Monday, March 22, 2010

The weird world of sports

A few non-March Madness thoughts on sports:

– People who know me are well aware that I'd rather have a painful medical procedure than watch figure skating on a regular basis. Now I see that they have created a "reality show" based on pairs figure skating called “Thin Ice.” It sounds really dramatic, but here's what it is: Figure skaters will be skating with other figure skaters who are NOT THEIR REGULAR PARTNERS! Oh ... my ... God. The missus is convinced that this is a major deal and super challenging because they're not used to skating with different people. I think it's a lot like taking major league baseball players and seeing if they can play slow-pitch softball, or taking football running backs and seeing if they can also run fast without their pads on.

– Another sport that I try to avoid like the plague because I find it about as exciting as watching grass grow is soccer. But it's pretty clear that somebody high up in the company at ESPN is a really, really big soccer fan. Because on ESPN News, when they run the crawl across the bottom with scores and sports news, scores from the English Premier League, the Italian Series A league, etc., are part of the regular rotation. I think I can say with great confidence that the overwhelming majority of ESPN's viewers couldn't give less of a $%^# about Italian soccer scores. But one of the big honchos at ESPN or its parent company must really want to see them, so the rest of us are subjected to them.

– The folks at ESPN were also nearly breathless over the weekend about their "exclusive interview" with illustrious golfer and serial adulterer Tiger Woods. Well, one would think it must be a lengthy, in-depth examination of Tiger's travails and his pending return at the Masters. Uh, not so much. ESPN and the Golf Channel got five minutes with Tiger. Yeah, five minutes. It took them more time to fire up the cameras and get people's microphones pinned on that it did for the interview itself. Apparently, the same interview offer was made to CBS, which said it would be delighted to conduct an in-depth, no-restrictions interview with the golfer. When Tiger's handlers told CBS they would get five minutes, the network told Tiger's lackeys to pound salt. Good for CBS. The only thing ESPN and the Golf Channel accomplished was to be used by Tiger. They were the pawns in his game, which will enable him to go to the Masters and claim, "I already did an interview about the other stuff, and I'm only going to talk about golf." The folks from ESPN and the Golf Channel should never, ever be able to claim again that they are professional journalists. They're media whores for Tiger Woods.

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Blogger PRIguy said...

I heard an excerpt from the ESPN interview in which Tiger was asked "what REALLY happened the night of the wreck?" I cracked up when Tiger said, "It's in the police report. Anything else is between Elin and me." It's the answer

I think I would have given too. It was almost as funny as when Rumsfeld was holding a press conference the day after we first went into Iraq. A CNN reporter actually asked why the reporters weren't informed in advance of the decision to invade Iraq. It's an asinine question, to be sure. Rumsfeld smiled and said, "Because I'm running this war, not you." Love him or hate him (most people hate him, I know), it was a classic response.

March 22, 2010 at 6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think you heard "the missus" correctly. Ask her again what she thinks of the show... and actually listen to her answer before yammering on... I think she was just explaining how the show works.. not endorsing it.

March 22, 2010 at 10:29 PM  
Blogger Grog said...

Do flies on the wall now post on your blogs, Brant?

With the immoral state of our country, Tiger will be worshipped, not hated.

Just ask Big Ben, as he's now the spokesperson for bathroom romps, and the morals ambassador of the United States.

March 23, 2010 at 12:58 PM  
Anonymous x anonymous said...

With the immoral state of our country, Tiger will be worshipped, not hated.

Grog, you nailed it. How did we go from the greatest generation to having our friends and for some family members smacked out on herion?

As for Big Ben, he sure is a class act! We hold our Armed Forces to a higher standard then we do multi millionaires. Why do we put up with whatever organization of these athletes are associated with?Change the channel, don't buy the shirts, hat's or shoes. Cause remember it's not the illegals in the field picking melons, it's the farmer that hires him that is at fault.

March 24, 2010 at 2:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suppose not skating with your regular partner would be the same as trying to throw a pass to a substitute wide receiver. Except of course you don't have to lift your wide receiver in the air or throw him (or her) into a spin. At least not on the field.

Anyway, about Tiger. Woods is well within his rights to refuse to talk about his personal life any more than he wishes to. It may make him look bad, but how much worse could he look in the eyes of his detractors now? If my wife and I have problems -- and we do -- I'm damned sure not gonna talk about them to anyone other than the people I choose to talk to. If I'm in therapy -- and I have been -- it's my business why. You have every right to speculate on why I'm in therapy, but I don't have to tell you. I guess we want the on-camera breakdown so we can forgive him and move on to dissing the next hero that lets us down. Camilo Villegas kicked his puppy? Details at 11.

Mind your own beeswax, as my mother used to say. Maybe Tiger should hire a PI to look into the backgrounds of his interviewers and, when queried, say, "How did your son get those bruises?" or "I see your wife is wearing sunglasses at night. You hit her in the eye, didn't you?"

Tiger's human. He makes mistakes. We make mistakes, and the mistake of elevating Tiger to immaculate hero status off the golf course and being snippy when he refuses to dance for us is a BIG mistake in my book. I am pleased to see that EA Sports has announced Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 will be out June 8th -- and all the advertising I've seen has his picture in it. Good for them. What he does on the golf course has nothing to do with what he does elsewhere. And after Gatorade and AT&T dropped Tiger, I suppose we can now all rest assured that all cheating husbands drink PowerAde and talk on Verizon cellphones.

I'll admit though that I kinda hope the EA programmers have an easter egg where you try to keep Tiger from driving his Escalade into a fire hydrant.

March 24, 2010 at 9:38 AM  

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