Thursday, September 14, 2006

Small World

Memo to American sports writers: in order to be world champions of a sport, you actually have to beat people from other countries (and no, Toronto does not count).

The world champion of basketball is Spain, not the Miami Heat. The world champion of ice hockey is Sweden, even if the Carolina Hurricanes did beat some Canadian teams on its way to the North American Championship.The world champion of baseball is Japan, not the Chicago White Sox which is, at best, the World Series champions. Ironically, about the only thing a US team can genuinely claim to be world champions of is the Little League World Series (congratulations, Columbus Northern Little League of Columbus, Georgia).

OK, the world champions of American Football probably is the Pittsburgh Steelers, but only because nobody else on Planet Earth plays the game.

I don't think I'll ever stop being amused by the parochialism that allows Americans in general, and ESPN anchors who really ought to know better in particular, to refer with a straight face to their little local championships as "world" champions.

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