Playing favorites

By By Cody Brunner

By Cody Brunner

You can’t help but be impressed by some things. A brilliant come-from-behind victory, an underdog making it to the Final Four, Ozzie Guillen’s colloquial dialect-these are all irregular anomalies in the sports world that make me feel warm inside. It reassures me that sports aren’t rigged in some way, shape or form.

But there are quite a few things in the sports world today that I’m not particularly impressed with-namely, the mass commercialization of the “popular” figures or teams in sports.

I noticed this as I was watching the final day of The Masters on Sunday. I couldn’t help but notice the insane amount of attention being placed on Tiger Woods coming down the stretch.

See, he was trailing by two strokes with three holes to go and you could basically feel the air of anticipation in the crowd. Everyone was waiting for Woods to transform into the golf ball-hitting God we have all come to expect. Meanwhile, the eventual winner of the tournament, Zach Johnson, was playing his final hole.

Instead of cutting into Johnson’s final tee shot at the 18th, we got a montage of Tiger moments at The Masters narrated by Jim Nantz.

Don’t get me wrong-I love Nantz’s face-melting orations just as much as the next bloke-but give me a freaking break. A guy is winning The Masters for the first time and we’re showing Tiger walking up to the 18th green five years ago.

Again, during Johnson’s approach shot, the brilliant producers at CBS chose to keep the camera on Tiger for one of those “model looking into the distance” faces. They finally gave Johnson the credit he deserved on his third shot, but by then I was already peeved.

Exactly when did we stop covering the teams or players that were actually winning and start focusing on the perennial favorites? Does it even matter if a team wins if it’s not named the Patriots?

Since golf requires goofy pants and a fat ass and basically nobody cares about it, I’ll give you another example of the media force-feeding us.

Two things bother me about baseball, and they are as follows: the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. At one point or another, I’m convinced that 97 percent of the baseball fans in America rooted for either of these two teams. Why, you ask? It could have something to do with bandwagon fans and ship-jumpers, because both teams were good at one point or another. But I think there’s a deeper problem here.

Imagine sitting in your living room and watching your favorite team play (No, not you, Red Sox/Yankees fan, I’m talking about the other 3 percent of people who watch baseball). You’re just getting into a Brewers-Phillies game when, in the middle of a pitch, the broadcast cuts to a commercial that goes something like this: random highlights of A-Rod and Jeter making plays in the field and Manny and Papi crushing balls, then a movie trailer-esque voice pops in and says, “Only 48 more days until the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry takes center stage.”

OK, I exaggerated on that a little bit, but that really isn’t far off. All they ever broadcast nowadays are games that showcase either the Yankees or the Red Sox.

Maybe those select few fans that follow the teams don’t notice, but I, being a Brewers fan, am sick of turning on the telly to see a BoSox-Rangers game. I’m convinced that both teams could be at the bottom of the American League standings and they would still show every one of their games.

Just one time I want to watch a Brewers game without having to fly to Milwaukee. Oh wait, I get that opportunity this year, because the Brewers have one nationally televised game against St. Louis on April 30. ONE FREAKING GAME compared with 42 nationally televised Yankees/Red Sox games. And I don’t even want to start on the “stop the world’s rotation for the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry game” special treatment.

Overexposure of these teams is sucking the life right out of me. I don’t even have the energy to flip through the channels anymore. It’s a sad state of affairs. I know who’s going to be on TV because it’s always the same.

Let’s see, we have the Patriots in pro football, Lakers in pro basketball, USC in college football, Duke/North Carolina in college basketball and Brazil in World Cup soccer (how many goals did Ronaldinho have in last summer’s World Cup, anyway?).

If anybody has connections to CBS, ABC, FOX, KUTV, OBGYN or ESPN, please let me know. All I want is to watch a Green Bay Packers game next year without having to buy NFL Sunday Ticket.