Today I checked my mail and saw a Sports Illustrated with Alabama’s Colin Peek on the cover (Dec 14, 2009). As I normally do, I turned to the Point After column on the back page. Chris Ballard wrote this weeks piece, entitled “So Much Raging Bull”. He started it off with a paragraph about Tiger Woods in which he called B.S. on all those he say they weren’t curious about the Woods saga which has him cheating on his wife with maybe three different women. Blah. At first I found that boring and a waste of space for Point After. But then he used it as a segue to call B.S. on a number of other segments of sports fans. This part I loved. First up? Red Sox Nation! I knew I was going to like this article as soon as he called them out.
You are not a “nation”. You and your fandom and your suffering is no more or less important than anyone else’s. To insinuate so is to insult all of us who passionately follow our teams…
Pure gold! Next he took on self-described experts. Then those soccer fans hailing from America who “follow the Premier League and obsess about the World Cup draw” and then don’t attend MLS games or even tune them in on the tele. (I assume they probably say “tele” since they are so English and chic).
Next was males who praise the WNBA without doing anything to support it and then moneyballers. “Because sports aren’t homework; they’re entertainment.” Then he departed from the fans and moved on to All-Star Games, Thursday Night Football, Gold Glove Awards, The Davis Cup, Phil Jackson, The Chicago Cubs and a couple other things.
One thing he dropped in there that I don’t think is B.S. is intro music for relief pitchers. I mean he had just said that sports in entertainment, so what’s wrong with intro music? It pumps pitchers up, gives us fans something we’re familiar with which we can associate with them and helps turn them into a character instead of just one of 750 Major League Baseball players.
All in all a great read as are most of the Point After columns you’ll find in Sports Illustrated. And I left out enough of it that you should still go find this issue and read the whole thing for yourself.