Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Now that the Super Bowl's over...

This is going to be a very, very tough week for Seattle sports fans.

Not only will folks be hanging their heads over the Super Bowl loss, but when reality sinks in, people will have to face the fact that we are entering the worst period of the sports year.

The time between the end of the NFL season and the start of the Major League Baseball season (or maybe March Madness and Spring Training, which coincide in March) is perhaps the bleakest time to be a sports fan. Times become so tough that they almost encourage us to take up another hobby – like collecting or reading something.
But we’re not here to put you down, so instead, here are six things to be excited about in the sports world over the next few months. Why six and not like, say, 10? Well, we wanted to do a top-10 list like our homeboy David Letterman, but our aching heads only thought of six. We’ll try harder next time. So instead we have six.

Put on your seatbelt, the ride is about to begin…

6. Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training

Two weeks away and Spring Training officially gets going. We’re not exactly sure what the pitchers and catchers will be doing in Arizona and Florida this early, but it’s baseball after all and we wouldn’t want a player to pull a muscle or anything.

5. World Baseball Classic

Speaking of baseball, there will be more than stretching going on here. The timing of this worldwide event (hence “World” Baseball Classic) couldn’t be much worse. It’s right before Spring Training really gets warmed up so many players are dropping out while some, namely Mr. Alex Rodriguez, is having identity issues trying to pick his nationality. Good luck with that, Alex. You’ll need it.

4. Arena Football

Who said the football season was over? You didn’t hear it here (except it was most definitely implied above, but scratch that thought). The AFL, the 50-yard indoor field where you can return field goals off a net (how awesome is that?!), is the best thing you would never consider watching. How do we know? Cause we watch it. A lot.

And it’s even packed with celebrities. John Elway owns a team, as does Bon Jovi. What does Bon Jovi know about football? Well, probably nothing. But hey, he’s rich, handsome and owns the Philadelphia Soul. Now when he hits on some “24-year old” (who is more like 16 with lots of eye makeup on) backstage at his next concert, he’ll likely use the line, “Hey babe, I got soul.”

Strange thing is he’d actually mean it.

3. College hoops

It’s been tough being a Dawgs’ fan these last couple of weeks. The UW men’s hoopsters (hoopsters? someone hit me) have had gut-wrenching loss followed by rip-your-heart-out defeat. But still, March is just around the corner (what corner? No idea) and that means gambling and brackets. Arguable the best waste of money all year is on the NCAA Tournament, which, to some, is the best sporting event there is. You won’t hear much disagreement here.

2. The NHL and NBA

Whoops, our bad. We’re trying to provide entertainment, not agony.

1. The Winter Olympics

The Winter Games start this Friday taped-delayed from Torino, Italy for your viewing pleasure. There are all sorts of story lines that sports media are using to hype you, the viewer.

Speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno is from our neck of the woods and is trying to win another gold medal to show off to the same chick that Bon Jovi’s trying to nail.

We also have a hockey team and the Olympics are the one time every four years where it is socially acceptable to watch hockey. Will the U.S. beat the Russians? Disney, Al Michaels and Kurt Russell would like to think so, but Sports Illustrated is picking the Russians fourth while they only think the U.S. will be quarterfinalists. No miracle this year, America.

Then there’s the ice dancing. Yeah, dancing. Olympics = sports and dancing = unsports. A root canal is more entertaining than an evening with Michelle Kwan.

Finally, we have the U.S. ski team. (Well, there are many other events – 84 to be exact – but for the sake of space, time and dignity, we’ll just mention the ski team and not curling). There has been much attention – mainly negative – surrounding American skier Bode Miller. Miller came out publicly and said that he skied “wasted,” which we think is fucking awesome. He also told national media that Lance Armstrong and Barry Bonds take steroids. Because Miller’s the perfect angel. No matter what, the ski events should be fun to watch and look for Miller to say something controversial.

If these six suggestions won’t help you fill the empty void of sports over the next few months, you could also grab a handle of tequila and head for the ski slopes.

This column was published in the University of Washington's The Daily.

In other news:
Sources say that the Super Bowl referees were none other than Jerome Bettis' extended family.


NFL Adam said...

I love the AFL, but I have a hard time watching it on TV. It's great live.

I'm thinking about putting the NHL on the clock and giving the new scoring a chance.

Matt said...

You're right about this being the worst time of the year for sports fans. I wrote about what I plan to do over the next 2 months just yesterday.