Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Grab Bag: the Dead of Summer

Not that I'm breaking open a closely guarded secret, but summers in the sporting world can get a bit dull.  Now that both the NBA and NHL champions have been crowned, there's really nothing other than baseball and golf available for viewing until August (And even I, lover of baseball that I am, can get a little tired of the game by the All-Star break).  From here until the start of football season it's baseball, baseball, baseball; with the odd, intermittent pause for a major golf tournament thrown in for kicks.  Hope everyone enjoys dudes hitting balls with sticks.

Today in the bag I'll touch on some baseball, some golf, and some recruiting news.

Click below for the bag...

Rory McIlroy is the new... Rory McIlroy! - For those not off doing fun summer activities, the only thing if real interest this weekend was the US Open, and even that was all but over well before Sunday showed up.  22-year old Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy ran away with the title, his first career major victory, by posting a 16 under four day score in a tournament known for being tough to crack par.  Impressive as that performance was, the media is already scrambling to put it into "perspective."  With the ratings bonanza that was Tiger-mania sitting on the injury shelf, and still dealing with the aftershocks of his philandering, the golf world is desperate for something to latch onto.  In winning by 8 strokes, McIlroy gave the bored golfing crowd what it craved; a foil for Tiger. 
Impressive.... most impressive.
Expect at least a decade of this crap.  Every young face who wins a tournament by a few strokes will be the next Tiger.  Every young player will be asked to measure up one of the most impressive decade-long runs of golf the sport has ever known.  The sporting world is still addicted to Tiger, it just wants a new flavor, one that won't make it sick.

The greater sporting world is always caught up in this trap.  As I was growing up, I watched a parade of young players get crowned "the next Jordan."  Harold Miner, Isaiah Rider, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James.  One by one they either failed or succeeded in their own way.  No one will "replace" the stars of the past, they are their own players with their own expression of the sport.  Let Rory do his thing in his own right, no sense holding him to a performance standard he either can't or won't live up to.

On the recruiting front - After putting the finishing touches on his first recruiting class last week, CU head football coach Jon Embree received the 5th commitment for the 2012 class from Texas standout WR Jeffrey Thomas.  I had anticipated a bottoming out of Texas recruiting in light of CU's departure from the Big-XII, but Thomas is already the second kid from the Lone Star state to pledge to CU (There was a third, but Texas RB Ben Catalon went back on an earlier commitment tot he Buffs in favor of one to TCU; yet another reminder that these commitments are essentially worthless til February).  Good to see the Buffs stay strong in recruiting the most talent-rich state.

Cubs/Sox starts today - The yearly Windy City blood-feud is back starting this evening.  The Cubs, with their 13 games under .500 record, will limp their way south on the Red line to play my slightly less feeble Sox.  Prepare for gratuitous shots of married couples wearing opposite colors, with accompanying questions as to how they could possibly live with each other, combined with lame talk radio topics like "what Cub would you want on the Sox."  This shit is starting to get old; it's not even a guaranteed sellout anymore.

Hey look, the Picasso likes both clubs!  Isn't that fucking lame!?
What was once the only series I cared about each year has slowly lost almost all importance for me.  I used to live and die with every pitch of Cubs/Sox, but that's in the past.  (In fact, at this point I'd trade 6 losses to the Cubs for a season win over the fucking Twins.)  It was the World Series that killed my passion for this "rivalry."  Winning the title in '05 allowed me to see that beating up on the neighbors to the north just doesn't mean that much.  Regardless, I still love my Sox, and I'm wearing my traditional Sox Hawaiian shirt for good luck and to piss my Cub fan co-workers off.

Happy Monday, and go Sox!


Aaron Jordan said...

Do you work with a lot of Cubs fans? How much does sports come up with your coworkers?

It comes up all the time here, but there aren't many fans of the teams I hate.

RumblinBuff said...

"Cub fans" are like roaches or house flies: not only are they pests, but they turn up everywhere. Yes, even at my office in far off Niwot, Colorado. And while we may not talk sports all that much, I always like to remind them that a real baseball fan, who actually understands and likes the game, works and plays on the front range as well.

I put "Cub fans" in quotes because very few people choose to be "Cub fans" because they like baseball, or specifically the Chicago Cubs baseball club. They don the Cubbie blue pinstripes and sit in that piss-stained failure of a ballpark because they like the image, they like to be "seen." It's a fad, along the lines of white sunglasses and 80s throwback shit.

The whole of Cubbie nation is a paper elephant: gargantuan and impressive to look at, but a stiff breeze will tear right through it. Their fans are as fake as Sammy Sosa's stats.

Ever notice how a Chicago based celebrity always "happens" to be a Cubs fan? It's because their publicists have, with good reason, decided that wearing a Cubs hat every once in a while will help them sell their next movie, album, whatever. Even the late Bernie Mac, a life-long Sox fan, took the plunge, wore Cubs shit, and sang the abortion that is the 7th inning stretch at Wrigley 'cause he thought it would help his career.

The whole Cubbie construct is bullshit. Before it became cool to be a Cub fan (80s/early-90s) that park was as empty as a Las Vegas church. They're all desperate for attention, hoping to be included with the cool people, and they all think that swilling stale Old Style and not paying attention to the game they ostensibly paid to see will help them get laid. Maybe it will, but I think they're all a bunch of baseball Charlatans.

Lol, to get back to your question, as with the rest of Colorado, all we get into at the office is local stuff. Very few transplants, other than myself, are big sports fans, so discussions tend to myopically include how dreamy Tim Tebow is and when the Rockies will start winning again. As a result, discussions tend to fall on the sycophantic side, usually ending with agreement that the Broncos are awesome.

Many of those who do like teams from outside the state are Husker fans; rather than try to engage them in conversation, I just tend to glare at them as they come into my office, with the undeniable look of "back-the-fuck-off" plastered across my face.

That's where my softball team comes in. They're from all over, so sports conversations can run the gambit of topics.

JT said...

Are you finally ready to concede that the abomination of interleague play should be dragged into the street and shot?

RumblinBuff said...

Closer than I've been in the past. However, without interleague play I wouldn't get those 3 games next week in Denver with my boys. I've heard rumblings about evening the leagues and opening up scheduling to more variety in the future; maybe that's the answer.

A few side notes: Jason Giambi playing DH 4-5 days/week for the Rockies would be worth an extra 3-5 wins right now... Considering how good the sox and rox are in interleague play, maybe we should swap leagues and meet in the world series. That'd give my boys the opportunity to sit Adam Dunn 6-7 days a week... NFL and NBA labor strife, Gary Bettman being Gary Bettman; could Bud Selig, annoying as he is, be the most successful commissioner in sports right now?...

JT said...

I hate to admit this, but Selig is the best right now. I've hated on him big time in the past, but he has been doing a great job, especially with how he has been smacking down that scumbag Frank McCourt.

~Tuba John

Aaron Jordan said...

You work in Niwot? I didn't know that, I work at Clover Basin and Hover roughly, we should grab some oscar blues sometime

RumblinBuff said...

Totally, dude. Allan and I grab lunch every work day; we should meetup sometime.