Waiting for the Renaissance

How wonderful it is that I get to blog this week! I can’t think of a better time of year to have to write about a current sports topic.  After all, the country’s greatest sports leagues are in the midst of wonderful, breathtaking seasons and the nation gets a short break from its weakest games, baseball and football.  Life couldn’t be better.

If my facetiousness and depression was not apparent initially, I hate this time of year.  It’s the Dark Ages.  Every year the end of the Super Bowl signifies the fall of Rome (ever wonder why they use Roman numerals to label Super Bowls?) and we plunge into a time of chaos and despair until we see flickering of a burgeoning Renaissance as spring training begins.  If you don’t think this metaphor is apt, take a look at this.

I think its pretty obvious that the Roman costumes and crazy Richard Simmonsy rope dancer represent the destruction of something beautiful.

Admittedly, I am not an equal opportunity sports fan.  Baseball and football hold special places in my heart as childhood memories; I know the game and I have intense interests in specific teams.  Basketball and hockey mean little to me, especially ever since the NHL kicked the Thrashers out of Atlanta.  But I think there are a lot of people that share my opinion, even fans who enjoy the lesser sports more than I do.

To help illustrate just how frustrating this time of year can be, I’ve included the ESPN “headlines” from this past Monday morning:

  • Mickelson claims Pebble; Tiger falters  | Woj
  • Rose to see back specialist | Celts clip Bulls
  • Sources: Yanks eye Burnett deal  | Olney
  • Spoelstra, LeBron impressed with Lin’s rise
  • Sources: Lakers try out Arenas  | Analysis
  • Cundiff: Ravens supported me after missed FG
  • Wings win record-tying 20 straight at home
  • WVU stops No. 2 Irish’s streak at 21  | Dish
  • Canseco will try out for Mexican League team
  • Man U, Liverpool won’t face FA punishment
  • Bilas Index: Kansas still ahead of Missouri

Pathetic, right? Mickelson won his first Tour event in a while, so that was cool.  But news from the kicker of the AFC Championship loser that his team supported him after the loss?  Jose Canseco trying out for a Mexican League team? Must be a slow news day.  Or month.

It doesn’t help that NBA Basketball is suffering from a dramatically altered season in which teams must think about conserving their energy and staying healthy more than ever before.  Last week we saw traditional powerhouses the Celtics and Lakers play an overtime game in which neither team succeeded in scoring over 90 points.  These are two of the oldest teams in the league, and over a grueling compressed season they both have to focus on slowing games down and being conservative.  They have their eyes set on a playoff spot and the regular season product suffers.  Even the league’s best team, the Miami Heat, is playing what appears to be bored basketball.  The NBA is even trying to copy the NFL with its very own Tebow story with the Lincredible Jeremy Lin.

I suppose I’m whining about something I have total control over.  Why not start actually caring about basketball or hockey or golf or what seems to be the golden age of tennis?  Why not use them to fill the void left by baseball and football?  I’ve tried, but my heart rejects them.  I’m just not able to stay interested, and I just go back to waiting for the first pitch on Opening Day











Rick Reilly wrote a book called “Sports from Hell: My Search for the World’s Dumbest Competition.”  I think in the future I will use this as my sports bible in February and March; maybe it is sports like Ferret Legging and Chess Boxing that will cure my spring depression.  However, with all my luck the Rock-Paper-Scissors Championship is probably held in late January and the World Sauna Championships probably don’t start until mid-April.


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