Booze as a disability? Is this Bar open?

By: Scott Wolf 

Former head coach Steve Sarkisian has sued USC for $30 million for wrongful termination and failure to help him treat his alcoholism.
Former USC coach Steve Sarkisian filed a lawsuit against the university on Monday saying he was “kicked to the curb” instead of being allowed to seek treatment for alcoholism.

Sarkisian’s lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, blamed athletic director Pat Haden for wrongful termination and seeks $12.6 million, which is the remainder of his contract at USC, plus unspecified punitive damages for “mental anguish.” He also blamed his high-stress job and collapse of his marriage for his alcohol dependency.

The lawsuit claimed Sarkisian “pleaded” with Haden to give him time away from his job to seek treatment, but Haden placed him on indefinite leave on Oct. 11 and fired him by text the next day.


Booze is a disability? How is making everything awesome even midnight Christmas Mass a disability! I’m kidding, of course alcohol is a disability.  If you have to start wearing Velcro sneakers because the booze won’t let you tie your shoes, then its a disability. If you wake up next to a midget in clown makeup, then its a disability. If you start to understand the Asian guy taking your order at Wah Sang at 3am, then its a disability. If you start to think “You know I would do Caitlin Jenner in a pinch” then its a disability.The problem with this story is did Coach inform his boss of his issue?  Nobody is buying that Sarkisian remembers speaking with his bosses about his alcohol issue in the first place. The only thing this guy remembers is that the packy opens at 10am and takes cash only (or cheerleader underwear in certain circumstances).  Yes, the guy has a problem. Any time you wake up face down at a podium… in the middle of a spaghetti dinner…while you were making the speech…you might want to put the Schnapps down.

(Where is this bartender?)

The real problem in this situation was Sarkisian was trying live his college years all over again. Who among us hasn’t done the same thing? Maybe you stop in at a local watering hole on your way home from work.  Proceed to down Fireball shots, play Buck Hunter, talk about how the Swatch watch was your idea and then argue with the wooden Indian statue about who could serve a beer faster Woody or Sam Malone (The correct answer is Woody by the way.  Those corn-fed Midwesterners know how to work.  Just ask Orvil Redenbacher.) then maybe we should talk?

(Christ buddy, its almost 10am, bartender what the fuck)

Drinking on the job is bad mojo. Sure, at lunch, smoke breaks, walking to the bathroom; but while working is just not cool. The big question is did he deserve to lose his job because he was brushing his teeth with Doctor McGuilicuddy?’s  Sadly, yes he did. Unless he went into his boss’ office and said this simple phrase “I have a problem and need help“. He has to admit the problem or there really isn’t anything for USC to do but fire him. Believe me, I know something about addiction. If I buy one more season of Greys Anatomy on DVD my wife is throwing me out on my ass.  I hope Coach gets the help he needs.

(as I sip my Rum and Coke)


Well, if it isn’t another “Drinking is good for you article.”



Bob Welch, former star Dodgers pitcher, died in June from a heart attack at age 57. In 1981, Welch published (with George Vecsey)Five O’Clock Comes Early: A Cy Young Award-Winner Recounts His Greatest Victory, in which he detailed how he became an alcoholic at age 16: “I would get a buzz on and I would stop being afraid of girls. I was shy, but with a couple of beers in me, it was all right.”

In his early 20s, he recognized his “disease” and quit drinking. But I wonder if, like most 20-something problem drinkers (as shown byall epidemiological research), he would otherwise have outgrown his excessive drinking and drunk moderately?

If he had, he might still be alive. At least, that’s what the odds say.

Had Welch smoked, his obituaries would have mentioned it by way of explaining how a world-class athlete might have died prematurely of heart disease. But no one would dare suggest that quitting drinking might be responsible for his heart attack.

Even drinking more than is recommended, without displaying clinical symptoms of problem drinking or alcohol dependence (and these are not subtle), is generally better for you than drinking nothing.

In fact, the evidence that abstinence from alcohol is a cause of heart disease and early death is irrefutable—yet this is almost unmentionable in the United States. Even as health bodies like the CDC and Dietary Guidelines for Americans (prepared by Health and Human Services) now recognize the decisive benefits from moderate drinking, each such announcement is met by an onslaught of opposition and criticism, and is always at risk of being reversed.

ZZZZzzzz….ZZZzzzzz…what!?  Oh, you woke me up for another “Drinking is good for you” article.  Yeah, no shit.  Of course drinking is good for you.  Everyone knows this.  You’re about 500 “Drinking is good for your articles” late on this one.  What I’m waiting for is the article that tells me that all the horribly unhealthy stuff we do WHILE drinking is perfectly healthy.  Like, “Inhaling 3000 calories of breakfast fare at 3 am is actually good for you!”  “Trying to the give that 3-billed train wreck that you met at a bar a 10 finger boost into your dorm bunk bed, is good for you! (provided you bend your knees.)” “Telling a funny joke to the girlfriend of the jealous, over protective, sociopathic mixed martial artist who is checking id’s at the bar you’re in, is good for you!”  “Having an honest moment with your wife and telling her your ‘actual’ number, is good for you!”  “Urinating publicly in a school zone is super good for you.” Heck while you’re at it, “Diving boards, batting cages, your kid’s trampoline, razor scooters, and skate boards…when combined with a healthy buzz, will extend your time on earth. “

Now that’s a study.