This column is going to save this newspaper. Think about it, without any sports news, AMP was being compared to backwater publications like the London Financial Times and perhaps worse, the Wall Street Journal. With the addition of this page, AMP is officially not in their league anymore. Whew, good thing, huh? You can thank me later, but for now let?s cut to the chase.
The 2006 Winter Olympics haven?t even started yet, but the scandals sure have. I?m not talking about doping (illegal drugs) or dopes (French judges), but I?m talking about sex. Or more directly, harassment, but I figured the word ?sex? might draw your eye to this column as you scanned the page. See there, now I?ve gone and used it twice in this paragraph alone.
Still reading? Good.
But as I was saying, US skeleton coach Tim Nardiello has been suspended for alleged sexual harassment of female athletes.
Here?s my question: what?s worse, trying to hold their phalanges or checking out their femurs?
Yeah, so sorry about the anatomy joke. It?s the last one, I promise.
Moving on, I guess you heard about erstwhile Virginia Tech QB Marcus Vick being arrested for brandishing a firearm. I almost feel sorry for the guy though. All of his life he?s been compared to older brother and Atlanta Falcons? QB Michael, who runs like the cops are chasing him but throws like a sissy. So now poor Marcus goes and develops a cannon for an arm and gets busted. Are you like me? Are you thinking that if the same team that signs TO drafts Vick, they?ll start a reality show version of Fox?s ?Arrested Development??
Speaking about development, I wasn?t aware that relief pitchers actually got better after they retired. But how else can you explain closer Bruce Sutter being elected to the baseball Hall of Fame on his thirteenth try, a mere seventeen years after hanging up the cleats?
I didn?t hear the whole news conference, but I think when a reporter asked how he felt, the reliever said, ?Relieved. I really feel like it?s brought closure.? Let?s see, besides that news conference, I know there?s something else I didn?t watch.
Oh yeah, it?s the NHL. But at least I?m not alone. In fact, according to the Nielsen ratings, only 0.2% of all cable viewers are watching America?s fourth ?major? sport at any one time. Here?s the worst part. Although the Los Angeles Kings are playing some good hockey ? they were 28- 16-2 at press time, good enough for third place in the Western Conference ? an average of 214 TV households in LA?s 5.54 million household TV market tune in to games. That?s 214, not million...not thousand...214.
Come on! More people watch soccer.
And more people certainly watch college football. By a show of hands, how many of you watched the Rose Bowl?
Let?s see?one, two?carry the four? okay, about 21.7% of you. Crazy, that?s exactly the national average. That means either UTD is a pretty good microcosm of the US population or every single American reads AMP. I bet it?s the latter. I mean we do have a saying around the newsroom, ?Either you read us, or you?re with the terrorists.?
But back to the Rose Bowl. Twenty-one point seven percent of you know that Texas came from behind to leg out a 41-38 victory over Southern Cal, ending USC?s winning streak at 34 games. What you may not know is the NCAA is considering removing the label of ?college national championship game? from the contest. Let?s be honest, USC is pretty much a professional team. No fewer than seven Trojans are expected to be taken in April?s NFL draft. Seven! Including four in the first round. And the Longhorns are even better. One thing is for sure; both teams could beat the Texans.
Texas athletics are so popular these days that even Hollywood is trying to get in on the action. Did you go see the newest sports feel-good movie Glory Road, the one about the Texas Western Miners who won the 1966 NCAA championship wth an all-black starting lineup? I haven?t seen it yet, but I am a little bit perplexed why the producers called it Glory Road instead of by its alternate title, Remember the Titans II.
Speaking of sequels, I heard Seattle Sonics guard Ray Allen ? who was recently involved in an in-game fight with Orlando Magic guard Keyon Dooling ? is considering a return to the big screen in a follow-up to his 1998 flick He Got Game. The title of the sequel: He Got Speartackled.
You know what, I better stop. The more I write, the smaller the editors will make my font. So last thing, be sure to watch the Super Bowl. It?ll be super. Just like that article there on the next page.