Monday, August 01, 2005

Let The Tirades Begin

Ladies, gents, and the three people actually reading: welcome. I suppose now’s a good a time as ever to debut the online, in-print version of my UTV “Man on a Rant” persona, so hang on to your hat and galoshes, we’re going to start talking sports. And by talking sports, I mean that I’ll be discussing them in the Jim Mora sort of way.

Playoffs?! (Who could resist…)

Without further ado:

As a sports fan in the last decade of the ESPN era, we’ve all been assaulted by the astounding quantity of information available to us with the touch of one finger. If you own a computer - and if you don’t, I’ll go out on a limb and assume you aren’t reading this column - you’re frantically checking up on every score and news tidbit that concerns your favorite squadron more often than Ken Griffey Jr. has injured his hammy. We’re so hooked on this instant availability of information that our sports outlets have resorted to soothsaying just to keep us hanging. Real-time info isn’t good enough anymore – we need prophetic visions to keep us satisfied.

Case in point? The MLB trade deadline. Egads man, a GM couldn’t sneeze these last few weeks without it resulting in a trade rumor that came nowhere close to coming to fruition. “Well Stew, it seems that Brian Cashman was playing tennis with a friend earlier today, and amidst the grunting and yelling, I believe he revealed that he was willing to trade away Alex Rodriguez and Bernie Williams for a turkey sandwich and a player to be named later.” Did anyone actually believe that Manny was heading elsewhere? Maybe Cracky, the crackhead Mets fan, but certainly no one of their right mind was this deluded. I mean, I know it’s quite common that a team in first place trades away the reigning World Series MVP and league RBI leader for peanuts just as the divisional hunt kicks into 5th gear, but it all seemed so legit at the time! Can we please put an end to the diarrhea of deluded drivel and stick to talking about actual happenings in sports? They’re called “rumors” for a reason, people.


You’ll have to forgive me for the lateness of the discussion, being that Tiger Woods wrapped up his 10th major victory at the British Open over two weeks ago, but sometimes I just can’t stand the two-faced lunacy of sports writers. Has anyone noticed how quickly everyone hopped back on to the Tiger Train? Hip-hip, hypocrisy! For three years we hear endless declarations of “Tiger’s slumping! Tiger’s finished! The field has caught up with Tiger!” while the guy retools his swing and marries a hottie with a body. So sure, he goes Agassi on us for a while, but now that he’s strung together another pair of major victories, everyone can’t wait to suckle on the teat of Tiger. “Oh, Tiger, you magnificent beast, tell us again about how you’re the greatest golfer of a generation?” Let’s all do the fickle flip-flop fandango and pretend we never doubted the guy.


Speaking of things in the not-too-distant past, a buddy and I were discussing the outrageous Jimmy Rollins deal in the car a few days ago. You know, the one where the Phillies decided to pay him 40 million dollars on the heels of a 12-1 homestand until 2011? Really? Jimmy Rollins is now earning top 5 shortstop money? I mean, I realize there’s quite a dearth at SS in baseball, and that Rollins would technically find himself ranked in the top 5-10 players at the position right now… but that doesn’t mean you need to reward a career .270 hitter with insane money! And who the hell renegotiates contracts during a winning stretch? That’s what I like to call baseball’s equivalent of drunk driving.

Here’s the analogous scenario:

You’re a guy on a ridiculously long dry streak, when suddenly you find a reasonably attractive girl with whom you start fooling around with. Only now, because it’s been so long since you’ve gotten laid, you get so excited in the heat of the moment that you yell out, “I love you!” without a second thought. Except in reality, since this contract is a long-term investment, it’s more like yelling, “MARRY ME!” right before orgasm, and only realizing what you’ve done upon awakening from your post-coital high. “Oh man, this is what I’m tied down to? Houston, we have a problem…Abort! Abort!”


End rant, over and out.

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