Games go on, except the ones that will be cancelled
You know, of course, that the Pan-Am Games are going on now down in Mexico, right?
And if ever a multi-sport game has fallen further out of the public eye, can’t imagine what it is.
Now, you know we think we need to better support our Olympic sport athletes a bit better than we do, which is just about every four years or so, but I honestly cannot get excited about the Pan-Ams, even though they are Olympic qualifiers in a lot of events.
Not sure exactly, probably has to do with the overblown menu of sports I honestly don’t care about – water skiing, bowling, roller skating – along with the fact a lot of the top athletes in the other sports take a pass on the Games.
It could also simply be a matter of Games Malaise that’s hit us all. We are devoutly interested in the Olympics because, well, because they’re the Olympics but in this day and age, there just doesn’t seem to be enough time to fit in Pan Ams or Commonweaths or anything else perceived as second-rate.
That is not to take away from the skills of the athletes or their dedication to their sports; it’s just the way it is right now. In fact, we should probably give more credit to the men and women who set their life’s athletic goals as Pan Ams or something like that because they certainly aren’t doing it for any glory or real financial gain.
It probably doesn’t bode well for the fact the next Pan Ams, in 2015, are here in Toronto because if few are paying attention now, can’t see there being a lot of momentum built up to grab the attention of the casual fan.
I did cover a Pan Ams once, back in 1999 in Winnipeg as part of a too-big Mother Star team because we were rich at the time and figured we needed to track athletes from there to the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
I have nothing against Winnipeg, it’s quite a nice city if you don’t mind fist-sized mosquitoes and black flies and the odd minus-400 degree winter weather. Actually it was one of the best eating Games I’ve been at because they have a handful of excellent restaurants.
But I do recall swaths of empty seats at almost every venue and a level of disinterest as the Games droned on that was troubling.
I did, however, see Stubby Clapp become Stubby Clapp by hitting a wind-blown popup down the right field line in a ball game against the United States and I do remember some roller hockey guy testing positive for dope – roller hockey!!!!! – but that might be about it.
Can’t wait for 2015.
From the mail.
Q: Hi Doug, here’s a second TV question in as many days. What are your top three TV theme songs, without lyrics, that you catch yourself “singing” every now and again? My top three have to be Law and Order (including the wolf sound at the end), Barney Miller and of course Benny Hill (maybe Night Court as well). Of course they’re usually sung during a lonely road trip or in the shower so I can’t account for how well they’re performed. Thoughts?
Heath M, Toronto
A: Not sure about Benny Hill, although it does get raves when it plays over bloopers on the scoreboard at these games I used to cover.
But I will give you Law and Order and add these three:
And you can probably throw a blanket over ‘em to say if they’re first, second or third:
(And if you or any other Irregular starts humming these during the day, I’ll take the blame).
Jim, Rocky, Dennis, Beth and a catchy tune.
Yes, it has a lot to do with my crush on Tina Fey
This might be the best, if I had to pick one.
What will they cancel over at NBA Headquarters today?
You know it’s coming and the prevailing opinion of the people I read is that the league will cancel the regular season “indefinitely” or “until further notice” or something nebulous like that.
It kind of has to be open-ended, I guess. It’s another shot across the bow from David Stern, a message that no one’s getting any money at any specific time.
Such an announcement will do nothing for the fans but do you think they really care? I’m not sure they do at all, certainly nothing they’ve done so far would indicate that’s the case.
Anyway, I guess it also doesn’t put any kind of firm deadline on things – like “if we’re going to try to start Dec. 1, we better have a deal by Halloween” – and that doesn’t matter, either, because even deadlines haven’t spurred these two sides to action.
All it really means is that, likely, we’re all going to have to write stories this afternoon dredging up the old facts and boring financial minutia of the collective bargaining talks.
So, it would appear I’m going to be Mr. Football this week, lucky readers.
And if we end up with some 6-3 dog of a game on Sunday, the level of disgruntlement will be off the charts.
Now, I remember Reggie Jackson’s three home run game in the 1977 World Series – each on the first pitch of the at-bat, as I recall – and that stood as the single best individual offensive performances I cold recall.
What Albert Pujols did Saturday – three homers, five hits 14 total bases – is now the gold standard and should cement him as the greatest hitter in the game today.
Of course, going hitless on Sunday just shows you part of the beauty of the game – great one night, a non-factor the next – but for one game, he stood above them all.
Wish I seen it in person, wish I’d seen Jackson’s in person, too, but now when you’re talking all-time great moments, there’s a recent one to recall.
Of course, it might not make up entirely for his botched cutoff play in Game 2, but what the heck.