Just a chance
It's easy to be a critic of sports today. Just pick up the newspaper, turn on the TV or flip to the Internet and you can find hundreds of things to be critical about. If the Yuma Sun ever paid me for the articles I've written, I might have made a few bucks by being critical.
It's very easy: Pick a sport or an athlete, find some dirt, rumor, scandal or controversy and write about it. But today, I want to tell you about some trends in college and professional sports that are really good. So good, as a matter of fact, it has caused people to watch more sports than ever before.
My revelation occurred when I was watching college basketball. It seemed every game I watched came down to the last 30 seconds. How exciting! How entertaining! Experts tried to pick who was No. 1 in basketball and each week the No. 1 team got upset. As a matter of fact, many of the top 20 teams went down in defeat.
I'm probably what kids today call “old school.” Yes, in college basketball you could usually pick the four top seeds in basketball, throw in a couple of upsets and win the office pool for March Madness. No more, sports fans.
I grew up in an era of dynasties and that might have tainted how I view sports. UCLA and Coach Wooden were college basketball; no one beat them except by an act from God. How boring for every other college fan, other than the Bruins. Gonzaga, Butler, Miami — they can't win the national championship. Oh yes, they can. They, along with a dozen other dark horses, can win. How great for all fans!
This trend is not just limited to college basketball. Sports fans, the San Francisco Giants won two of the last three World Series. They hadn't won since '51. Red Sox nation, give me a break. The curse of the Bambino made you terrible for more than 80 years — until a few years ago.
You see, the New York Yankees are supposed to win. They are a dynasty. Wrong. Any 12 teams can win the World Series. Fans from all over this nation can pick up the newspaper and root for your favorite team. Heck, maybe Billy Beane and his “moneyball” theory can let poor teams win, while the rich teams watch from their sofas in October.
Talk about excitement — wait until they play an elimination series in college football. I think sports fans will really pay attention when they crown a true national champion.
Michael Thompson won the Honda Classic last week. Michael who? I thought Michael Thompson was a power forward on the old Portland Trailblazers. You see, you might have 10 new kids win on the PGA tour this year. That means 10 new faces golf fans can root for. No, they are not Tiger or Jack, but they are talented kids from Albany, Ga., to Davenport, Iowa. They allow fans to root for someone they know about.
The Boston Celtics, the New York Yankees, the Montreal Canadiens all were dynasties in their times. (For you un-hockey fans, the Canadiens have won 24 Stanley Cups.) They caused love and hate among sports fans. They are great to reminisce about, but fortunately they are like every team in their league. Today, just about everybody has a chance. What a nice thing to say about today's sports — everybody has a chance.
John Blabe, former Antelope High football coach, can be reached at email@example.com.