My first love of sports was my first baseball game: August 27, 1984, Shea Stadium, Dodgers v. Mets, Fernando v. Doctor K. Both guys pitched complete games (who sees that anymore?) Dwight Gooden struck out 12 as the Mets won 5-1. I believe it was a Mike Scioscia home run as the only blemish. After that day, I wanted to learn everything about baseball. I still miss that decrepit dungeon in Queens btw.
Baseball is still my favorite sport even with its huge flaws during the Steroid Era. I think Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens belong in the Hall of Fame but they need their own wing as long as their plaques recognize their achievements may have been tarnished a little bit.
I'm not sure which Commissioner was worse - Bud Selig or Gary Bettman. Bud Selig looked the other way during the steroid scandal while picking on Pete Rose (who I also think should be in the HOF), he had a tied All-Star Game and a cancelled World Series on his watch.
Meanwhile, his NHL counterpart was an NBA guy who almost made an entire sport go extinct with two lockouts to protect the gullible owners who overspent for players and then told them to sod off while they pull in profits by NOT playing hockey. He was the primary conductor for the 2004-05 lockout which did do one thing for the better - it chased away the fair-weather hockey fans, not unlike the 2011 Red Sox fried chicken "controversy" kept the bandwagon "Sawx" fans away for good. So, there's that.....
I love football - I don't care for football fans much, in general. As much as I love the sport, I don't see the need to follow it from the end of the Super Bowl until Opening Week. To me, since no actual football is being played, then there is no need to obsess over it. You're, in essence, rooting for potential - that unknown attribute. The thing that puts Jeff George or Reggie Bush in the Pro Football Hall of Fame before they're even drafted. I'm a die-hard Jets fan since 1985. I have seen potential blow up in our faces year after year. Drafting Ken O'Brien before Dan Marino, Blair Thomas before Emmitt Smith, Kyle Brady before Warren Sapp. So, perhaps that's why I lower my expectations during the off-season.
I enjoy watching tennis and golf as well, although I only watch them during their big tournaments. I still want to golf one round at either Pebble Beach, Augusta or Torrey Pines.
My favorite players of all time in each sport:
- Baseball, Pedro Martinez
- Football, Joe Montana
- Basketball, Michael Jordan
- Hockey, Mark Messier
- Tennis, Steffi Graf and Rafael Nadal
- Golf, Tiger Woods