Winning & Musing…..Volume 5.11

“I don’t know anything that builds the will to win better than competitive sports.”

–         President Richard M. Nixon

I love how “journalists” are all about The First Amendment right of free speech…until someone says something with which they disagree. It was alarming how many talking heads on ESPN and sports writers were rabidly bandying about what the punishment should be for Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison after he made some very…candid…statements in a recent magazine article. The big one that everyone seemed to be kvetching about was a “homosexual slur”. Whatever happened to “Sticks & stones may break my bones but names can never hurt me”?? I am not defending Harrison and I do think maybe someone should to pull him aside and politely tell him that he needs to keep some of his opinions to himself, but I will staunchly defend his right to express himself if he so chooses. If you don’t like what he has to say don’t read the damn article. How difficult is that??

So can we cool it now with the whole “Rory Mclroy is the new Tiger Woods” thing??

I would rather sit in a dark room & stare blankly into space than watch soccer, but I am as patriotic as anyone so it was disappointing to hear that our USA women choked in the World Cup final. Guess it’s back to the kitchen girls – just kidding ;-).

As of this writing the long national nightmare that has been the NFL lockout is almost over. Thank God.

Fellow sports fans, if you don’t get up at 6am every weekday to watch ESPN’s Mike & Mike in the Morning you are missing out. The show is a fantastic mix of entertainment & information. It’s a lot more interesting than anything else that’s on at that time of the day.

I am not sure of the status of Nascar’s current television contracts, but I hope whenever it is time to renegotiate all the races land on one network. Bouncing from Fox to TNT to ESPN throughout the season is annoying. Each outlet has its own production quirks, different announcers, and just brings a different vibe to the races they broadcast. It’s kind of disconcerting to the viewer.

NBA center Yao Ming has announced his retirement and the full court press…pun not intended…is on to make him out to be a much more important and better player than he actually was. He played 7 seasons and averaged 19 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocked shots per game. Not bad, but hardly legendary. In comparison, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar averaged 25 points, 11 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game over the course of 20 seasons with 6 championship teams, and David Robinson averaged 21 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 3 blocks per game in 14 seasons winning 2 championships in the process. And I’m not even bothering to look up stats for guys like Bill Russell, Hakeem Olajuwon, Wilt Chamberlain, and a host of other big men who I know did it better and longer than Ming. Ming’s biggest accomplishment was being a hero in his native China and opening up doors there for the NBA, which I am sure made a lot of people a lot of money. If the talking heads want to give him the credit for that I have no issue, but let’s not even attempt to put him in the conversation amongst the best of all time.

I am still not convinced that the 1st place Pittsburgh Pirates can bring home a division title or even land a wildcard spot. But even if they falter down the stretch and finish 3rd in the division 5-10 games out of the top spot it will still have been a successful season. No one expected this to happen this year. They are a year or two ahead of schedule and have given fans, at long last, something to look forward to.

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