Greetings friends & fellow sports fans. I have a few things I have to get off my chest. You know how it is, right?? We just want to sit back, relax, & enjoy the games, but sometimes there are destructive forces that seem to prevent that from happening. It probably has a lot to do with too much media. There are too many opinionated talking heads with too many hours to fill, and a plethora of Internet sites that have to have more content than highlights & box scores. What we end up with is information & analysis overload that is kind of a buzzkill. At any rate, allow me to kvetch a bit and let’s get some feedback going. Your opinions matter too.
Victory!!!! I mentioned in the last edition of W&M that I had turned my back on ESPN’s Colin Cowherd after he’d gone too far with his insufferable assclown shtick and made some disparaging comments about pro wrestling fans. At the time I had somewhat jokingly initiated a #boycottCowherd movement on Twitter, which had prompted a surprisingly vociferous response on both sides of the issue. However, even in the midst of my anger & disdain I said that “I’m not crazy enough to think that one man can take down an entire TV show”. But now…just a few months later…Colin Cowherd is gone from ESPN!! To be fair he had already announced his impending departure from The Mothership in Bristol so he could move on to Fox Sports 1, but he didn’t even get to finish whatever time he had left before ESPN threw him off the air. The funny thing is, after seeing the clip, I almost kinda sorta understand what he was trying to say about Dominicans & baseball and found those remarks much less malicious than what he had said about wrestling fans. I’m no fan of ESPN’s social agenda and I despise political correctness & how so many people are perpetually offended, but I have to say that I am so happy that Cowherd was fired. Agenda issues aside, moving from ESPN to Fox Sports 1 is like trading in a Camaro for a minivan, and it couldn’t have happened to a more spiteful moron than Cowherd.
I’m not trying to be negative, but I also have to express disgust for NASCAR, something I really liked just a few weeks ago. It was certainly below football, baseball, & basketball on my fandom scale, but it was above hockey and in a dead heat with golf. However, after both their “most popular driver” Dale Earnhardt Jr. (who is an insult to his father’s name) and the suit that runs the sport both came out against the Confederate battle flag, thus taking a dump all over the heritage of the very people on whose backs the sport had been built, I decided that I don’t need NASCAR in my life any longer and haven’t watched a race since. NASCAR has grown by leaps & bounds in the past two decades, evolving from a niche “southern” sport to running races in California, Michigan, Kansas, Las Vegas, & New Hampshire, among others. That’s fine. Kudos. But my father taught me to never forget where you come from, and the truth is that NASCAR owes everything to the American South…places like Atlanta, Bristol (TN), Richmond, Darlington (SC), The Carolinas, Talledega (AL), & Daytona. It all started there, and if it wasn’t for those loyal fans there’d be no big money TV contracts, no commercials & other outside opportunities for guys like Dale Jr., & nowhere near the revenue that the business now generates. Shame on you NASCAR!! Shame on you for turning your backs on the people that allowed you to become what you are. Shame on you for kneeling & bowing to political correctness. The funny thing is, the powers that be haven’t had the cahonas (thus far) to outright ban the flag, and from what I understand fans have continued to defiantly show up to the tracks flying it proudly. Good for them. As for anyone else who remains a fan, I won’t discourage your continued interest. It’s a free country (for now) and you have the right to spend your time & discretionary income any way you wish, but I’m out. I just can’t support blatant hypocrisy.
I had an opportunity a few weeks ago to finally attend my first game at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. The circumstances weren’t ideal (it’s a long story) so I didn’t have time to explore like I wanted, but it is a beautiful stadium. The game I was at went 14 innings and the Pirates thankfully pulled off a dramatic victory, which was super cool. Anyone in that area who has even a mild interest in baseball or are just looking for a fun evening should check the place out. However, I must say that, for the most part, I think I am just as satisfied to stay home and watch games on TV. I’m a fervent homebody, and kind of like having commentary, replay, & my own (cheap) food to eat.
Even as an ardent Tom Brady/New England Patriots hater I am as sick as everyone else of hearing about DeflateGate. For the first time EVER I have to give a tip of the ol’ cap to NFL Commissioner Fidel Goodell for upholding Brady’s original 4 game suspension. It says all one needs to know about Brady that, unlike every other NFL player that gets suspended then appeals that suspension before ultimately taking their punishment like a man, The Golden Boy is apparently going to take this thing to court like the entitled diva that he is. I must admit that the dark side of me (we all have one) wouldn’t mind seeing Brady get to play in the first game of the season against my Pittsburgh Steelers so their defense might have the opportunity to sideline his whiny ass for longer than four games.
Yeah…I just went there!!
I am fully aware that pro wrestling isn’t an actual sport (we’re not as dumb as Cowherd thinks we are), so this probably doesn’t quite fit here, but…..
As a fan of Hulk Hogan since childhood I was disappointed to hear his racist remarks that recently became fodder for public discourse. I’ve known for awhile that the character Hogan played while WWF champion in the 80’s wasn’t a true reflection of the real man, aka Terry Bollea. The fact that he’s kind of a jackwagon isn’t all that shocking. That being said, I disagree with WWE cleansing him from their history. As with the Confederate flag issue, I find it disturbing to just erase the past as if it never happened. WWE doesn’t want Hogan to appear anymore on their TV shows?? Fine. That’s understandable and a wise business decision. Hogan can’t wrestle anymore anyway…he’s got more artificial parts than one of his action figures. Fans have moved on. But the fact is that Hulk Hogan is a huge reason why professional wrestling became so popular 30 years ago and retains atleast some of that popularity today. There are, of course, other legends that helped build the business. Bruno Sammartino & Andre the Giant preceded Hogan. Ric Flair was Hogan’s peer in the 1980’s. Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The Rock, The Undertaker, & John Cena were successors to Hogan’s throne. However, it is Hulk Hogan that was & is the cornerstone of the industry. He obviously has no future with WWE or any other company, and that is his own fault. The past though should be left alone.