Monday, June 27, 2005

Sports Commentary - The Circus is in Town

I whipped up this commentary today. No shortage of weird stuff going on in the sports world these days:

(Working title)

The Circus is in town!

Turret Sports Editor

There are dry spells, I've found, when it comes to finding material for a good sports commentary. Maybe it's been a while since a good controversy, or maybe no professional athletes have done anything incredibly stupid lately, or maybe I haven't heard of any new "sports" that involve the Dukes of Hazzard losing fingers.

This is not one of those spells. In fact, so much has gone on in the past three weeks that it's hard to pick one subject to write about. That's why bullets were invented.

So let's get rolling.

- Just as Michael Jackson has served as both a headline and a punch line for newswriters, "Iron" Mike Tyson is doing the same for sports. He's lived in the "freaks" category for so long that the spot he moved into years ago actually has a real-estate appreciation rate.

I was fortunate enough to attend Tyson's bout with Danny Williams last year in Louisville, which was billed as "The Revenge." Everyone talked about how it was going to be Mike's come-back fight, that he was going to reclaim what he'd given up years before.

Four rounds and three knee ligaments later, those of us who grew up in the "Mike Tyson's Punch-Out" era shrugged our collective shoulders and figured, "Well, I guess he's done."

A year later, we all found out that he wasn't quite ready to quit - well, at least his creditors weren't ready to let him quit. Talk about Mike Tyson vs. Kevin McBride sounded exactly the same as the buzz surrounding Tyson vs. Williams.

Only this time, when Tyson hit the ropes in the sixth round, there were no torn ligaments to blame. Tyson quit, and said he's retiring.

The amazing thing is that we closet Tyson supporters actually put ourselves through the mental gymnastics required to be surprised at the outcome.

Tyson's career as the champ is over, but as ESPN's Skip Bayless put it, "He'll 'fight' again, even if it's against a chimpanzee on roller skates."

- File this next piece in the "I can't believe what some people will let out of their mouths" category. Formula One racing has been in the news lately, and that's thanks in no small way to Danica Patrick, the first female driver to lead a lap at the Indianapolis 500, in which she placed fourth.

Some "good old boys" don't seem particularly pleased with Patrick's ground-breaking success, notably F1 president and CEO Bernie Ecclestone, who said, "Women should be dressed in white like all the other domestic appliances."

Doc, give me the keys to the DeLorean. Somehow, I've been transported to 1955, and I need to get back to the future.

This should be simple. If Dale Earnhardt, Jr., can't let one exuberant four-letter word slip during a post-race press appearance, and if Randy Moss can't pretend - PRETEND - to moon a football audience, then the president of F1 racing can't make insane sexist comments about a driver.

- Do the Vegas bookies take karma into consideration when they figure the odds on championships? They should, and anyone who doesn't believe me didn't watch the NBA Finals last weekend. Detroit fans have a lot of making up to do for a certain Pacers/Pistons incident earlier this season.