Sunday, June 25, 2017

Too many records

It's not so much the fans as the media that have become obsessed with records. It seems every day another one is set. Most are meaningless, just trumped up sound bytes or words on a page. But, by god, they'll continue to find them and trot them out to much fanfare in their own minds.

Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated has likely set a record -- talking about records. Only the ever-verbose Mr. V would know down to a tenth of second just how long major league pitchers and batters take between throwing the ball or being in the batter's box to swing at it -- or not. For that matter, Verducci may well have set several records in the gas-bag category with his writing. Ostensibly, SI is supposed to feature concise and to the point articles. Two or three pages with pics and quotes would seem to do nicely. Not Verducci. On and on he'll go until the reader either falls asleep on the throne trying to slog through his latest tome, or gives up and does something totally un-sports junkie worthy. Like yardwork, grocery shopping, paying bills, doing laundry, or some other wimpy mundane chore they will later be ashamed of.

Last year the Golden State Warriors set the record for all-time wins in the regular season. But they blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers, so who cares?

Likewise, Geno's hooping Bambinos at UConn set (another) record for consecutive wins. But they choked in the Final Four going down to Miss. St., so did it even matter?

It could well be that former Detroit Lions' center Dominic Raiola set a record for participating in the most losing games of any player in NFL history. He played for a long time, and the Lions were terrible throughout his tenure. Yours truly tried to look it up, but there doesn't seem to be a record of this record. Go figure.

Danica Patrick has been on the automotive racing scene for many years. Has she set a record for most races without a win? Better, or worse, yet, being involved in the most wrecked race cars over her career? And the most millions of dollars spent by sponsors to replace them? Dear Danica recently trashed yet another one. She lamented that something weird always seems to happen. Perhaps. But also possible is -- guess what? It just might be you, Ms. P.  Ever consider that? How long will she continue trashing half-million dollar race cars when the best she can do is finish in maybe 20th place in any given race?  I mean, what's the point, other than a colossal waste of sheet metal, expensive tires, and racing fuel?

There are many other examples in the world of sports regarding so-called records, regardless of how trivial they may be. Yet the public will only hear about the "good" ones. Any more, political correctness rules the day, or at least the airwaves and print. Thou shalt not point out "bad" records. Only glass half-fullers allowed. Glass half-emptiers will be quickly ostracized.

Rest assured, we'll see even more "records" set tomorrow, and the day after that, and the next one. The hypester screamers in the media will see to it. They'll find a way to rant and rave about something.

And that's what I don't get. What's the big deal about records anyway?

Good grief, they don't even make them any more. You know, those round vinyl platters that used to spin on phonographs/turntables? They don't make the latter any more either. Records were replaced by CDs, and now everything's gone full-blown digital with the advent of DVRs. And what difference, pray tell, does something like "blue-ray" make? Are we supposed to believe one color laser beam is superior to another?

It would seem to be the only record the sports world keeps setting is -- making sure more records are noted and hyped every day -- though maybe one in a hundred is worthy of even passing attention.

This is why you'll find the hyper-ventilating folks on the air in the wee hours of the morning screaming about how some kid set a record by becoming the first player drafted in (pick a sport) from (pick a state), that studied (pick a subject) at (pick a school) that was raised by (pick a relative), and also had a pet (pick an animal) that he fondly called (pick a name).

By thunder, it's a record.


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