Who to Boo: The Week in Sports

The way we figure it, there are exactly two reasons to follow sports.

1. The Big Game. You might have skipped the other 162, but who’s counting? When it’s win or go home time, dust off that oversized foam finger and bust out the cooler. It’s amazing how quickly you can find yourself caring about a city you’ve never even seen when there are two outs in the bottom of the ninth and you’ve been drinking High Life since noon.

2. The Soap Opera. You don’t have to read the box scores to stay on top of each season’s major story lines. The world of sports is so rife with scandal, corruption, and animosity— not to mention Cinderellas, Scrooges, and Big Bad Wolves — that you can easily have an opinion without even caring who wins.

So, with the above motivations in mind, we bring you Who to Boo: a weekly rundown of the best plots in sports.

A-Rod is under the knife. Kicking off spring training with a whimper, Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez announced an unexpected round of hip surgery that will keep him sidelined for at least six weeks. Here’s hoping that the admitted juicer keeps the ‘roids out of his physio routine. (New York Daily News)

Charles Barkley goes to jail. Sir Charles traded in his four-button suits for a wardrobe selected by the state of Arizona, after receiving a three-day sentence stemming from a drunk-driving conviction. The Round Mound of Rebound will do time under the watchful eye of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, for whom Barkley penned a book blurb in 1997. (CNN)

World Baseball Classic begins. A pleasant reminder that the “World” isn’t just 50 states + Canada, this year’s WBC is saddled with the additional task of keeping international baseball alive after the sport’s ignominious expulsion from the 2012 Olympics. So far, so good: 2008 Olympic champs South Korea beat defending WBC winners Japan to take first place in the Asian pool, while the Netherlands and Australia both tallied exciting upsets. (ESPN)

Bills take a chance on T.O. The Buffalo Bills signed the NFL’s biggest diva, Terrell Owens, to a one-year contract. Rampant badmouthing, whining, flamboyant endzone celebrations, temper tantrums, and fame whoring aside, T.O. usually rips it up during his first year with a new team. Good thing that’s all the Bills bought. (Sports Illustrated)