No need for sports coverage to pile on

Published 8:53 pm Tuesday, June 1, 2010

With the World Cup nearing, the NBA and NHL finals at hand, Roy Halladay, Ubaldo Jimenez, the Coca-Cola 600 and the Indy 500, it was too bad we had two full days of Memorial Day weekend sports coverage devoted to Kendry Morales — the Angel who broke his leg as he leapt onto home plate on his game-winning homer.

I didn’t check out SportsCenter Tuesday, so maybe ESPN was headed for 72 straight hours of analysis of the analysis.

“Act like you’ve been there before,” is a good rule of thumb for any athlete, especially those good enough to rise to the level of role model. It’s cliché for media, coaches and columnists to go to the “back in the day” theme.

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Some of that’s true in poor Kendry’s case. Overall though, I felt bad for the guy after seeing the third or fourth replay. The Angels did what thousands of sports teams have done in celebration.

Wait a few weeks for a sudden-death penalty kick to decide Argentina vs. Brazil.

In college hoops nowadays, when Virginia Tech beats No. 22 Clemson, it’s worthy of having every Hokie student crammed into Cassell Coliseum storming the court.

What the Angels did, though, was simple, team-oriented and more common than a court-storming. It’s still not as common as individual celebrations, dances and showboating. The Angels and Morales weren’t even showing up the other team.

While Anaheim manager Mike Scocsia was forced to say he’d be putting all his players into timeout with no recess until further notice, victorious high school and college baseball squads all around the nation in postseason tournaments this weekend were putting all 30 MLB clubs combined to shame in the enthusiasm, energy and dogpile stats. Watch the NCAA baseball tournament through the next couple weeks, especially the World Series in Omaha, for all the proof needed.

Or let’s wait for LeBron James to get baby powder in his eyes right before tip off in Game One of the NBA Finals — should James ever get back to the finals. LeBron’s magic spell is creative, funny and entertaining, so it’s easy to forget it’s also all about “look at me” and a well-designed device for where the real money is — endorsements.

There’s no real answer for what Morales and the Angels should’ve done differently. Team celebrations and enthusiasm, while overcooked plenty of times, always trump pulling a cell phone out of one’s pants.

Come to think of it, the Angels’ disastrous celebration got 20 times more airtime than Halladay’s perfect game for a telling reason. Halladay fired the 20th perfect game in league history, while Morales’ problem was a one-of-a-kind fluke; therefore the wall-to-wall coverage and the lack of a meaningful moral at the end of the story.