Friday, August 01, 2008

Sported out

I'm afraid you'll think of me as being less manly if I admit I am sported out. To make up for it, I'll probably have to wear a toolbelt while grilling strip sirloins on the top of my Dodge-hemi pickup truck. But I really don't care one way or the other that the Red Sox traded Manny or that they've lost 36 straight games to the Angels. I don't care that the Patriots have started training camp and will try to make amends for the most disheartening near-perfect season in the history of sports.

I'm just tired. Maybe I'm spoiled by all the success Boston teams have had over the past decade. Maybe I'm sick of the insane focus and importance that is placed by the media on a bunch of men playing games. But I'm just not feeling it this summer.

Granted, I've never been the rah-rah, yell at the television sort of sports fan, but chances are, if I had a remote in my hand and no complaints from the gallery, I'd be switching to the ballgame. This year, I don't think I've watched more than two or three innings of any Red Sox game.

Trading Manny likely won't help draw me back in. I've always been a big Manny fan, not so much because of his skills, but because he sends the chattering classes of sports reporters and fat, dopey, middle-aged sports radio hosts into apoplectic seizures.


What integrity? The integrity of the game that's been overrun by steroid monkeys for the past 20 years? The integrity of the game the didn't let black people join in the fun until after World War II? A game where grown men wearing pajama pants held up by leather belts try to hit a ball with a stick?

I've always found it ridiculous that the pundits are so willing to praise the hardworking, blue collar types who are as boring as a concrete post. What the hell? Even the blue collar ballplayers make millions of dollars a year. If you really like hardworking overachievers, go outside and cheer the next time the garbage man picks up your trash. Try to sell me that crap about some guy who makes more for an at-bat than I make in a month, I'm sorry, but I'm not buying.

But even Manny lost me, as I'm sure he did a lot of fans, when he smacked around a 60-year-old man. If he had stuck to belting Youkilis around, I probably could have lived with it.

Of course, I've felt like this before about sports, but it's usually been after some bonecrushing defeat, like in the 2003 ALCS. This time, it feels like things have run their course for a while. I guess there's always the chance that Jason Bay will grow dreadlocks and get into a fight with Jason Varitek, but it seems like a longshot.