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Posted at 09:42 AM ET, 07/23/2007

Why Sports Are Stupid

Did you see the massive USA Today A-1 headline screaming out from the newspaper boxes all weekend?

"For these QBs, it's win now ... or else."


In large letters, letting readers now that "Or Else" was really, really bad. And so I had to wonder, or else what, USA Today? Win now, or else the earth will be thrown off its axis and will then tragically explode in a paroxysm of flames and destruction and ruined sports wagers? Win now, or else a bus will crash high in the Andes? Win now, or else the girl dies? I mean, seriously, the front page?

And then I watched ESPN's Tom Rinaldi interview Jean Van de Velde about his British Open collapse from eight years ago. Van de Velde, as he always does, very sensibly said it wasn't really all that important. Rinaldi refused to believe this, 37 times in a row. He seemed so ticked, Rinaldi, that Van de Velde wasn't crying or wailing about how his life would never be the same or how he was ruined, ruined, ruined all because of that one golf hole and that cursed burn. The golfer--who is also, mind you, battling some mysterious illness--kept saying it was just a game, that winning wasn't everything, that his life was just fine. Rinaldi wasn't having it. Rinaldi obviously thought Van de Velde was a little girlie who deserved to be picked last for dodge ball. You're apparently not allowed to be pleasantly unconcerned about athletic domination.

Luckily, the only sporting event I came in personal contact with this weekend was the Bowie Baysox game on Saturady night. Unluckily, I was there for "Dancing With the Stars" night, for which someone had decided I was proper material to be one of the dancing stars. This meant that four equally unlucky instructors from DanceInTime.com were forced to listen to me wailing about my rhythmic deficiencies for seven innings, until I finally was allowed to go on the field and attempt to Meringue Merengue for 80 seconds, at which time I promptly forgot all my steps and sort of wobbled about the third-base line with my partners for several hours, until the umpire finally told me to scram. I even forgot my elaborately choreographed celebration sequence, which was to pay homage to Sammy Sosa, Ronaldhino and DeShawn Stevenson. The instructors were very nice and kind and gentle, and their company should be properly patronized, but I was awful.

My competition was WJLA's popular weather person Brian van de Graaff, who, thanks to years of being On Your Side, had lots of fans who were clearly On His Side. Also, he is naturally blessed with what the instructors called "Cuban Motion." Trust me, I am not.

Anyhow, I need a few more days to collect myself, but there will be video of the dance-off on CSN's Washington Post Live tonight, and later on the blog, and there will be some more guest blogging, and at least we have this massive photo set of shots from Chris Samuels's birthday Luau with which to amuse ourselves in the meantime. Gilbert and Clinton Portis were both apparently there.

By  |  09:42 AM ET, 07/23/2007

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