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In This Corner, With the Keyboard, Is Me

I have been urged by professors and other journalism professionals to begin writing a blog. I didn’t want to do it at first because I’ve always seen myself as a paper writer. Newspapers are a love that I don’t want to let go of, no matter how much they disappear from me.

I thought about just writing in this space without fully introducing myself, but I don’t think I’ll do that.

I think I’ll start off by telling you a little bit about myself and what I believe in. That way, you can start disagreeing with me right away.

1. First off, I hate soccer. It’s absolutely unwatchable. Maybe it’s more entertaining in public, but I doubt it when the first score of the game is usually the last. You have a bunch of players running over a mile-long field, only to fall to the ground on the slightest hint of contact so that they can audition for the next big drama on Broadway.

Booing seems to be unacceptable to soccer fans. They would much rather get their point across with flare guns and stampedes. Effective way of showing displeasure? Sure. Legal? Not so much. You can count me out.

2. Michael Vick, barring any suspension by the league, will be on an NFL team within a year and will be generally accepted by that team’s fans.

Most of the fans will do what fans do and just root for those wearing the colors they support. It’s the same concept that made San Francisco a haven for Barry Bonds, and he didn’t show the contrition that Vick showed. He didn’t serve the penalty that Vick served.

He'll be back soon enough

He'll be back soon enough

Many think that Vick has paid his debt to society and deserves a chance to to resume his professional career.

Others will like to see him bound to chair, eyelids pried open, and forced to watch dog fights for days while pit bulls nip at grilled sirloins tied to his limbs. They believe that his actions don’t warrant a return to such a glamorous and prosperous career.

I side a bit more with the former group.

3. There is no better home court advantage in sports than a packed arena during a rivalry game in big-time college basketball. The fans are loud. The indoor aspect makes them louder, and they never stop. It’s memorizing at its best.

4. The worst announcers in sport reside in Anaheim, Calif.: Steve Physioc and Rex Hudler for the Los Angeles Angels. Physioc is just a look-good ball of nothing who is obsessed with his own fake laugh. He adds nothing insightful to the game and just feeds the action off to his wingman, Hudler, so that they can sound stupid together.

And oh, Hudler! He is a relocated surfer bro who wants you to think he’s edgy and current. But he uses that as a cover for the fact that he really doesn’t understand baseball. He mispronounces names, he states blatantly obvious baseball scenarios, he makes up pointless nicknames that he thinks are clever and is incredibly biased. And what is with his Linus-like need to hold a baseball at all times???

My favorite Hudler moment happened a couple of years ago.  An unidentified runner left from first base, but chose not to steal and returned. Hudler said that the runner “faked a bluff.”

I’ve said before that I could write a 300-page book on the garbage that Phys and Hud say. Maybe it’s 400.

It’s just sad that these two clowns are calling baseball games in the same town as the forever-marvelous Vincent E. Scully.

5. Since I consider myself a sports writer, I guess I should let you know who is my favorite. I have put in a couple of tough clues as to who it is, but my favorite is simply the best sports writer of all time, Jim Murray.

6. I can’t stand players who act as if they are better than they actually are. A few names come right to mind: DeAngelo Hall, J.R. Smith, Damon Jones. Of course, there are many more.

There is just no thought of winning with dignity or perspective. The large, large majority of these players are very flawed, but they make one great play and they’ll start acting as if Nike should make a commercial with a puppet of their likeness.

Confidence is one thing. These guys stress vanity.

But the two most delusional players I have ever seen are Ricky Davis — the guy who requested to be traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers because he thought a young(er) LeBron James should let him take more shots — and Bret Boone.

When Boone started doing his bat flip on home runs in 2001, I would have rather jumped out of a plane with my head in a vice than watch another Mariners game.

He went from 19 home runs and 74 RBIs to 37 and 141 in just one season. Uh, Mr. Mitchell … I think you missed one.

I'm so happy he and his flip have retired.

I'm so happy he and his flip have retired.

7. I heavily endorse fantasy sports to any sports fan. I play in only one league per year in fantasy baseball and fantasy football. Some think it’s geeky; I think it’s a great way to keep in touch with teams and players that you would consider forgettable otherwise.

My first writing job was with a fantasy football Web site: FFToolbox.com

Fantasy sports are considered more of a mainstream hobby these days, but if you hadn’t played yet, let me quickly try to persuade you …

If you are a general baseball fan, you probably don’t care about someone such as Detroit Tigers pitcher Edwin Jackson. Fantasy sports would keep you informed to know that Edwin Jackson is one of the hottest pitchers in the game through the past month. He has allowed six earned runs in his past 36.1 innings. Watch out for him … now that you know about him.

The point is if you like baseball or football or which ever sport, why wouldn’t you like to know more about the players that play it? Fantasy sports helps with that. Plus, you get to act as a general manager along the way. Oh, the power!

8. Hockey is behind only football if I was to rank great atmospheres in all of pro sports. I don’t know what it is about hockey. It’s like Ambien if you watch it on TV. It’s a caffeine rush inside the arena.

9. My most emotionally painful moment in sports came when I was 17 and the New York Yankees lost the 2001 World Series to the Arizona Diamondbacks. When Luis Gonzalez’s humpback single found the outfield, I punched a cupboard in my house and went off to my room in tears.

The knuckle at the base of my right middle finger has been swollen ever since.

The moment when my right hand changed forever.

The moment when my right hand changed forever.

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  1. Nodonn
    June 8, 2009 at 9:00 am

    My love for you is like a truck.

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