Cleaning Out the Junk Drawer of the Sports Mind

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If you’re like me, you probably have a “junk drawer” somewhere in your house.  You may call it something different, but we all have that drawer where you stash random items like extension cords, scotch tape, glue, etc.  Every now and then this drawer needs to be cleaned out to make room for more stuff.

The sports mind also has a junk drawer, those random thoughts we have when watching the games and teams we love.  It may not relate to any one player, or team, or sport.  It could be something that bugs you, or something about which you feel strongly.  And sometimes the sports mind’s junk drawer needs cleaning out as well.  As the New Year approaches, I thought it was a good time to clean out my sports mind’s junk drawer.  Here are a few random items I’ve been stashing away that need to be aired out.

Photo courtesy of usatoday.com
Alternate Uniforms:  One of the great things about sports is the traditions that are passed down over the years.  At the top of the list is the team uniform.  Teams are identified by their uniforms.  The Yankee’s pinstripes, the Cowboys’ star and Notre Dame’s gold helmets are examples of iconic uniform elements that instantly identify the teams.

Teams used to have two basic uniforms; one for home and one for the road.  Then teams began to introduce alternate uniforms which were usually either a different color jersey, but one in their same general color scheme with the same logos.  Then teams began wearing “throwback” uniforms, spurring nostalgia from past glory days.  But more recently, some teams have introduced alternate uniforms that bear no resemblance to their traditional colors or styles.  Some teams have so many variations in their uniforms that they can go several games without wearing the same uniform twice.  

No identity, no tradition.  It’s all about merchandising.

Retired uniform numbers:  The debate that surrounds retiring a players uniform number is similar to the debate about if a player is worthy of induction in the Hall of Fame.  My take on the issue is the same for both issues.  If you have to think about it, the answer is no.  The retiring of a player’s uniform number should be reserved for only the greatest of the great players who are inextricably associated with their teams.  Players that were almost defined by their numbers because they wore them for so long and you can’t imagine anyone else wearing that number.  Ted Williams, Bobby Orr, and Larry Bird fall into this category. 

When numbers are retired for very good, but not iconic players, it loses something of its luster.  A prime example of this is the Red Sox retiring Wade Boggs’ number 26.  If it weren’t retired, would you even know what number he wore?  The fact that several players wore that number after Boggs left the team (including All-Star super-sub Brock Holt) should be proof enough that Boggs’ Red Sox career was not special enough to warrant no other player ever wearing that number again.

In a related item, how many of you realize that no one has worn the number 21 for the Red Sox since Roger Clemens moved on to Toronto?

College Football:  In my humble opinion, there is nothing on the US sports scene that matches the atmosphere of a major college football rivalry.  Stadiums rocking with over 100,000 people, players playing for nothing more than the pride of their schools, all make for intense match-ups and exciting games.  Even if you don’t know any of the players, you get sucked into the spectacle and caught up in the emotion.  For me, nothing comes close.


Uniform Numbers on Helmets:  Maybe I focus a little too much on uniforms, but I love the classic look of the uniform number on the football helmet.


Bullpens in the Playing Field:  If I ever become the Commissioner of Baseball, the first rule I am implementing is the banning of bullpens on the playing field.  If designers can get fish tanks and swimming pools built into stadiums, you would think they could get a dozen guys, benches, and two small hills out of the way of the game as its being played.

First Down Line:  The first down line that is electronically inserted into football telecasts is the greatest innovation in televised sports since the introduction of instant replay.  This simple, non-intrusive line takes nothing away from the action, in fact, it adds to the viewing experience as you watch with anticipation of a player picking up a first down.

Do you have any items that you need to clean out of your sports mind’s junk drawer?  Leave a comment below, or email them to us at Contact@BostonSportsSyndicate.com and write “Sports Mind Junk Drawer” in the subject line.  We’ll compile all the ones that are fit to print and put them in a future article.

Follow me on Twitter @BTravers_SYN

COMMENTS

BLOGGER: 2
  1. Loved the article. I’m old school, so one of the things I would clean out is the straight visors on the baseball hats along with wearing them crooked.

  2. great idea about the content, everyone must helpfull about this, see my golf site..golf gps,check out

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Cleaning Out the Junk Drawer of the Sports Mind
Cleaning Out the Junk Drawer of the Sports Mind
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