Baseball, Football, Hockey

The highlite of my life as a sports fan was probably actually seeing the deciding game in the 1998 Stanley Cup Finals in a game with my wife. The ML brought his father there as well as we all watched our beloved Caps fall to the Red Wings. Still, seeing Steve Yzerman skate the Cup around with my own eyes was magical. And there wasn’t a dry eye in the MCI Center when Konstantinov carried the cup around the ice in his wheel chair. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, don’t worry. Long story.

Ok, maybe that’s not the highlite of my life as a sports fan, but it’s in the top 5 or 6. I have to throw SuperBowl’s XVII, XXII and XXVI in there, as well as a couple big Va Tech Bowl wins. But even though my team didn’t win, being there made it special.

I’m not a big baseball fan. I think it’s a bit pretentious and overblown, and not in the gleeful way that NFL films are. MLB takes itsself and it’s place in American history far to seriously. Hardcore baseball fans (and I don’t include the ML here) seem to think that Baseball is the only sport with tradition and history. It irks me when a baseball pundit will say “what makes baseball so great is that…” and then mention something that’s equally true of football, basketball, hockey, soccer and tetris. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the drama of playoffs in any sport. The stories that unfold in October in MLB are no different or more dramatic than the playoffs in any other sport. Especially now that 8 teams make the post-season. I wish the pundits would understand that. EVERY sport is a game of inches, and EVERY sport comes down to stars in clutch positions making plays.

Best Comedy routine EVER

Now, to be far and balanced (oooh I hope Bill O’Reilly and Fox don’t sue me) Baseball does have a defiite elegance, and it is a very uniquely designed sport. Hockey, Football, Basketball, Rugby, Soccer, Lacrosse etc. all share the paradigm of the offence carrying the ball/puck into the other teams end to try and score. 10 years ago,I found myself trying to explain the rules to some Russian grad students I worked with who wanted to play softball on our lab’s softball team. It was a true challenge. I had a friend coaching little league at the time, and he had a hell of a time trying to teach kids the basic rules. It really gives one an appreciation for how esoteric the basic structure of the game is. THAT is what’s special about baseball. The bizzare rules.

Anyway, I agree with the ML in that I’m rooting for the Cubs and Red Sox.

And then I’ll root for the Cubs.

Manny Ramirez is a putz. Plus New England fans left a bad impression on me with their pathetic sore loser attitude after the Bruins lost to the Caps in the first round of the playoffs in ‘98. The Pats were a fluke. Get over it. And “Nomar” is the stupidest name I’ve ever heard.

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