With tomorrow being the Superbowl and all, not many people care to focus on the happenings of the baseball world. Well, when in Rome….
I think the best place to begin is with an idea that seems antiquated in and of itself: white running backs. Trust me, I’m just as shocked as you are.
But, as good as those guys may have been, they can’t hold a candle to this:
We miss you, Barry. Detroit isn’t the same without you, even though you definitely deserved better.
Happy Superbowl Weekend!
Just like a Pedro Martinez pitched inning circa 1999, this is gonna be quick, probably painful and will most likely include more soul-glo than the FDA deems acceptable:
A few weeks ago, I ran into Rahm Emanuel at the Roosevelt Red Line stop. I shook his hand, wished him luck in the Chicago mayoral election, then basked in the warm glory that is his presence. Yeah, kinda makes me sick too. But I can’t lie. He had a an insidiously welcoming glow about him. And as I stood there, standing next to (and above, as the man is quite short) him, I couldn’t help but debate myself, asking Well, Jeff, are we on Rahm’s team or no?
Of course, Rahm is Rahm and Rahms don’t go down without a fight.
So let’s sit back and watch as time and LOTS OF MONEY are wasted on the proceedings.
The American Way.
Se la vie.
Call it desperation or call it genius (I’m goin’ with genius, by the way), but the Tamp Bay Rays certainly found a flashy way to fill some holes in their lineup by adding Idiot One and Idiot Two to their roster. On the cheap! Hey, if they could just convince Curt Schilling (and that unstoppable mouth) to suit back up, maybe the Rays will have a real chance at stickin’ it to the Yank Sox again this year! If nothing else they have succeeded in ultimately defying logic: Manny Ramirez will get $2 million while *GASP* Kyle Farnsworth will make $2.7 million! WTF?!?!?!?
Say what you want about the Chicago Bears and their NFC Championship performance, but as a Chicagoan, I call out to all fellow Chicagoans to lay off Jay Cutler. For realz.
In fact, I’m just gonna shut up about it and defer to RSBS regular, Johanna Mahmud with the quote:
“you can never quiet the stupid.“
Hate me, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
As a man, the sport simply speaks to the inherent barbarism that has trickled down my side of the species for time ad nauseum. Some of my fondest high school memories revolve around strapping on the pads and hitting people as hard as I possibly could, without getting in trouble for it. In fact, I can honestly say that I enjoyed getting hit — laid out on my back with stars circling overhead — more than doing the hitting (see Fight Club).
And the language of football is deeply connected to the language of our cave-dwelling ancestors:
Arggh. Me want. Arggh. Me take. Arggh. Touchdown!
Football provides that wormhole back to warriorism — where heroes are born for their stubbornness to quit, where the last guy standing reigns supreme, whether he’s got all of his limbs or not. From this we have been treated to Jim Brown, Walter Payton, Jerry Rice, Joe Montana, Reggie White — WARRIORS the whole lot!!!
And I respect that. All of that. Every single bit of it.
Still, football ain’t baseball.
It’s not even close.
So, for me, when football playoffs come around, it’s just not the same as when baseball playoffs come around.
I don’t obsess over every matchup. I don’t lose sleep at night wondering how the benches will play out. I don’t break things or make women cry or have the cops called on me for repeated noise violations. And this is for games in which my team isn’t even in it.
‘Cuz if my team is in it, you can fuhgettabout me paying attention to anything else but the game, series, trophy, until it’s over.
Hate me ‘cuz it’s the thing to do, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Follow us at @RSBS !!!
Jeff & Al
My morose and oft despondent colleague, Mr. Krause, recently addressed our mutual passion for the sport of long distance running, and in doing so, alluded to the fact that such passionate loyalty requires a certain tolerance for pain.
Indeed, running begets pain. But said pain often calluses the soul, prepares it for the ultimate fight — whether physical or mental — and breeds a certain unparalleled toughness that can guide one through any hardship. This I know.
Pain is a binding precursor to ecstasy. Without it, we wouldn’t know a good thing if it hit us in the face… which, would be ironic in this case, because — depending on what the object hitting us in the face is — that could possibly hurt.
But I digress.
Perhaps the following irony deficient examples will help better illustrate my point:
(aka Nipple Abrasions — minor yet aggravatingly debilitating)
Congratulations, Washington Nationals, on signing Alfonso Soriano 2.0! No, seriously, I really am happy for you. I mean, y’all have had some painfully troublesome moments in your six year history… y’know, like, sucking and all. Then Strasburg went down… Dunn got away… and now you dole out $18 million a year for SEVEN YEARS to your division rival’s 32 year-old third fiddle. Um… okay. The bad news is: you got screwed. The good news is: it’ll be over in seven years. By then you will be so learned, so deteriorated, so callused by anguish that every little victory will seem colossal. Maybe you’ll even smile. Maybe.
(aka Plantar Fasciitis — excruciatingly biting, often chronic)
Eight years of Dubya. A war in Afghanistan. A war in Iraq. The continued waste of an asinine war on drugs, on poverty, on progression in general. The complete upheaval of congress from one extreme to another, to another, then back to where it started again. We don’t have healthcare, we do have healthcare, we don’t have healthcare. We’ve no jobs. Our farmers are forced to grow crap crops to make corn syrup which is then injected into all your food so that you are prone to overeat, become obese, get diabetes and die. Yeah. That’s some real pain right there; makes Canada sound like the Playboy Mansion. Ms. Teen South Carolina, you with me?
The Pittsburgh Pirates
(aka Hitting the Wall or “Bonking” — worst case scenario your body loses the ability to function due to depleted glycogen stores)
Two words: Matt Diaz. Wow. Just… wow. Dear readers, when signing Matt Diaz is a big deal, you know your team is in trouble. In the Pirates’ case, they’ve been in trouble since 1992, they show zero signs of improvement, and life is just gonna get more and more painful for the handful of baseball fans left in Pittsburgh.
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”
My advice? Go Steelers!
Hate me ‘cuz I bring da pain, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Jason Giambi and Babe Ruth wore the same uniform. Babe probably weighed a little more but they both played relatively the same role. Their job was to smack the hell out of a baseball. There’s no denying that Babe was much better at this job but you also wonder if Giambi were magically transported back in time, would he have had the same type of career.
The point here is that evolution makes comparison difficult. Jim Thorpe was a great running back. But would he even be competitive in today’s game? Technology, nutrition, education. All of these aspects contribute to the evolution of the game and I believe it’s safe to say that they contribute to our own personal evolution as well.
Sometimes evolution takes a scary turn, though. For instance, in football the evolution of the game has led to increased speed and power but our skulls haven’t gotten any thicker and our brains haven’t developed any more cushioning. Sure, helmet technology has mitigated some of the risk but the increased incidence of concussions and the NFL’s crackdown on hits to the head shows that sometimes evolution has downsides.
It’s also a little scary when evolution decides to use the fundamental building blocks at hand and go in a totally different direction. There are more benign instances like the devolving paths taken by baseball and cricket. But there are also truly frightening paths like when organisms decide to incorporate previously deadly substances into a new recipe for survival.
I’m not saying that this is the end of life as we know it any more than a pitcher throwing the ball 105 MPH is the end of baseball as we know it. Evolution and adaptation require a long-term view, not some sort of immediate, knee-jerk reaction. But I sure hope the arsenic monsters don’t come after me.
The other day my good friend Mr. Lung pointed out the greatest tragedy facing those of us born in the mitten. Do we choose to root for our Lions or do we turn our back on the state and find a team that occasionally, uh, wins? For most of us, the obvious answer is the former and the results are inevitable. Each year we face new lows in terms of records set and experience new embarrassments in terms of ways of losing.
But, there is one reason we can all be proud to be Lions’ fans. His name is Barry Sanders and, as The Onion pointed out, although he will always be associated with the awfulness that is the Lions, that perhaps makes his accomplishments shine even more brightly. Observe:
We may have nothing to show for it but you can never take the Barry away from us