History May Be Made: Sports Update

Because Politicians Aren’t The Only People Entertaining Us On Behalf of Millionaires

Clunky sub-title/gag line there. Here’s the run down: Second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs are under way, and my bracket is totally busted on one side. The NHL has a joke of a referee squad and a joke of a disciplinary committee (still better than the NFL), and I hate message board/comment section fans.


Of the eight remaining teams the most recent to win a Stanley Cup is Pittsburgh. Washington, St. Louis, Nashville, and San Jose have never won. It remains possible that only one team in the Conference Finals will have ever won a Cup before — and if it’s the New York Islanders, it’ll have been decades — in fact, the Islanders have not won in my lifetime.

The other sport with seven-game series’, the NBA, is still going on. My guys (The Celtics) got knocked out, so I’m barely paying attention other than hoping the Warriors sweep the Cavs to put a feather in my hat for the best year of brackets at work.

Ref U Suck!

Maybe it’s the anti-authority streak in me, but I am an all around referee hater. Even when watching teams I don’t particularly care about either way I’ve noticed poor officiating across the spectrum. Honestly, soccer is probably the worst over-all but I care so little about soccer outside of a few times a decade (Olympics, World Cup) that it doesn’t register. But, depending on which sport is in playoffs, I either hate the NHL or NFL referees the most.

The problem the leagues are running into is the appearance of bias, which leads to the appearance of being fixed — and that turns fans like me off in a heartbeat. There are a few referees that always seem to slant the field against certain teams, and I’ve noticed it. This extends to the various disciplinary committees — and the Kris Letang suspension shows it.

I admit outright that I’m a Caps fan, and maybe that is biasing me, because when I look at the picture of what Letang did — he’s jumping up, he knocks the guy right in the jaw, and it’s late. Brooks Orpik probably does deserve a longer suspension — but a single game?

When the league has the power to fine players and coaches for accusing the referees and league itself of bias, and it chooses not to — that is clear evidence that the league knows the accusation is true. Barry Trotz heavily implied that there is a favoritism involved after the Orpik suspension and I think everyone outside Pittsburgh feels the same way. The Penguins appear to be treated differently, and the attempt to push a Penguins player is undeniable.

Only fans, the league, and the sports media — folks beholden to the league — will attempt to argue that.

That doesn’t convince me.

Must Be This Dumb To Comment

Only during playoffs to I dare descend into the comment sections on any sports articles. Outside of a few sites I read daily (those on the side bar) I usually don’t go into them on any site. There’s literally no bar to commenting, and the bigger the site the less likely idiot comments are to be removed.

While I feel that even stupid people have the right to their opinion, I do not feel they have the right to burden the rest of us with their downright wrong thoughts. Opinions can be wrong — and often are. If your opinion is that the sun is made of semen, you’re wrong, and you’re either medicated or otherwise stupid enough to be ignored.

That said, you will never see a person so sure of themselves as a sports fan commenting on a game their team was involved in. People can see the exact same video of the exact same incident and their bias will convince them that their team was in the wrong (or right), and that everyone else is just biased. It’s simply amazing what our filters can do to us — and it lends a great deal of credibility to the sort of thing Scott Adams talks about on his blog. I’m not willing to go as far as he is but if it were revealed that the color I see as red was the color everyone else sees as blue, and we just never realized it because we all always see those colors as our red and blue I’d have no problem believing that is true.

It explains a great deal about us — YouTube comments, ridiculous conspiracy theories (as opposed to realistic ones — conspiracies exist after all, else we wouldn’t need the word), and the popularity of the snarky movement of “I’m too cool to like (X).” I’m not sure what to call those last people — they’re assholes, but that isn’t very specific.

I hate to be that guy, but outside of YouTube comments, you will not find more grammatical errors than most sports comment sections. Listen, I hate the Baby Boomer Breakfast Club classification system, but some of these people seem to strive to belong to those stereotypes, even where they are negative. Knock it off.

I make grammar errors, even egregious ones, but I attempt to be as readable and correct as possible in every medium because I want my words to be understood. Typed words already lose a great deal of context without body language and tone of voice, things we need because we’re built to gain more from conversation than the words. Typed words that are also wrong or ambiguous make it nearly impossible to follow. We’re not talking perfection, but we are talking about maybe not making the exact same mistake every single time, without fail. Words have meaning for a reason.