Everyone knows that drama, sex and violence are the key to success in the entertainment world. A nipple here, a catfight there and you’re on your way to becoming the biggest star since Flava Flav. No matter the genre – radio, television, books, movies and even sports – people love to see crazies dressed as Michael Jackson, or grown men wearing face paint and lawyers yelling “If the glove don’t fit, you must acquit.”
Needless to say, drama is easier to find than a girl in UGG Boots and a mini skirt in I.V. Sure, you could flip on any network any weekday between noon and 3 p.m. and find all the sex, violence, drugs and alcohol you could need for a day. But who wants to get up that early?
An easier and more productive use of your time would be to look at any sports network or its website. They are on all day and find new fights, arrests and controversy approximately every 30 minutes. A quick check of the ESPN.com headlines on any given night can give you better drama than “One Life to Live,” “Days of Our Lives” and “Passions” combined. A brief recap of the latest headlines: controversy – “Steelers’ Cowher Backs Refs,” arrest – “Seahawks’ Locklear Charged,” even carnage “#11 Indiana Slays #5 Illinois.”
But who needs the same ol’ U.S. sports news? For the real juicy stuff, look no further than international sporting competition. Three great international events are happening in the next few months and are stirring up controversy faster than you can say drunken skiing.
That’s right, just weeks from now the 2006 Winter Olympics get underway in Torino, Italy, then in March the first-ever World Baseball Classic will pit 16 international teams against each other for the first “real” world baseball championship. Concluding the year in worldwide sports is the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Admittedly, I had never heard of Bode Miller until two weeks ago when he accidentally let it slip that it is pretty difficult to ski while wasted. Unfortunately for Miller, he let it slip on “60 Minutes” to the over 12 million households watching. Now, if you’re thinking the same thing as me, no, Bode didn’t go to UCSB, but he did get to apologize last week at the urging of fans, sponsors and the U.S. Ski Team. But man, did it make for some excellent controversy to surround the upcoming games, which might attract some new viewers hoping to see Miller puke on the competition at the top of the hill.
As far as the World Baseball Classic is concerned, what could get better than a sporting event where Fidel Castro is involved? Of course, if the Feds have anything to do with it, Cuba won’t play, and neither will Puerto Rico if Cuba doesn’t play and therefore only Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and Japan will be left to kick the United States’ ass.
If that saga doesn’t sound like some kids on the playground choosing teams, you must have grown up in the library. But don’t worry, the second application to the Dept. of the Treasury – only after Cuba donated money to the Hurricane Katrina disaster relief efforts – is still pending.
Last but not least is the World Cup. Despite the fact that most U.S. citizens couldn’t tell a soccer ball from a zebra, the World Cup is still going to happen. Really, this has to be where the best drama lies in all of sports. Any sporting event that features the “Group of Death” has to be your best bet for carnage, right?
In 1994, Colombian national team member Andres Escobar was shot to death upon his return home after scoring an own goal while playing against the United States. That would be like a person shooting Bill Buckner upon his return to Boston after the greatest nutmeg of all time. Clearly, with this sort of devotion, 32 international teams and their egos, excitement and drama will be bountiful.
If nothing else, this year in international sporting drama will be better than the mundane drama on TNT and available almost 24 hours a day, just how we Gauchos like it.
Daily Nexus sports editor Kelly Hayes swears she looked up those soap names in the TV Guide.