Dear Philadelphia Phillies,
Thank you for winning the World Series. I am supposed to be writing a “good-bye” sports column, but 1) I hate goodbyes and 2) I love you guys. Let it be known, however, that this is no ordinary fan mail, but a published “newsworthy” article that numerous people ((i.e. some of my friends, probably not even my family) will read. Don’t worry, though, this isn’t one of those crazy letters where I try to guilt you into sending me free, signed, memorabilia by regaling you with stories of my fanaticism. Or, maybe it is…
Earlier in the semester I toyed with the idea of doing an expose of sorts on Ithaca’s most underappreciated athletic activities. I started off on the right-foot by writing about Greek Peak, but my lofty intentions of engaging in all kinds of other unusual athletic endeavors were quickly neglected when the frantic chaos known as “senior spring” picked up momentum.
I know that people often read the Sports page to escape the buzz killing articles in the News section. And although I’m sure most people are sick of reading about our flagging economy, I can’t help but allow the current economic situation to inform my thinking about sports. It’s practically blasphemous to say it, especially in this venue, but the recent economic crisis has affected my love of sports. Not my love of Philadelphia sports, obviously, but the sports industry, in general.
I know I promised a series on “alternative” Ithaca sports, but I decided to build some suspense and talk about something a little more pressing this week. And anyway, who can resist discussing an athlete who has purportedly had an affair with Madonna. Even if you don’t follow baseball, if you’ve even passed within the vicinity of anything resembling ESPN, you’ve heard about the controversy surrounding Yankees third baseman Alexander Rodriguez.
So, the Super Bowl has come and gone (with less than desirable results) and now we enter into the annual sports rut (a.k.a February) that encompasses the time between the NFL’s version of the big dance and the excitement surrounding March Madness. It is a tragic time that is characterized by endless discussions of basketball on SportsCenter and Top-10 Highlights that all look exactly the same.
“World Champions….World Fu…”
Just kidding. My editor (aka Cory) would have my head for quoting Chase Utley’s now infamous word choice that was blasted unexpectedly throughout Citizens Bank Park, the entire city of Philadelphia, and the Greater Philadelphia Area (if you don’t know what he said, you probably don’t watch ESPN nearly enough). Turns out he didn’t warn anyone he was going to drop the F-bomb.
Who would have guessed it? Certainly not the people who doubted the Phils would even make the postseason, let alone become World Series champions. Earlier in the year I admitted that the Tampa Bay Rays were my biggest fear in the postseason. I think I speak for all Philly fans when I say that it’s rare that our biggest fears and worst nightmares fail to come true.
Hundreds of miles south of the New York border, and even farther from the Cornell campus, living inside the Capital Beltway for the last month has been a pretty exciting adventure. When I left Cornell for summer break, I was thoroughly convinced that there wouldn’t be a single thing I’d miss about being away from Ithaca for nine months. In the last week, however, I’ve surprised myself by missing something (or more accurately, someone) I despise: New York sports fans.
Far away from Libe Slope and the debauchery known as “Slope Day,” the men’s lacrosse team will be experiencing Hobart’s version of a college celebration spectacle. Tonight, the Red will sum up its regular season by participating in the first night game ever held at Boswell Field hosted by the Hobart Statesmen.
There is a lot on the line for both Cornell and Hobart. For the Red, this match-up could be the deciding factor in their bid to play in the postseason.
Winning this weekend will arguably be the most important step in the team’s quest to make it back to the Final Four at Gillette Stadium. In addition, head coach Jeff Tambroni will be returning to his alma mater and the setting where he played college lacrosse.
Like a younger brother who works hard to get an identity separate from that of his “perfect” older sibling, senior men’s lacrosse goaltender Jake Myers has worked hard this season to be a quality goalie in his own right and more than just a replacement for 2007 Ivy League Player of the Year Matt McMonagle ’07. After three years of diligently waiting in line, Myers got the nod at the start of the season and has never looked back.
“I probably started out a little slow, but I think I’ve been getting better and better,” Myers said.
Finally, I have proof that New Yorkers have no class. Ok, so maybe that’s a bit of a generalization but I have good reason to be bitter. For as long as I can remember, New York and New Jersey hockey fans have taken great joy in accusing the Philadelphia Flyers of playing a “dirty” brand of hockey. Unwarranted and unsolicited, they repeatedly call the Flyers meatheads and no-talent bullies just because they have a (very) physical playing style. Much to my excitement, on Sunday night Rangers forward Sean Avery demonstrated what playing dirty really looks like.