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Archive for the category “Sports”

The Night My Fandom Died

wvu heartbrokenOn December 1, 2007, West Virginia University and the University of Pittsburgh played a football game. It’s nearly impossible to overstate just how much WVU was supposed to win this game. West Virginia was playing at home, at night, against a team that was 4-7 and had lost in embarrassing fashion to teams like Virginia and the University of Connecticut. WVU was 10-1, ranked #2 in the country, and had just blown out that same UCONN team 66-21 the week before. WVU had Pat White, Steve Slaton, and Owen Schmidt. Pittsburgh was coached by a mustache with headphones. Signed, sealed, and delivered, West Virginia was going to the national championship game.

It’s hard to describe to a non-West Virginian what being a WVU fan is like. Read more…

Was the Manti Te’o Dead Girlfriend Story a Hoax?

Yes, according to Deadspin:

Did you enjoy the uplifiting story, the tale of a man who responded to adversity by becoming one of the top players of the game? If so, stop reading.

Manti Te’o did lose his grandmother this past fall. Annette Santiago died on Sept. 11, 2012, at the age of 72, according to Social Security Administration records in Nexis. But there is no SSA record there of the death of Lennay Marie Kekua, that day or any other. Her passing, recounted so many times in the national media, produces no obituary or funeral announcement in Nexis, and no mention in the Stanford student newspaper.

Nor is there any report of a severe auto accident involving a Lennay Kekua. Background checks turn up nothing. The Stanford registrar’s office has no record that a Lennay Kekua ever enrolled. There is no record of her birth in the news. Outside of a few Twitter and Instagram accounts, there’s no online evidence that Lennay Kekua ever existed.

The photographs identified as Kekua—in online tributes and on TV news reports—are pictures from the social-media accounts of a 22-year-old California woman who is not named Lennay Kekua. She is not a Stanford graduate; she has not been in a severe car accident; and she does not have leukemia. And she has never met Manti Te’o.

The entire piece is a must read.

One Quick Fix to College Basketball Boredom

Following a game last night that ended with a score of 42-41 (seriously?), Shane Ryan wrote a post on Grantland today arguing that it’s time for the NCAA to lower the shot clock to 24 seconds:

The scoring decline, bringing the average down to pre-shot clock levels, is proof enough that 35 seconds is too much time for a modern shot clock. Basketball is a game of tempo and systems. At the moment, the systems are swallowing tempo. Fans are being deprived of pace and talent at the expense of control.

This should be a no-brainer. Men’s college basketball, excluding March Madness, is a boring mess. Every other college possession seems to consist of passing the ball back and forth around the three-point line, hoping a backdoor cut works at some point, and then around second 33 or 34 settling for a horrible shot or just turning the ball over so that the other team can start the process all over again. A shorter shot clock would at least begin to solve the problem.

Now if someone could just do something about the refs…

Just Sayin’: Tim Tebow Edition

Detroit Lions defensive player on Tim Tebow following the Lions 45-10 blowout of the Denver Broncos:

“Can you believe ’15’? Come on – that’s embarrassing. I mean, it’s a joke. We knew all week that if we brought any kind of defensive pressure, he couldn’t do anything. In the second half it got boring out there. We were like, ‘Come on – that’s your quarterback? Seriously?’ ”

[via Yahoo]

Shawne Merriman, Genius

Too good to pass up.  Shawne Merriman on the Buffalo Bills and their 4-12 season record:

“They’re probably 4 or 5 games away from being a 9-7 or a 10-6 team easily.”

Pure brilliance.

[SRI via Deadspin]

If a College Football Game is Played on January 10, Will Anyone Notice?

I watched Auburn and Oregon play in the BCS National Championship last night, if you consider watching having the television turned to a certain channel while reading, cooking, talking, and generally not paying a single second of attention to what was actually on the television screen.  This game was supposed to be exciting.  We were supposed to be stoked to see two undefeated teams with high-powered offenses play for the crystal football awarded to the NCAA champion.  So why did it feel like any other meaningless bowl game between two teams I could not care less about?

The last meaningful 2010 regular season games were played on December 4th, more than a full month before the sports’s biggest game of the season.  That’s more than enough time to kill any and all momentum built up from what BCS advocates claim to be the most exciting regular season in sports.  Try to name who Auburn and Oregon played in their last games and I bet you have to think about it.  Hell, name the teams who played in the Sugar Bowl less than a week ago.  A month is an eternity in sports.

ESPN will no doubt hype the fact that this game was the highest rated program in cable television history, but the number was actually down 11.6% from last year. Part of that drop is due to the game being on cable television and not network, but that can’t be the full story.  The only bowl game that matters at all is the title game, and if that starts to lose its luster, then an already anti-climactic postseason becomes entirely irrelevant.  You could see and hear signs of that this morning if you listened to sports talk or checked out the sports sites.  Sure, Auburn’s victory was the headline, but that was quickly followed by 20 different NFL week two playoff storylines.  By tomorrow, the game will be all but forgotten.  By this time next year, you’ll have a hard time remembering who won the 2010 BCS Championship.  Just another in a long line of arguments for a playoff system.

WV High School Football Players Forget It’s Only a WV High School Football Game

I Think I’m Not a Baseball Fan Anymore

Baseball is boring

Only baseball is conducive to sleeping in the stands. Unless you're passed out, of course.

The World Series ended last night.  The San Francisco Giants apparently won in 5 games.  I didn’t watch a second of it.  This isn’t a case where I wanted to watch but was too busy with school, or work, or sleep.  I just didn’t care.  I was unaware that the game was even being played until the update was given during Monday Night Football.  I think I don’t care about baseball anymore.

I know, I know.  It’s “America’s pastime” and Babe Ruth, and “daddy and I played catch,” and blah, blah, blah.  But, can anyone still call it “America’s pastime” with a straight face?  If you surveyed people under the age of 40, how many would claim baseball as their favorite sport?  10 percent?  20?  On Sunday, a regular season game between the Saints and the Pittsburgh “Our QB is Really Not a Rapist……We Promise!’ Steelers had higher ratings than the World Series game being played the same night.  I never gave a thought to switching to the baseball game.  Apparently, I wasn’t alone.

I used to love baseball.  Going to Reds games with my dad is one of the better childhood memories I have.  Who wouldn’t remember fondly the days of Christopher Andrew Sabo and the “Nasty Boys”?  I still have a definite fondness for the Reds, and was genuinely excited that they made the playoffs after 15 years of atrocities; but I did not watch a single regular season game.  Not one second.  I checked the standings and stats from time to time, but found myself constantly wondering “who the hell is this guy?,”  and “why is Scott Rolen still playing baseball?”  I had no concept of who was good (other than Votto) or whether the Reds were legitimately better than other teams in their division.  I had no way of relating anything to anything else.  These are not the characteristics of someone who loves a sport.  Hell, I’m probably stretching by even calling myself a Reds fan at this point, even though I will continue to do so and you will not stop me.

Maybe it’s time to confess that I just don’t like baseball anymore.  There’s only so much time in the day to follow a sport and I give that time to the NBA, the NFL, and WVU football/basketball.  Sorry, America.  I’m moving on from baseball.  Judging by the ratings, I’m not the only one.

Oh, So You Still Support Boise State….

Maybe this will change your mind:

[via Deadspin]

ESPN’s Coverage of Tom Brady Car Crash Makes Me Wish ESPN Would Have a Car Crash

Tom Brady was in a car wreck this morning.  WHAT?? YOU DON’T CARE?????  Well ESPN cares.  ESPN cares A LOT.  In fact it’s been the headline story all day.  You may be wondering if Tom Brady was hurt.  He wasn’t; of course, this matters little to the bohemoth of sports networks.  I actually read the headline “Tom Brady unhurt in car crash” scroll along the ticker today.  Well holy hell!!!!  A grown man in one of America’s largest cities was in a car accident.  There are over 17,000 car wrecks in the U.S. every day, and 115 of those people fucking die.  Hear that ESPN?  Death is the polar opposite of “unhurt.”  Brady can’t be the first professional athlete to have been in a car wreck over the past 28 years, right?  Because I sure as shit don’t remember ever hearing about any other one.  Fuck.

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