Keidel: Sporting Chills
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By Jason Keidel
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Now that the Super Bowl has been dissected like that poor, prostrate frog from your science class, there’s a frigid wind howling through the sporting world, much like the real one that has frozen our nation from top to bottom.
We have no sports – all due respect to the Knicks, who are slowly regaining our trust, and the triumvirate of hockey teams, who never had our trust.
It is fitting that this happens every February – particularly this February, when we’ve been drowned in snow we can’t plow (for whatever reason), and we watch the apparent apocalypse around the world that plays futbol, not football.
The tentacles of Bernie Madoff’s criminal ring perhaps poisoned the Mets beyond repair. The Yankees got the middle-digit from Cliff Lee and Andy Pettitte, smarter than he lets on, knows the run is over.
College basketball is a tangential affair that grips those padded chairs on wheels from which you spin between tasks. A bracket suddenly appears and you’re a sports fan with fantasies of wearing the crown of cubicles. But that’s not the narcotic we call athletics.
When Tim Duncan and Grant Hill – great players and greater people – took that thing called “graduation” seriously, we took the sport seriously. Since then, college ball has dissolved into the provincial bonds of alumni. I could name six players on six Big East teams in 1986. None now.
NASCAR, which, evidently, means a lot to the world west of the Hudson, has never infiltrated one call to WFAN that I ever heard. This isn’t the hubris of a native New Yorker; I just don’t get why you watch cars spinning around an oval 200 times and call it an event.
Growing up in New York City meant having a rock in your hands with Spalding or Wilson burned into the ball. If you were male and didn’t play sports, aspersions were cast upon your ancestry. Kids are cruel.
Or maybe I’m macabre because I’m not over the Steelers, who broke my heart far worse than anyone would. None of it feels right. Just ask Christina Aguilera.
Or maybe when some ump, with the ground thawed and asters popping pink around a ballpark, shouts, “Play Ball!” we’ll forget the winter ever happened.
Feel free to email me: Jakster1@mac.com