The Bouncing Ball…Thoughts On Sports By Paul West

Hi all, welcome to the first installment of The Bouncing Ball–my intermittent series of moderately well-informed musings on sports and sports-related matters. Please bear in mind that what you will read in The Bouncing Ball are simply my opinions; please take them as such, and not the analysis of an expert. If I take a liking to a particular player, and mention it herein, and then you pick him up for your fantasy team and he stinks, consider yourself warned. Whereas if the above situation should occur, and said fantasy addition is the steal of the season, you’re welcome.

Without further ado…

–With all due respect to Miguel Cabrera, I’m baffled that Mike Trout isn’t considered a shoo-in for the AL MVP. Not only are his numbers ridiculous–he’s looking at 50 stolen bases, over 120 runs, about 30 home runs and 80 RBI from the leadoff position, and he wasn’t called up until the third week of the season!!!–but the Angels’ success almost directly correlated with his arrival. Oh yeah, and he’s stolen about half a dozen home runs from over the fence this season, including one that was completely bonkers. Seriously, add the 30 games he missed and what would his numbers look like? He’s Josh Hamilton with 50 stolen bases and ridiculous home-run-stealing defense. He’s an early, pre-injury Ken Griffey, Jr. And he’s the American League MVP.

–I know I’m going the I-told-you-so route here, but seriously, I totally called it about that stupid NCAA football helmet rule. The NCAA is gonna be sorry when it’s the closing minutes of an important game and some key offensive player comes out of a pile with hit helmet off because some clown yanks it off–and his backup fumbles or throws a pick in a crunch-time moment. The NCAA is gonna be REALLY sorry if some kid gets his neck injured from having it twisted in a pileup, or a brawl ensues from some RB or TE not taking kindly to an old WWF maneuver.

–The NFL refs are really, really in a hell of a pickle. And the relative minority of NFL players who are taking advantage of the new refs being overwhelmed, by cheap-shotting and clutch-and-grabbing their way through games because they don’t expect to get caught, should be ashamed of themselves.

–If the NFL took player safety THAT seriously, well…that IS a whole article worth of material.

–Speaking of leagues that just don’t care enough: how much do hockey tickets cost again? The NHL really can’t work it out with the players? I’m a huge hockey fan, but there’s a reason I don’t go to a lot off games: because the ticket prices don’t seem worth it, when so many teams make the playoffs anyway and the NHL playoffs often seem to rely more on hot goalies and bad penalties than the regular-season seeding.

–Last but not least: rest in peace, Steve Sabol. You changed, mainly for the better, how we watch professional football. You helped bring true cinema, literate drama and visceral elegance to the public image of the game, among many other things. Thank you.

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Paul West is a staff writer for Tarnation! Sports, and the author of First Cause: A Novel About Human Possibility.

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One thought on “The Bouncing Ball…Thoughts On Sports By Paul West

  1. You would have never run into that at my daughter’s dance situdo. The co-owners have boys and those boys have taken dance lessons. One of the boys is in Princess’s class along with two of his male friends. They wear ballet slippers like the girls but in black instead of pink.I hope Benjamin continues to love it!!

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