In retrospect we didn’t talk about sports as much last year as usual, which probably made a few folks happy. Of course I wasn’t as prolific overall in 2022, and it remains to be seen if that’ll change anytime soon. It’s been a rough few years in The Manoverse, and quite simply I’m not the same guy I used to be. That’s a whole can o’ worms we won’t open right now though. Instead let’s put a bow on the football season and perhaps address another topic or two.
Congratulations to the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs. Did the Philadelphia Eagles get screwed by the stripes?? Yes & no. The controversial defensive holding penalty at the end of the game was legit, although I don’t think it’s a call that should be made in that moment. It was ticky-tacky…technically correct but still not a good look for the officiating crew. In general I thought it was a good game, although the fact that I didn’t have a dog in the fight on any level negatively affected my enjoyment of it. The anthem was alright, as was the halftime show, though neither were my cup o’ tea. It was generally an unremarkable event that I’ve already pretty much forgotten about.
You may recall that Zach & I went into the last week of the regular season tied in our Pigskin Picks of Profundity, and we picked all eight games the same in that final week, necessitating an unprecedented tiebreaker. We both went 3-5, finishing the season at 57-64. However, using the tiebreaker I was “closest to the hole” in 6 of the 8 games, giving me the season victory. I can’t wait to do it all again in a few months.
If I may go off the beaten path for a moment…
I watched with some level of befuddlement recently as Lebron James became the NBA’s all time leading scorer, eclipsing the record held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar since 1984. When James broke the record near the end of the third quarter they STOPPED THE GAME and had a whole ceremony on the damn court!! Then the Lakers lost the game!!!! First, I do not have an issue with the record being broken. It’s a record of longevity really, and both Abdul-Jabbar & James played in the NBA for over two decades, with the latter probably continuing on for another year or two. That is undeniably impressive. However, my perception of Lebron James is that he’s always been a Me First kind of guy, both on & off the court. Everywhere he has played the talking heads have whined about Lebron needing more help or Lebron not having enough talent around him to win a championship. That has resulted in him bouncing from Cleveland to Miami back to Cleveland and on to Los Angeles chasing titles. He’s played in ten NBA Finals but won only four championships, all the while blaming the losses on everyone else but the guy in the mirror. Conversely, Michael Jordan won six titles in eight years, and I have zero doubt it would’ve been eight titles had he not taken a soul searching sojourn into minor league baseball in the wake of his father’s murder. Not only did he not run away from Chicago complaining about the talent surrounding him not being good enough, but I cannot fathom any scenario in which Jordan would’ve allowed a game to be completely halted to celebrate an individual achievement. I know he wouldn’t have been okay with his team losing just because he set a record. James’ teammates will continue to say the right things, but I couldn’t help but wonder if they were seething that night, watching the masses fawn all over one guy while ignoring the team’s loss.
I suppose congratulations are also in order for college football’s back-to-back national champions, the Georgia Bulldogs. After a thrilling semifinal round that saw the Bulldogs defeat the Ohio St. Buckeyes with a last second field goal right at the stroke of midnight to welcome a new year, and the TCU Horned Frogs upset the Michigan Wolverines in the highest scoring game of the Fiesta Bowl’s 50+ year history, the title game was an epic disappointment in which Georgia beat TCU like Sonny Corleone battered Carlo Rizzi in The Godfather. I think I changed the channel in the first quarter.
Speaking of college football, Zach bested me in our Bowl-a-Palooza picks. He was 23-20, while I was a putrid 19-24. I’m sure he’d give up that victory in a millisecond though to change the outcome of the Fiesta Bowl and see his Wolverines get a shot at the title.