Monday, April 25, 2011

Sports: Who's In Charge and Why?

I watched some sports this weekend.  Specifically, I watched part of several of the Phillies games and a few minutes here and there of the Flyers games.  The Sixers also played, but I didn't see any of those games.  FYI, that's baseball, hockey and basketball.  I just want us all to be on the same page and to show off a little to you that I know the names and matching sports in my own city.

It's important to wear a suit
when talking about sports
to show you are serious.
I really don't understand sportscasters.  Or maybe it's sports I don't understand.   I thought I did, but apparently it is much more complicated than just playing whatever game you are playing.  You also can't just watch.  It is important to know every detail about the person being discussed in any given play.  And not just sports details.  You need to know everything the player ever did up until this very moment in time.  The sportscasters come up with a lot of filler between actual bits of game information.  They also say a lot of crap that masquerades as game information, but really isn't.

Some examples of the weird way that sports work that I found troubling this weekend:

The Phillies had to pull a pitcher who was doing great because they needed a designated hitter to hit for him.  That meant they had to pull the DH and put in a new pitcher for the next inning.  Pitchers are notoriously bad hitters (so I hear).  Why is this?  Rather than pull pitchers, why not just teach your pitchers to hit better? {Editors note:  Husband brought to my attention that I mean pinch hitter, not designated hitter.  He said designated hitter is something else and only in the American League.  Whatever.  Why can't the pitchers just learn to hit?}

During one play in the outfield, as the fielder is running for the ball and catches it, the sportscaster is saying how he hopes the guy can get the ball all the way in because he is not known for having a strong arm.  What?!  Why would you put a guy who can't throw that far in the outfield where everything he has to throw is far?  How about find a guy with a good arm for out there?

If someone is up at bat, say for the third time, it's great to hear how they did their last turns that game.  Past that, who cares?  There is no reason to tell me how this player did in other games on their third time up at bat as if that will determine how they will do today.  It's sounds scientific and statistical, but it's not.  It's like flipping a coin.  

Stop spitting.  Stop licking your fingers and touching the ball and then licking your fingers again (yes you pitchers).  Stop spitting.  Stop stepping away from the batters box every pitch and adjusting something like your gloves or your pants or shoes.  Just take your turn.  Limit the number of times you "adjust" yourself.  You are on TV.  Is this what you want your mother to see?  Stop spitting.

It takes years of practice to
get this good at hockey.
Hockey is even weirder than baseball.  There are only pseudo-rules and they are not always followed.  You can shove people, but not all the time.  You can knock people over, but not all the time.  I don't understand how you can check (read slam) someone into the glass 50 times with no problem, but then on time 51 "it's on."  Then we have the nonsensical fist fight where both guys are wildly throwing punches in between trying to pull their opponent's shirt over his head so he can't see while they are fighting.

Also, unlike in soccer, it seems you can bang into the goalie all you want.  The goalie is extra padded, so that's good, but it doesn't seem right that while your face is near people's metal-bladed feet, they are kicking and shoving at you and whacking their sticks around.  Far as I can tell, the refs aren't too strict with no high-sticking or slashing rules either.  Sometimes it's a problem, sometime it's not.

Surprisingly, there seems to be less spitting and adjusting in hockey.  Those guys seem more rowdy, so I would have expected more.  So you know, that's a nice treat if you're watching.  They are extra sweaty and yucky though, so that's less nice. 

With all sports, the one thing I hate more than anything is the post-game interview.  It is painful to watch.  The sportscaster asks some inane or multi-part question and the player stumbles over his words trying to say something meaningful.  One question is never enough either.  They keep going.  It's hideous on both sides.

Immediately after you watch a game, there will be a "wrap-up" where the entire game you just watched will be pulled apart minute by minute, play by play.  Snore!  Why do people want to see/hear this?  It's extra special on the radio when they let people call in and give their thoughts.  "I think they if they played better, they could have won."  "If I was the coach, I would have had the team work harder to score more points." Pain.Ful!!

THIS is what a wrap-up should look like:

He was so upset
by the ugly uniform,
he couldn't even
 hold the bat.
The Flyers, Sixers, and Phillies had a great weekend with some really great plays.  If you missed it, don't worry, they will be playing again soon.  If you need more details, you should know the Flyers tied it up in the Stanley Cup playoffs and will play game 7 to determine the winner on Tuesday.  Phillies won a 4 game series against the San Diego Padres.  Game 4 was won largely in part to the Padres being embarrassed and distracted by their own uniforms.  The uniforms were meant to show support for the armed forces, but were just plain ugly.  Don't worry about what happened with the Sixers, basketball should be over already anyway.

Wrap up complete - you can go on with your lives.


  1. I *heart* hockey! Which is probably weird considering I live in Texas. There are actual rules in hockey... it just doesn't seem that way.

  2. Sports casters also have a talent for stating the obvious. One I have heard many times: "If this team wants to win, they need to score some more points!" Well duh!

  3. @ Heidi - exactly!

    @ TMM - are they secret rules no one is allowed to know about?

  4. Love this post!!! Live with a sports fanatic who gives me the highlights constantly plus all the inane data like the sportscasters. AAAgh! I am not a sports person. I also think the amount of money they make to play a game is beyond disgusting.

  5. You lost me at sports, but I read it anyway.. and because you love me, I won't point out your misuse of "their" in the first paragraph about hockey. :D

  6. Lisa - thanks for pointing it out - for real! I must read and re-read these posts 100 times and still miss stuff. Can't believe no one else told me/ caught it.

    Thanks for reading even though it said "sports."


Popular Posts