College Football is Not a Religion. Still, It Interests Me. (Part 1)
Last night the New Zealand rugby team, the All Blacks, beat the Australian rugby team, the Wallabies (watch highlights here). This makes me happier than many other things that people derive pleasure from. I was raised in New Zealand, where rugby, to employ a bad sports cliche, is not a religion, but the religion. When I moved to the American South, first Virginia and now my current home, Florida, I was told that people think of college football as a religion. This is both impossible and untrue, because a) there is much more to distract people from college football including “real” religion and b) there are other sports that people are extremely passionate about for no discernible reason, such as baseball.
Now that I have talked about a sport that most Americans don’t care about and derided the so-called national past time, it seems appropriate to mention that I am nonpretentious.com‘s new sports writer. And I don’t really like baseball, at least not yet. And I live in Gainesville, Florida, so I am somewhat preoccupied with the University of Florida’s athletic program. Also, the only two sports scenarios that might cause me to become completely irrational is the play of the All Blacks and the Boston Celtics. So, now that I have made the case that I am somewhat/completely unsuitable to be a sports writer, let me reiterate that I am. A sportswriter and an unsuitable sportswriter. Thus let me start with some old thoughts on some old news.
- Jesse Jackson was right, at least to some degree, when he critiqued Dan Gilbert. The bitching and moaning of Gilbert, the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, about Lebron James’ move to the Miami Heat reeks of some deeper anxiety: an inability to control another person’s movement and right to seek employment elsewhere once a contract expires. You are a fool, Gilbert, a sore loser, a petty name-calling fool, and I’m glad big Z, the Cav’s center, is taking [his] talent” to Miami, too.
- I watch much more basketball than I should–in fact, I’m embarrassed to say how much I watch. I will, however, say this. All this watching allows me to assert something with a fair amount of certainty: LBJ is one of the best passers in the game. Would he have been one of the best passers in the league in the early 1990s? I don’t know. Is he a better passer than Magic Johnson? Probably not. But you wait until this Miami Heat team is on the fast-break. . . Win or lose—and they have to win, really, or the sharpened knives will start slashing—there will be artistry. But then you might not care about basketball, which is okay. As I said before, I don’t really care for baseball. At least not yet.
- I watched the Home Run Derby at the MLB All Star game. It was pretty good, I guess.