The Austin American-Statesman’s Michael Corcoran is a funny guy — and I don’t just mean the photo that accompanies his column — and he’s been in the scribbling game much longer than yours truly. But from one pop critic turned sporting pundit to another, I can honestly say there’s something thoroughly satisfiy, cleansing if you will, about identifying a minority interest (say, trepenation for instance) and disparaging those who enjoy it for no other reason than I’ve got fuck all to say about anything of consequence. And in that respect, Corcoran and I have loads in common. The thing is, how much courage does it really take to belittle baseball fans in the local paper of a town without a major league franchise, and likewise, the ultra predictable soccer-sucks rant in a place where the game barely registers? When Mike lets his readership know that college football is more rigged than wrestling (or that the Daytona 500 is just a bunch of saloon cars going around in a circle), then I’ll be impressed.
I don’t know which I’m more highly anticipating, the start of the baseball season or Ashlee Simpson’s April 19 show at the Austin Music Hall. Although it’s kinda fun to go out to a major-league ballpark, baseball is one of the worst sports to watch on TV, with more spitting than hitting, more, um, adjusting below the belt than belting above the fence. There are real sports fans and then there are baseball-only fans. Baseball-only fans have bought cheese online.
Folks who like baseball but don’t care for football or basketball are easier to figure out than soccer fans (also known as 75 percent of the world), however. Up and down, up and down the field the players run, and about as often as an Eddie Murphy movie is shown on the Independent Film Channel, someone kicks the ball into the net. Made uncontrollable by such action, the crowd then riots in the streets. How could something so boring inspire violence? It makes about as much sense as a mob of ballet fans turning over cop cars after an especially zestful performance of “Swan Lake.”