By Mike Bruu, TSB Sports Writer
1. Oh what a week it has been for myself and my fellow sports fanatics. First we all got to enjoy a nice three-day weekend as we honored those soldiers who have served and are currently serving in the military on Memorial Day. However, the day quickly became focused on the “Man in the Crane.” The then-unidentified man was escaping from police and found himself in the cab of a crane operating over the SMU campus. I was fascinated by the entire story and wanted as many details as I could receive. And despite the fact that the ending of the story did not have a happy ending, I think I would be fooling myself if I believed the man was going to just give up and be arrested. Not after 14 hours of being stuck up there. Finally, we have had some crazy storms roll through these parts the last three nights or so, providing an incredible sound machine for my bedroom as I fall asleep. Thank you Mother Nature. I’ll repay you with some sports talk.
2. Last night I had the honor of attending the Texas Rangers debacle in Arlington, or as it will be known from here on out as simply, “21-8.” I was able to score some tickets and took my dad with me to what I thought would be a pretty interesting game. Former Ranger prospect Blake Beaven throwing against The Dutch Oven? Recipe for a good time, right? Well we did get to witness an historic night at the Ballpark, so historic that our section of fans began hoping the Mariners would continue scoring runs in the second and third inning just so they could see a 20-spot on the scoreboard. It took Seattle all nine innings to do it but they did eventually hit 20, making Wednesday night’s 21-8 Arlington beatdown by the Mariners one of the worst losses in franchise history. Now I don’t want to bore you with details from the game and give you fun little stats about what we all witnessed out there, so instead I will share short stories from my adventures with my father at the Ballpark in a number I like to call “Stories From the 21-8 Game!”
3. S.F.T.21-8.G Number 1: In the bottom of the third inning a teenage boy behind me started talking very loudly about attempting a “power hour” after the game. For those who don’t know what a “power hour” is, it is when a lucky participant attempts to drink a shot of beer every minute for one hour, equally to about 5-6 cans over that time. If you are a Ticket P1, you know exactly how this shenanigan can go down. Anyway, his father or someone much older overheard him and asked what exactly this game was and the boy did a pretty good job explaining exactly what the game consisted of. The last thing he said was “It’s just a shot of beer every minute for an hour,” to which the older gentlemen asked him, “For how long?” Maybe the humor of the moment can’t be captured in this number, but if you could heard the laughter coming from my dad and I right after we heard that exchange go down, you would be chuckling too.
4. For the Charlotte Bobcat Fan Club of Dallas/Fort Worth, I know last night must have been very tough for you, losing out on the first overall pick and the rights to Kentucky freshman phenomenon Anthony Davis. Don’t worry though, he could become the next Greg Oden and play in only 82 games over five seasons. Or he could become a dominant low post presence, lead the New Orleans Hornets back to legitimacy, go to 15-plus All-Star games, and cure cancer. I’d root for option A.
5. Call me un-American if you would like to but after re-watching game one of the Stanley Cup Finals between the L.A. Kings and the New Jersey Devils, I am way more excited to tune into the rest of that series than I am either of the Conference Finals in the NBA. Wait, what’s that? I got a technical foul for that statement? Man, the referees really don’t want emotional reactions from people anymore do they?
6. One final NHL note: The Kings-Devils are going full seven games. Or at least I really hope they do. It will come down to which goalie can withstand the pressure in the third period and overtime. Will it be the young kid in L.A. Jonathan Quick or the future Hall of Famer in New Jersey Martin Brodeur? I’m going with Quick and the Kings for the win.
7. Here is a message to high school basketball coaches who might have run out of creative ideas to teach your players the game of basketball: pop in some film of the San Antonio Spurs on offense and have them marvel at the crisp ball movement and the proper execution of the pick-and-roll. Now they might freak out when they don’t see ‘Lob City’ all over the TV, but just inform them that this is real basketball and that this wins championships.
8. S.F.T.21-8.G Number 2: In the center field area with all the food stands and such, we stopped at the place that serves brisket or pork taco platters. When I went to order, I asked if I could get a brisket taco platter with no lettuce or pico, just meat and cheese. She quickly responded with, “We can’t do that. There are no substitutions in the order. It says it on the menu.” I look up and realize that it does in fact say “no substitutions,” but then it occurs to me that subtracting from an order and not replacing it with something else is not subbing but simply subtracting. However when I told the lady this statement, all I got back was a look that said I should stop using common sense in this situation and just pay the $50 tab for the four overpriced and underwhelming brisket tacos, the two bland sides of rice, one small soft drink, and a bottled water.
9. On Memorial Day I watched as the Rays got completely shut down at the plate by White Sox lefty Chris Sale. After 7.1 innings of work, Sale had struck out 15 hitters and only given up a run in what became the greatest pitching performance in the 14-year history of Tropicana Field. As he is walking off the field for the final time of the game, several hundred Rays fans stand up to give him a standing ovation for his effort out on the mound. I’m sorry but I have a huge problem with that. I am all for sportsmanship and tipping your cap to a great performance by the opponent, but to give an opposing pitcher a standing ovation for striking out your team’s hitters 15 times is tremendously ridiculous. Tell your buddy next to you how great you think that guy was out on the mound, but don’t stand up and pat the guy on the back in your home ballpark. Absolutely did not like the move whatsoever.
10. If you have not heard about the documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop, I encourage you to go Redbox it tonight. The film covers the world of street art and is directed by one of the most famous street artists in the world, Banksy. I am not really into art and attending art shows, but I have always been fascinated with street art and some of the designs the artists come up with. I won’t dive into much detail about the movie, but the 90-minute film won the award for Best Documentary Film at the 83rd Academy Awards and has received positive reviews across the board. If genuinely makes you question what is really art and what is the standards for which we grade the work by. I strongly recommend you check it out.
11. S.O.T.21-8.G Number 3: One of the memories I will take away from the game will be watching my dad attempt to fill out an All-Star Game selection form without knowing who was really having good years and who wasn’t. Despite picking two players who hadn’t played this season and one who was batting .125, watching him really try to make quality selections on that form was one of the greatest moments I’ve ever had with my pops.
12. The NFL Players Association and the NFL found a way to keep the Pro Bowl around for one more year in 2013. They say that next year the fans will see a much better effort and more intensity than what has or hasn’t been shown the last couple of games. If you are wondering why the would even have incentive to continue playing, remember that the winning team gets a $53,000 bonus while the losing team must suffer with just $27,000 for their bonus. I’d probably would find a way to keep the game going too if that was my possible bonus options. What can we do to show we don’t want the game anymore, you ask? Don’t watch it! Despite all the bickering and the complaining, the Pro Bowl is still the highest rated professional sports All-Star event, even over the baseball mid-summer classic that decides home field advantage in the World Series. Just don’t tune in next year. If you hit them in the checkbook, things will be changed.
13. We are less than 100 days from Opening Kickoff of a brand new NFL season between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants. We are roughly two months out from training camps opening up across the league. I’m sorry but I am just not ready yet. I love me some pigskin, but I love me some baseball and hockey right now.
14. One sport that I wish ESPN would cover more often throughout the year: Men’s lacrosse. After watching several games from the NCAA Lacrosse tournament, I am completely in love with the game and would love a chance to play someday. Just wait until the Winter Olympics and my curling obsession is revealed to you all. Everything you thought about me will change in an instant as soon as you understand how awesome I think the sport of curling is. If I ever had to move to Canada I am becoming a professional curler, and then you can tell your friends and family one day that you once read a column by a gentlemen who now curls professionally. Lucky you.
15. My men’s softball team, the Texas Outlaws, begin the journey to the championship cup next Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. in Coppell. Follow me on Twitter @TSBSportsBruu for all the scores, interviews, and highlights from what is sure to be a groundbreaking season in the City of Coppell men’s softball league.
16. My question of the week: Do you think that the word “crane” has ever been Googled as many times as it has been this week? Until next time, ladies and gentlemen.