Needing To Get Back In A Groove

Notre Dame won the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament yesterday on a buzzer-beater but that is only the second-biggest event of the tournament.  For the second year in a row, UConn lost in the semi-final round.  Last year they lost to Mississippi St.; this year they lost to Notre Dame; last year Mississippi St. won it all; this year Notre Dame won it all.  I think there are two take-aways from all of this:

  1. UConn is relevant to the determination of the tournament champion win or lose.
  2. Would any UConn booster dare to try to suggest that Geno Auriemma hasn’t done much for the women’s basketball program lately?

I mention that obviously stupid question about Geno Auriemma for a reason; it seems that in the mind of one reader here I am losing my “curmudgeon credibility”.  In an e-mail on Saturday a good friend took me to task saying:

“OK, so you told us about all the sports stuff you want to bring back from the nostalgic past.  The old Sports Curmudgeon I remember would have turned that around and given me a list of the things that he wanted to see killed off …  You’re losing your edge in your old age.”

Challenge accepted.  Here are a few things related to sports in 2018 that I would like to see curtailed and/or eliminated posthaste:

  • All-Star Games of all kinds:  An ancillary benefit to the demise of these nonsensical exhibitions would be the simultaneous cessation of things like the Home Run Derby and the Slam Dunk Contest.
  • Thursday Night Football:  Who cares?  Players hate it; I can’t believe that coaches like it.  It is not much more than a blatant cash-grab.
  • NCAA Tournament play-in games:  Other than blood relatives of players or coaches in those games, do you know anyone who really gives a rat’s ass about any of them?
  • The Ceremonial First Pitch:  This has gotten totally out of hand.  They even do this at the AA level in minor league baseball.  What’s next?  Ceremonial first pitches at Little League games?  Puh-leeez …
  • Two NFL Pretend Games:  Err, I mean Exhibition Games.  Err, I mean Pre-Season Games…
  • Overtime Losses in the NHL:  Why is losing in overtime rewarded but losing in regulation time is not rewarded?  Makes no sense.  It also makes reading the NHL standings and figuring out the point totals sufficiently complicated that IBM’s Watson takes an hour to figure it out.
  • In-game Chats with MLB Managers from the dugout:  Whoever thought this up should be drawn and quartered.  Whoever decided to perpetuate this should be boiled in oil.

Hopefully, that list will suffice for now and give me back some of the “edge” that I had lost.

Speaking of things “going away”, Dan Patrick will be leaving Sunday Night Football as the studio host.  He had been doing that job for 10 years and NBC offered him a 5-year contract extension/renewal, but he decided not to go with it.  What he said was that he just was not sure he wanted to sign up for that long a commitment to that gig.  After Mike Tirico’s performance as the studio host for the Winter Olympic Games about a month ago, I would not be surprised to see an announcement from the suits at NBC that Tirico will be Dan Patrick’s replacement.

Finally, here is another definition from The Official Dictionary of Sarcasm:

Amateur:  A beginner or aspirant in a given field; a non-professional as distinct from a practicing professional – except in the field of pornography in which no such distinctions are necessary or even pertinent.”

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