The Week In Sports #14: Something Is Rotten in Pennsylvania


Something strange is going on in the state of Pennsylvania, and it has been for a long long time. The Phillies have lost the most games in MLB history and had sixteen straight losing seasons in the thirty’s and forty’s. But, somewhere in the early nineties, the Pirates must have decided that they weren’t going to let the boys from Philadelphia have all the fun.

Since 1993, the Pirates haven’t finished over .500. In doing so, they broke the Phillies long standing (and not highly coveted) record for futility. Seventeen seasons of heartbreak and disappointment, being a Pirates fan must be like watching peppermint patty pull the football away from Charlie Brown over and over again.

I see no end to this tunnel of infinite darkness that is found at PNC Park. They can never turn the corner and finish over .500 if they continue to trade every good player before the trading deadline. I understand that they get prospects in return, but you can never win if you continuously trade away your players as soon as they get good. It’s just a vicious circle of disappointment.

Maybe someday, most likely with different ownership, the Pirates can find a way to end their streak. I just don’t see it happening any time soon. The real question is, how many more years will they play like a AAA team and how long before the fans decide to stop showing up?

Tennis: The US Open is on the quarterfinals and after one match, there are now only three men left. Juan Martin Del Potro beat Marin Cilic 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-1 to advance. While I write this, Rafael Nadal is taking on Fernando Gonzalez and won the first set 7-6. In women’s action, Serena Williams is taking on Kim Clijsters and Caroline Wozniacki will battle Yanina Wickmayer.

NFL: The NFL season began Thursday night. The Tennessee Titans traveled to Heinz Field to take on the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s no surprise that defense reigned supreme as these are two of the best defensive teams in the AFC. The Steelers picked up right where they left off as they dispatched the Titans 13-10 in overtime. Tennesee’s Rob Bironas (who happens to be on my fantasy team) missed one field goal and had another blocked in the loss. Way to go, Rob. I only got five points from you. How am I supposed to beat my opponent “Tim Tebow’s V Card” if my kicker only gets five points?

NCAA Football: One week of the college football season is behind us and there weren’t very many surprises. There was one huge surprise though, and not the good kind if you’re an Oklahoma fan. Reigning Heisman trophy winning quarterback Sam Bradford fell on his shoulder awkwardly while being sacked against Brigham Young and had to leave the game. The #3 Sooners ended up losing 14-13 to #20 BYU and the season looks bleak for Oklahoma. Bradford will be out at least a month, if not six weeks, and his backup Landry Jones doesn’t really look like he’s ready for the spotlight. This season might already be over for the Sooners. Let the Oklahoma’s season is over “sooner” than we thought jokes commence.

National Lacrosse League: The NLL held its draft this week with the Rochester Knighthawks picking #1 and #2. With the first overall pick the ‘Hawks selected Syracuse defenseman Sid Smith. At #2 they picked University of Denver attackman Ilija Gajic. The Minnesota Swarm took all-time NCAA division I leading scorer Zach Greer from Bryant via Duke. The NLL season starts in early January and will definitely be chronicled in this week in sports as I am covering one of the teams for This is a cool league, I don’t know if there will be nationally televised games, but if you live in a city with a team I suggest checking it out. It’s fast and there are a lot of fights, what’s not to love?

Soccer: Team USA is only one win away from qualifying for the 2009 World Cup after Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Trinadad and Tobago. A few weeks ago, a world cup spot seemed like it would take a lot longer after a loss to rival Mexico, but a string of wins leaves the Yanks on the cusp of returning to the field of 32. In related news, one of the perennial world powers, Argentina, may find themselves the odd men out in South America. They may have to battle the fourth place team in the Caribbean, North and Central America conference to get a spot in the big tourney. I bet Maradona wishes his team could use the “Hand of God” to score a few more goals right about now. Check out the video on Youtube. It’s still amazing that it wasn’t called a hand ball.

*Are you a fan of a sport that you want me to cover next week or know of any sports stories you want me to mention? This is your article, not mine. Have at it. Throw me an email

Image credit: Kriss Szkurlatowski

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