Toward the end of last semester, I made a bet with a friend regarding whether or not I could make it until the end of the year without whining. So a) Lindsay, you owe me dinner, and b) Back to the whining.
As I begin writing this column, it’s Sunday night, and I’m sitting on my couch at home watching Wayne’s World. I’ve already seen Wayne’s World 2 this vacation, as well as Anastasia, Underworld: Evolution, A Kid In King Arthur’s Court, House of Wax, Twister, the Parent Trap and the Dukes of Hazzard — twice.
Welcome to my recovery from ACL surgery. There was some PlayStation in there too, a lot of Vicodin and a distinct lack of shaving (my editor says I look like the guy who lives in the bathroom at Grand Central).
But more pertinent to this column, my lack of mobility meant watching A LOT of sports. I’d try to quantify it, but it would be easier, and more fun — at least for me — to make this week’s column a rundown of my favorite moments and thoughts on the past three weeks of sports. So before I get back to Yale sports next week, I give you: “What I did with my winter vacation.” The sports version, that is: Jessica Simpson and the General Lee excluded.
— Apparently, I can’t call bowl games for my life. I had Michigan in a huge blowout win over USC, only to watch Dwayne Jarrett run all over the Michigan secondary. I had Adrian Peterson going out with a bang in a blowout win over Boise State — wrong again. And like anyone else with two eyes and a pulse, I had Troy Smith and Co. putting the SEC back in its place. Oops. I recommend finding me soon and betting against me on the Super Bowl. My money’s on the Chargers.
— Ted Ginn was clearly going pro after this season with his quarterback graduating and his stock at its peak. And he looked fine when he ran out of the locker room after going to get his foot checked out. But half an hour later, he was in a boot and on crutches. Anyone else wonder if he could have played but didn’t want to get injured with the pre-draft workouts only a few months away? Just a thought.
— Jim Tressel reminded me of the Soviet head coach in Miracle who doesn’t know how to act when his vaunted team is losing. He didn’t make any adjustments, keeping his defense in an ineffective zone the entire game. His offensive line was pathetically unprepared for the Florida pass rush. He never put consistent pressure on Chris Leak, despite the fact that it worked for just about every SEC team this season. And all the while, he just kind of stood there with his arms crossed and tried to look really serious, as if that might make him seem less useless.
— Congratulations to the co-winners for best facial expressions of the last few weeks in sports: Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn for his, “Oops, my overrated team just got destroyed again, I hope no one notices and I still get drafted first,” and New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin for his, “If I look really, really mad that my undisciplined, underachieving team is sucking it up again, maybe they won’t blame me.” Honorable mention to Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren, who looks like he’s going to cry whenever his team loses. You can’t help but feel bad for the guy.
— The NBA still sucks. There are maybe four or five guys who are fun to watch, but even then, you feel kind of dirty watching Kobe and Gilbert Arenas hoist thirty shots a game. At least I still have the Knicks. Nothing reaches the heights of unintentional comedy like Stephon Marbury and Jamal Crawford dribbling into triple coverage, getting stripped and then looking like they were held up at gunpoint.
— Pro hockey still sucks. And I’m still laughing that it’s shown on the TV station Versus.
— On the other hand, college basketball is great. The national championship should be Kansas-Florida and an awesome game, but it won’t happen because Kansas seems to either fire on all cylinders or … well … lose to Oral Roberts. They’ll lose in the second round of the tournament and wreck my bracket again. Meanwhile, it will take another mono scare for me not to pencil the Gators into the Final Four. The pros don’t deserve big men who hustle like Joakim Noah and Al Horford.
— Props to Bob Knight for breaking Dean Smith’s all-time wins record. I don’t care if he doesn’t realize it’s not the 70s anymore, and you can’t knock a guy under the chin: he’s a great coach and deserves for that to be his legacy.
— Big Mac deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. Yeah, he was probably on the juice. But if he was, more than a few others were too. I consider him a product of an era, not the exception. He’s still one of the greatest hitters in the history of baseball.
— Finally, some pro football. Everything can be summarized into this: I hate the Patriots. First, they beat the Jets. This sucks, but at least I kind of saw it coming. But then they go off and beat the Chargers, the one team I really wanted to see in the Super Bowl, despite Shawne Merriman’s stupid “lights out” dance. If Belichick had actually gotten in trouble for shoving a cameraman in the face, all would be right with the world. But no, he’s still on the sidelines in that stupid gray sweatshirt. Now I have to root for Peyton. I’d rather watch the Dukes of Hazzard again.
That just about covers it. Predictions: Saints over Bears, Peyton picks an opportune time to put the Pats in their places and I lay off movies that network television is afraid to air before midnight.
Dan Adler is a senior in Pierson College and a former Sports Editor for the News.