To rip off and butcher an old adage, those who can’t do, talk about it. Few hate college basketball and March Madness as much as I do, but even I had to check out what happened at the end of the Butler Pitt game. Ok, I admit it, I like a little drama, and that was intense. What’s really stupid about it is the aftermath. Mainly, the idiots who are out there saying stuff like, “How do you call those fouls at the end of a game?” Keep in mind, these are people who WRITE ABOUT SPORTS FOR A LIVING! Among the guilty are Sports Illustrated’s Will Carroll and Yahoo!’s Chris Chase. Carroll had the audacity to say they were the “two worst calls” he has ever seen. Evidently, he has never seen an NFL game… and even if he were limiting his observation to basketball, he clearly hasn’t seen a single Heat Lakers game this season… not that he would have mentioned the Heat using Pau Gasol as a human crash test dummy. Now, Carroll isn’t generally a tool. His words frequently, even if you disagree with them, have some merit. One would have to guess he’s either a Pitt fan, or put some cheese on the over. Chase’s wax moronic was slightly less egregious, as he merely insinuated that the ref should have swallowed his whistle on the last play, allowing a tight, exciting game to go to overtime. I wonder if he would have insinuated a baseball umpire call a line drive on the chalk for a winning basehit a foul ball just to have a great game go to extra innings. Or have a ref call a great catch in the endzone for a winning touchdown so a stirring football game can go to OT. Or for a soccer ref to allow a clearly offside goal to stand just for an extra 30 minutes of Champions League action between two of the best teams in the world.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t credit With Leather’s Josh Zerkle for being the only one I know of who accurately observed what happened. Paraphrased, he said it took grapefruits of steel for the ref crew of that game to make those calls in a frenzied environment. Basically, they maintained the integrity of the game and it’s rules in the searing heat of a moment. Hats off to them. They didn’t forget that nowhere in any rule book does it say to forsake the written rule in the final minute of a game to facilitate an overtime period.
Speaking of people who really shouldn’t be allowed (yes, I’m aware it’s a free country, so I ask only this: if everything you say about a sporting event is going to be dumb or exaggeratedly homer, become a blogger, not a journalist/announcer. Granted, not much money in this gig.) to ever open their mouths on television, I watched the White Sox Dodgers spring training game today, which was attended by my fellow Stainer, Shaun. (Side note, I was trying to think of a good way to describe Shaun as my partner in this blog. Stainer was really the best I could come up with. Smear Buddy and Poo Partner were two suggestions that, for obvious reaons I had to decline… or pooh pooh, as it were.)
Anyhoo, the White Sox WGN announcer (I think it’s Ken Harrellson) has to be one of the most annoying play by play guys in history. His pretentious “be gone” every time someone on the other team strikes out, gets caught stealing or whatever is gag inducing. Add to that, he had the audacity to call the sovereign period of Bud Selig (who was a studio guest in the second inning of the telecast) the best of any commissioner in his 5 decades in baseball. Then, he proceeded to brownnose Selig in the most ridiculous, borderline insane way. I’m sorry, did he forget that Selig turned a conscious blind eye to the steroid and other PED epidemic that left a, ahem, stain on the sport? For goodness’ sake, if Barry Bonds’ home run exploits come with an asterisk, so should Selig’s (debatable) praise for steadily growing attendance since a cataclysmic strike in 94 wiped out half a season and the World Series. I’m not a lawyer, but if you partake in an activity that leads to someone getting killed, you are an accessory to murder. How is Selig not an accessory to felony drug trafficking and distribution? In my opinion, that’s exactly what he is, because I don’t believe for one second he was not aware of the rampant PED use going on. If he was, he may not be a felon, but he’s certainly an idiot. Brady Anderson hit 50 home runs, for crying out loud. BRADY ANDERSON!!!
Those who criticise, call it throwing stones in a glass house if you want, should also be willing to praise and give credit where it’s due. At least he does one thing well, speak in complimentary terms about the opposition’s players. He did, to his credit, call Andre Ethier a wonderful player and predicted a huge year from the talented but mercurial Matt Kemp. That didn’t, however, make me want to vomit any less when he referred to the Sox as the “good guys” and the Dodgers as the “bad guys.” The only guy whose obnoxious homer enthusiasm I can even consider turning a blind eye to is LA Clippers play by play guy, Ralph Lawler. Hearing “Bingo!” every time Blake Griffin does something good (sorry, in my opinion a super freak athlete like Griffin should be able to slam dunk the ball from within five feet of the hoop… he is good though.) is grating to my ears. Anyone who can remain enthusiastic about the Clippers after more than three weeks deserves some slack. He’s done it for eons, he deserves more than slack. ((reluctant nod of the head to Mike Smith))
My solution to this problem is this. We clone Vin Scully, ressurect Jack Buck and Harry Caray, clone each of them a dozen times, inject the clones with stem cells for enhanced longevity, and assign each clone to a team to do all games, home or away. And yes, the wonderfully impartial Jon Miller and Joe Morgan can play too. That does it for this smear, see you during the week.