Thursday, July 23, 2009

Unintentional Villains

If you've sat down to watch any major sporting event in the past decade, you are keenly aware that network sports broadcasts are now a huge production - some might say over-produced. No longer do we simply have two sportscasters chit-chatting their way through the Super Bowl or US Open. Instead, we're routinely hit with the tear jerking vignettes about our sports heros growing up without any legs, and then going on to win 19 consecutive marathons after battling cancer and AIDS. Or, the like. And we can't get enough.

Jim Nantz, of course, is the master. Bob Costas and Rick Reilly are close behind. These guys could turn Michael Vick into a hard-knock story of redemption and pride, and by the end of the 4 minute segment you'd be in the bathroom trying to put your hair in cornrows. We're suckers for emotion, and we love the underdog.

And if there's one thing we've learned about the American sports fan lately - it's that we love old guys. Tom Watson, Lance Armstrong, Greg Norman, Brett Favre (depending on who you ask).

This past Sunday, at roughly the same time, two of our favorite geezers were center stage - making a run at history: 59 year old Tom Watson was teeing it up with a chance to win the British Open, and 37 year old Lance Armstrong was in the French Alps, 8 seconds off the lead in the Tour de France. However, by the end of the afternoon, it was all over - and both men had their dreams dashed, by villains. Dirty, dirty villains.

Now, these villains probably aren't bad guys at heart...but you can't help but hate Stewart Cink and Alberto Contador a little bit. Stewart Cink wore his green highlighter shirt, and beat Tom Watson in a playoff - robbing us of one of the great sports stories of all time. Contador (Armstrong's teammate) sprinted ahead of Lance during the 15th stage, and Armstrong had no choice but to stay back - and not chase down his teammate. Both were tough to watch. Truthfully, we probably hate Contador more because he's from Spain (and fuck the Spanish, right?)

So these guys are now unintentional villains because they robbed us of our climax at the end of the old-guy-vignette-foreplay. If you're not a fan of golf or cycling - fast forward to the 2010 Superbowl...with Brett Favre on the field with a chance to take the Vikings to a win, and then at the last second they lose on a flea flicker by the goddam Patriots. Fuck Boston too. Spain and Boston can go get bent.

Here are our unintentional villains of the week, with their villainous mustaches:

This may be a running theme, so feel free to submit your weekly picks for 'Villain of the Week'.

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