Volume 4, Number 6
Oh Glory of Glories
By Dean Shutt
Hello folks, and welcome back to the backwater of the sports world that I like to call Fun & Games. I'm better this month, I have reconciled myself to my beloved Colts' first pick in the draft. I have accepted that we did not pick the best player at his position available. I have accepted that we decided that fitting into the system was a bigger prerequisite than pure ability. I have even accepted that the supposedly "unsignable" Ricky Williams has already inked an incentive laden deal that pays for performance, not promises. All the while our own first rounder is getting reeeeeally close to deciding on an agent. I have accepted all of this and am comfortable with our pick. Edgerrin is going to have to earn our love in a way Ricky wouldn't, but I think he will be OK.
But that is not the purpose of this month's column. No, this month I would like to praise something for a change. Unlike most sports columns that are all about tearing down, I am going to be about building up. I am going to be about giving proper recognition to a deserving entity that doesn't get enough of it. That's right, I'm talking about the internet and its importance to sports fans everywhere. Especially those of us who happen to live on the opposite end of the country from our teams.
I grew up in Pennsylvania. My favorite teams were the Boston RedSox, the Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts and the New York Rangers. Now it wasn't so bad finding info on the Rangers, but the Sox and the Colts were nearly impossible. And you could forget about finding so much as a T-shirt for any of them. It was all about the Phillies, Flyers or Eagles when I was a boy.
Then I moved to California and it became even worse. There was no hockey, let alone information about the Rangers. The A's played the Sox maybe twice a year and the Colts visited the Niners once every four or so. In short I despaired of ever being able to really follow my teams again beyond reading the box scores in the following day's newspaper.
Then a wonderful thing happened, about six years ago I discovered the internet. Granted, all I did initially was look at porn, but eventually you get tired of that. So two years ago I discovered that there was a ton of other information on the internet. Sports information, Colts information, Rangers information, Rangers information, all sorts of wonderful resources that didn't even exist ten years ago were at my fingertips every day.
Now I have as much daily news about my favorite teams as a local. I not only know that my beloved Colts suck (which frankly has been common knowledge for awhile) but I know why they suck. I can read every single one of Bill Polian's defenses of his first round pick. I can learn how Peyton Manning spends his offseason. I can learn how the Colts do on turf versus a divisional opponent following a bye week. In short I have all of the info I could possibly want about all of my favorite teams and that is a wonderful thing.
What does all of this information do for me you ask? What conceivable use could I derive from knowing the High School record of the Rangers newest Latvian goalie? Well I will tell you folks, hope. That's right, a little thing called hope for the future. When the Red Sox pitching started out badly this season, I wasn't too concerned because I knew we had some live arms down on the farm. The month of May rolls around and voila Juan Pena and Brian Rose come up and help the Sox to their best May since '86. When the Colts went 3 and 13 for the second straight year did I give up hope? Of course not, because I can tell by the stats and the offseason signings that my beloved Colts will come out strong in '99. All in all it's just nice to know what's going on with your favorite team, even if they aren't the local squad.
With that in mind I thought I would provide you with a list of sites to check out to find info on your favorite team. I'm going to stick with the big 4 here (NFL, NHL, NBA and MBL) simply because otherwise it would take too long. Rest assured though, you can find information on even the most bizarre sports on the wide and wonderful world of the internet.
Where To Start
NFL.COM (http://www.nfl.com) - All of the teams (obviously), NFL Europe news and links to the teams official websites.
MLB.COM (http://www.mlb.com) - Not only all of the teams and their websites, but also a listing of all of the live internet game broadcasts daily.
NHL.COM (http://www.nhl.com) - Links to the teams' official sites and live gamecasts.
NBA.COM (http://www.nba.com) - Once again, news from all of the teams.
The Local Dirt
Another great thing about the internet from a fan's perspective is the ability to read your team's local paper. It gives a good feeling for the town is treating the team. Yahoo! is a good place to start your search for your team's hometown media outlets. Sometimes you can even find a local radio station that will simulcast games, great for us victims of "regional action".
Look It Up
When in doubt, go to your favorite search engine and type in your beloved squad's name. You not only get the official sites, but all of those twisted fan sites as well. This makes for great ammunition when your Significant Other complains that you pay more attention to sports than you do to them. You can show them what real freaks look like and remind them just how lucky they are to have a stable person like you.
Dean's House of Pain