Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Worst Things in Sports

Now that's a sport we can all get behind.

This article came to my attention recently. It's by the San Diego Union-Tribune's Nick Canepa. He complied his list of the ten worst things in sports. Since I'm not bound by arbitrary numbering conventions, I came up with thirteen.

  1. Chris Berman

    He may very well be the most awful human being on the planet. His crimes against humanity include the bestowing of non-witty nicknames, screaming at decibel levels typically reserved for artillery barrages, and calling the Home Run Derby (if you can stand more than five minutes of that, you’re either comatose or deaf). The good people of the state of Connecticut should put this guy and Joe Lieberman into a Thunderdome-style death match. Then they should execute the winner.

  2. Sports talk shows

    These shows, like Jim Rome's, are only marginally less annoying than political talk shows. You have uninformed callers and over-opinionated hosts blathering incessantly about why so-and-so is the greatest midfielder ever, or how “the public” (whoever they are) just won’t tolerate the latest “offensive” conduct by an athlete, or why blah blah blah blah shoot me now.

  3. Pretty much any coverage of any sport by NBC

    After they lost their NFL contract the first time, their sports coverage just went to shit. Now? Jeebus. Arena football, “extreme” sports, friggin’ Notre Dame ball, and so forth. There is one important exception to this gripe—NBC does a pretty good job covering hockey. If only Merlin Olsen still worked for them.

  4. The Olympics

    Back in the day, the Olympics were great. They were all about running, jumping, skiing, shooting, throwing sharp and/or heavy items, swimming, diving, and all other shit that was cool. Plus there was the whole Cold War via sports: Whuppin’ some Russkie ass and counting the back hairs on the East German “women’s” teams. But lately they just suck. It’s all Oprah-ized, and they’ve included “sports” that you can medal in while high. Skip the fuckin’ human interest bullshit and show me more boxing. I don’t give a shit about someone’s gimpy brother, or how many extra jobs they have to work to pursue their dream, or why Jimmy Douchebag’s religious faith gives him strength. If you’re covering sports, focus on the sport. Also, and probably not coincidentally, NBC has the broadcast rights for the Olympics, and will continue to show them until 2012. Which is when the world ends.

  5. Hyper-specialization

    Now this shit really bugs me. From kick-return specialists to penalty-killing units to ultra-targeted training to the crazy shit that the NASCAR people do, the realm of professional sports has become so specialized that it’s ridiculous. You have a guy on a roster who just comes in on third downs to rush the passer, as well as a 375-pound gastropod who couldn’t run a hundred yards without collapsing? That’s bullshit. I understand the pressure to specialize, but it kind of takes the fun out of watching when the participants look like they’re from another planet.

  6. Intentional walks

    This is a stupid fucking idea. A runner on base is much more likely to score a run than a batter at home plate facing a pitcher. I laugh my ass off every time a batter hits an RBI after the defense intentionally walks a batter. Serves ‘em right.

  7. Soccer dives

    It’s simple. If you get carried off the field on a stretcher, you’re not allowed to come back in during that match. Stretchers are for people who are hurt, not dipshits who dive.

  8. Barry Bonds

    Yeah, I agree with Canepa on this one. Barry Bonds sucks ass. He’s no bigger of a cheater than many of the other people in MLB, but he’s a much bigger jerk.

  9. Steinbrenner and the fuckin' Yankees

    I realize that I’m combining two items here, but it’s my fuckin’ list. I can do that. God, how I hate the Yankees. And Steinbrenner? Jesus Christ on a pogo stick, that guy needs to be tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail. Canepa was right about the Yankees. I absolutely loved the 2004 ALCS, when all of the Yankee players looked like they were about to get weepy after the Red Sox handed them their asses (that’s after being down three games in the series, too). Fuck the fuckin’ Yankees.

  10. Dick Vitale

    More annoying than even Chris Berman, but you only have to put up with him for one sport.

  11. Michael Vick

    In future editions of the OED, his picture will appear next to the word “overrated.” But hey—he’s a young player, just ready for his breakout season! It’s his seventh goddam year in the league. If he hasn’t broken out by now, he ain’t gonna.

  12. Jerry Jones

    Like Steinbrenner, but Texan, so he’s an even bigger asshole.

  13. Ray Lewis

    Do I really need to say more?
Well, that's a start. Any thoughts? Drop 'em in the comments.

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