Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Is Lakers-Celtics really that big a deal?

Leading up to the Finals, every hardcore NBA fan was playing the same tune; a Celtics-Lakers match up would be the best possible scenario for the league. This, for the most part, has been wholly undisputed. The points seem to be that people like the rivalry and there are enough stars to draw mass attention. I'm not so sold.

First of all, there is no rivalry. It died a long time ago. The only reason there will be more emotional involvement is due to the fact that L.A. and Boston are big markets. It might as well be Lakers-Knicks. Because what made these two teams draw sides from innocent bystanders was unquestionably race - if you were white, you rooted for the Celtics; black and you were for the Lakers. Anyone who tries to deny this is kidding themselves. Unfortunately, the "Big Three" from Boston are all black, while L.A. has a guy on their team named - gulp - Walton.

And forget about the star power. Kobe is as big a star as LeBron, whose appearance in last year's Finals didn't seem to do much for the ratings. And sorry, but your mom doesn't know who Paul Pierce or Ray Allen is. She might know who KG is, but I doubt she cares. Unless Kobe is driving in millions by himself, what is the attraction here? Is there anybody that makes the most casual of fan feel that this is a must-watch?

Two things (large markets and summer television) will probably drive the ratings up. Then again, it can't go anywhere but up after a year with the Spurs, aka, the most unwatchable team in sports. And maybe there are still lingering feelings from the old days that will draw in some. But this isn't the "dream match up" everyone is talking about. Fans don't have anything riding on this like it used to be. It isn't Magic vs Bird. So please stop telling me that these Finals are somehow more important, because between the coasts, it's not.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Evolution of Kobe Bryant

I have always been a Kobe Bryant hater. I think of him as a cocky, ball-hogging, backstabbing adulterer, a symbol of everything that's wrong with the NBA. During the offseason, it seemed as if I couldn't hate him more. He threw his teammates under the bus, demanded a trade, and pretty much threw a tantrum like a five year old kid. Like a good parent, the Lakers didn't bow down, let Kobe cry it out, and reminded him of who paid the rent (or multi-million dollar paycheck). Knowing how little time they had until little Kobe would act out, the Lakers went and got Kobe a little brother (Pau Gasol). The Lakers went on to the #1 seed in the West, Kobe got his MVP, and it's been good times ever since.

Comparing Bryant to a snotty brat might seem like I'm bashing him, but I've actually enjoyed this evolution. He was spoiled with Shaq, Phil and three rings at a very young age. It was no where but downhill for him, and we unfortunately had to bare witness to the attention-grabbing antics Kobe displayed since then. Shaq can't complain - he came out of the whole thing as the nice guy and ended up getting another ring anyways. Speaking in terms of only basketball, everyone was the better for it. Especially the world's best player.

In about half a season, Kobe has learned to be a leader and a team player. The league was buzzing with talk about the Celtics, Chris Paul and LeBron, while Bryant and the Lakers took a backseat. And this was fine by Bryant. He seemed to understand how lucky he was with the Gasol signing, and that he can't win a title by himself; something only a young player on top of the world would think anyways. He's been at the bottom, hated and accused of rape. He now realizes how hard it is to have a championship team, and how limited the time of a professional athlete is. After all, the #1 seed in the East is comprised of past their prime All-Stars desperately trying to do what he has already done three times.

I think it's safe to say that Kobe gets it now. With the kind of spotlight that shines on the stars of today, you can't really blame him for his antics. It's really telling to watch who was once the most arrogant player in the game be humbled in a matter of months. Now we can go back to watching the guy we thought he was - the one who scores 25 points in the second half against the defending champs. AKA, the best player in the league.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Playoffs dwarfed by the regular season for the NBA

Most basketball fans will agree that the 2007-08 NBA regular season was one of the best in recent memory. Watching the return of glory for both the Celtics and Lakers, Lebron giving Garnett-like effort every game, the beast that is Chris Paul, landmark trades, and of course, the seeding race in the West. It made the 82-game marathon watchable again. But then, the playoffs began.

Once again, the Suns-Spurs cage match came to soon, and ended the same way. And like the Suns, the Mavs showed that their blockbuster deal had as much substance as 'Superhero Movie'. The only drama came in the form of Atlanta taking Boston to a game 7. Which was horrid, because we all want to watch the Celtics, and nobody - NOBODY - wants to watch the Hawks for more than one series. So why has this postseason been so much more boring than the months preceding?

Mostly, because the same old thing starts to happen. Nobody is beatable every night because the good teams always step it up. You HAVE to play your A-game to beat the Lakers or Pistons. Nobody is taking any nights off. That's what has fueled college basketball for so long; the idea that any night can be an upset in the making. That's not the case in the pros, and never really has been.

The biggest difference this season, however, is the schedule. Every night you could watch teams busting their asses in the regular season. I loved getting off of work, cracking open a beer, and just enjoying a game. Now, I have to wait until the over-hyped, over-commercialized game comes on once every two days, knowing it will probably not live up to expectations. December games have no expectations, they simply are. Add in the fact that the second game doesn't end till after midnight (1:00 in the East Coast), and I'm already in bed.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Return: March Madness Style

To all the sports fans and the unemployed, sorry about the long layoff, but J Fish Sports is back. And what better time to return then during the best sporting event of the year? So let's jump right into it.

There's been a lot of talk about a majority of people going chalk or close to it in their brackets. I, for one, have three #1 seeds in my Final Four, which is something I try very hard not to do. But it's been obvious all season long that there are a handful of really good teams, and everybody else is mediocre at best. Kansas, UNC, UCLA, Memphis, Tennessee and Texas make up the elite. I would be shocked if one of these teams doesn't win the whole thing.

You might notice I didn't put Duke in there. Did you happen to see how they Steve McQueened their way out of Round One? I have never seen such a highly touted team, in such a highly touted conference, who does nothing but shoot threes for forty minutes. Seriously, ALL THEY DO IS SHOOT THREES! I have them out by the weekend. Plus, will somebody explain to me why Coach K is so great? Seems to me that he is good at recruiting perimeter perusing white kids who can shoot, and then tells them to just shoot every trip down the court. When is the whole "coaching" thing come into play?

Well, Day One was extremely uninteresting, so hopefully things will pick up. And by pick up, I mean a bunch of upsets that completely ruin by bracket and kill any chances I had for bragging rights. Cause really, isn't that what March is all about?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Clemens' testimony isn't helping

Survivor, American Idol and Big Brother have nothing on congressional hearings. Yesterday gave us four and a half of the best hours of reality television, with Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee squaring in a Washington battle royale where two men entered and only one would leave – with his dignity.

And that man was Brian McNamee. Cool, calm and to the point, the former New York City police officer/trainer/dope dealer started off the hearings with a bang. Clemens, on the other hand, seemed about as prepared as Miss South Carolina. With his lack of focus and embarrassing off topic rants, I was half expecting to see Marsha Clark sitting behind him. The guy is pleading his innocence to preserve his entire legacy, and all he could do was stammer his way through predetermined questions from people he’s already had interviews with.

The whole day started off with an omen. Apparently, Clemens’ lawyers were the ones that got this whole shindig to go down, which basically means that with the facts standing by themselves, it spelled doom for Clemens. So the former Cy Young winner came out full of anger, trying to look as innocent as possible. I doubt anyone changed their minds as that point. But it wasn’t like McNamee’s opening statement was impressive either. Just a bunch of stuff we already knew.

So we go on to learn that Andy Pettitte told investigators that the Rocket told him that he used HGH. Yeah, that’s not good. This is when Roger goes on to say that Pettitte “misremembers”, a word that he will use roughly 100,000 times throughout the day. When asked about why Pettitte and his wife would lie about his best friend taking steroids, all Clemens could come up with was that he must have mistaken that conversation with another they had talking about watching a commercial. It’s pretty much over from here. Clemens’ story is unbelievable, and there is no way in hell Andy Pettitte would lie about his closest friend taking illegal drugs.

Then came the throwaway argument: a party at Jose Canseco’s house. McNamee says Clemens was at a party which he obviously wasn’t, according to anyone who could remember it, including Canseco himself. I kept asking myself, “why does this matter?” It had nothing to do with anything. At worst, people could say McNamee is a liar, at best that he “misremembered”. But if you’re going to liar route, which is about snowball, let me remind you about Pettitte and Chuck Knoblauch, two men who threw away everything to support McNamee’s claims.

After some shady testimony from Clemens, one of the lowlights of the day reared its ugly head. And the ugliness would come in the form of Rep. Dan Burton. I would bet money that he was drunk. He laughed McNamee, repeatedly called him a liar and even said that he was disgusting. He then went on to praise the Rocket’s career, followed by basically yelling at McNamee that he didn’t believe him. Though it was despicable, as possibly career-ending for Burton, it did come off as hurting McNamee’s case. But what nobody is talking about, and what sealed the deal for me, was what fellow Indiana Rep. Mark Souder said. Souder, the co-founder and co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Drug Policy, explained that in most drug cases, offenders tend to just give you enough to leave them alone. McNamee lied at first, then came forward with a little, then a little more, then a little more. Burton calls McNamee a liar, which he is, but eventually the truth came out. It’s not that McNamee is making things up as he goes along, it’s just that he tried to protect his friends as long as he could. When talks about perjury and the government got involved, McNamee finally gave it up. If anything, his lies at the beginning show how much he can be trusted, if that makes any sense.

Look, to make a long story short, Clemens was banking on the fact that people would think McNamee is a liar, and is lying about his steroid use. But everyone not named Roger Clemens backs McNamee up, and even his lying at the beginning had a motive. Unless you are a conspiracy theorist who believes McNamee is being forced to lie, there is no way he would be making this up. Clemens on the other hand, has every reason to lie. He is the only one with anything left to lose. And the more he denies it, the deeper the consequences go.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Shaq for Shawn?

There's one thing that I always thought baseball had over the NBA and NFL, and that was trades. Usually, win a big-time trade needs to happen, MLB teams seem eager to pull the trigger. Most of this is due to no salary cap, so small market teams have no choice but to get what they can for their stars (see: Santana, Johan). But another big part of it is that GMs never want to look bad, so they refuse to make any move that could bite them in the ass later.

If there was any NBA team I thought would never make "that trade", it would have been the Phoenix Suns. This is a team who routinely gives up their first round draft pick every year to save cash. Needless to say, I was shocked to learn that the Suns are about to trade Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks for Shaquille O'Neal. So let's look at this from both sides.


There is no reason the Heat shouldn't have made this trade. They are one of the worst teams in the league, and they need a different look. Maybe pairing Marion up with Dwayne Wade can turn things around. At any rate, Shaq is old, so at least they get younger.


Here's the real reason the Suns got rid of Marion: he didn't want to be there. This team has had chemistry problems for a while, and Marion was at the center of it. Apparently, they thought they had to get rid of him to make a title run. This is both understandable and deserving of applause. Not enough teams make moves to improve their chemistry.

They only problem is that Shaq is old, and he could never run. The Suns' whole game plan is set on running up and down the floor. Something's gotta give. And why wouldn't they shop around for somebody else? Did they not think about getting Pau Gasol before the Lakers snagged him? Or was it the Gasol trade that prompted Phoenix to make a move of their own? After all, the Lakers are their biggest rival, so why not go and get Shaq?

Anyways, a lot of questions need to be answered. When Phoenix hired Steve Kerr to be their GM in the off-season, they obviously wanted to try something new. And I can understand why they would want to make a move now, since Steve Nash's back isn't going to hold up for too much longer. But was this the right trade for the Suns? Only time will tell.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Super Bowl XLII

I racked my brain trying to come up with something to say about this game. Usually, I either try to see things from another angle or simply point out the obvious if it hasn't been done. Well, the obvious here is that Eli Manning has silenced his critics, and the Giants' defense flat out dominated. And due to the nature of the Super Bowl, just about every angle, wrong or right, has been approached.

So I'm not going to dwell on the game. What I came out of Sunday more than anything is the fact that I actually enjoyed watching it, and that it finally felt like the biggest game of the most popular American sport. For the past few years, the Super Bowl has been overhyped to the point where I never really got into the football spirit. The commercials and cameos took over as the main event. At every party, at least one person would say something along the lines of, "this football game is interrupting my commercials". It was a glorified exhibition game, set on a pedestal after a bloated two-week layoff.

But not this one. No, the Patriots and Giants hated each other. Before the game, Eli smiled and tried to say something to Tom Brady, and Brady just stared at him with contempt as Eli jogged off. Everyone was rooting for somebody. Whether it was for the underdog or for history (or in my case, hatred of the '72 Dolphins), there was a reason to watch the game.

Part of this is people getting sick of "analysts" and the extended time they had to break down the matchups. I, along with most of the people I know, made a conscious effort to stay away from SportsCenter and shows like PTI. I refused to even watch the pre-game talking heads on Sunday. This kept me from getting burned out before Media Day even started.

However, more than likely is was due to the game itself. Not every year do you get to see an 18-0 team go up against a team that had so many storylines (Eli becoming a great player, Coughlin changing his ways, Strahan almost retiring, Tiki Barber's absence, etc.). No matter how much the NFL tried to shove the Super Bowl down our throats, the game itself was going to overcome all of it. It was an exception to the rule, and next year will probably feel like it has been for a while; boring.

So score one for the NFL, but it's not going to last. Unless it's Manning vs Manning, Super Bowl XLIII will probably be a letdown. It will continue to be about marketing and advertising and less about the sport. But for one year, it was as good as it ever was.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Raider of the Lost Mind

Simply put, Raiders owner Al Davis is batshit crazy. As stubborn as they come, he kind of reminds me of the old guy from the Coca-Cola commercials. For most NFL fans, he is the face of hilarity. But for Oakland fans, probably not so much.

In his latest call for attention, Davis has sent a letter of resignation to head coach Lane Kiffin. In his first year at the helm, Kiffin finished 4-12, tied for last in the AFC West with my depressing Chiefs. Apparently not having a good season after the club couldn't sign its #1 draft pick until the season started was bad enough to get canned. Kiffin was hired after Art Shell came back to the silver-and-black and was let go after his first season. And now Davis wants to sign "they-are-who-we-thought-they-were" Dennis Green. Ah, to be a rich old man.

Then the story gets better - Kiffin refuses to resign. This makes me happy in every sense. For one, this young pup of a coach is standing up to the old geezer. If he does indeed get fired, at least he sent a message to every other team from college on up that he doesn't take shit from anyone. You gotta admire that.

And secondly, I really hate the Raiders. Hey, I'm from Kansas City. I also am not pro-murdering somebody because they got a first down. That pretty much goes against everything the Raiders stand for.

I hope Al Davis lives to be 200 years old. At least I won't have to worry about them being any good. Plus, it sets up some much needed comic relief.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The "other" Manning

Exactly what is Eli Manning on? He transformed from a moderately talented quarterback who wears a Norv Turner expression in the fourth quarter to a pin-point accurate leader who flat out won the NFC championship on the road. And on that same day, Tom Brady threw three picks at home against a team coached by, well, Norv Turner. I'm sure stranger things have happened, but I don't remember it.

So here we have it, Brady vs Manning 2.0. I can't even explain how happy I am with this matchup. First off, I'm rooting for the Pats because I can't stand the '72 Dolphins. Second, if the Packers would have won, I would have to hear about Brett Favre for two weeks, which would have led to my disappearance and a possible Unabomber-esque breakdown. So even though Pats/Pack probably would have been a better game, the Giants winning might have saved my sanity. So put that in the W column.

In my opinion, this two week layoff absolutely kills New York. They couldn't be playing any better than they are now, and their hot streak is going to be on halt so "analysts" everywhere can discuss the same regurgitated five points everyday. If the Super Bowl were played next weekend, I would give the Giants a great chance to win. But in warm weather, with two weeks to prepare, I have to think Brady and Belichick are going to be way too overpowering.

But yadda-yadda-yadda, nobody knows what's going to be happen. That's why they play the game. I'm more interested, above all else, in how Eli will preform. The criticism he has received thus far into his career has all been warranted, but now he has a chance to shut everybody up and get his ring. He would've gotten there quicker than his brother did, and against New England of all teams. But you'll hear enough of that in the coming weeks. More than you'll have ever wanted to.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bob Knight: A Dying Breed

If I ever have kids, chances are Bob Knight will not be coaching basketball by the time they reach college. Unfortunately, the chances are even slimmer that there will be any coach like him. This saddens me, because if my kid ever plays college ball (and believe me, I'll try), he's exactly the kind of coach I would want my son to learn from. But if it weren't for his history of championships, Knight probably wouldn't even be coaching now.

In today's world, discipline is illegal. You can't scream at kids, you can't hit them in the back of the head, and you surely can't lock them into a choke hold. Not that I condone choke holds, something no teacher should ever do, but I also do not condone defining a career around it. And that's what coach Knight's legacy has become; physical abuse. I have no doubts that the reason he has not taken Texas Tech to the top of the Big 12 is because of this.

Students need to be coddled and protected, and parents aren't going to send their kids off to a school where they will be under the care of someone with Knight's history. Also, students with big-time talent feel that they are too good to get the kind of treatment Knight will be giving. With this combination, recruiting at Texas Tech has to be harder than the coach could have realized.

And that makes his win Wednesday night over #9 Texas A&M even that more amazing. It was the 900th time his team has came out the victor, the most all-time for men's D-1 basketball. Even though he has proven to be one of the greatest coaches ever, not even his records can overcome the stigma of being a hardass. Parents and their kids are afraid of men like Bob Knight. I couldn't think of anyone else I would want my children to look up to more, and if you have children, I would hope that you feel the same way. Because coach Knight is, above all else, a winner.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Cry Me a River

Wow. After a great weekend of playoff football, I received a big dose of crying and whining. One was expected, while another was just plain weird.

Let's start off the the weird. That would be Terrell Owens, who got choked up after defending Tony Romo. With eyes watering and mouth quivering, Owens was quick to have his boy's back, saying the loss to the Giants was because of the whole team and shouldn't be blamed on the quarterback alone. Props to him. T.O. has changed a lot in the past year, becoming a great teammate and anything but a distraction. Of course, most of what I'm hearing from people is that he's a crybaby and was just doing it for show. Then again, most people are retarded.

And then there was my least favorite sports moment of the weekend: Philip Rivers. Yep, he's moved on from taunting Jay Cutler to taunting Colts fans. What the hell is this guy's problem? Let's see, he's won two playoff games (yippee!). Actually, make that one playoff game, since it was Billy Volek who led the winning drive for the Chargers.

But hey, I like it when players have a little arrogance in them, especially quarterbacks. Only one problem; last year's game against the Patriots. Yep, that's when the Chargers called New England "classless" for dancing on their logo. So when Rivers took it upon himself to taunt fans on the road, he just did what he's done all season, act like a eight year old kid. All this team does it talk smack (or in Shawn Merriman's case, inject it). It will be fantastic next weekend when the Pats demolish them. Well, until Rivers and Tomlinson start whining and making excuses, which is their M.O. At least for one weekend, New England won't be the villains on the field.

But you stay classy, San Diego.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Playoff Storylines

With the NBA lagging, college basketball just starting, and college football now over, the time is being filled with worthless "stories" leading into Round 2 of the NFL playoffs. While some are actually important, just as many mean nothing as far as the game is concerned. Here is what matters and should be ignored going into the weekend.

Tony Romo and Tom Brady like to go outside
Definitely my least favorite trend in sports media at the moment. I don't care that Romo went to Cabo with Jessica Simpson, or that Brady was in New York with his girlfriend. The Romo thing was blown up more, since his girlfriend is more famous than he is. But when you look at it, he spent his bye week in the same manner as Brady, who has three rings. And this is bad how?

The Jaguars take a shot at the Patriots
Though taken down already, the Jags' website had an asterisk next to New England's record. During the regular season, yeah, Belichick would have used this. But with the Super Bowl in their sights, the Pats don't need extra motivation anymore. Maybe it will just be the reason they pour it on in the fourth quarter.

Antonio Gates is hurt
Trust me, it wouldn't have mattered anyways. Philip Rivers and Norv Turner, or Peyton Manning and Tony Dungy? 'Nuff said.

Terrell Owens is hurt
This one actually matters. The Cowboys need someone to get open fast with the Giants' defensive line expected to swarm quickly on Romo. If Owens isn't that guy, at least he can gain attention and make Jason Witten be it. Dallas has a good chance of losing this one if Owens can't be productive.

The Packers are young, the Seahawks are not
Brett Favre has been there, but the rest of the Packers can't say the same. Seattle, on the other hand, are two years removed from the Super Bowl with a lot of playoff experience. Not to mention Mike Holmgren might know a thing or two about Favre. Time to see if Green Bay is for real.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Carroll's situation is different

If I gave you the choice to either live in southern California or Atlanta, I'm guessing that you would choose the sunshine. Then if I told you that the California job was solid with nearly guaranteed success, and the Atlanta job was in shambles, then you would definitely take the former. Unless you're Pete Carroll, that is.

Because if you were Carroll, you would consider leaving USC to coach the Atlanta Falcons. To everyone on the outside, this seems like a horrible decision. But coaches do this all the time; leaving good jobs to take bad ones. Usually, it has to do with money. However, it's not like Carroll and others make minimum wage. They are highly compensated. So what's really the motive behind these moves?

Coaches, like everyone who is involved in sports, are competitive by nature. Usually that equates into winning, but it goes a bit further than it does with players. For example, could you see Tom Brady signing with the Dolphins just to challenge himself? The answer, of course, is no. But with coaches, this kind of thing happens all the time. As long as they are getting paid, the idea of a challenge is enough to hire anybody anywhere. Look at June Jones, who gave up a solid gig in Hawaii to coach at SMU. From an island paradise to Texas. While money obviously helps, no way Junes would have left if it weren't for the fact that he could make himself a legend.

So it's kind of hard to blame these coaches for wanting to challenge themselves. That's probably why everyone came down on Nick Saban. He didn't want a hard job (Miami), so he took an easier one (Alabama). He even took a pay cut so he wouldn't have to deal with a bad hand. Bobby Petrino, who quit on the Falcons during the season, did the exact same thing, taking a pay cut to coach at Arkansas. I would normally applaud people who took jobs they liked for more money, but in the business of competition, this seems a little weak.

I'll give Carroll the benefit of the doubt. If he is willing to put his career on the line so he can prove to the world, or at least himself, that he can be a winning NFL coach, more power to him. I have to like a coach who is never satisfied. And you can't be mad if you're a USC fan, because Carroll has done everything you could have asked for.

Monday, January 7, 2008

LSU wins, OSU chokes, and I'm ready for basketball

Hey, thanks BCS! Thanks for giving everybody the SEC/Big Ten matchup we wanted. It was such a great game, fought hard on both sides. Big time players made big time plays, and at no time was I bored or thinking about other teams. It was everything I was wanted.

Well, none of that is true. This "championship" was completely awful. That is, unless you enjoy blown coverages, missed tackles, overthrown balls, dropped touchdowns, poor blocking and worse officiating. And if you smile after every personal foul, this game was for you as well. Yep, every reason for a playoff was packed right here for the taking.

But I'm gonna be Miss Cleo for a second, and tell you what's going to happen. First off, people will say "Ohio State didn't belong". This will be the only true statement you hear.

Then, you'll hear "LSU is definitely (one of) the best teams in college football". This is untrue. Fact is, LSU played horrible in this one as well, just not as bad as their opponent. If USC, Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, West Virginia, or Virginia Tech played tonight, they would've won easily. Or at least it seemed that way. But we'll never know, because randomly picking two teams is the way to go.

Then pundits will talk about how it was the right matchup, blah blah blah, when it reality it was a mostly unwatchable game between two overhyped teams from two overhyped conferences.

But what really pisses me off? That the BCS mafia will somehow spin this in their favor. They will tell you how the voters chose a two-loss LSU team, who eventually beat the overall #1 team, and that it all worked out in the end.

Don't buy that garbage. Go back and watch the film; this game was horrible. Poorly played on both sides until one team just couldn't motor anymore. Why did I ever care?

That's right, I didn't. On to basketball, where, you know, they actually have a postseason to determine their champion.

Eli wins playoff game, voted into Hall of Fame

You know, sometimes I think the media ain't all that bad. Take Eli Manning, for example. He's been getting ripped on for years. Now, whether you believe it was warranted, or if you believe that his was cursed by members of the Saints to make his throws end up ten feet over Plaxico Burress' head, it doesn't really matter. Because now Manning #2 has won a playoff game, which means he is the second coming of Christ.

So here's a lesson if the media is being mean to you: just do well. Then, you become God-like, who can do know wrong. And this is the treatment that Eli Manning is getting today. Who knew beating a team led by Jeff Garcia was such an immaculate thing? Just remember, once the Giants get pounded, and Eli throws a back-breaking pick, you can be sure that Skip Bayless will proceed to eat his soul.

And then there is the San Diego Chargers, a team that is impossible to root for. Let's break down their key players:

Phillip Rivers: the Rex Grossman of the AFC. He taunts other quarterbacks who are better than him (which is everyone other than Grossman), and whines to referees like his opinion actually matters. It doesn't.

LaDanian Tomlinson: Ever wonder where Rivers gets his whining from? Tomlinson literally cries after games. He blames everyone other then himself for anything that goes wrong. And I would take Larry Johnson or Adrian Peterson over him any day. Why? Because they don't run out of bounds at any sign of contact.

Shawn Merriman: First, he takes steroids. Second, does he have to celebrate after every tackle? Now it's washed over to the other defenders, making this the cockiest team in the league. Oh, but when the Patriots celebrate after actually winning? The Chargers get upset. Apparently, who can only celebrate after you do something marginally impressive, which you get paid millions of dollars to do anyways.

Thanks Tampa Bay and Tennessee, for making me watch these two teams for another week. At least it's only one more.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

A tradition unlike any other

I'd like to think that the reason I was watching hockey on New Year's Day was because of an unruly hangover. This is probably just wishful thinking. Because truth be told, I have just become completely disinterested in bowl games. TCU vs Houston? Alabama vs Colorado? No thank you.

And to think, this is the reason we don't have playoffs; to secure the sanctity of the bowl tradition. Who wants to? Who wants to watch Georgia lay a smackdown on Hawaii, or USC pummel Illinois, and then have both teams' season end when everybody wants to see them play each other?

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't need to give any more reasons of why we need a playoff. Considering you, the reader, are not on a bowl committee, you probably think we need one already. Or you have a severe mental disorder. Either way, that's not what this is about.

No, this is about a young person who simply doesn't get why people cannot let this tradition go. It seems harder to convince southerners that the bowl season sucks than to convince them that civil rights is a good thing. I have a dream, and it doesn't involve either Tulsa or Bowling Green.

And how much tradition and nostalgia is there for the Meineke Car Care Bowl, really? Or my personal favorite, the San Diego County Credit Union Bowl. Or as the kids would say, the SDCCU Bowl (crazy kids). Just because things used to be good doesn't mean they are going to be again.

But, I guess that's the thing with tradition; it always outstays its welcome. I just wonder if the old guards realize how little the younger generations actually care. I mean, I was watching hockey. Hockey. I rest my case.
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