LONGSHOTS: "How come?" is the main question of the day
by Dave Long
I’m the kind of guy who likes to ask a lot of questions. Even though I find if you ask ones people don’t like they address you with disdain, depending on where you are and who the audience is, a liberal, a communist, contentious, a conservative, a Yankee fan, a Red Sox fan, a cross dresser and/or from the East Coast, left wing, biased media elite. Some also will say “that’s the dumbest question I’ve ever heard” like Bill Parcells would do when he wanted to bully a reporter and then not answer it. And then there are those who are even less polite and simply say you don’t know what the blank you’re talking about.
I kind of like it, because I think there is a lot more zealotry in the world than objectivity and look at it as my job to point it out and to challenge the black and white world they live in. Take the case of the two best basketball players to ever be on a ticket for president and vice president of the United States — although there might be contention over that from the William Howard Taft crowd who say the big fella set a mean pick. The Republicans have been jawing away for six months that Barack Obama didn’t have the experience to lead the country after being in the Senate for just three years. A fair question to be sure, as after all, this guy could be president of the United States. But then how come they magically reversed course and blamed the media for being left-wing elitists and biased for bringing up the exact same questions regarding Governor Palin? The same folks who’ve been hammering Hillary Clinton forever said it was sexist when Palin was being “picked on.” Even though no one had a clue who she was after being picked by just one guy, rather than being elected with millions of votes and vetted by the media in a grueling 18- month primary campaign as Obama was? Especially when the person we don’t know has a track record of going to more colleges than overrated New York City schoolboy hoops legend Lloyd Daniels — which is saying something.
The last comment will be seen as a gratuitous one by some — which it kind of is, except given the track record, all of us still looking to decide who to vote for need to KNOW how smart she really is and how capable she is. So in that vein here’s a number of questions I’ll ask that might ruffle the feathers of some, but where those on the other side will say that’s a legit thing to ask. And while I plan to do the rest on sports, this one relates to a more general media line:
How come, Senator McCain, Joe Biden’s done more than 60 interviews with the media since the convention and Governor Palin has done a whopping three as I write this? And one was with that 25-watt bulb Sean Hannity, who did everything but sit on her lap. Could it be because you were afraid they were all going to turn out to be as big a debacle as the one with Katie Couric was?
How come people who are interested and invest a lot of time in learning about wine are connoisseurs and people who do the same with sports are called get-a-lifers?
How come a guy like Bud Selig, who obviously has a love for baseball that only a real fan can have, can not understand how bogus it is to give home field in the World Series to the league that wins the All-Star game instead of the team that earns it by having the best record in baseball?
Speaking of the All-Star game, how come I didn’t know the AL has won the 14 straight games? Couldn’t be because I ain’t been paying attention, could it?
How come after all of baseball has seen what Dustin Pedroia can do with the big boys, the next pint-sized player to come along with the goods will be met with the same anti-little guy prejudice Doug Flutie still faced even as he was tearing up the Canadian League year after year, while NFL teams kept taking physical specimen stiffs, like the throwin’ Samoan Jack Thompson and Dan McGwire, when a better alternative was starring them in the face north of the border?
As a follow-up, how come so many people still don’t get just how good the magic of Flutie was?
How come soccer is so popular and dominant almost everywhere else in the world and a marginal game on the pro level in this country at best, despite being the most-played game by children starting out in youth sports? Is it because all the best athletes go to the sports where the real money is?
How come Pete Carroll is thought of as a bust with both the Jets and New England, even though he made the playoffs twice, but king of the world in college football even as all those upsets to non-ranked teams have me wondering if he’s winning more because he’s such a great recruiter?
Manute Bol probably wants to know how come they came up with 7’8” Yao Ming and the Houston Rockets to play against the Celtics at the Verizon Wireless Arena a week from Saturday (Oct. 11) — because Ming is going to break Manute’s record for the tallest guy to play basketball in the state of New Hampshire. And the follow-up is what’s the over-under on wins for the Rockets now that they have added Ron Artest to the fold? I say watch out for them.
How come Michael Jordan and Larry Bird have such dreadful records putting teams together as GMs when no one would have said Danny Ainge was a smarter player back in the day? But he’s got one title and is working on another as we speak when he never had the top pick in the entire draft as Michael did when he took bust Kwame Brown and has only had one coach where Michael has hired four and fired two after just one year?
How come guys like Mike Lowell, Willis Reed, Curt Schilling and almost every football player known to man can play through the pain, or at least try, and JD Drew has played fewer than 110 games five times in his career and fewer than 140 twice more?
OK, here’s one final political one: how can our political system have come to such a point where, even at a time of dire calamity, partisan finger-pointing, blaming the other guy and winning are more important than doing what’s right for the people who elected them? There has got to be a better way because it’s pretty demoralizing.
Dave Long can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He hosts the Absolute Sports Experience at Billy’s Sports Bar in Manchester each Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon that is broadcast live on WGAM – The Game, 1250-AM Manchester, 900-AM Nashua.