Ramble on the roof

Torrin Thatcher

Being a sports fan really does cause many hindrances in life. It’s not just updates from ESPN, friends and foes – we fans see things in life that many others don’t, just from intuition. Allow me to elaborate a little bit with things that happen here on campus during a typical day in my life.
When I see someone raise an arm in class, I usually look at the position of their elbow. Why? Because whenever I see an arm in the air, I envision the varying types of throwing motion.
If their elbow is above the person’s shoulder, then the person more than likely has a throwing motion in which they bring the ball over the top.
If the arm is extended out from the side of the body, then I assume the throwing motion is sidearm. If, like me, the elbow is tucked against the body, then that person probably has had shoulder problems and can’t throw much at all anymore. Your favorite sports columnist here had some rotator cuff and labrum damage back in the day.
Anyway, what was it that made me think of how we fans look at things differently? Well, I was recently watching SportsCenter and I saw the MLB 2K10 commercial with Evan Longoria. Which is all fine. He’s the cover boy, he deserves the publicity – and whatever else comes his way for raking in the ball play after play.
But what bothered me in the commercial is that when he’s at the plate explaining the $1 million prize for pitching a perfect game, we hear the announcer announce that Longoria is the last out needed for a perfect game. There’s the problem – can you guess?
If Longoria were to be the last out in pursuit of completion of a perfect game, that means he would have to be batting in the last spot of the lineup – and that’s not very likely, considering that’s he not too bad of a player.
I know, I know. I should not be too bothered about this, but then that made me start thinking about other representation of sports, mostly in movies.
Being a sports fan since I was a young lad, I was able to find some sports movies that were well done and some that were done… not so well. Sure, we have the occasional sports movie that is really enjoyable: “Rookie of the Year,” “Slap Shot,” “Major League” and of course “Happy Gilmore.” But we also get movies like “Ed.”
I mean, come on! Mickey Mantle’s monkey playing baseball? That’s like a golden retriever playing basketball, football, volleyball and/or soccer.
Since I am a big dog person, I did watch the original “Air Bud” when Disney released it in 1997. Who doesn’t dream about playing sports with a four-legged friend? These movies simply serve their purpose of family entertainment, so it’s not a big deal.
“Any Given Sunday” was awful, though, and there’s no excuse for that one.
Writing of football movies, one of my biggest annoyances in watching football movies is the whole “clock-hitting-zero-at-the-right-time-and-scoring-the-game-winner” thing. I can’t remember which football movies have that one off the top of my head, but Tony Danza takes the cake.
That’s right, Tony Danza. It was “The Garbage Picking Field Goal Kicking Philadelphia Phenomenon” that made me upset about football and the final play.
I would like, just once, for a football movie to have the last play start with one second on the clock, but then make that play last a good 10-12 seconds. All sports fans know that the last play in football goes until the whistle blows, regardless of what the clock reads. We obviously know how advantageous this can be, as we’ve seen plays go way past the moment where the clock hits all zeroes… “The Stanford Band is on the field!,” anyone?
Speaking of a clock hitting all zeroes, that about runs out my time this week. Got to go catch a few laterals and tackle a trombone player or two.