Aug 08, 2007


On Tuesday night, August 7 th , Barry Bonds hit his 756 th homerun, breaking Hank Aaron's record of 755.

I have been hoping for this for some time now.  It is not because I have any love for Bonds.  OK, we both went to Arizona State University .  But, my affinity for him ends there.

 I was just tired of the pursuit of the record amid the allegations of steroid use, AKA:  cheating.  And now, finally, the record is his.  As far as I am concerned, whether or not the record is tainted can be disputed forever.   It will, though, be resolved with time.

 But, I just know that I no longer have to worry if I am going to miss the homerun.  I don't even want to admit how many times I said “one more” at the bar, not wanting to miss a plate appearance of his.  Also, I know that I won't have to watch another God-awful San Francisco Giants game this season.  Nor will I have to look at painful face shots of his family or worry if the Commissioner is in attendance.

 I know that I won't have to sit in disgust as another pitcher walks Bonds for no apparent reason.  In last place, up by seven runs, bottom of the eighth, hey, let's pitch around him.  Yeah, good plan.  I was glad to see that opposing fans booed Bonds.  They should.  I was also glad to see that they booed their own pitchers when they pitched around him.  Again, they should.

 I was surprised to see that it did not degenerate into a massive debate about race in America .  Except for a select few, apparently seeking to further their own agendas, nobody went there.  That is a big change from when Hank Aaron was chasing Babe Ruth's record.  But, hey, Mark McGwire, a Caucasian, and Sammy Sosa, a Hispanic, are facing the same allegations about steroid use.  And, Bonds broke a record already held by an African-American.

 Nonetheless, there was something missing. 

 What happened to all of the excitement?  There was plenty of it when Pete Rose was going to break the all-time hit record.  There was a certain buzz when Ichiro Suzuki was going to break the single-season hit record.  So, what happened?   This is the all-time homerun record for cryin' out loud!

 If the controversy about Bonds' steroid use did anything, it tainted the enthusiasm, more than the record itself.  Too many people said that they hoped he didn't get it, knowing that was not a reality.  Many others just looked away without any emotion.  No cheering, no clapping, just, “eh”.  This is the price paid for achieving something great under dubious circumstances.

 Never before has a record so meaningful seemed so meaningless.


May 2

“Why don’t you go outside?”
My mother used to ask me that when I was sitting in the house playing video games.
So, I did.
We played football in the fall and winter, basketball in the spring and baseball in the summer.
Video games were OK, but the sports were better.
The other day it was pretty nice outside so I strapped on my high tops, grabbed my ball and went out in search of a team who needed a 39 year-old, 5’11”, 240 lb. power forward for an hour. I’m no superstar, but I try. Honestly, I’m not even half the player I used to be. (Really honestly, I never was.)
I went to four courts and there were no games anywhere. Where did everybody go, Betsons?
So, I shot the ball for ten minutes (I later told my doctor it was 45 min.) and went home.
Later, when I was at home, I turned on TV and there it was. Madden Nation.
For those who have never seen it Madden Nation is a show about the best video football gamers playing each other.
This is a new low, I thought. I mean, I know the need to live vicariously through others. I’m never going to pitch in the World Series. I am never going to catch a touchdown in the Super Bowl. And dunk? I have a better chance of fartin’ myself to the Moon than ever dunking a basketball. So, I watch sports.
I understand how others get that same satisfaction through Xbox and other video games. What I don’t understand, however, is what satisfaction is derived from watching someone else live vicariously through video games. Get a grip! Or, better yet,…

…go outside.

April 25th

It is time to root against the Red Sox!

Yes, I know, they were the loveable losers of baseball, always coming close and never winning. Boo-hoo! Then they won the World Series. Now, all of the "trendsters" of the world are Bosox fans. Shoot me now. If I see another Red Sox cap in Philly I'm going to vomit. Frankly, I wish Philly fans would throw paint on them like PETA protesters do to fur. Why? Glad you asked.

First of all, I am 39 years old. In my 39 years the Boston Red Sox have had 32 winning seasons. That's right, 32. By contrast the Phillies have had 17. During that span Boston has never had more than three consecutive losing seasons. The Phillies have had seven consecutive losing seasons, twice. They also played sub-.500 ball for six straight years on another occassion.  The Boston Red Sox made the playoffs 10 times. The Philies have been there 7 times.

I'm just sick of Red Sox fans strutting around with the expectation that we should all root for them because they are the "loveable losers" of baseball. They hardly even know what it is like to lose. I mean, even when the Red Sox weren't winning the rest of Boston was. The Celtics have six championships during that time. The 76'ers, just one. The Patriots have won three Super Bowls to the Eagles' zero. (The Bruins and Flyers each won twice.) Yes, I know, "But we have to play the Yankees." Again, Boo-hoo!

It is true that the Yankees have the highest payroll in baseball.  At nearly $200 million they can buy anybody they want and are spending $50 million more than the next highest team. It is easy to root against teams like the Yankees. They have all of the advantages and are seemingly always winning. I mean, nobody pulls for Goliath. Right? Who is that next highest team, you ask? It is the Boston Red Sox, who spend over $50 million more than the Phillies. That does not even take into account the money spent to acquire Daisuke Matsuzaka. I guess, I shouldn't be complaining about how much each team spends, but that's the point...neither should Red Sox fans.

So, the next time you feel like putting on a Red Sox cap and rooting against the Yankees, look in the mirror.

The Red Sox are the Yankees.

It is time to root against them.

-Scott Thomson


© Copyright 2006. Jules Pilla

Not affiliated with the Philadelphiqa Eagles or the NFL.