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Kaitlin, Kyrie, and The Weird World of Sports

Back in the day, there used to be a show on television called The Wide World of Sports, hosted by the legendary Jim McKay. Every Saturday, for years, the program would cover relevant sporting events from around the globe and the stories that went along with them.

The Wide World of Sports occasionally highlighted unknown events such as Jai-alai or Mexican Cliff Diving. But the show was better known for its innovation and understanding of the average American sports fan, being the first to televise Wimbledon, The Indianapolis 500, The British Open, and The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, all in the early 1960’s.

Today’s version of sports sits a little differently. Whether it’s politics, gender equality, race, or religion, there is more interest in Kyrie Irving’s religious stance than his defensive stance. People judge Brittany Griner more on her masculine look than her masterful hook. While the race to crown Kaitlin Clark the new queen of hoops, becomes just an argument about race itself.

It’s ridiculous, it’s silly, but it’s also sports in today’s environment.

Welcome to The Weird World of Sports.

Credit via Golf Monkey

• Did you see that professional golfer Scottie Scheffler was arrested for assaulting a police officer before his second-round appearance at the PGA Tournament in Louisville, Kentucky. Golf is undoubtedly losing its fan base as the sports best players exit for the LIV Tour, while Tiger Woods continues to exit after missing cuts. But this is golf, not the UFC.

Although Scheffler taking a few swings before teeing off – that sounds par for the course.

• Besides charges for assault, criminal mischief, and reckless driving, Scheffler was also questioned about a possible kidnapping. Apparently, no one has seen Jon Rahm or his game since he joined the LIV Tour.

• Speaking of punches thrown. Boxer Ryan Garcia was arrested the other week on felony vandalism charges stemming from an incident at a Beverly Hills Hotel. To show how far boxing has fallen, and how big the UFC has become – Garcia showed up to his last fight with a beer in his hand, weighed in two pounds over, won the fight, but then failed the after-fight drug test, testing positive for PEDs.

Connor McGregor does that every week and can still name his price at any nearby octagon.

The only way boxing can keep an audience in today’s world is to promote a fight between a YouTube star like Jake Paul and a 60-year-old Mike Tyson.

It’s like today’s society lost interest in boxing when the referee shouted, “No hitting below the waste.” Today’s society WANTS you to hit below the waste. Unless you can promise another ear being bitten off.

• As for the Caitlin Clark controversy of leaving her off the Women’s Olympic Basketball roster. It must be difficult for some, but realistically, Clark is not as good as Sabrina Ionescu, Kelsey Plum, or Diana Taurasi quite yet. And she’s not going to take a spot from stars like A’ja Wilson, Breanna Stewart, or 6’9 Brittney Griner, despite your belief system.

America has become so divided and political. Should Griner be on the roster? Is it a black/white thing? Is it about religious beliefs? Gender identity? Are we questioning who is truly a patriot?! Who is truly an American?!

Not you, Joel Embiid – you’re all good on the men’s side.

Besides, with seven guards already on the Olympic roster, the only thing that Clark would add is a little depth, a little outside shooting, and – oh, yeah – a viewing audience with crazy ratings.

• Speaking of black and white. Did you see where the stats from the Negro Leagues were made official and Josh Gibson (.372), not Ty Cobb, is baseball’s all-time leader in career batting average. Gibson is also credited for hitting quite a few homeruns, but nowhere close to the record despite projections that he hit 800 to a 1000 during his historic career.

Credits via This Day in Baseball

The question isn’t whether MLB will ever find the provable stats from the 28% of Negro League games that they never captured information from. But rather, what would these players’ stats have been if they had to face some guy named Bump Hadley instead of Satchel Paige?

• Speaking of black and white again. I have no rooting interest, but I feel society is much more comfortable blaming Kyrie Irving rather than praising him. So, the 2-0 Celtics lead sounds about right.

But enough about systemic racism – how about that city of Boston!

• Coach Dan Hurley works and lives just north of Boston, and just turned down a 6yr/$70 million contract to move to Los Angeles to work with Lebron.

Probably a good move. With inflation, interest rates, and a pricey housing market – $70 million is barely enough for a two- bedroom outside of Glendale these days.

I don’t know if society has lost all hope, but Jontay Porter, formerly of the Raptors, has been banned from the NBA for life after betting on hoops. And Tucupita Marcano, formerly of the Padres, was banned for life for betting on MLB.

Maybe the Supreme Court, Congress, or some local politician should do something about individuals that cheat the system, only looking for personal gain.

Images via wikipedia, golfmonkey, thisdayinbaseball

Alan Tapley The Athletic Supporter

Alan Tapley is an educator, author, and blogger who has lived just outside of Boulder for the last twenty years.  His published work includes two novels, two children’s books, a series of cartoons in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and multiple sports related articles. His love for family and the state of Colorado is only matched by one thing, his passion for sports.  The first baseball game he ever attended was at Wrigley Field, before there were lights.  At the final Bronco game at the old Mile High, he allegedly cut out a piece of his seat in the South stands.  But regardless of being here for the Avalanche’s last Stanley Cup, the Rockies only World Series appearance, and all the Broncos’ Super Bowl Victories, his wife never fails to remind him that he wasn’t at the University of Colorado in 1990, like she was.  The year the Buffs football team won the National Championship

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