When I want to read the sports section, I start by reading world news. If the world is about to blow up, then it’s of little consequence to me that Josh Beckett has allowed 97 runs over his last five outings. The end of the world is some serious cheese.
At last check North Korea was 27 games out but is building for the future. Iran -- also out of playoff contention -- sees itself in the playoffs as early as next year and is trying to build a strong nuclear … er, nucleus through its minor-league system.
Next I turn to U.S. news because closer to home can be pretty explosive as well. Besides, I might read that a former Red Sox pitching ace is running for Ted Kennedy’s open Senate seat in Massachusetts. Crime stories are folded into U.S. news so that often I get a jump on news that awaits me in the sports section.
Then I turn to the business pages because as we all know professional sports is big business. If I’m not completely demoralized after reading about rising unemployment and bankruptcies and the pending relocation of the Phoenix Coyotes to Ontario, Canada (on this last point, I’m not), I then turn to the comics page.
The comics page used to be called the “funnies” but along came Family Circus, Funky Winkerbean, Garfield, Marmaduke and the like and the name “funnies” simply didn’t apply. There hasn’t been a truly funny sports cartoon strip, but nonetheless a quick visit to the comics might lighten my mood for the grimness of the sports section.
Finally, I open the sports section … or page. The Associated Press reports this and that. Gone are numerous sports columnists, scattered to online sites and radio gigs. I’m in a state of “agateny,” which I’ve determined is intense pain brought on when all the news that fits in print can be found in agate type.