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Archive for December, 2008

I feel bad for Tony Romo.

I will pause here to duck the missiles you are all sure to throw.

Yes, I still hate the Cowboys.  I am really glad that the Eagles demolished them on Sunday.  I rather hope they never win anything ever again.  I wish we could take TO and Pacman Jones and maybe a couple other Cowboys and put them in a house with cameras running all the time.  But cameras with no memory in them, so no one would ever watch any of it at all.

This does not mean, however, that I like watching Tony Romo cry.  Hell, I didn’t like watching John Terry cry after last year’s European Cup final, and that was, you know, a final.

I think if Tony Romo played for any other team I’d like him a lot.  Well, maybe not the Giants.  But pretty much any other team.  If he played for the Rams, I’d think he was adorable!  He just seems genuinely not to be a jackass.

Is he cute?  Is it just the throwback jersey?

Is he cute? Is it just the throwback jersey?

And he’s pretty good at football.   Not so much in December, or when his receivers drop passes or spray crazy all over the field, but he’s honestly not bad.  So I kind of wish football weren’t a zero-sum game.  But it is.  Eagles win, Romo cries.  Oh, well.

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No, I am not holding them to higher standards than everyone else.  I believe that no one should be involved in a public brawl.  But I maintain that if you are rich and famous it should be easy for you to avoid.  For one thing, you can have your hired goons rough someone up for you.

But, all joking aside, what the hell, people?

Steven Gerrard (Steven Gerrard!  Captain of Liverpool!  Teddy bear of midfield!) was arrested after a barroom scuffle.  Seriously.  Aside from making me lose my faith in humanity, this makes me want to stab my eyes out with a rusty fork.  He is worth millions of pounds to Liverpool, and more than that, on aggregate, to the psyches of Merseyside and England.  This sort of thing should not be allowed to happen.  If he can’t be trusted not to make a public nuisance of himself, which is evidently the case, there should be people on hand all the time to make sure that he is not in any position to do so.  If he complains that he is being treated like a child, tell him to stop acting like one.

This is a problem in many sports.  Pathetic.  It is really not that hard not to punch someone.  I promise.  I manage to get through every day without doing so.

At least he's cute?  No?  Good at football?

At least he's cute? No? Good at football?

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I’ve never liked it.  I’d rather like to, since it’s one of those neato American sports.  It was one of the sports at which I was not totally terrible as a kid.  Plus, Kobe Bryant went to my high school, so that’s cool.  I like wearing Chuck Taylors.  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s rôle in Airplane! is great.

But I can’t stand watching basketball, live or on television.  I can’t get invested in the run of play, I can’t get interested in tactics, and I am totally repulsed by the way they have to mop up the sweat from the key.  Also, especially in the pros, it seems as though the players are about a quarter the length of the court, so they don’t even have to move all that much.

This is not to say that I don’t have a March Madness bracket every year.  I may hate basketball, but I don’t hate America.  But it’s not as though I have a visceral hatred for the pros and maintain that they only play the real game in college.  I just dismiss both with a shrug.

Yes, the Sixers have been pretty lousy my whole life, and lost heart-breakingly to the Lakers in the finals while I was in high school.  But that’s not it, because I still liked the Phillies and the Eagles, despite their perennial crapulence.  I think it’s the sport.  Also, the men aren’t all that cute.

Way cuter than Steve Nash, at least.  Ew, gross.

Way cuter than Steve Nash, at least. Ew, gross.

Tell me, what is it you like about basketball?

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Miami (OH) is a joke.

I am so sick of seeing “Miami (FL).”  I don’t even like or know much about real college football, and I know that the Miami you care about is in Florida.

Look, I know Ben Roethlisberger is famous now.  I don’t care.  Lots of players come from podunk schools.  We admire that they have done so, but it doesn’t really change our approach to college football.  I’m not going to start watching Miami of Ohio games.

Come on, ESPN.com.  We are not confused to see just “Miami” in the scoring box.  It’s a bowl game (I realize this means less than it used to, but oh, well).  We’re not idiots.

And Ben Roethlisberger is not even possibly cute, so no photos for you.

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Add Aaron Rodgers to the list of people who aren’t doing very well but who I like and want to do well.  Actually, no.  Aaron Rodgers is doing well.  The Green Bay Packers are not.  This is kind of important.

I mean, there’s a good chance I’m only rooting for Rodgers because I despise Brett Favre.  He even annoyed me before all of his crap this off-season, since he was (and is) clearly past his prime and consistently failed (fails) to perform, but no one seemed (seems) to notice since he’s one of “the all-time greats.”  But I guess none of that was really his fault, except a bigger man probably retires before he’s washed up.  But the Jets?  Seriously?  Brett Favre was the Packers.  The Packers were Brett Favre.  John Elway could certainly have stuck around and padded his career stats for a while, and hell, maybe he would have won another ring or two, but he has something that Brett Favre will never have, no matter how many years he clings to the last dregs of his career: a soul.  So piss off, Brett Favre.

But there’s more than that, I think.  I mean, everyone loves Aaron Rodgers anyway, right?  First of all, he’s kind of awesome.  His stats are more than decent for the line problems the Packers have had this season, and he’s, for all intents and purposes, a rookie.  And then there’s the whole Brett Favre thing.  Did Aaron Rodgers ever once say, “Look, the old guy is washed up.  He really needs to hang it up for real this time.”  Or, “Look, morons, either put me under center, or I’m hitting the road.  I’m too good to be a backup, especially when Cleo Lemon has a job.”  I mean, he could have.  I wouldn’t have blamed him.  But he didn’t.  So I feel like he’s just a pretty damn nice guy.  And I’m not just saying that because he’s not-so-much-with-the-cuteness.

Maybe chicks from Green Bay dig it?

Maybe chicks from Green Bay dig it?

So it’s really sad that Green Bay sucks this year.  It sucks even more that the blame will inevitably fall on Aaron Rodgers, his numbers notwithstanding.  They’ll point to “intangibles,” claiming that Favre is the better leader, or that he’s better at just finding a way to win, and I suppose there’s something to that.  But there’s also something to the mud through which he dragged the entire Packers organization this off-season when they should have been rallying around Rodgers.  There’s also something to the completely unfair pressure that has been put on Rodgers this season by every moron with a microphone who works for ESPN (but we’ll talk about Kornheiser in a different post).  And there’s also something to all the blue-balling Rodgers had to go through the previous few seasons, which he weathered like a complete champ.

So go Packers, and go Aaron Rodgers.  In ten years, you’ll still be playing football, and nobody will be talking about Brett Favre.  He’ll even lose the Wrangler ad deal eventually.  And more importantly, fat guys in bars in Green Bay will remember this season, and how the face of their franchise screwed them over, and though most of them have already forgiven him, some of them never will.  So crack open an ice cold Bud Light, Mr. I-hate-you-Brett-Favre-why-did-you-have-to-ruin-my-childhood-for-one-more-season-in-a-city-that’ll-end-up-booing-you-like-A-Rod, because Aaron Rodgers is awesome too.

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I was totally right!

He looks great.

Totally hot.

Totally hot.

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It is okay to like sports.

Clearly this is preaching to the choir, but I know way too many people who are sanctimonious about not liking sports.  It’s okay with me if you don’t like sports.  Don’t call me on Sundays, but otherwise we’re cool.

No, there’s no reason to like sports.  Yes, clearly it’s a tribal impulse that I’m so sure that enlightened people should have eradicated.  Yes, a lot of athletes are stupid and they make a lot of money and this seems like lousy resource allocation.  Yes, people get horribly injured for what is, on a grand scale, no reason.

But.  It’s a lot of fun to watch.  Going to the ballpark on a hot summer day, going to a football game on a crisp autumn afternoon, even just sitting inside on a freezing winter Saturday and drinking cocoa with a bowl on the TV–it’s social and engaging and unpredictable.  Is it worse than going to see, say, Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer?  Talk about bad resource allocation.

And athletes are good at what they do.  It’s nice to see skill on display.  They’re fast, or they’re clever, or they can throw really far…

Also?  Peyton Manning.

Yelling, but in a cute, smart way.

Yelling, but in a cute, smart way.

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