A few thoughts on sports

I’m afraid that this particular blog entry is going to be a disorganized and disparate collection of thoughts and bullet points, much like this entry, though I’m attempting some thematic unity by making this one all about sports.

*Sochi 2014: Aside from the background press about how terribly organised and unprepared the site was and is for an event as prestigious as the Olympics, I’ve really not paid much attention to this. Which is odd as I’m a big Ice Hockey fan, and I find Curling oddly hypnotic to watch. I think part of it is that the Winter Olympics are definitely seen as the lesser games compared to their Summer equivalent. Something that isn’t helped by NBC’s frankly embarrassing coverage, the time differences involved, and (if I’m honest) the likely complete and utter lack of success for Great Britain in the event overall. Having said that, I did check the complete medal standings and Britain has achieved a single Bronze in Women’s Slopestyle Snowboarding, whatever that might be. So, I guess Britain is on par with Latvia and the Ukraine. Which is nice.

* Derek Jeter to retire: I’ll be honest, of the “Big Four” American sports, baseball is the one that appeals to me the least, though I am a fan of the Washington Nationals and would like to catch a game at Nationals Park (I have seen one MLB game live, Baltimore Orioles vs. Boston Red Sox at Camden Yards. The Sox obliterated the O’s which pleased me). Even with that caveat, I have to say that Jeter seems like a classy guy, and I’ve never really heard fans of non-Yankee teams speak ill of him other than his defense being below average for his position. Jeter’s a for sure Hall of Famer.

* Manchester United: I’m a Limey, indulge me the opportunity to discuss soccer a little. I have to admit that I’m enjoying the struggles of Manchester United this season under David Moyes since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson. Most of it is schadenfreude at the fans of Manchester United, who have been unrelentingly arrogant since roughly 1992 when the team became the perennial contenders for the Premier League title that they were until this season (heck they won the whole shebang in the 2012-13 season). I’m aware that even struggling that Manchester United are  far better than my team of choice, the MIGHTY Oxford United, who sit three entire leagues below them in the standings (though they seem to have a respectable shot at promotion this year) but there’s something gloriously petty in sports fans that likes seeing perceived power teams struggling… And Liverpool FC (my adopted Premier League team, as I can actually see some of their matches on NBC Sports this season) might finish above Manchester United for the first time in forever.

* Michael Sam: I guess it’s a brave decision to come out as gay before the NFL draft, and it might hurt his stock among a few teams. I’m not exactly sure why this should be the case, as i’m not sure why this needs to be a big deal in 2014. I’m sure he isn’t the first gay pro footballer (or pro footballer to be), even if he is the first to be open about it. My big concern would be “how good a Defensive End can this guy be in the National Football League?” (That does sound a bit of a sportscaster-y sentence doesn’t it?). I guess my bottom line is “can the dude play?” If the whole media circus does hurt his draft stock, that might help my beloved Washingotn Redskins, who need a lot of help on defense and don’t have many picks due to their usual incompetence/trades/shenanigans.

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