Do Nice Guys Really Finish Last?

Posted: February 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

First off, let me apologize for this, my second fairly lengthy break between posts. Life has a way of getting in the way of de-friending, but the journey nonetheless continues. As of right now, I’m still hoping to complete the cuts in 50 days, but that means I’m really going to have to pick up the pace. By my count, I have made 209 cuts, which means I’ll have to make 291 more in 24 days. That’s right, we’re beyond the halfway point. Anyway, now that I’ve lamented my lack of prolific posting, let’s get back to the narrative.

Last week in the midst of de-friending, I got rid of what I will call a classic nice guy. The nice guy and I bonded in college through our mutual passion for our school’s championship D3 basketball team. We really got to know one another when I was a senior and he was a junior and the school paid for coach busses to take 150 or so of the team’s rowdiest fans on a 13 hour ride from St. Louis to Salem, Virginia, a small town just outside of Roanoke and the Mecca of D3 championship events. The classic nice guy (CNG, shall we call this breed in the future?) was a member of the football frat, which doubled as the basketball team’s most fervent fans. Calling themselves the Bomb Squad, they wore full camouflage fatigues to each game and generally made as much noise as the rest of the gym combined. Their alpha dog swagger didn’t exactly align with Wash.U’s nerdy institutional ethos, but the trip through the West Virginia hills gave me a deep appreciation for the frat. They reminded me more of a lot of my high school friends and that weekend was one of, if not the best, in all of college. Prior to the weekend, I was friends with a small handful of bomb squaders; by the end, I was the only non bomb-squader on the bomb squad bus back to the midwest. In addition to drinking whiskey and going shirtless for virtually the entirety of the ride home, I paired with a wide receiver on the football team to host a mock radio show on the bus’s p.a. system. The bus company was called “Kavallo,” and somehow our combination of stand-up comedy, geographic play-by-play (“We’re entering West Virginia, [insert generic inbreeding comment here]”), and historical analysis came to called “Kavallo Radio.” After that weekend, I made a number of new bomb squad facebook friends and continued to hang out with a bunch of those guys until graduating. One of those friends was the classic nice guy. Comparatively tame in his level of debauchery, we always chatted around campus, but never kept in touch after graduating.

Then, last week I took a look at his profile. It told me he was a medical student in Indiana. Different career paths, different region of the country, and seemingly slim odds we’d meet again, I figured. He was a thoroughly unthreatening dude and I mean that in the best way. Unfortunately, I must confess that those individuals who are sort of assholes often don’t get cut. There’s this secret fear in the back of my mind that if I cut them, they might come back on me harder and reveal some profound insecurity about me or blacklist me from some professional circuit some day. It’s not a real concern, but it’s something that weighs on the back of my mind nonetheless and keeps them around for another round or two. With this nice guy, I didn’t have that slight sense of fear and so I axed him.

And then the moment of truth came. He commented something like “it was a nice run. I knew I was coming.” The name he used while commenting? “Kavallo Radio.” No way around it; I felt like a jerk. Great kid and I wish him all the happiness and friends in the world. Kavallo Radio supporter: gone but not forgotten.

A smattering of sentences on just some of the many, many other cuts that have taken place in the last week….

A current med student who I took a writing class with, a former state cross and country champion who currently lives in Cairo and whose old man is my long-time mailman, a couple girls from my CIT group at sleep away camp from the summer of 2002 (haven’t spoken with either since), a friend’s old man, the college gf’s roommate who never much cared for me, a campus police officer, and a whole lot of younger siblings of close and not as close friends (the politics of this will be touched on at greater length in another post).

Keep following on twitter @500fewerfriends and sending your comments on what you like and don’t like.

  1. nice guys finish not on your friends list?

    i love getting glimpses into your mind at work. my friend list is basically out of control. i may have to lobby for your help.

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