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

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?