Eat My Sports: Orange crushed

The end of an era. The Orange Bowl was the Miami Hurricane’s fortress. The brotherhood of football players that had perhaps the most dominant home field advantage in college football over the past 30 years, had their home destroyed by UVA 48-0 on Saturday night. Granted, I am a supporter of the Wahoos, but pretty much anyone who follows college football got a good laugh of seeing the most dominant force in NCAAF in the past 20 plus years be humiliated in its last game at their historic stadium.

It was more than a game. UVA’s thrashing of the ‘Canes’ home was pretty much a metaphor for what is going to happen to the stadium after the season. Implosion, explosion, they all seem to be justifiable metaphors at this point.

But from an outsider’s perspective, the downfall of the Hurricanes’ football program as well as their daunted home field advantage was a long time coming. Their brash and arrogant attitude as well as disrespect towards the most able of athletes (Doug Flutie ring a bell to any of you Floridians?), led to a dismantling within six years of the most epic proportions.

Since 2001’s Ken Dorsey led national champions, the Hurricanes suffered an overtime loss to Ohio State in 2002 and haven’t returned to a BCS Bowl Game since. After having won five championships in 18 years up to the 2001 season, the recent Miami decline has been a breath of fresh air, and smells, well not like roses, but a welcome smell of rotting oranges.

When you beat up your opponents with absolutely no respect, karma, well, it’s a mother (See New York Yankees). So really, to see the Orange Bowl go, it’s not tragic, it’s fitting. Or rather, for once, putting the Hurricanes in their (new) place.

Eat My Sports: The NBA-holes

Get your blanky, fluff your pillow, say your prayers and go to sleep. Another yawner of an NBA season is upon us, and guess what, David Stern? Nobody cares. This is what happens when there are glaring holes in a product that you are trying to sell, and right now the NBA is dealing with one roughly the size of the Grand Canyon.

How can this be fixed? Well basically, the sport is beyond repair. Rivalries essentially don’t exist. Anyone remember the good ones? Celtics-Lakers, Knicks-Bulls or Clippers-Hornets (for those of you who don’t follow the NBA, that last one was a joke)? When there is no conflict, there is no interest, period. Ever go to see a movie or television show where pretty much everything is amicable? Welcome to the sporting version of “Everybody Loves Raymond.”

With no bad blood to fuel motivation beyond a monetary value, today’s “stars” are playing for the check, not the ring. In which case, more power to you, but when the national team consisting of the “best players in the nation” gets stomped by the likes of Greece and Argentina in international play, pride is something that obviously gets in the way, but at the same time, the players don’t have very much of it.

The flashy young stars of today are being brought down to earth by “boring” teams that play both ends of the floor. What happens when these two meet is a catastrophic event. (See 2007 NBA Finals, otherwise known as the Lebron James brick-fest.) The NBA used to be interesting, and when I say used to be, I mean the last time I honestly gave a crap about the sport was when the Knicks made their improbable run to the NBA Finals in 1999. Three Lakers championships and waaaaaay too much Shaquille O’Neal media hype later, turn on golf, basketball is done.

This year’s version of the Boston Celtics might prove to be a revival of the sport that became so selfish and obsolete, it made Americans forget about why they hated professional baseball after the 1994 strike. Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen have come together to either return the glory days to Boston, or to prolong the city’s (basketball) misery.

Even Kobe Bryant to the Chicago Bulls isn’t sparking any interest. And the fact of the matter is, when no one cares about your sport, you got some holes to fix. And right now, there is none bigger than the NBA.

Top five things that annoy me in sports this week:

5. Redskins Radio Announcers. I had to listen to five minutes of this dribble before I pulled up at a friend’s place to watch and actual football game in the Colts and Patriots. Fun fact: when Clinton Portis is stopped for a three-yard loss, he did not “almost get” the first down that was five yards from the line of scrimmage.

4. Gilbert Arenas. Don’t get me wrong, love him as a true professional basketball player who is in it for the right reasons. But if you’re going to talk smack, back it up.

3. Tiger Woods. Really don’t have a problem with the guy, but he is just way to rich for his own good. Seriously Tiger, throw some of that this way.

2. Washington Redskins. That was the UGLIEST victory I have ever witnessed. I know they say a win is a win, but when your win looks like the melting faces of the Nazis in “Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark,” fix something.

1. Tom Brady. You screwed me over in fantasy football with your two picks this week. Go to your corner.

Eat My Sports: Rebels without a curse, the 2007 World Champion Boston Red Sox

In 2004, with a miraculous comeback against the rival New York Yankees, a beat down of the St. Louis Cardinals and one last pitch, stab and toss from Keith Foulke, the Boston Red Sox exorcised 86 years of frustration by capturing the World Series title and the hearts of a nation.

With another comeback against the up and coming Cleveland Indians, a slaughtering of the Colorado Rockies, and one last 94 mph fastball from Jonathan Papelbon, the 2007 version of the Boston Red Sox captured their second title in four years and put the final bit of icing on that 2004 cake.

With the curse of the Bambino erased from memory, these Red Sox played with confidence and a refusal to believe that they were anything but the best.

Most of us grew up thinking we would never witness one, much less two titles in our lifetime. The cynical Sox fan was a staple in sports just as much as the brash Yankees fans who hid behind the fact that their teams were the only ones that could really afford a World Series. I guess it’s a new era to live in, this team has the making to be a contender for a long time. Bill Buckner, you were forgiven after 2004, now we’ll actually let you back into Fenway.

Even after being down three games to one against the Indians, you just had a sense that this team wasn’t going to let you down like the Sox of old. You just knew that Josh Beckett couldn’t lose game five. And after J.D. Drew belted out $14 million worth of a grand slam in the first inning of game six, well … quite frankly when J.D. Drew hits anything you know the bounces are going your way.

From April 18 on, this team had the look of champions. And not that old, beat-up champion coming back for one more shot at glory (or money, I’m looking at you Sylvester Stallone). These Sox had the look of well groomed contenders. They never stumbled, never gave way to the Yankees, never really gave the Red Sox Nation a reason to panic … which for a change, was actually kind of nice.

Straight through to Papelbon looking like a deranged psycho as Jason Varitek sprinted toward the mound on Sunday night, these weren’t the Idiots we loved of 2004. They were the rebels that gave their fans a reason to believe that maybe Hell could freeze over twice in a lifetime. (And just for bragging purposes, I would like to state that the Sox have more titles this millennium than the Yankees, just throwing it out there. Now who is cursed?)

It’s a new feeling in Beantown, and in the immortal words of Chazz Michael Michaels, this victory was as sweet as the cream pies the city is known for.

How they did it:
Well for starters, let’s throw these names that were acquired/ developed over the past two seasons.

Mike Lowell. The MVP protected Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz while they were slumping with his 21 HR, and more importantly his 120 RBI to solidify that middle part of the lineup. Simply put, Lowell made pitchers in the playoffs look even more ridiculous than a Britney Spears comeback attempt. (P.S. kids, her new album “Blackout” drops today.)

Josh Beckett. That was the most impressive playoff performance I have ever witnessed. This is why teams wanted him, he is even more unfazed by pressure than anyone.

Daisuke Matsuzaka. He got better as the playoffs went on. Remember, this guy was an MLB rookie this year. The makings of a dominant ace are all in order. He just needs to work on that whole air humping bit he does before he delivers a pitch.

Jonathan Papelbon. Does the guy even need caffeine? I swear you could power an entire city if he had an electrical output. He reminds me of Al Pacino in Scarface, So calm and composed, but then just goes freaking crazy. I honestly want him to start saying “SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEND!!!” before he delivers every pitch. Also, name another player that is of non-Irish decent to have a river dancing Irish jig DVD coming out. (Chugs does not count)

J.D. Drew. For nine months I really wondered why we would pay $14 million for a career punchline like Drew. Then in October, it clicked. Pay attention A-Rod and Yankees fans alike, I would rather pay a guy $14 million to be average in the regular season and actually PERFORM when it counts in the postseason, than have it the other way around.

Now the staples from 2004:

Manny Ramirez. Sure his nonchalant attitude towards the Indians series might have ticked off more than a few people. But he’s just proving time and time again that Manny being Manny leads to postseason dominance. Also, I’ve come to the conclusion that I never want Manny to cut those dreds.

David Ortiz. The guy is just fun. Big Papi literally (and figuratively) ate up the competition, and drank more than a few bottles of champagne. Anyone see the guy get on top of the table in the clubhouse and douse everyone in there?

Curt Schilling. The old timer in perhaps his last go round with the Sox in the playoffs showed why he’s worth every penny. When it comes to the playoffs, Curt throws fire like Star Jones throws down anything edible.

Terry Francona. The Don. The Godfather, never leave Boston.

Top five things that annoy me in sports this week:

5. Joe Buck. After having to listen to his insufferable delivery through 11 Red Sox games, I am praying that ESPN gets the rights to the playoffs at some point in the near future.

4. Scott Boras. Was that really necessary? You are just showing that you and Alex Rodriguez have about as much class as Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out.” (Side note: I have a new theme song)

3. No squirrels. Still haven’t seen a squirrel water skiing on the news in about three and a half years, someone needs to change this.

2. New Era. Can anyone make a regular baseball hat anymore? By the time I finally realize what team is on the hat, I get a weird look from someone because I’ve been staring at their head for about five minutes, which is always fun to explain.

1. New England Patriots. Yup, two weeks in a row. Plain and simple, don’t really want any of your games televised anymore.

Eat My Sports: That guy

Nearly everyone has a sport they enjoy to watch. Nearly everyone has a team in said sport that they call theirs. They support them through bad draft decisions and trade moves, kudos to you, you’re a fan.

Then there is that guy. The obnoxious one that somehow finds himself drinking at the very place you went to go eat or have a drink after work. But this particular specimen doesn’t sit down and enjoy the game. No. He makes it painfully obvious to everyone in the bar that yes, he is a fan of a team that is playing, and whether you want to or not, you’re going to hear about it.

So, in order to avoid being that guy. Here is my fool proof guide to being a fan. Or as we here call it, The Seriously Guide.


  • We get it, you’re a fan. You’re the guy that wears the obscure jersey of a player who most people don’t know, but for some reason fans of your team think he’s God. Thank you Steelers’ era Antwan Randle El. It’s cool to have a jersey, but if no one knows who that is, it just makes you look even more ridiculous. Like those Chicago Bulls fans that wore Toni Kukoc jerseys when Jordan, Pippen and Rodman were playing.
  • If you are going to wear a jersey, jeans and loose CARGO pants are acceptable. Khakis just make you look like a raging idiot, also, this probably makes you the guy at the bar that orders iced tea and gets odd looks from everyone in the establishment that is having a beer or whiskey.
  • Most importantly, if you reeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllly are a sports fan, then don’t wear loafers with the whole jersey look. Nothing screams “I’m gonna go home and watch reruns of Matlock and MacGyver, but gooooooooooooo team!!!!!” quite like donning shoes that private school kids wear because their parents force them to.
  • Drinking:

  • For those of you not in AA, it is perfectly understandable to have a few drinks (if it’s not a day baseball game on a Wednesday) while your team is playing. This is allowed and quite frankly encouraged. Just for example, no Red Sox fan could probably have endured the 2004 or 2007 playoffs without a drink or two. Side Note: AL Champs!!!
  • If you do go out to a bar and you are not with friends, ordering a pitcher is not allowed. Nothing looks more ridiculous than a guy alone at the end of a bar drinking a pitcher, wearing a shirt with a last name that isn’t his on the back of it, screaming obscenities at the television like it had just informed him that he’d been laid off from work. You have a single beer or mixed drink at a time. Otherwise you look like a severe lush who has a terrible case of Tourette’s.
  • If at home, home rules apply. I do not enforce anything on anyone’s private property. But if going out in public, I am the enforcer.
  • Public Behavior:

  • If you are the only fan of a team at a bar you are at alone, no screaming at the TV. This changes when there are two of you. Remember kids, safety in numbers.
  • Don’t hit on anyone in the place. It’s obvious, you are there to give your support. But if you start losing or winning, don’t get wasted and start hitting on the patrons or bartenders. Chances are they give about as much of a crap about you or the game as Vanessa Hudgens cared about internet safety.
  • Screaming “Yeah, baby!!!” is only cool if you are Austin Powers. At no point is it OK to annoy everyone by screaming like a banshee because Maurice Jones-Drew ran for two yards.
  • So remember guys, it’s OK to be a fan. It’s not OK to be a moron.

    Top Five things that annoy me in sports this week:

    5. ESPN’s football crew. Honestly Chris Berman is the only saving grace. Emmitt Smith just looks out of place and they need to just give Keyshawn Johnson the damn pink slip.

    4. Pre-season basketball. The precursor to eight months of a sport that was mildly entertaining maybe a decade ago.

    3. The New England Patriots. Seriously, lose already. I have had enough of Tom Brady.

    2. Joe Torre. You would have thought a U.S. President was stepping down with the way that was covered. I can’t wait for the Yankees to go into a rebuilding phase, and I’ll tell you what they can do with those 26 championships they like to bring up ….

    1. “The Rock” football movies. When did America OK this? Every time I turn around it’s another football movie with “The Rock.” You were awful in pretty much every Mummy movie you were in, and guess what? It hasn’t gotten any better.

    Eat My Sports: A London Super Bowl, seriously?

    Bad move Roger Goodell, bad move.

    After taking the initiative that no one wanted by having a regular season game hosted in London, Roger Goodell has taken the highest blasphemy to our sacred football americano. The NFL Commissioner has been thinking fondly of the idea of having a foreign city host the Super Bowl. Brilliant, why don’t you move the Country Music Awards to Tokyo while you’re at it? Or, move the Statue of Liberty back to France.

    The Super Bowl is just something that is purely American. I don’t get too patriotic that often, but the Super Bowl needs to stay in the States. When that glorious Sunday comes in early February, it is our duty to have a full supply of chips and beer, have our closest friends and family over, sit down for four glorious hours and watch commercials … I mean, football.

    Something about football across the pond just doesn’t work. I mean just look at NFL Europe, there is a solid reason that experiment failed miserably. I’m looking at you Danny Wuerffel.

    Would we want the Cricket championship held here? No. Why? Cause no one really gives a crap about that sport here other than people that moved over to the US from Britain. Nothing against the sport or those who love it. But the point is, it doesn’t matter to us here. And that is exactly how majority of Europe has responded to the idea of American football in their home. In its final year of existence, NFL Europe averaged only 20,020 attendees per game. And that was with five of the six teams being based only in Germany. Now compare that with the crowd of 74,512 that Super Bowl XLI drew, you can see who cares about football, and who would rather spend their time kicking around a frankfurter.

    My point is short and sweet this week. Don’t take away our game. Would the Tour de France work in New York? No, for two reasons: a) Junkies would take the steroids or whatever the cyclists use before they even reached the concierge at their hotel and b) it’s New York, not France. Keep our championship, and the commercials where they belong.

    Top five things that annoy me in sports this week:

    5. Kobe Bryant. You know what? This isn’t just this week. This has been about every week I have heard a quote from him. Can we send him to London? Please?

    4. Colorado Rockies. We get it, you make a great story. Just lose a little to make whatever series you play in at least watchable?

    3. Dallas Cowboys. See what happens when you play real competition?

    2. Tony Kornheiser. I have officially found someone that annoys me more than John Madden. Kornheiser’s problem is he doesn’t have a video game that makes me support him still having a job.

    1. TBS. Thank God the NL playoffs are over and I don’t have to listen to them anymore. You’re off the hook next week. But only because you’re not broadcasting baseball anymore.

    Eat My Sports: You can’t spell ‘overrated’ without A-Rod

    This was supposed to be his year. The year all of those regular season numbers started showing up when it mattered. The man who owned every month from April through September was finally going to show up in October. Eight days later, Alex Rodriguez and his fellow New York Yankees are finished for the third straight year in the divisional round. No excuses can be made, because, predictably, as soon as the postseason hit, Rodriguez disappeared like a plate of donuts in front of Rosie O’Donnell.

    The regular season numbers are incredible. In his career the man has amassed 518 HR, 1503 RBI and has a lifetime .306 batting average. That’s a pretty good career for most people. And it has led A-Rod (the dumbest nickname in all of sports, when did we stop coming up with cool names and just start calling them by the first letter of their first name and the first three of their last? No sense, it’s dumb.) to be paid over $27 million per season.

    This is where A-Rod … you know what, I’m not calling him that anymore, we’ll call him Alex “The Choke Artist” Rodriguez, you follow? So, The Choke Artist becomes a cheap hooker. One of those ones that wants all the money that the high priced prostitutes ask for, but when it comes down to it, will never do anything to deserve that money, I’m looking at you McBournie. (Side Note: That’s right kids, I’ve brought up hookers in two straight columns. Can he make it three in a row? Tune in next week!)

    So, we’ve established pay and regular season prowess, now, let’s delve into why Rodriguez has proved once again that those “overrated” jeers he hears across the country are validated. Discounting the 1995 postseason with Seattle where he only had two hitless at bats, in two playoff appearances with Seattle in 1997 and 2000, Rodriguez batted .352, with three HR and eight RBI in 13 games. He kept that up in the 2004 divisional round with the Yankees, batting .421, with one HR and three RBI.

    Then The Choke Artist appeared, and has been haunting Yankee baseball since. In four series since then, in 75 at bats Rodriguez has an average of .200, with three HR and six RBI in 20 games. The staggering statistic is that Rodriguez had no HR or RBI from the 2004 ALCS until last night’s Game 4 against the Cleveland Indians.

    The point of all this is high-priced athletes, and especially those that are deemed the best in the game, deliver championships, and they produce in the postseason. Michael “Don’t Call Me Space Jam” Jordan at the end of his tenure with the Chicago Bulls was making $25 million per season. However, the man brought home titles in six of his last seven years with the Bulls, and was the Finals MVP in all of them. For $27 million, Rodriguez should be hoisting up the World Series MVP trophy and be busy curing cancer.

    Maybe some people can’t handle the spotlight, maybe some people care more about their image than the game. The Choke Artist is just consistently proving that you can count on three things in life: death, taxes and another abysmal playoff performance from Alex Rodriguez.

    Top Five things that annoy me in sports this week:

    5. Three-hundred plus pound defensive tackles whining about being blocked below the knees. Honestly Travis Johnson, what did you want Trent Green to do, pancake block you?

    4. Steroids. Congratulations Marion Jones, you confirmed what the world already suspected. Bring down Bonds and I’ll start paying attention again.

    3. Yankee apologists
    . You guys just don’t get it do you? This team cannot produce when it matters. Develop a farm system, stop buying retirees.

    2.TBS baseball announcers.
    Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripken Jr., Frank Thomas and Chip Caray make me want to eat a delicious helping of lead-based paint rather than listen to one more segment.

    1. NFL fans that tuck their jerseys into their pants.
    I know this isn’t REALLY sports related, but it looks absolutely ridiculous.

    Eat My Sports: Fantasy football

    Let me preface this entire column by stating for the record that I cannot stand Tom Brady. He’s a pretty boy who works for a cheating organization, and spends more time on the cover of men’s health magazines and in gossip columns than he does reading a play book.

    But good God do I love Tom Brady the fantasy player. And yes, I realize that after calling him a pretty boy, calling him a “fantasy player” doesn’t exactly sound too heterosexual, but those involved in fantasy football get the point.

    Any one out there play fantasy football? The answer I know is a resounding yes. Millions of Americans have been suckered into this system where we are forced to care about players based on there statistics. People even put players on their rosters that are on their most hated rivals. Why? Because you want to prove to your friends that you know more about pro football than they do. Bragging rights, and a nice cash pool at the end also make for a nice incentive.

    Me, I had never played before this season. Never understood the concept or system. Now, I’m so submerged in the thing, that I actually paid $10 for a stat tracking system that follows my players’ point totals. That folks, is asinine. Ten dollars could get Eddie Murphy a transvestite. As I was saying though, I’m so into it now, that it actually looks like a worthwhile purchase. The stat tracker, not the transvestites. Though fellow Guy Rick Snee might argue otherwise.

    My problem with it though, is it is forcing fans to become sellouts. Vikings fans who have Brett Favre in their league, Cowboys fans with Santana Moss, anyone involved in the first two Spider-Man movies ACTUALLY endorsing the third as a good film … sorry, I needed to take a shot at that movie somehow. Sam Raimi, you owe me. My point though is that this system is forcing people to give a crap about people like the Atlanta Falcons backup running back Jerious Norwood, solely for the purpose that if Warrick Dunn gets injured, they have a chance of having a fantasy sleeper impact player.

    Me, I’m a Steelers fan. I’ve watched painfully through the years as Tom Brady and his group of goody two shoes teammates crush two of our Super Bowl contending teams. Just for the record Pats fans, Tom Brady is not God, and he did not win you those Super Bowls, Adam Vinatieri did. Now he’s winning them in Indianapolis, this is not coincidence like your grandfather’s “cough medicine” that smells strangely like John Daniel’s. Further side note: Yes, I can call him John.

    Through unfortunate circumstances, when it came time for me to pick my fantasy quarterback this year, those dreamy eyes looked up and said “pick me, Bryan, pick me.” As much as I loathe the man, Tom Brady became my fantasy … quarterback. Now, four weeks into the season, Tom Brady is the ONLY reason I have managed to obtain a .500 record due to his 120.32 points he’s earned me. To put that in perspective folks, my point total as of right now is 478.32. I feel dirty and cheap, but so goooooood because I’m winning. I guess I feel like the Patriots’ camera crew. Bazing!

    Eat My Sports: The bay of youth

    Some cheese, like fine wines, only gets better with age. It may stink to high heaven and make you wonder why in God’s name you are putting up with something smelling as atrocious as Jodie Foster in Contact, but at some point, it gets better. Except for Foster, you peaked in Silence of the Lambs, move on.

    Maybe beyond the cheese though, it’s something that gets into us. The high stinky cheese is the nastiest pitch in baseball, thank you The Sandlot. When you’re at the top, you’re The Big Cheese. Or, if you’re like Chester Cheetah, cheese is your business, and you OWN it.

    This past Sunday I was at one of the local watering holes in my hometown to watch some football with one of my buddies. This was one of the fortunate instances where the bar I was at had any game you wanted to watch. So, needless to say, there was quite the melting pot (no cheese pun intended, I swear) of NFL fans there, I even sat next to a guy who was wearing a denim long-sleeved Kansas City Chiefs shirt, yes, even I was surprised they made those. Those were probably leftovers from the remaining KC fans from the 80s. This shirt is so old that I literally couldn’t even find a picture of it online, but I digress.

    As I was perusing the games, I caught Donovan McNabb torching a Detroit secondary that looked more like they needed to be in a powder puff football league, or swiss cheese. I saw Tom Brady and Randy Moss hooking up more times than (insert “Paris Hilton and …” joke here). Then I saw Brett “Yeah, maybe I should retire, but …” Favre.

    There was Brett Favre toying around with the San Diego defense like he was almost daring them to make him throw. He was playing reckless, yet poised, a la Jack Nicholson in The Shining, except way less creepy and a bit more hair. Yet still looking like a madman who will kill you at any given moment while asking an imaginary bartender for some booze. Sadly, or maybe poetically, the San Diego Chargers were the wife and child that couldn’t escape. Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere’s Brett!!!!!!

    This was the guy who was supposed to be creeping up to the line of scrimmage with a walker. The washed up quarterback, whose pronunciation of his last name STILL makes no sense was supposed to on his way back to Mississippi and moving from those Wrangler commercials to something like Centrum Silver. Instead he’s the guy that’s going shred Dan “Einhorn is Finkle” Marino’s last remaining passing records.

    Now he’s back and punishing even some of the most daunting defenses in the NFL. What sense does this make? None. There must be something in the cheese in Green Bay, because Brett Favre is playing out of his mind. It’s definitely not steroids, for Favre looks just about the same (minus the gray hair) than he did when he came in the league, and his helmet hasn’t expanded for no reason, Barry. Side question here: are there any gray cheeses? Someone please let us know.

    Favre has found the fountain of youth in the NFL that seems to elude most players way past their prime. Look at Emmit Smith in an Arizona Cardinals jersey (melting cheese), or Jerry Rice stumbling his way in Seattle (wet cheese). The man is the William Shatner of the NFL, making his career end in a way he wants to, instead of in a punch line. Though Shatner is a punch line, the reference made sense, so I’m sticking to it. Deal with it.

    The point of all this, if you’re finding yourself losing the touch on something you once handled. Order some cheese from Green Bay, no matter how your last name is pronounced.

    Eat My Sports: Red Sox and Yankees

    Hello, everybody and welcome to the latest SG weekly feature, Eat My Sports. The time has come to inject our little website with some balls! Or … sports that involve them.

    This past weekend featured the greatest event in all of sports. No, I’m not talking about playing knife wars with Lindsay Lohan, or let’s see how I can get arrested this time with O.J. Simpson. Folks, we are talking about the quintessential moment in the sporting world: Red Sox and Yankees.

    As an avid Red Sox fan, through the years I have been a bit biased towards this rivalry. After all, these are the brooding bloods that brought us Pedro Martinez taking down billion year old Don Zimmer and the greatest comeback in professional sports history. However, after looking at it from a few different angles, the fact of the matter is that nothing quite matches up to when these two teams square off. Cowboys, Redskins, Lakers and Red Wings fans argue all you want, but when these two play, it’s for blood. No other teams in the sporting world, or fan nation for that matter, can honestly hate and despise someone for simply donning the opposing team’s logo. In this world though, it means battle lines are drawn.

    This weekend’s three game set at Fenway Park proved to be nothing different than what we have come to expect when Boston and New York collide. I mean did anyone see the way Boston’s Eric Hinske barreled into Jorge Posada on Saturday’s day game? Clearly thrown out, Hinske went after Posada and tried to take him out a la the way MTV went after Britney at the VMAs. Come on, seriously, Eric Hinske? This isn’t Manny, Varitek or Papi, this is Eric freaking Hinske, and even he wants to do some bruising. Hate runs deep in this game my friends, even down to little used players like Eric Hinske. Did I mention Eric Hinske? You got your 15 minutes buddy, now bring back Manny, someone has to use left field as a latrine.

    One of the moments that solidified this as its own entity within the sporting realm was this moment for me. This past Saturday I was on my way to work out at the American Family I belong to. No, I don’t have a family, but I am American, so that entitles at least half of me to be there. When I went to the side of the gym I normally work out on, I noticed none of the televisions had my beloved Sox on. I politely asked one of the employees to change the channel. Given that no one was watching anything over there, and I’m sure no one cared to have Florida pulling away drastically from Tennessee on, they happily obliged. (And by happily obliged, I mean when I said, “Red Sox and Yankees,” the woman stopped what she was doing, put her arm around me and said, “darling, you don’t need to say anything else.”)

    The Sox were starting to pull away. I mean when J.D. Drew and Coco Crisp are destroying your starting pitching like Rosie O’Donnell at a buffet, the game is pretty much done. But as I went about my normal routine of water aerobics and pilates (us here at SG only do the manliest of workouts), I noticed that steadily, people were coming over to watch the game. They definitely weren’t watching Notre Dame getting waxed 38-0 by Michigan. (Side note: ND, if your team hasn’t scored an offensive touchdown in three weeks, please cancel your television deal and forfeit the rest of your games, seriously. And to Michigan, when you’re using “Cinderella Man” as your team’s motivational film, no wonder Appalachian State handed it to you.) AF employees, people just going about their workout, a little bit of everyone came over to watch the Sox and Yanks. By the time everyone came over who that could, it totaled about twelve strong. Now, this may not seem like much, but on Saturdays gyms have the life of a K-Fed album release party, so this brought roughly half of the people there over. Kid you not, these people did not move for the entire hour I was there.

    Now, I am positive that not all of these people were supporters of either team, but I’ve noticed that baseball fans, or just people in general take exception to when it is Red Sox and Yankees. They may even despise one or both of the franchises. But the fact remains that something pulls people to watch these games whenever they are on. Something special may happen, or A-Rod might get drilled with a 90 mph fastball from Curt “I swear I’m dieting” Schilling. And for those of us that are emotionally attached, forget whatever is going on, forget it all. Because for us, nothing, and I mean NOTHING else matters. Even when the stakes are high, or both teams are out of contention, the fact remains that Red Sox versus Yankees matters, no matter how much you love or hate it.

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