It’s spring again and the cherry trees have blossomed. Like underclassmen picking the most skip-worthy of lectures or seniors looking forward to their parents’ couch after a long career of academic mediocrity, America has slowly turned its head from the blunders of winter and refocused its energy on the national pastime: baseball—or, more properly, going to baseball games. There’s really nothing better.
By the second night of the NCAA tournament, my bracket was busted worse than the Irish property bubble. By the close of night three, I was nearing a disaster of Greek credit default swap proportions. Obviously there’s a lot more basketball to play, but with favorites Kansas, Pitt, Vanderbilt, Georgetown, Marquette, New Mexico, Notre Dame, and Villanova falling to the likes of Northern Iowa, St. Mary’s, and Murray State, this tournament is shaping up like no other.
“Football Season is Over” was the title of the note that one-time sportswriter and Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson wrote a few days before his suicide in February 2005. While for most of us “shotgun” refers to a passing formation and not a method of coping, the period between the end of the Super Bowl and the first pitch of the baseball season is a sort of dry seasons for sports fans across the country.
“My geekiness is getting in the way of my nerdiness,” the comedian-philosopher Patton Oswalt once said. Standing sleeveless in the upper student section last Saturday with a sixteen ounce sports beverage in hand, I came to a similar conclusion about two things that I cherish dearly: sports and politics.
If you’re looking for senior leadership on this year’s Georgetown roster, you’re out of luck. No member of the class of 2010 will be on the court with the Hoyas at the Verizon Center this season. That’s not to say they can’t be found—just look towards Bloomington, Gainesville, or Detroit. That’s where you’ll find Jeremiah Rivers, Vernon Macklin, and DaJuan Summers—all freshmen on the 2007 Final Four team—playing this year.
I think the high point in postseason baseball coverage was 2007, when Dane Cook lent his legendary enunciation skills to the immortal phrase, “There’s only one October.” During the Red Sox-Angels series that year, I took up ESPN columnist Bill Simmons’ drinking game challenge to take a shot every time the commercial featuring an overly excited Mr. Cook played. I ended up passing out in my dorm’s common bathroom with the door locked, twice resisting my friends’ attempts to crawl under the stall and help me out. This is a testament to the dangerous power of October.
The beginning of the year can be a tough time for new roommates. After a week or so of partying and letting loose, dorm relationships settle into a routine of arguing over music selections and when to turn out the lights. Often there’s only one way to reignite the spark that was so apparent over CHARMS. I’m talking, of course, about hall sports.
I like baseball—the drama, the sights and sounds of the game, and above all, the space for mindless number-crunching. I’ve even softened on Joe Buck. But I hate to see a good sport played badly, and for that reason, I’ll never again watch a game of the Little League World Series.