After a long hiatus, I am returning to the blogosphere with a long overdue edition of THE PER, otherwise known to the cool kids as "Point - Evidence - Relevance".
It's not an original idea, but it's pragmatic. I'll offer a point, provide the evidence and say why it matters. In some cases, there's less evidence out there, and in others, one may not initially grasp the relevance.
Instead of a normal case where I discuss one issue, I'll be discussing a few across many sports.
#1 Who cares if LeBron smoked weed in high school? You may think, "here's another LeBron apologist," but you're dead wrong. What I care about is that the guy who cannot take a loss like a man and congratulate the team that soundly defeated his team in a 7-game series. What I care about is that the guy gets away with more traveling no-calls than any other player in NBA history. What I care about is that the guy straight up lost confidence in his teammates and tried to overcompensate as a result. What I care about is that the guy and his representation concealed a potentially embarrassing posterization by a college player. So, who cares if LeBron smoked weed in high school? I'm more concerned about his cowardice and his escapability from accountability.
#2 ESPN should have reported the accusation about Ben Roethlisberger well before today. Why they did not report the allegations when everyone else seemed to is beyond me. It feeds into the growing belief that ESPN does not report stories unless they are able to take credit for it. From a customer service perspective, that's an embarrassment. My thoughts? I don't trust Ben Roethlisberger, or his mole. But seriously, it has to be frustrating to work for ESPN, have knowledge of the story, and not be able to report for whatever reason.
#3 If he doesn't play in the NFL this year ... or ever again, Brett Favre has a future on Broadway. His prior addiction to painkillers makes him an even better fit. This could be one of the more seamless transitions in history. Now that John Madden is retired, the two can finally stage their love story. This will require as much as acting as a movie in which Nicholas Cage is playing Elvis or a guy who steals cars.
#4 A very scant number of our readers care about European football, but Manchester City's (yes, City) strike force is borderline intoxicating. Robinho, Tevez, Adebayor, Santa Cruz, Bellamy ... and that's excluding Bojinov, Mwaruwari and Caicedo. All are top choice strikers for their international squads. I will laugh if and when they do not crack the top 4.
#5 Who cares if some SEC coach did not vote Tim Tebow as the top pre-season QB in the conference? Tebow will torch your team and make you pray with him after the game. Forget his awkward throwing motion, the fact that he is a lefty, and his love of Jesus. Tebow is a winner. When the chips were down last year, he was accountable and he amassed the team's stack en route to a national championship in which Florida took down all comers (or, as many as possible given the flawed postseason system). I hated typing that, but it's true.
#6 Who doesn't love the baseball trade deadline? That's all. Many eyes will be on the St. Louis - Philadelphia series. If the Cardinals play teeball against the Phillies' starting pitchers, you had better believe that they will cave and include Kyle Drabek in a package for Roy Hallday. Meanwhile, if St. Louis continues to sputter (let's hope for this because I am obligated to hate them ... and the World Series as a Cubs fan), they will up the chase for Matt Holliday and obtain some veteran arms.