Jon Weisman, whose excellent Dodger Thoughts blog is part of the ESPNLosAngeles.com family, recently noted how Angelenos may be blessed to find themselves constantly entertained by Kobe Bryant's flair for the dramatic, but Mamba ain't the only sports local bringing the noise. Dodger left fielder Andre Ethier racked 13 game-winning hits in 2009, six in walk-off fashion. Even more impressively, four of those knocks left the yard.
Weisman compared the degree of athletic difficulty in canning a jumper vs. beating a pitcher for victory, plus the ensuing excitement. After heaping praise on both, he concluded "there's something more magical about the baseball walk-off hero – and something more real about the basketball walk-off hero."
Great way of putting it, but at the same time, I could just as easily see the adjectives swapped. It's hard to truly quantify what's the most "magical," "real," or just plain exciting way to secure a nail-biter win, but everyone's allowed an opinion. Thus, I'll ask the same of the Land O' Lakers faithful:
Which do you find most exciting, and why? A clutch bucket with scant seconds on the clock or an RBI to end the game?
Personally, I vote ribbie, which kind of surprises me. I like baseball, but not nearly as much as basketball. Given the choice of nine innings or four quarters, unless the baseball squads are just stellar (or my hometown Cardinals), or option b is something along the lines of Nets-Knicks, I'm considerably more likely to go roundball.
But viewed in a vacuum by itself, that isolated at-bat, a one-on-one battle between a batter and pitcher playing the game within the game, makes an eventual game-clinching knock as compelling as anything sports has to offer. As incredible as it is to watch Kobe stroke cord before the horn sounds, I find the heroics of Ethier and the like slightly more thrilling.
Both feats, however, remain equally remarkable.
Thoughts? And if you're moved most by a game-winning TD in the final seconds, a putt on the 18th hole to win a tourney, or something else from another sport entirely, feel free to offer those two cents.