BRONX, NY – Last week I was in my usual position of trying to get my kid out the door and off to school as she was in the middle of her morning routine of picking out what color gummy vitamins she wanted and which random toy or artifact she should stuff in her backpack to show her little friends. Frustration set in and I probably took a bit of a harsh tone as I tried to get her to focus. She countered with, “Daddy, why are you so angry?” It hurt. Am I really angry? I thought this was just a nickname I was given for this site. I really need to figure this all out. I can’t have my child thinking I’m an angry guy. If this is truly the case, then I need to retire and turn this column over to Affable Wayne full time, post haste. In the meantime, today I am going to focus on some things that I truly like in sports. This one’s for the kid. Here goes.
Gregg Popovich. The coach of the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs may be my favorite current coach in all of sports. That’s saying a lot, as I don’t follow pro basketball like others do. But I like Pop’s no-nonsense approach to his team, coaching, and people in general. And who can argue with the results? His Spurs always seem to come closest to epitomizing the ideal of what a team should be (a bunch of players working in concert towards a single goal) and they are once again in the finals, where this time they may actually beat Miami. And Popovich continues to be one of the best interviews in sports even with his flamboyant foil, Craig Sager, temporarily on the shelf. This recent interview with David Aldridge is yet another classic.
The Racetrack. I really do love horse racing. Went out to Belmont again recently and I’m as convinced as ever. Hell, I went to the pit known as Yonkers Raceway in the middle of this brutal winter that just passed and had an absolutely great time… and I didn’t win a cent. I just wish horse racing could hire some decent marketers and ad people to promote the experience the way it needs to be. As an example, at Belmont you pay five bucks to get in, nothing to park, can bring a cooler full of food and drink, can BBQ if you want, are out in the sunshine, can gamble, and there’s a full playground for the kids. How is this not better than spending hundreds of bucks at a baseball game?
Doc Emrick. The hands-down best play-by-play man in all of sports, in one of the toughest sports to do play-by-play. Doc is an NHL treasure that shines every bit as brightly as the Stanley Cup itself. He effortlessly calls the breakneck end-to-end hockey action, and does so with great clarity, excitement, and humor. If he were a goalie, he’d have a 0.00 GAA, because the guy just can’t be beat.
Miami Heat Grandma. I just saw this video the other day and I love this woman. Feisty old broads like this deserve to be celebrated. She’s better than a two-and-a-half minute YouTube clip. She deserves her own show. Someone should start a sports network anchored by senior citizens and make her the centerpiece. I’d watch that over ESPN any day of the week.
Tennis Panties. Two days ago, my daughter took her first tennis lesson and the first thing she commented on afterwards was that she kept seeing her instructor’s panties because of her short skirt. I told her that I caught sight of them too on a couple of occasions and that it was just part of tennis… a very important part. Thank God for tennis panties, where would we be without them?