Hutton: Sports stuff that wears me out
May 22, 2012 11:20PM
Theo Epstein on the Wrigley outfield after his press conference announcement as new president of baseball operations. | Al Podgorski~Chicago Sun-Times
Updated: July 2, 2012 9:57AM
I have Wrigley Field fatigue. I no longer care if they bulldoze the iconic, wretchedly dated and uncomfortable baseball stadium.
Or if they renovate it into something comfortable and more charming than it already is. It seems like they’ve been trying to redecorate Wrigley since the last time the Cubs played a World Series there, which was nearly 67 years ago.
End the conversation. Get something done already.
The Cubs rebuilding project(s): And I’m not talking about Wrigley Field. How many times have they tried to reconstruct the Cubs since 1945, their last appearance in the World Series? Twenty? Twenty-five? In the 66 years since the end of the 1945 season, the Cubs have had 45 losing seasons. That number will soon be 46.
I really do hope that Theo Epstein is prescient and brilliant because this losing forever stinks. And, yes, I am a fan.
What happens if Epstein’s plan to start from scratch institutionally, culturally and structurally with the Cubs turns out to be a complete disaster? The expectations for him are enormous and no one has really seriously considered the possibility he could actually fail.
What then, if the boy wonder can’t get it done? It would seem then that there is no hope ever for the Cubs. That should just be the end of the franchise.
Incidentally, Epstein’s record with the Red Sox, where he never went strictly with a youth movement, didn’t include one losing record in eight seasons. The worst Red Sox team in his run finished with 86 victories. Turning the Cubs into a Triple-A team as a prerequisite for getting consistently better isn’t necessarily a slam-dunk long-term strategy.
Legal stories: Especially ones that involve the Notre Dame football team and alcohol.
The endless jockeying and politicking for a playoff for college football: The Big Ten wants a four-team playoff after the bowl seasons (already seems like a problem when you consider that there is still controversy every year about who really wins the national championship after all the bowl games are played) and others believe an eight- or 16-team playoff is inevitable. At least the conversation has drifted toward a playoff, which is where it should be. Call me when someone decides what the rules are.
The conga line of schools that either want out of their conference (Louisville is eventually headed to the Big 12 and FSU is reportedly eyeing the Big 12) or have already switched conferences: Enough already. The instability is creating serious branding issues for college sports. Yes, it’s true, I’m not interested in watching Boise State play UConn in football in a Big East matchup.
Rules for Twitter: A license and test should be required to tweet, or you must be 21. Also, follow me.
A conference for the Notre Dame football team: This self-perpetuated notion that the Irish are better and distinct from every other college needs to end. Twenty years of football mediocrity has proven ND needs a permanent landing spot for the sake of its players. There can’t and shouldn’t be separate rules for a playoff for the Irish, like the top four conferences and ND are included in it, if it comes to that. I’ve heard that nonsense floated. It’s time to stop the enabling.
The systemic, almost routine rejection from a subset of professional football players that risk of permanent and lasting head injuries is a serious concern: They dismiss it as A) part of the game and there really is nothing that can be done about it or B) that the hyper-awareness of concussions and the new rules from the NFL that penalize helmet-to-helmet contact will take care of the problem. This is a festering, mammoth conundrum for all of football and I believe, over time, participation in youth football is going to suffer because of the risks involved.
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