A game set apart from others and -- shocker!!!! -- more drug cheats
It's not a contest or anything like that and I guess it really doesn't matter from one to the other and is in many ways comparing apples to oranges.
But it's kind of slow around here today and it's a bit topical and relatively easy to type about at 4:30 a.m. sitting on a porch waiting for a car to come fetch me to catch a
crazy early flight to Vegas so ...
Best all-star game?
And I don't think it's even debatable that baseball's mid-season show and schmoozefest tops all the other North American pro sports. And any from anywhere now that I think of it.
I know there is still an awful lot of consternation among some seamheads about having the game determine home field advantage in the World Series but I'd suggest that's the very reason it's the best of the group.
Having something at stake that actually matters creates a level of intensity to the game that none others have.
I'm not sure there's really a better alternative to deciding home field in the World Series; giving it to the team with the best record is hardly representative given the unbalanced nature of the schedules, alternating it year to year like they used to seems a bit too arbitrary. There's no other way, is there?
It makes the game matter and that's what you want.
Even all-stars who have no legitimate hope of reaping the benefits of a win feel some level of pressure, I'm sure, to play hard and play well so they don't let down guys who are teammates for one day.
The other all-star games, by comparison, truly are silly exhibitions, fun to watch at some level, I suppose, but basically non-competitive events that are really not at all representative of the sport.
Basketball is a boring display that follows the same script: More than three quarters of hijinks before about 10 minutes of real trying.
Hockey is shinny at about half speed.
Football? I refuse to even consider it.
MLS? Do they even have one?
Nope, none comes even close to baseball, where they seem to get the right players who play hard with something significant at stake
Heard this on the weekend somewhere.
Remember it well. Don’t you?
I'm sitting in a saloon on Saturday afternoon basking in the glow of a glorious Mighty Navy Tigers victory and, of course, the TVs are all on.
And I have to tell you, I am still a big fan of Aussie rules football.
I know I'm not alone in this at all, I'm sure there were like-minded people all over the city doing the same thing and as somewhat fringe sports go, it's the best.
I still don't quite get the scoring and I couldn't tell you a thing about the strategy but it's a hoot to watch even with the sound down and other distractions around you.
I especially like it when opponents are walking away from the end of their involvement in a play and they keep smacking each other in the chest or back. No particular reason, doesn't seem to be with much malice. Just little shots. Very cool.
I remember back in the day, when all-sports TV was in its infancy and we first got a glimpse of AFL. I'd make sure to see the Grand Final because it's Super Bowl-esque with pomp and pageantry.
I think I may have to start following it a bit more closely.
Who should I cheer for?
And how much money do these guys make?
Yes, Vegas. And, no, it’s not a dream trip, a couple of nights gathering stuff for stories, seeing what’s up and catching up with some new guys.
What kind of news might there be?
Well, the only roster spot, really, is for another point guard and I’m hearing they’d rather find a minimum-level veteran and I bet there no big rush to do that.
Those are the kinds of guys you can find in late August or even September, hardly anything worth getting worked up over now.
So I won’t. And you shouldn’t.
So, a handful of track athletes test positive yesterday and the collective yawn was overwhelming, wasn’t it?
I’m sure there are pockets of people who care greatly that a couple of big names got nabbed for using performance-enhancing drugs but I also think the vast majority of people originally react with a:
I’m telling you, the fact Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell, among others, were busted for banned substances now should really just ratchet up your level of cynicism tremendously.
Funny how in an Olympic year, when there are billions and billions of dollars at stake for the governing body of the sport, the IOC and the athletes and their sponsors, we rarely hear about a positive test.
Sure, post-Olympics some throwing will be sacrificed and the most naïve among us may think the testing program is working just fine.
And then when it’s an off year, all of sudden the testing works? Or the athletes get less mindful of their regimens and clearance times?
Look, I bet – and I have no concrete evidence to back this up except for a few years of being around – that as many athletes could have been busted in the six or eight months leading up to London as were taken down in this weekend’s revelations.
But it’s really in no one’s financial interest for that to happen so it doesn’t.
Not sure what the answer is, or even if there is one, but every positive test and accompanying cries of denial and disbelief bore me to tears.
Always will, always have.
Sure, I’ll watch the 100 metres final at the Olympics, it is one of the greatest spectacles in all of sports; I just won’t ever watch it with wide-eyed innocence.
You shouldn’t either.
All right, crazy long flight coming up – who knew it took almost five hours to get to Vegas – so I’ll get to comments and the like whenever I can.