Damn You, Mayan Calendar

January 2, 2012

So, they say it’ll be curtains this year, if you believe the Mayan calendar.  Sudden death, but no overtime.             

Does that mean I’ll not post a blog to begin the new year ?   Just give up, like Billy Beane and the A’s, until we reach our next destination ? 

Hell no. The blogosphere is still here, in the face of adversity.              

First of all, this just in — we’re all going to die, anyway.  Well, at least those of us who were not transported to Earth in pods from the planet ZZYZYX to mix with the human population centuries ago. 

I think I’ve done a decent job of assimilating, if I do say so myself.  But my, how your measure of time flies. The pod’s solar-powered motor is running, but we’re all sticking around just in case there’s been a mistake.

We hope so. Earth is just so gosh-darn fun.

And yes, there’s a chance that translating the Mayan language led to subtle inaccuracies.  For example, maybe the world ends in 2210, not 2012.  Cheap Shot Warning: that should give the Warriors just enough time to make the playoffs again.

So assuming we aren’t facing the End of Days just yet ( the popularity of Lady Gaga notwithstanding ) , I have several requests as a sports fan leading into 2012 and yes, beyond.             

— I hope and pray I have no more child sex abuse scandals on which to report during my sports updates.  And if Jerry Sandusky is convicted, please put him away for the rest of his life, so we don’t have to hear any of his creepy rationalizations — or his dumpkopf attorney.

Do not let this man profit from his story. Even if the dollars go to his alleged victims, it would seem disingenuous. Almost like blood money.          

— A Final Four in college football.  Really, do I need to justify this further after the hundreds of thoughtful articles written on the topic by the likes of Dan Wetzel ?  Bowls gives us the likes of John Junker, and big payoffs for guys in blue blazers at the expense of schools. Yet, schools still go.

— No more bowl games with teams under .500. I say this as a UCLA fan. There was no use in going to that game. A recruiting tool ? Feh. Any kid with talent who saw the SC-UCLA game knows which way the wind is blowing. Hopefully that wind also blows Dan Guerrero out of the Athletic Director’s office in Westwood.

— Electronic chips must be inserted in footballs and sensors on the field to mark yardage.   Enough of chains, the football equivalent of churning your own butter.  I saw a game this year between USC and Utah where a spot was missed by ONE YARD on a 4th down call.

— Oregon’s De’Anthony Thomas getting some Heisman recognition in his sophomore year. I direct your attention to the Rose Bowl. Oh. My. God. Is he fast.

— I don’t want to hear one more athlete say they, or their team, is “gangsta.”  The Ugly 90’s ended more than a decade ago. There is nothing good about the word, even if “Goodfellas” is my favorite movie.

— For Hue Jackson and Carson Palmer to get a refresher course in Clock Management 101.

— For 49ers fans to stop worrying about whether they are getting “respect” from the national media. Who the hell cares ? Respect or not, the 49ers are 13-3 with a first round bye and a home playoff game. If the 49ers make a deep run in the postseason they’ll get plenty of props.

— Give us a sports network whose pursuit of the dollar hasn’t co-opted its journalistic integrity.  Is that even possible anymore? I know NBC Sports is going to give ESPN a run but I don’t see how it will be much different.

Make it an up-front pay-per-view network so that leagues, schools, and sponsors don’t exert undue influence.  What’s that, you say ?  You don’t pay for ESPN ?  Eau contraire.

— Take the Hall of Fame vote away from baseball writers, especially if they exclude Jeff Bagwell.  You will never meet a more smug group of people, some of whom are in no position to judge the integrity of anyone, let alone baseball players.  Fans should be given a voice, along with ex-players and coaches and Hall of Famers.

If they exclude Jeff Bagwell, whose credentials exceed many in the Hall, because they THINK he might have used performance-enhacning drugs ?  That reasoning is intellectually lazy, and specious.

— I want to see the best players from the steroid era in the Hall, even those who were nailed as users.  You can only compare players to those of their era, and the best of that time period should be allowed in. 

Barry Bonds belongs in the Hall, no matter what you may think of him.  Uncomfortable ?  Tough. Hitters faced pitchers who were on steroids, and vice versa.

— MLB, instead of falling for the A’s tantrum, should only give them San Jose if the franchise agrees to compete and
achieve a minimum payroll while still in Oakland.  What’s going now is an absolute sham. 

They did a movie about the A’s called “Moneyball,” but it’s more like “Wal-Mart Ball” now.  At least in “Moneyball,”
there was a pretense of trying to compete.  The more realistic depiction of the current A’s would be “Major League” — except nobody wants to strip a cardboard cutout of Lew Wolff or John Fisher, and the A’s aren’t bringing in Willie Mays Hayes. 

They are giving the double-bird to their fans and the city of Oakland, while issuing the vague promise that “we’ll be good  when we get a stadium ( that hasn’t been financed ).”

— That we stop hearing the phrase “dialed up” in football broadcasts.             

— That Tim Tebow continues to be the Broncos’ starting quarterback, just because it pisses off so many people. Of course, his image will saturate the media, but better him than the Kardashians. He could host Saturday Night Live some day. If so, I hope Snooki is a guest.

— That those obnoxious Lexus holiday “red bow” commercials come to an end. In a recession, they are the equivalent of taunting, and so far away from the true meaning of the holidays that you would need a Hubble telescope to see it. In fact, if they continue, I might hope that the Mayan calendar was right.

— Can we stop having Baby Boomers on Super Bowl halftime shows ? I say this as a Baby Boomer who thought Madonna was a phony when she was in her prime. Please tell me there are newer, fresher acts that have talent. Pretty please ?

— I would like to have Gus Johnson provide the play-by-play on my golf round:  “Woodson … a 7-iron … it’s headed for the TREE-EEEE … OHHHHH !!!!!  TIM-BERRRRRR !!!!! “


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