As I listen to NFL type people tell us that is why is crucial to time a player run in a straight line for 40 yards in basically his underwear, it got me to think about some of the events, people and “things” about sports that really do not matter.
Here are a list of a couple events that are not needed in sports – in no paticular order.
1. NFL Combine -maybe, just maybe, the least reliable way to evaluate talent (the NFL is far ahead of every other major sport in this category). It is of course available for your viewing pleasure on the NFL Network.
2. NFL Preseason – Who wants to play regular price for tickets when the starters don’t even play the game and don’t get paid the “salary”. Check into the last part.
3. NBA Regular Season Before the All-Star game. The games don’t matter until halfway through the fourth quarter. Unless it is a great match-up and a team needs to make “a statement”.
4. The Skills Contest during NBA All-Star weekend – It would be more entertaining if they pulled people from the crowd.
5. The fact that the MLB All-Star game determines who gets homefield advantage for the World Series. Then why play the rest of the season??
6. About 73% percent of non-game programming on ESPN.
7. A Salary Cap in the NFL – ITS CALLED A SIGNING BONUS.
8. Fines that are anything less than $250,000. People would listen a little more.
9. Al Davis.
10. Billy Packer – Kind of a creep.
11. The One Year Rule in NCAA Basketball – There has to be a better solution.
12. Different sized and shaped hockey arenas in college hockey.
13. The New York Knicks outside of Nate Robinson and David Lee.
14. Minnesota Vikings quarterbacks – All of you are incapable, just give the ball to Adrian Peterson please and either block someone or GET OUT OF THE WAY!
15. New England Patriots quarterbacks – No matter who it is , they win.
16. Player contracts in soccer- Recently, contacts have become meaningless in almost in every sport, but soccer is horrible – i.e. David Beckham.
17. John Madden talking.
18. Bracketlogy before March – some buddy needs something more productive to do.
19. ESPN pretending the know and care about soccer outside of this country or any soccer player not named David Beckham or Landon Donavon. And why do they always say their full names?
20. Bobby Knight talking – they call him Bob now that he is at ESPN – it’s like Pacman changing to Adam, no one forgets.
21. Club covers - unless they are funny.
22. The NHL in the south.
23. Fantasy Baseball – too much work.
24. Time “Limits” durning the actual draft process. If you can’t make a deal and or figure out who you are going to pick.
25. How diffrerent people yell the same damn thing every time Tiger Woods tees off - Get in the hole“
26. This blog.
Well folks, here I am. Back with not much more to say :). I am sorry that I have been gone for so long, but certain things in my life needed to be my priority.
So here is a little post to get me going again.
Things We Don’t Want To Hear Anymore About:
1. A-Rod and steroids – I am tired of this crap. I understand that is “tarnishes the game” but does anyone other than hall of fame voters really care? And what about the other 103?
2. Michael Phelps – If the guy wants to take a hit in the off season, let me. I do love the new play of “i am not sure I can commit to 2012″. Nice move – check.
3. Brett Favre - I feel like we have done this before. PS – we don’t want him in Gold and Purple. Well, maybe.
4. Manny – this guy is as stupid as his agent.
5. The Dallas Cowboys
6. T.O. – I am over you.
7. David Beckham- the LA honeymoon is over. I think Beckham has years left, but not in LA.
8. Jose Canseco - see T.O. – expect for you, it happened 10 years ago.
Thing We Need To Hear Anymore About:
Indiana basketballis struggling. After all the NCAA violations and new coach and players getting kicked off the team. The still sell-out every game! I am not a Bobby Knight fan, I think he is over-valued and over hyped. But I have long admired Tom Creen and I was hoping we would take the Minnesota job – that was before I heard about Tubby. Creen does things the right way and even though this will be difficult right now, look out, they are going to be tough next season.
It shows the class of the Indaia faithful as they show up every game, expecting to lose, hoping for a close game, but knowing that this is a bump in the road.
Finally some good news out of the Florida State Seminole football program. Safety Myron Rolle is putting the NFL on hold and hearding to Oxford work on his master in medical anthropology as a Rhode Scholar. “How do you like them apples?”
Rolle is projected to be a 2ndor3rd round pick this season. And he realizes that waiting until next years draft would more than likely drop his status. But Rolle is unfazed about his decision to head back to the classroom.
Here is a quote from the espn.com article;
“I want to be a neurosurgeon,” Rolle told ESPN’s Joe Schad in November. “And I want to help impoverished nations build up their vaccination programs. I think in many poor countries, vaccination programs and mental health programs are wrongly pushed aside.”
The last couple of evenings Sportcenter has featured a new segment called “Knight Watch”. Former coach Bobby Knight “breaks down” some of the best in college basketball. He took a look at Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin and Davidson’s Steph Curry. Tonight will be the Duke Blue Devils after their game against Georgia Tech.
I watched the bits on Griffin and Curry, and this segment is crap. Plan and simple. I understand trying to use Coach Knight more and showcase his “expertise”. But it is unreal.
Knight highlighted some interesting film clips, showed Griffin’s athleticism and then made the “expert” analysis that the Sooner stud is “the best sophomore in the country”.
Are you kidding me?
The next evening, Knight declares Curry the best passer in the nation. WHAT? Now, I will say Curry is a better passer than many give me credit, but that is what the legendary coach comes up with.
Griffin is the most physically dominate player in the country right now, period. Regardless of class.
Curry is an all-around great player and is second in many POTY races. But I am not sure I would call him the best passer in the country.
I have not seen the Duke segment, but I suppose tonight Knight will call Duke’s offense “good” and their defense “defensive”. And that the Duke away uniforms are intimidating. Or some random crap.
I have long thought Knight was passed his prime and is not relevant in college basketball and ESPN has unintentionally exposed that truth.
On January 10th the Duke Blue Devils beat the Florida State Seminoles 66-58. Nothing too exciting there.
What was exciting? Gerald Henderson scored a career high 25 points, grabbed five rebounds and had three steals. My hope is that this is the start of something beautiful. My fear is that this was a fluke.
Henderson has bever been a great shooter, but he was 9-for-14 from the floor, 3-for-4 from distance and 4-for-6 from the foul line.
Keep it going Gerald. UNC and WF are coming soon.
The Golden Gophers
The Minnesota Golden Gophers are ranked 17th in the country and are in a tied for 2nd in the Big-Ten. They have beat Louisville, Ohio State andgave a boost to the Big-Ten in this years challenge with the ACC.
Tubby Smith has turned this program around faster than anyone – including myself – thought possible.
The Gophers are balanced on offense and in your face on defense. A good deal of the sucess has to be attributed to the progression of point guard Al Nolen. The 6’1″ sophomore is steady with the ball in is hands and harasses the ball defense. His stats are a microcosm of what make this team go.
8 pionts, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 steals per game.
According to Bigtennetwork.com, The Golden Gophers hold their opponents to 59 points a game, 38 percent shooting from the floor and 33 percent from distance. The Gophers score 72 points a game, shoot 47 percent from the floor and 37 percent from distance.
The Gophers also grab the 2nd most offensive rebounds in the conference with 14.8 a game and are third in total rebounds with 40.5.
The Gophers have a tough match-up at Wisconsin tomorrow evening (1/15).
Let me start off by saying, this is not a Bucket List. At least not just yet and hopefully not for another 40-50 years. So please stop crying and stop writing long-winded eulogies that praise me so much it makes everyone else feel awkward. But feel free to continue writing that check to help put my children through college, even though they are only two and 5 months from being born – every little bit helps.
OK, now back to the point of this article.
This is merely a list of events that I would love to experince and that would rate highly using the “Goose Bump Factor”.
For those uninformed; GBF, or “Goose Bump Factor”, is used by individuals to gage how incredible – or “freakin’ awesome” - an event, a play or a moment truly is. The formula was derived from the sensation that occurs at the single moment when statements such as; ”That was sick!” or ”Did you see that?” or “You gotta be kidding me!” can be heard. When a moment is so breath-taking, so “I can’t believe what I just saw”, that the individual’s body is over come with the “chills” – commonly known as Goose Bumps.
Now for some, the GBF would be greatly enhanced by witnessing a team, or players, which they have followed their entire life. The Chicago Cubs winning the World Series means more to folks – yes, I just used the word folks – in the Windy City then to the Red Soxs nation. Even though they did have a close relationship prior to 2004 through BCA – Baseball Curses Anonymous.
Yet, some events are so big, so spectacular that it does not matter if your team is involved. You just have to be there.
So, with no further ado and in a very particular order. Here are my Top-10 Events based on the GBF.
1. Duke vs. North Carolina at Carmon Indoor Stadium – As a Duke fan, and a college basketball follower, there is no other situation that breeds more adrenaline and excitement than when the Tarheels come to Durham.
2. FIFA World Cup Final - There is little qualifying I need to do here. I have watched some many matches on TV, that just the idea of being there gets my blood pumping. Someone needs to scream GOAL!
3. Final Four - Long have I wanted to go. The closest I came was in 2001 when Duke beat Arizona to win their third Championship in Minneapolis. Maryland, which won the following year, and Michigan State, which won the previous year, rounded off the Final Four. Alas, I couldn’t get the money together – poor college kid.
4. The First Weekend of the NCAA Tourney – Most people barely know the names on the front and definitely don’t now know that names on the back of the jerseys of the teams playing Duke, UConn or UNC. But every year something amazing happens and we meet someone new. Plain and simple.
5. Manchester United Vs. Arsenal at the Emirates – I wanted to list Arsenal beating Chelsea, but there is no guarantee – and I don’t need to see John Terry’s mug the whole game. Plus with this match-up you get to see Ronaldo sent to the ground without being touched.
6. NBA Finals – About 2-3 years ago The NBA Finals would have been number 2-4. But because of my frustration with the T’Wolves and my awreness of soccer, it has fallen to sixth. That being said, I would like to see the Celtics and Lakers rematch in June.
7. The European Championships- The Euros, the second biggest soccer tournament in the world. Powerhouses like this year winner Spain, Italy, Germany and France – hopefully England soon – you get to see the best, multiple times.
8. The Olympics - Summer or Winter – probably summer – but either way you witness athletes competing after training for four years. Everything is more significant.
9. World Series - The Twins played in one of – if not THE – greatest World Series of all time in 1991. I know the Twins are a long ways away from getting back there, but the series gets shown on ESPN classic a lot. Baseball is a beautiful combination smells, sounds, Kevin Costner starring in Field of Dreams, that takes us back to a simpler time – about 9-10 months ago. Maybe it is just the pace of the game and the relief that the 162 game season is finally come to an end.
10. Wimbledon – I used to watch the grand-daddy of all tennis tournament with my mother when I was younger. In the summer we would get up, grab breakfast and tune in. I remember watching Boris Becker dive on the court, the odd but shiny trophies, and I remember the child labor of the ball boys and girls. I remember all the white clothing and thinking that was not a good choice because they will get dirty. Ultimately, I remember the passion.
UEFA Champions League Final
The Super Bowl
Michigan and Ohio State Football
So I have broken them into categories of how strongly I do or do not feel about them. After months of deep soul searching, weeks of research and film watching, I have come with a list of people (and teams) who will never take the time to come and find me.
They are too busy.
I watch because even though I hate them, they are so damn good.
Christian Rolando, Manchester United – Everything about Rolando is pretty. From his incredible foot-work, to his well tanned skin and nicely groomed eye brows and hair, the man is too good. But what drives your average soccer fan nuts his is selfish attitude and his constant diving – dive against Chelsea (30 seconds in). His diving ability could give him a chance at a gold in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Which is convenient since he plays in Manchester. He does however receive some of the hardest tackles I have seen, almost a pay-back sense. But he is so good. Last season was incredible. When he is “on”, there is no one like him – just watch. He scored 42 goals in all competitions last season and many were jaw-droppers.
Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers – I love Kobe’s game, but I am just not a fan. Have you ever seen a man lick his lips more when they talk than Kobe? In this interview, the clip is 3:06, the actual interview is much less, Kobe licks his lips at least 10 times! Someone has an issue!! Get a hanky – yes I said hanky – or a box of Kleenex. Like Rolando, when Kobe is in the zone, and he wants to take a game over, there is very little you can do to stop him. But he came to the league with a huge chip on the shoulder and get not get it knock off until; he sent Shaq to Miami, Phil quit, and then the rape charge (which was dropped). The arrogance that he once hid behind has almost left, but on the court the self promoting is ridiculous and needs to stop. There is no questioning the talent and skill, and that is why I watch.
Tom Brady, New England Patriots – This 6th round gem found by the Patriots, has lead his team to the title of “Dynasty”. At every chance, the NFL has made the face of the league. He dates models and his recent injury had more media coverage than a REAL natural disaster. He can be very arrogant in interviews and his hair gets way too much press. Yet, he is so damn good. While not possessing the athletic skills of many QB’s that have gone before him, he has been the cornerstone for New England and has truly succeeded in their system. Now with an abundance of talent around him, it is even a better watch (when he is healthy). I think I hate him, because I would like to be him – don’t tell my wife – even if he is injured (he gets pampered by her – rough).
University of North Carolina Men’s Basketball Team – as a fan of the Duke Blue Devils, it is a obligation that you dislike UNC. But they are too damn good. They have as many National Championships as Duke, three, and their players typically become better NBA players. That said, Tyler Hansbrough will only be a better version of Mark Madsen in the league – Madsen is more famous for his dancing than anything he has done on the court. Your school colors are baby blue and white and WHAT THE HELL IS A TAR HEEL! I have a lot of respect for Roy Williams, he is a classy guy, even if he said s**t on live TV when asked about moving to UNC right after Kansas lost in the championship game (I am glad he said it).
I watch to see how well they play and then the crazy that follows.
Terrell Owen, Dallas Cowboys – Where to start? He will end his career with numbers that put in him an elite group of receivers and probably in the NFL Hall of Fame. But his outbursts could land him in group therapy. Owens is breathe taking and consistent on the field as he is inconsistent off the field. His out bursts range from an over-emotional, tear-filled rants in defense of his QB, to holding a work-out in his drive way for the media. He has also accused former teammates of being gay and quitters.
Randy Moss, New England Patriots – Having lived in Minnesota and North Dakota my whole life, I have been very close to the career of Moss. There has never been a receiver in the NFL like Moss. With his combination of size, speed and jumping ability he sets himself apart from the rest of the pack. And with that, early on in his stint with the Vikings he made most of his noise on the field. He was a great interview; honest, with a comforting southern accent, and a willingness to put himself out there. Then in 1996 he tested positive for marijuana and in 2002 came a certain incident with a traffic cop. There have also been on the fields issues; TD celebration in Green Bay and making contact with an official back 2000. Plus the obvious displays of taking snaps off and complaining of not get enough touches. His antics have declined in recent years, like TO, it seems that “winning” is the best medicine. Moss’ greatest feat as a football player – get his enormous afro in his helmet week after week. Do you think the Vikings had to get a bigger helmet?
Manny Ramirez, Los Angeles Dodgers – No player in sports has a phrase that describes his antics, except Ramirez; it’s just “Manny being Manny”. While he is a Hall of Fame hitter, he is a hall of fame defensive disaster. I cannot remember a player in recent history that was such a “double-edged sword” as Ramirez. His focus and dedication had been a big issue in his last months with Boston. Yet, he is one of only 24 players to hit 500 homeruns and the Red Soxs could not have won either of their Championships without him. But apparently the Manny “excuse” was wearing thin and was just a little too cliché’.
John Madden – John Madden has been a house-hold name for years. Lately, it has been for the massive success of the EA Sports Madden Football video game. He won a Championship as an NFL coach with Raiders in 1976 and has been in the broadcaster booth every since 1979. His commentary in the booth at times is ridicules and irrelevant, and his infatuations with Brett Favre and the “tele- strator” are infamous and creepy. But he is extremely popular. Recently, Frank Caliendo has made a living with his impression of Madden (and many others) on Fox and Direct TV. Does Madden get commission on that?
I watch to see the bad, not the good.
Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees – The most expensive player in MLB history has not won a World Series. He has the talent and time to break Barry Bonds homerun record and he is a solid defensive player (and a better shortstop than Jeter). But in New York he has become something of a scape goat. A-Rod, at times, IS the best player in the game, worthy of his lofty salary. Lately, when the club has needed him in the playoffs, he is unable to get clutch hit. This season he was on Sportscenter more for his alleged relationship with Madonna then anything baseball related. Madonna – really?
The Raiders – There are really no words. It is a horrible organization. Their fans are way more interesting and entertaining than the team and they know more about football than anyone in the front office!
Anna Kournikova, Professional Tennis – the bad for her is that she has not won a single tournament. Another bad for her, any kind of relationship with Enrique Iglesias – he is horrible. But again, I don’t watch to see her win. I just watch – for this.
I just don’t like them, so I don’t watch them.
Carmelo Anthony, Denver Nuggets – He thanked himself in his 2003 ESPY acceptance speech. REALLY! Can’t make that up.
The other Yankees and anyone with the last name Steinbrenner.
Tim Duncan and Bruce Bowen, San Antonio Spurs – the whiner and the mugger.
Serena Williams, Professional Tennis – I have no reason, she just annoys me.
John Terry and Joe Cole, Chelsea and English National Team – For some unknown reason, I want to punch them in the face – and then run away very quickly – Terry scares me.
Curt Schilling, Boston Red Soxs – SHHHHH – sometimes it’s OK not to talk.
Bill Belichick, New England Patriots – Wear something other than a firggin sweatshirt! YOU MAKE ENOUGH MONEY!