Friday, October 22, 2004

Sports, Sports, Sports

A lot going on in the world of sports. The Red Sox beat the Yankees in 7 games, becoming the first baseball team to come back from a 3-0 deficit in a best of seven series. The Cardinals won their decisive game 7 over the Astros, beating Roger Clemens (former Yankee) and sending him and Andy Pettite (former Yankee) home pennant-less.

I should elaborate on what I think about the Yankees-Red Sox thing. First of all, and most important, the Yankees lost. But I am a Mariners fan. Not a Red Sox fan. So while it is a great and glorious day when the Yankees lose, my only joy in the Red Sox win is that it adds to the Yankee shame and pain because the Red Sox are the greatest enemies of the Yankees. I don't care that the Red Sox are going to the World Series and it won't hurt me at all if they lose there. I'm just glad that the Yankers got beat, they had to suffer at the hands of their hated rivals, and their defeat was the biggest choke in the history of baseball. That's what warms the cockles of my heart.

In fact, I get a little bit irritated reading Bosox fans who try to co-opt the Yankee-hatred of others (such as myself) into pro-Red Sox sentiment. I don't care about your club at all. So you haven't been to the World Series in 18 years. Boo-hoo. My M's have never been. So you haven't won since the Great War. I couldn't care less. The M's have never won. Your pain means nothing to me. The Red Sox are just a means to the end that is hurting the hated Evil Empire. I'm even looking forward to watching Pujols and Rolen hitting shots over the Green Monster.

Not for the faint of stomach is an article about how the Red Sox doctors tested their theory about how to patch up Curt Schilling so he could pitch Game 6 of the American League Championship Series against the Yankees. "This man's dead, Jim."

Moving to college football, the NCAA cleared former UW football coach Rick Neuheisel of any wrong-doing in betting in a NCAA basketball tournament pool. He was not given correct information from the University, and was thus held not to have broken rules. He had complied with the instructions given him by the school's compliance officer. Despite Neuheisel being cleared, the UW had its probation extended another two years to 2007 for failing to adequately monitor the football program.

In gymnastics, Paul Hamm had the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) uphold his gold medal win in Athens in the Men's All-Around Gymnastics event. The South Koreans, who whined the next day that there was a judging error were sent packing with a flea in their ear for not following the established procedures for appealing.

Shaquile O'Neal and Kobe Bryant are still feuding despite being on teams on opposite coasts, and now Phil Jackson is getting up in the mix with a new book that criticises Kobe and says that Kobe was the reason he didn't come back to coach the Lakers.

Carmelo Anthony was busted for marijuana possession while boarding the team plane. His explanation? "It's not mine, officer! I swear! My friend, whose name I cannot for the moment recall, must have left it there when I loaned him my backpack." Actually, he has named the friend, and the friend has graciously stepped up and signed an affadavit taking repsonsibility for leaving the wacky tobacky in Anthony's bag. That was a big-hearted, GENEROUS gesture that I'm sure won't go unrewarded. And now we know why they call him "'Mello". It's a downward slide, neighbor. Refusing to play in Athens, fighting in a bar in New York and now getting caught with doobies. Tsk, tsk.

Ricky Williams' lawyer met with NFL and player's union officials to discuss Ricky's possible return to the NFL. Turns out that the reason Ricky retired was because he was facing a suspension for failing his third drug test and he didn't agree that the league had tested him properly. Yeah, because he learned his lesson from the first two drug test failures that he shouldn't act rashly and without taking thought for the future. In a totally unrelated note, it is a coincidence that Ricky's decision to play football again (because he has a passion for the game) was taken just after he found out that he would owe the Dolphins more than $8.6 million (because he didn't think through the consequences of his retirement and breach of contract).

Jerry Rice is now with the Seahawks. How strange is that? And all the Seahawks had to give up was a conditional seventh round draft pick. And, Jerry will continue to wear number 80. Though he did have the class to ask Steve Largent for permission, (and Largent did give the okay) it will pain me to see the number of the greatest Seahawk ever (my boyhood hero) on the back of an aging superstar who is hanging on to his career too long because his out-sized ego won't allow him to go into retirement gracefully. (Paging Emmitt Smith!)