of my useless “Earthly Possessions.” If I’m being honest with myself, aside from a place to sleep and eat, all I really need are a couple of pairs of shorts, t-shirts, underwear, socks, one decent suit, a sports coat, a few dress shirts, a swimsuit, and a toothbrush. Almost everything else can go. Every day of this Lent I will be giving some tangible piece of something up. Love this idea.

Stories About Derek Carr. You can tell what an abysmally-slow month it’s been for sports news when the name Derek Carr keeps flickering across the ticker. Look, I like Derek Carr well enough—and would take him over Kirk Cousins in a heartbeat—but I’m not going to waste my time immersing myself in his Homeric journey to find NFL happiness. Wake me when it’s over. On second thought, not even then am I to be disturbed.

Ellio’s Pizza. Screw you if you think I’m giving up Ellio’s Pizza! It’s one of my five basic food groups.

Okay, that’s it, I’m giving up on today’s column. Come back tomorrow for Buddy Diaz, who will never give up on the Knicks.




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About Angry Ward 737 Articles
Angry Ward, who has admirers at the New York Times, is the quintessential angry sports fan but for one exception... he's flat-out funny. And the angrier he gets, the more amusing his work becomes. Psychiatrists say, "Angry Ward's 'anger' is a direct result of "Bronx/Mets syndrome: growing up in the Bronx as a Mets fan." As if that weren't enough, his Minnesota North Stars abandoned him for Dallas, forcing him to embrace The Wild the way Nancy Pelosi embraces Mitch McConnell at charity events. And while his Vikings only tease him with success, his Golden State Warriors actually win these days. A-Dubya is MTM's longest-tenured indentured servant, its Larry David and quite simply, "The Franchise." (Junoir Blaber disputes this). Vent, curse and giggle with him on Angry Ward Wednesdays.