About BTiell Sports Reports

Dr. Bonnie Tiell writes a monthly column for the Tiffin Advertiser Tribune Sports Department (http://www.advertiser-tribune.com/). This blog archives each column and dates back to the 2008 Olympic Academic Experience in Beijing, China. Check out the Blog Archives to read more. Check out info about the TU Olympic Academic Experience at http://www.tuolympics.blogspot.com/ and contact Dr. Tiell at btiell@tiffin.edu

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

February 15, 2009 Super [Sports] blues follows super bowl

February has long been cited as the most boring month for sport enthusiasts during the relatively quiet period between the Super Bowl and March Madness. I once heard the comment that the Richter scale of fan energy registers a big fat zero in February. Even Sports Illustrated recognizes the relative void of great sports action which prompted the release of their annual swim suit edition which debuted in 1964 and now generates over 35 million in sales each February.

At least entertainment mongrels have succeeded in narrowing the window of the February sport humdrums from what typically was a solid month to a mere few weeks.

Case in point: Forty-three Super Bowl champions have been crowned. Thirty-six of those games were played in January (the earliest date being January9th, 1977 for Super Bowl XI in Pasadena). The last decade has been witness to the only games played in February which seems to be the new home month for the Super Bowl.

With America’s fascination for professional and collegiate football, clever marketers have found ways to feed insatiable appetites through delivering a steady diet of the game for over five months. College and pro games traditionally reserved for Saturday and Sunday afternoons have increasingly become available during the weeknights.

Football, football, football.

Months and months of that wonderful game of football.

The Monday after the Super Bowl is like going cold turkey. There is a sudden emotional drop off for millions of sport fans. America can hardly stand it. The long wait until March Madness can be excruciating. LeBron’s triple doubles are a great tease, but even the Chosen One isn’t enough to completely satisfy the appetite for what the typical sport fan really craves. The Daytona 500 and NBA All-Star activities just aren’t enough either. Fans are waiting for that period of unpredictability in the David vs. Goliath match-ups where every game means something during the NCAA tournament rounds. Bring on March Madness!

Marketers understand the dry spell. In the past few years, major league baseball has crept backwards to open spring training in the month of February instead of March. Both the Cactus League and the Grapefruit Leagues in Arizona and Florida open up play in a few weeks. I’ve often heard the comment that spring training just isn’t comparable to the real thing and has no bearing on determining a champion. America needs to obsess over their next champion.
There have been a handful of attention-grabbing sport feature stories during this otherwise hum-drum month to peak a little interest. The three hottest stories can be classified as the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

In the GOOD category is Pat Summitt, age 56, who stands alone with 1000 career victories. Her closest competitor is Bobby Knight, currently void of a team, with 902 wins. What a class act Summit is despite her team, the Lady Vols, falling to its lowest season ranking in school history.

Another female coaching icon, Kay Yow, is the subject line of the Bad category which is a hold-over story from last month. Actually, “sad” may be a more accurate label since the head coach of the North Carolina State Wolfpack lost a long battle with breast cancer in late January at age 66. She had 737 career victories. Yow left a video message in essence delivering her own Eulogy to thousands of mourners which included, among others, Pat Summit. Both Heidelberg and Tiffin University are among 1200 plus college basketball programs participating in Pink Zone games this month to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research.

The story in the “Ugly” category shouldn’t be too much of a surprise this month given that spring training is around the corner. The ugly story belongs to the new name among the growing list of steroid abusers, a.k.a., A-Rod. His story is no big surprise given that virtually the entire baseball world has remained tightlipped about the league’s steroid secrets. The ugly part is that owning up to his indiscretion is little consolation compared to the shame of the truths he hid during his 2007 interview with Katie Couric when denying he had ever knowingly used performance enhancers. What I would like to say to A-Rod and the rest of professional league baseball players on the “secret” list is that lying is just plain ugly.

February. What a lack luster month except for that brief shining moment of the Super Bowl and maybe those few high school winter sport championships Tiffin Calvert and Columbian compete in near the end of the month. (Great job Calvert wrestling and Columbian girl’s hoops!). Those local teams and local championships really captivate a community like Tiffin whose businesses and organizations continue to support high school sports despite economic hardships rattling small towns across the country. No doubt about it. Sports are important to Tiffin, Ohio.

Hopefully the community will also embrace one of the LPGA’s Board of Directors and top teaching professionals who was hired at Mohawk Golf Club last week. Welcome, Faith. February may just have become your favorite month.

Stay tune, sport fans. The drought is almost over. March is around the corner which means it’s almost time for Dick Vitale, braketology, upsets, and total madness.

No comments:

Post a Comment