SPORTS

SIDELINE PATROL: It all starts with Bird, Magic

Peter Silas Pasqua
Peter Silas Pasqua is the sports editor for the Gonzales Weekly Citizen. He can be reached at sports@weeklycitizen.com

I guess we all have Michigan State to thank.

The Spartans unlikely run to the Final Four that saw them  become the only team to defeat the highest seed possible along the way to the championship, may have uplifted a state in an economic crisis and spurred the largest crowd to ever see the title game but it did something else.

The team also put the spotlight back on Magic?Johnson, a Michigan State alum, and Larry?Bird, rightfully so on the 30th anniversary of thier first meeting in the 1979 National Championship game in Utah.

More than likely, thier presence at the game was already planned but it didn’t hurt that Magic’s Spartans were in the title game.

Sunday, while flipping through the channels, there it was in its entirety. The Michigan State - Indiana State National Championship game of 1979. The game was played before I was born and I?had never seen the most watched national championship game ever.

The rivalry started there moved onto the NBA stage and became one of the most fierce ever. I?remember watching Magic’s Los Angeles Lakers and Bird’s Boston Celtics playing for championships. You couldn’t ever take your eyes of either when they had the ball and it was awesome to see them look almost identical in their Sycamore and Spartans’ uniforms.

Many say that game spurned a revolution in college basketball turning it into the money maker it is today.

I just think it is special that Bird and Magic met in college before meeting so many times in the NBA?and there still is video to watch it.

President Barack Obama even offered commentary through the replay of the game. We all know how much a fan of basketball Obama is and the Bird - Magic rivalry is  definitely worth his recognition.

Major League Baseball’s opening day of a 162 game season  was Monday and all eyes were on New York. Actually, the Yankees and Mets played exhibition games Thursday to open their new parks.

My mom has always been a Yankees’ fan recalling listening to games on the radio before T.V.

I always felt Yankee Stadium was one of the greatest venues in the world to play a sporting event and was crushed when the last game was played there.

While watching highlights from the first game ever played in the new Yankee Stadium, I was baffled at how much it looked like the original and began to question what was the need.

Then, the price tag for the new park was rattled off and I?heard the Yankee fan say, “That is ridiculous.”

I agree. Baseball has gone overboard. It is just a game that you should be happy to play. Here is hoping they never tear down Fenway Park or Wrigley Field.