The games people play

Well, we’ve reached that time of year where one of the big US sports is just getting over the hype of the draft, and the so called experts are trying to work out what it all means. In truth, until those people make it, or otherwise this summer, we wont even start to see what the outcome of that is. But yes, NFL is desperately trying to keep itself in the news, so…

Two of the other ‘Big 4’ are now in the middle of their playoffs, and the loosest (and it is loose) interest I have in either, is Anaheim in the NHL. Its close to LA, and any team called the Ducks has to be worthy of support lol! Still as all US sports seem to do, the playoffs take on a life of their own, for a month or more!

So soon, for a couple of months at least, America’s favorite summer sport will take over events, baseball! Oh, and probably my favorite too, though I will watch football, both pro, and college, when I get the chance. Later this month, for the first time in over 18 months, I will get to see live baseball again, in the flesh. Yes, Dodgers, so sue me! 😛 In truth, you can get a seat for not that unreasonable a price, especially compared to soccer over here, and the NFL over there. Yes, you can pay a ridiculous sum for a seat, but I wont be doing that! No, not commenting on food prices, but yes, I will get some, all the same… One game, definitely, two if I can fix it, but if you twisted my arm, I’d probably say one will be as good as it gets!

Over here, the soccer season is also coming to an end, and talking of drawn out hype, we now have play offs to decide the last promotion position. Not quite as drawn out as play offs in the US, but even so…Oh fine, my local team, Huddersfield, and the team from the town where I work, Bradford City, are both in their respective play offs, so I’m told. Yes, that will be the only mention of it I plan to make! Well, I suppose if Huddersfield make the Premier League, I might, but otherwise…

Right, video time. A real oldie, which I doubt many of my readers have heard before, but I remembered it, and it seemed apt, so…

They call it madness?

To be fair, my knowledge of, and interest in college basketball is pretty much zero. I like my football, I love my baseball, and I can abide ice hockey. But basketball, really no interest, full stop. And thats the Pro stuff! College sports, it really is only football that I follow, in truth.

So yes, when it comes to March, and the fuss that is nowadays the final 68, known as March Madness, you think I’d ignore it completely, right? Wrong! It seems every year I talk myself into doing brackets, both at CBS, and over on the MC Forums, even when my knowledge of what is going on, or has been going on, is less than zero! Frighteningly, I tend to do quite well, which only proves that its an absolute lottery, lets face it!

My limited range of support rests on the 3 colleges from Kansas, and thats really it. This year, I’m told, Kansas State are on the bubble to get in, hope they do, but will find out for sure later today. Yes, they arent as good at basketball, as at football! Silly though, Kansas are dreadful at football, but one of the best in the nation at basketball, so you tell me! The 3rd Kansas team, Wichita State dont even play football, but are quite decent at basketball.

No, I have no plans to do anything more than make selections, pick brackets, and that will be it. Watch matches, you must be joking! But yes, like so many Americans, I’ll be selecting teams, only in my case, they wont mean a thing to me!

So yes, its Madness in more than one sense for me!

The video sums it up perfectly, its a group called Madness, singing a song called Madness!

The winner has to take it all?

I must admit, as someone who was brought up around cricket, and soccer, the idea of a draw, at the end of a sporting match just seems natural to me. However, when it comes to US sports, it seems the concept of a draw, at the end of a match, seems a complete anathema to them. Yes, fine, in knock out competitions in the sports listed above, and seemingly nowadays, at the end of that ghastly 20 over form of cricket, a winner is needed, but at other times, its fine for the game to end as a draw.

Of the ‘Big 4’ American Sports, the only one nowadays that can even theoretically have a draw, is the NFL. And that only after a 15 minute overtime period, so they dont happen all that often. The other 3, there must be a winner. Basketball just plays overtime periods until there is a winner, Ice Hockey goes to a shootout after overtime, until a winner is decided, and Baseball, well, the match just goes on forever, until there is finally a winner!

At least with Ice Hockey, and team losing beyond the standard 60 minutes, gets a consolation point for its efforts. The other 3, well you might as well have been thumped in the standard period, you get nothing! And last night, 3 baseball matches went on, well, forever! The amusing thing, I’ve got to see the recorded version of 2 of them today, albeit cut, to keep them within the 3 to 3.5 hour range for viewers. The ironic thing, the longest one, the game in Washington, playing Minnesota which lasted a marathon 16 innings, is the one I havent seen.

Next in the order of dragging things out, was the game between Pittsburgh, and Arizona. It lasted 13 innings, and basically, both teams ran out of players. Indeed, Arizona ended up with a pitcher playing in left field at the end, had completely ran out of available bodies. Not helped by the fact that one of their players got ejected (sent off), but even so…Not helped by the fact that being a National League game, players get substituted quite often towards the end, anyway. I assume the same happened in Washington, though as I havent seen that one, so?

The last one, which at 12 innings, was the, err, shortest, was the American League game at Houston, against Boston. Still lasted more than 5 hours, mind!

All this, because American sports seemingly must have a winner! Funnily enough, no, I’ve never yet been to a Baseball game that went to overtime, phew! Of course, none of this gets close to the longest baseball game, a mere 33 innings! The longest MLB game, 26 innings! And the latter still didnt produce a winner, it was in the days before floodlights (1920), and darkness ended the game! 25 is the longest, with a result!

Baseball, I love you, but seriously…

OK, the video. What seemingly has to be the case, in so many American sports!