The Most Annoying Things in Sports [To Me, At Least]
After a long night of watching SportsCenter and listening to Stan Verrett and Neil Everett turn a PGA Tour Quail Hollow Championship highlight into "Open Mic Night" at the Apollo, I feel it is only fair that I share with you things in sports that really irk me. I'm going to take you from the hardwood of the NBA to the outfield grasses of the softball field behind your favorite neighborhood bar.
So strap yourself in and enjoy. Thanks for reading.
Mel Kiper Jr: His Love For Himself and Hatred For Todd MacShay
I think it's fitting I start with Mel Kiper Jr. with the NFL Draft fresh in our memories. Don't get me wrong, Mel Kiper Jr. knows his stuff.
But am I the only person who would watch Draft analysis on ESPN with himself and Todd MacShay and not help but be able to feel the jealousy on Kiper's part? Kiper seemed so bitter, grouchy, and very defensive at times.
Hell, I'd be jealous to if my biggest competition at work was MacShay. He has a cushy position as the Head of Scouts Inc., has the boyish good looks and charms to win over an audience, and definitely knows his stuff as well.
Watching the first day of the draft, if I had a dollar for every time I heard Kiper say "So and so went 19th overall, and I had him 19th on my big board," I would have $35 [Keep in mind only 64 picks were made on Saturday]. WE GET IT MEL, you're good at your job, that's why you're getting paid.
Joakim Noah: His Demeanor, His Looks, and Did I Mention His Looks?
First of all, he got to the NBA, and he is getting paid to play ball, so more power to him. But come on, Noah makes Adam Morrison a viable candidate to become the next Bachelor.
The GEICO cavemen look like Abercrombie models compared to Noah. If you've ever seen footage of Noah playing, it seems as though he hasn't yet figured out how to control the function in all of his extremities.
He somehow manages to come up with big plays every so often, and nullifies any positive thoughts you may have had about him with a hideous scream, fist pump, or chest pounding. I know I cannot be the only person who cringes when Noah's name is even mentioned.
If you don't side with my argument at this point, you will after you view this atrocity...
Steroids & The MLB: When Is It Over?
So, it's bad enough that "America's Pastime" has been completely and utterly blacklisted by the so-called Steroid Era. Enough is enough though.
I've become jaded, as many have, by seemingly half of the MLB shooting up sometime in the past 10 years. McGwire? Steroids.
Sosa? Steroids. Bonds? Steroids.
A-ROD? No, not A-ROD!?! Yes, steroids.
And more steroids. Even Rafael Palmeiro, who lied over and over under oath. Steroids.
Now anytime I watch a baseball game and someone hits a home run or gets clocked throwing 99 mph, I can't help but think he had to be on the juice. It's a shame things have come to that but they have. Now institute mandatory testing, and let's move on with our lives.
Twitter: What? Where? Why? WHO CARES?
I understand that technology nowadays is becoming, for lack of a better term, Orwellian, but everyone needs to get over Twitter. Every time I see a highlight on SportsCenter, Scott Van Pelt is rattling off Shaquille O'Neal's current Twitter status.
Or anytime I'm watching my Tigers on Fox Sports Detroit, Rod Allen makes sure to let me know I can follow the Fox Sports family on Twitter. I don't want to.
I don't want to become Fox Sports friend on Facebook. It's channel 31 on my television, and that is good enough for me.
Is it really that fascinating to follow along Chris Bosh's average day? No, it's not.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but living vicariously through your favorite New York Yankee's life on Twitter is lame. L-A-M-E.
Playing Video Games: That Friend Everyone Has
What is better than sitting down with your roommate and putting a week's worth of laundry on the line and using Madden '09 to settle the score? Not many things, as long as you come out on top.
But the scenario I speak of is when you're playing head-to-head and your know-it-all friend is sitting on the couch behind you. You run a go route and try and go up top to Randy Moss, but the pass gets knocked down by a DB.
"You should've thrown it to A [the A button]. A [the A button] was open the whole time over the middle."
It's bad enough you're facing third and long now, but you have Cris Collinsworth sitting over your shoulder making sure you know that he would make a great NFL offensive coordinator. He's the same friend that makes sure you know Rip Hamilton is way better from two steps inside the three point line than from behind, and yes, that's also him making you aware of the fact that your 4 iron would've made the green from there while playing Tiger Woods '09.
There's a reason why I didn't ask you to play. Where's Mankind with Mr. Socko when you need him?
The Pittsburgh Penguins: The Inability To Look Good
The Pittsburgh Penguins have made it to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They've done so by scoring goals by way of deflections off of players' hands, shins, feet, upper bodies, and even a few coming from their sticks.
The Penguins are scoring though. Their goals may be ugly, but they are still goals.
It seems to be working for them, so it can't be all bad. Unfortunately for them, they've run into Alexander Ovechkin and the resurgent Washington Capitals.
Regardless of how many goals Sidney Crosby scores from deflections off his mangina, the Penguins look to be golfing sometime in mid-May.
The Single Life: Reality TV? Really?
Now, before you ask who in the blue hell is that? It's Paul Davis, of LA Clipper and Michigan State Spartan fame.
What am I getting at here? Paul Davis was on Bravo's Millionaire Matchmaker, a show I don't fully understand, but it's some kind of blind dating show trying to find love.
Jesse Palmer, former NY Giants rostered QB and current ESPN analyst was once ABC's the Bachelor. Men's Tennis pro Jan Michael Gambill was on Tough Love on Vh1.
These are all dating-based reality shows. Now, if I'm a successful [I'm using that term in the most liberal way possible] professional athlete, I don't really have a problem finding dates.
Not only is it baffling, but definitely a little embarrassing. Okay, so not successful really, but hey, they all were making at least base salaries in their respective leagues, except for Gambill, but it landed him a spot on Vh1, so he has no room to complain.
Poker: I Will Be The Next Chris Moneymaker, Greg Raymer, Joe Hachem...The List Goes On
Poker hit it big with Chris Moneymaker going from Tennessee accountant to millionaire virtually overnight. Over a week, actually.
But either way, with Moneymaker's rags-to-riches story, everybody of age, and even some well under believed they could turn themselves into the next World Series of Poker "Main Event" Champion. It's understandable.
That's the dream for many. But since when did playing cards with your friends turn into constant analysis of every hand.
If you're like me, you can't stand hearing someone talk about missing their "gut shot" straight draw, their "back door" flush draw, or "getting rivered." I understand you bought the Norman Chad "How to Broadcast" DVD set, but don't tell me how I should've played my ace-queen off-suit.
Stop talking, drink your beer, and try to remember we're playing for $40, not $8.5 million and a gold bracelet.
Rec Softball: Tainted By The High School Golden Boy
I love playing softball. I've been out of high school for three years this June, and I miss playing sports more and more all the time.
Thankfully, I've been able to play hockey since then. It's my favorite sport.
But there is something about playing softball that I can't really explain, it just gets me going. But that feeling is trumped by the frustration caused by playing against the kid you know was his high school's three sport athlete.
He's bigger, faster, and just a little better than you. His team always seems to turn a close game into a blowout against you, and he loves every second of it.
You begin to wonder how he even owns the 7 or 8 sweatbands he managed to put on? He comes up in the 5th inning after the team has already batted around and turns his single to left into a triple for his cycle by legging out an extra base and capitalizing on your girlfriend's throwing error at second base.
You can't do anything but hit the batting cages one more time, eating some fat free yogurt, and watch John Kruk on Baseball Tonight. Your time will come. Oh yes, it will come.
The Shaft: The Anaheim Mighty Ducks And What They Missed Out On
I haven't seen any of the Mighty Ducks movies in some time, but I know what a mistake was made by the actual Mighty Ducks. For the first several years of the franchise's existence, they were nothing more than a doormat for other Western Conference teams in the NHL.
What would've put a stop to that you ask? The hottest goaltending tandem the league would've ever seen in Goldberg and Julie "The Cat."
The leadership abilities of Charlie Conway. The top line of Teemu Selanne on the right wing, Paul Kariya at center, and the flashy hands and grace of Adam Banks on the left wing.
Grinders like Averman, Jesse, Guy Germaine. Hell, even Connie Moreau would've been a contributor.
I love those movies. They should've scratched Rocky XXIV: Wheelchair Boxing at its Finest, for a fourth Mighty Ducks movie, where they get traded to the Colorado Avalanche as a package deal and put together a great Stanley Cup run in 1997.
Loving LeBron like it's going out of style: He is an amazing athlete. He's made his team better.
But...[yes, there's a but] there is still this guy out in Hollywood who isn't happy with three rings. Kobe Bryant?
Name sound familiar? He's like the ginger step-child that the parents keep forgetting about.
Sports Soup: Matt Iseman's stand up comedy is not comedy at all. The jokes his writers at Sports Soup concoct for him are even worse, and the laugh track makes them even worse.
But I find him tolerable because he bares a decent resemblance to Mr. Incredible, from the Disney-Pixar film, The Incredibles.
The New Orleans Hornets minus Chris Paul: I'm almost to the point of calling out a search party. Paul had one off game with only 4 points, 6 assists, and 2 rebounds.
This was also the game Denver DOUBLED UP New Orleans by a score of 121-63. I don't know how in only a year, the same supporting cast managed to fade off into the mist faster than Paul Davis' dignity after Millionaire Matchmaker ended up with him waiting at an Olive Garden all night for a girl that decided getting a mani-pedi was more important.
Barry Melrose as the face of hockey at ESPN: Every time they talk about the NHL on SportsCenter, it normally starts with Steve Levy basically calling Barry Melrose a douchebag or mentioning his long tenure as Tampa Bay Lightning coach, before he breaks down his man-crush [Sidney Crosby's] performance from that night. I dislike Melrose for his poor taste in clothing, his greasy mullet, and his total loathing of the Detroit Red Wings.
I Bid You Adieu
Disregard the caption above. I have no idea how it got here.
Thanks for reading, I'm going to bed now that it's 4:27 in the morning. War to Ray Allen shooting the lights out, ManRam just being ManRam, the Red Wings plucking the Ducks, and Todd MacShay.