Sports thoughts for the fan and anti-fan


Some stolen, some original but I endorse them all

“The Big 10 plus 1”
1. MLB and the players’ union agreed this week on a much tougher drug policy, which not only stiffens the penalties for steroid use but also bans amphetamines for the first time. Many see the ban on uppers as the real breakthrough. Indeed, it’s about time baseball slowed its unnaturally helter-skelter pace.

2. I think I think USC will be Pittsnogled by Texas in the Rose Bowl.

3. Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez edged Red Sox DH David Ortiz for the AL MVP award in voting announced on Monday. A-Rod said that he’d happily trade the MVP trophy for Ortiz’s 2004 World Series title — if only he hadn’t already lost it when an opponent back-doored a flush on the river.

4. Former Red Sox pitcher Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd turned himself in to federal agents on Monday to face charges that he threatened a former girlfriend over the phone. Of course, there’s two sides to every story. Boyd’s version is that gold-digging women have been all over him lately given the skyrocketing value of oil.

5. Japan’s Sapporo Breweries will honor manager Bobby Valentine by issuing BoBeer, a special version of its Black Label lager, to commemorate the Chiba Lotte Marines’ first title in 31 years. For verisimilitude’s sake, BoBeer drinkers will quickly become convinced they’re smarter than everyone else in the room.

6. Vikings coach Mike Tice says that the knee injury he suffered when Giants special-teamer Jamaar Taylor crashed into him during a punt return on Sunday won’t keep him from the sidelines. Tice will still coach even if he is unable to walk. But on the bright side, such an immobilization would allow Tice to take up gum-chewing again.

7. The New York Landmarks Preservations Commission has declared that Yankee Stadium holds “no architectural significance.” The team now regrets turning down the legendary Frank Lloyd Wright as the Stadium’s architect in favor of boozy skirt-chaser Babe Ruth.

8. Rant Alert: Poems by J.J. Reddick do as much for Duke Academics as this guy does for Christianity.

9. Warning Explicit Content: Here’s a photo of the worst sports injury I’ve seen in a while. And it’s the main reason LSU will be playing in the SEC Championship game

10. Here’s who to watch this college basketball season. Now wake me when its March.

Plus 1. Attempting to set a Guinness record for most falling dominoes doesn’t generally devolve into bloodshed. Well, try telling that to an unfortunate swallow in the Netherlands. About 100 people at the Dutch TV company Endemol have spent about a month at an exposition center trying to set up some four million dominoes (the record is 3,992,397). Somehow on Monday, the sparrow — which is on the national endangered list — flew into the hall and knocked over about 23,000 dominoes. The bird was chased into a corner and shot with an air rifle. Now protestors are decrying the killing in what sounds like a Curb Your Enthusiasm plotline rejected for being too outlandish.

My final thought
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire opens tomorrow in theaters. Upon hearing that, many of you may have had my reaction: Who cares?

I really do not understand the social infatuation with the Harry Potter books and films. It’s one thing for children to be attracted to the storylines in these films–since the films are about children–but I find it a little strange when adults are so captivated by fantasy worlds full of magic wands and pre-adolescent-heroes.

Along those lines, I remember really liking the film The Never Ending Story when I was about 7 years old. But then again, I was about 7 years old.

So how does any of this relate to sports? Well, without any empirical evidence, I suspect that a number of adult Harry Potter fans are the very same persons who find sports to be frivolous, and they are the very same persons who regard adult sports fans as juvenile and sophomoric, even unsophisticated.

But really, is it less mature to seriously follow the plight of an actual team, which plays actual, organized sporting events–featuring real persons doing real things–or to seriously follow the plight of fantasy characters who are very young and have magical powers?



5 Responses to “Sports thoughts for the fan and anti-fan”

  1. Al Sturgeon Says:

    Great stuff, Coolhand!

    Of course I had to look at the sports injury, even though I’m now traumatized. Further proof that warning labels don’t work.

    I’d be interested in Mikey’s reaction to the Harry Potter theory. I did read the first book, mostly against my own desires, but I found it to be good. I bought the next three in paperback, but I’ve never made it around to reading them. Good story, that first one, though.

  2. Coolhand Says:

    Rome had a pretty hilarious take on the dominoes stacking guys.

    I’m actually one of the rare cross-over artists who will watch the same sportscenter episode three times consecutively and then go see Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings on opening night. I guess I’m an equal opportunity escapist.

  3. Joe Longhorn Says:

    Pittsnogled – I love it! My new favorite word.

    Overall great stuff!

    Did anyone else notice which school had two in the top 5 of the mock NBA draft? Heh.

    What’s the last time a school held the NC in baseball, football, and basketball at the same time?

    Oh… and the Prothro injury. Ugh. I’m sure that image haunts Shula every night. Why was he even in the game? They were already pittsnogling Florida!

  4. Michael Lasley Says:

    I don’t really have much to offer on why Harry Potter is such a phenomenon, Al. Like Coolhand, I am addicted to sports and Harry Potter — read all the books and seen the movies multiple times. Part of the attraction is probably the way Rowling draws on a lot of Western myths and other young adult literature (like Tolkien). So in some ways, the Harry Potter books are a retelling of stories that we grew up loving and thinking are important for whatever reason (also, some of the myths Rowling draws on are adult myths, not bedtime stories). Plus, they are well-written. I like Dejonn’s comparison between sports and wizards. Most of us will never be athletes or have magical powers. So it’s fun to escape into those worlds for a while. But none of that explains why Harry Potter is *so* popular. And none of that explains why some would mock sports fans and then have the same type of passion for fictional characters. If that is the case.

  5. Brandon Says:


    Yes, I am a Harry Potter fan. But thanks for the college basketball comment.

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