I can address this firsthand, as I grew up a Washington Redskins fan but let go of my favoritism early in the Daniel Snyder era.
I've been a not-Redskins fan for nearly 15 years now. I can confirm that letting go of a favorite is doable; I had valid reasons for stopping cheering for them (and this was pre-name-kerfuffles), and they resonated long enough that they stayed factual. If I'm hanging out with Jonathan the Skins fan and they're on TV, I'll take their side for a bit, but I don't really care.
What I haven't been able to do, though, is pick up a new favorite. I'm in New York, so logically, I'd root for the Giants or Jets. But it's hard to become a Giants fan after rooting against them for so long, although I do respect them organizationally. That left the Jets, and, well, it's hard for anyone to be a Jets fan, let alone a grown adult who grew up rooting for an NFC team. So I cheer for the Jets but I don't have any real passion for them.
Like grum says, I have a passel of team preferences (the Steelers first and foremost) but no new favorite. My young children even parrot me on Sunday afternoons and say, "I'm just rooting for a good game."
posted by werty at 02:09 PM on December 17
It seems the main reason the Yankees are keeping Rodriguez is fiscal: if he re-injures himself, or retires due to an inability to play because of his hip surgeries, then the club can run his salary through an insurance claim and recoup 75 or 80 cents on the dollar.
As grum says, if they cut him, they'd make a bunch of fans like me happy, but even the Yankees have a hard time throwing away $61,000,000 for PR goodwill. The team looked into cutting him for lying and cheating previously and found no contractual out clauses. Not to mention that he could play well out of spite and club 20-25 homers and actually earn his keep, in which case many fans would probably just shrug and let him keep hitting.
With the negativity surrounding him, though, I'd love to see the Yanks take a hard-line stance and kick him to the curb, or try outrighting him to the minors. The current club lacks likability even without Rodriguez on the team.
posted by werty at 11:27 AM on November 06
The NYT suggested Kidd made this happen after trying and failing to take personnel control of the Nets. The Bucks saw how he turned around the mess in Brooklyn and figured they'd give him a shot. Incredibly pushy, though, no?
posted by werty at 12:15 PM on June 30
Fun fact from ESPN: the Yanks have turned three triple plays in the last 45 years, and CC Sabathia has been on the mound all three times.
posted by werty at 11:07 PM on April 17
In. Is there a contest here per se or am I just filling out a bracket for someone else to soundly beat?
posted by werty at 10:01 AM on March 18
Grum obviously doesn't believe in punishing PED users. Which is fine, but allowing players who benefited into the HOF means they should be measured by a higher statistical standard. Grum's got at least four players on his macro-level list in this category.
posted by werty at 11:13 AM on November 27
I love this trade, both for the sensibility on both sides and the sheer chutzpah of trading a front-line star for a fan favorite. I wonder if either player had any sense it was coming.
posted by werty at 10:18 AM on November 21
No one seems to remember that Girardi became a success as an active player while with the Yankees. He steered them to their first modern-dynasty-era title, in 1996, and was present for '97 and '98 while graciously molding Jorge Posada into a star. The 2009 championship he achieved as manager was his fourth World Series title, all with the Yankees.
The Yankees of recent vintage are a loyal bunch; they've had two managers in the past 18 years and the same GM for 15. Girardi and Brian Cashman and Randy Levine and the Steinbrenners have a decades-long relationship now, one that by and large seems respectful and appreciative. The Yankees made no hesitation in privately and publicly asking Girardi to come back.
You're the manager of a successful baseball team that has taken good care of you since your 20s. You make millions and have a happy, stable family life in a home not far from work. Your employer offers you a 50% raise to stay for four more years. Would *you* shrug and move to Chicago?
Welcome back, Joe. Glad you never left.
posted by werty at 04:18 PM on October 10
I'm sad as a bit of a baseball purist to see Pujols go to the highest bidder. He traded 50 years of adulation for the guaranteed contract, and I imagined him being the kind of person who would like that lifelong community stability. Of course, if someone waved $50 million under my nose, I might do the same as he just did.
I appreciate @holden's perspective on fandom. I suspect most Mets fans felt the same way about losing Reyes the other day: yes, we wanted the guy, but he got how much to leave? Oh, okay, then.
posted by werty at 01:54 PM on December 08
Grum, NoMich, I can confirm that the pull-down trick works in reverse, and without necklaces. It revolves around qi and balance. I'm no expert but I've been to doctors who practice applied kinesiology and use it to find structural weaknesses that are tied into stresses and emotions. (I'll stop there before I start sounding too New Agey. My experience has to do with tinnitus, tangent yadda etc.)
I found it so fascinating that I've tried it myself on my wife and gotten it to work. You can do it too:
1. Have a person hold out his or her arm parallel to the floor and resist a push. For an added touch tell the person to think about something pleasant.
2. Press down on the forearm. For most people resistance is easy.
3. Now tell the person to think of something troubling or sad. (I think on my wife I said something like "think about our baby's fever from the other night.")
4. Press down again, and watch as the person suddenly has no ability to push back.
Again, I don't get why it works, but it does. Whether or not the sports necklace helps restore balance, who knows--the demo could easily be rigged. But philosophically it's not impossible.
posted by werty at 10:47 AM on October 20
And while I'm here, Borg-Tanner at Wimbledon, 1979. Look how gentle the game was! (With metal rackets, too.)
posted by werty at 11:33 AM on June 29
Assessment of Roscoe Tanner's serve force. I wish I had seen this show as a kid.
posted by werty at 11:30 AM on June 29
Meanwhile, the Stanley Cup Finals scored their highest TV ratings since 1974.
posted by werty at 09:26 PM on June 15
Via the Awl, which also noted (right as I was thinking it) that the Mets are paying Bobby Bonilla a million bucks a year until 2035.
posted by werty at 10:57 AM on May 25
The spots were directed by Alejandro Gonzlez Irritu, best known for the feature films Babel and 21 Grams.
posted by werty at 04:20 PM on May 23
The big issue, to me, is the whole 11-minutes-of-ball-in-play that was widely reported over the winter. There's a lot of downtime at a football game. Baseball has a lot of downtime, of course, but you're often enjoying beautiful weather and whiling away the time, whereas football weather can be much different. (Also, baseball lends itself to extensive debate and contemplation. Football is about the action, which makes the waits much more painful.)
posted by werty at 12:11 PM on March 29
It will be interesting to watch what happens to the Yankees when their mid-90's personnel core finally retires. Jeter has said he wants to play for awhile yet, which ensures the team's top-level identity. But the combination of Jeter, Posada and Rivera is the homegrown soul, not to mention three of its best players. Who are the Yankees when they go?
For all the Joba jabber, none of the new guys has reached top-tier status (and I say this as someone who repeatedly points out Cano's top-10 AL batting average and Melky Cabrera's walk-off knack). At least one of the callups has to be ascendant to get a little organizational continuity.
The Yanks were a half-step from turning into the circa-2001 Orioles the past two years--lots of free agents and few wins. CC and Teixeira have been good enough to hold that off. But for how long?
posted by werty at 04:23 PM on October 21
Remember, too, that Steve Phillips had a different, and equally public, consensual affair in 1998 with a Mets employee while employed as the Mets' GM.
posted by werty at 04:17 PM on October 21
There's a lot more to being an elite athlete than raw talent. Ask Stephon Marbury.
Mickelson has some unbelievable skills that make him a terrific talent and personality. Does he not always focus on the right things? Sure. Does that make a shot like this any less awesome? Definitely not.
JJ: Winged Foot the way you played it is much different than the course the pros play. The greens are far faster and trickier, the rough thicker. Oh, and there's the whole on-the-cusp-of-winning-the-U.S-Open thing. Doesn't take away from his poor decision-making, but don't think your experience matched his in any way.
posted by werty at 10:22 AM on July 02
Glanville's been writing for some time. He's a University of Pennsylvania grad and one of the more literate and eloquent baseball players of our time.
See also: http://www.ivyleaguesports.com/documents/bh04-penn-glanville.asp
posted by werty at 02:27 PM on March 05
As a longtime tinnitus sufferer I've known this for years. A well-hit drive makes quite a crack. I often came home from a round of golf with a louder ringing in my ears than before playing. For awhile I was wearing earplugs to tee off, although I'm not playing enough these days to worry about it.
posted by werty at 11:41 AM on January 05
Last night NBC profiled a softball player who "defected" to Russia to play in these Olympics, too. She's 31 and didn't make the US team. Other athletes have done it as well.
On the one hand, dyams is right--if he's not good enough to play for Team USA, the US shouldn't care if he plays elsewhere. From a patriotic angle, though, it's quite a contrast from, say, Lopez Lomong or Bernard Legat, who are proudly competing as US citizens after coming to America to pursue their dreams.
posted by werty at 01:47 PM on August 18
Signing Damon isn't the most impressive move of the winter, but it is a solid maneuver for the Yanks. In all seriousness, Bubba Crosby--a 29-year-old with a .221 career batting average--is not the kind of player the Yankees put in center field. The team had to find someone more substantial, and a four-year deal (rather than Scott Boras's overreaching seven-year request) is not outrageous. Damon's stats are still solid; his batting average has increased three years in a row. I'm not sure I understand what makes him a great leadoff hitter, though, given that he's trending toward 15 stolen bases next season. Jeter has roughly equal speed and a better OBP, although he tends to hit better in the 2 slot. Still, I like the signing. As a Sox fan I think this sucks. And therein lies the extra money George paid.
posted by werty at 08:46 AM on December 21
I felt like complaining about the late start times, but the 14-inning game had a peak audience in the ninth, which was midnight Eastern. So that wasn't the culprit. Part of the decline comes from the lack of Red Sox fever this year. The White Sox are a lower draw even in their home town. Had it been the Cubs, we might have seen higher ratings. No doubt marketing and positioning have an impact, but it's hard to gauge. Personally, I wouldn't wait until Saturday for Game 1 of the World Series, but that's a baseball fan's opinion, not a TV planner's.
posted by werty at 10:28 AM on October 28
Does this now make Palmeiro a perjurer in Congress, and if so, what is the punishment?
posted by werty at 12:22 PM on August 01
Ah, I take that back. Games are still listed but the actual seats are unavailable. (Thank goodness.) Interesting that the games were still "scheduled" in the NHL's mind.
posted by werty at 01:21 PM on February 16
Interestingly, you can still buy tickets to this season's NHL games on Ticketmaster.com.
posted by werty at 01:19 PM on February 16
A big problem is that hockey has high costs. Much of the USA is warm most of the year, meaning ice hockey must be played indoors at rinks with expensive ice time and 24-hour bookings. Then there's all the equipment. Baseball, football, basketball--all lend themselves to pickup games and back-alley throwarounds, which let kids play and develop and enjoy the sport at an early age. Without committed parents and some disposable income, hockey doesn't become much of a concern to children, which lessens the interest of the nation as a whole. Until Tiger Woods came along, golf suffered from much the same problem. On a macro level, I'm not sure the NHL can solve its most crucial ill, which is kids who don't play ice hockey and as a result don't develop an interest in the sport. It had better fix everything else, though, so the league doesn't fall apart.
posted by werty at 12:53 PM on March 18
the fact that they will race today highlights just how dedicated both brothers are Or: the fact that they will race today highlights just how cold-hearted both brothers are Interpret at your leisure.
posted by werty at 01:50 PM on April 21
How bad must your leadership be for the kicker to go public with his complaints?
posted by werty at 12:31 PM on January 29
As my coworker said, "28 is really young to be running anything." Hey, if he screws up, my Yankees benefit.
posted by werty at 11:40 AM on November 25
Walking isn't universal?
posted by werty at 08:51 AM on August 29
Iconomy, K-Y jelly is a lubricant, not a spermicide. Gee, and I thought this was a sports site. Heh.
posted by werty at 10:07 AM on August 20
Except Manuel wasn't "fired"--he was relieved of his duties as manager because he wanted out. According to the announcers during last night's Yankees-Indians game, Manuel demanded to be part of the rebuilding process or to be removed. The Indians are still paying his salary, as per usual.
posted by werty at 08:56 AM on July 12
Re Alex's point about baseball stadiums: Sooner or later someone's going to realize even that is a sham. The owners like to say, "We need more money to be a good team, therefore we need a new stadium," but the stadium is worthless if the fans don't go; and they won't go if the teams aren't competitive. In Pittsburgh, attendance at the new ballpark is down 8,000 fans a game from last season. In Milwaukee, attendance at the new ballpark is down 10,000 fans a game from last season. New stadium, old fan news. Why? Because the teams aren't good. Not that the GMs have any relevance in the discussions at hand. How about Cleveland, where the previously sold-out-all-season Jake has had an attendance drop of 7,000 fans a game? How about Baltimore, where the previously sold-out-all-the-time Camden Yards has had an attendance drop of 1,000 fans a game (plus however many they lost the year before)? Oh, yeah--it's because the teams aren't good. All hail the smart local fan who stays away from the field when the team is boring. And don't get me started on Detroit, the "small-market club" owned by the same man whose Detroit hockey club has the NHL's second-highest payroll. I am a huge baseball fan, but the major leagues' incredible myopia extends so far and wide that it's hard to enjoy anymore.
posted by werty at 10:00 AM on July 11
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