Lots of folks have spoken and written fondly about the Wimbledon tennis match where the fifth set ended with a score of 70-68 and took three days to complete. Imagine however that you are an executive for one of the companies with the rights to televise the Wimbledon Finals. Now imagine that the 70-68 set happened in the fifth set of those Finals… No matter what you decide to do, someone is not going to be happy about it.
Alternatively, imagine that the 70-68 set went down as the first set of the Finals – - leaving up to 4 more sets to play with unknown durations for each of the upcoming sets…
While you are in the mode of playing imagination games, pretend that you were a serious college student who graduated from a prestigious institution of higher learning with honors. Then you went on to law school and wrote for the law review. After some time practicing law successfully, you find yourself on the bench as a judge charged with assuring that every citizen has the full protection of the law and every citizen’s rights are maintained with integrity. You worked hard and long to get to this point in your life – - and then…
You draw the short straw and get to listen to a case (such as the current one in Connecticut) where the issue at hand is whether or not cheerleading is a competitive sport.
What might go through your mind as you listen to the curricula vitarum of folks who will testify as “expert witnesses” on that subject?
Would just a small part of you want to find a way for both sides to lose this case?
Or is it just me…?
Last week, a market research firm took a poll for Forbes seeking to identify the most disliked sports figures. I am sure that this is important information for someone somewhere. Topping the list is Michael Vick – - and that poll was taken before the incident at Michael Vick’s birthday party where gunfire broke out. I know; I was stunned to learn that fact too. Tiger Woods and Ben Roethlisberger find themselves in the “Top Five” most disliked sports folks at the moment; there is no great shock value there. However, the other two members of the “Top Five Most Disliked Sports Figures” did surprise me:
If I had to list the major sports owners that I dislike most, I would have at least a half dozen folks on the list before I even began to consider putting either of those men on the list. By the way, Barry Bonds was nowhere to be found in the Top 10 list here, which I interpret to mean that most of the poll respondents no longer consider him a “Sports Figure”.
The Tour de France is set to begin soon and Lance Armstrong will race. Greg Cote of the Miami Herald put that fact into perspective:
“Lance Armstrong confirmed he would race in next week’s Tour de France. Lance has become Danica Patrick, by which I mean he won’t win but will still hog the most attention.”
Here is an item from Dwight Perry’s Sideline Chatter column in the Seattle Times. It is rather well self-contained:
“What, the headline ‘Woman in sumo wrestler suit assaulted her ex-girlfriend in gay pub’ didn’t provide enough information?
“Explained Andrew Phelan of Dublin’s www.Herald.ie: ‘The row developed as the victim tried to wave at a man dressed as a Snickers bar, the court heard.’
According to an AP report, Jacques Rogge – - President of the International Olympic Committee – - is worried about gambling and match fixing. According to Rogge, the various sports federations around the world need to work together to uncover fixed sporting events and attempted betting coups. He said that the IOC had no evidence that there was any hanky-panky going on during the Beijing games, but he does worry about gamblers who might focus on future Olympic Games.
According to Rogge, betting scams – - the AP’s word, not mine – - are the second biggest threat to the integrity of sports behind doping. Rogge would not be happy with the NCAA on this point because the NCAA seems not to give a fig about doping but goes catatonic every time someone discovers that their student-athletes are involved in point shaving or game fixing. The NCAA never discovers it; others need to bring it to their attention and then they go catatonic…
I must have missed the wagering opportunities on Greco-Roman wrestling and rhythmic gymnastics in the 2008 games. I will have to look more diligently for such lines during the 2012 games in Rio.
With all of the “one-and-done players” cycling through the University of Kentucky, why not simply put the Wildcats in the NBA D-League and get rid of the charade? In actuality, the team is a semi-pro team and the NBA D-League is a semi-pro league. Seems like a natural combination to me…
Finally, one more item from Dwight Perry in the Seattle Times:
“Discuss among yourselves, World Cup rivals: What’s your favorite undressing, French or Italian?”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…