Withering Glance: In March, we turn the page on sports

  • Article by: RICK NELSON and CLAUDE PECK
  • Updated: March 17, 2012 - 11:57 AM

Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, culture, relationships, grooming and more.


Cincinnati fans cheer late in the second half of a second-round NCAA college basketball tournament game against Texas on Friday, March 16, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. Cincinnati won 65-59.

Photo: Donn Jones, Associated Press - Ap

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CP: Trying to get your attention during March Madness is nearly impossible. It's like you've temporarily taken leave of your senses and ditched Soap Opera Digest for the sports pages.

RN: I was shocked to learn that there were 68 colleges with basketball teams. Is Normandale in there?

CP: It's clear you don't know your Bonnies from your Gaels, or your Bluejays from your Blackbirds.

RN: Nor do I want to. Is there a Final Four for men's diving? Or gymnastics? I thought I saw something about it on Logo.

CP: This basketball tourney is even bigger than the Tony Awards, mister. Some guy on the radio said that America will lose 3.75 million man-hours, and I do mean man-hours, to fans who track the brackets when they should be getting ordered around or building a Ford Focus.

RN: Approximately the same amount of productivity lost to something called Fantasy Football, which I recently learned has absolutely nothing to do with NSFW websites, Hooters waitresses or the "Casual Encounters" section of Craigslist. It's about made-up football teams, and I'm told that, as diversions go, it's riveting. Who knew?

CP: Sports is a great place to go if you want to read men writing about other men in copious detail.

RN: In other words, our GQ.

CP: Injuries are hotter than ever, now that Ricky Rubio has a torn knee ligament. I also enjoy tracking torn rotator cuffs, pulled groin muscles, bone chips and dislocated elbows.

RN: That sounds like the injury list at your mother's senior residence.

CP: The postgame quotes from players are a font of original thinking: "This was a big win for us." "This was a real important victory." "We needed this game." Compare, contrast.

RN: Can you imagine if the media followed Minnesota Orchestra musicians with the same fervor? "We rocked that Bruch Violin Concerto." "Tonight's Brahms was insane." You get the picture.

CP: I pity the guy who doesn't like sports but feels he has to read up on it to be "in the game" in break rooms across our great nation. This poor schlub would have to process an avalanche of stats each morning. The other day, I noticed that an inside page of the Sports section listed the top 74 golfers in the Puerto Rico Open, and their scores.

RN: My eyes are glazing over as you speak. Our colleagues responsible for pulling that mountain of info together on a daily basis have this typo-prone journalist's everlasting admiration.

CP: Sports agate, we call it in the biz. Otherwise known as essential bathroom reading material.

  • Email: witheringglance@startribune.com
  • Twitter: @claudepeck and @RickNelsonStrib
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