Joe Mauer.

Always one to overcome the shame of ripping off a good idea, I'm going to... well... rip off a good idea, then subsequently overcome the inevitable shame. This one comes from a recent post by Gordon in which he compares and contrasts himself with Lance Armstrong. I recently read an article about Twins All-Star catcher Joe Mauer, and that seems like as good an idea as any. Long live the compulsion for constant material!

1. Joe Mauer was a 3-sport star at Cretin Durham High School, where he led an already fabled sports program to even further glory. I had a laminated hall pass at Rosemount High School for school newspaper, where I successfully filed 2, maybe 3 articles my entire senior year.

2. Joe Mauer owns a townhome in Fort Myers, Florida, which provides him with offseason access to the Twins training facilities so that he can pump iron from November through March. I rent a one bedroom apartment here which provides me year-round access to an indoor pool and hot tub (that don't always smell like urine) so that I can choke on my own bile any month I choose.

3. Joe Mauer was honored last August with the "Joe Mauer Sideburns Night" promotion at the Metrodome, which allowed people to don the facial hair for which he is quickly becoming more and more well-known. If I were to ever be honored with such an occasion, it would probably be "Nick Lee Exaggerated Sigh of Frustration Day" here at the office, which would allow people to try out my signature default reaction for which I am becoming more and more infamous.

4. Joe Mauer won the American League batting title last year, batting .347 and often flirting with .400 throughout the season. I won the office football pool one week two years ago, and last year flirted with picking more than half of the games correctly throughout the season.

5. Joe Mauer can't go into grocery stores around Minnesota anymore without being hounded by fans and media. I can't go into the malls around Colorado Springs anymore without being hounded by people trying to sell me a cell phone plan.

As you can plainly see, our lives are quite different. I hope you enjoyed this fascinating look at one of today's up-and-coming young stars. (I was talking about Joe Mauer, not myself. Just clarifying.) Enjoy your weekend, and remember: Bone Thugs-N-Harmony gotsta eat, too.

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