The biggest story by far leading up to this past weekend’s college football games was the impending beatdown of Tennessee by Florida. It was the game that was going to expose Lane Kiffin as a spoiled, inept brat and cement Tim Tebow’s second Heisman. Urban Meyer, master coach and motivator, would have his Gators so fired up to crush Tennessee that the only concern for the Gators was whether they could fit triple digits on the scoreboard.
Only, um, that never happened. Florida gritted out a rather sloppy 23-13 victory over the Vols that failed to live up to the media’s hype. Kiffin himself was the orchestrator of much of the hype, and quite a few postgame stories fed into that, undeservedly praising him for reigning in the defending national champs and the Football Messiah. Undeservedly? Yeah, turns out that the biggest opponent the Gators might have faced last week wasn’t Kiffykins, but the ever-looming Swine Flu.
A brief indulgence, if you please; we always wanted to be one of those irritating local news anchors who casually engage in blatant scare tactics and litter puns into their stories for no reason. Okay, here we go: Are swimming pools the greatest scourge to children’s safety in the history of the world? Swimming enthusiasts say that’s nonsense, but some experts agree that new data suggest swimming may leave you out to dry.
(Also, heaven forbid if black kids come to your pool, right, Valley Swim Club?)
Oooh, that was good, right? Because you’re scared of the swimming pool - but you’re not sure why yet - and at the same time, you’re not scared of us, because we’re cool enough to crack wise while we deliver the bad news. Nice. Now we see why people get into the daily news business.
But we digress; back to the original point, some Europeans think going to swimming pools might significantly hamper your ability to breathe. Read more…
It’s an immutable truth of the universe that people are fascinated by man-eating animals. Stephen Colbert has an ongoing feud with bears. The DISCOVERY CHANNEL’s ‘Shark Week’ is one of their highest-rated blocks of programming every year. A tiger features prominently in one of the year’s hottest movies, “The Hangover”. Man-eating animals are interesting; they serve as a reminder that sometimes homo sapiens isn’t always the top of the food chain.
(Aha, the tables have turned. Advantage: Humans)
But the thing about those animals is that they’re only really interesting from afar. Up close, they’re really quite frightening because, don’t forget, THEY WILL EAT YOU. So when we turned on the ol’ Internet machine this morning and read that hordes of giant flesh-eating squid have taken up residence off the coast of San Diego, looking for scuba divers and surfers to snack on, we only thought of one thing to say: EVERYBODY PANIC!
In many ways, the world of sports has been somewhat shielded from the massive economic meltdown affecting the rest of the world. Sure, the Yankees are having trouble getting people to the ballpark, but with an average ticket price of $230 and a sub-.500 record, those seats would be a tough sell in the best of times.
(No, it’s not.)
Other tough sells in a down economy are things like $250 basketball shoes and $100-plus basketball jerseys. That, however, is what Nike has continued to foist on the world’s sports fans despite the worst recession in generations. Today, this flawed business plan has come back to bite Nike in the rear of their overpriced athletics short as the sporting goods giant announced massive layoffs. Just do it, indeed.
Say, have you heard about this swine flu thing? You know the one - horrible mutant virus that’s going to kill us all, so on and so forth. It’s the thing that’s got everyone talking (and so far, somewhere between 12 and 169 people dying).
In fact, “swine flu” is the new “economy” in that the cable news networks can’t stop talking about it, it’s got everyone panicked, and it’s a convenient excuse for whatever problems one may be facing at the moment. For an example on how this last part works, REDSKINS INSIDER checked in with Washington Redskins running back/raconteur Clinton Portis, who is worried about swine flu affecting his play. Read more…