Saturday, May 12, 2007

Ground Zero

In retrospect, the cigars were a bad choice.

It was perhaps four or five hours ago, maybe fifty feet from the coffee shop I write from now, that I dipped into my pocket for some stogies. We puffed on them, and I'm not going to lie, mirth ensued. But now the staff of the HoG (and the Lone Reader!) are headed to the Missouri-Kansas border to fucking play hockey.

On the list of all-time bad ideas, this one ranks No. 1 by about a million. I feel like a commander at the Bay of Pigs, launching the boats and saying "Well Hal, it sure is a nice day for an invasion." At first my concern was the risk of injured wedding guests and, oh, the fact that none of us know how to ice skate. But those worries have been superceded by the crippling hangover and cigar-flavored gerbil that has taken up residence in my throat.

Regardless, today's topic is the the fishwrap perched next to me. I've always really liked the Kansas City Star (and when does one italicize the just the newspaper name, not the city, and when does one do it all?). Granted, I only read it on the morning of Chiefs-Broncos games at Arrowhead, when I'm full of hope and vinegar. And then I take a massive shit that smells like smoked pork.

Back on topic: The Star is a tremendous daily from a midsized Midwestern burg. The sports page is tight, and reflective of the hardcore fan that dwells in this city. For years Jason Whitlock patrolled the sports columns, but I haven't the foggiest of what his actual job is these days--I think he still literally mails one in to the Star now and then. And of course the professor emeritus is Joe Posnanski (who I used to always confuse with Ed Podolak), arguably the best columnist in America.

You can tell a lot about a fan base by the way their sports page prioritizes various topics. If you're in the South, college football is generally page 1, above the fold, even in April--you don't see this in, say, Denver. One of the things I love about Vegas is the Review-Journal's lineup: they give the appropriate amount of respect to the NFL, of course, but tend to shun all of the sports that shun Sin City: baseball, pro basketball, and the NHL. However, the leagues that thrive in Vegas (boxing, NASCAR, motocross, college basketball, golf, etc.) are treated like royalty on the sports page.

This here, of course, is an NFL city first and foremost. The Chiefs are covered every single day whether one of their players was arrested or not. College hoops and racin' are big as well. As we're smack dab in the middle of baseball season and the Royals are, um, pacing themselves, the tone of horsehide coverage is fairly self-mocking and masochistic. The Star does not pretend that the Royals are not subpar, unlike, say, the Denver Post's ultraserious coverage of the typically woeful Rockies.

Light on the links today, I know, but I'm in a hurry to go throw up on an ice rink. I must say, to my esteemed Administrator--There's still time to bail on the wedding, dude. Kidding. Congratulations, bro, and welcome to the everlasting furnace of shit that is marriage. I sure hope we sing the National Anthem at the ceremony.


rustoleum said...

Is hockey similar to soccer?

Cecil said...

Hockey, as it turns out, is a sport. Played on ice. It involves lots of falling down.

As it happens, I'm pretty fucking good at it. No reason to lie. Skating ability? Strong. Very, very strong. Puck handling? I cradle that thing like a gonorrheal nut. My slap shot slaps, my left wing locks the fuck right on up. I tell you, the boys were pret-ty dang impressed at ol' Cecil's Great North'n Skillz.

So much so that I've paid all of them $17 to never, ever mention the occasion again. Don't wanna brag, yo.