Thursday, October 27, 2005

Congratulations, Chicago White Sox.

You realize of course this is all a big conspiracy. Think about it: the last time the Yankees won was the Subway Series of 2000 -- one of the least-viewed Series in recent television history. Since then, the Bombers’ dynasty has been on hiatus… and for what? So that long-suffering underdogs or exciting expansion teams can capture the title and the American TV audience.

Well, now that Boston’s 86-year drought is over, and ditto for the White Sox’s 88 years… expect next year the Cubs to win their first World Series in nearly a century. Won’t that be thrilling? After that, who’s next? Hmm, the Indians haven’t won since 1948. Be sure to tune in for the Tribe's victory, too. And be prepared for to hear that “Cleveland Rocks” song over and over.

I know I sound like a frustrated Yankees fan, and maybe they were just out-matched again. But they’ll be back. Once every other dog has its day, New York will end the Nielsen-ratings-driven curse that will have plagued them for 8 years. Yankees in ‘08, baby!

In other sporting news, last weekend I went to the Staples Center to see the L.A. Kings vs. Calgary Flames. I haven’t been that into hockey since I moved away from my NY Islanders. But I guess in this game I’d root for the Kings ‘cause at least they’re an American team, right? Of course, nearly every player in the NHL is Canadian or Czech or Russian or Finnish… what’s the Slavic word for “puck”?

I had scored awesome seats -- third row, so when a player got cross-checked and body-slammed against the glass, you could see the whites of his eyes, the blood in his nose and the three remaining teeth in his mouth.

We were sitting in front of Cuba Gooding, Jr. and I saw my friend chatting with him for a bit. Later, I asked her what they talked about.

I said, “I hope you didn’t tell him, ‘Show me the money.’”

“No, he started talking to me,” she said. “He said that even though the seats were great, all the action seemed to be on the other side of the rink. So I said we’d be able to see it better next period. And he said, ‘Oh, they switch sides?’”

She seemed to be pleased with herself that she knew more about hockey than Cuba -- sure, he's got an Academy Award, but can you believe he didn’t know the teams would switch goals in the fourth period?

“Uh…” I started to speak, then stopped. I didn’t have the heart to tell her there is no fourth period. That we were in the third -- and final -- period.

Plus, the score was tied, and now they’ve changed the rules allowing a tie-breaking overtime, so maybe there would be another period. And if there’s still a tie, then they do a shootout, and a sudden-death shootout. The Kings were on the offensive, but at that point I hoped they wouldn’t get it past the goalie; I wanted to see more hockey.

With 24 seconds left, the Flames scored. Oh well, it was still a great game. Now that baseball’s over, I may start paying more attention to this sport. Unless there’s a conspiracy about Stanley Cup winners, too.


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