Baseball picks & Basketball picks & Hockey picksFebruary 5, 2009

I guess I just don’t get it

by J. Mesa 

There are a lot of things in this world that I just don’t get. I don’t understand the appeal of the Chick Flick, furthermore, I don’t understand how a woman can spend $500 on a pair of shoes, yet not even pay attention to the price of gas. I don’t get why so many U.S.-Americans pay more attention to American Idol than American politics. And could someone please tell my how in the H-E double-hockey sticks Paris Hilton is famous?

I guess I do get sports a little more than the whole 27 Dresses thing, but even in sports sometimes I just sit there, mouth agog, truly wondering what the hell they are thinking. Case in point: Man-Ram vs., well pretty much every MLB team and the American economy.

I love springtime baseball because the MLB picks up right when my NFL withdrawal is at its most unbearable.  I understand that there is always spring-training drama, but when Man-Ram declined a $25 million offer for one season to play with the Dodgers, I was at a complete loss for words. I understand that every ball player wants a long-term deal, but if it hadn’t been for the way “Manny being Manny” turned out in Boston, he might be deserving. But as Manny was shipped off to LA at the end of last season, on the BoSox dime, it was clearly an indictment of his character rather than an endorsement of his ability.

In these troubled times in the American economy, this Manny fiasco makes it even harder to relate to professional athletes and to justify the seemingly ever-increasing cost to spend a day at the ball yard. Here’s a suggestion Mr. Ramirez: sign the damn deal, play your ass off, run out the grounders and flies then the bigger, better deal will come. Sign it and repeat.

Now, I am not a superstitious man. I don’t believe in little rituals that claim to help out in sports. The closest I ever got to a superstitious sports act was when I was a fighter and refused to wash “the mojo” out of my handwraps when preparing for a big fight. All that got me was some sort of a fungus and a lot of punches and kicks to the dome.

I don’t believe in curses either. I always thought the “SI jinx” and the “Madden Curse” was loads of pop-culture hogwash, much like the Paris Hilton thing, but I digress. I have however, spotted a new curse simmering just beneath the surface of the college hoops ranks. It seems that whenever CBB picks (or curses) their new No. 1, that team is destined to get shellacked. UNC, Pitt and Wake Forest have all held on to the numero uno spot for less time than Paris Hilton holds on to her panties (are you seeing a theme develop here?).

So I don’t know if it is parity, mediocrity or ego-ocity (yeah, not a word) in college hoops that brings on this recent phenomena. I guess I just don’t get that one either.

What I don’t “get” the most in our sports word are the priorities of the NHL. I have thought about this one for a while and I am still stymied. I do not understand how the NHL picks its villains and heroes.

Take for example, Sean Avery. Here is a guy that is out of a job, why? Because he is a jerk, a crass, tactless, clown-shoe of a teammate. He never got boozed up and got himself arrested. He never got angry at an opposing player and mauled him from behind – effectively ending his hockey career. Nope, Avery was fired for a series of comments he made about his ex-girlfriends and their penchants for other hockey studs.

“Conduct detrimental to the team,” I believe what the Stars’ brass called his actions. Now I have been a member rock bands, a member of a fraternity house and played on sports teams all my life, and sometimes there are girls that want to be so close to the action, they will do just about anything to be included. Maybe it’s the same with Avery’s cast-offs. Or maybe just maybe, other hockey players seek out these women for their renowned stick-handling ability (there I said what we were all thinking), rather than these women following these guys around like puppy dogs.

So what we have here is a guy like Avery being tossed from the league for being a tool, but a guy like Todd Bertuzzi that almost kills another man ON the ice DURING a NHL game retains the privilege of playing in the most prestigious hockey league on the planet. (sigh) I just don’t get it.