My Brother Is Stupid--and That Does NOT Mean Stoopid Fresh.

When I read my big brother Nick's guest column in our former hometown newspaper, my first feeling was pride in his accomplishment. Hey, we might scrap a bit, but we're still siblings, and it truly changed my life when he invited me to be the final member of our groundbreaking vocal quartet 98 Degrees. (DON'T call us a boy band! We perform for fans aged four through fifty-four, and we sing all our own songs!)

But my feeling of pride soon turned to disgust when I realized that he was on again about Danny Graves. Believe me, this is NOT a new obsession. He's always hoisting this one up the flagpole; I keep expecting him to come into sessions for our next album Together-o with a song called "Danny Graves" or "The Closer They Threw Aside" or something. It's been this way for years, since before he met J-Simp or was on a TV "reality" show or anything. I swear, sometimes I think Nick is completely non-traditionally sexual about Danny Graves.

Not that there's anything wrong with being non-traditionally sexual -- hell, I was in "Rent," I know the score about that business. But still.

Listen, Nick and everyone: Danny Graves just is not a very good pitcher. He was okay last year if you're into fantasy baseball (and I think it's clear that my brother is playing some kind of fantasy baseball of his own, if you know what I mean), but this year, or 2003, or any other time in his career: uh, NO.

It sucks that Reds fans booed him and all, but you have to kind of admit that he deserved it a little. If I freaked out about a couple boo-birds at a Niner-Eight D concert and whined that no one should boo even if we sucked, then I would expect a veritable cascade of raspberries the next time we busted out with "Yesterday's Letter" or "Dizzy." But that would be stupid of me. Plus, no one ever boos when the Niner-Eight D is out there, doing our thing! Just a lot of cheers, applause, funky dancing from fans aged four to fifty-four, and a whole lot of lovely ladies. (Three words for you, courtesy of my man the late Bill Hicks: cotton candy, papercuts. Word.)

And I'm sorry, but flipping the bird to a fan is never cool. I'm an entertainer, okay, and I know this -- so should Danny Graves. So what if the guy dissed D-Grav's Asian racial heritage? Dude, people call me "white boy" all the time! I just shrug it off, say "guilty as charged," then take off my shirt to reveal my hairless chest. Aw yeah.

What the Reds SHOULD be concerned about is Ryan Wagner, who seems not to be ready to assume the mantle of closer yet. That game in Colorado where he gave up six earned runs in two-thirds of an inning was straight-up ass. The velocity is there, his ratios are still good, but he just doesn't carry himself like a closer. I'm guessing someone needs to do a CCFHI (Closer Creative Facial Hair Intervention), like, stat. Where's Carson Kressley when you need him? Because otherwise we're stuck with lame-oid Dave Weathers, who is approximately old as Reverend Joe Simpson's leathery nutsack, you should excuse the expression.

As for the stuff about Bob Huggins: who gives a crap? Cincy ain't been the same since Kenyon Martin broke his leg. Screw that, I'm all about UCLA now. Well, if by "all about UCLA" means "hip deep in UCLA cheerleaders who used to be high school girls listening to 98 Degrees records". And it does.

So, yeah, my brother's an idiot. Plus, he should remember that you can't spell CKY without KY, if you catch my driftwood. Screw Danny Graves, give R-Wags a Fu Manchu, and slide me a couple of those Vicodin and a Red Bull.

Drew Lachey is a member of the vocal group 98 Degrees, as well as an acclaimed stage actor. This article originally appeared in the Cincinnati Super Shopper Weekend Coupon Extravaganza newspaper. Reprinted with permission.


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