What’s up, Sports World? The ladies stepped it up and gave me a lot of data for our upcoming “ladies take on sports” post. The good news is I have a lot to sort through. The bad news is I have a lot to sort through, and it’s gonna take me awhile to get through it all. My hunch is we’ll get that one up shortly after the NCAA tourney preview, though don’t hold me to that, since the MLB preview will also be going up soon. I can’t decide if the ladies are all really supportive, and wanted to help me out, or if they are sick of me writing so much and wanted to bury me for the next three weeks. I originally thought the wife might be plotting for the latter, but I didn’t tell her who I emailed, so I think she’s innocent. So in the meantime and in between time, wanted to follow up on a couple past topics with some more thoughts stemming from conversations with loyal Logical Betting supporters. For their trouble, they get nada. Though one of them has received a formal invitation to come on a future podcast to follow up on a future topic. You know, I think I talk about “future blog plans” more than I make lists. That’s going on next year’s New Year’s Resolutions post. Anyways, post is unofficially brought to you by Canada Dry Ginger Ale – the wife’s choice for pregnancy-related nausea and stomach bugs. She says, “Don’t by the grocery store brand, stick to what works.” I can see a few of you nodding from across the computer.
Is It a Sport?
Got a few more questions about these, so let’s run them down with my take and what the person who mentioned them thought.
- Skiing – The wife and I kicked this around for awhile, then brought it to the attention of many others. It passes a friend of mine’s, “if you can’t do it while smoking, it’s a sport” test. I used to ski, and I can vouch for it being an athletic activity. The injury question is the only hold up cause crashing and falling doesn’t count. For my money, it’s a sport cause you can really mess up your knees, ankles, and leg muscles over time, kinda like bowling. Everyone I’ve asked this one to agrees, but I still think you could make an argument the other way. But for once, I’m going with the mainstream.
- Ballroom Dancing – Brought up by a friend of ours, who happened to be a dance major in college. She insists yes, I insist no, and here’s why. When people dance at the bar, are they athletes participating in a sport? And can you really get seriously injured just by dancing, assuming no falls? Maybe, but really highly unlikely. My friend had a really good argument that if figure skating is a sport, then this should be, too. Tough to refute that, but I think the skating aspect makes it more athletic. This falls into the same category as cheerleading for me, but let me tell you, spend some time with my friend, and she’ll have you damn near believing this is a sport. It’s actually much easier to write and argue this without her countering me.
- Professional Wrestling – A genius brought this one up. Okay, it was me. You can’t say it’s not athletic, that’s for sure. My ballroom dancing friend says that if this is a sport, then ballroom dancing should be since they’re both scripted. Touche. It really is the whole scripting thing that makes this tough. I mean, a guy died doing this, though that was cause his rope broke. I gotta go with no on this one, only cause this is more of a movie than a sport. But I could hear the argument otherwise. Wife’s take, “Hell, no.” That was without emotion or any tone of voice, FYI.
SPOILER ALERT! Going to reference the podcast here so if you want to wait to hear that before reading about it, stop now and come back later. Otherwise, move forward at your own risk. You can access the podcast via this extremely long link you will need to copy/paste to get into your browser.
Jeremy had an unbelievable point about the Hall of Fame in/out topic: keeping in mind the media votes, the relationship the Steroid Era guys had with the media could play a HUGE role in who gets in. He thinks Bonds won’t make it, and while I respectfully disagree, he has a valid point as to why it would be close. Same thing, but the opposite about McGwire. We are one hell of a forgiving nation, and if enough time passes, then maybe he gets in. Well said, sir, well said indeed.
We also talked a bit off the podcast about how steroids got into baseball, and then how it lasted so long. We came up with a very simple answer: everyone involved with the sport had everything to gain and nothing to lose, including the fans. Owners and players, raking in cash. Die hard fans, getting their sport back. Fringe fans, coming back to the sport watching bomb after bomb leave the park. If you can name even a minority group of people who had a stake in seeing steroids come out, I’d love to hear it. It wasn’t until BALCO came around and we started hearing about names in baseball coming out with the names in track that baseball did anything. You could reasonably argue if BALCO doesn’t happen, we’re watching A-Rod hit 80 home runs this year, which would have been great for Fah’s fantasy team.
One other question that occurred to me that would have been cool to add in the blog… what percentage of guys do you think were juicing at the height of the Steroids Era? Really tough call. If you ask Canseco and others, they would say like 70%. That pre-screen test they did for the Mitchell Report says about 10-12%. I will split the difference and say about 40%, but I’m literally saying that on first guess that came to my head with no real thought behind it. I strongly encourage this as bar room conversation.
Quick postscript (writing this after the draft of the post) – Mark McGwire’s brother is writing a tell all book about Mark’s drug use. Mark’s answer was somewhere along the lines of “it’s sad someone in the family would feel they need to do that. I’m not going to dignify that with a response. I still say I only did them to help me recover.” You know what I always wondered about all these so-called “lies” people come out with? Where are all the f-ing libel lawsuits??? The only one who was nuts enough to do it was Clemens, who immediately got counter-sued, probably because he’s lying about McNamee being a liar. That almost seals the deal for me… if all of you are so innocent, why not sue? This is America, we live our lives in the Court room.
Given all the hype around USA v. Canada in the Olympics, the NHL actually got a golden opportunity for more exposure and a chance to make the sport more popular again. So naturally, what was Gary Bettman’s response? He is considering pulling NHL players from the Olympics in 2014. I swear to God, his brain works something like this: hmmmm, that sure worked really well, we better stop doing that. I’m half convinced he’s a mole for those who want hockey to go away. Unbelievable. Luckily, I doubt he’ll get away with it cause the players will just defy him and play anyways, which Ovechkin has already said he will do. That, and he better not be the commissioner in 2014 because the sport will probably be about gone if he still is.
12 Man Athlete Military Unit
Reggie emailed me and appropriately reamed me out for forgetting Jared Allen, who he and I had agreed was a definite pick. Oops. He also mentioned Omri Cassipi from the Sacramento Kings, who has actually served in the Israeli army. However, keep in mind I left off Usain Bolt for not being American, and then lambasted Mojo for taking Crosby. God, even typing his name makes me cringe after that USA/Canada game. I hate that guy, and now we have to hear about him for as long as there are Winter Olympics. He’s being considered for bleeping out here at LB, and I know J.B. is on board with that one. Might have to run it by the committee for bleeping out sports things, or as we like to call it, C-BOST. Two acronyms and counting, if you’re scoring at home.
And with his second appearance on Logical Betting, Reggie has officially earned his way onto the Logical Betting Cast of Characters! Without further adieu… Reggie Jackson hails from Berlin, NJ, and is an admitted Y*****s fan. Sucks for him. Anyways, he has chosen to dedicate his life to helping others, watching sports, listening to good indie rock, and raising a little lady with his wife. If you met him, you’d have no idea of the black cloud of Y***** fandom that hangs over his head. Anyways, you may hear about him from time to time, so everyone welcome Reggie with a chorus of “Y*****s suck!”
Selection Sunday, aka Christmas Eve (the tournament is Christmas, The Dog), is next weekend, which means I’m gonna skip the Sunday post and give you a tourney breakdown sometime Thursday. For honesty’s sake, I will have the wife read it first so you know I didn’t change my picks. Comments and suggestions to the comments section here, my personal email, or email@example.com. If you’re having trouble signing up to do comments, let me know and I’ll walk you through it. Trust me, you’re not the only one having trouble with that. Later, all.