June 28, 2006

Let's Hug it Out

I remember a few years ago, a friend of mine told me a story of how he was walking the streets of Boston one day when he happened to spot what he described as a stooped over old man making his way towards him. This man caught my friend's eye for some reason, and after a moment, it hit him: This old man was Peter Gammons. My friend shouted something along the lines of "Peter, I love your work," and Peter replied something along the lines of "Thanks," so ending the encounter. But my friend's lasting takeaway from seeing Gammons was just how old the man looked in person (granted, my friend was exaggerating somewhat, but you get the point). And it's this I think about today as Gammons sits in the hospital recovering from a brain aneurysm. It's kind of shocking to think that Gammons, despite his shock of white hair and aging features, is only 61, and I suppose it's just another reminder that age is just a number. Forgive me for beginning to sound like a dimestore book of proverbs, but I'm feeling a little bit sentimental about this one. I guess what I'm trying to say is, here's hoping Peter Gammons still has many good years left after number 61.
  • The one draft that is truly pleasurable to watch is taking place tonight (I don't care what anyone says, the NFL draft is outrageously boring, even though important), and I for one could not be more excited. ESPN NBA guru Chad Ford has the Craptors taking Andrea Bargnani #1 overal in his latest mock draft, though you'll just have to take my word for it, because you have to pay money for a membership to read that link, which is a travesty about on par with the notion of the Hawks selecting Shelden Williams at #5 (update: this just happened as expected). Sure, Williams will probably be an effective pro player, but he'll also never be as good or exciting as about five of the guys who are going to be drafted after him. Also of note: McDonald's afficionado Josh Boone is projected to fall to #40. No word on whether or not his plummeting draft stock has anything to do with The OCC blowing the whistle on his poor eating habits.
  • I heard about this a week or so ago, but just now got around to tracking down the footage of it online -- Jeremy Piven singing the national anthem at Wrigley and yelling out to the crowd, "Hey Cubs fans, let's hug it out you little bitches." As you'll see on the video clip, PTI's Tony Kornheiser didn't approve -- saying that he loves Entourage but that the ballpark isn't a place to say "bitches" over the PA -- and while from a logical standpoint I realize I should agree with Kornheiser, I just can't. From my vantage point, this type of irreverence is exactly what sports needs. Sure it pissed some people off, but don't we come to a sporting event -- be it live or on television -- to hopefully see something shocking, entertaining, unexpected? If that's what you're looking for, you bitches are going to have to understand, such moments can't always be PG.


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