This began as a comment to Tillerman's recent post about the America's Cup, but, as usual with me, started getting too long for the comments page.
It's still not too late for someone to save the America's Cup. Lawyers for both sides still have another twelve hours to file briefs.
It's rumored the New York Appellate Courts are holding a special window open until midnight Sunday for the filing of papers by procrastinating attorneys.
But if counsel for both Bertarelli and Ellison screw up and blow the deadline, they'll be faced with the perplexing dilemma of having sailors decide the cup's outcome. This is a denouement almost no one was prepared for.
OK, sorry, the past few years may have made me a bit cynical about all of this.
Actually, I'm not as upset as a lot of Sailing Authorities (capital 'S' and 'A') and sail bloggers seem to be. It's been a very long time since I've felt the America's Cup was in the same league as Mom, Apple Pie, and the World Series.
You see, long before I knew anything about sailing, I began to suspect something was fishy with the America's Cup. Howuzit we managed to win at this for 260 years in a row, or whatever it was? Not even the Yankees win that often.
As a kid, I was told it was because Americans are just smarter and work harder than English people. But then, I started reading up on the Cup's history and learned those wiseguys at the New York Yacht Club had been monkeying with the rules to tip the scales in their favor. For 260 years.
Can you imagine? Rich guys were using their money and influence and legal shenanigans to make sure things worked out their way. Wait a minute, was that why they call it The America's Cup?
Well, at least all of their fancy footwork and millions of dollars insured that we got to watch the fastest boats in the world compete. If you don't count Hobie Cats.
Apparently, I haven't been the only one who's noticed these things and started connecting the dots. OK, it's been many years since the NYYC controlled the show, but why are we getting bent out of shape when the current players are playing the same games on a larger scale? Like any farce, doesn't this just show how absurd the game has been all along?
If those two waterborne spaceships do get to duke it out this week, I will be glued to my screen like most other sailing junkies and drooling along with everyone else. I'll almost expect to hear announcers promoting the spectacle like they do drag races, monster truck shows, and the Wonky Wrestling Extravaganza (or whatever WWE stands for):
MONDAY! MONDAY! MONDAY!
THE DEMENTIA IN VALENCIA!
But do I grieve for the passing of The America's Cup As We Knew It?
If we want to watch truly fast boats racing, crewed by the best teams and smartest skippers, and in much more challenging conditions than recent AC venues have offered, there are now plenty of opportunities for that.
Let the fat cats build their spaceships and play, as Tillerman has put it, 'my thingie is longer than your thingie', or my lawyer is smarter than your lawyer.
But if we're going to put a segment of our sport on a pedestal and bow down before it, why not let it be one where sailors have worked their butts off to excel over all others on a level playing field?
That would be a cup worthy of having 'America' in its name.