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The Breakdown: Positive resolutions

Bryce Evans
summit daily news
Sports editor Bryce Evans
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Two things you might need to know about me before reading this: 1) I went to Catholic school growing up and 2) Catholic guilt still plays a big part in my life.

For instance, even though I wrote this column on Tuesday night, I already feel guilty for the fact I know I will skip out on going to church today, Ash Wednesday. Really, I haven’t been to mass on this holy day in a long (long, long, long) time, but that still doesn’t stop me from feeling bad about it. (Think: Alfonso Soriano still being ashamed every game he goes 0-4 with runners in scoring position even though he does it about three times a week.)

Anyway, all I’m getting at is that today is the start of Lent, the stretch run leading up to Easter. And during this time, you’re supposed to make sacrifices in your life to commemorate Jesus’ sacrifice.

So, to make a long segue a little less long, and to tie in my guilt, I’ve decided my resolution will be to give up the one thing all sports columnists love: being negative. That’s right, no negative columns until after Easter.

I know, this will be strange to read, but here are a few topics discussed in a new, positive way:

Hoop hoopla. It’s that time of year again. And by that, I mean the time when I sit and watch hours of games that I couldn’t care less about all morning before I go to work just because, gulp, there’s an NCAA tournament berth attached to the outcome. It’s great, and it’s how I spent my Tuesday morning with my 8-month-old son. If my wife asks, we were, um, watching a Baby Einstein video.

(Random sports-related tangent: For those of you who haven’t seen one of these videos, they are incredibly weird. There are random creepy puppets, little kids running around, scenes of oceans, animals, families, drawings, toys being played with and … did I mention the puppets? And all of it has some elevator-music-like soundtrack behind it. Really, it feels like you’re watching what’s going on inside Ron Artest’s head during a basketball game. It’s unexplainable, yet, it must makes sense to at least one person.)

This stretch of college basketball is pretty much the pinnacle of all hoops. Every game is exciting simply because of the implications, and it makes the regular season worthwhile. If you think about it, it’s basically the exact opposite of the way the college football season ends.

Tiki torch not put out. Former New York Giant Tiki Barber has filed his papers to play in the NFL once again. He hasn’t played since 2006 but retired without injury and was still at the peak of his talents; he simply hung up the cleats because he had a great career in broadcasting lined up for him. The only problem: He was about as good on TV as Tom Brady is on the dance floor. (Have you seen that video yet?) Well, the positive take here is that this sets it up for Tiki to team up with his twin Ronde Barber in Tampa Bay and have a reality show where they continually pretend to be the other one on the field: Ronde goes on offense, fumbles three times in a row; Tiki goes on defense and lets a wideout burn him for a 60-yard bomb. They look the same, who’d be able to tell the difference?

Getting the old noggin back in shape. On Tuesday, Minnesota Twins first baseman and former AL MVP Justin Morneau took to the field in a live game for the first time since getting a concussion last July. Great sign for the Twins – a team that could be an actual contender if healthy – and a sigh of relief for many fans and athletes who see way too many serious head injuries these days. Sidney Crosby is still out for the Pittsburgh Penguins as the NHL season winds down, and it seems like nearly every week we see another concussion or hear about another case of someone suffering the lingering aftereffects. It’s nice to see a positive story come out of one of these incidents. But speaking of making your head hurt …

Heat so hot you’ll cry. Unlike in our nation’s pastime, there is crying in basketball – or at least in the Miami Heat’s locker room. In a season full of bizarre twists and turns, the Heatles – as they nicknamed themselves – are seemingly falling apart, and they’re doing it very publicly, the latest incident coming from coach Erik Spoelstra’s press conference Sunday in which he said players were crying in the locker room after the team’s loss to Chicago. I guess the positive can be that the vast majority of people were hoping for this to happen. Ugh, now I feel guilty for saying that. So … um … at least it shows NBA players do care about winning, right?

Bryce Evans is the sports editor of the Summit Daily News and is also giving up fast food, candy and making fun of Joe Buck for the entire Lenten season.


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