The Red Sox were playing the Mariners and on their way to their eighth straight loss at Safeco Field when it was announced that Barry Bonds had hit number 755.
I felt sad at first, because Hank Aaron breaking Babe Ruth’s record was part of my childhood, and then the feeling passed, and I concerned myself with the Sox, who rallied passed the Mariners to get their first win in Seattle since Fraser Crane had a top rated radio show.
After the game I was left with this thought about Barry Bonds. Do I care? Does anyone care?
The National Media decides what we should care about, whether it be some Hollywood starlet’s criminal activity, or a politician’s latest sexual dalliance.
Now the national sports media is doing the dictating and the thing we are told we should care about is Barry Bonds’ pursuit of Hank Aaron, but what I am wondering is why should I care?
I have been told it is because the homerun record it the most cherished record in sports. Well, by whom? My most cherished record is that I have not thrown up since drinking the better part of two kegs in August 1988 and then tried to eat an English muffin. That’s a record folks.
Of course I am supposed to be up in arms because Bonds cheated. Well Shawn Marion cheated, helped the Chargers get home field for the playoffs in 2007 and the only thing that kept them from advancing was another Mary meltdown. Marion was a candidate for Defensive Player of the year until clearer heads prevailed.
Sunday night Tom Glavine won his 300th game, and good for him. Good citizen, nice guy, I’m happy for him like I’m happy when my neighbor tells me he eagled the 14th at the local club. I don’t really care, but I’m happy.
Then there is A-Rod hitting is 500th, which may be the greatest achievement of them all, considering his age and potential, despite the fact that I hate him with every fiber of my short, round, being.
The truth is their achievements were inevitable. The work to get there had been done long ago. The real news would have been if A-Rod went the rest of his career without going yard, Glavine got a tragic career ending injury stopping him from getting win 300, or that Bonds got stuck on 754, which, my loyal readers will know, I already wrote (thanks, Mom.)
Besides these records we are also supposed to care about the British invasion. Yes David Beckham and Posh Spice Beckham have landed on our shore and its like when John Lennon arrived if he had already married Yoko.
The initial Beckham sightings are going to bring fans to the soccer stadiums like an exhibition of King Tut’s tomb, but once we all realize he’s just an old guy with lots of wrapping around him the novelty will wear off.
Americans are never going to care about soccer. The difference is as clear as American and European literature. In the works of Jane Austin lovers come together, break apart, tragedy pulls them further apart, and then they are, 500 pages later, reunited in a night of glorious passion.
In American literature someone gets laid every ten pages.
In America we don’t have patience to weed through hundreds of pages until someone scores, nor do we have the patience to wait through two hours of soccer waiting for someone to get a goal.
These stories are all currently cresting, by the end of the week Bonds should be past Aaron, and the Beckham shine should begin to lose its luster (Does anyone else think he is the English Fred Thompson: Hot wife, gets lots of publicity, isn’t actually participating in anything?)
Former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neil said that all politics is local, and that is true of sports. While we have interest in Bonds in New England eyes will be turned to Curt Schilling taking the hill in Anaheim and not Barry Bonds at Pac-Bell. In New York the focus will be the Mets holding on to first and the Yankees slow climb to the wild card lead. In Chicago it will be Alfonso Soriano’s injury, in Nebraska, it will be, as always Cornhusker football.
So, while the National media tries to get us concerned about Pac-Man Jones’ wrestling career (I will only be interested if he comes in a costume that is a gigantic mouth and feuds with colored furry creatures) the rest of us will be more worried about what is going on at home.
Because if I get much more A-Rod, Bonds or Pac-Man coverage my 20 year no vomiting record will come to a sad end.