December 7 - December 13, 1995

Jock Bitch

B y  T o m  D a n e h y


NEWS AND NOTES from The Weekly's Sports Desk. (Well, it's not really a desk, seeing as I don't really work here. It's more like a basket that they throw the occasional news release into. If you'll pardon my ending a sentence with a preposition.

Anyway, here we go:

• I must say that I go along with the plan for a new baseball complex to be built near the junction of I-10 and I-19. In fact, as far as I can see, there is very little, if any, downside.

Tourism will get a boost. And as much as we all hate being stuck behind old Ed from Mason City, Iowa, in February rush-hour traffic, we must admit that tourism is generally good for Tucson. Besides, most of the winter visitors have the common courtesy to go back where they came from after a couple of months in the desert.

Plus, tourism generates some serious bucks. Some people hate to admit it, but Tucson does not live by Fourth Avenue Street Fairs alone.

You know I don't care about major-league baseball, pre-season or otherwise, so we won't even talk about that. However, for the 10-and-a-half months that the quasi-athletes aren't in town, those fields can be put to good use. Everything from youth soccer to high school state championships can be held there.

Reportedly, it could also be used as a concert venue. That way we won't have to drive all the way down to the Fairgrounds to see Santana when he comes through town three or four times every year.

Heck, just think if they could use the facilities to entice concert tours to swing through Tucson. If we could steal just one concert away from the culture-less snobs in Phoenix, the whole project would be worthwhile.

I'd even go see R.E.M. if they played Tucson. You could have the happy people on the left and the shiny people on the right. I'd be in the back with the normal people, goofing on all the shiny, happy people.

The City Council members need to get off their sorry white butts and get with the program here. Think about it this way, Guys and Gals: Even the County Board of Supervisors is out ahead of you on this one. If that doesn't shame you into action, you need to take a one-way dive into Janet Marcus' backyard lake.

Some of you on the Council may turn your noses up at sports, opting instead for culture. But y'all spent American money on that God-awful sculpture in front of the library, so you can't be trusted to spend another dime on culture.

Besides, there are many of us out here who think sports is culture. Or is it, sports are culture?

• The coverage of high-school sports by The Arizona Daily Star is absolutely horrible.

Let me back up a bit and say that I generally like the Star sports section. It does a decent job of covering most things and a good job of covering the UA.

But as someone who's read the Star sports section almost every day for the past 20 years, it's very obvious to me that someone, somewhere, made a conscious decision to de-emphasize high school sports. And at the same time, there has been a sharp increase in hiking and nature bullshit.

I'm assuming the two trends are related and if they are: bad, bad decision.

Let's assume that you still don't want to cover high-school sports. It obviously doesn't bother you that the Arizona Republic or even the L.A. Times do far more prep coverage than do you. And both of those places have college and pro teams to cover. All you have is the UA.

At least cut back on stuff your readers skip over. Listen carefully. There isn't one Phoenix Cardinals fan in Tucson. Not one. I dare you to try to find one. And if you do find one, he's probably some guy who got driven crazy from too much hiking, which is on your heads because you ran too many articles on that stuff.

There aren't even Phoenix Cardinals fans in Phoenix. The Cardinals exist on what I call the L.A. Kings Phenomenon. For 20 years, the Kings survived in L.A. by drawing crowds of people who were there to see their former hometown teams play. Likewise, each Cardinals crowd consists of 20,000 former New Yorkers who came to see the Giants and 10,000 people who won free tickets on the radio.

Of course, there's the alternate scenario that some bigwig back in St. Louis had a kid who got cut from his high school team, so the word went out through the chain to cut high-school coverage. It's at least as plausible as the preps-for-nature swap.


And speaking of preps, next Wednesday is the big game, Mike Bibby and Phoenix Shadow Mountain vs. Tucson Salpointe Catholic. At press time, Salpointe was 5-0, having won its games by an average of 35 points per.

The game definitely will be played at Salpointe, despite rumors to the contrary. The most prevalent one was that the game would be switched to Catalina Foothills High School's cavernous gym to handle the crowd.

Star guys: Watch the excitement that can be generated by a non-conference high school sporting event.

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December 7 - December 13, 1995

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