The View From Wisconsin

Just a random set of rants from a Sports Fan from Wisconsin.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

CBAs, Sales and Bad "Tyres"

The NBA has, it appears, come to an agreement with the NBPA for a new collective bargaining agreement. If reports can be believed, the age issue has apparently been dealt with by raising the eligibility age to 19, instead of 20 or 22 (as wanted by some in league circles). My only frustration is that the NBA didn't go through with their lockout. It would have been fun to see the NHL have a new CBA while the NBA went dark.

In a related story, it appears that the Dolans are tiring of the sports biz. They are looking to sell off their sports "assets" (their words, not mine) from the parent corporation, Cablevision. That would mean the Knicks, Rangers and the MSG are now for sale. The only question is, who would be stupid enough to buy the sports equivalent to the Three Stooges?

Exhibit #327 that someone at ESPN does not like Cheeseheads: when SportsCenter starts its 50 States in 50 Days "extravaganza", the last state that will be visited is Wisconsin. That's not bad enough: the site of SportsCenter's "extravaganza" won't be Lambeau Field, or Camp Randall Stadium, or Miller Park, or the Bradley Center. No, they will be here in the state to cover… the Highlander Games in West Allis? I can just see the "backwards hicks" commentary already.

And as we're on the subject of jokes, let's not forget Formula One racing. The whole fiasco at Indy over "tyres" not being able to withstand Turn One of Indy is just more proof that F1 is about as relevant to the sporting public in the US as English Premier League Football – though it's more likely that some youngster in the heartland will have a Chelsea kit than a poster of Michael Schumacher. Schumacher wouldn't last two laps in a typical Nextel Cup race, and probably would be a DNF if he tried any of the lower-level series in NASCAR or ASA. And I'm not convinced that, if he were allowed to by the gods at Ferrari, to race in the Indy 500, that he'd even make the field, let alone manage to finish the race. Heck, I think even Ms. Patrick could easily put him in her rear view mirror.

The problem with F1 is that they see themselves as travelling gods, gracing various nations of the world with their presence and ungodly expensive vehicles. Truth is, it's smoke and mirrors. They don't have any sort of real connection with their fan base, nor do they truly wish to have one. Watching F1 is like watching the royals play a game of polo at the club – or, more appropriately, watching EPL soccer.

Mike Mulhern, in the Winston Salem Journal, quoted FIA president Max Mosley in a comment that sums it up completely: "Formula One has become divorced from reality."

Card update: I bought a wax-pack box of '91 Topps Baseball Tuesday, but only managed to knock my "need" list down for that set by 18 cards. The box was shy the full 36 packs, so it was 18 cards out of 510 possible. I'm 16 cards shy of 30k total cards in my collection, and it's definitely looking like I'm going to need to get another box for my cards – mostly because the sets aren't "even" that they can be split between boxes. Between my two "big sets" (1990 Score and 1991 Topps Baseball), I have over 3,600 cards alone.