Archive for the ‘National sports’ Category

Monday moments – featuring an apology

June 18, 2012

Wow, I’ve been really slack over here, haven’t I?

In my defense, I’ve been a bit more active on the soccer blog.

Of course, I get paid to do that one…

Anyway, I’ll try to do better…

Hats off to Webb Simpson for winning the U.S. Open. I watched a lot of the final round yesterday, and while folks like Jim Furyk and some guy named Tiger were busy imploding, Simpson just played smart and steady.

Good for him.

LeBron James and the Heat grabbed a 2-1 series lead in the NBA Finals. Oklahoma City left a lot of points at the foul line last night, so this series is far from over.

And I’ll leave you with this, a reminder that losing one’s temper can lead to embarrassing results:

So long, Shaq

June 2, 2011

OK, I admit it. I’m a huge fan of Shaquille O’Neal.

So, I’m a little bummed that he’s retiring from the NBA.

He is a man that’s larger than life, both on the basketball court and off.

Plus, he was a great interview and, for the most part, an athlete you can point to as a role model.

And he’s funny.

Some of my favorite Shaq moments are the All-Star entrance shown above, and …

The Kobe rap

The backboard destruction

and the fact that he’s a straight-up quote machine that ESPN should be trying to hire RIGHT NOW

Here’s hoping that the “Big Retiree” enjoys life after basketball.

Thanks for the memories, man.

Drama done right

April 11, 2011

I had never heard of Charl Schwartzel before this weekend.

Yet he took home the green jacket yesterday at Augusta with four birdies down the stretch to win going away.

I dare say it was the best few hours of golf I’ve ever watched, though I freely admit that my sample size is not all that large.

Wonderful stuff yesterday. Really enjoyed it.

Manny being Manny…again

Manny Ramirez retired from baseball over the weekend, in the wake of becoming baseball’s first two-time loser in its PED testing policy.

Rather than face a 100-game suspension, he slipped out the clubhouse door and off into the sunset.

Good riddance, I say, to a guy that decided long ago that – because he can hit a baseball – that the rules of decency and fair play don’t apply to him.

I hope he never sniffs the Hall of Fame. In fact, I think he should have to stay 100 miles away from Cooperstown for all eternity.

What a muppet.

Disney alert

I’m heading down to sunny Florida Saturday to take in Disney and Universal with the wife, boy and parents-in-law.

Here’s hoping for good times and a lack of sun burn…

 

The dawn of a new era?

April 5, 2011

I hope you all enjoyed last night’s snooze fest of a national championship game.

I guess, if you’re a UConn fan with enough moral flexibility to gloss over the fact that your coach is a cheater, you liked it just fine.

Cinderella stories are fine. They make for good theater.

Those teams also, quite often, get their doors blown off in title games.

There are exceptions, of course. Villanova (1985), N.C. State (1983) and Texas Western (1966) come to mind.

All credit to Brad Stevens and Butler for making back-to-back title games. It’s a remarkable achievement, and one worthy of all the praise being heaped on the coach and his program.

But they COULD NOT SCORE last night. Athlete for athlete, Butler got exposed. Connecticut played them straight up on defense and all the ball screens in the world couldn’t get the Bulldogs a decent look at the rim.

Brutal. Just brutal.

But this is the new NCAA landscape. The big teams balance the pitfalls of one-and-dones, agents, hangers-on and all the mess that comes with highly recruited athletes while the so-called smaller schools pick up guys with a chip on their shoulder, guys that hang around for four years and turn into grown men – and pretty good college basketball players.

This isn’t changing.

Of course, the pending NBA lockout – and it’s coming – will return college basketball to its top-heavy roots next season. Most of the guys who would turn pro in normal years may think twice with a work stoppage coming. That means even more McDonald’s All-Americans on teams like Carolina, Texas and Kentucky next season.

But, once the NBA gets its house in order, things will return to this reality.

Where the little guys can and do win – until they get over-matched with talent in the games that matter most.

A March full of madness

March 21, 2011

Wow.

As I sit here Monday morning, I marvel at the fantastic weekend of college basketball we just had.

My bracket is doing OK, as I have six of the Elite Eight and all four Final Four picks still alive.

And if San Diego State wins the whole thing, I’m going to look really smart.

But, let’s look back.

There were 17 games decided by six points or less, and another that went to double overtime.

Butler continues to shock the world, and their coach, Brad Stevens, has to be the hottest coaching prospect out there right now.

The next big-time school with an opening should pack up a Brinks truck and park it in his driveway.

I feel bad for Pittsburgh, ODU, Michigan and every other team that had its heart ripped out.

And even though my team was dust before 3 p.m. on Thursday, I think this may be my favorite dance ever.

Oh yeah, go Aztecs!

All BG, all the time

February 18, 2011

I like a good dunk.

I really do.

And in celebration of that fact, here’s a fun piece from Deadspin on Blake Griffin’s massive dunks this season.

Cheers!

Image is everything

January 24, 2011

Andre Agassi said it years ago, and it’s still true today.

Image is everything.

Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler stood brooding on the sidelines for much of the Bears’ 21-14 loss to Green Bay in the NFC Championship Game, leading some to question his heart.

Turns out, he has a MCL tear.

I think he’s guilty.

Not of begging out of a playoff game – one in which he was stinking up the joint.

But of not looking hurt enough.

Grab some crutches, throw a tantrum, something.

He was disappointed, and pouted very much like my eight-year-old son does when things don’t go his way.

Cutler could have been a better teammate, encouraging Caleb Hanie and acting like he cared about the outcome of the game.

But he wasn’t.

So, if you want to ride him this morning, do it for the right reasons.

You can’t rip a guy for not playing with a torn knee ligament.

Never is a long time

January 18, 2011

Never is a long time.

I’ve never been to Hawaii, climbed a mountain or enjoyed watching “Beaches.”

And Clemson has never beaten North Carolina in a basketball game in Chapel Hill.

In 54 meetings in Chapel Hill, the Tar Heels have won every single time. You would think the Globetrotters and Generals were playing, instead of a pair of ACC teams.

Granted, Carolina has more pedigree in its big toe than the Tigers’ can muster as a program, but surely the law of averages would have swing the other way just once?

I’ll watch tonight, expecting the worst and hoping for the best.

Honestly, I just hope I live long enough to see this horrid streak end.

A new low

November 16, 2010

There’s a Redskins’ flag that flies at my desk. Where and how it is displayed is based on how the team fares the week before.

When they win, it flies high and proudly.

When they lose, it gets tossed behind my computer – safely out of my sight.

After last night’s shambolic debacle, it is upside down.

Harsh? Not at all.

Look, I realize that the Washington Redskins are not a very good football team. Very good football teams do not lose in St. Louis or Detroit.

But to flat roll over and did on Monday Night Football?

It’s shameful, really.

One thing, and one thing only gives me comfort this morning.

At least I’m not a Panthers’ fan.

Banging on Boise

August 23, 2010

Boise State players celebrate for the cameras after they defeated Texas Christian University 17-10 in the Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ, January 4, 2010. UPI/Art Foxall Photo via Newscom

Part of my morning commute includes a dose of Rivals Radio, where Bill King and a laundry list of guests and callers talk college sports in general – and college football in particular.

The season is approaching, which means the shows are getting better and better.

Except, that is, for one thing.

Why is everyone hating on Boise State?

Apparently, the plucky underdogs with the blue turf were lovable when they were beating Oklahoma and TCU in BCS bowls, but slap a preseason top-5 ranking on them and the knives suddenly come out.

Here is the list of most common complaints I’ve heard over the past few weeks, and the reasons they’re absurd:

1. If they played in the SEC…

OK, let’s get this out there. The WAC sucks. It’s seven layers of awful and six of them are poo.

So, the Broncos, as the absolute class of that joke of a league, have what amounts as a free ride through most of the season.

So, a caller will say, “there’s no way Boise could win the SEC. They’d get killed.”

Through the course of a season, with this roster, yeah.

But if you put could magically place Boise State in the SEC, don’t you think their recruiting would tick up several notches? The days of the Broncos taking PAC-10  left-overs and turning them into quality players would be over. Instead, they’d get the four and five-star kids.

Imagine how good they’d be then.

2. They don’t deserve to be in the top five…

Really? Why?

In case you missed it, Boise State went 14-0 last season. Five of those wins were against bowl teams and the sixth was against TCU in the Fiesta Bowl.

From that team there are 20 starters returning.

That’s right. TWENTY.

They’re good enough.

How good? Good enough to beat Virginia Tech. Good enough to go unbeaten again, and good enough to play for the national title this season.

Are they good enough to win that game?

This should be the year we find out.