With the majority of my readership located in the heart of Hoopsylvania, and therefore obsessed with and frothing at the mouth over tomorrow night’s NBA draft, I daresay few have noticed the great move by the NHL Board of Governors.
So, yes, I’ll get to other stuff soon enough, but first a high five to hockey.
I’ve oft said, and shall now repeat, that there’s nothing as exhilarating as OT pucks.
It’s harum scarum. End to end. Chaos on ice.
Now the prospect of a more open competition, should the clubs be tied after 60, is a comin’. Three on three, may the swifter on skates, the more adept at avoidance, prevail.
Only after five minutes of such careening into the corners and across the blue lines will regular season games resort to the reasonably exciting, but skewed decider of a winner, those singular skater against goalie shootouts.
Every once in awhile hockey’s muckety mucks get it right. This is one of those times.
Now on to stuff you may care about.
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Fox Sports coverage of the U.S.Open was less than exemplary. As bumpy as Chambers Bay’s broccoli bubbled greens. As . . . okay, it sucked.
I just never felt I got much insight. Or knew who was playing on what hole?
And, of course, on Day One, Fox showed every one of Tiger Woods’ 137 shots it took him to get around Puget Sound and putt his ball into the 18 holes.
To Fox’s credit, Tiger was rarely to be seen on Day Two, his last, since he couldn’t see the cut line with a telescope.
But, despite his irrelevance on the links these days, we’re still — I am still — fascinated with Eldrick, Son of Earl. Like Elvis before him, we are witness to a Greek Tragedy of the highest order.
Relatively humble beginnings. Ascendency to the uppermost strata of his endeavor. Precipitous fall, from which there seems no escape.
Woods’ hubris carried him through for a long time. He’d win. Change his swing. Still win. Change coaches and approaches. Still win. Be an unforthcoming asshole to the media. Still win. Be seriously injured. Still win.
Then his bride found out about his sex addiction, bashed his windshield with a Big Bertha, and, in an instant, karma prevailed.
Though we will still talk about him — I’ll still talk about him, because I can beat a dead horse with the best of ’em — Tiger’s toast.
Exactly like the other transcendent star of an individual sport in our time, one Lance Armstrong.1
Yes, their traumas are different. Armstrong cheated in his sport, and chose to fell each and every person who dared reveal the felonies. Woods cheated only on his wife, his successes on the course were legit.
But their falls from grace are similar. It’s somewhat unnerving really. These two guys were America’s darlings. Now they are punching bags for wise guys like me.
Woods is still floundering on the links, but hasn’t given up. And, has even softened up his mien.
Armstrong still doesn’t get it, wondering why he is so universally loathed. Yo, Lance, ask all the folks you threw under the bus, they’ll tell you why.
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There are but a few psychological phenomenons that delude like addiction.
Pete Rose is a classic gambling addict.2 The wagering action is his cocaine. The affliction, as it always does, so skewed his thought processes, that he defamed the game he loved more than anything.
Well, more than anything but that action, the adrenaline rush of awaiting the outcome of his bets.
LIke Lance Armstrong, he still doesn’t get it.
I’m not sure what I think about Rose being allowed on the Hall of Fame ballot. I surmise there are more than a few nefarious characters whose busts are in Cooperstown. And, Rose was unarguably the best hitter ever in the game.
He gets more pub on the outside looking in, than if he were to become a member.
Okay, the more I think about it, I’m coming down on leaving him out. I might be of a different mind, had he somewhere along the way, displayed some legit remorse. A little contrition goes a long way.
There’s been none here.
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For the second year in a row, college baseball’s champion shall be determined in a one and done.
For the second year in a row, relative upstarts as college powers, Vanderbilt and Virginia will play nine, and maybe more, to determine the title holder.
This year’s CWS has been hotly contested. These two have played a tense couple of games in the final series.
I guess I’ll be rooting for UVa, since the Wahoos play in the ACC, where my favorite school resides. Though I can’t work up any hatred for Vandy, where I almost — and should have in retrospect — matriculated back when.
Mo’ soon. After all, there’s the Women’s World Cup, Wimbledon, The British Open and Tour de France.
— Seedy K