Andy Williams had it all wrong. I’m sorry, but I’ll take September’s non-stop MLB pennant chasing + NFL + Notre Dame losing to Michigan combination over cold and snow and fake Santas any day. In fact, since it’s an election year, we get even more drama to go with our Irish-trouncing, and if you wait until the end of this post, you’ll even see that the Republicans have JOKES!
But first thing’s first: TUNE IN TO BASEBALL. My lord, between the AL Central showdown, the A’s/Angels wild card battle and the AL East title three-way, I can’t imagine a more exciting scenario (except maybe a non-baseball related three-way, but that’s for a different blog). Consider the NL wild card race and the fact that one of the three AL East teams could also nab the last AL West wild card spot and now allow your mind to be blown (again, maybe better for another blog).
And I haven’t even mentioned the myriad story lines decorating the start to the NFL and college football seasons!
The fact is, for dudes like Mr. Krause and I, it really doesn’t get much better than this. Unless you want to throw in some flaccid punchline deliveries (ZING!)…
Hate me ‘cuz you can, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
I couldn’t be more excited that the NCAA seems to be extricating its head from its nether regions to finally consider instituting a college football playoff. The only thing better than the thought of the classic matches to come is salivating over the classic matches that could have been. Sure, I know that Michigan wouldn’t have had a chance against Florida in that 2006 matchup but most people thought Ohio State was going to plow the Gators under so you never know. That’s the thing about football and a one-game playoff system. It sucks when you’re on the losing end but it’s great when you win.
But baseball is different. Sure, there’s a thrill to ending the season on a one-game intra-division playoff and some of those games have become instant classics. However, despite being the baseball progressive half of the RSBS duo, I find myself wondering about the MLB expanded playoffs. A play-in wildcard game? Sure, it’s great for ratings. And obviously it means a lot more than something like the NCAA basketball play-in game. But I’m just not sold on it.
On the money side I get it. A one-off play-in is bound to be a huge financial bonus. Last year it would have meant keeping the Red Sox and their fans around for one extra game and MLB loves those ratings bonanzas. But the beautiful thing about baseball is that its also about playing consistently. You have to play well over a 162-game grind, which only gives you the chance to do it all again in grueling 5 and 7 game series. The extended series in baseball are like life while football’s one-and-done playoff model feels more like the movies.
I’m sure I’ll come around. MLB has finally taken care of the uneven league issue and and with even divisions, teams now have more incentive than ever before to win their division. The play-in is great for strong divisions where a couple good teams trapped behind a spectacular team will finally get a chance to make the playoffs. But, do we really need to have 3 NL East and 3 AL East teams in the playoffs every year, even if one of them falls out during the play-in?
This past week was a little sad for those of us from Michigan. The Tigers had a pretty awful road trip while former Miss USA and Miss Michigan, Rima Fakih, saw her one year reign come to an end.
Good bye, Rima. To be fair, I’m not really sure what you did during your year as beauty queen of America but you did strike a blow for Michiganders and Arab-Americans with your spectacular win last summer.
Now, the queen is dead but long live the queen. We may be sad that Rima is gone but Alyssa helps us forget our sorrows awful quickly.
Oh yeah, and the Tigers are back home in Detroit. Life is good.
I come from Michigan and there are a few things we take deadly seriously back home.
All recreational sports deserve to have leagues–and rules–associated with them. You can pry the wiffleball bat from my cold, dead hands.
Please keep these rules in mind as you plan your trip to the Great Lakes state.
As a fan of Michigan sports and especially University of Michigan football, I can’t help but experience an inordinate amount of glee in the problems currently roiling the Ohio State football program. You can say I’m a bad person for feeling this way but if you ask a Buckeyes fan, I’m sure they’ll admit to feeling the same way when Gary Moeller was forced out as the coach at Michigan. Sure, you’d like to be able to beat a team on their own terms but when they’ve got your number, it’s a little satisfying to see the person responsible for that get the boot.
And it’s not just football. With the Tigers playing in the same division as the Indians and the Indians currently whipping everyone’s butts, it’s just one more reason to dislike Ohio. But maybe I should be a little more empathetic and feel sorry for Ohio. After all, there must be some truth to this graphic:
So, Ohio, I’m going to go easy on you. You’ve had a rough year with LeBron leaving town and Tressel’s sweater vests hiding a growing laundry list of sins. But when the dust settles and Tressel gets forced out, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t going to have a drink to celebrate. Same goes for when the Indians come back to earth.
I’m proud to be from Michigan. We’ve got four of the five Great Lakes and really, how great is Lake Ontario anyway? Without Michigan, you don’t get Kid Rock or Ted Nugent and how many other states let you show people where you live just by holding up a hand?
However, I’m not always proud of Michigan. Sure, it’s a great state but there are some issues. You know, like the fact that half of Detroit is functionally illiterate. Seriously, half. Even Togo does better than that.
Some of our other citizens don’t fare much better either. You could call it a blond thing, you could call it a Michigan thing. All I know is that it doesn’t say anything good about us.
There are two things that give me hope, though. First is the fact that we still have Justin Verlander and that’s like money in the bank. The second thing? Actually, it’s the hand thing. Come on, that’s pretty cool.
Although a large percentage of the US is located in what the coasts refer to as “fly-over country,” that’s not necessarily such a bad thing. For instance, being from Michigan, I grew up with access to Faygo which is, without a doubt, the best almost-generic soda in the country. Michigan also has Vernors which is an odd cousin to ginger-ale. If that wasn’t enough, Michigan also refers to soda as “pop.” Now that I think about, we have some really weird neuroses going on when it comes to carbonated beverages.
As bad as our soda-based idiosyncrasies may be, though, we’ve also got some mad talent. Madonna, Eminem, Kid Rock, all Michiganders. If you really want to get honest with yourself, you have to admit that native Michigander Ted Nugent can kick some serious tail, too.
Why do I mention all this? Because meanwhile, out east, this is happening:
Game, set and match to the fly-over states.