Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sports Minute

I know that I don't usually write about sports, but I thought I'd put in my two cents about a few pressing issues.

This has got to be the best college football season ever! There have been so many upsets and we're not even half-way
done. Two weeks ago, half of the top-ten lost and mighty USC lost this past weekend. It will be hard to pick champion this year with so many upsets, although LSU looks tough.

It would be pretty great if my Buckeyes could run the table again and make it to the BCS championship, but that probably won't happen. They have a stretch of three games at the end of the season that include Wisconsin, fellow Big Ten leader Illinois, and, of course, The Team from Up North (Michigan for all of you who struggled in geography and/or Big Ten lore). But their defense is looking a lot like 2002's national championship unit. We'll see.

Folks here in COMO are all excited about their Tigers, but they shouldn't count those chickens before they hatch. Mizzou travels to Oklahoma. Enough said. Oklahoma is on another planet than the Tigers. However, every program has to beat a team they're not supposed to beat in order to make it to the next level. If Missouri pulls off a shocker in Norman, look out Big 12. In addition, Chase Daniel becomes the leader in the Heisman race if he wins this game. I'd like to see them win, but I've been let down too much over the last two seasons to build up my hopes. I mean, they're not the Buckeyes.

This is the only time of year that I pay attention to baseball, and the Cleveland Indians are continuing the bittersweet success for Ohio teams in 2007. Of course, they'll most likely lose in this round or the next, forever scarring Ohio sports fans from having any hope whatsoever.

Speaking of baseball, New York is a complete and total cluster-f***. The Mets had one of the most historic collapses in baseball history. I guess money can't buy everything. Then, there's that other team in NYC, the Yankees who are contemplating getting rid of the best player in baseball and their four-time Series winning manager. I know about A-Rod's post-season struggles, but the team wouldn't have made the
playoffs without his 50+ homers and 150+ RBI's. Joe Torre probably did his best job as a manager this season leading his team from a disastrous start and keeping all those egos in check, and Steinbrenner still wants to bag him. God, I hate the Yankees!

Marion Jones came out this week and admitted to using steroids. She had to give back her Olympic medals as well. I know that people are upset about this whole steroid thing, but I think we are missing the society's, or at least sports fans' part in this controversy.

As sports fans, we insist on excellence. We expect nothing but championships and records broken, but we act indignant when the rules are broken, or at least bent a little. The wild rate at which baseball players hit home runs over the past 20 years has saved baseball, but how many of those homers were boosted by steroids? Viewers tune into the Olympics every four years to see the next American who will bring home gold or set a new world record, but we ignore the fact that illegal substances have most likely played a part in their success. Lance Armstrong and Barry Bonds are perfect examples of athletes who have had great successes amidst accusations of steroid use. (Interestingly that Bonds, the black man, is hated while Armstrong is a hero. Hmmm...)

I personally don't care that athletes use drugs to enhance their performance. I don't encourage it, but I won't hold it against an athlete for striving for excellence. We don't care that musicians or artists use drugs in their work. You would want your lawyer to bend every law possible to get you off. Athletes will deal with the consequences of their choices just like the rest of us. Let's get off their backs and enjoy the games once again.

In more pressing sports news...

We have had a nice turnout at the Monday Trib games lately. However, with more people come more problems (like my man Puffy always says...). The guys who have always played in the basement of the Tribune on Monday evenings know how to play team basketball and to play fair. We pass, cut to the hole, set picks for one another, call it out when our teammates are getting picked, etc. But these new guys do none of this. They foul and don't call it. Some of them never pass or set picks. It's been rough the past couple of weeks, but I'll keep after them to fall in line.

Sorry for the diversion. Maybe my next post will complain about not being able to find one copy of Beirut's new album in this god forsaken place or how pleasantly surprised I am about the new Band of Horses disc. I've also got ideas to complain about our crappy economy and how no presidential candidate (aside from my Obama crush) has offered anything that makes me think the future will be different. Or I could go on and on about my new found fondness for Schlafly's Pumpkin Ale. Stay tuned. Keep reading.


kate said...

wisconsin is of no concern to me...i think they may have been a little overrated at the start of the season. as long osu's defense holds up, i'd say they have a good shot at the BCS. of course, i might just be saying this because i breath in osu-polluted air everyday and don't realize the buckeye fever has taken over.

comoprozac said...

Yeah, the Buckeye fever is so intense that it's kept me from catching the intolerable Mizzou virus.

Oh, I forgot to post my upset alert of the week: Iowa over Illinois.

Anonymous said...

I'm kinda pissed about what happened to Marion Jones. Sure she confessed and did the "right" thing, but how many others just lied about drug use and somehow got out of it?

It doesn't quite seem like any kind of justice, except that people expect higher moral standards from women, athletes, housewives, realtors, etc.

Lets add the gender facet and make this a real tangled web!