The Breakdown: Taking a bat to the head
In the immortal words of Bob Dylan: “It takes a lot to laugh, it takes a player from the Baltimore Orioles to admit he gave himself a concussion by hitting himself in the head with his own bat.”OK, those aren’t the exact lyrics. But Dylan’s lethargic ode to resignation seems a fitting backdrop for this story – and his often mysteriously crafted songs (and more often indecipherable voice) offer a nice intro to what we’ll talk about in a bit.This week, Baltimore second baseman Brian Roberts admitted that the reason he was out of the lineup for the Orioles’ final six games was because of concussion symptoms resulting from a self-inflicted injury. After a strikeout last week, Roberts made his only contact of the night by blasting his bat against the side of his head. He was wearing a helmet, but still, the effects lingered.Bat 1, Brian Roberts 0.Roberts to the media: “It’s a lesson to myself, a lesson to the kids to not do that, no matter how frustrated you are.”Um, OK. Lesson learned.So, in the spirit of Roberts’ brain bashing, here’s a few stories that, when read, make you more confused than Les Miles with a dwindling play clock.(Note: If you’re wondering why Miles won’t be on this list of “What-the-Eff-Is-Going-On” Moments of the Week, it’s because, well, LSU still won. But while we’re on the topic here, have you ever seen a coach escape so many blunders? I mean, compared to Miles, Tony Romo looks like Mr. Cool under pressure. Miles could be the only coach in history to be undefeated this far into a season and be on the hot seat with his job.)A few to throw out before we start: Kansas City being the only undefeated team in the NFL; the Yankees somehow having their ultimate strength from a year ago (starting pitching) be their biggest weakness heading into this postseason; how the Miami Dolphins can’t handle the limelight of big games even though their coach wears sunglasses at night; and how in the @&*% did Terrell Owens have 220 yards receiving last weekend?U.S. loss in Ryder Cup. Actually, the Americans falling wasn’t that surprising – it was just how they did it, or rather, who did it. Phil Mickelson has been the No. 2 player in the world on-and-off for more than a decade and has always been one of the most talented players. Now, he’s at the top of the Ryder Cup list – for most losses by an American. Hefty Lefty went 1-3 over the weekend, giving him 17 defeats in eight Cups. Granted, you have to be pretty darn good to play in enough Ryder Cups to lose that much, but could there be a stat that better defines Mickelson’s perplexing career than this? He is the ultimate case of tons of talent, not enough, um, mettle.The NBA preseason starting. Sure, every league needs to get warmed up a bit, but when the regular season is played at a jogging pace, what’s the point? More than half the teams make the playoffs anyway (16 of 30), and the majority of the league’s best players and squads just try to work themselves into shape over the first few months. Basketball is behind both football and baseball in terms of popularity in America, so why aren’t news outlets a little more focused on the other two sports, which are at critical points in their respective seasons?The NHL regular season starting. This happens Thursday, and to my eternal chagrin, no one seems to care. Hockey has absolutely everything that people like in sports: fast pace, extremely high skill level, bone-crushing hits, offense, defense, importance on strategy and, for all fantasy junkies out there, a bizarre amount of stats. Throw in HD and the free-flowing style teams are adapting to, and there isn’t a better time to become a hockey fan. So, why is the NHL still following the Rocky Mountain Oyster Eating Championships on Versus?I guess that’s still better than taking a bat to the head – no matter who’s singing about it.Bryce Evans can be reached at (970) 668-4634 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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