by Ryan Meehan
The only time that you’ll ever really hear me apologize for my writing is in the first sentence, so I’d like to take this space to tell everybody that I am sorry for my lack of contributions as of late. Now that shit’s over with, I’d like to discuss my opinions on a few things that have been going on in sports over the past week and a half. To say that sports is starved for news stories is a grave understatement, and here are a few examples why:
-The Ricky Stenhouse/Danica Patrick wreck and the commotion that followed is a non issue
As you probably know from our rants here on the site, NASCAR is not one of our cash cows. While there is still a debate over whether or not stock car racing is a sport, I still hold a very strong opinion that it is. But I knew NASCAR was in trouble as soon as Danica Patrick showed up and began acting like she was going to make racing mainstream and loved by all sports fans. I knew it because I knew that she would have a problem winning races, which as you can see I haven’t been wrong about. I knew things were going to get even less interesting when she finalized her divorce and began dating fellow driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. For those of you who aren’t familiar with who Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is, well…get in line.
What I hate most about this whole debacle was the fact that Patrick said she understood how there was going to be “some kind of human interest story” because of the who was involved…What? I’ve said it my whole life – if you want people to be interested in you, you have to be interesting. You can’t teach interesting, and watching Danica Patrick’s lifeless relationship with one of the most boring drivers in the history of the sport is about as far from interesting as you can get. I love how the media asked her if she was pissed about it but wouldn’t ask Ricky (or they just didn’t broadcast that part) what he thought about it. I bet if there were Ricky Stenhouse Jr. swimsuit calendars they would have made sure to get his opinion at any cost. NASCAR needs a big season from Dale Earnhardt Jr. coming up real soon, otherwise underwater cattle decapitation is going to be part of FOX’s Sunday lineup before you know it. I can’t believe how much I just wrote about stock car racing.
-Nobody should be shocked by the most recent PED list involving that lab in Miami
Speaking of non-issues, as sports journalists we shouldn’t be shocked by any of these performance enhancing drug related lists that come out from this point forward. We already knew that Braun was probably doing steroids and got off on a technicality. We already knew that A-Rod admitted to doing steroids, but only after being confronted with the situation at hand. And if you can honestly sit here and say that you thought there was no possible way in hell that Melky Cabrera was ever a steroid user at any point, might I inform you that you are late for “jumping off of a bridge” practice.
And as for the A-Rod thing, it’s not like a suspension is going to mean a lot at this point in his career. He isn’t going to come back and hit .341 with 43 homeruns after he gets penalized which I believe he will. He’ll be 38 in July, and his career is pretty much over anyway. I would say that Braun interests me a little bit, but I am convinced that he’s convinced that he didn’t do it, even though he probably did. I’m not going to get into this massive ongoing Jedi Mind Trick that some of these guys play on themselves.
While I’m dealing out harsh words, have you seen a clip of this Anthony Bosch clown talking? And does anything scream “Miami Slime Ball” more than a photograph of this guy?
Before they started showing pictures of this back alley fluid peddler if you had asked me if Tony Montana’s character in “Scarface” was fictitious, I would have said yes. Now I’m not so sure…A lot of Miami guys kind of have that Dbag flavor to them. Top of shirt unbuttoned, chest hair presented, Ray Ban sunglasses, white pants, hair overgrown and slicked back…do I even need to mention he’s from Miami after you hear all that? I know not everybody down there looks like that, but there are enough people that do regardless of their ethnic background. (Hell, even Dave Wannestadt started to look that way after a while…) The point here is that a lot of guys have done steroids. It’s not “Breaking News” anymore. Every couple of years, some clinic in the back of a strip mall in a big city is going to get busted, then turn over a list of pro clients to save him and his coke dealer’s asses. Then ESPN is going to make a huge deal of it by listing it on your television screen. And if you’re hung up on it, fine…but not everybody has to be. It certainly doesn’t shock me.
Steroids are like everything else that the FDA bans. A couple of supermodels or public figures die from doing too much of it, then the FDA bans it. Then the chemists that develop the original formula simply change the chemical makeup, and then the new formula is legal. Not saying it isn’t relevant, I’m just saying I’ve heard all this before.
-I’m sick of people complaining about the officiating inaccuracies in the NHL Playoffs
Look, hockey is a tough sport. Although I have been very impressed by the Blackhawks coming back from being down 3-1 in that series (as well at scoring four goals on Jonathan Quick in 30 minutes) their fans are starting to annoy me. Every single time the Blackhawks are involved in something that doesn’t result in them scoring, my Facebook feed is instantly inundated with Hawks fans complaining about how everything is rigged. Which is hilarious, because the idea that Gary Bettman could arrange something to be rigged would be like saying Cap’N Crunch could pilot a Carnival cruise ship.
Now, have there been a couple of questionable calls? Sure. But that happens in every sport, not just hockey. And it happens in the regular season just as often (if not more) than it happens in the playoffs. But the important thing is this IS hockey, and hockey is a toughman’s sport. And when I say a “toughman’s sport”, I don’t mean those competitions where the Finnish guys hold axes upright and yell at the top of their lungs and throw kegs over walls that you can clearly walk around and gently drop the receptacle.
I mean a competition that is relatively popular where guys are willing to go without having teeth their entire career, all for the glory of having their name engraved on the greatest trophy in the history of sports. When you’re a hockey player, there should be no bitching about “bad calls” – it’s hockey. You ever notice how there’s no debate over how to control flopping in the NHL? That’s because if somebody caught you flopping in hockey, everybody on the ice would collectively stop playing, look at each other, drop the gloves, and pummel you to death. And you’d deserve it too, because this ain’t tether ball. You don’t get to complain about bad officiating in hockey. Period.
-What’s the point of all of this?
That the NFL is king and always will be. Regardless of however massive the stories have been (or appeared to be) over the summer, anytime there is any NFL news it goes straight to the front of the line and all of these stories become back page news. It’s a testament to how much the sports year revolves around the NFL, and how long summer can be if that’s your sport.
However, the good news is that baseball is really starting to heat up on the field. And we have the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Playoffs coming up which should both be very exciting. So let’s focus on the games themselves instead of the sensationalism around them. That’s the true spirit of competition.