Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I Think I'm In Love

From today's ESPN Ombudsman article:
I wish ESPN would consider adding to its lineup a crisp, half-hour, nightly news version of SportsCenter -- just news and highlights, without gimmicks or sponsored segments or recaps, without self- or cross-promotion, with a consistent anchor team accountable for a consistent tone, with spare to no use of instant commentary. A prime-time island of clean, clear, straightforward news on which ESPN's journalistic credibility could securely rest.

Le Anne Schreiber, will you marry me? more...

Where were you when?

As Seaward mentioned in today's TMA, Barry Bonds became the Home Run King of Major League Baseball last night/early this morning. I made it a point to watch the game two nights ago and was disappointed not to see the record set. I don't know what was going through my head last night when I decided to go up to my room and try to finish "The Bronx is Burning" (the book, not the miniseries, both of which I enjoy). Then, just after midnight, my brother Jonathan ran upstairs yelling at me.

"Chris! Chris!! Get down here! Barry did it!"

I felt like a kid on Christmas Day I ran out of my bed so quickly. I almost tripped down the flight of stairs I was moving so fast. When I got downstairs I saw a throng of Giants hugging Barry. I saw fireworks going off at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Later, I saw Hank Aaron on the Jumbotron reading a very prepared statement congratulating Barry on his achievement. I saw Willie Mays trying his damndest to help keep Barry's emotions in check on the field.

And then I saw something that made me totally forget about the shadows surrounding this record and the allegations surrounding this athlete. I have never been a Giants fan in any regard but I have had a soft spot for Bonds since his drive for the record began in earnest a few years ago. I thought about how Hank Aaron had faced racism and death threats while he tried to break the Babe's record in 1974. Bonds had steroid allegations, constant ESPN coverage and Pedro Gomez (oh my!) to worry about during his chase. Yet standing on the third base line at AT&T Park, Barry Bonds reached for the heavens and thanked his late father, Bobby, and broke down.

Just like that, Barry Bonds was human, as human as you or me. In the midst of this chase and these allegations, Barry Bonds was nothing more than his father's son, trying to celebrate this home run with the man who taught him how to do it. When he pointed skyward, Barry reminded all of us that baseball is just a game and that it is a game that we share with friends and, more importantly, family. We can discuss steroids tomorrow, but for today, Barry Bonds is the unquestioned Home Run King of Major League Baseball. more...

The Morning After on TSE -- 8.8.07

Well, it's over. Barry Bonds has the all-time career home run record in Major League Baseball.

Anyone who knows me knows that I was amongst the many who said over the past month "Barry's going to break it, I just want him to get it over with, once he's done it baseball can be normal again." It's a jaded, cynical view, I agree; by last weekend it was probably the most prevalent viewpoint in the sports world on Bonds' chase. It's an easy viewpoint to take: Barry is surly, he is surrounded by a cloud of steroids, we get sensory overload for Barry on ESPN, etc etc. Once it was all done we could just watch some goddamn baseball.

Then he hit it.

Son of a bitch, did he hit it.

I looked on, and caught myself smiling. A discussion between my left brain and right brain broke out:

Left Brain: What the hell are you doing?
Right Brain: Smiling. Did you just see that?
Left Brain: I saw it, but it's tainted.
Right Brain: What? Shut up. This is cool.
Left Brain: Come on, he's a ster--
Right Brain: Shut up, bitch!
Left Brain: But--
Left Brain: ...

I'll be damned if I didn't tear up a little bit during the celebration. I'm not a Giants fan, I'm not a Barry Bonds fan; yet there I was, getting all misty. It was absolutely unreal.

So this morning I am happy to say: nevermind the bollocks, here is your home run champion.

All photos from the San Francisco Chronicle at more...