Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rating Sports News

Not pictured: Cross-dressing Terrorists (Plaid)

In Chicago, we have all sorts of hype. There's hype for the Bears rookies, hype for baseball season, and even hype for the playoffs. Frankly, I think we need a color-coding system. Something that lets fans know just how big a deal something is. I propose the first Sports Hype Alert system. Breakdown is as follows:

Green - Nothing to see here, move along.
Sounds promising in theory, but years of harsh reality have shown us that it's just not going to happen. For some of us (non-Cubs), we immediately equate a Cubs post-season appearance to a Green rating, but for others, it gets a different color. More common appearances are "Bears Draft a QB" and "Really Expensive and Talented Free Agent is Available (But obviously not coming to town)."

Blue - This could pan out in theory.
A little better than Green, because we (stupidly) allow ourselves to believe that there is a possibility (albeit slim) of something happening. The Blue alert generally comes after a team makes an unusual signing (Swisher to the Sox, Aaron Miles to the Cubs...etc) that is obviously less than ideal. Even so, we believe that there's a chance, if ever so slight, that this could work out. Of course, when the move is a little more advantageous, we move to Yellow.

Yellow - Things are somewhat promising.
This is the usual chunk of Chicago misery. This is the "Derrick Rose can lead the Bulls out of the gutter" fantasy. Is Rose good? No doubt. Are the Bulls good? Not a chance. Still, we hold out hope that Rose can somehow make Deng, Noch and crew play to their potential. And we believe it every year. Other notable entries for the Yellow label: "Soriano can be a leadoff hitter", and "The Bears defense should rebound this year." They're possible, sure, but after a few years of non-results, reality sets in.

Orange - There's a pretty good chance here...could this really work?
Somewhere along the line, some good news and hope manage to creep into Chicago sports. Most recently, the "Can Orton be the Bears QB" issue spawned a slew of believers and non-believers. When in the Orange area, some of these things come some form. Orton did lead the Bears as their QB, but his production wasn't Warner-esque. Is that enough, or do we demand more? The Orange rating provides that little bit of room. Other entries: "Can the Cubs actually do something in the postseason (Cubs fans only)," "Can Danks and Floyd be #2 and #3 starters," "Can the Cubs get Peavy," and "Are the Blackhawks legit?"

Red - Holy shit! Really!? Holy Shit!
Although rare, there are times where things really do seem to swing in our favor. During the White Sox post-season run last season, we (Sox fans, anyways) entered the Red rating. Not only was the hype crazy with the whole Alexei homerun against the Twins in the extra game, but the Blackout was crazy. Granted, the Sox lost in the postseason, but at some point after game 2, the rating dropped from Red to Yellow when we realized just how good the Rays were. Likewise, when the Bulls got the 1st pick and subsequently Derrick Rose? Red. Other (brief) entries: "Cubs acquire Rich Harden," "Carlos Quentin is amazing," and "Matt Forte is ridiculous."

Let's try and keep to this system, eh? At least that way, I can look at news, see the color, and know if I need to give a shit. Here are some basic examples:

"Cubs Sign Milton Bradley" - Orange
"Sox get bevy of prospects for Swisher" - Green
"Bulls have fully healthy starting five" - Blue
"Bears plan to draft a 'Playmaker'" - Yellow

And so on and so forth. Get with the program, people!

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