Saturday, January 31, 2009
Flippin' Thru: ESPN The Magazine (02/09/2009)
Billed as "The Fan Issue", the latest ESPN mag includes survey results from more than 42,000 sports fans. Some of the highlights from the survey are included below:
Does God affect the outcome of sporting events?
65% responded "no" with 20% in the "not sure/no opinion" realm. This subject has been in the news a lot recently as "America's Christian" Kurt Warner is back in the national spotlight. My take? No clue. But, I'm tempted to believe He does have a say in the final score since the loudest voices arguing the contrarian position are on AM radio operating under aliases like "Mad Dog", "Hacksaw" and "The Brick".
I would follow a sport more if it had more players of my ethnicity.
63% said "no" and 27% had no opinion or weren't sure. True story: A couple of years ago, I was sitting at an airport bar in Las Vegas with one of my engineers who happened to be born and raised in Buffalo. The NHL playoffs were well underway and in the midst of the televised action, my co-worker looked over to me in all seriousness and said, "You should really follow the Sabres. You know they have a Black guy on the team?" I'd still vote "no" on this one.
Sports give me an excuse to drink more alcohol than I otherwise would.
69% disagree, which means only 31% told the truth. Come on, America. Two of the most well-publicized stories of alcohol recovery in the past 10 years are from this guy and this guy. And, if they're drinking up to (and in Pat's case, during) game time, then I'm guessing you are, too.
Do you think the following sports are fixed?
Not surprisingly, professional wrestling nearly lapped the field with 75% of correspondents answering in the affirmative. Boxing was a distant second with…wait a tic. 25% of ESPN's 42,000 sample size population don't think wrestling's fake?
Which of the following have you done at a college or pro sporting event?
Sneaked into a better seat (74%) - Wow…I don't know if I've ever done this. A mid-July game at San Diego's Petco Park with the Brewers in town never really seemed worth the hassle. I have snitched on kids who tried to seat-hop near me, though. Oh, don't look at me like that. It's not like I'm telling boss-man where the slaves is hiding.
Yelled obscenities (63%) - At the apex of my embarrassingly obnoxious fandom, m'boy Smitty and I practically cut pro wrestling-style promos on the crowds at old Anaheim Stadium when the A's came to town. In our defense, we always kept it clean.
Caught a ball or a puck (31%) - Former Oakland A's ace Dave Stewart threw me a ball during batting practice which should count for something, considering the dozen or so kids I had to plow through just to get my hands up to catch the ball. As for in-game action, my friend Vig caught a foul ball with me standing next to him at a game in 1993. Ten years later, he caught another one as I lost the ball in the sun and ended up sprawled out across the two empty rows in front of me. What? Hey, it was a "high sky"!
Lied to an acquaintance in order to attend (30%) - Yes.
Sneaked in without paying (19%) - I'm calling bullsh*t on this one. I'll concede that the security at most major sporting venues is a joke with their half-assed bag checks and no-outside-food rule enforcement. But, in an age of bar coded tickets and at least a half-dozen attendants at every gate, there ain't no way in without paying. If I'm wrong, let me know. Please?
Used a racial slur against an opposing player or fan (8%) - I'm surprised it's this high. Here in California, you pretty much run the risk of getting your ass kicked by someone within earshot of any slur, seeing as we're such a diverse populace of tolerance. Ballot initiatives, notwithstanding. I was, however, at an A's/Mariners game several years ago, where an a-hole was proudly rocking a shirt with the words "Ichiro Wok'd My Dog" on the front. Stay classy, Oaktown.