Life, economics, politics, psychology, sociology, racism and other isms, law, history, journalism/media…all through the lens of sport.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Popovich is right, Stern is wrong

San Antonio Spurs coach Greg Popovich looked at this stretch of their schedule and decided to rest his big four starters in a game against the Miami Heat. NBA Commissioner David Stern apparently intends to sanction the Spurs. 

This is very simple. Pop is right, Stern is wrong, and it's high time more teams or the players association itself forces the NBA to do a better job of scheduling. The brutal stretches with consecutive days of games and long road trips erodes the quality of play and exposes the players to a higher risk of injury. How could this kind of scheduling possibly be argued as good for the game, the league, the players or the fans?

It can't. So stop it.

Now is a great time to gain some real traction towards sanity.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Lions Thanksgiving tradition is quite refreshing

Like many people, I finally decided to find out why the Detroit Lions get the privilege of playing football on Thanksgiving and came to understand that it was the Lions franchise, way back in 1934, that started the tradition. It's not so much an NFL tradition - it is a Lions tradition. Simple enough.

Or is it? Some remain perplexed - how can, or better yet, why should - the Lions, one of the league's woebegone franchises (how many teams can boast an 0-16 season?) manage to keep getting these games even though they're such a bad team? Shouldn't the NFL showcase good teams? 

The answer is both yes and no - and the league has responded very well to both.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Tiger at 74 and true golf fans

Tiger reaches 74th PGA Tour win

Tiger Woods won the AT&T Congressional for his 74th PGA tour victory, passing Jack Nicklaus at 73 and now alone in second on the all-time list trailing Sam Snead's 82 wins.

The reactions of self-professed "true golf fans" are rather curious.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Los Angeles Kings just one more example of what's wrong with the NHL

When the Edmonton Oilers set the record for playoff efficiency, they had a roster full of Hall of Famers (including two of the highest career scorers of all time) and had been the best team in the league for years, with several Stanley Cups to prove it.
When the Chicago Bulls blazed through the season to a 72-10 record, they had a roster of Hall of Famers (including arguably both the greatest player and coach of all time) and had been the best team in the league for years with several NBA championships to prove it.
These Los Angeles Kings averaged an anemic 2.3 goals per game through this season (2nd last, one of only two teams that couldn't manage to reach 200 goals in an 82 game season), and could only muster sneaking into the playoffs in the last spot. 

This is not a team that should be flirting with history. Yet here they are doing exactly that.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mercy in T.O..... and I can't believe I'm writing this...

Yup, you probably thought you'd hear from me again talking about hockey, or UFC, or any which thing given they're my two primary sports passions. Trust me, there is fodder of which to chew on... the NHL playoffs, the AHL playoffs (go Marlies go!), the plethora of intriguing MMA matchups coming down the pipe... but no. I'll not mention those. Don't worry, I will talk about those and more in the coming weeks, as well as a great deal about the NHL draft (WITH corresponding analysis, live from Pittsburgh where I'll be attending said draft.)

Instead, I'm going to talk about two things I've professed immense disdain for in the past.

Funny thing though. In nature, sometimes you get two individual things that you despise, but put together they make a lot of sense and shift your thinking. I look at example like myself where I hate dijon mustard, and corned beef.... but if you put them together, it's some amazing concoction.

I look at this weeks episode of Dr. Phil with Terrell Owens as an example. I have never been able to stand either one of these people - TO as an arrogant, self-centered example of the levels of conceit and self-adoring disgust a member of the human race could muster, while looking at Dr. Phil as a smug, self-important example of what it is to shmooze your way to a position you have no place in (save for your ability to con... ahem, I mean, 'be respected by' the right people). I loathe his show, and make a point to avoid it at all costs.

This week though, I saw something different. Not from Dr. Phil - he can still benefit the species immensely by funneling a quart of gasoline and celebrating with a cigarette. However, I saw something in the eyes of Terrell Owens that I thought I'd never see.....

Regret. Humility. Loss. Contrition.

I saw a man blessed with a great many physical gifts, and yet a victim of his own (frankly) stupidity. And it has all fermented into a poison where he'll not soon get any kind of relief.

Sitting glassy eyed, TO really seemed like he understood where he'd gone wrong. Where he'd erred. Gone was the man who sat in his driveway, doing situps while his agent trumpeted the arrival of the second coming of... well... second coming of nothing, I'd not be surprised if he put himself above the ol' JC himself back then. That guy who thought he was more than the game, he WAS the game, and it followed him, not the other way around.

This is a guy who has been pushed down to the lower levels. He's been forced to learn that time waits for no one, that all glory is fleeting. It reminds of me a tattoo I have down the middle of my back... a saying with a variety of cultures claiming credit, but is generally conceded as what can make the sad man happy, and the happy man sad.

"This Too Shall Pass".

TO realize he's wasted a great deal. He's blown it. He had it all, and lost it all. Perhaps it's in line with my own beliefs, but I believe he should be granted a second chance. He'll never be a star again. Those days are gone. However, I think he can still play in this league, and maybe he'll take this second chance as a means of respecting the game that made him what he is. Maybe he can give one more good year.

As a New England Patriots fan, I actually hope they sign him. He won't start. He's no Dante Stollworth. Definitely no Wes Welker or Deion Branch. Heck, probably not even a Jabar Gaffney at this point. But he can be useful, and I actually hope the Pats take a chance on a guy who may have found the very thing that most people feel kept him from hitting his TRUE potential.....

His heart.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

MLB divisions

4.5 games separate 1st and last place in the American League East division (tightest in the majors).
5 games separate 1st and 2nd place in the American League West division.
Can we relocate the Blue Jays to the West division, where we’d currently be in 2nd place as the only other team in the division above .500?
Or perhaps to the Central, where we'd be in 1st, 2 games ahead of Cleveland? 
At least MLB has expanded the playoffs to provide an opportunity for good teams to make it. Teams with better records should make the playoffs ahead of division leaders with worse records, shouldn't they? Or should teams be rewarded for being lucky enough to play in crappy divisions?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Boston and racism

Unfortunately, my experiences render this as not surprising at all (reader discretion advised):

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

American League East - competitive, or what?

Only one team below .500, just 4 wins separate first place and last place, with four teams in a log-jam atop the division, all with 10 wins.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Why the Curse of the Bambino lives on

After a championship dearth of 86 years, the Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, and again in 2007 [edit: and again in 2013]. Curse reversed? Nope, no way - of course, I'll tell you why.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Congrats to Bubba Watson

After Lefty's huge "moving day" and Oosthuizen's albatross, it was Bubba Watson who got the job done.

But, he did not "leave Billy Payne hanging."

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Blue Jays - your MLB 2012 Spring Training Champions

The only team with better than 20 wins and an .800 win percentage.
The question is, what will it mean for regular- and post-season success?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Jays lead spring training

If only the World Series was played in March or April, the Blue Jays would win every year.

Here they are, the only team above .800, the only team above 14 wins. 

Can't we figure out how to play like this when it really matters?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lin vs LeBron: the burden of gifting, the challenge to greatness

A comparison of recent game-ending situations confirms what many recognize - LeBron's gift is a burden for him, and he's afraid to be great.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

What's my name? Metta World Peace and self-determinism

I've got the Lakers/Thunder game on and there's a stream of tweets ridiculing Metta World Peace (born Ron Artest) for his change of name. I find it all the more remarkable as I reflect in the context of Black History Month.

It was 1967. Cassius Clay had changed his name to Muhammad Ali. Leading up to one of his earliest fights after the name change, opponent Ernie Terrel continued to refer to him as "Clay," publicly disrespecting Ali's decision to change his name.

Ali spent 15 rounds beating Terrel up while yelling at him, "What's my name?!"

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Wide left

So, the Ravens were pushing for the winning TD, couldn't convert 3rd and 1, and promptly went ahead and missed the game-tying field goal with 13 seconds left in the 4th quarter. Patriots take one knee and it's over.


Twitter dropped the ball

I''ve got the AFC championship game on between the Patriots and Ravens, while editing a book manuscript, and it's been a good game thus far. I'd like to tweet some of my thoughts and play reactions but, if I may borrow from the immortal words of Howard Cosell, "Down goes Twitter."

Friday, January 13, 2012

Bosh's comments likely won't hurt anybody, least of all James

For those who might question why Chris Bosh, in a recent GQ interview, would give the ball to Dwayne Wade to be the one to take the last shot with the game on the line, the Bible will help you to understand.

Proverbs 18:23 reads "The poor useth intreaties; but the rich answereth roughly," which is an olde English way of saying "when you have no power, you care what people think and you avoid offending anyone; when you have power, you don't give a rat's butt what people think so you say what's on your mind without worrying if it hurts anyone or not."

These guys are men, they're rich, and they call it as they see it - like it or lump it.