By Tiger Fan
In between reading cases about Title IX and police brutality at work today, I was looking forward to settling in for a full night of sports on TV. What’s on tap? International soccer between USA and Morocco, Reds-Brewers, Red Sox-Yankees, the NBA Lottery, Pistons-Heat, Mighty Ducks-Oilers, Pujols-Bonds and more! I’ve got a Penn Station sub, a Oguchi Onyewu jersey and a working TV. Life is beautiful.
(All times CST... and this is, by far, my longest blog entry ever. Good luck to anyone who dares to read it.)
6:07: First out of the gate is
6:15: The ref is calling a pretty tight, which is good because you would hate to see any
6:21: What is up with the socks? And the shorts for that matter. I like the red and blue stripe on the jerseys, but having the stripe on only one sock on and the back of the shorts looks stupid. But that’s what you get when Nike is involved. The only good news is that they don’t have the stupid bib thing going on or the one sleeve of a different color that debuted in college football last year.
6:24: So much for no one getting hurt. Reyna is leaving the game with what looks like a hamstring injury. That’s not good news for this game, but luckily this game doesn’t actually matter. Let’s just hope it’s nothing serious. Pablo Mastroeni has checked in to replace Reyna and the captain’s armband has been passed to Landon Donovan.
6:30: Time for the Thomas Gardner sweepstakes. I’m switching over to ESPN to catch the NBA Draft Lottery, which pretty much guarantees that I will miss the first goal of the soccer match. Dan Patrick, Greg Anthony and Steve Lavin are apparently going to handle things for ESPN. Solid crew, but only ESPN could turn this extremely short process into a half-hour show.
6:33: The graphic on ESPN just informed me that Michael Olowokandi is a key free agent for the Boston Celtics this offseason. I’m pretty sure I could hear columnist Bill Simmons dying a little inside all the way from
6:38: Steve Lavin’s top 25 players just rolled across the bottom of the screen and Mizzou’s Thomas Gardner was not on the list. I’m stunned.
6:42: Patrick just finished off an interview with David Stern in which the commish said nothing all that important. Mark that down as 10 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back. As they go to commercial, they show me a rather awkward looking guy in a suit walking through an office. Apparently he is bearing the frozen envelopes. The best part of the show so far comes during the commercial break when Mizzou grad John Anderson stars with Maria Sharapova in a pretty funny SportsCenter commercial.
6:46: Dan Patrick now informs me that the actual lottery already took place in another room. Apparently all the teams know the results and so does the media, but the studio audience does not. Boy, the tension sure is mounting. Meanwhile, the team representatives seem to consist of Chris Paul, Gerald Wallace and a bunch of awkward looking guys in suits… most of whom you have never heard of.
6:54: The No. 1 pick goes to
7:06: Why is Stephen A. Smith yelling at me? In the pregame show? If the soccer match wasn’t at halftime, I would not be on this channel right now. In fact…
7:11: We’re underway in
7:15: Three minutes in and we’ve got a fight going in the hockey game. Maybe this is worth watching… and about 10 seconds later, they’re at it again. All over the ice, in fact. Three guys in the box for
7:24: Holy cow, they’re fighting again at the hockey game. Apparently I don’t understand hockey. Five minutes in and it’s still 0-0, but nine guys are in the penalty box. But I’ll stick with it… I promised Rocky Mountain Tiger that I would give hockey a chance.
7:43: We’ve got a goal in
7:52: Junior has left the yard and the Reds take the lead 4-3. While we’re on the subject: The Reds have one of the best hitting outfields in the league and probably the best young infield in baseball. But the question is, who do you trade to get more pitching? The Arroyo trade has already shown how rewarding this can be, but who goes? Do you trade Griffey because he’s the oldest? But who will take his contract? Do you trade
7:57: We’ve finally got a goal in the soccer match in the 90th minute, but it wasn’t for the home side. After weathering a barrage of shots from Team
8:00: It’s over in
8:06: A couple notes on the Heat game. First, Shaq just joined Wade on the bench with three fouls at about the five-minute mark in the first half. The Heat lead by three. Let’s see how long that lasts. Second, ESPN just showed Detroit Shock player Cheryl Ford in the crowd and Mike Breen commented that she looks just like her father (Karl Malone). The scary thing is that it’s true. Yikes.
8:19: It’s halftime in
8:40: As we come back from halftime, Jim Gray won’t get off the floor. He’s actually standing right where Ben Wallace needs to stand to inbound the ball. Brilliant. Moments later, Jason Williams slashes to the hoop for a lay-up. If you had told me two or three years ago that Williams would have been the starting point guard on a team in the Conference Finals that also had Gary Payton on its roster, I would have said you were crazy.
8:49: Wade leaves the game with his fourth foul. The Pistons take their first lead of the game. Yep. And by the way, after an exciting start, the hockey game has failed to keep my interest.
8:54: ESPN has been periodically going to this weird floating camera angle. I hate it. I’m about five minutes from e-mailing ESPN ombudsman George Solomon. Seriously. It’s that bad. And, I’ve been wanting to use the word “ombudsman.”
8:57: Between the second and third period, we get a look at the studio guys on OLN. There is a guy who has the side of his head shaved under his mullet. I can’t make this stuff up. Given the prevalence of trailer trash fashion sense in the NHL, I’m surprised that it’s not a more popular sport in the
9:00: Flipping back to ESPN, I stop on the Deuce and learn that the Houston Comets are considered the WNBA’s first dynasty because they won four championships. That’s even more impressive than the USC football dynasty that won one national championship.
9:02: And the Reds have won 7-4. Every time it looks like the other shoe is about to drop for the Reds, they play the Brewers and get back in a rhythm. So from all of us to all of you, thank you Milwuakee! By the way (and I say this knocking as hard as I can on a piece of wood), Junior is beginning to look like the Junior of old. He has hit three homers in the last four games and has made several great catches out in center. I won’t count on it continuing, I’ll just enjoy it while I can.
9:14: Goooooooooooooaaaaaaaaalllllllll! I’ve been waiting all night to say it. I was hoping to use it for Team
9:16: Goooooooooooooaaaaaaaaalllllllll, again! Well that didn’t take long. Great goal from the Oilers and it’s 3-0. And here we go with more fighting… which also doesn’t take long as the Oilers’ player with dreadlocks (is that even allowed in the NHL?) drops the Mighty Duck aggressor almost immediately and the place erupts again. Okay, Rocky Mountain Tiger, you got me… this IS kind of exciting.
9:20: And heading back to the basketball game, I stop of FSN and see that Pujols has already hit a homer in the top of the first. The three-run shot is his 23rd of the year. Take that, Barry Bonds.
9:22: Yikes. By the time I get back to OLN,
9:29: The Yankees have beaten the Red Sox 7-5. I don’t particularly care about either team (other than the fact that they usually play entertaining games), but I can’t believe that ESPN2 is actually running a WNBA game instead of Sox-Yankees.
9:31: Bonds has answered! (with an RBI single)
9:32: By the way, that John Anderson/Maria Sharapova commercial that was funny two hours ago is no longer even mildly amusing. That didn’t take long. Next!
9:33: In a fascinating turn of events, the Heat-Pistons game has devolved into a free-throw shooting contest between Ben Wallace and Shaq. Unbelievable. Pat Riley goes to the Hack-a-Ben while leading by nine points. Hopefully this won’t become a trend in this series, lest an entire generation of youngsters grow up unable to shoot free throws.
9:38: During a timeout in
9:41: And just as I’m singing the praises of the NHL, one of the announcers calling the game on OLN makes one of the worst jokes I have ever heard. He said getting a good quote from someone who wants to be a dentist after his hockey carry is over would be like pulling teeth. If I had a pair of scissors, I would drive to
9:44: FSN just ran a Big XII baseball tourney ad. The Tigers were not in it. I’m mad. Mizzou has to win now, just for spite. By the way, if you are still reading at this point, I will mail you a used Metrolink ticket signed by yours truly. I’m not even kidding.
9:46: It’s all over in
9:47: Back on OLN, the Oilers have scored again with about five minutes to play and it looks like it might actually be over this time… but the Ducks have shown they only need two minutes to score three goals, so who knows.
9:54: Wu, Wu, Wu. Kenny Wu! It’s now 5-4 with 1:45 to play.