March 03, 2007

"Moral Bracketology": Writer David Stein devises a scheme to decide the best and worst moments in sports history.

posted by brainofdtrain to basketball at 01:59 AM - 23 comments

I thought that this was a semi-creative idea, and might make for interesting dialogue. This is my first thread post, so if it sucks don't kill me (have mercy Greg Maddux!). Who are everyone's #1 seeds for both brackets?

posted by brainofdtrain at 02:01 AM on March 03, 2007

Best moment in sports. Colts Win Super Bowl? Why? If a live one more day or fifty more years I will never hear some talking head say Payton Manning and Tony Dungy can't win the big game. Worst moment in sports. A tough one but two come to mind. I'm old enough to remember when TV cut aware from an NFL game to telecast the movie Heidi. Also, I actually saw Chris Berman from ESPN at a golf Pro/Am. He had a horrible golf swing and even worse the golf attire he had on made him look like a physical wreck. He has a huge gut and no butt. Now that is a real visual nightmare. This is a man who should never play golf when there is a chance that it will be televised. My top four seeds. Can't think of anyone real deserving at this point. Maybe UCLA. The rest will depend on how teams do in their conference tournament.

posted by BlindAlvin at 10:47 AM on March 03, 2007

Countdown to irrational placement of Barry Bonds in the "evil" bracket...5...4...3...

posted by grum@work at 10:55 AM on March 03, 2007

Kansas if they get by Texas today. Regardless of the confrence tournament

posted by scottypup at 11:24 AM on March 03, 2007

Somehow, braino, people have confused the March Madness brackets with bracketing for the best and worst sports moments. I don't follow college basketball closely enough to comment on that, but here's what I have to say on sports moments. The NCAA really ought to get a nomination in the evil bracket for every time they have made a dumb decision that hurts a deserving athlete. But then there are so many of these that it's not fair to the other competitors. There are a lot of "best" moments. It depends on how you define 'best'. Do you want to mention a sensational play at an important moment? Maybe you can recognize a noble act of sportsmanship. I think my 'best moment' will come from the category of "adversity overcome". Thus said, Rulon Gardner's leaving his shoes on the mat in Athens at the 2004 Olympics rates highly.

posted by Howard_T at 12:05 PM on March 03, 2007

This guy is funny!Love & agree w/his soccer comments!As for Chris Berman,if you ever met him you'd know what a nice guy in person he is.Also he nearly lost a leg in a skiing accident which may account for his bad golf swing!

posted by mdavidsf at 01:09 PM on March 03, 2007

Best moments in sport? Paul Henderson '72, Joe Carter '93, Daniel Igali '00 Olympics. Worst moments? Bill Romanoski, Todd Bertuzzi, Kermit Washington. These are not necessarily the best and worst, but definitely are at opposite ends of the spectrum for me.

posted by tommybiden at 01:19 PM on March 03, 2007

Well scottypup, it's your lucky day. From one Hawk fan to another.

posted by brainofdtrain at 02:05 PM on March 03, 2007

Among the best must be Shun Fujimoto for nailing the rings with a broken leg in the 1976 Olympics.

posted by bobfoot at 07:40 PM on March 03, 2007

It's an interesting concept, but Stein ruined it for me with this. I don't want to give it all away, but we think Uday Hussein is getting an at large bid for torturing his soccer players ... by making them watch soccer, I think. Oh boy, here come the letters from the soccer fans ... If you know anything about what Uday Hussein did, and clearly Stein does, I don't see how you can see that snippy, gratuitous little swipe at soccer as anything but an utterly dickheaded thing to say. "Oh, that sport that I don't watch or know anything about is booooooring" is stupid and annoying as a comedy line under the most neutral of situations (along the lines saying of, "And how about that inflation? Prices just keep going up and up and up!" and expecting a laugh). When used to refer to a situation where players were tortured for failing to play the game they loved to the expectations of a sadistic madman, to tack on a remark that suggests that the game is stupid and boring and unworthy of playing anyway is adding a lot of insult to a horrible injury. Stein should be ashamed of himself. Still, it's a cool concept (and yeah, Uday Hussein would be in the evil bracket, all right). In the good bracket, I'd put the incident at the Torino Olympics when the Norwegian coach gave a pole to Sara Renner of Canada, whose pole broke in the opening sprint of the sprint relay. The Canadians went on to win the silver, knocking the Norwegians back to fourth and out of the medals.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:53 AM on March 04, 2007

On the evil list: The New England Patriots bringing work-release prisoner Mark Henderson onto the field at Foxboro Stadium with his snow plow to clear a spot for John Smith to kick a game-winning field goal that got the Pats into the playoffs with a 3 - 0 win over the Miami Dolphins. Flat out cheating, and all it got 'em was a rematch with the Phins one week later in the Orange Bowl, where the Pats got thumped 28 - 13. On the good list: In 1979, after an especially tough game, Mean Joe Greene, Hall of Fame defensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers, was making his way back to the locker room, in obvious pain, when a small child offered him a Coke. Greene accepted the refreshing beverage, then, as a way of saying "Thanks," gave the tyke his jersey. Truly a great moment in American sports history.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 08:55 AM on March 04, 2007

Well i'm not sure about all my picks, but one of my evil #1 seeds would be when the Wildcard Colts beat my #1 seeded Chiefs 10-7. We missed THREE FIELDGOALS THAT game. It was bitter cold as well. Thanks Lin Elliot, for ruining my 6th grade Christmas present.

posted by brainofdtrain at 09:21 AM on March 04, 2007

work-release prisoner That factoid seems truly irrelevant.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:56 AM on March 04, 2007

Well, to you Patriot fans, sure. And/or, you ex-cons, as the case may be.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 03:09 PM on March 04, 2007

Willie Horton, tum te tum tum, Willie Horton... Please show me the extent of my denseness and homerism, TBH. What does it matter if the field was cleared by a work-release prisoner with a snow plow, your dear old dad with the family snowblower, or a pack of well-trained St. Bernards?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 04:13 PM on March 04, 2007

He also stole Don Shula's wallet. True story.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 04:28 PM on March 04, 2007

I grew up in Florida. Dear old Dad never had a snowblower. He did manage an occasional sense of humor, though.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:42 AM on March 05, 2007

He did manage an occasional sense of humor, though. Yeah, he studied at the knee of that great comedian, George H. W. Bush. Heh heh heh. BTW, I love watching the Dolphins play in the snow.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:27 AM on March 05, 2007

Worst moment in Sports history? Hard to argue with the Munich Olympics in '72. Other notables would be some of the crushings at soccer stadiums. Best moment in Sports history? No chance there's a consensus here. But I like lbb's suggestion of the Norwegian ski coach. Such a small gesture - truly a groovy moment. There are bigger stories, but maybe none nicer.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:57 AM on March 05, 2007

Truly a great moment in American sports history. TBH, my "tongue-in-cheek" detector just went off big time. Maybe this was a great moment in TV commercial history? BTW, I love watching the Dolphins play in the snow. Myotis lucifugus, Miami Dolphins playing in the snow is an oxymoron.

posted by Howard_T at 10:29 AM on March 05, 2007

I'm not sure I understand Stein's criteria. Then again, I don't believe he understands them either. I don't see how sportsmanship played into 80% of the events he references. I would say Lutz Long's advice to Jesse Owens at the '36 Olympics, or Pee Wee Reese putting his arm around Jackie Robinson would be the top 2 that leap to mind. The Tanya Harding episode, Woody Hayes' punch, and any of a host of cheap shots in any of the major sports that resulted in serious (or potentially serious) injury, many of which have been mentioned above. I don't think anyone has mentioned Latrell Sprewell yet -- I'd go with that one, too.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 10:42 AM on March 05, 2007

Myotis lucifugus, Miami Dolphins playing in the snow is an oxymoron. Well, they were doing something in the snow. I'll leave it at that. I'll add an obscure one to "good" -- Bode Miller hiking to finish the slalom at the '02 Olympics. He slid past a gate and, with absolutely no hope of a medal, hiked back up and finished the run. I was watching the race on the television in a ski-town bar, and there was a groan of disappointment as he skied out...and then everyone in the room started cheering like mad as he scrambled back to the missed gate. We knew the victory was out of his reach, but it didn't matter. A lot of us in that bar had raced without any realistic chances of winning or even doing well, and had wondered, "Why do I do this when I'm not going to win?" Bode answered that question in that race. There is no defense in ski racing or in sports like it; you can have the race of your life, and still go home without a medal because somebody else had a better day. The only thing you're sure of going home with is the knowledge that you did your best to the end. And to evil, I'll add Dick Pound. He may be completely well-intentioned, but he's doing more harm than good.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:26 AM on March 05, 2007

TBH, my "tongue-in-cheek" detector just went off big time. God love ya.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 11:12 AM on March 06, 2007

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