26 June 2009

The Truth Hurts

Much to my dismay, the following things are true in sports today:

There's a NBA franchise in Oklahoma City. The Thunder. Sounds like the big marketing brains burned the midnight oil on that one. Must be the same whiz kids behind Pepsi Clear.

The Jazz moved from New Orleans to Utah, then the Hornets moved from Charlotte to New Orleans and then the NBA expanded, awarding Charlotte a new team, the Bobcats. Cluster fuck. How about the Utah Bobcats, Charlotte Hornets and New Orleans Jazz...no, my bad, that actually makes sense.

Professional hockey teams in Nashville, Columbus, Phoenix, Atlanta...why? Here's a crazy idea put teams in places where they actually like hockey like CANADA or Minnesota or Wisconsin or fuckin Sweden, not the bible belt. If I've offended any hockey fans in the cities I called out, my sincerest apologies to both of you.

No more hot tubs at baseball stadiums, please, what an abhorrent trend. If you want to soak your weary bones and your beer gut for three and half hours, do it in your backyard not on the jumbo tron. Unfortunately, Jeffery Loria and David Samson, Owner and President of the Marlins, respectively, couldn't resist the urge and have included some sort of pool/jacuzzi in the renderings for the new Marlins Ballpark. I can't wait to hear the corporate tie-up cheesy name they'll come up with for this one...Bud Chill Zone, Toyota Take a load off Terrace, anyone?

Any music played when a closer comes in the ninth inning. Unless it's "Wild Thing" and it's Rick Vaughn coming in, I don't want to hear it cause no one, no one is as bad as that dude. Also "Major League" possibly the best movie ever.

Stop comparing everyone to Michael Jordan. Stop calling Tiger and Roger the greatest ever. MJ was far and away the best basketball player walking the planet while at his prime winning six titles with da' Bulls. Was he better than Wilt or Dr. J or Oscar Robertson, it's impossible to compare, each man was dominant and distinctively defined his generation in the game. Just as Kobe, LeBron and D-Wade are now. As for Tiger and Roger, clearly they have excelled in their championship pursuits like none of their contemporaries. But in golf and tennis, I think you've got to factor in the advances in technology, the changes which have unprecedentedly opened up their once privileged and exclusive games. Jack and Arnie were playing persimmon woods to say nothing of what Bobby Jones or Ben Hogan were hitting back in the day. Same goes for tennis. Those wooden rackets played by Laver, Bjorg, Connors and McEnroe don't give us any idea how yesterdays greats would do against present ones. Let's just enjoy what we're witnessing without trying to rank everyone on some mythical totem pole.

Fantasy everything. Fantasy baseball, ok. Fantasy football, of course. That's it. No fantasy golf, tennis, soccer, basketball, hockey, ladies indoor lacrosse, beach volleyball, cricket, marathon running. That's ridiculous. If you're putting together your Indy Racing League drivers for the Iowa Corn Indy 250 that's a sure sign this phenomenon has gone too far and that you have way too much time on your hands. See a gambling counselor, get some sun and start a blog, worked for me.

17 June 2009

Father's Day Weekend- What to Watch For

Good sports weekend coming up.
I'm a soccer nut, so International tourney going on in South Africa, Confederations Cup. Somewhat meaningless in terms of prestige but entertaining stuff nonetheless. First off, it's in South Africa, a tune up for the World Cup which is a tantalizing 359 days away. Some intriguing competitive and political match ups on the slate. The home team, Bafana Bafana, playing in front of the home fans. Think soccer or sport in general has no impact on society, see Rugby World cup circa 1995, Nelson Mandela slapping on the Springbok Jersey..amazing stuff. Now the world's biggest sports event (sorry it's not the Super Bowl my American football friends or the Olympics my friends at Coca-Cola) is coming to South Africa 16 years after the end of apartheid, not to mention it's the first World Cup in Africa. Iraq is there too, though they look unlikely to advance to the second round right now after the scoreless draw with S.A. and a 1-0 loss today to Spain. I don't need to recount the myriad of problems going on in Iraq but when they won the Asian Cup last year against all odds, the Kalashnikovs were firing straight up into the air rather than at coalition soldiers or fellow countrymen for the first time in a long time. I don't want to casually overlook the Kiwis but hey you've been dominating in Rugby (love the Haka http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eGCsEQ15L4) for I don't know how many years and your country (even though I never been there) looks amazingly beautiful, is super safe and has some pretty decent white wine. Pretty soon there going to start calling Switzerland the "New Zealand" of Europe. In the other group, Brazil (O jogo bonito) vs. Italia vs. USA vs Egypt. I love my countrymen. I love Landon, DeMarcus, Jozy, Bocanegra but man what a tough group. Brazil v. USA tomorrow morning 930am on ESPN the dos. Watch it. Watch it at work or watch it at home, watch it at the pub, do what you got to do but watch this game. Our boys always play the pentacampeao tough, not many results but we always get physical with the Brazilians and throw'em off their normal flowing, stylish, effortless game. After the 3-1 loss to the Italians on Monday, I expect the Yanks to really come out looking for goals so it should be a cracker of a game as they say across the pond.
U.S. Open, Bethpage Black, oh baby. That's enough drama to get even the most casual of golf fans interested in this one but add to it the return of El Tigre to the tourney he won on one leg last year after 19 holes...on Monday. Then we've got big Philly, back in NY, finished second four times including that heart breaker at Winged Foot. Now Amy has Breast Cancer and you know everyone is pulling for our favorite everyman. If Phil is there on Sunday I'll be edge of my couch, living and dying with every tee ball, approach shot and putt like I was during that 30 on the front at Augusta, simply some of the sickest golf I've ever witnessed. Paddy there's too don't underestimate the Dubliner in majors and I'm predicting my fellow Gator Camilo might breakthrough in a big way. He's got the length for the Black and the mental makeup to handle the open setup and weekend pressure cooker. By the way Roethlisberger, an 81 on a US Open setup. Cool you're two-time Super Bowl winner, all-around badass QB and apparently a kick ass golfer as well. Way to make the rest of us normal dudes look like total pedestrians. Well done my son, well done. Just stay off the Kawasaki, alright.
And of course Happy Father's Day Pop, wish we could play 18 in the morning then watch the pros with a few brews in the afternoon. Love, Santino