06/15/2010 11:05 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Bard Blog: Sports Mania

"What's the news?" one character asks another in As You Like It. The answer entails "much good sport." Celia then asks, "Sport! of what color?

Nowadays, of all colors.

The Stanley Cup just ended, while the pro basketball NBA finals are continuing. The baseball season is in full swing, with pitching phenomenon Stephen Strasburg putting the "wow" in the diamond. Above all comes from below everything -- the World Cup from South Africa, drawing multi-millions spectators across the globe.

All exploding on the fields and courts makes sports fan exclaim: "I am giddy. Expectation whirls me around. The imaginary relish is so sweet that it enchants my senses!" (Troilus and Cressida).

Sports teaches many life lessons, including the need to take huge risk. "Fearless minds climb soonest unto crowns." (Richard III).

Coaches must show (and feel) great confidence, like that from Macbeth, "Screw your courage to the sticking-place, and we'll not fail."

After the Blackhawks brought the Stanley Cup to Chicago for the first time since 1961, the city turned out. During the huge victory parade, the Blackhawk players must have been thinking, "How sweet it is to wear the crown." (Henry VI, Part III)

The hype for Stephen Strasburg was over the top. No way could he meet those expectations. Yet, coming up to the majors for the first time, he exceeded them -- every bit as much as the messenger describes in Much Ado About Nothing: "He hath borne himself beyond the promise of his age, doing in the figure of a lamb, the feats of a lion. He hath indeed better bettered expectation."

Strasburg's sure comfortable in the National's uniform, clearly feeling "I would not wish any companions in the world but you!" When his buddy Drew Storen came to the mound in the 6th inning of Monday night's game, Stasburg could say to him, "For this relief, much thanks." (Hamlet).

While it's still early in the World Cup rounds, millions everywhere are glued to their television sets. They're thinking, and most importantly feeling, that the greatest sports event of them all is best described by that enthusiast in As You Like It: "Oh wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful wonderful, and yet again wonderful, and after that, out of all hooping!"