Commentary

Why is that guy writing for ESPN?

Updated: January 5, 2011, 12:04 PM ET
By Duff McKagan | Special to ESPN.com

My name is Duff McKagan, and I play rock and roll music. The beer on "The Simpsons" show was named after me, and not the other way around. (I suppose it is a testament to how much alcohol I used to drink. Yeah, not too sexy really.) A couple of years ago, I was offered a weekly column for Playboy.com and Seattle Weekly after goofing around in several other publications with an article "here" and an article "there"; it is now supposed that I am a writer to some degree.

[+] EnlargeDuff McKagan
Frank Micelotta/Getty ImagesMassive sports fan Duff McKagan is just like you and me … with the possible exceptions of Nos. 3 and 11.

I have two bands at the moment: Velvet Revolver and Loaded. Some of you may remember me from Guns N' Roses. I wish I remembered more from then …. Ha!

I have played my music in most of our major league sports' venues (football stadiums, basketball and hockey arenas). As a result, I was able to get all of the "behind the scenes" vistas of these venues that most of us only wonder about. Pretty kick-ass. A whole lot of sports teams use my old band's song "Welcome To The Jungle" as their war cry. This fact alone could have probably sated some of you sports fans' "Why him?" inquiry. Honestly though, I am a huge sports fan myself, and am glad and honored to be given a bit of a pulpit here to voice some of my opinions and insights.

Let me just fill you all in on some other "Duff facts":

No. 1: I, like perhaps many of you readers, played little league sports. I was that three-sport guy; football, basketball and baseball. I had dreams then, of going all of the way as a major league pitcher.

No. 2: I never made it as a pitcher.

No. 3: I made it as a bass player in a rock band.

No. 4: Team sports helped me in all of my later dealings within a rock "group."

No. 5: I went to college finally after my stint in GNR. My dreams of being a pitcher again were suddenly reborn. My ill-informed daydreams told me that I could make it onto the Seattle University Red Hawk squad as a cagey 33-year-old rookie. Here's the deal, though: I hadn't really pitched in anger since I was 16 or so. My college baseball career floundered even before it began … to the snickers and jeers of all of my "rock friend" peers.

No. 6: I don't want Brett Favre to retire because that old man makes this old man think I could still make a pro team somewhere. Yep, I'm a real moron.

No. 7: I am a Seattle native and a real homer when it comes to my favorite sports teams. The jokes can start now …

No. 8: I have soured to the NBA ever since my team was stolen from me. The NBA is now dead to me. Unless, of course, we steal someone else's team; then it is game on. (I shall write about this soon.)

No. 9: I don't like large-market sports teams that can acquire any player that they want (see No. 7). I will write on this too.

[+] EnlargeCharlie Whitehurst
Bruce Kluckhohn/US PresswireCharlie Whitehurst surprisingly revived the hopes of Seahawks fans.

No. 10: I have two daughters -- aged 10 and 13. I love nothing more than the fact that I am the father of girls, but watching sports on TV and listening to "The Jim Rome Show" on the radio are moments that I must do alone. (With my trusty dog Buckley. He had his testicles removed, and I was the one who took him to get this procedure done. I will eternally feel guilty for this. Even after all of that, he will still watch baseball with me.)

No. 11: My wife may very well be hotter than yours (see No. 3).

No. 12: I cannot use most swear words in this column, as ESPN is owned by Disney. I will have to therefore use some of my book-learnin' to find apt non-swear words where I would usually use the F-word or some similar phrase of discontent.

P.S. I wrote this column last week. Being a Seahawks fan, as stated above, you would have maybe thought that I might have said something about the team playing for a playoff berth against the St. Louis Rams. Truthfully? It didn't even cross my mind to write about this, as we Seattleites didn't even think they stood a chance against Sam Bradford.

But something happened on Sunday night; our defense held and quarterback Charlie Whitehurst showed up to play some football. My 7-9 Seahawks have home-field advantage now against Drew Brees and the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints. What the …?

Whatever. I have found myself today, suddenly wearing my dusty Seahawks jersey … a shirt I have not worn for a few years now. Yeah, I am that guy. The hopeless sports fan -- wearing the fan gear, thinking now, that against all odds, my team might now have a chance. Whitehurst to Williams? It kinda has a ring to it … like Zorn to Largent … except different.

Musician Duff McKagan, who writes for Seattle Weekly, has written for Playboy.com and is finishing his autobiography, will write a weekly sports column for ESPN.com.

Michael "Duff" McKagan, a founding member of Guns N' Roses, writes a weekly column for Playbook Sounds and is a passionate sports fan. McKagan is currently playing in Loaded and Velvet Revolver, is a prolific writer, including an autobiography, "It's So Easy: And Other Lies."