Sorry, I’m wiping the crust from my 3rd eyelid after Game 6 of the World Series kept me up later than I expect. In one of the wildest, wackiest games in baseball history, much less World Series history, the Cardinals forced game 7 by coming back twice when they were down 2 in the 9th inning or later. There were 6 home runs including the game-winning homer and 5 errors. There were Ron Washington celebrations and Nolan Ryan stank faces. The game had everything that you want in a game and somethings that you don’t want, but it makes the game that much more awesome. So I know we do the weekend TV preview at the end, but I want to make sure you watch Game 7 of the best World Series since 2001 (I know ’02 went 7 games but I don’t think I watched one pitch of that series). I know its Friday, but I would hate to see Say Yes to the Dress beat Game 7 in ratings tomorrow so I must implore you:
Game 7 – Rangers vs Cardinals 8:05 pm FOX
This is why I told you for the last couple of weeks to take you girl out instead of watching terrible college football and NFL matchups. You got to store up the points for nights like these.
This game inspired me to write about what I think is wrong with the way we watch sports. Everything is about math and stats these days. Baseball is terrible with this new sabermetrics; instead of strike the hell out of that batter, games are decided by BABIP, LIPS, WAR, VORP, and UZR. Do you know what any of that bull crap means? Do you think people were thinking about that when the Cardinals were down to their final strike twice? It’s amazing that when the pressure is turnt up, the game gets real simple.
Football has become the same way. Us geek boys and fantasy nerds has turned the game into a stats class. Coaches, GMs, and now the fans are taking the magic out of football. I don’t want to harp on the Tim Tebow thing cause I know its been beaten into your brain, but don’t you think a lot of the Tebow backlash is because he doesn’t play quarterback the way we want to see the QB position. He doesn’t read progression or pass the ball to receivers on the run. He literally plays the “run and get open offense” (we call it the Dez Bryant offense in the ManCave) but it succeeds to an extent. Michael Vick was the same way when he came out. And it drives us crazy.
We as fans want explanations for what happens on the field or the court. Announcers always have to explain what occurs, so we don’t even trust what we see with our own eyes. Analysts like Skip Bayless wax poetic about the reasons this team won or lost, even so much as to play sports psychologists and entrances us with his craziness. We want to know why something happens on the field, so we can impress our friends who probably thought of the same thing. We forget that what draws us back into sports is the unexplainable occurrences; the magic that occurs on the field.
You can practice all you want for a game. You drill plays over and over again until you do them in your sleep. It’s all about execution of the offense and being in the right position on defense. But what happens on the field and court? Chaos ensues. The other team is actually trying to win, how dare they? Those first 15 plays you run, swallowed by the opposing defense (ask the Ravens). You were suppose to be up by 21 by the end of those 15 plays, now you’re scoreless against Jacksonville in the 4th. Coaches and fans always try to make sports as scientific as possible, when it is as much spiritual as it is science.
Can you explain Michigan State’s wild hail mary last weekend? Or that short Denard Robinson could lead Michigan’s comeback twice over God’s team, Notre Dame? Did you know that Ron Artest would make that 4th quarter 3-pointer against the Celtics in 2010? If they replayed the 2008 Super Bowl, how times out of 10 would the Giants have beat the Patriots? Why doesn’t LeBron have a ring right now, especially since he has had arguably the best team in the league each of the last 2 seasons? You have any ideas for the Music City Miracle and the Immaculate Reception? Sometimes sports isn’t about out-smarting your opponents. It’s about belief; belief in yourself and in the team, as Coach O’Shea told us at halftime before the Annexation of Puerto Rico play. (The IceBox isn’t the IceBox anymore LOL)
So let’s stop trying to have an explanation for the Cardinals, Tebows, Newtons, and VCUs of the world. I know it drives us crazy when people we think that are not as talented, or not as smart achieve success. It defies all that we learned about being the best and brightest and smartest. Those teams and players I mentioned were suppose to be afterthoughts in this year, because they were not conventional, or too dumb to call plays, or not athletic enough for the better teams. But they had the belief in themselves, and the heart to persevere. And they made fools of us all in the end. But hey, weirder things have happened.
So this weekend on your ManCave TVs enjoy the magic of sports, instead of trying to figure out all the answers to why your fantasy team hasn’t scored over 100 points total so far this season. It’ll make the weekend that much better. Best game in bold on your projection wall TV, italics for the TV that you play madden on, regular, you might as well save electricity and keep that off for a while (especially on Sunday).
Saturday, October 29
12-3pm: Michigan State vs Nebraska (ESPN), Missouri vs Texas A&M (FX), Purdue vs Michigan (ESPN2)
3:30-7pm: Oklahoma vs Kansas State (ESPN), Georgia vs Florida (CBS), Baylor vs Oklahoma State (ABC or ESPN2)
8pm: Stanford vs USC (ABC), Clemson vs Georgia Tech (ABC), Wisconsin vs Ohio State (ESPN)
Sunday, October 30
1-4pm: Minnesota vs Carolina, Miami vs New York Giants, Arizona vs Baltimore
4-7pm: New England vs Pittsburgh, Washington vs Buffalo, Detroit vs Denver