Philadelphia Sports Columnist’s Dating Advice Goes Awry

Murph's Twitter photo

David Murphy, a sports columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News, is by all accounts a very talented writer. He’s written some great pieces for local publications over the years and seems to be a fair and balanced individual when it comes to sports and journalism.

But David, oh my David, maybe next time it would be wise to leave your dating advice on the copy editor’s desk.

In a tweet sent out last night that’s been ratio’d to hell and back through this delightful city, Murphy decided to offer his followers some odd advice on how to get a better read on an individual during a first date:

One retweet, 272 quote tweets and 126 replies later (as of this writing) and it seems like most people are more than a little puzzled by Murphy’s advice and what it would actually accomplish. What are you going to glean from this type of interaction? How is Uber trouble going to lead to five minutes of life-changing conversation that will give you insight into a person’s soul? This isn’t a rom-com, so how would this type of exchange go any differently than this:

Me: “Hey sorry, I’m having some car trouble. I’ll be five minutes late.

Her: “Ok. See you then.”

WHAT VALUABLE INSIGHT THAT SURELY COULDN’T HAVE BEEN OBTAINED IN ANY OTHER FASHION! Why is David relying on a dating scheme that I’m pretty sure I saw in an episode of “Family Ties” from 1988? This type of grift seems more at home in the hands of Zack Morris as he tries to navigate accidentally scheduling TWO dates at the Max in one night. Oh Zack, you absolute rascal.

Aren’t there better ways to evaluate the character of a potential mate that don’t rely on jump starting a relationship out of a Machiavellian lie? Wouldn’t the first 10 minutes of an encounter provide you with everything that you could possibly get out of blaming your tardiness on a chatty Cathy coworker? “Mondays, am I right?! I just couldn’t out of there! You know how it is, the grind and all… wait, where are you going?”

If you do lack the necessary common sense to suss out any potential red flags in a partner through normal, un-rom-com-like behavior, I’ll give you a better suggestion than Murphy’s first-date tip.

Here’s what you do:

You arrange for the fake abduction of a date’s loved one during the first 20 minutes of your meeting. Have a friend call their cell phone and break the news that their beloved family member will not be returned safe unless $10,000 in unmarked bills is placed underneath a red 1987 Toyota Camry parked in a local Ground Round Grill & Bar.

Think about it. It’s genius. You’ll have an invaluable way to evaluate how they handle pressure in an everyday situation and a perfect window into their financial status without resorting to any intrusive questions! Is their first instinct to burst into tears and call the police, despite explicit instructions from the kidnappers that this would lead to the removal of a finger by rusty gardening sheers? Big red flag, can’t follow simple directions.

Or do they start pulling together $10,000 and form a plan of their own to exact bloody, merciless revenge on all involved after the drop off? Does she start fashioning a shiv from the available nearby silverware? Does she call a shady acquaintance she refers to only as “Dux” after hanging up with the abductors? If that’s the case, brother, you’d better put a ring on it because she’s the one for you.

And when you reveal it’s all been a grand ruse to evaluate their character as a way to avoid having a meaningful, connecting conversation? You can both have a good laugh and be secure in the knowledge that you’ll have a wonderful story to tell your grandchildren or entertain your lawyers in divorce court.

Or, you know, you can just have a 20 minute conversation like a regular human being. The choice is yours.