Thursday, April 03, 2008

Thursday 04/03 A.M. Quickie:
MLB Day 3, NBA West, NFL Draft, More!

So I was working on today's column this morning, and I started writing a lead item that was just your basic snark: Look at these idiots!

Then I was hit by this weird sensation: After a 2007 that was arguably the Worst Sports Year Ever, I was... totally satisfied with the state of sports -- at least TODAY's state.

MLB is totally intriguing: It is early enough that the novelty of unlikely performances, late-game heroics, free-agent payoffs and everything else are fascinating.

The NBA West is night-in-night-out amazing (ugh: "amazing.") I'm perhaps a little wired from a midnight email I sent to a leading stats-minded blogger who had criticized my "NBA-is-niche-sport" argument from last week. But in constructing that email, I made sure to point out that I can think the NBA is "niche" yet still be a big fan and enjoy this season.

And, come on: It's the Final Four this weekend! And, yes, I have come to terms with Monday's "Final Four is ruined" argument -- I appreciate both the novelty of the all-1-seed situation and the level of talent on the court (even if I think both semis will be decisively won).

All in all (despite stuff like Chris Henry or Arthur Blank or Isiah Thomas still having a job), it's a great day to be a sports fan. I'd like to think that despite my cynical filter, I have always been an optimist -- if definitely not a purist -- about sports.

I think that sensation I felt this morning wasn't as much about reminding myself how good things are in sports this week as much as remind me how bad things were a year ago. I think this week -- not last year -- is closer to the natural state of fandom.

I'm quite sure I will be back to the usual myopic, instant-hysteria perspective tomorrow. Thank you for indulging my trip to 10,000 feet this morning.

Here's a link to today's Sporting News column

-- D.S.


John said...

It is sad that Camden Yards doesn't draw more fans. I know the team sucks and the owner sucks even worse, but it's still one the best (if not the best) stadiums to watch a MLB baseball game. As a Red Sox fan, I'd love, love, love a new Fenway Park as nice as Camden Yards.

Unknown said...

And now Chris Henry doesn't have a job. One down, two to go.

Derek said...

"Quote of the Day: "I would not say yes. I would not say no." – Falcons owner Arthur Blank, when asked if he would let Michael Vick back on the Falcons. (And that IS a real quote.)"

Why on Earth would Petrino seek an early exit from this organization? I mean, other than the fact that he has "shark eyes"? Could this team be less functional?

You seem to be on the "Petrino's a snake" bandwagon, yet you have to admit that this organization faces endemic problems. How can anyone blame a coach for getting out while the getting's moderately good?

I'll admit that Petrino likes to flirt with greener pastures, but nobody who's ever made decisions involving six zeros can possibly blame him. (And nota bene: He took a massive paycut to land in Arkansas.)

Maybe he'll jump ship for Tennessee when they finally can Fulmer, but he's not leaving the SEC without a BCS bowl. And he'll leave the Hogs with a huge buyout and a stellar recruiting class.

Essentially, I pulled my hair out for weeks after the hire while listening to Arkansas get raked over the coals, but nothing we've heard out of Atlanta since then has buttressed those arguments. Everyone's moved on to some other scandal.

Okay, I'm bitter. But that BCS bowl will sure be sweet.