Welcome back to Around the Dorm, a competitive sports analysis game so intense we make the loser run suicide sprints after practice. We have our usual mix of competitors: The Signal staff writer and WTSR commentator Ray Lodato, WTSR sports director Patrick Lavery and The Signal sports editor Lauren Kohout. I am the ref for this game, Rob Viviano, and, because of the way they draft, a likely pitcher candidate for the 2007 Yankees.
1) With varsity sports like golf now a thing of the past at the College, what team which we don’t currently have as a varsity sport would you personally want to play for?
RL: Easy – men’s lacrosse. Out of all the sports here at the college, men’s lacrosse is clearly the most glaring varsity omission. With lacrosse as a rising sport in the American conscience and with the women’s lacrosse team being as wildly successful as it is, you’d expect, naturally, a varsity men’s team to pop up. Coming from a person who played lacrosse in high school, it’s extremely physical, it’s an exciting sport to watch, and it draws crowds. You could definitely make a case for ice hockey,
especially with the
club team’s recent success, but I think lacrosse is already incredibly ingrained in the culture of the College.
PL: Rob, there are so many different sports out there, so many healthy, fun and worthwhile sports, that I can’t choose just one. As a result, I’m not even going to attempt to answer this question seriously. And you wanna know why, buddy? It’s because last week, I gave a thorough analysis of what the postseason would look like without the Yankees, and you discredited my carefully thought-out answer by saying, “somehow, George Steinbrenner would still win.” Well, you know what? Alex Rodriguez proved you wrong this weekend, Rob, and proved to the entire baseball world that he is, in fact, the anti-Christ. To hell with a serious answer; I want to see competitive eating become a varsity sport at the College. I would specialize in the Kraft Macaroni & Cheese contest, which seems to me like it would be pretty awesome, but would result in severely damaged arteries and the necessity for me to undergo several major surgeries sometime in my mid-20s. Sweet deal.
LK: I would have to say badminton. A growingly popular Olympic sport, it should find its way to collegiate competition. It would be a winter sport, so we could get the tennis players (I don’t have to tell you how good they are, ahem, 24 straight NJAC titles for the women). Not to brag, but I am pretty kick-ass with a racket and a birdie. In high school, I won the golden shuttlecock in gym class; that’s right, shuttlecock.
RV: I was set to give Pat the win on this one . because let’s be honest, he definitely had the most creative thought process around, but Ray’s comment hit me where it counts . my pride. As an ex-lacrosse player, I love the women’s lacrosse team but really do miss the stick-men, and really think that the college community would greatly appreciate seeing lacrosse being a varsity sport . Ray – 3 points. Pat, getting the creativity points … and ESPN does host eating competitions so it’s legit – 2 points. Badminton has its high points, but only 1.
2) With recent losses we need to admit basketball might no longer be the sport that Americans dominate globally. So what sport or event do American athletes dominate the most in then?
RL: America no longer dominant? American basketball dominance has nothing to do with our native talent – it has everything to do with the FIBA rules (which differ greatly from the NBA), the Olympic and world tournament squads we assemble and trot out there, and the coaches we select. Every world tournament the United States competes in, we get destroyed by nations such as Italy because they load up on shooters and take advantage of the shorter three. America needs a team with chemistry, defenders and role players, not a squad full of superstars who want to be the man. The United States isn’t lacking in the talent department – we’re lacking in the common sense department.
PL: Tackle football, plain and simple. There’s a reason why our semi-pro retreads get banished to the CFL or NFL Europe, why such a thing as “Australian-rules football” exists, and why we feel the need to differentiate “football” from “soccer,” the latter of which is called football everywhere else in the world. When it comes to the gridiron, nobody holds a candle to the good ol’ U.S. of A.
LK: It’s easy to say that football is our dominant sport. The only other place it’s played in the world is Europe, but that’s NFL Europe with American players. Maybe one day it will get into other countries with different players, but until the Dalai Lama picks up a pigskin, I’m pretty sure we’re on top.
RV: For blatant, and I mean blatant and obscene, patriotism in his answer, Pat picks up all the points as I fondly remember watching Australian-rules football and wondering why they would create a failed blend of rugby and American football. Because the Dalai Lama would probably be an amazing strong safety, Lauren gets her 2 points. Ray, your argument, though theoretically valid, makes me wonder if you watched the games or if I overanalyzed them. Your analysis, though popular, isn’t really all that valid when you look at the fact that we were beaten by killer defensive efforts of teams that meshed better in offense but, more importantly, straight up outplayed us on the defensive end of the game, which we often forget exists. 1 point.
3) Charles Barkley is running as a Democrat for the governorship of Alabama. Barkley once said, “Of all the people in sports I’d like to throw through a plate glass window, (Pat) Reilly’s not one of them. It’s a shame though, skinny white boy looks real aerodynamic,” referencing a previous incident where he threw a heckler out a window. If you could, would you vote for him?
RL: That quote, which stemmed from an incident in Philadelphia when he was much younger, should have nothing to do with whether or not I’d vote for him. Hell, politicians are busy getting hand jobs in alleyways from 13-year-olds that they meet on the Internet – and this is supposed to sway me from voting? No way. If Barkley ran for governor of my state, my vote would have nothing to do with that quote and everything to do with his commitment and his policies.
PL: What I want to know is if Ball, Ball and Cox get thrown through a window, can they still have children? Laughing aside, I would certainly vote for the Round Mound of Rhetoric. Some of America’s greatest athletes have gone on to long and distinguished careers in government. Bill Bradley, Jim Bunning, Steve Largent … the list goes on and on. The connection between sports and politics is strong and long-standing; lest we forget, George W. Bush once owned the Texas Rangers. I think if Sir Charles is really serious about this, there’s no reason he can’t do an excellent job. Though, it would be kind of cool if Gnarls Barkley ran. Cee-Lo could be governor, and Danger Mouse could be the deputy or whatever they call the second-in-command down there. I think it would be a fabulous ticket. Does that make me crazy? Probably.
LK: Though standing Alabama Governor Bob Riley has been successful and has done pretty good work in the Southern state, I think I would give Barkley a chance. He is one of those guys that would voice his opinion for Alabama. California did elect Arnold Schwarzenneger, even after “Total Recall,” and last I checked the state hasn’t been blown up by the Governator, so maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if ‘Bama had an NBA star in office. At least he wouldn’t go down without a fight.
RV: Doing this one in reverse. Lauren, you know your Southern governors. You also reference the Governator, so props for that. But I wonder if Alabama may be “Afraid of a Big Black Man” – 1 point. Ray, you are absolutely right . in this time of political strife and conflict, who cares about what someone did years ago, and maybe we should care about his credentials today. But Barkley still has no credentials and seeing as he has registered as a Republican, independent and Democrat all in the course of one year, he may not have an opinion either – 2 points. Now Pat, it’s Dr. Ball, Ball and Cox. For making the point that sports and politics, for better or worse, are intrinsically linked, and for an asinine end comment – 3 points.
With an almost perfect game, 8-5-5 is the score that gives Patrick Lavery his first win. Accomplished with a near complete disregard for the actual answer, but an amazing deal of showmanship, I give Patrick the last word.