Sports Lent: What we all need to give up on for good!

By Sterling Pingree

This Sunday is Easter, but for some it’s the end of self-imposed restrictions. A lot of people make resolutions to give up things for Lent, most commonly things like chocolate, cursing or soda. I’ve always believed that this practice was like a trial run, a jumping off point if you will and a chance to test your metal to see if you can live without something permanently. It is with this in mind that I got to thinking about what the world of sports needs to give up for good. Certainly there is plenty of fodder and I’m going to really attack the big issues here.

What’s the deal with basketball jersey’s having sleeves now? I’d say it was unfair to the players to have to look so dorky, but have you seen what Russell Westbrook or Dwyane Wade wear TO the arena? They’re obviously above embarrassment when it comes to costuming themselves. But as a traditionalist, who is never crazy about special or alternative uniforms, I can’t for the life of me understand why someone like Lebron James would want to wear a skin tight 80’s softball uniform top in public. I remember thinking that the Cavs had no chance last year in game 7 of the Finals, not because they were on the road and playing a Warriors team that had won 73 games, but because they were wearing those ridiculous jerseys. I couldn’t imagine seeing the highlights of Cleveland’s first championship and seeing them wearing what, even in the here and now, seems like a fad we’ll look back on and laugh. If I was a Cavs fan, I would have some serious regrets about watching those highlights. It would be like if the Red Sox wore dusky pink and turquoise jerseys for the World Series in 2004. I’d be happy, but I’d cringe every time I saw the highlights.

Speaking of baseball uniforms (I told you I was going to tackle the tough topics), what in the name of Creighton Gubanich are the Arizona Diamondbacks wearing? I don’t say that to demean, the uniforms because they’re ugly (they are) but because they seem to be wearing a different pattern every day. I’ve kept track this season and so far, the D-Backs have played 10 games and have worn 15 different jerseys. (All numbers approximate but I’m as amazed as you are.) What happened to having 3 colors in your logo (at most) and having a home uniform and a road uniform? The Diamondbacks garb is always dark gray, some sort of teal is generally involved and then some other color I can’t identify that I wanna call chartreuse. This is a franchise that isn’t yet 20 years old, and has already changed their colors 47 times. Keep it simple, the Dodgers and Yankees have made due with only 2 colors for the last 150 years combined. Get it together Arizona.

Before we get to my thoughts on concussions and some of the problems with the NFL, it just occurred to me, that as I think about how awful sleeved NBA uniforms are, imagine some of the tubbier players throughout history wearing these things. Just think about Glen “Big Baby” Davis wearing one of these capped sleeved sausage casings? Or what about Oliver Miller? If Khalid El-Amin had played for the Cavs last year, I bet his chubby little arms would have turned purple from loss of blood flow.

That’s all the time we have for today, next Lent I’m gonna tackle the big issues. I know this year I kind of picked on the low hanging fruit, but sometimes you have to do that just to get those fruits out of your face and come on, they’re right there. Hanging low. Next year though, next year I’m going to speak about the NFL Commissioner, concussions, performance enhancing drugs, corked bats, inappropriate golf ball markings, mascots that don’t resemble what the team is (why do the Phoenix Suns have a gorilla? Why do the Utah Jazz have some sort of yeti? Can someone explain the Mariner Moose to me please?) Okay, so next year I’m going to tackle unaffiliated mascots and the year after I’ll tackle the big issues in sports. After all, the spirit of Lent is really just an exile test trial. Happy Easter.


Sterling Pingree (@SterlingPingree on Twitter) is a co-host on The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live at Follow us on Twitter @DriveShowMaine and “Like Us” on Facebook, Drive Show Maine.