The Breakdown: Lookin’ ugly |

The Breakdown: Lookin’ ugly

summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado
Sports editor Bryce Evans

The last week in sports has been a little, well, ugly. And it has little to do with seeing Alex Ovechkin’s gap-toothed grin on TV so often during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

There were two Pennsylvania-related stories that didn’t make the Wide, Wide World of Sports look all that glamorous in the past few days.

The first came from everyone’s favorite group of traditionally unruly fans – Philadelphia. From the city that once booed Santa Clause during halftime, we get this gem of a story: A fan, being booted out of a Phillies game for drunken behavior, intentionally vomits on a man and his 11-year-old daughter. Yup, you read that right. While being escorted from his section, the dude turns around, shoves two fingers down his throat and pulls the trigger all over this little girl and her father, who coincidentally winds up being an off-duty police captain.

He’s being charged with a number of crimes.

Then, there was the release of the police reports from Ben Roethlisberger’s (alleged) hallway hijinks with a co-ed in Georgia that were, to put it bluntly, creepy and disturbing. Really, “Bathroom” Ben has me feeling dirty all over just for hearing the story others told about him from that night.

Through it all, I needed something to lighten the mood, something that could get me back on the wagon, so to speak, of looking forward to watching sports or even just flipping on Sportscenter.

Luckily, both the NBA and NHL playoffs started this week.

But that’s not what got me feeling better.

The story that I enjoyed was in golf, and don’t worry, it doesn’t have anything to do with Tiger Woods.

This week, football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice teed it up in a Nationwide Tour event – and finished dead last.

Now, it’s not that I got a kick out of how poorly he played, because I didn’t. I mean, that had to be fairly embarrassing for someone who’s used to putting up pretty inspiring performances anytime he competes. And it’s not like he was playing against a bunch of hacks or even “scratch” golfers, as Rice claims to be. The Nationwide Tour is one step below the PGA Tour, and pretty much everyone out there is a stick.

What I enjoyed from this story was the fact that Rice actually expected to play well against these guys and “compete.”

For those of you that might not pay attention to golf, let me get this out there: The insinuation that someone who is a “scratch” player (or even a little better) could make a cut in a solid pro tournament is delusional at best.

I’m sure Rice has shot some sub-70 rounds in his life, but if he isn’t doing that seven out of every 10 times he’s playing at home – you know, with no pressure, no crowds and no official score keeping – then he has no shot at coming close to a cut.

(Note: The cut in the tourney Rice played in – the Fresh Express Classic – was at 2-under par.)

It’s not really Rice’s fault; he was asked to play in the event. And, for some reason, it’s pretty common for athletes that are great at one sport to assume they can play another at a professional level.

Michael Jordan tried pro baseball. LeBron James said he could play in the NFL if he wanted.

Some actually have done it – Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders come to mind – but, overall, it seems crazy to think someone is naturally good enough at a sport to just step out and play it against people who’ve trained their entire lives for it and then succeed.

Most of the time, like in Rice’s case, it ends up being pretty ugly.

Well, I guess we’re back to where we started.

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