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Extra Innings: This is my final answer, Regis

Congrats, Houston Dynamo on your MLS Cup win. For those of you who don’t pay attention to American soccer, Houston took home the prize at the eleventh Major League Soccer championship, defeating the New England Revolution.

What? You don’t follow MLS? Oh. That’s okay, I guess.

How about that Chicago Rush, huh? For awhile there, I thought the Predators were going to come back in the fourth quarter. A score of 69-61 is kind of close for a championship game. But hey, Matt D’Orazio really bounced back from being the former quarterback of the Rochester Brigade to lead the Rush to capture the ArenaBowl XX.

No? No ArenaBowl? Arena football is just like regular football but indoors. C’mon. No? Well, what else is there?

Hey, that was quite a season for the Rochester Razorsharks? What’s a razorshark? Not really sure, but they play a pretty basketball game. Only four losses last season paired with a dominant post season game brought a championship home to the Flour City. Not bad, not bad at all.

Really? What do you mean you haven’t TiVo’d the ABA games? It’s just like regular basketball but without the weird new ball.

Okay, so most people probably don’t pay any attention to these leagues. American soccer, indoor football, and minor league basketball don’t really register on the sports-o-meter of the American public but for a sports junky, these are further layer of sports to learn and bring up in conversation.

Is it sad that I can tell you that before playing in Milwaukee, the Brewers were once the Seattle Pilots? Is it pathetic that I know that the Kings made a cross country trip, going from Rochester and Cincinnati (as the Royals) and then becoming the Kings in Kansas City before finally reaching Sacramento? How about the fact that I know that the Tampa Bay Storm (AFL here, people, AFL) were once the Pittsburgh Gladiators?

I know that I’m not the only like this out there. There has to be numerous people lurking in the shadows who know that the Rochester Jeffersons got kicked around in the early days of the NFL and that the New York Yankees started the twentieth century off as the Baltimore Orioles.

Seriously here, folks, this is the life of someone who has nothing better to do than study the logos of the New York Islanders — 1996 fisherman, anyone? — and knows that MLS once had a central division.

Maybe sports facts were created just for the sole purpose of allowing me to win Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? one day. I’m pretty sure that’s not why we have math. Um ... the circumference is 8.2, Regis? I don’t think so. Sports, like history, is a field full of random facts and knowledge, all ripe for the picking of those who don’t see the need in memorizing the formula to find how two triangles are congruent. That’s what my calculator is for.

I can tell you the name of every president back to Herbert Hoover and in which year they took office and I can tell you every World Series champion to before I was born. For the life of me though, I couldn’t explain to you how to factor trinomials. Honestly, I don’t even remember what a trinomial is anymore.

It’s kind of like natural selection, a survival of the fittest for the mind. I can remember history since it plays a part in everyday life and I can remember sports since it gives me something to talk about at Thanksgiving and makes my extended family like me.

One day, Millionaire will call. And on that, I will be ready. Former Mets’ manager Bobby Valentine coaches the Chiba Lotte Marines. Final answer, Regis, final answer.

Originally published in the Cardinal Courier (Volume 6-Issue 5; Nov. 15, 2006)
Bill Kuchman
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