What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
EDITOR’S NOTE: Boyd Bergquist was the sports director at KETS-TV in East Tree Stump, Nebraska for almost 40 years. Known across the Husker state as the voice of the Boy’s High School Basketball Tournament, Bergquist was a four-time winner of the Marv J. Butz “Golden Cob” Award For Excellence In Nebraska Broadcast Journalism. That background, along with his quick if not cliché-riddled wit and love of single-malt scotch makes Bergquist a perfect fit to be our “Question” guy.
That’s right, gang…ol’ Boyd is coming out of his self-quarantine because well…it’s just time. I mean yeah…I’m old, I smoke a deck and a half of Marlboros every damn day, and last week my doctor found traces of blood in my scotch <rimshot>. I figured there’s all kinds of crap that’s going to kill me, so why am I sitting in my house like a schmuck? Not to mention, I was all over Asia back during my time in the Navy Signal Corps, and if I can survive submarines, shark attacks. and Filipino jungle rot, what the hell is some virus going to do me? Hell, even if it finally puts my ass in a box, at least I’ve had a good run!
Anyway, last spring, I was getting ready for a full season of sports. Well, this Chinese virus sure put the kaibosh on that. But there was a whole lot of stuff I was talking about that we need to get caught up on.
The XFL: Five months ago I asked if anybody was watching this. Well, apparently they weren’t. Sure, the league suspended play because the virus, even after that meathead Vince McMahon tried to go all “last man standing” in the face of the pandemic, but even then was anybody watching this? I know J-Dub was, but that guy will watch anything. I tuned in for the first week, but it didn’t keep me. At least the AAF had personalities like Steve Spurrier and they put mikes on these guys so you could hear the stuff they said on the sidelines. The XFL had a bunch of guys nobody cared about, except for maybe an 85-year old Jerry Glanville, and all they were doing is calling plays off a laminated sheet that looked like a goddamn Denny’s menu.
The best part is Vince McMahon invested half-a-million bucks in that league, and he just sold it all to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for a little more than $15 million. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. It’s McMahon’s “just desserts” for making wrestling harder to watch than Nancy Pelosi getting a “Brazilian.”
“Sign-Stealing:” Before the sports world went full “turtle shell,” the buzz back in spring training was about how the Houston Astros had been hit by pitches more than any other team up to that point. Yeah, whatever… Let me tell you something. At the time I was putting together my baseball season preview, so I was elbows-deep in everything related to spring training. That also means I can tell you first-hand almost all of those plunks were guys wearing football numbers in the 8th inning who had nothing to do with any of this. Nobody throws intentional bean-balls in spring training. The people who said that wouldn’t know a baseball if you shoved one up their butt.
Not to mention, have you seen what has been going on between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Rays? There’s been more head-hunting between those two teams than from a tribe of starving Amazonian cannibals.
Steroids, anyone? Speaking of sign stealing, have you ever noticed that whenever there is a scandal in baseball, the noise is far louder that when something happens in any other sport? Take steroids for example. When the steroid thing ran through baseball, the same people who are trying to equate “sign-stealing” with “Cold War”-era Soviet espionage spent a decade moaning about it. Of course these are the exact same people who largely ignore steroids in football. I mention this because I think there is another great ignore-job going on in sports. Have you ever wondered how the NBA is filled with guys who are built like super-hero action figures and yet there isn’t even a mention of the possibility of somebody being “on the juice?” I’m looking at you, LeHairplugs James…that headband ain’t fooling anybody.
Speaking of Steroids: Coming out of spring, and through the first half of this season, it looks as though as I’m watching another spring in which the New York Yankees already look like an Intensive Care Unit. I have to wonder something. I see a team with these big, jacked-up guys whose bodies are breaking down on them constantly. Does anybody remember what happens to a lot of athletes when they are coming off using performance-enhancing drugs? They tend to have a higher occurrence of muscle and tendon/ligament injuries. Am I the only one who finds this curious? I mean, how many more “strained muscles” can Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge have? Together, they’ve pulled more meat than Robert Kraft’s “massage therapist.”
As we head into fall, there’s a lot of stuff coming I know is burning a hole in your pocket. Let’s hear ’em!
For example, how stupid has B1G Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren made himself look over the past few weeks? When you’re making Jim Harbaugh look like the “voice of reason,” you’ve seriously “screwed the pooch.” Harbaugh is a guy who has the “brainy-nerd” glasses, but he’s left his brains in his other pair of Wal-Mart khakis. And he’s the smart one…
Do you think this Tom Brady thing is going to work in Tampa? The odds say no…the track history of championship quarterbacks getting another ring delivered to a new mailing address isn’t good. Think Johnny Unitas in San Diego, Joe Namath with the Rams, Joe Montana and the failed Chiefs experiment, and Brett Favre through his 18 retirements…and that’s just for openers. The one time it worked, the Denver Broncos had to drag Peyton Manning’s corpse up to the podium to get the Lombardi trophy.
How you you think this “shot-glass” version of a baseball season is going to turn out? I for one am glad we finally extended the foul ball netting to protect all those cardboard cut-outs.
Oh, and for the last person left watching the National Basketball Association…please turn off the lights when you leave.
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I’m not sure if this football season is going to go the whole way because of COVID.
COVID in America is yesterday’s news, despite all the best scare tactics the media can concoct. If Goodell were going to cancel the NFL season, his time to do it was three months ago. If you doubt that, just look at all the flak the Big Ten has been taking…and how much they are back-pedaling. Goddell is dumb, but even he’s not that dumb.
But that’s also not to say there isn’t a real threat to the NFL, and it’s one that Goodell is encouraging…more coming on that later…
I hope you are right. I did hear that they exaggerated the numbers to make it look like there were way more cases than there were.