Bunting for a Hit: Sports, Cynicism and Change

Sports has developed an extremely high level of cynicism. Bigger, faster stronger used to talk about the athletic accomplishments on the fields of play, but now seems more apt as a reference to the spectacle, coverage and dollars involved in the sporting industry. Now with the increases in coverage we know more about these athletes than we ever did before, and know it instantly. With the spectacle we encourage the pomp and circus like atmosphere that surround big games and icons. We spend more money than ever before to watch games, be it in person or on tv, along with buying food and drink at games and covering ourselves with team merchandise at a rate never before seen. All these aspects, and many more, have come to cost sports its youth like exuberant innocence and develop that previously stated high level of cynicism. Continue reading

Bunting for a Hit: Turkey Wrap

curling_fThere is a shit ton going on right now in sports. 3 of the major leagues are in game operation, with the NFL being in full swing as the playoff picture begins to take shape. Don’t forget about college football either as we approach the ridiculous number of “bowl” games, but even with all those meaningless bowls in the mix, it doesn’t mean that I didn’t watch 2 incredible football games Saturday with THE Ohio State University vs. Michigan and the Auburn beating the 2 time reigning National Champion Alabama on a play that has to compare with only a walk off grand slam in terms of game ending plays. Major League Baseball’s hot stove is starting to pick up even in a down free agent year. NBC won’t let us forget that the Winter Olympics are going to happen in Russia, but until they reunite Tonya, Nancy and a crowbar I don’t know that I’m super interested. Unless I can figure out how to make or join a curling pool. I saw those guys in picture at a Bosstones Throwdown in 2011 I think! Continue reading

Bunting for a Hit 2013: Week 13

imagesThe baseball season is upon us and there has already been some great action. Clayton Kershaw not only starts opening day for the Dodgers, but throws a complete game shutout and provides all the offense his team would need with a homer run to lead off the 8th. The Astros started their new life as an American League team with a win over their cross state rival Texas Rangers. Bryce Harper started his sophomore season with a bang, actually 2 bangs, as he homered in his first 2 at bats, providing Stephen Strasburg with plenty of support as the Washington Nationals began their run at a World Series title. Continue reading

Bunting for a Hit 2013: Week 11

1363531056909The week “Oz The Great and Powerful” comes out who gets in a hot air balloon accident? Donte Stallworth. I don’t think this is coincidence and I plan on going over those credits with a fine tooth comb to find out if he is actually a producer of the movie or a part owner of 1 of the special effects companies used to create a 2013 Oz.

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Bunting for a Hit 2013: Week 10

NFL free agency begins today, after the legal tampering period, which is an oxymoron because if its legal its not tampering, but “legal tampering” sounds edgier and is a better sound bite than “early negotiating” period, so the NFL sticks us with that term. On the other end of the spectrum in terms of edgy news, soon some white smoke will emerge from the Vatican and the Catholics will have a new Pope. How do they top the last guy who was a Hitler Youth Alum? Beats me.

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Bunting for a Hit 2013: Week 9

Buzzer beaters exist at every level of basketball. They combine all the elements needed to create the most dramatic second in sports. The feeling of certain victory on 1 end, on the other the feeling of hope coupled with a desperate attempt at snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. Never before have I seen this scene played out more dramatically, than it was in a high school game between New Rochelle and Mt. Vernon. Watch this video and try to argue against me.

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Bunting for a Hit 2013: Week 8

imagesIt happened late here in Boston locally so it went largely unnoticed live, but last night in Utah Paul Pierce did what we have seen Paul Pierce do so many times in Celtic Green, he picked the team up, put them on his back and made sure they didn’t finish their post All Star Break West Coast Swing with only 1 win in 5 tries. They were still 2-3 on the road trip, which is not great, but as the regular season winds down and preparation for the playoffs ramp up, its good to see Pierce still has the ability to take over a game. He doesn’t do it like Michael Jordan, “with the greatest of ease”. He doesn’t do it like Lebron, with sheer physical superiority. He does it with the grace of an ostrich, smoothly awkward and deliberately quick, all in 1 fell swoop. If the Celtics are going to make any noise in the NBA playoffs they are going to need Pierce to do that a couple of times in each series. He’s too old to do it as effectively as he did in 2002 when he took a fairly motley crew to the Eastern Conference Finals, but he has a better team now and maybe just maybe these Celtics can make a run at the Miami Heat and the NBA Finals.  Continue reading

Bunting for a Hit 2013: Week 7

imagesNBA All-Star weekend just passed and I fell asleep during the Saturday Night activities. The premier event, the slam dunk contest, needs to be saved. It needs star power. It needs Lebron and the other jumpers of his caliber. TNT reporter David Aldridge has the way to get those guys, he says put an absurd sum of money, 10 million dollars, in the center of the court and tell them winner takes all. That is a great idea, and if they find enough corporate sponsorship to get a prize of 5 million for the 3-point contest or 20 million for the guy who wins both, ratings will go through the roof. Were the NBA able to pull that idea off I would watch EVERY year, not fall asleep and wait with baited breath for each dunk, much like I did as a 9 year old watching Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins go mano-a-mano in the greatest dunk contest I’ve ever seen. Continue reading

Bunting for a Hit: 2013 Week 6

imagesToday is the day of the year that correctly predicts that spring is 6 weeks away, because unlike that unreliable groundhog in Pennsylvania, today pitchers and catchers report to Red Sox spring training which assures us that Red Sox Opening Day is 6 weeks away. And if the Red Sox see their shadow it means 86 years of misery. No, not really, at least I hope not. It is the sign of spring coming that warms my heart the most, especially when it comes just after a blizzard that drops 3 feet of snow on the general Boston area.  New Englanders need these days on our calendar, as sad as they may sound, Red Sox truck day, pitchers and catchers report, full squad workouts begin, the first spring games against Northeastern and BC, the Sox first spring game against the Yankees, these are the days that get those of us stuck up north through the cold, boring days of February and March while we anticipate warm days at Fenway or catching a Sox game on the radio while laying on the beach. So in many ways today we celebrate the beginning of the end of Red Sox Nation’s long national nightmare, the off-season. Continue reading