I Just Don’t Care…

I keep a running list of things that are annoying, overblown, or perhaps simply irrelevant that keep coming up in the sports world. When that list gets to a point that it provides sufficient material to fill a rant, I run through the inventory and start a new list. As you probably have guessed, my list runneth over…

I just don’t care about the debates surrounding the NFL’s overtime rules. They have been in place for at least 30 years now – - I think the league adopted the regular season sudden death rule in the mid-70s – - and all of the arguments pro and con for this rather simplistic rule have already been made. Until someone comes up with a new argument, the debates are tired and threadbare. Enough already…

I just don’t care about any debate regarding who was the “greatest ever”. These arguments are bad enough when comparing apples to apples such as Wilt vs. Russell or Magic vs. Bird and then how any of those guys might compare to Michael Jordan. However, folks who are attracted to this kind of debate – - sports radio talkers with lots of time to kill, for example – - often take the debate from the stage of merely annoying all the way out there to mindblowingly silly. Who was better, Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods? Puhleez. Why not add Luciano Pavarotti to the mix and make it completely stupid? Enough already…

I just don’t care about any discussion of a coach or player in terms of his/her “legacy to the game”. Fans remember great players and coaches when they are no longer playing or coaching; that is what fans do. The number of players/coaches who actually handed down something to the game that was a lasting change can usually be counted on a single hand. Enough already…

I just don’t care about sideline reporters and the in-game interviews that they foist upon viewers. Asking a coach about what the team needs to do in the second half as the coach is running onto or off the field at halftime can only produce one realistic answer, “We have to score points and we have to stop them from scoring points.” Asking a player how he feels after he just scored a winning TD or after he just missed a free throw to tie a game and send into overtime cannot produce a wide spectrum of responses. In addition, I am certain that the fate of civilization as we know it does not dangle on the thread of insights we might get from an in-game interview of a parent/guardian of a game participant or from some celebrity whose opinions on a sporting event are as meaningful as a dissertation on the historical significance of cottage cheese – small curd. Enough already…

I just don’t care about polls for college or high school sports. It is clear that the poll voters are either not fully informed to cast meaningful votes and/or they have personal agendas that they are pushing with their votes. All polls should be expunged from our existence. Having said that, can you imagine just how idiotic I think any of the pre-season polls might be given that the uninformed and/or biased voters are basing their votes on exactly zero actual performance measures? Enough already…

I just don’t care about any college bowl game played before December 30. Not a single one of them has any importance at all. In a good season, two of that mélange of games will represent an interesting match-up and only one will actually be a good game to watch. Enough already… [For the sake of clarity, the paragraph above should not lead anyone to believe that I think all the college bowl games played after December 30 are important and worthy of attention. That is not the case; some of those games are truly stupid too.]

I just don’t care about the NIT and/or any of the other nonsensical college basketball post-season tournaments that have sprung up in the past couple of years. There are 65 teams in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. In truth, 50 of those teams really have no shot of winning the tournament, but they are there to fill out the brackets and make that tournament the best three-week sporting event in the world. All the other tournaments feature games between break-even teams, which would be anti-climactic and boring if held during the regular season when winning and losing might actually matter with regard to getting into the “real tournament.” Enough already…

I just don’t care about televising games from the Little League World Series except for the final three games. Now we are watching games from regional tournaments to see which teams will go to Williamsport for the World Series Tournament. If this goes any further, ESPN will have to spin off another network just to cover sports for kids under the age of 15. Enough already…

I just don’t care about competitive eating events. Gluttony is one of the Seven Deadly Sins; it is not a spectator sport. Have you noticed that the writers and broadcasters who moan about the “message we send to children” when discussing things like steroids do not moan equally loudly about the Nathan’s Fourth of July Face-Stuffing Fest? Enough already… [For the sake of clarity, I do like however, the statement of a basic rule for Philadelphia’s Wing Bowl gluttony extravaganza, “You heave; you leave.]

I just don’t care for MMA/UFC. To me, it seems like the WWE with real blood; far too much hype for the entertainment value presented by the events themselves. Enough already…

I just don’t care for calling any fans of any team a “Nation”. It may have been cute the first time the phrase was coined; now it is trite beyond description. Oh, and of course all of the putative citizens of any nation must wear team gear to any games so that they can be shown on TV as a horde of raving maniacs. I don’t call those folks a “nation”; I call them a group of posers and wannabes who cannot wear those jerseys for real but get their jollies from screaming in front of a TV camera while wearing them. Enough already…

Finally, I just don’t care about Danica Patrick – - unless of course she wins another race or two which is what she is supposed to do as an Indy car driver. As of this writing, she has won precisely one Indy car race (last year) in her five years as a professional driver. It seems to me that the only thing she does well is to maintain her celebrity status – - sort of like Paris Hilton. Enough already…

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…

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Comments

  • Peter  On August 31, 2009 at 11:39 am

    “Greatest ever” comparisons between athletes in different sports don’t bother me so long as the question is which athlete more clearly dominated his sport. For instance, is Tiger’s current domination of the PGA greater than Michael Jordan’s domination of the NBA during his heyday. I find that a legitimate and interesting subject of inquiry. Other “greatest ever” discussions are fairly pointless, however.

  • Tony  On August 31, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Comments on a few of your selections:

    -You mentioned both high school and college polls. College at least makes some sense (there’s plenty of footage available from every I-A school), but how the devil do you rank a top 25 out of thousands of high schools across the country?

    -I actually enjoy the pre-Dec 30 bowl games – but then, I find a game even between two mediocre teams that I don’t care about to be more entertaining than most of the crap they put on TV. Sure, it’s meaningless, but it’s fun.

    -Ask me if I’d rather see my team win the NIT or get bounced from the first round of the NCAA, and I’ll tell you an NIT win is better. At least you finish on a high note. So it’s not completely useless.

  • Ed  On August 31, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    I kinda like ONE eating contest – Nathan’s hot dog. Almost 100 years old, supposedly started by a couple of immigrants claiming to show patriotism to their new country by eating a quintessentially American food at another immigrant’s hot dog stand at the beach on the 4th of July…

    Move it off 7/4 or from Coney Island, it loses appeal.

    Though 60-odd hot dogs…. bizarre..

  • The Sports Curmudgeon  On August 31, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    Peter:

    As you framed the comparison, I find it less offensive than the more typical ruminations on who was the better athlete or the better guy under pressure or … Havint said that, I still don’t care very much about that kind of discussion.

    Tony:

    If I thought even for a millisecond that the voters might have spent even a few minutes looking at the widely available tapes of college games, the polls might be less offensive. However, we know coaches do not take the time away from their own coaching duties to look at all those “extraneous tapes” and neither do sports writers.

    By the week after Christmas, I have seen a sufficient number of meaningless NCAA football games and that is why I just don’t care about any of the minor bowl games.

    It seems to me that you are carrying a lot of “overhead” for the other teams in the NIT – the ones that don’t win – in order for one team and its fans to feel good. More than likely, an NIT will will make a team close to .500 in the regular season into a team with a 22-16 record. Meh!

    Ed:

    It may have been interesting when Nathan’s first started the contest but now it is fundamentally the same thing year over year. I do not find it difficult to ignore it.

  • Andrew Machado  On September 2, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    I loved the article except you say you didnt dig the UFC. Your content is awesome, how come you don’t insert any pictures or install something like Apture on here.

    Danica reminds me of Anna K, all looks no talent.

    Andrew
    drew@apture.com

  • The Sports Curmudgeon  On September 8, 2009 at 10:06 am

    Andrew Machado:

    Welcome and thank you for the kind words.

    At least Danica actually won a championship in her sport once. Anna K never did win a recognizable pro tournament.

    Sorry, I am just not into UFC/MMA. I have tried to watch it a few times. Given how much time is spent getting fighters to the ring and introduced as compared to the time spent actually competing, it just reminds me of pro ‘rassling – - something else I just don’t care about.

    I don’t insert pictures because my #2 son once showed me how to do that but I didn’t do it soon enough to remember how to do it. I am NOT one who communes with computers very well. Maybe I’ll get him to show me how to do that again…

    I don’t install Apture on the site for the simplest reason of all. I have no idea what Apture is.

    Again, welcome aboard…

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