The Weird, Wild World of Sports

Posted in The sporting life on November 2nd, 2009 by bill

Some strange events transpired in the sports world over the weekend. For instance:

  • The Phillies lost Games 3 and 4 of the World Series to the Damned Yankees, a fact which I am going to disingenuously attribute to the momentum swing caused by the first instant-replay overrule in baseball history. In case you missed it, the Phils were leading in Game 3 with Alex Rodriguez at the plate and a runner on. Rodriguez crushed a ball to right field that appeared to bounce off the top of the fence for a double. The replay revealed, however, that the ball had actually hit a camera which sat at the front of the stands, just behind the fence. After reviewing the play the umpires awarded Rodriguez a home run—correctly, I’m sad to say—and it’s all been downhill from there. But think about this incident for a second: This was the very first time baseball’s replay had been used to overturn a call. And it came on a play where the ball hit a camera. In effect, the cameras canceled each other out. What are the odds of that? And is it irony or the opposite of irony? I’m too aggravated by the whole thing to take time to figure it out.
  • On the football side, people played 11 pro games, hundreds of college games, and countless high school games, despite mounting evidence that playing football is really, really, really bad for you. Here is a link to Malcolm Gladwell’s New Yorker article on football and brain damage, which is a must-read.
  • Speaking of damage to important organs, while playing basketball yesterday, I got kneed in the nuts really hard. They’re still a little sore, actually. I’m sure you wanted to know that.
  • Finally, in a game between the Spurs and the Kings which I believe took place on Halloween, Manu Ginobili swatted a bat out of midair. I feel bad for the bat, but it is a remarkable display of Argentinian Kung Fu. Let’s go to the video tape: