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Rant: Happy Red Sox fans? That just feels wrong

JOHN SCHWARB
Published October 31, 2004

What now, Boston?

In winning the World Series last week, the Red Sox put an end to generations of agony, a curse and whatever other synonym you want for "bad karma." They couldn't have done it any better, storming back from a 3-0 deficit to beat the hated Yankees in the ALCS, then sweeping their way through the Cardinals.

Those of us not born and bred in Red Sox Nation can't possibly understand the thrill or the relief. But all baseball fans might notice something missing next spring and for years to come.

C'mon, can you imagine the sport without the suffering Red Sox fan? It's nearly as fundamental a part of the game as hot dogs, the seventh-inning stretch and scoring from third when the infield's playing back and a grounder is hit to the right side (oh, sorry, Cards fans).

Hockey fans (what's left of you) might remember the longtime suffering of New York Rangers fans, who went 54 years before winning another Stanley Cup in the 1993-94 season. It was a terrific story line, but in the years since the team has been irrelevant.

Put another way, if the Cubs were to right their pathetic ship and win it all next year (hey, now anything seems possible), the White Sox (last title 1917) would be the next in line to claim the mantle of angst.

No one ever talks about the plight of "White Sox Nation."

So thanks for the memories, Boston. And for ruining a good thing.

Rave: Red Sox win, pigs fly, NCAA shuns greed

Ohio State-Michigan.

Glad that says it all.

The Big Ten schools agreed Wednesday to walk away from a combined million-dollar payday, a rare maneuver in big-time college sports. SBC Communications, a San Antonio, Texas company that already lends its name to the annual Red River Shootout between Oklahoma and Texas, had offered the schools $260,000 each for the next two years for naming rights to one of college football's biggest rivalries.

It wasn't the most intrusive sponsorship deal ever (no corporate logos would be splashed on the field or on uniforms), but the absurdity of the offer and its corresponding name for the game (SBC Michigan-Ohio State Classic this season, with the team names reversed in 2005 for the Ann Arbor home date) drew the ire of fans and alumni at both schools.

"This was inconsistent with the values that we share with the greater Michigan family," Wolverines athletic director Bill Martin said.

Okay, Bill. Better said, some games just don't need clutter. Like NCAA president Myles Brand said in a statement, nixing the deal was "a triumph of integrity and tradition over the over-commercialism of a great event."

Yes. Now Michigan can move forward in its quest for a berth in the Rose Bowl, presented by Citi.

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