Originally created 02/11/01

Differences of opinion are natural

It's simply a matter of perspective.

Black or white. Positive or negative. Good or bad. Up or down.

Right or wrong? Never.

Sports commentary is merely an opinion, offered from a certain perspective. Good people can disagree. Should disagree. The world would be far less interesting if we all thought the same way.

We disagree with our parents regarding who should be president. We disagree with our spouses over what color the bathroom should be painted. We disagree with our golfing buddies over who is the best money player.

It's only natural we should disagree about whether a coach's decision was boneheaded or a referee's call was biased.

When I was asked to introduce myself to The Chronicle readers as the new sports columnist, the particulars of my life seem irrelevant. Does it matter that I'm from Virginia and attended U.Va. ('86)? Does the reader care that I've spent 17 years involved in sports journalism (the past six in North Carolina) and covered everything from preps to colleges to minor leagues to the NHL and NFL?

Not really. What matters is the perspective and the passion with which my commentary is delivered.

To get a glimpse at where my perspective comes from, here is my take on a few commonly debated sports topics. I hold these sporting truths to be self-evident:

That the President of the United States and the NCAA football national champion should not be decided by computers and the state of Florida;

That the ACC is the finest basketball conference ever, but it has a lot of catching up to do on the SEC when it comes to football excellence;

That golf is the last truly noble and romantic game left on Earth;

That mulligans should be taken only on the first tee, and you don't get to pick the best ball;

That the out-of-bounds penalty is the most outrageously punitive in golf and should be redefined as a lateral hazard;

That anyone who believes that walking is not a vital element in golf should climb out of their cart and try it sometime;

That Tiger Woods' 2000 season was the greatest in golf history;

That baseball was more interesting when manufacturing runs with strategy, and guile was more important than manufacturing runs with juiced balls and juicier power hitters;

That artificial turf and the designated hitter should be abolished;

That Rocky Top is the most annoying fight song in the history of sport;

That the NBA is irrelevant;

That the NHL is underappreciated;

That the XFL is joke;

That sports talk radio is inane and irresponsible;

That the Georgia state legislature did the right thing by changing the state flag;

That Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens winning the Super Bowl was a crying shame;

That NASCAR is one of the most exhilarating visceral experiences in sports ... for about five minutes;

That the Masters should reinstate its policy of inviting PGA Tour winners;

That athletes can be heroes on the field, but only a rare few are worthy of being considered heroes or role models off the field;

That people who take sports too seriously need to get over it.

That's where I'm coming from. Please feel free to disagree.

Reach Scott Michaux at (706) 823-3219.


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