Posted on: August 8, 2011 11:14 am


Silly, but sports writers and sports fans love it.  That "other" sports publication, is running a series this year to honor it's anniversary:  greatest teams of all times in each sport, greatest players, greatest games, greatest record.  Some are easy.  The 1927 Yankees are undoubtedly the greatest baseball team of all time; Lew Alcindor's UCLA teams were the greatest college basketball team ever.  Surprisingly though, some people think the 1-loss Chicago Bears of 1985 were a better team than the 1972 Miami Dolphins, who of course went undefeated.

It is impossible, of course, to compare players and teams across time.  Rules change, people change, games change.  There's the three-point shot, the Designated Hitter, a lower pitchers' mound, zone defenses, no leg whips, no clotheslines, no shots to the head in the NFL.  Players who made the HoF in their respective sport and their respective time wouldn't even make a D-I college roster these days, because players in all sports are bigger, faster, and more specifically and specially trained.

Nevertheless, I feel compelled to add my own list of "greatests", to which I may add or subtract:

Greatest professional basketball player of all time: Wilt Chamberlain. [Runner-up: Michael Jordan]
Greatest professional baseball player of all time: Babe Ruth. [Ty Cobb]
Greatest professional boxer of all time: Muhammad Ali [Rocky Marciano]
Greatest professional golfer of all time: Jack Nicklaus [Arnold Palmer]
Greatest professional football player of all time: Jim Brown [Peyton Manning]
Greatest professional race driver of all time: Richard Petty [AJ Foyt]
Greatest professional hockey player of all time: Wayne Gretzky [Bobby Orr]
Greatest professional soccer player of all time: Pele [Johan Cruyff]

Greatest professional baseball team of all time: 1927 Yankees [1972 Oakland Athletics]
Greatest professional football team of all time: 1972 Dolphins [2008 New England Patriots]
Greatest professional basketball team of all time: 1971-1972 Los Angeles Lakers [1995-1996 Chicago Bulls]
Greatest professional hockey team of all time: 1983-1984 Edmonton Oilers [1976-1977 Montreal Canadiens]
Greatest professional soccer team of all time: 1973-74 Barcelona FC [2000 Boca Juniors]
Category: Fantasy
Posted on: July 11, 2011 4:37 pm

Maybe I've Been Here too Long

Just the other day, a comment accused me of going on an anti-American rant because I suggested that perhaps there's a better way to deal with drinking and driving than the way the various states do it.  I didn't think it was anti-American, but perhaps that's because I tend to think that the true patriots are the people who stand up and question their government (or their country) when it does something that is not by the people, for the people.  I actually admire guys who are willing to ask the hard questions: shouldn't Congress have to declare a war?  is lowering taxes and raising spending any way out of a financial crisis?  is denying terrorists the basic rights we hold so dear in our constitution really making us more secure?  You know, the kind of thing a Thomas Paine would have asked, the kind of thing an Abraham Lincoln would have thought about.  Relevance, you say?

Well, I'm about to launch a small pro-American rant on a topic I thought I'd never, ever, in a million years address: women's soccer.  That's right, women's soccer.  The communist game where only one guy can touch the ball with his hands, twenty guys run around in shorts, pony-tails and bandanas for ninety minutes and no one scores.  That one.  The female version.  Why?  Well, this being Europe--Germany, to be specific, the women's world cup is a pretty big deal.  The Germans are hosting it, and their team was the easy favorite.  Of course, the German team is out now and so is Brazil, which should make the US the favorite.

We've never finished lower than third in a major tournament.  We've got two Olympic gold medals in women's soccer, and while our team this time 'round is a mix of age ("experience") and raw youth, they're still pretty highly ranked in the world. Yet no one here will root for the US; no one.  It's not that they hate us, actively, I think, it's that they're tired of us winning.  Which I understand, to a degree; I'm tired of the *&#%$ Yankees, Red Sox and Patriots too; I wish the Lakers, Celtics, and Spurs would give someone else a chance.  

But this isn't the "same old US", just dominating everyone because we're richer, have more people, etc.  

First, this is NOT our sport; definitely not.  Soccer comes a poor sixth in the US, at best, behind American football, basketball, baseball, golf, and NASCAR.  It may be less popular than rugby or lacrosse for all I know; I haven't seen a US league soccer game since Pele retired.  Our best athletes, even in women's sports, are not often drawn to soccer.  There are a few major college programs, mostly on the coasts, that draw and there's a small, struggling professional women's soccer league in the US--it's the third time they've tried to start one, and it may not make it.  If you aren't a regular fan of women's soccer, you'd be hard pressed to name a player on the team, now that Mia Hamm and her generation are mostly gone.  If you got Abby Wombach or Shannon Boxx, good for you; beyond that, I'm guessing one guy somewhere has seen Hope Solo AND knew she was a soccer player.

Two, this team isn't that good, or wasn't, to date.  We were not the favorites to win this thing, and might well have been fourth or even fifth in most people's estimation.  Germany hadn't lost an international match for nearly two years.  Brazil boasts the five-time women's soccer player of the year, Marta, and the usual South American flair with the ball on offense. Sweden probably has a more veteran, consistent team, and the French are competing at a high level.  Heck, there were a lot of people who thought the US might not even beat North Korea, because those industrious little women played so hard, so consistently while the American defense was noted for lapses in concentration and the US offense has been sporadic at best.

Yet, I'm here to say: they're pretty damn good.  I managed to wangle tickets to the game in Wolfsburg, and pretty good tickets at that, because there weren't enough fans to fill up the US section.  Probably 80 percent of that stadium was people rooting for Sweden.  A lot of them were Swedes, but a good number were Germans, French, English, or something else who just couldn't root for the US.  Every time Sweden did something good, the stadium erupted.  If the US made a good play, it was our corner that cheered.  It was a pretty lonely corner, because we lost, 2-1.

But they played well, and gosh darn it, they played like Americans.  They played hard, they played fair, and they never, ever gave up.  Those ladies came out from the opening bell with energy, and they attacked the Swedish goal.  Yes, it left some holes open in the back and the Swedes got their first goal on a penalty kick, but that can happen when you play forward and take risks against a good, experienced team.  Or a team that plays dirty.

I'm not trying to be a sore loser here, but the Swedes did play dirty--or at least "rough", if you want to be generous.  They played the way most of the world thinks Americans play: they leaned on smaller players, shoved them down, ran them over, even tripped them.  I saw one of the Swedish stars just reach out and push a smaller player down when she was about to go around her; not the way an American would--make it look good, perhaps even accidental.  No, she just put her hand in the player's back and gave a shove.  Didn't offer to help her up after the foul, didn't apologize, just ran off and shoved another American down three minutes later.

Well, after the half ... three Swedes suddenly found themselves on the ground.  Not blatant, maybe not even dirty--it happened so fast I didn't even see it all -- but definitely purposeful.  "You cannot bully us," that said.  "We will not be intimidated."  And they could not.  They had problems with ball control, and luck was not on their side.  A header went of the cross-bar; a cross glanced off the striker's thigh and into the goalie's hands instead of a clean shot; another shot curved just outside the post. And then Sweden got a second goal when, of all things, the ball ricocheted off a US player's thigh, took an odd, spinning hop and wound up in the far side of the goal.  Stunning.  Pure fluke.  But the crowd went wild, sensing that the US was done--David wouldn't have gotten a bigger cheer when Goliath hit the ground, even though David had actually MADE a shot.

It would have been easy for the US to give up at that point.  Two goals against a top-international squad is like a six-run lead for Mariano Rivera.  But they played HARD for the rest of the half, and they hauled back a goal on a nice cross, and just missed several other chances.  When the game was over, the Swedes did their little dance--which, if the US did it, would be called taunting--and our players just watched.  They shook the Swedes' hands, said nice game, and came over and thanked the crowd.  I was proud of them.

Even more so after the Brazil game, when again, everyone in the stadium and everyone in the beer garden I was in was wearing green and gold, and rooting for anyone other than the US.  When America went ahead on a Brazilian own-goal, there was lots of grousing about fixes and luck.  No one complained though, when the referee made two exceptionally questionable calls that just both happened to go against the US.  The first gave Brazil a penalty kick AND cost the US a player.  The second gave Brazil a second chance after Solo deflected the penalty kick to preserve the lead.  After the second chance, it was 1-1 and somehow everyone in the beer garden now assumed it was "fair."  I asked a guy how, and he said well, the US didn't deserve it's goal--but they dang well did.  The own-goal was a result of US pressure, not a ref's decision.

Still, everyone in the beer garden thought it was fair--and over.  There was no way the US could play with Brazil 10 v 11 for thirty-plus minutes.  But we did; in fact, we out-played Brazil to the point where they were just hanging on, waiting for time to expire at the end while the US team pressed on--not to tie, but to win.  Not to hold out, but to seize the day.  And when Brazil went ahead in overtime--again, on a bad call, this time when the lineswoman decided in mid-flag movement NOT to call the obvious off-sides, everyone thought it was over again.  Except the US team, who, with virtually no time remaining --they had played 120 minutes, and were two minutes-plus into the three minutes of injury time--got a perfect pass from a young, rising star to an old veteran who headed it in for the only "real" goal of the match.  Most of the beer garden was stunned into silence, and the stadium was too.

And when the US won, on penalty kicks, only a few people cheered, I among them. They're good, dang it, and they play hard, and they play the right way, and they deserve our support.  I'm not sure I'll go see a league game when I get home, but I will certainly be watching on Wednesday when they take on France, and rooting for them--even if I'm the only one in the beer garden. 
Category: Soccer
Posted on: July 4, 2011 2:38 pm

The Sport of Money

Two major sports are now involved in lockouts, which are mostly disputes about how to carve up more money than an average family of five will see in its lifetime, counting the labor of all children.  It's sad, and it's frustrating, and it makes us long for a time when sports weren't about money--except they always were.

Back in the golden days though, it was a different kind of game and a different kind of money.  Sports teams were either communally owned, or the playthings of the wealthy elite, rather like Broadway shows or American universities.  You didn't own a team to make money, or to win, you owned because it was interesting and fulfilled a sense of noblesse oblige.  This is how and why the Maras, the Rooneys, the Stonehams, the O'Malleys and the other "Gentlemen Owners" got into things: to give something back to the working people of the community.  If they could win while doing it, great; if they could win and make money at it, well, even greater.  Sure, a few franchises pulled up stakes and moved on--a guy can only lose so much in a noble cause, after all--but making money wasn't the point.

It wasn't for the players either, though certainly it was more important for them.  Most, however, not only looked like you and me--no 6'5", 275 lb. linebackers who could run the 40 in under 5 seconds then--they had jobs like you and me.  They went out and played because they loved it, not because it was going to provide for them for the rest of their life.  Heck, the first Heisman Trophy winner (Jay Berwanger, U. of Chicago) didn't even bother going pro, because he was going to make more money in "real life."  That's how different it was.

Before Babe Ruth ruined everything.  The man not only changed the way baseball was played, he changed the economics of sport. People went to see HIM play, not their local boys.  Before Babe hit it big he was sold, remember, to finance a Broadway musical (Hello Dolly!, I believe it was); that's how a franchise looked back then.  After Babe hit it big, people were constantly searching for the next big thing, because sports had become entertainment.  They called it "The House that Ruth Built", but they might as well have called it the Federal Reserve. With Ruth at the plate, the Highlanders-cum-Yankees took title after title, raking in customers and cash faster than anyone in THAT day could imagine.  And the idea that you could make a fortune FROM a sports franchise rather than vice-versa took hold.

Pretty soon, franchises were like companies; a "market" opens up in LA and, well, who cares about Brooklyn anymore?  Sure, they supported "dem Bums" through thick and thin, but there was gold in them thar hills, boys.  Bill Veeck started promotions; Charles O. Finley, God rest his soul, took it a step farther: garish uniforms, pitching specialists called "Firemen" [now "closers"], pinch-running specialists and, abomination of abominations, a designated hitter--all to pack fans into parks and make more money. The owners were making money, and it was good.

But what of the players?  Here were owners, no longer gentlemen, chasing cold hard cash from town to town.  Kansas City not supporting the team as you'd like?  Move to Oakland (the A's, formerly of Philadelphia, even), or Sacramento (the Kings, formerly, I believe, of Cincinnati).  Get the new town to build you a stadium--it brings jobs, it brings money to the local economy, and it brings prestige.  There's no evidence to support the first two claims, but in the American mind, having a professional sports franchise to call your own means you're in the big time, and so you do it; you finance the stadium, you sell out the bleachers, you support your team, even if it was someone else's team just a year before.  And if you can't get someone else's team, you get your own; sure, the Pilots (or the Conquistadors, or the AFL) are losers, but they're YOUR losers, so you pay.  Owners made money and they did it with panache.

And the players were locked in; if they didn't like the contract they got, they could sit out.  No matter how long they sat though, they still had to deal with the same owner.  There was no way out, thanks to the reserve clause.  So they formed unions, and threatened strikes, and pretty soon, the owners had to share.  But sharing a big pie was better than not having pie, and having to pay the players, they discovered (with Charles O. Finley and George Steinbrenner in the lead) also gave them an excuse to ratchet up ticket prices.  You want Reggie Jackson?  I'll get him, and we'll win, but you'll have to pay X for a ticket.  And we like winning, so we pay.

Now, of course, paying doesn't guarantee winning anymore.  So many players and so many owners have copped to the scheme that paying doesn't even guarantee you can compete--unless .... unless you put in a scheme that limits how much you have to pay--let's call it a salary cap--and then, well, everyone's competitive.  Which means everyone makes MORE money; hell, if we expand the playoffs, places like Memphis, teams like the Marlins, and franchises like New Orleans can make a run once in a while, hold onto their fans, and keep the golden eggs coming in ... it's genius.

Until someone gets greedy.  And they're all greedy, because it's no longer about the sport.  It's about money.  Guys are arguing about who gets to sit where on the bench, on who holds what clipboard, and whether their WHIP was a better indicator of their value than how the team finished.  At the end of the day, to paraphrase a not-so-great American philosopher, they're them and we're us.  THEY are a bunch of people who practice from the age of three, build their bodies to freakish proportions (legally or not) and have no skills other than ball skills--because those things make them money.  More money than lawyers, doctors, teachers, or astronauts.  They play for money.

And who's to blame?  We are.  We pay them.  We say, "Sure, come on down from Baltimore (or Kansas City, or Seattle, or Houston) and we'll build you a temple and adore you.  We'll buy season tickets; we'll buy luxury boxes; we'll pay for the privilege of being on your season ticket mailing list; we'll license our seats, we'll wear your cap even if it is the wrong color, and we'll do whatever it takes to bring a MAJOR LEAGUE team to our town."  Because somehow, we think that makes us better.

They wouldn't have $9 billion in football revenue to split if it weren't for us.  There would be no basketball-related-income if it weren't for us. There would be no All-Star game, no Superdome, no ESPN, if it weren't for us.

So; what are we going to do about this lock-out nonsense?

Category: General
Posted on: December 2, 2009 6:24 pm

Touch Me

So, Derek Jeter has another Gold Glove despite possessing less range than a hobbled cow, and Vince Young is 5-0 even though he has roughly the same throwing motion and velocity as my aunt Sandy.  What does this tell us?  It tells ME that sabremetrics are not the be-all and end-all; it tells ME that there are, in fact, intangibles.  Yes, Virginia, there are qualities you cannot measure that separate great athletes, things like: leadership; clutch; grit; and winning.  The phrase "all he does is win ballgames" has meaning.

Objectively, of course, Vince Young is a terrible quarterback.  His throwing mechanics, even though they are much improved, are still terrible.  His ball wobbles through the air no matter how far or how hard he throws it.  He makes poor throws and poor throwing decisions at least half the time, I'd wager, and has yet to master progressions.  His most glorious moments--the win over Ohio State and the National Championship Game against USC--came courtesy of his legs, not his arm.  His best quarterbacking decision then, and probably now, is to pull the ball down and run.  Yet, he WON the National Championship and he's winning now. 

Make no mistake, without Vince Young, Texas is not even in that conversation and Tennessee would not be thinking playoffs.  Kerry Collins isn't a terrible QB; he carried the Panthers for a while, went to a Super Bowl, and was more than adequate with the Giants.  He has a much better arm than Young, and throws a much better ball.  Yet no one on the Titans was able to catch a thing Collins threw, and the alarmingly duck-like balls Young throws into traffic, over the head of a DB, and behind his receivers all seem to stick to their hands like magic.  How do you explain that?

How do you explain the fact that while Jeter doesn't get to nearly as many balls as he used to, much less as many as a young stud like Elvis Andrus, he always gets to the ones that count and he always makes the right play?  Remember "the flip"?  How many shortstops make that play?  Maybe Ozzie Smith, maybe Dave Concepcion in his prime.  Maybe.  I'd bet my last dollar that A-Rod, for all of his physcial gifts--and they are prodigious--would never have made that play at ANY age.  I know, in my head, from watching baseball closely for the last 30 years, that Jeter is not the best shortstop of this decade, or any decade.  He's not the best hitter in baseball either, yet he always comes through and yes, all he does is win.  The latest rise of the Yankees coincided with the rise of Jeter; when he's going well, they go well. How do you explain that?

How do you explain the fact that some players, who are clearly talented beyond their peers, never make it to the top while others, even though they have less physical talent, win championships?  Is it all the mental aspects of the game?  Is it just hard work?  I find it hard to believe that Dan Marino didn't work hard, but he just never got over the hill.  Walter Johnson was one of the greatest physical talents to throw a ball from a mound, and (reportedly) a right smart fellow as well, but he labored for cellar dwellers more often than not.  Is it circumstance and teammates?  These are the debates that make sports, and they will go on forever.  So congratulations, Derek Jeter; good luck to you, Vince Young.  And to all those out there who "make it happen" ... don't let the statisticians get you down.

Intangibles; you gotta love 'em.
Category: General
Posted on: November 13, 2009 4:30 pm

There's no need to fear ...

So maybe I'm a "glass half-empty" guy, as one respondent says.  Personally, I don't see it that way, but in the current atmosphere of hope anything short of a full-toothed grin and infectious enthusiasm might seem so.  I like to think of myself though, as objective and analytical; I don't really have a rooting interest in a team any more.  I've moved too much (20 places since high school), and players move too much and make too much money for me to identify.  I do, however, root for the Underdog.

Yep, I'm one of those.  I can't stand the winners and especially the dynasties of the sporting world.  I long for the chaos of upsets, if not exactly for the parity preached by the NFL.  Great games, yes; even games between mediocre teams, no.  Those who can, and those who care, will find the Florida Gators football team, the LA Lakers, the Dallas Cowboys, the New England Patriots, the Busch brothers, and all other "perpetual winners" and "dynasties" on my "can't stand" list.  In truth, Duke basketball should be there too, but my TV is inundated with them, so I "follow" the Blue Devils and choose to root against the even-more-dynastic Tarheels instead.  Plus, I started following Duke when they WERE an underdog, long ago, in those days of Mike Gminski and Johnny Dawkins, when they were just starting to reclaim their legacy and no one, but no one, thought of them in the same breath as Louisville, Kentucky, Indiana, Virginia, and North Carolina.  To me, the Dookies were underdogs who played their hearts out.  Christian Laettner should have ruined that--okay, he did ruin that--but I still follow.

So I wonder: what makes me this way?  Why is it that my brother has no problem rooting for whoever is winning that year?  He loved the Dolphins when they went undefeated, but donned a black and gold jersey during the Steeler dynasty a few years later.  He claimed it was because he knew Lynn Swann's mother.  He was a Notre Dame fan too, when they were king of the hill and cock o' the walk; now he admires Urban Meyer and the Gators.  Why is he *that way*?  Was he born with the bandwagon gene while I got the loveable loser gene instead?

That same guy who accused me of being a pessimist noted that we are all 'fans of the game'.  I'm sorry, but that's just like claiming we're 'citizens of the world'--largely a crock, at least at this point in history.  We root for teams, and for players, and most of us like to win.  It's American, I'm told; we're a competitive people.  Capitalism is competitive; the US is competitive, and that is what has made us great: the drive to win, and the drive to be better than everyone else, all the time.  I can understand that, but there's only one winner and if rooting for the Yankees (slash Patriots slash Lakers slash Gators) is like rooting for US Steel (which it is), then what's the point?  Is it really any fun to root for a team you KNOW is going to win, or at least have a really, really good chance of winning because they spent twice as much on EVERYTHING as the nearest competitor?  I think not.

I think the fun of rooting for a team, the point of rooting for a team, is to feel you're part of that team.  It's harder now, because the players move so much, but a franchise that goes up and down, that struggles to win sometimes, is so much more moving to me that the losses are worth it.  Sometimes, methinks, suffering with a team is more meaningful than celebrating with them.  If, after all, there is no sadness, how do you know what happiness really feels like, and will you really appreciate it? 

I grew up, for instance, with the SF Giants and the 49ers.  The Giants were good, with Mays, McCovey, Fuentes, Speier,, but they could never seem to make it over the hump.  It was worse when the Dodgers were the impediment, but it was always frustrating to come up short, just short, year after year.  Frustrating, but not as bad as the 49ers of the John Brodie/Steve DeBerg eras, who not only came up short, but got beaten up and shown up in the process.  Still, I took inspiration from those teams.  I wasn't the most talented of athletes (I've often said that Michael Jordan and I have a lot in common: same height, same weight, same hair---only the talent separates us), but i saw how DeBerg, in particular, picked himself up after every play and went back and gave it his best.  I saw how young players on the Giants worked at being better players, and how they made losing into something positive.  And i tried to emulate that.

I hope I still do.  So: Gator fans, Cowboy fans, Patriot fans, Tarheel fans, and all of you others who love your dynasties, be not offended.  I don't "hate" your teams, I just find them empty and tedious when they win year-in and year-out.  If you relish it, fine; I wish you the best.  Caveat emptor, however; nothing lasts forever.  I hope you'll find something positive when the run is over.  Me?  I fear not, for Underdog is here. 
Category: General
Posted on: November 9, 2009 2:43 pm

What makes us fans?

There's an interesting article in the NYRB about how stadiums have changed.  In part, it's the old argument of whether art reflects life, or life reflects art.  Having not been to a major-league ballpark since the last strike, I'm not really qualified to comment on the architecture, but I'm willing to take the writer's point on board.

He spoke of the old ballparks--Ebbetts Field, the Polo Grounds, Comiskey--and how they had "character", even if that was sometimes defined as an obstructed view.  People went to the games in these stadiums, he contends, to see the game.  They knew the players, and they knew the game.  They followed the pace and the timing, which allowed for thinking about baseball and thinking about life, and thinking about the relationship between the two.  You went to bond with your family, your friends, and your team. 

Then, he argues, came the commercialization of the game.  In the initial stages, that meant bigger stadiums with all the bells and whistles.  They were, ala Shea, the Oakland (now McAfee) Coliseum, and Candlestick, somewhat impersonal; frequently, they weren't even designed for baseball; they were "multi-use facilities."  They featured scoreboards and music and, because people no longer knew the players (who began to move more frequently thanks to free agency), they went to bond as a community (of sorts) and out of loyalty.

Now, the article concludes, the stadium IS the experience.  You go to Camden Yards or the new Yankee Stadium, or whatever they're calling the obscenity in Dallas *to see the stadium.*  It's about the largest scoreboard screen in the world.  It's about access to elite luxury boxes, and gourmet restaurants.  Nobody gets a hot dog anymore; you head out to the food mall between innings, or have sushi delivered to your seat.  It's not a ballgame, it's a night out "on the town", which is now enclosed in your stadium.

So why do we go?  Why are we "fans" of one team or another, when we're not really "fanatical" about the game or the team so much as the stadium and the merchandise?  Baseball today is "too slow," and the action is too sporadic for TV, so people aren't really watching the game.  The most exciting plays, IMAO--the triple, the squeeze, and the stolen base--have been replaced by the 100-mile-an-hour fastball and the home run.  What's so exciting about watching a guy trot around the bases at half speed, I ask you?

We've become fans of winning, and not of sports, that's what.  Franchises have sold us on winning; television has sold us on winning.  there are salary caps and revenue sharing to ensure that every team has a chance to win (in theory at least) every year.  Playoffs have expanded so that more and more teams can at least claim to have won something--a wild card, or a watered down division title, but SOMEthing.

What happened to the Mets fans of the early '60s who were happy to just have a team?  Where have the loyal followers of "Dem Bums" gone? 

There are some exceptions, or partial exceptions.  Cubs fans continue to endure in respectable numbers, for instance.  For the most part though, the "fans" of losing clubs, and particularly of the perennial losers hide behind paper bags, either literally or figuratively.  If the team isn't good enough, there has to be an experience--a stadium that offers a whiff of yesteryear along with a wine list; a restaurant where the food is good enough to overcome the stomach-turning play on the field. 

So now we have ballparks that honor the past even while they glaze over it.  It's not about the game, or the players.  It's about a "franchise".  So why do we go?  Why do we spend hundreds, or even thousands of dollars, to go, essentially, to the mall?  Are we really fans, and if so, what makes us so?  I wonder.
Category: General
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or