Tag Archives: ESPN

Sports: Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football Anxiety hasn't been classified as a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association. But the evidence is mounting. Uploaded by funcomputerbackgrounds.webs.com.

True confession to start: I’ve never won a fantasy football league. And the most embarrassing part is that I’ve really tried. I’ve studied before the season, bought several preseason magazines, subscribed to an online advice service, and paid attention to injuries and matchups throughout the season. And some guy who doesn’t know how Tom Brady does in Sunday night games vs. divisional opponents wins the league. It’s only a matter of time until I have an ulcer.

Uploaded by sundaylineups.com.

In case you’re a fantasy football denier, the principles are easy. Ten to fourteen people form a league, and choose offensive players (well, they’re more offensive if they don’t score), a kicker, and a defense. Then a stat service provided by such organizations as ESPN or Yahoo! tracks how your players perform each week, and you win or lose depending on how your team does compared to that week’s opponent.

Some people can’t handle the stress. They have to get their stats in real time in order to gloat or fret. The worst is when your best fantasy player is up against your favorite pro team, and you find yourself hoping your pro team wins, but the score is 50-49, and your fantasy quarterback throws for 500 yards and seven touchdowns in the losing effort. Has the American Psychiatric Association classified Fantasy Football Anxiety as a legitimate disorder? I don’t think so.

But the evidence is mounting.

Sports: Mark Spitz

In the 1972 Olympics, he entered seven events. He won seven gold medals. He set seven world records. Uploaded by skysports.com.

Mark Spitz is remembered as one of the greatest Olympic swimmers ever. He won nine Olympic gold medals, one silver, and one bronze, while setting 33 world records.

Uploaded by mcmillanmoustaches.com.

Spitz’s career high point was the 1972 Olympics in Munich, the infamous Olympics in which 11 Israeli athletes were captured and killed by Palestinian terrorists. He entered seven events and won gold in each – while also setting world records. Initially, he was reluctant to enter the 100 meter freestyle race. He told a reporter, “I know I say I don’t want to swim before every event, but this time I’m serious. If I swim six and win six, I’ll be a hero. If I swim seven and win six, I’ll be a failure.”

Mr. Personality, he wasn’t. Mr. Ego, he still is. Want proof? Here’s the introduction on his official website: “Mark Spitz, most notable athlete of all-time, is synonymous with excellence.” Well, if you don’t tell us about it, Mark, who will?

Spitz is in the International Swimming Hall of Fame and the United States Olympic Hall of Fame. Spitz ranked #33 on ESPN’s list of the SportsCentury 50 Greatest Athletes.

Sports: Babe Ruth

This photo of Babe's farewell won the Pulitzer Prize. Uploaded by yale.edu.

This photo of Babe's farewell won the Pulitzer Prize. Uploaded by yale.edu.

Babe Ruth was big. Not just his body, which to modern eyes looks like a shapeless lump perched precariously on fragile legs. The Babe was one of the big personalities of 20th century America. You could say he singlehandedly made baseball the National Pastime. But he was bigger than the game.

He was a fun-loving guy whose career peaked in the 1920s, a fun-loving decade. His enthusiasm for baseball and for life was evident to all, and was contagious. He also changed baseball from what we now call “small ball”, singles and sacrifices and stolen bases, and brought about a fascination with the home run. Consider this, from the Babe Ruth official Web site (yes, of course there’s an official Web site, are you kidding?):

“In 1927, Babe Ruth’s 60 home runs accounted for 14% of all home runs in the American League that year. To put that figure in modern perspective, a player would need to hit over 340 home runs in a season to account for 14% of the American League’s total home run output.”

The Babe, uploaded to Flickr by ceetard.

The Babe, uploaded to Flickr by ceetard.

Kids loved the Babe, and he often visited hospitals to see children without anyone knowing. He came from a tough, working-class neighborhood, and he never forgot how far his accomplishments had taken him.

And what accomplishments! Single-season home run record of 60 lasted 34 years. Career total of 714 homers lasted 39 years. The Sporting News ranked him the number one baseball player of all time. The Associated Press named him Athlete of the Century. ESPN Sports Century named him number two, to Michael Jordan. Idiots.

Babe died of throat cancer at the age of 53. Here’s a newsreel of his farewell to the fans, and his fans saying farewell to the Babe.