January 26, 2014 in Sports

Grip on Sports: Easy chair an easy choice

A Grip On Sports
 
Associated Press photo

MetLife may be filled with folks who paid big money to freeze while watching Super Bowl.
(Full-size photo)

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Vince Grippi has an opinion about everything local, especially sports. Every Sunday we provide samples of his daily riffs. Read him daily at spokesman.com/sportslink.

Friday: What’s in your wallet?

It better be a boatload of money if you want to sit in the cold and watch the Super Bowl live. Tickets are going for a whole heck of a lot. And then there is the expense of getting to New York and staying nearby. None of which is cheap. Still, for the experience, isn’t it worth it?

Nope. I don’t believe it would be. 

Let’s say  you spent $4,000 on tickets – no one wants to see it alone, right? – just to have a poor seat in MetLife Stadium. It will probably cost you almost that much for a plane ticket somewhere within driving range of New Jersey.

Then there is the hotel, a huge cost in the New York area even at the best of times. What does that get you? The chance to watch the game through binoculars, quite possibly while enjoying a nice snow shower or two and a bite-through-your-coat wind. Cool.

Now think of the television you could buy, complete with sound system and massaging chair for your comfort. I guarantee it won’t snow in your living room and, here’s the kicker, the only ice you’ll have to deal with is the stuff in your glass. Which sounds better?

Wednesday: If you’ve read this column for any length of time you know there are only two things I root for when covering a football game: A quick contest and that no one gets hurt. Neither happened last Sunday in the NFC championship game.

Why am I still focused on Sunday’s game? Because I can’t get the memory of NaVorro Bowman’s gruesome knee injury out of my head.

It’s odd, because I’ve watched many injuries. Some even worse than Bowman’s. Heck, once while coaching a seventh-grade boys football game at Albi, I was less than a yard or two away when I witnessed – and heard – a young man’s arm snap.

But Bowman’s fourth-quarter injury actually appeared in my dreams last night and woke me up. Why? Maybe it’s because it was a key play and Fox had to show it over and over.

Will I ever get the picture of safety Eric Reid diving atop Jermaine Kearse, who happened to have Bowman’s knee pinned beneath him, out of my head? Hopefully.

Maybe my subconscious was still processing the news I read just before sleep hit last night, that Bowman’s injury is worse than first feared. The fourth-year linebacker out of Penn State, who had 14 tackles Sunday, not only tore his ACL, but his MCL was also shredded, a bad sign for someone who relies on his quickness. Or maybe it’s because I get so angry when peripheral items that really aren’t that important take center stage instead of the sacrifice these players make on a daily basis to keep us entertained.

Yes, I know professional football players are well paid, a lot better paid than most of us. Yes, I know they are playing a game they love. And, yes, I know the league has finally woken up and is trying to make the game safer, albeit incrementally.

But a majority of these guys will only play a few years and then deal with the physical and mental injuries they suffer for the rest of their lives. Is it worth it? Ask any of them while they are playing and they’ll say yes. Ask them when their career is over and they are dealing with the aftermath and I’m not so sure.

So instead of yelling at the television that someone should “destroy that guy,” even if it’s meant in a joking manner, maybe we need to sit back a second, admire what these guys are able to do and root that everyone leaves the field healthy. It rarely happens – besides Bowman, Idaho alum Mike Iupati also suffered a broken leg Sunday – but it is worth hoping and praying for.

Monday: It’s only crazy if it doesn’t work, right? That explains why I was banished from the TV room yesterday and wasn’t allowed to return.

During the first half, while the Seahawks were comfortably behind, my behind was comfortably seated in my easy chair. But I went upstairs to get something to eat and the Hawks did something good. Hence I was asked to leave permanently. So I sat on the edge of the bed watching a much smaller TV without DVR capabilities, which at times was a good thing.

When I began yelling as Michael Bennett almost scored on Colin Kaepernick’s fumble, the folks downstairs were a couple plays behind and they couldn’t figure out what the noise was about. And ditto on the fourth-down touchdown pass, though my yelling ruined their buzz by just a few seconds. But they deserved it. Treating me like some sort of bad-luck charm.

When Richard Sherman got his fingertips on  Kaepernick’s last pass and  tipped it to  Malcolm Smith, I didn’t stay upstairs. Nope, I ran down to watch everyone celebrate. Though they didn’t want me stay for the three kneel downs. The nerve.

By the way, I’ll be watching the Super Bowl alone. In the bedroom.


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