Ramble on the roof

Torrin Thatcher

I hope that everyone is having a swell reading period. I sure am, because I am writing this in a nearly empty café at 6 p.m. I’m watching Syracuse-UConn before I watch the fun-filled Duke-UNC matchup. It’s nice to sit in here without the usual babble and background noises, so I am better able to focus both on my sports and on carefully placed wordage.
Speaking of placing things carefully, why would I care about a 10 p.m. game between New Mexico and UNLV? The only time I have watched UNLV in recent years in any sports is when they have played the Badgers. Hopefully, the lights aren’t yanked on this game.
Out of all the news in sports this week, there was one that hit me as rather surprising and disappointing – the Bud Selig statue that will stand in front of Miller Park. We already have both statues and monuments to remember Aaron, Young, and Uecker, so why do we need a statue for a guy that many people do not especially care for?
We can pretend to be grateful about him yanking a team out of Seattle and bringing it to Milwaukee, or we can “thank” him for “taking” a team to the World Series nearly 30 years ago.
That’s not what is going to happen. People, including myself and my best friend, see him as the man who basically ignored steroids in baseball, never got the Brewers back to the postseason, made local tax increases to build a ballpark, and more recently, try to disband the Montreal Expos and Minnesota Twins.
Sure, the Nationals – formerly the Expos – are nothing to flop a rosin bag about recently, but the Twins have developed into a good club with two of the last four AL MVPs – and a solid manager, too.
I don’t know what type of vote was held for the future statue, but some of those people must not be . very aware of . the public perception . OK, sorry, but my ears are continuously being distracted by frequent rim rattling in the ‘Cuse-UConn game.
Anyway, I am sure when the statue goes up, there will be some lame ceremony, with some lame unveiling, to go along with some very lame photo-taking.
I hate to admit it, but I don’t think I will be able to watch many games this upcoming weekend. Finding a warm spot on the couch or a nice bar stool and putting my feet up in a pleasant position is usually a treat to myself, but my professors – and it’s only my professors, according to my friends – have decided that this four-day break shouldn’t be a break in any sense of the word.
One professor noted that “this will be our most difficult week coming up,” I’m making sure to prepare myself.
That is, like I am doing right now. I just do my homework where a computer is allowed so that I can have games on the screen. It’s not like I am going be reading an article during the All-Star game, but when I’m reviewing my materials, a game is usually on. Fortunately Bucky and Bucks’ games can usually be found on AM stations, so I can even have my computer free if I need it.
I watched a rather compelling piece on ESPN today about brain damage and concussions that profiled one of Wisconsin’s own – he’s from Tomahawk and played for the Badgers – Mike Webster.
I have read a book on Webster before and of the troubles he faced later in life, but it was moving to listen to Harry Carson, and find that Webster couldn’t care less about being in the Hall of Fame. He felt he needed to do it to gain recognition about how his former comrades were and are being treated.
To further the NFL’s look into the impact of the sport on the brain, Webster’s son, along with many others, are hoping to have players make an “anatomical gift” by donating their brains to science. So far, the list is quite small, as there are some deniers of the negative effects the game has on the brain, but I’m hoping players and doctors soon realize that changes should be made.