Midsummer Musings (aka Sports According to Eric)
I’ve realized recently that ESPN has become more soap opera than actual sports news source. Witness the coverage devoted not to David Beckham — whom I will address later in this post — but to his wife, former and forever Spice Girl Victoria (Posh Spice). While I am a huge fan of neither, I would much rather hear about David’s mutinous left ankle than Posh’s failed attempt at a reality show. Maybe it’s just me…
While we’re on the Beckham topic, I’ll go ahead and introduce Topic Numero Uno: the man himself, David Beckham. Why is it that when you Google his name to look for images, finding a shot of him actually playing la joga bonita is more difficult than finding a Falcon fan who still supports Mike Vick? When you are set to become the richest soccer player in the greatest country in the world, and there is scant photo evidence that you even attempt to play your sport, you need new priorities. He’s turning into a male hybrid of Danica Patrick and Ana Kournikova. Except with a much more fragile body apparently. The list of Beckham injuries is endless. While Danica has to endure the heat, pressure, testosterone, and speed of Formula 1 racing, ol’ Dave is brandishing his bottle of IcyHot to calm his aching ankle. Even Ana has to live with the memory of Enrique’s bulging mole. What’s the worst trial Davy’s had to conquer recently? Maybe…which other Spice Girl he wishes he’d married now? Or how about which end of the bench to sit on? Or possibly even how one soccer/football player could possibly be worth $250 million dollars? On second thought, maybe he does need that IcyHot. And throw in some Aleve, Vicodin, and Morphine. And while we’re at it, maybe a hearty pat on the back for putting up with any of the Spice Girls. Good luck, David; maybe you’ll do more than wander around the field this next season.
Another issue that seems to be popular nowadays is the always lovable Barry Bonds. Now, I’ve made the proceeding picture much larger than the previous ones because I want you to take a good look at it. It’s like a time warp. Or those before-and-after pictures that clog up my TV every afternoon. Except it’s more like watching the transformation of Popeye, but with different spinach. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good long ball just as much as the next rabid baseball fan, but the experience is cheapened when it seems like the Incredible Hulk is taking the plate. If only Ken Griffey, Jr. hadn’t been injured so often…or if Barry had stayed with the Pirates…or if Barry hadn’t acted like such a jerk…or if he had morals…or if he would just retire. The greatest record in all of sports is about to fall to a man who looks like a comic book character. I hope commissioner Bud Selig has fun watching the culmination of his tenure.
And finally, the most disgusting story I’ve ever heard involving a sports star: Michael Vick‘s dogfighting debacle. The only word I can use to describe this is revolting. It makes me want to throw up. The pictures of these events are sad and horrible. Sad in that there are actually people who pay money to watch these fights unfold. It’s cowardly, horrific, and pathetic. The great Colin Cowherd summed up his opinions thusly, and I’m paraphrasing a bit: “Anybody who participates or enables the act of dog fighting is a bottom-feeder…scum.” Couldn’t have said it better myself. And as I watch this nightmare unfold, the only silver lining I can think of is that maybe — just maybe — DJ Shockley will actually step on the playing field for the Falcons. I’m tempted to find the irony between Vick’s involvement with dogs and Shockley being a leader of the Dawgs. But that would be mean and inappropriate of me.
Last comments about sports in general and a few things in specific:
- I still wish I knew how to play cricket.
- I’ll be content with ping pong though, because it’s much more prevalent and has much less confusing rules.
- Watch out…! The Yankees are making a run on the Red Sox now. I miss the years when we didn’t have to make a second-half push to win the division or the wild card. Here’s to Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Phil Hughes, and all the rest of the Yankees past, present, and future: Let’s return to the glory days, and win a damn championship soon!
- I just heard about this and wish I had time to write more. Tim Donaghy, an NBA referee has been accused of betting illegally on games that he officiated over the course of the past two seasons. Donaghy allegedly fixed his calls in those games to affect the point spread. Another sickening story, but not in the physical sense. This will scar the NBA for years to come if the allegations prove true because — from here on out — all losing playoff teams will wonder, and perhaps justifiably, whether the refs punked them out of a game/series/championship. Looks like Bud Selig has some company in the Commissioners-in-Tight-Situations Camp with David Stern. And maybe the players aren’t the only ones you need to control, eh, Sterny?
- GO DAWGS! A tentative television has been released, and we are projected/confirmed with 4 CBS 3:30 games: Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, and Auburn. Now all we have to do is prove that we’re worth the electricity required to broadcast the games.
And so I will leave you and, in the process, take this post full circle. Check out this moment of zen from the quote machine herself, Victoria Beckham:
“It’s just so hard to be this fabulous.”
Until next time…