A blander Verlander

I am tired of SportsCenter and hope I have company in feeling fatigued from watching it. Aside from its anchors’ annoying aim at making the highlights a reflection of their creativity, the show has developed sickening bias towards certain athletes and teams.

I am certain the show’s personalities receive invitations to athletes’ weddings, divorce hearings, drug tests and mall trips, as they have fallen hard for athletes instead of approaching their coverage objectively. Do not take my critique as a refusal to see that particular competitors stand out. I am not a sports communist, after all. However, how often do I need to deal with SportsCenter’s infatuation with LeBron James, Derrick Rose, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Tiger Woods, Brett Favre, Alex Ovechkin and the entire Yankees organization, among others? I wonder if the objects of affection reciprocate and keep the broadcasters’ bromances from being unrequited miseries.

The show also irked me with a bit of exaggeration yesterday. On May 7, Justin Verlander threw his second career no-hitter, leading the Detroit Tigers to a 9-0 thrashing of the Toronto Blue Jays. On May 13, he attempted to duplicate Johnny Vander Meer’s 1938 feat of consecutive no-hit efforts. The blazing righthander yielded a hit with two outs in the sixth, so SportsCenter’s “The Lead” section that runs at the bottom of the screen said he had come “only 10 outs short of second straight no-hitter.”

Being ten outs from a no-hitter is nothing! While recording 17 outs before giving up a knock is impressive, it is not earth-shattering. Give me 25 or 26 in a row, and come back to talk with me. Saying he came close is as pointless as saying the Phillies were just two games from winning the 2009 World Series or the Flyers needed only two wins to win last year’s Stanley Cup Finals. Do terms such as “only,” “almost” and “just” offer any comfort? They certainly do nothing for me. If they were to, I would take great pride in saying I am only a few hundred thousand dollars away from being a millionaire. How refreshing!


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