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Monday, April 21, 2003
Updated: September 3, 3:53 PM ET
To date, or not to date

By Stacey Pressman
Special to Page 2

I'm about at the end of my rapidly fraying rope.

My girlfriends tell me I can't be so picky, I need to give guys a chance. So, like Coach Devine of Notre Dame with 27 seconds left, I opted to put Rudy in the game. For some reason, my game always feels like there's 27 seconds left. I decided that the next guy to ask me out, in person, regardless of who he was or what he looked like, that I would go. I'm a true humanitarian, what can I say?

Braveheart
The agreed upon move: Braveheart. Always a good choice.
So here I was on this date the other night under the pretense that we would "get something to eat" and watch a "war" movie. Can you believe I agreed to the latter? Like Ricky Williams, I think I consulted Master P before signing this bad-ass deal.

In the end, I was cool with it. We agreed to watch "Braveheart." Seen it a million times. Loved it!

My date, for what it's worth, wasn't bad looking, either. Polite and considerate, too.

He asked what kind of food I liked; I told him sushi, but we ended up settling for a meal at Chili's. It was my Marvin Lewis approach -- aim for Palmer, but convince myself I'd be content with Kitna for starters. I can't fault my date though -- it's Connecticut and we don't have many options. Neither does Cincinnati.

At dinner, we discussed NFL free-agent transactions over chicken sandwiches. (If you're thinking back to my previous column, you would know that if I saw long-term potential, I would have smiled, twirled my hair and said, "What's a free agent?")

Nevertheless, in April, I'm feeling the Miami Dolphins. I had always been indifferent toward them. As Simon Cowell of "American Idol" would say, "It's not exactly like you had me jumping out of my chair or anything." But their offseason acquisitions impress me thus far: Junior Seau added to the Jason Taylor sack-generating defense. It has a nice feeling of added power, doesn't it? Sort of like when your gun changed to spray bullets while playing Contra on Nintendo. I get that same "this is really cool" feeling.

Junior Seau
With Junior on board, Stacey likes the Dolphins.
I think I might also be into the revitalized Washington Jets ... oops, did I say that? I meant, Redskins. Will someone please let me know when Jets superfan Fireman Ed decides to trade in his hat and hose for a dress and pig snout? Anyway, if you can believe it, the transaction discussion was actually the highlight of the evening.

After that, I looked a lot like Jana Novotna in the 1993 Wimbledon final. Truly, one of the greatest disintegrations of my dating history -- only the Duchess of Kent was nowhere to be found.

We went back to his place to watch this "war" film. Mind you, he had just purchased a new DVD player and recently signed up for Columbia House's buy-1-get-17-free-for-a-penny. So strewn out on his coffee table lay 18 war flicks. In other words, every Mel Gibson movie that has ever been made. I don't think I've seen Mel Gibson in a film where he wasn't donning a spear, a sword, a musket, a rifle, a revolver, or some type of lethal weapon.

Now let me just remind you of one thing: We had already agreed on "Braveheart"!

"Tell our enemies that they make take our lives, but they'll never take our freedooomm!"

I'll say it one more time: We had agreed on "Braveheart"!

But sitting in front of us: "Platoon," "We Were Soldiers," "Gallipolli," "Saving Private Ryan," "Rob Roy," "The Patriot," "Black Hawk Down," "Full Metal Jacket," "The Thin Red Line," "Pearl Harbor," maybe even a bootleg of "Gangs of New York."

I'm curious to know what Freud would have said based on my date's collection of DVDs.

This guy was also the first person to trump my DVD theory -- that everyone's collection consists of two movies you'd least expect them to own.

What About Bob?
Bill & Richard -- the key to Ms. Pressman's heart.
Take my friend Garry, for example. It was at his house where I "discovered" the theory. Like most guys, Garry's into his stereo-surround sound, flat-screen TV set-up. He owns more than 150 movies that are alphabetized and pathologically arranged with that "Sleeping With the Enemy" don't-move-my-bathroom-towels-or-I'll-kill-you type of precision. One day, while perusing his assortment of "Casino," "The Godfather," "Goodfellas," "Scarface" and "Swingers," I noticed two flicks that were neither alphabetized nor acknowledged on his DVD computer list printout. He even had their case spines flipped so you could only see the black plastic. Hmmmm, I thought for sure those were his ... uh, "after-hours" DVDs. However, Nancy Drew was wrong. While Garry stepped out of the room, I went on a mission to "crack the case."

Sure enough: Susan Sarandon's "Stepmom" and Winona Ryder's "How to Make an American Quilt."

For a moment, I felt like the old lady social worker in "Mrs. Doubtfire" when she went over to check out Robin Williams' apartment and noticed the brassiere.

I was embarrassingly reassured that those blockbuster hits came free with the DVD player. And thus, the birth of my theory. But where were my date's two complimentary movies? Could he have traded them in for "Patton" and "Guadalcanal Diary"?

(Just to get it on the record: I would have demanded a proposal of marriage on the spot if he owned my favorite 1991 Bill Murray/Richard Dreyfuss comedy classic, "What About Bob?"

And in all honesty, what my date was about to do next was enough to make me want to tie a goldfish bowl around my neck like Bob Wiley and baby-step myself all the way up to Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire in search of Dr. Leo Marvin.)

You want to know what this guy did?

He couldn't just settle for our "Braveheart" agreement. He called an audible at the line of scrimmage. Without consultation, he insisted upon watching every major battle scene in each of the movies on the table.

I thought I was going to lose it. Who invites a girl over and does that?

"What are you doing with the rifle, Dr. Marvin?"

Braveheart
Hey, look! It's your great-great-grandmother's cousin's -- once removed -- wife's brother!
"Death therapy, Bob. It's a guaranteed cure."

My feelings exactly.

I'm sure you guys are reading this and thinking, What a cool dude this guy is!

And you're right: it's a cool date ... FOR ANOTHER GUY!

But what did I do to deserve this? I'm kind of like a nice girl.

Oh, and with the new DVD player, I had the added pleasure of seeing William Wallace and his line of infantry's hairy butt cheeks in about six different high-definition angles.

And, as if my date hadn't already sealed his fate, I regret to report that there's more:

Not only does he love war movies, but he also loves telling war tales. He is one of those people who somehow manages to a have a distant relative in every one of the war scenes ... or at least it felt that way. I actually sat there and endured him telling me that his grandfather's cousin said that it's really true that the crew in "Saving Private Ryan" did vomit on the boat in that exact same way when they were storming the beaches of Normandy.

Oh, and then there was this one: "Stacey, My great-great-grandmother's cousin]s -- once removed -- wife's brother is a 13th Century Scottish descendant of William Wallace, and he actually designed the pike wall to break the English cavalry charge in the Battle of Stirling Bridge against Edward the Longshanks."

Yeah, thanks for the info, pal ... can you please tell me when I accidentally chose the museum headset option before I agreed to sit down on your couch?

Warren Sapp, Mike Sherman
Not everyone is a fan of Sapp's style on the field, especially Packers coach Mike Sherman.
Like a WNBA game, it was utter torture. After about 90 minutes of this nonsense and all my hair pulled out, I threw the flag.

Do you think I was unreasonable?

All I can say is he should be thankful I don't have NFL referee Jeff Triplette's aim, or he could have ended up with injuries worse than Orlando Brown.

Isn't the "watch-a-movie-at-home-thing" supposed to be code for fun?

I guess not. I felt like Alicia Silverstone's character Cher in "Clueless" when she invited Christian over for an evening of "Spartacus" (minus the gay undertone ... I think).

It just wasn't happening.

To his credit, he's a very nice guy, whom, upon reading this column, will no doubt come after me like Warren Sapp charging Mike Sherman. But, lucky for me, I'll be ready ... hiding behind his family's 13th Century pike wall.

Stacey Pressman is a freelance producer for ESPN and a contributing writer to Page 2. She can be reached at StaceyPressman@aol.com.