Thursday, June 19, 2008

Turning sports on its head

Get ready for your sports to be turned upside-down this weekend – literally.

No, we’re not talking about the Phillies, who had a few flaws exposed in dropping two of three to the defending World Champion Boston Red Sox.

The Phils still don’t have enough starting pitching, and when the middle of their lineup goes silent, as they did for the most part against the Sox, their offense suffers some serious sputters. If this was a preview of the World Series, it was not a pretty one for the locals.

We’re also not talking about the Eagles, although a lot of people will be today. That’s because at 10 a.m. single game tickets go on sale. If it’s like most years, they won’t stick around very long.

What will be around all summer is the continuing debate surrounding QB Donovan McNabb, his achy shoulder, and whether this team as currently constructed can return to the playoffs.

We’re not even talking golf, although we were dumbstruck by what Tiger Woods accomplished in winning the U.S. Open last weekend, sealing the deal in a 19-hole playoff against a very game Rocco Mediate on Monday.

Now it turns out Woods accomplished the feat basically playing and walking the course on one leg.

Woods returned for the Open, his first competition since undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his knee two months ago.

On Wednesday, Woods announced he would miss the rest of the golf season after undergoing new surgery on his left knee. Woods revealed he is suffering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the same ouchy knee he had scoped.

Oh, and something else. Woods also apparently was dealing with two stress fractures in his left tibia, the bone that runs from the ankle to the knee.

All of which makes what he accomplished this past weekend all the more miraculous.

Look, I play golf. Not very well, but I hack it around the course. I’m not sure what game Woods plays. It’s one I’m not familiar with.

For the PGA Tour, it’s now a chance for others to step up into the gaping void Woods’ absence leaves. More likely it means the game will retreat into the same small demographic – golf geeks like me -- it entertained before Woods came onto the scene.

All of which brings us to the big athletic event of the weekend in these parts: Gymnastics.

That’s right. They will determine the U.S. men’s and women’s gymnastic teams at the Wachova Center this weekend.

Don’t snicker. Aside from deciding who our Olympians heading to Beijing will be, it also means a $20 million windfall for the region.

And that’s something that should have us all doing backflips.

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