[Business Day One] The Winter Warmer Mailbag

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So Cardinals/Steelers, eh?  Who knew?  I had a feeling like the Eagles would choke this one away,  due more to the Football Gods refusing to give Philly a double-dip of joy this year than anything else.  But hey, whatever the reason, we’re dealing with Arizona and Pittsburgh playing in Tampa.  Ain’t that something?

I have a mailbag to get to, so I’m going to hammer away on that instead of attempting to predict what asinine and contrived stories we’ll hear the pundits pound down our throats for the next two weeks.  Can they use a Jerome Bettis returning to the place where he once ate a good meal angle?

So here’s the ‘bag:

Ryan –  Please categorize each of the following as either a “game” or a “sport”:  Bowling, golf, badminton, tennis, ultimate frisbee, hunting, fishing, darts, billiards, and competitive eating

There are a lot of different ways to go about this; lord knows I’ve had these debates before.  I’ll spare you the devil’s advocate style pro’s and con’s of each rating system, and instead tell you about my own system of determining which is which.  I call it The Feel Rule.  A sport makes me feel like I’m watching people do things that would be impossible for most of the world to do.  A sport makes me feel like I’m watching something sacred – a blacktop hoops game is just as intriguing to me as the Final Four, for the same reason that a wedding in a chapel is as grand as a wedding in a palace.  It’s all about feel.  With a game, I either feel like I’m watching people pass time between rounds of beer, or I feel as if there’s something better I could be doing.

Keeping those things in mind, here’s my categorization.  Bowling’s a game (and a fun one),  golf is a sport (the sound that a well-hit ball off the tee sounds is like a choir to me), badminton is a game, tennis is a sport, ultimate is a game, hunting and fishing are both games, darts is a game, billiards is a sport (based solely on the trick shooting competitions that blow my mind consistently) and competitive eating is a game.

Mike – Hockey: How would you get fans back to watching it?

The simple answer would be to find a charismatic, American-born star and allow him to earn the C on one of the Original Six teams – preferably Detroit or Boston.  Nothing gets the crowds going quite like a burger-eating, “born and raised in the US of A” hero.  Mark McGwire single-handedly saved baseball.  Johnny Unitas played one of the greatest games of all time and put football on the map.  We need an American hero in a premiere hockey town.  Crosby and Oveckin are great players, and very exciting, but the “skating on frozen ponds outside of St. Paul” crowd needs someone waving the stars and stripes.  If that happens, not even Gary Bettman could screw that up.

Sam – I have a question: WHY, GOD? WHY??

Because Pittsburgh’s mayor was elected in his mid-twenties and is, well, kind of a dork.