Monday, August 25, 2003
Page 2 Quickie: August 22, 2003
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
To critics of "Little League TV": Fans watch precisely because of
amazing games like Thursday night's 14-13 thriller, Saugus (Mass.) advancing past
Richmond (Tex.) to the U.S. final.
* Wild lead swings and clutch hits: Saugus blew an 8-run lead before
rallying for the winning four runs in bottom of the 7th.
* Controversial calls: Looks like Richmond was robbed on the decisive --
and debatable -- ump's call at first.
* And, of course, the tears: Of suspense, of disappointment, of joy --
showing emotion isn't exploitative; its intensity is raw, but also rare and
However things turn out for the last four teams this weekend (Japan, N.
Antilles, Saugus and Boynton Beach, Fla.), the LLWS always captures fans' attention
like no one thinks it will because its emotion is the closest that sports get
to reality TV.
NL MVP: Bonds
Like an election, let's prematurely (but accurately) call this
National League MVP race: It's over, and Barry Bonds just walked off with it.
Today's contrast between Bonds and Albert Pujols is as loud as the Pac Bell
crowd Thursday night, when Bonds hit his second last-gasp, extra-inning,
game-winning home run -- of the series. As for the invisible Pujols, don't you have
to play to have a hit streak?
Forget college football's BCS equation. Here's the only playoff
formula you need: Just don't lose. College football's regular season is a de facto
playoff. Everyone starts the season unbeaten; so for contenders, it's less
about accumulating wins, and more about avoiding that one title-killing L.
By that theory: No. 5 Kansas State gets the first crack to blow their season
with an opener Saturday that's no gimme -- home vs. Cal.
Wow, Bryant judge "Steady Freddy" Gannett is cagey: Knowing he
couldn't hold off the media's demand for details, he threw them a bone -- unsealing
the arrest warrant -- but gave both sets of lawyers two weeks to appeal his
decision, diffusing the potential frenzy. It's going to be hard to say Kobe
won't get a fair shot with "Judge Can-It."
Pete may be the greatest player ever and deserving of a super
retirement party, but doesn't the timing at the U.S. Open just magnify that the
men's game is so lacking in star wattage that "Celebrate Sampras" will be
NCAA: Brand Mgmt
Let NCAA president Myles Brand put it best: "Metaphorically
speaking," the AP quotes, "it's almost as if there's a crime wave out there."
(Ironically, same day Wisconsin announced policy to suspend any athlete who gets
arrested ... no, ya think?)
But what's Brand really going to do about it? Ultra-harsh sanctions may help deter problems, but would end up hurting innocent student-athletes more than skeevy coaches and administrators. Solution: Hit schools where it really hurts --
Meanwhile: If the St. Bonaventure board chairman really did commit suicide
from being upset over the school's problems, college scandals' toll just got
All signs point toward a couple-games sit-down, which should be
enough to mollify critics, keep Clarett in school -- and give Ohio State's
team/fans an excuse when they lose.