Sports / October 15, 2009

On being a lazy writer and a failed athletic cosmopolitan

Last week, in the midst of preparations for a trip to Central Europe, I made the mistake of hastily piecing together a piece about two of Minnesota’s proudest sports franchises: the Twins and the Vikings. In the process, I failed to do the proper research and made two pretty large gaffes.

For one, I referred to the defensive tackles Kevin and Pat Williams as brothers — a totally untrue and easily disprovable statement. I honestly have no idea how that happened, as the understanding that sharing the same last name (especially one as common as Williams) does not equal familial relation is basic third-grade knowledge. Secondly, and more ignominiously, I stated that the “Williams Wall” — as they have come to be known — tested positive for PEDs (performance enhancing drugs), another incorrect statement.

While they did test positive for diuretics, which are sometimes used to mask the presence of PEDs in one’s system, they have never tested positive for PEDs. Do I think that the presence of a positive diuretics test, despite their insistence that it came from a weight-loss supplement, makes it far more likely they’ve actually taken PEDs? Yes, but I didn’t state my opinion in the article, I stated it as fact. So again, I apologize for a lack of research or common sense or journalistic responsibility or any other label you may apply to my stupidity.

Well, that’s put to bed. As I said earlier, I was in Central Europe this past weekend — specifically Bratislava, Vienna, and Prague. Unfortunately, this trip coincided with the first round of Major League Baseball’s postseason. Although my punchless and mediocre White Sox were left sitting at home trying their damnedest to get worse (one more year of Scott Podsednik!), I still hitched my wagon to the Colorado Rockies.

Waking up Tuesday morning in Prague (in a dodgy hostel, no less) and discovering that the Phillies had dispatched the Rockies was a giant disappointment. Fortunately, walking outside and realizing I was in Prague helped allay some of my MLB-related pain.

Still, I needed more of a boost, so I stopped for a pint in a tourist-trap cafe downtown. To my delight, some quasi-Czech version of ESPN was on at the bar, so I tried to distract myself with their coverage of Central European sporting fare, only to discover that they were airing some sort of airplane competition. This consisted of small airplanes flown by small men flown through small holes and gaps. I guess it is the Czech version of ESPN’s airing of putt-putt championships and thirty-minute programs about the NBA hosted by Ahmad Rashad.

So, in summary, I spent time in Prague checking scores from the NLDS and failed to appreciate the Central European sports I actually witnessed on a Czech network. I’d say I failed, yet again, to become the sort of global sports fan I had hoped. But, then again, if I can’t appreciate soccer yet, how can I be expected to handle the aeronautics involved in whatever the hell I saw Tuesday afternoon?

And, unfortunately, countless Google searches have uncovered absolutely no information about what I witnessed on Tuesday. At this point, the sport of flying airplanes through goalposts is as real as unicorns. So please, Knox students familiar with whatever it is I saw this week, please drop me an e-mail with a hint or a link or something. I’m lost here. Absolutely lost.

Kevin Morris

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