THE SPORTS DOCTOR- Where's that curl? Sports good, bad and ugly
Sometimes you have to take the bad with the good. An ear of silver queen is bound to leave you picking your teeth. To enjoy Val Kilmer's performance as Doc Holliday in Tombstone, you have to sit through Dana Delany's singing. A box of chocolates is bound to have an orange buttercream next to a caramel. That's just the way it is.
While sports are more like the little girl who had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead (when they're good, they're very, very good, and when they're bad, they're horrid), this past weekend was different. There were highs, and there were lows. There was good, there was bad– and yes, there was ugly.
But the good was still very, very good.
Hold onto your horses: UVA did something right. After losing the first game of a three-game series, Cavalier baseball took games two and three from Ole Miss. For the first time ever, Virginia will be a contender in the College World Series. But let's not look ahead, okay? If there's one thing Cavalier fans have learned, it's that each victory must be savored for its own sweetness; who knows when another will come?
Speaking of sweetness, how about Roger Federer? A French Open title won in straight sets over the man who took Nadal to the mattress? To those who try to dismiss Federer's victory as hollow– after all, he faced Soderling and not Nadal– don't forget Federer whipped Nadal on clay a few months back. With Federer's wracking sobs and tearful attention to his national anthem, this French Open final was nearly as moving as Rudy. It was a triumph.
For some, Tiger's pull-it-out-of-the-fire win at this past weekend's Memorial Tournament was as good as it gets. For others, Woods' 67th career victory was anything but. While Woods' prowess on the course is undeniable, only Tripp Isenhour's attitude has annoyed more golf fans. When Woods missed his second shot on the 11th hole, he vented his frustration by gnawing on his club like a Jack Russell puppy. Even Tiger fans must admit that such behavior doesn't classify as very, very good.
As far as the bad, I found out this weekend that everyone in America, barring Jack Nicholson and his friends, really hates the Lakers, especially since Kareem and Magic left. With all the attention Shaq got, and all the attention Kobe gets, I've always thought the Lakers had it made– everyone loves them.
Little did I know that the opposite is true, and nearly everyone was pulling for the Magic on Sunday night. It's not just about the underdog, either. Whether it's Kobe's sense of entitlement, Phil Jackson's complaints, or the fans' arrogance, people really hate the Lakers. The Magic's overtime loss in game two was a heartbreaker for scores of NBA fans. I can hear fingers crossing everywhere for game three.
Kyle Busch's Pete Townsend impersonation on Saturday was either really bad or really sad. One would think smashing a guitar within a hundred miles of the Grand Ole Opry is always a no-no, but smashing a custom-painted, one-of-a-kind, Gibson Les Paul at Nashville Superspeedway may warrant jail time– or at least community service. Especially when the guitar was the trophy for winning the Federated Auto Parts 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race.
I don't know what's worse– the fact that Kyle Busch destroyed the guitar or that it took him so many tries to do it.
And finally: the ugly. In a recent Sports Illustrated, Danica Patrick was asked whether, if she could take a performance-enhancing drug and not get caught, she would do it if it allowed her to win the Indianapolis 500.
Patrick: "Well, then it's not cheating, is it? If nobody finds out?"
SI: "So you would do it?"
Patrick: "Yeah, it would be like finding a gray area. In motorsports, we work in the gray areas a lot. You're trying to find where the holes are in the rule book."
Neither sports media nor the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency is buying Patrick's claim that her comments were a "bad joke." According to the Philadelphia Daily News, Patrick's attitude "is the whole problem with the athletic/drug culture."
That's about as ugly as a mud fence.