The Weird, Wild World of Sports

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:

4 Responses to “The Weird, Wild World of Sports”

  1. cecil vortex Says:

    batty batty batty!

  2. The Old Man in KS Says:

    First, I must admit, I am only a playoff season sports fan. I pretty much ignore the regular season, but watch the playoffs if a team I want to root for is involved. So as a native Philadelphian, I’ve enjoyed watching the Phillies so far (they won last night, so the series currently stands at 3-2 favor the Damn Yankees).

    From watching during the playoff season I’ve become convinced that the time has come for baseball to embrace technology. When TV replays reveal not only frequent bad calls on the field, but highly subjective and inaccurate calls on balls & strikes, it’s time to get rid of human umpires entirely.

    It’s time for computer technology coupled with multi-angle video to make all the calls in real time. In a nanosecond we’d have accurate & consistent application of the strike zone, and who or what got somewhere first. No longer would I have to feel bad because my team won a game due to a bad call by human umpires.

  3. bill Says:

    You may be right, but as the nation’s pastoral pastime, baseball has been the slowest of all the sports to embrace technology. (Football is the technological game; remember your George Carlin?) Some would argue that the human “fuzz factor” is part of the game, and that once you eliminate that, you might as well replace the players with robots too.

    Come to think of it, that could be the answer to the NFL’s problems: robots. At some point in the next few decades, we replace the human players with programmed simulacra of the 40 best players in each franchise’s history, creating a kind of meta-football.

  4. Jim Says:

    How are your nuts?

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