A few brief observations:
BASEBALL: OK, so I loathe baseball. Sure I spent $25 on a book about the Red Sox winning the World Series last year, but not because I like the Red Sox. Or baseball. Or because it was written by one of the best sports columnists in the world, Bill Simmons. I actually bought his book because he was signing autographs at the Borders off Arapahoe and Parker last night. He wouldn’t sign my boob, so I had to buy the book. No biggie – I honestly enjoyed the introduction, as it brought back many memories of attending sporting events as a child. However, now that the rest of the book contains his columns about the Red Sox for the last (seems like) 100 years, I’m not sure how much fun it will be. The best part about meeting him was the absolute blank look on his face when I told him I discovered his little ESPN.com Page 2 column because a co-worker left it on the back of a toilet in the men’s room. His wife chimed in and said, “a lot of people say that.” So he signed my book as follows:
“Patrick – thanks for reading me on the crapper. Bill Simmons”
So it’s the Houston Astros and the Chicago White Sox for the World Championship. The network executives have GOT to be bawling over this. What’s the over/under on the ratings drop from last year when the Red Sox were trying to win their first title since Eve ate the apple? I’d say about 65%. Honestly, not even the people in Chicago give a rip about the ChiSox, and probably 98% of Houston forgot they had a baseball team since they got rid of the uniforms that used to glow in the dark.
I say Houston in 6.
BASKETBALL: Can someone tell me what the big deal is about the new “dress code” in the NBA? Does it really deserve the attention it’s getting in the media (he says as he gives it MORE attention)? First of all, I don’t really care if the kids want to dress in gaudy gold chains and clothes that are 11 sizes too big for them. Secondly, the players agreed to adhere to a dress code when they signed the new collective bargaining agreement. If they thought that meant they could still dress like thugs then they are complete idiots. Then again, they are basketball players. Third, I’m pretty sure they can all afford some nice clothes, and they aren’t the only ones who dress in a presentable manner when traveling. Look at hockey players – always in a suit and polite. There’s a huge difference between the social statuses of both athletes growing up, but hockey players learn about discipline. David Stern can ask NBAers to dress however he wants – it’s his league. If I were Stern, I’d be more concerned about the on-court brawls and off-court behavior than I would be about their appearance.
FOOTBALL: Speaking of bad behavior, God bless the Minnesota Vikings. New owner Zygi Wilf must be wondering what the hell happened! He goes out, buys himself a football team, and then they have a HUGE orgy on a boat – AND THEN go off to an AFTER PARTY! He should have let the black guy buy them and saved himself this embarrassment! Wilf paid $600 (remember, million is always implied in the cost of professional sports teams – and the Rock’s clout at the box office!) and the value jumped quickly to $658 in September. I’m thinking, after a horrible start, an overrated QB, and a coach who has absolutely NO clue – oh, and the little boat incident, this team can’t be worth $500 anymore. Million NOT implied!
Has Mile High Magic returned to Denver? Back when the Broncos moved out of Mile High Stadium and into something called Invesco Field at Mile High, the predominantly orange have had pretty much no advantage to playing at home. They have lost games they certainly should have won easily (the freakin’ Bears?), blown big leads (damn Raiders!), and had last-minute comebacks AGAINST them (NE and the Brady Bunch). This season, they’re undefeated at home and had a big comeback against SD, steamrolled the Chiefs, barely tipped away a 2-point conversion to beat the ‘Skins, and somehow stopped the 4th-quarter machine from New England. I know, it’s early – and they’ve been 5-1 three years in a row. Is this team different? Can the players on the field actually HEAR the crowd when they make noise? Is the crowd actually making noise this year? (Because, from the games I’ve attended at this new stadium, the crowd just isn’t into it – at all!) That all remains to be seen! But just in case, I’m starting a book about the Broncos this month. Thanks for the inspiration Simmons!
HOCKEY: It’s back, it’s fast, and no lead is safe. Just ask my Avs, who have now blown a 3-goal lead TWICE! In a week! I don’t think I like this trend. The sports talk radio stations are blaming Abby, but he was certainly left out to dry many times last night. Sure he made a bonehead play against Nashville, taking a roughing penalty with 4 minutes left, so he kinda deserved that loss. But last night, the whole team went into zombie mode when they were up 4-1. By the end of the 2nd, they were tied at 4. With 58 seconds left, Abby tried to play the puck behind the net. He nonchalantly stuck his stick out, instead of quickly throwing his entire body BEHIND his stick, slamming himself up against the boards so the puck wouldn’t slip by, and, uh, the puck slipped by. Rob Blake lazily skated behind the net watching the whole thing unfold. The defenseman on the other side let his man beat him to the puck and center it to a waiting Craig Conroy in the slot. Game over, Dude. Joe Sakic described the Avs' play as "scrambly." Ironic, that's exactly how my head felt!
Now I’m starting to realize why SI had the Avs listed 18th overall.