In simpler times America's cup races were held every several years. They now appear to be held every several weeks. America's Cup sailing has become reminiscent of Davis Cup tennis, in which the U.S. or Australia wins in the finals and then plays Paraguay a day later in Asunci�n to start next year's version of the event.
This is all you need to know about the America's Cup as a nonsensical, waterlogged irrelevancy in our sporting life: After nearly 2� hours of sailing last Saturday in the alleged opening match of the series to select the U.S. Cup defender, ESPN's sun-drenched Jim Kelly declared, "This race never happened." He was right—America3 and Stars & Stripes were taking too long, so the race was officially "abandoned." The same thing happened to one of my columns once.
Yes, in terms of action and inaction, America's Cup racing makes cricket look like jai alai. It might help if motor boats were used. If a race starts, it really should end sometime the same month.
The America's Cup is to sport what long division is to mathematics.
The defender series, best of 13, and the challenger series, best of nine, have begun. (Don't ask.) At least hockey limits Stanley Cup series to best of seven and lets its combatants arm themselves. Wouldn't America's Cup racing be more challenging for competitors (and more inviting for viewers) if those boats were equipped with weapons? If Bill Koch and Dennis Conner could literally call the shots, then you would see some ratings!
Anyhow, many of you are most likely confounded by the America's Cup. Here's a primer:
Q. Who has the Cup now?
A. I honestly don't know.
Here's something I can tell you—these guys do spy on each other, seeking any edge in technology or design. Among the key things they're looking for are: What kind of keel does the competition have, how big is the mast on its boat, and how many cases of Evian can crew members store in their Igloo coolers?
Of course, I'm kidding; these guys would have Brooks Brothers coolers. You know, they're pretty well off—Koch (pronounced coke) and his America3 (pronounced God, is he rich or what?) are in the defender finals thanks to a $55 million investment. If that type of money had been invested in the Minnow, The Skipper and Gilligan wouldn't have had to set her down on the shore of an uncharted desert isle, believe you me.