Tuesday, July 24, 2007

10 Vexing Thoughts...

It's official, folks. No, not Tim Donaghy again. Well, not yet.

It's official that we've hit the dog days of summer. Many of our loyal readers have either checked into hotels/motels on their summer vacations or mentally checked out of the majority of the sporting landscape.

I can't say I blame them. Most of the news out there is ridiculously negative, baseball is in the doldrum months, and football (whether college or professional) seems a little too far away.

The British Open (gasp! I mentioned golf) was fun for most to view on Sunday; yet, that is not nearly enough to get any sporting fan back in their traditional groove.

While I may be pinning for the times of the NFL Playoff-chase, bowl season beginning, and the in-conference schedule heating up throughout college basketball (ahhh, my favorite part of the holiday season)...I suppose there's more than enough going on in the sporting world to talk about.

Even if it's only to complain...

1) Why does it seem that David Stern is so willing to label Tim Donaghy's actions as an isolated incident, as if they were completely separate from the NBA itself? While it's true that the NBA has never seen such a scandal before (although, remember Game 6 between LA and Sac-Town a few years back), Stern has become all too adept at pushing any sort of negative press or blame away from himself and his association. In fact, most league officials and media personalities were less than surprised that something of this nature, that is an NBA official potentially fixing the outcomes, not just spreads, of games, could occur. Just as he did during the Robert Horry/Steve Nash debacle (Nash only listed as he was the victim), Stern has become as slimy and greasy as a junior Don King at pushing fault and culpability towards anyone than himself. And if you believe comparing his speeches to King's (remember, I'm not saying his similar in his actions) is ludicrous, fork over the cash to ESPN Radio Insider and listen to the 'lecture' he gave on the Dan Patrick Show following the suspensions of Amare Stoudamire and Boris Diaw.

2) Why is it that most media personalities, specifically those who host a morning show on the 4-letter network, are so quick to call for the head of Barry Bonds (as the Mitchell Investigation continues) and yet remain more than willing to wait it out for a certain dogfighting-related Falcons QB? They want Bonds burned at the stake, but we need to be responsible and wait for definitive evidence on Vick. Is it just me, or is the fact that a record may be broken nowhere near as serious as the vicious, brutal, and calculating murders of dozens of innocent animals? I'm not saying Bonds is innocent or Vick is guilty, but there's clearly a double standard here. Although, it has NOTHING TO DO WITH RACE.

3) Why is it we can't hear anything positive about the Cubs resurgence, other than the Lou Pinella threw a Hall of Fame Hissy Fit? There are so many more reasons for the Cubbies making a push in the NL Central. Some don't even have to do directly with them, in fact. Forgotten to most 'experts' is the complete inability of St. Louis to stay healthy, the fact that Milwaukee hasn't been in this situation in nearly two decades, and Houston's putrid performance near the bottom of the NL Standings. Instead of praising Lou for kicking and screaming like a four year old, talk about his ability to gel this roster, after all it is his first season with the team, and talk more about the standout play of guys other than Zambrano (including Ryan Theroit, Carlos Marmol, and Ted Lilly).

4) Seriously, could there be more Fantasy Football Magazines out there? Check out your local Barnes & Noble or Borders bookstores. I've seen Stephen Jackson and LT on more covers than Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan lately. Seriously, I have.

5) Why wasn't more press given to the entertaining bout between Bernard Hopkins and Winky Wright? Especially considering both fighters, particularly Wright, are defensive-minded and often don't come out of their shell. The two put on a solid show (much more impressive than the rather snoring fight between De La Hoya and Mayweather) and controversy (in the form of Hopkins and his questionable headbutting) should have peeople talking for weeks. Oh yeah, boxing doesn't matter anymore. Even when it's this good.

6) Looks like I may be eating crow come this October. While many doubt him as a second-half pitcher, it appears that Brad Penny [12-1, 2.42 ERA] is the clear-cut frontrunner for the NL Cy Young Award. While everyone seems to be jocking Padre Jake Peavy (who is much more media-friendly than Penny) or the aforementioned Zambrano (who, if he rallies the Cubs, may merit serious consideration in the next two months)...Penny has been the man for the National League's most consistent team. Yep, those Dodgers.

7) I think UFC 5,467 is coming up this week. It's time for ESPN, Yahoo, Fox Sports, and Sports Illustrated to calm down a bit on the impact of this sport. While it is clearly growing, there's no need to feature it on covers just yet. Especially when Chuck Lidell gets knocked out quicker than Peter McNeely (flashback anyone?).

8) How exactly is the 'tax shelter' set up for Ichiro by the Mariners legal? The Associated Press reports the contract extension Seattle Mariners OF Ichiro Suzuki signed last week will defer $25 million of the $90 million and the team will not have to fully pay him until at least 2032. The deal will pay Ichiro $12 million salary each year and will defer $5.5 million per season at 5.5 percent. The deferred money will be paid to Ichiro in annual installments, every Jan. 30, beginning the year after he retires. Because of the deferred money, Ichiro's contract will be discounted to $16.1 million. Other provisions in Ichiro's contract include a $32,000 yearly housing allowance that will rise by $1,000 each year and four first-class round trip tickets to Japan each year for his family. He will also be provided with either a new jeep or Mercedes SUV by the team, as well as a personal trainer and interpreter. Does this really sound legit to you?

9) Can someone get Charles Barkley a couple cough drops inbetween press junkets, radio spots, and television shows? Seriously, the guy loses his voice eight minutes into his time on TV. It's a shame too. Especially when we're forced to hear far too much from one of my favorite basketball players of all-time (and one of the world television personalities imaginable), Magic Johnson.

10) Any other sports fans just dreading reading the headlines in either your local or national sport's page or on your favorite online website (or blog even???)? Between Barry & roids, the NBA officiating fiasco, Mike Vick & dogfighting, countless arrests/suspensions/traffic violations, and ESPN's nauseating Who's Now segments...is there any reprieve for us in already brutal summer? I doubt it. Not until the NFL returns, at least.

Hopefully you have some comments/reactions or perhaps a few gripes (or maybe even some praising words) of your own to share. Feel free to via comments.

As for me, I'm still waiting out the announcement of my fantasy football drafts.

Now where's that magazine???

Until next time...

1 comment:

Brad Slepetz said...

Somewhat related:
http://www.theonion.com/content/news/barry_bonds_home_run_scandal