Wednesday, March 10, 2010

These Next 12 Months Are My Favorite Time of Year

As a pretty avid watcher of all sports, this time of year is pretty fantastic for me.  Starting with the run up to the NCAA tournament, then you have baseball Spring training, the Tourney, baseball's opening day, the start* of the NBA season and then postseason, NHL playoffs, the Grand Slams and golf's Majors, Tour de France, this year we had the Winter Olympics and we'll have the World Cup, then the baseball postseason pushes, NFL starts, October, "BCS is unfair" month, the bowls, and then the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl and then the NCAA bubble talk starts up again, and you sprinkle in various drafts, trades, free agency, scandals, other tournaments and events throughout this time.

OK, so as it turns out, it's pretty much the whole year.  But still, February/March always seems to be the start of it all somehow.  Maybe I am just a baseball/college basketball fan first and everything else follows? 

*in my world, the first 50ish games of the NBA are preseason and don't matter.  Then somewhere between the Super Bowl and the Final Four, the NBA gets going.  Ironically, most NBA players and management seem to feel the same way.

Sadly for me, this most magical time of year is overlapping a time when I simply cannot follow any of it very closely.  I've just moved to San Francisco (fun fact: everyone here hates the Lakers and Dodgers, just like me!) and didn't have TV for a couple of weeks (staying with non-sports people - did you know people really watch Jersey Shore?).  We finally got TV in our room, but now that I am moving out of my friends' basement into my new place, I will be without TV or the internet again for a few days...during this weekend of all weekends (though I would probably be this mortified pretty much every weekend). 

All that said, it has made it hard for me to write anything about sports, even though there have been so many things I wanted so badly to write about.  So here's a capsule of what I have watched over the past month or so:

-Canada's hockey fans inspire me to be a better sports fan in general - they collectively know the game at such a detailed level, they applaud the other team, they chanted "USA" at our women as they collected their silver medals.  Very impressive.  That said, I wish we'd broken every single one of their hearts.

-When someone says, "Oh, don't tell me what's happening in the Gold Medal Hockey game.  I am taping it and left it when we were down 2-1 with 9:00 to go."  Your response cannot be, "Oh, well it's in overtime now, so you will love it."  Dammit!

-Derek Anderson said after he was released that Browns fans are "ruthless."  "I will never forget getting cheered when I was injured. ... I know at times I wasn’t great. I hope and pray I’m playing when my team comes to town and (we) roll them."  People are very upset about this and he issued an apology.  What should he have said?  "I will miss the loyal and wonderful Browns fans, especially the ones who cheered when I got injured.  I look forward to coming back here with a new team and I hope the Browns crush us."  Kudos to him for saying what he really meant and really not being all that offensive anyway.  Derek, you can keep the balls dry for Eli Manning anyday...just stay off the field. 

-Mike Dunleavy got canned as Clippers GM and found out about the move because a reported from ESPN asked him what he thought of it.  The Clips then went out and lost by 30 that night.  That pretty much sums up everything you need to know about them.

-The Jets, who have the best corner in football, just got one of the best corners in football to play on the other side.  That pretty much sums up the opposite of everything you thought you knew about them.

-The NFL Combine happened.  People ran and jumped.  Al Davis decided to draft the fastest person there with the Raiders' first pick.

-Speaking of the fastest person there, my mom (Hall of Famer, Kathy Bergen) set two World Records and an American Record at a Masters track meet a few weeks ago.  Incidentally, I really feel that she should now sign her name, "Kathy Bergen, Legend" as though it is a masters degree or a doctorate or something.

-Some race car driver got angry and ran down and crashed into another race car driver repeatedly until he wrecked because he was mad at him.  NASCAR gave the guy a three week probation, so apparently the penalty for attempted murder in the South is no longer jail.  NASCAR has seen it's popularity wane in the last few years, so they decided to allow drivers to police themselves more and let these types of things be handled on the track.  In other words, they feel that having people run into one another at 150 miles an hour will draw in more fans.  This seems a little far-fetched to me because I didn't think demolition derbies were that popular.  Maybe they just haven't been going fast enough.  This will probably be less fun when people start dying.

-The Winter Olympics presented a whole slew of events that made me look again at the Definition of Sport.  The Sport vs. Non-Sport lists grew as well.  Stay tuned.

-A women's college basketball player socked another one.  Also Connecticut's women have just set the record for longest winning streak.  Some folks say these things should make me want to take interest in women's college basketball.  Somehow women fighting means they've reached a certain level of legitimacy and passion.  And UConn's excellence supposedly shows that women can play on a really high level.  Frankly, all this makes me think is that some girl is a thug and the sport is more of a joke than ever since one team can win their games by an average of 30 points all season.  I've said it before, but I don't watch women's basketball because they are not as fast or athletic as men's basketball players.  That's not sexist, it's science (thanks Ron Burgundy).  I don't watch minor league baseball either, because it is not as good a game as major league baseball.  I also don't watch the Raiders for the same reason, and even if Tom Cable punched an assistant coach, I still wouldn't.  Oh, that happened?  Ok, I'll YouTube it.

-Milton Bradley, who signed with the Mariners this offseason, said it wasn't his fault that he kept getting into trouble when he was on the _______ (insert team here).

There are many, many more, but I need to find a job and there's only so much time I can spend on this crap.

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