A Gonzo Sports Column Celebrating Madness, Considering Soccer in the Snow, and Anxiously Awaiting Baseball Season
March Madness is the single most entertaining tournament in the history of sports. What other sport naturally emanates feel-good human interest stories like Sherwood Brown and the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles, not to mention his point guard Brett Comer, who’s been oohing and awing us with crisp no-look passes? The first 15-seed to make the Sweet 16 is just another example of this tournament’s eminence amongst collegiate and professional sports. I can’t believe the Football Bowl Subdivision took so long to contract the Madness, but their tourney in 2014 should be the start of something very special.
In international sporting news, the Costa Rican soccer federation lost its protest of their latest 1-0 loss to USA on Friday in Denver. Costa Rica said the conditions made the field unplayable, but FIFA refused Costa Rica’s request for a rematch despite the snow storm that swept through Denver and made field lines practically invisible. Clint Dempsey scored an early goal and USA coasted on gritty defense the rest of the way. The loss sent Costa Rica to the bottom of their division, so they’re understandably disappointed.
I’m not against a rematch and almost expected one after seeing the conditions the game was played in. The ball would come to a complete stop in snow drifts on the field, but whose bright idea was it to hold a soccer match in Colorado in March? I find it funny no one saw this coming, but it could end up one of the most legendary matches ever televised, and everyone involved should be proud of their performance given the circumstances. In fact, if more soccer matches were played in awful weather their television ratings would probably improve.
Finally, MLB’s Opening Day is this weekend, and I’ll be enjoying it from the left field stands at Target Field in Minneapolis for the first time as the Twins take on the Tigers Monday. Opening Day, for me, is like a holiday. I’d rather work Thanksgiving or Christmas if I could get the first week of April off every year. It could sure look a lot like Christmas in Minneapolis, as snow is expected on Wednesday and highs are in the low 40s all week. Baseball, like soccer, is way cool in the snow. It should make for some great television, so look for me in the stands. I’ll be waving a “Circle Me Bert” sign with one hand and clutching a beer with the other. And when I’m finished with that beer, perhaps I’ll run to the urinal to play a game. A Philadelphia Phillies’ minor league affiliate, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, are introducing a urinal gaming system that recognizes a new user and allows them to play a game on a screen above their urinal. The game is controlled by your stream of pee. If you aim to the left you move left in the game. There’s no confirmation on whether the games are multiplayer, but if they are, expect the pisser to be crowded and dirty. Drunken fans don’t have the best aim and getting caught up in a game will make pissing on your neighbor less disgusting and more strategic. The gaming system could also cause an increase in bladder infections as people “hold it” in order to set high scores.