Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sporting News

As sports becomes more about obscene amounts of money, my interest wanes.  It's hard to not feel like just another enabling dupe.  But let's say in terms of residual interest...

The biggest ongoing contests are March Madness, the NCAA collegiate tournaments, both men and women.  I've got no favorites (except I like watching the Baylor women with the phenomenal Brittany Griner) but I note with interest that the GOPer attempt to paint President Obama as an out of touch weirdo intellectual alien non-American runs up against his sports acumen.  It's become traditional for fans to "fill out their brackets"--the series of games, the winner of which goes on to the next level in a series of elimination brackets until the last two standing.  The art and/or science of it has lately been called "bracketology."  But since one of the enthusiasts doing so is President Obama, the sports world checks them regularly, for updates on "Barack-etology."  And before today's "Elite Eight" games he was in the top 1% on getting the brackets right.

Meanwhile, NFL football is going through a lot of drama, with New Orleans bounty hunters and a series of moves and trades that includes Tim Tebow becoming the second quarterback for the New York Jets.  Anything to do with New York is endlessly discussed, analyzed, screamed about.  But as this was all going on, Pittsburgh Steeler's wide receiver Hines Ward--who had earlier been cut from the team's roster--decided to retire a Steeler.  This story is about the reception for that decision in Pittsburgh, where he was and will now always remain a hero.  It tells you a little more about the particularities of the unique relationship between Pittsburgh and the Steelers, which in the end has nothing to do with the larger mediasports world.

Lastly, my least favorite team in the NBA is the Miami Heat, and my least favorite player is LeBron James.  But this week, the Heat earned my respect for something they did off the court--getting themselves photographed in hoodies to show their support for the murdered Florida teenager Trayvon Martin--and where they stand in the current controversy.

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