The List: Top annoying things in sports

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 26, 2006

I consider myself a pretty laid back guy. There are very few things that I get worked up about.

But some stuff, well, just curdles my milk. You can join me in my attempt at nitpicking when we go down “The List.”

5. The Yankees – Just so you all know, I love the Red Sox.

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And not just love them – I was angry to the point of tears when I saw Johnny Damon in pinstripes for the first time.

I’m not a fanatic, or anything. I just wish the city of New York would build a defective nuclear plant next to Yankee Stadium.

Otherwise, I wish them all the best.

4. Preseason polls – It’s the most ridiculous thing in the world to judge a team’s merit sight unseen.

Wanna know why there is almost never a wire-to-wire champion? Because not even the teams themselves are sure how good they are.

It’s like a guy giving his wife tips on how to birth a baby. Just shut up and pretend not to be the sissy you are when she squeezes your hand.

3. Athletes with music careers – At what point, what exact moment did it become fashionable to put up career numbers, get a shoe deal and release a CD all at the same time? I mean, seriously.

Note to all home run hitters, touchdown scorers, slam dunkers and the like: You do not sound good behind a microphone. Not even with the help of thousands of dollars of studio equipment.

Wanna express yourself creatively? Think of a creative way to explain to me why scoring six more touchdowns than last year entitles you to a $3 million raise.

2. Overachieving NCAA Tournament teams – Ummm, excuse me. Yes, you, George Mason University. You, too, Bradley. And, uhh, yeah you, Wichita State. Who are you, and what abysmal hole did you escape from?

Guarantee you, ain’t nobody making money off this year’s office pool – aside from the nerdy copy boy that submitted his bracket just to remind people the company still employs him.

I haven’t looked at my bracket since last Friday, and it pains me to even watch the games now.

I officially give up. Next year, I’m just going to watch the tourney without the least care over who wins.

And afterwards, I’ll take my spaceship for a drive around the moon.

1. People who think Barry Bonds is single-handedly responsible for the steroid culture – Let’s think about this logically. Humans, by nature, will do something wrong until they’re expressly told they can’t. Anyone who doubts that hasn’t lived long enough.

So let’s do the math. From 1977 (about the time steroid use became widespread) to 1992, there were 27 teams in the Major Leagues. Estimates of players juicing range from 10 percent to a third of 25-man rosters. So we’ll go down the middle and say 22 percent of players were on steroids. Twenty-two percent x 25 players x 27 teams x 16 years = Roughly 2,400 sets of tainted numbers. That’s not counting the 15 other guys on 40-man rosters, three expansion teams in the past 14 years or the minor leagues.

Wanna point a finger at someone now?

Also List-worthy: The NBA; the NCAA; profitable NPO’s; psychics; people who think designated hitters should not be in the Hall of Fame; the color pink; Will Ferrell’s insistence on taking off his shirt in all his films and knuckleballers. Did I mention slow drivers? Yeah, them, too.

George L. Jones is a staff writer for The Selma Times-Journal.