TIME: US | UK
WEATHER: US | UK
THE AMERICAN MAGAZINE ONLINE
Features & Blogs
"Life in the UK"
• Sideline: Yes, Non–Conference Games DO Count
• NCAA Preview 2009
• Sideline: Time For The Talking To Stop
• Sideline: In Memory of Air McNair
• Sideline: Will Goodell Hand Out Hard Time?
• Sideline: Marshall's Not Joshing
• NFL Draft: No Rush To Judgment
• NFL Draft Analysis 2009 (Part 2)
• Sideline: NFL Draft Thoughts (Part 2)
• Sideline: NFL Draft Thoughts
• Sideline: Will Play For Food
• Sideline: Wonderlic Scores
• Sideline: Manning and Sanchez
• Sideline: 2010 Leagues Sci–fi, or Fantasy? / March Madness
• Sideline: Break Out The Brackets
• Sideline: LaDainian Tomlinson On The Record
• Sideline: The Incredible Sulk Continues
• Sideline: Guildford Heat Fired Up
• Sideline: Super Bowl thoughts from the Valley of the Sun
• Sideline: I know I came in here for something
• Sideline: College Football National Signing Day
• Sideline: 27 Points — 27 Super Bowl thoughts
• Sideline: An Epic QB Matchup?
• Sideline: Appreciating Arizona for What They Were
• Sideline: NFL Divisional Weekend Preview
• Sideline: Bowl Season Hangover
• Sideline: Six weeks Later
• Sideline: Wildcard Weekend Preview
• Sideline: Santa's Sackings
• Sideline: A Weis Decision ...for Now
• Sideline: Eye on the Ticker
• Sideline: Lions — An Anagram of Losin
• Sideline: Ready for the Turkey
• Sideline: Making it to the Big Dance
• Sideline: Brighter Days Ahead for Chargers?
• Sideline: Unnecessary Hits To The Pocket / Upset: BYU
• Sideline: Romo's Pause / Seattle Seahawks
• Sideline: Weekend Prep: Red River and More
• Sideline: College Football's 'Crossroads' Weekend
• Sideline: Gramatical Error
• Sideline: Turning The Page
• Sideline: So Cal 'Quizzed
• Sideline: 3rd Tuesday Panic / Forté Yard Dash
• Sideline: Two and Oh; Oh and Two
• Sideline: No More NCAAffeine
• Sideline: Week 1 College Football
• Sideline: How To Spell Heisman / Chad Ocho Cinco
• Sideline: A Second Slice
• Sideline: The Favre story STILL won't go away
• Sideline: Olympic Notes / Ricky's Still Relevant
• Sideline: Committee Meetings
• Sideline: Let the QB Battles Begin
• Sideline: Slinging The Slinger — More Favre
• Interview: Clint Dempsey
• Sideline: Welcome to the 2008 season
• Sideline: Plus One
• 2008 NFL Draft Review
• Sideline: Draft: The Morning After
• Sideline: Draft: Thinking the Unthinkable
• Sideline: Draft: Ready For The Long Haul
• Sideline: Sofa–bound Sport
• Sideline: Post–Winter Wonderland
• Sideline: Six Impossible Things
• Sideline: Brady's Misdirection Play
• Sideline: Colorful Language
• Sideline: Let the Romo–bashing begin
• Sideline: Bowl Bites: The Wrap
• Sideline: All About The Coaches
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 3
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 2
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 1
• Sideline: Coach Situations Vacant
• Sideline: For Some, The Playoffs Are Now
• Sideline: A Certain Lack Of Welcome
• Sideline: Unrelated Notes
• Sideline: Two Thanksgiving thoughts
• Sideline: Halftime: NFC
• Sideline: Halftime: AFC
• Sideline: London / A Tale of Two Chads / Intimidation
• Sideline: Damp Squib / Other London Notes
• Sideline: Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em / Dolphins – The Aftermath
• Sideline: The Dolphins Did What?
• Sideline: Notes on the Defenses
• Sideline: Habits to be Broken
• Sideline: Overtime
• Sideline: This Week's Starters
• Sideline: USF: Covering The Spread / Fantastic Football
• Sideline: Grossman: The Final Act? / McNabb, the Epilogue
• Sideline: Eagles QB in Slight Controversy
• Sideline: Leftwich's Parting Gift / Boos cruise
• Sideline: Notre Dame M.I.A.
• Sideline: Looking Beyond NFL Wk. 1
• Sideline: Best Hope For Heisman
• Sideline: Coaching Hot Seats / AP Poll Feeling ’Appy
• Sideline: The NFL’s Prime Cuts
• Sideline: Michigan Falls to Killer Apps
• Sideline: Look Out Couch / The Taint's On You, Bud
Observations, Opinion & Occasional Silliness by Richard L Gale
Writer, Plus One
Peter King of Sports Illustrated regularly finishes his Monday Morning QB column with a 'non–football thoughts of the week' section, sometimes including entries on his daughter's softball exploits. I've tried to avoid a similar gathering of flotsam and jetsam in Sideline, but with the birth of a daughter coinciding with the arduous football void between the draft and preseason, King–style non–football thoughts are an inevitability, even if a sporting ramble suits me better than a numbered list...
I think I finally see the point of baseball.
Now, I realize that sentence would be semi–sacrilegious from the mouth or fingertips of a true American, but as a 'citizen of the world' — and a football nut to boot — I've never been able to dedicate myself to 5am bedtimes year–round. I chose a sport that has a season lasting very nearly a season. I never fell in love with the relentlessness of soccer seasons, and pretty much the same goes for baseball. But baby Natasha in arms, baseball is finally finding its place in my life as 3am viewing, as we vacate the upper deck of the house to let Mrs Football catch some sleep. With baseball, it hardly matters that I have the 150–decibel wail of a newborn in one ear, or that when she is settled, I'm only half awake. The bar at the top of the scream — sorry, screen — is as much as I need to know, without the critical minutiae of football's subplots.
Ah yes, this is baseball. Perfect for lazy days and sleepless nights. The low hum of Summer rather than the caffeine buzz of the Fall. Of course, I'm supposed to feel something similar for cricket, but
Oh I'm sorry. I must have dozed off.
That's pretty much been my experience of cricket all my life, though it felt a little different back in my English public school days with that small red rock being thrown at my head. If you've never played cricket (and I suspect a few of you haven't) don't imagine that there's any bounce in that leather projectile they use — the only reason it flies up at the batsman after contact with the earth is because the Earth itself momentarily bounced off it. A baseball bruise is pretty mild by comparison to the carnage a cricket ball can cause, let me assure you.
Yet, despite the threat of broken bones and lost teeth, it still manages to be, for many people, one of the dullest games on the planet. The growing popularity of 20twenty cricket may change all that, now that cricket has realized that a 3–hour format may fit TV schedules slightly better than a 5–day endurance test. It seems like madness to say it now, but there could come a day when cricket rivals soccer as the world sport, stretching beyond its colonial past.
But I'd still rather watch lacrosse than baseball or cricket. I have a tremendous affection for lacrosse, the American sport that pre–dates America. Any sport that can be invented by Native Americans, renamed by French Canadians and end up being played on the fields of posh girl's schools in England is an admirable survivor. It is also expanding in popularity in US colleges, with 44 states represented in a competition that was once contained to the Iroquois–influenced states and territories of North America.
This past week, NASN offered the annual glimpse of NCAA lacrosse as Syracuse beat Johns Hopkins 13–10 to become the all–time leader in championships with 10. As usual, I marveled at the passing skill, at the accuracy of the shots. Johns Hopkins' Paul Rabil strikes me as a talent as big in his own sport as Sidney Crosby is for ice hockey, with six goals and an assist in a final played before almost 50,000 at Foxboro. He's the kind of player who can draw viewers with him to Major League Lacrosse, taking his sport to the next level, the way Red Grange did for football. He's that good.
Happily, it looks like we'll be able to take that journey with him: NASN is carrying ESPN's Major League Lacrosse coverage this year. This is exciting, this is skilled, this is full–contact. This is... considered a girl's game here in the UK?
I hope you're paying attention, baby Natasha.