A Gonzo Sports Column Grieving for Kevin Ware, Lamenting Opening Day Baseball, Congratulating the Chicago Bulls and Dissing Lebron.
The most gruesome injury in the history of televised sports took place in Sunday’s Elite Eight game between Duke and Louisville. Kevin Ware attempted to block Tyler Thornton’s three-point shot late in the first half and landed awkwardly on his right leg, which collapsed under him. Ware landed in front of his coach Rick Pitino, who was the first to cover the injury with a towel. The leg broke in multiple places and Ware had successful surgery to repair the tibia bone and close the open wound from the compound fracture, which was clearly seen on television because, unlike Joe Theisman’s disgusting injury in a Monday Night Football game, Ware was wearing shorts, making for a bloody, stomach-churning moment.
This type of injury is very rare in basketball, and it’s suspected that unnoticed stress fractures or low vitamin D and calcium intake could have contributed to the injury. Ware’s career is likely over, but he will be traveling with his team to Atlanta — his hometown — for the Final Four. As a Duke fan, I can honestly say it was the first time I felt like a fan of the “Evil Empire” and wanted the Devils to lose. Seeing tears stream down the faces of the Cardinals and their coach would be enough to make anyone pull for Louisville. I hope they win the whole damn thing and that kid gets hoisted up by his teammates to cut down the nets.
MLB’s Opening Day also took place Sunday, as the Houston Astros won their first game as an American League team over the Texas Rangers, 8-2. The rest of baseball played Monday, and I was present for Minnesota’s loss to Justin Verlander and the Tigers. My first Opening Day was rather underwhelming and was a preview of what I can expect the rest of the season. Many Twins fans blew off the game either due to 40-degree weather and 16-mph winds or the overall inferiority of the Twins lineup and rotation. Target Field, just three years old, had nearly 10,000 empty seats on Opening Day, and tickets behind home plate could be had for just $25 ($35 under face value). Needless to say, the Twins may be a last-place team again this year, but true fans suck it up and deal. I’ll happily watch a shitty team play two or three years if it means we’ll be fighting for a championship after, and I think this proves Twins fans are strictly fair-weather fans, and those aren’t the type of fans with whom I like to associate.
Finally, LeBron James complained about hard fouls when the Chicago Bulls delivered in their 101-97 win over the Heat to end the Heat’s 27-game win streak, yet threw an obvious elbow at Nate Robinson who was setting a screen. James didn’t shake hands with the Bulls after the loss, who beat the Heat for the second time this season, only one of three teams to do so, and the first time they did it they were without Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah and, obviously, Derrick Rose. My advice to LeBron — quit complaining. You’re a damn animal. I think you can handle a few hard fouls. And the Bulls are dangerous even without Rose. I’d love to see the Bulls and Heat meet in the playoffs. If anyone is going to stop the Heat, it’s the Bulls. Mark my words.