Winning & Musing…..Volume 7.13

And we’re back!! After a brief summer “vacation” (during which I have traveled absolutely nowhere) the urge to write is back. There are a lot of things on the docket, but I’ll get back into the swing of things with some thoughts on sports that I have been pondering. In today’s exciting episode I begrudgingly say nice things about people I usually don’t say nice things about, put a bow on two major sports seasons, and pontificate about whatever else pops into my scattered brain. Join me…you know you want to.

 

 

 

Contrary to the mantra that ESPN likes to perpetuate I have not nor will I ever forget Lebron LeBron Heat 6James’ “Decision” debacle. He will always reside in my own personal pantheon of sports figures I love to hate, alongside guys like Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Tom Brady, Jeff Gordon, anyone associated with the New York Yankees, and pretty much the entire SEC. James sold out his own hometown in just about the worst way possible, all in the name of riches in the form of NBA titles. He’s got two of them now, but I still don’t know how he sleeps at night. Yeah yeah yeah…probably quite comfortably, possibly rolling around in a bed full of cash.

 

tebowpatsillusI sincerely don’t have any problem with the New England Patriots signing Tim Tebow. Neither party has anything to lose, and if there is any evil genius in the universe who can figure out a way to successfully utilize Tebow’s unique skill set in the NFL it’s Bill Belichick. However, I would be shocked if the role that Tebow fills is that of primary backup quarterback.

 

Kudos to the Boston Celtics for hiring the much heralded Brad Stevens as  celticstheir next head coach. There is a tremendous possibility that Stevens will fail spectacularly and end up back in college within a few years, but even then he’d likely end up at a big time school like Indiana, Duke (Coach K is 66 years old), or some other program much higher on the food chain than Butler. However, I think it is just as possible that Stevens will be a solid NBA head coach that leads the Celtics back to the top of the ladder someday. I happen to believe that they ended up with the better end of the bargain in the trade that sent Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, & Jason Terry (all 35 years of age or older) to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for three 1st round draft picks in the next five years. The Nets’ wacky Russian owner obviously wants to win right now, and that plan might work. But in 2 or 3 years it’ll be the Celtics who’ll be sitting pretty and building another great team ready to compete for championships for another decade. Will Brad Stevens be along for the ride when that happens?? I think he just might.

 

hockey_stick_and_a_puckCongratulations to the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks. I actually watched a bit of the NHL playoffs and find myself not being as ambivalent toward hockey as I was not all that long ago. Maybe they’ll actually succeed in making me a fan…someday.

 

I actually watched some of the matches at Wimbledon too. Hockey Head-Scratcherand tennis?? What is happening to me?!?!??

 

My Pittsburgh Pirates will either be tied for first place or one game behind the St. Louis Cardinals at the All Star break, yet I am finding it difficult to really believe. After two decades of losing I suffer from a major case of battered fan syndrome. The past two seasons as a matter of fact have seen the Buccos looking good at the halfway point only to crash & burn in ppiratesthe second half of the season. A friend of mind asked me if I was jumping off the bandwagon after a recent 4 game swoon, but the truth is that I haven’t really been on any bandwagon. My heart has been broken too many times…often before summer has even officially begun. But the swan dive is even more painful when it comes later in the season. I am like a person who has been in a string of bad relationships and eventually closes themselves off to the possibility of love as a defense mechanism to prevent any further heartbreak. I want to love the Pirates again, but I am just so tired of being disappointed, and from an objective point of view they really do have some weaknesses. The pitching staff is solid, but they can’t win games when their own team doesn’t score. The Pirates are scoring 3.87 runs per game (25th in MLB) and have a team batting average of .243 (.230 with runners in scoring position). That isn’t going to cut it folks. Outside of Pedro Alvarez (.314 with 24 home runs) no one on the team seems to know how to manufacture runs. When that changes then I will start to believe.

 

I can’t believe I defended the evil New England Patriots even once, but now I’m going to do New_England_Patriots_Helmetit again. It is not the team’s fault that TE Aaron Hernandez turned out to be a wackjob (possibly even a serial killer). Yes there was ample evidence going clear back to his University of Florida days that he was a thug, but let’s be honest…that could be said about half of the NFL. The fact is that Hernandez is a freakishly talented athlete and he was a steal for the Patriots in the 4th round of the 2010 NFL Draft. And let’s give the suits in New England credit for cutting ties with Hernandez just minutes after he was arrested.

 

howardOh dear Lord am I ever sick & tired of hearing about Dwight Howard. To me he is an overgrown child who hasn’t and may never live up to his potential. That having been said, I think he made the right decision to shun the Los Angeles Lakers in favor of the Houston Rockets. The Lakers are too wrapped up in their history & their brand and seem oblivious to the fact that they aren’t the Showtime team of the 1980’s any longer. They are an old team that needs a major overhaul, with a coach who is too stubborn to change his system to fit the talent he’s got and an owner who seems to be in way over his head. Not only are the Lakers not anywhere near an elite NBA team at the moment, but they aren’t even the best team in Los Angeles. Conversely the Rockets are a team on the rise. I have my doubts as to whether Dwight Howard is the piece of the puzzle who will put them over the top, but on paper it is a marriage that makes a lot of sense right now.

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