Thursday, March 31, 2011

Does this blog still work?

Testing, testing.

Two of the sweetest words known to Spring are these: Play Ball!

AL East: Yankees

AL Central: Twins

AL West: Rangers

AL Wild Card: Red Sox

NL East: Phillies

NL Central: Brewers

NL West: Giants

NL Wild Card: Braves

World Series: Red Sox over Phillies

Monday, July 19, 2010

I'm Offended by Your Honesty

I've never been interested in anything 99% of athletes have to say. I don't care for interviews, post game press conferences or post-career commentaries. They are known for having won the genetic lottery, allowing them to run and jump better than the rest of us. Others with less impressive physiques have superior hand-eye coordination or a few screws loose.

Athlete interviews are terrible. In the rare chance that I watch/listen to one, I like to play a game that I call Guess The Answer. It's simple. After the question is posed, I try to guess what the athlete will say. The key to the game is matching a cliche to the question. In other words, you want to form the most bland answer possible.

Boring interviews are our fault.

Athlete interviews are devoid of interesting bites not because they don't know how to express themselves, didn't attend college, or know how to read (I kid). I'm sure they have plenty to say to family, friends and agents. These honest opinions aren't available to the public because society kills people for being candid.

I hate All-Star games, including "who got snubbed?" arguments, but that's a subject for another post. The only tidbit from the event that caught my attention was Joey Votto's refusal to celebrate a good play by Marlon Byrd. Byrd plays for the Cubs, and Votto is a member of the rival Reds. "I don't like the Cubs," Votto told ESPN. "And I'm not going to pat anybody with a Cubs uniform on the back." I was actually shocked that something so refreshing would be said during an otherwise bland week in the world of sports.

Should I/We/Byrd take offense to this public snub? I don't think so. As a fan of the Cubs, I wholeheartedly support this type of rivalry and honesty, and wish that the sports world could be rid of what pervades the cable news world: feigned outrage and offense.

The latest "offense" comes courtesy of Dwayne Wade, who recently converted from Hero to Villain as the result of The Decision.

"We enjoy the bull's-eye. Plus, there's going to be times when we lose 2-3 games in a row, and it seems like the world has crashed down," Wade said. "You all are going to make it seem like the World Trade is coming down again, but it's not going to be nothing but a couple basketball games."

Comparing the media coverage of a potential losing streak to the worst terrorist attack on our soil is stupid, but did I take offense? No. I just thought that Wade wanted to be superlative but chose the wrong analogy. It was short-sighted, but at least he was speaking extemporaneously. If Wade turns into Derek Jeter I'm blaming the public.

Lighten up, everybody.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Greatest Weatherman

This is how weather reports should be delivered.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

He's Not Who We Thought He Was

Do we have a right to be disappointed in LeBron's decision to take his talents to South Beach with his friends rather than the Bulls, Knicks or Cavaliers? For weeks I felt that the time was right for him to take over New York and revitalize the Mecca of basketball. I grew nostalgic for the NBA of the 90s where MSG was rocking. He would cement his claim as the generation's best player, and I was ready for the ride.

In the aftermath of "The Decision" I realize that not only does he not care to be the greatest player of his generation, he doesn't care to be the best player on his own team.

It turns out that he's not wired like Jordan or Kobe, and maybe that's why I like him. His happiness lies off the court and not on it. He would rather play with friends capable of sharing the scoring load and pressure than carry the hopes and dreams of an entire state. He'd rather receive the praise and adoration of a community with great weather and attractions than one that's ... Cleveland. Do I blame him? Not at all. Do I think he'll become the Greatest of All Time? Not at all. Does he care? Not at all.

My first reaction was disappointment, but those feelings have changed. I get it, even if I don't like it. I'd love to see if the Three Mi-Egos could win a title with a roster full of D-Leaguers. They might have to. Regardless of the remaining roster, no team in recent memory will have greater pressure to win in the playoffs than this one. I can't wait.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Welcome to the Pac 10 (12)

I would like to welcome Utah to the Pac 10. I plan on going to see the Arizona Wildcats play whenever they are in town. I hope it is frequently. I would also like to thank Utah for looking out for me in this regard, finding a way to bring my Alma Mater up to Salt Lake on a regular basis.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Brief Update

Just a few things that I've picked up from the web lately:

This blog was featured on Page 2 yesterday with some Mother's Day quotes. I liked the math quotes:

"You only get a once in a lifetime opportunity so many times."
--- Ike Taylor, Steeler's Corner, on starting an exhibition game

"I have two secret weapons--my legs, my arms, and my brain."
--- Michael Vick

"Pitching is 80% of the game, the other half is hitting and fielding."
--- Mickey Rivers

"I figured at this point, we'd be .500."
--- Jim Valvano, on NC State starting the season at 5-0 (note that this would require one game to end in a tie)

"Two grand slams in a week--that's 7 or 8 ribbies right there."
--- Bill Madlock, said to Al Oliver features the Tater Trot Tracker that tracks how quickly runners round the bases after hitting a home run. There have been recent events that have proved that baseball needs some tweaking in order to speed up the pace of the game. That's why my hat goes off to Adam Rosales, who at 15.86 seconds, is only tenths of a second behind the guys who hit inside the park home runs. Adam Rosales puts his head down and trucks around the bases at an average speed of 15.48 mph, which is faster than the top speed of a squirrel (12 mph) and is fast enough to get cited for speeding in a University of Arizona parking structure (limit: 10 mph). Guys like Alex Gonzalez (8.4 mph), David Ortiz (8.5 mph), Jose Guillen (8.65 mph), and Manny Ramirez (8.9 mph) should take a lesson from Mr. Rosales. These guys would get outrun by a chicken rounding the bases, and we all know that a chicken's elusiveness isn't in its speed, it's in its maneuverability. Let's all try to be more like Adam Rosales in our base running ok? Congrats on the HR.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Super Bowl XLIV

I have spent the last 25 hours letting the Super Bowl marinate in order to fully understand how I feel about it. I went into the Super Bowl with the nagging feeling that the football season would come to a close in an undesirable way no matter the outcome. I knew that if the Colts won it would cement Peyton Manning as the greatest Quarterback ever but it would send the Saints home to a city that has rallied around the team. A city that over the last decade, has gone through enough to deserve this win. I also knew that if the Saints won, Peyton Manning would slide into the gray area between good Quarterbacks and great Quarterbacks. Anyone could easily argue that Tom Brady, prior to this season, is the greatest Quarterback ever. That doesn't sit well with me.

As the game progressed I found myself beginning to root for the Saints more and more. I explained to my 6-year old son why the city of New Orleans would benefit from a Saints victory. I told him about Hurricane Katrina and Super Dome. After that he was all for the Saints. Even taking the time to write in his journal "I feel bad for the Saints."

The Saints won the game. They won because Peyton Manning messed up. I didn't want it to go down that way. Manning handled the loss with class, congratulating the Saints for their win but I couldn't help but feel sorry for him. He worked harder than anyone else for 14 weeks during the regular season, until coach Caldwell wouldn't let him do it any more. He showed us how unstoppable he was during the playoffs. Reggie Wayne got shut down in every game so Manning continued to make Dallas Clark the best Tight End ever and made two previously unknown receivers into household names. At the beginning of the season everyone was making fun of "Peter Waiter", at the end of the season everyone way saying "Watch out for Pierre Garçon." I haven't heard announcers talk about BYU this much since Steve Young was still under center for the 49ers.

I have spent the day listening to Manning haters talk about how happy they are that the Colts lost. I have listened to everyone talk about how crazy Mardi Gras is going to be, how they wish they could see the French Quarter or be on Burbon Street. This was supposed to be about a hurricane ravaged city finding purpose through the unbelievable season that their local heroes had. It wasn't supposed to be a reason for people to start acting irresponsibly a week earlier than they were already going to do. Before the Super Bowl I told my wife that this is the first year since I started caring about football that I legitimately didn't care who won the game. In retrospect, I don't think a Saints victory would have made me feel this unfulfilled. I knew that New Orleans would have been excited about a win but I also knew that a loss would not damage any levies or pumps. Sure the Saints will gain more profit from their merchandise over the coming year, but who's to say that this win won't boost the player's egos and cause them to become less concerned about the community that has stuck with them since their first game back in the Super Dome.

Sean Payton has done some remarkable things this past season, and for the past several seasons. I admire and respect him as a coach. The Tuesday Morning Quarterback, Gregg Easterbrook, pointed out that the Saints have accomplished everything this season with a compilation of players that were undrafted or released by teams that no longer wanted them. For doing so much with what everyone else thought was so little, I congratulate the Saints. But to the city of New Orleans, I ask you to take this gift that the Saints are bringing home and do something great with it. You convinced us that your city needed it, now please convince us that you didn't just need it so you would have an excuse to start your party a week early.