I grew up a huge sports fan, baseball, football, and hockey in particular, worshipping guys like Roberto Clemente and Bobby Orr, and following the exploits of my favorite underdogs the Montreal Expos.
The continuing de-evolution of professional sports is making it harder to watch ESPN or read the sports section of the local paper (The Austin-American Statesman, also known as "the shit I read on the internet yesterday"). I still follow some of it, but a lot of it makes me want to puke.
My mom always talks about how there are no great leading men in the movies anymore. Instead of icons like Clark Gable or Paul Newman, we get "punks" like Matt Damon and Orlando Bloom. While I actually like Damon and Bloom, I get what she's talking about. I mean, Mark Wahlberg ain't Gary Cooper.
Similarly, modern professional sports is lacking in heroes. When I was a kid, there were giants like Clemente, Orr, Willie Mays, Henry Aaron, Jim Brown, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlin, et al.
Now, we get creeps like Kobe and A-Rod, a parade of steroid cheats, sex offenders, and other a-holes. It makes me sick to see Kobe making his "rape face" (see photo above) after sinking a three-pointer. I don't know if it bothers that desk clerk in Colorado that Bryant ass-raped (allegedly), or if the out-of-court settlement has lessened her trauma, but there's a video circulating of her rapping (badly), paraphrasing Shaq's "Kobe, how does my ass taste?" by asking, "Kobe, why did my ass bleed?" and rhyming "bring him some towels" with Kobe "ripping up [her] bowels."
Even Kobe has got to respect that rhyme.
Not that I give a fuck about the NBA, but I hope that the Magic can pull off a huge comeback in the Finals (they won last night, making the series 2-1 L.A.).
And don't get me started on the damn Braves. Although my passion for baseball has waned in the last 15 years since the strike wiped out the '94 season (my Expos had the best record in baseball that year, only to be dismantled the following season), and the steroid era began in earnest, making a mockery of the record book, I still hate the Braves. The Expos fell on hard times, eventually relocating to Washington, DC, while Atlanta won a pant-load of division titles between '91 and '05, and one tainted World Series title.
Still, I look forward to Chipper Jones's inevitable decline, and the Braves failing to make the post-season for the fourth year in a row. By then, it'll be time for another NFL season.