It was this time last year after the induction of 2012 MLB HoF inductee Barry Larkin that the anticipation for what was to come made the inevitable happen, the lessening of the process of greatness. The pinnacle of any professional career be it; MLB, NBA, NFL, or NHL not to mention all the other sports is being elected to that sports Hall Of Fame! For the first time since 1996 the Baseball Writers Association of America/(BBWAA) (pressed with the choosing of nominees with 75% of the 581+ ballots ) didn’t elect any players to the hall, for 2013 (See MLB Hall of Fame ’13, ESPN, & BBWA). Why you say sports fan? Was it because Barry Bonds 762 home runs, 7x NL MVP didn’t merit it, Roger Clemens a 7x Cy Young winner, 354 wins didn’t pass the mustard, or Sammy Sosa’s multiple 60+ home run hitting seasons wasn’t measurable. Actually they were and normally all would have made a serious push to get 1st ballot election into the hall of fame, definitely more than the 36.2%-Bonds, 37.2%-Clemens, and 12.5%Sosa received as first time nominees. But they like other first timers on the ballot; Piazza and Bagwell or continued considered players McGwire or Palmerio all have been associated with, admitted to, or rumored to have used performance enhancing drugs(PEDs).
My point of contention is this….if Major League Baseball, the Players, the Player’s union, or the BBWAA didn’t curb the use of PEDs, implement a valid testing regiment, or place the users accountable during the so-called “steroid era”, why use the hall of fame voting process as a moral counter? Isn’t Ty Cobb in the hall? How about Gaylord Perry? Users of drugs…subjective moral codes could be found on any plaque currently in the hall of fame! Isn’t it about the play on the field, the numbers, or possibly the championships won during the course of a career!? Maybe the process needs to be re-examined because Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Raphael Palmeiro, Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell and any others from the marked ‘steroid’ era deserve serious consideration and placement in the hall of fame….Preserving History….Honoring Excellence indeed!
Another example of the escalting economics in the sports industry!!! Where does this leave the recession affected fan?!
As I read Jim Pelt’z article, $1million man march, I had overwhelming feeling of apprehension towards the sports industry. Where I used to find solace and escape I know find the growing sentiment of how can the professional athlete/league relate, along with how can they not see their fans struggle to follow their favorite team/league? With the billions floating towards the leagues and millions being negotiated in salaries for these athletes on a daily basis the chasm between the professional sports and the average fan grow even father apart given credence to the old adage “haves” and “have nots”. Considering the following;
In 1985 (when I was just a know it all 15 year old):
Average (American) Household Income – $23,618
Disneyland Adult Ticket – $16.50
Gallon of gasoline – $1.12
1st Class Stamp $.22
MLB – Dale Murphy (Outfielder) Atlanta Braves – $1.6 million
NBA – Larry Bird (Forward) Boston Celtics – $1.8 million
NFL – Joe Montana (Quarterback) San Francisco 49ers – $1million
In 1995 :
Average (American) Household Income – $34,076
Disneyland Adult Ticket – $33
Gallon of gasoline – $1.22
1st Class Stamp $.32
MLB – Ken Griffey (Outfielder) Seattle Mariners – $7.6 million
NBA – Hakeem Olajuwon (Center) Houston Rockets – $5.3 million
NFL – Brett Favre (Quarterback) Green Bay Packers – $2.9 million
In 2005 :
Average (American) Household Income – $46,326
Disneyland Adult Ticket – $53
Gallon of gasoline – $2.58
1st Class Stamp $.37
MLB – Mike Piazza (Catcher) New York Mets – $16.1 million
NBA – Kobe Bryant (Guard) Los Angeles Lakers – 16.9 million
NFL – Tiki Barber (Running Back) New York Giants – $6 million
In 2012 :
Average (American) Household Income – $49,777
Disneyland Adult Ticket – $87
Gallon of gasoline – $3.62
1st Class Stamp $.45
MLB – Josh Hamilton (Outfielder) L.A. Angels of Anaheim – $25 million
NBA – LeBron James (Forward) Miami Heat- $16 million
NFL – Peyton Manning (Quarterback) Denver Broncos – $18 million
So good luck getting each side on the same page of how each can be feeling the squeeze of the economic recession, deserves the state of their current revenue bounty and how can they possibly know how the other side lives!?
By becoming the first freshman (technically redshirt freshman) Johnny Football (technically Johnny Manziel) has made history in the 70+ years of the presenting of the Heisman Trophy to the best collegiate player. Just 5 years after Tim Tebow became the first sophomore to do so in ’07 the awarding of the honor will again never be the same, unless they stop the defensive/special teams bias!!!! Now comes the extra hype of not only winning the trophy again but the expectations of doing it back-to-back, possibly back-to-back-to-back and topping the feats of Archie Griffin all the while trying to win a national championship in the ultra competitive SEC! Enjoy the trophy Johnny Football and be prepared for the insurmountable scrutiny that comes with it! Hey downtown athletic club only three finalists?..c’mon!!!
The final outcome for the three finalists; Manziel, Te’o, and Klien;
1. Johnny Manziel (QB) – Texas A&M – 474(1st), 252(2nd), 103(3rd) – 2,029
2. Manti Te’o (LB) – Notre Dame – 321, 309, 125 – 1,706
3. Collin Klein (QB) – Kansas State – 60, 197, 320 – 894
So Marquez/Pacquiao 4 went down last night with what most now saying they called it the defeat of the invincible aura of the Pacman!!!(Okay, I for one didn’t call it nor wanted to watch it) The bottom line is out of the four fights had he still has two and Marquez has one but he also has the latest fight and in KNOCKOUT fashion. So now the question is what’s next for both fighters and can their exploits continue to lift boxing? The quick answer is yes and no! Yes both fighters will continue to fight with purses of $23 million (for Pac) and $6 million (for JMM) both will continue to step into the ring for the immediate future. No because who really wanted to see PacMarquez 4? I guess the answer will come full circle in two waves, first the live gate numbers from 16,000+ sell out along with the PPV numbers( if they approach 1 million hits) and if the fight everyone STILL want to see Mayweather/Pacquiao will EVER happen!
After Pacman’s slip and 6th round knockout at the glove of JMM its looking less and less likely the fight that could possibly save boxing will ever happen!
Awoke this morning in what seems sports bizarro world where the perceived underachieving want to be rival little brothers have over taken their big brother counterparts. A quick perusal of the sporticus biblicus (non rukus translation – LA Times Sports Section) and it showed the latest updated standings for both the NCAAF/Pac-12 and the NBA where I found this flip flop so apparently upside down. Let’s start on the so called amateur level where the resurgent UCLA Bruins led by 4th coach since the Donahue days, Jim Mora blasted #22 Arizona 66-10 to head to the lead of the newly christened Pac 12 South Division with a 7-2/4-2. How is this possible when the USC Trojans where the preseason favorite with the golden boy Matt “Matty Trojan” Barkley was the Heisman front-running hopeful?! Now they sit behind their cross-town rival at 6-3/4-3 after a scoreboard crashing 61-54 contest versus #2 Oregon! Has ‘little brother’ arrived?
Then there is the professional stated rivalry of NBA’s LA teams, specifically a rivalry recently anew with the drafting by LA Clippers of Blake Griffith and DeAndre Jordan and the Chris Paul trade allowed by outgoing NBA czar David “Sherriff” Stern providing the ‘little brother’ with not only 40+ games of sell outs but a stronger standing versus 16x NBA champion and perennial contender LA Lakers. But with the addition of All-Stars Dwight Howard and Steve Nash to the Lakers with the coaching of 2nd year coach Mike Brown the teams are now closer to the same caliber than ever before. Has ‘little brother’ arrived?
The answer lies not at the beginning of the seasons but will be answered at the conclusion of both campaigns. The journey for the UCLA Bruins will conclude with games versus Pac 12 members Washington St., USC, and Stanford by the time Thanksgiving turkeys will be served but all winnable. With a 10-2/7-2 record a prominent bowl is assured to be in the immediate future also the turning up the heat on the ‘rivalry’ with a certain school 12 miles down the 10 freeway!
For the rivalry of the NBA’s LA teams the measurement will take a few more months to review. The early first week of season returns tally a complete comeuppance for all the years of mediocrity. But it really doesn’t take much when the vaunted new look Lakers were 0-8 in preseason and 0-3 to start the 2012-13 campaign. They hope to turn it around with a W versus the recently woeful Detroit Pistons but for all mass media 24/7 sports reporting/broadcasting and water cooler talks…..’little brothers’ have arrived!!!
As I readied myself for the upcoming seasons of the San Francisco 49ers this season, I remained ultimately optimistic 13-3 last year National Football Conference (NFC) game with a hairline chance at representing the NFC in the Super Bowl. I previewed the schedule for 2012 and found them just about weekly through CBS, ESPN, Fox, and NBC. No need for the popular and equally expensive DirecTV package (although in recent years the price has gone down approximately $200 from $399 to $200 and with some promotions now included at substantial price reduction, if not free for existing customers) But what about the fans for other NFL teams who weren’t following a resurgent, media darling team like the 49ers? I feel your dilemma fans in Buffalo, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Miami, Oakland, and Tampa Bay. Also how many fans today really have access to the media feeds through satellite operators like Comcast, DirecTv, and Time Warner Cable? A previously researched article showed the National Cable Television Association ((NCTA) claiming they’re able to reach 127.5 million homes in the U.S., with census numbers at 128.2 million they’re actually providing 48.5% that’s a nearly 63 million households, not like the days of 3 major networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) so who’s now being left out?! Recent numbers by NCTA suggest 131.2 million available with 43.7% provided. When it comes to watching my favorite NFL team I’m in the minority it seems. Even more when one provider is able to monopolize the coverage of a particular sport, i.e. – DirecTv with the NFL Sunday Ticket package. The gap becomes ever so more widening and maddening when we switch to the next popular professional sport basketball.
As a fan, I also follow the Los Angeles Lakers, this popular historic team is followed by almost every other non-transplanted Angelino as well recently signed a 20yr (and depending on what source you find) $3.5 – $5 billion dollar television contract. What scored impressively for the Laker organization is currently leaving most non-TWC subscribers on the outside looking in, according to most pundits this is fantasy this is sports reality! So now as a fan I have to wait out the battle in the board rooms instead on the basketball court! But its not just the professionals playing spoiler the collegiate level is following suit as well.
The Pac-12 last year brokered a monster television deal as well creating their own network (Pac-12 Network) but because of the same aversion by major satellite/cable distributors the network has been slow to garner the viewers specifically in its school member area..huh?
So when will the fans get the rewards of being fanatical faithful following beings and not the recipients of the short end of the big time entity that has become sports and media rights!?!
There are several feats in Major League Baseball (MLB) that merit notice when they occur; stealing home, hitting for the cycle, grand slam home run, pitching a no hitter or perfect game. Along the same lines is obtaining the triple crown. This can happen in both hitting(Batting Average-Home Runs-Runs Batted In) and pitching (Wins-Strikeouts-Earned Runs Average)categories occurring more frequently and most recently in pitching during the 2011 season for both AL-Justin Verlander (DET)-24-5/250/2.40 & NL-Clayton Kershaw (LAD)-21-5/248/2.28. With hitting it has occurred just 15 times with the last time occurring in 1967 when Carl Yastrezemski (BOS) hit .326/44/121. With the close of the 2012 season Miguel Cabrera joined the other 15 by hitting .330/44/139. Along with the Detroit Tigers winning the AL Central Division and entering the post season Cabrera will along with LAA rookie sensation Mike Trout be considered a favorite to win the AL MVP! RSDz believes like most MLB pundits Cabrera has a chance to join Roger Hornsby and Ted Williams as multiple (Hitting) Triple Crown achievers!
Other (Hitting) Triple Crown Winners – from 1800′s through 2012:
Yr Lg Player TM BA HR RBI
2012 AL Miguel Cabrera DET .330 44 139
1967 AL Carl Yastrzemski BOS .326 44 121
1966 AL Frank Robinson BAL .316 49 122
1956 AL Mickey Mantle NYY .353 52 130
1947 AL Ted Williams BOS .343 32 114
1942 AL Ted Williams BOS .356 36 137
1937 NL Joe Medwick STL .374 31 154
1934 AL Lou Gehrig NYY .363 49 165
1933 AL Jimmie Fox PHA# .356 48 163
1933 NL Chuck Klein PHI .368 28 120
1925 NL Rogers Hornsby STL .403 39 43
1922 NL Rogers Hornsby STL .401 42 52
1909 AL Ty Cobb DET .377 9 107
1901 AL Nap Lajoie PHA# .426 14 125
1887 AA Tip O’Neill STL .435 14 123
1878 NL Paul Hines PRO^ .358 4 50
#PHA – Philadelphia Athletics
^PRO – Providence Grays
Tiger Woods just eclipsed the $100 million dollar mark in career earnings on the golf course, coupled with the astronomical amounts earned off the course it’s no doubt the estimations of him becoming the first billion dollar athlete is not as far fetched now, see the 2009 estimations from the forbes bunch!!!!. The recent return to form after a tumultuous two year span starting in November of 2009 through 2011 where Woods went win less over that span, losing both his squeaky clean image and marriage. But as Woods was able to show better than most professional athletes he was able to still bring in $1.95 million on the golf course and despite losing some major endorsement deals still was able to average nearly $100 million per year over the past several years even with the bump in the road for Woods which spells not only the teflon ability but also the hallmark of a true brand enhancer…also helps that throughout it all Woods showed that if he kept at it he’d rebound he has 3 wins so far in 2012 with over $5.5 million in tour wins with a 3rd standing in the $10 million end of year bonus. But Woods is just the top of the cream Mickelson Wood’s nearest consistent competitor has nearly $67 million during his career on the links. But it wasn’t just Woods or Lefty born this side of 1970 – it’s professional tennis players (Serena Williams – $38.1 million, Roger Federer – $73.4 million), basketball players (Kevin Garnett – $328.5 million, Shaquille O’Neal – $292.1 million), baseball playing teammates (Alex Rodriguez – $296.4 million, Derek Jeter – $220.1), international soccer ((futbol)) player (David Beckham’s first reported to be in the neighborhood of $250 million (later revealed to be a still impressive $32.5 million / 5 yr contract with L.A. Galaxay) MSL changing contract only adds to his attractive career earnings), etc are star reaching ridiculous amounts of earnings that have been made let’s not even mention endorsements all told made these players not only famous but wealthy. A fan can only dream, nightly of the type of wealth these new millennium athletes are able to make! But making it is only half the battle keeping it is the name of the game, it looks like Woods has done will with a net worth of estimated at $600 million. But what of the stories told of the athletes who have lost most if not all of what they’ve gained entering into legal proceedings usually of the criminal, bankrupt or I.R.S. nature!
- Scottie Pippen (Basketball) – Due to bad financial planning (and bad ideas) Pippen lost $120 million in earnings, he blew $27 million on bad investments in addition to spending $4.3 million on a corporate Gulfstream II jet.
- Evander Holyfield (Boxing) – The Real Deal reportedly made $250 million during his boxing career. This should’ve set him up for a comfortable life but not when you consider some of his ‘minor’ purchases like a $20 million / 54,000 square foot mansion on 325 acres of land. The upkeep on this home alone could’ve been a considerable drain on the retirement income!
- Lenny Dykstra (Baseball) – According to a legal (bankruptcy) proceedings in ’09, ‘Nails’ was in the whole for over $30 million partly for trying to purchase the “Great One’s” $18.5 million home. This is interesting considering the high number bad business deals by Nails along with the financial advisement that got him in hot water.
- Latrell Sprewell (Basketball) – Spree famously touted that he couldn’t sign a $21 million dollar contract because he wouldn’t be able to feed his family with $7million per year. Possibly the case when you consider Spree nearly squandered $96 million career earnings defaulting on a $1.7 million yacht and $5.4 million dollar home. $7 million dollars per year in deed!
- John Daly(Golf) – Daly has gambled away more money than most see in several lifetimes (reports state between $50 – $60 million dollars) lettting the good times roll in sin city. The tales of losing $1.65 million on the slots in 5 hours and jacking that up later going for broke losing $1.2 million in only 2 hours & 30 minutes this was after having his $1.2 million dollar home foreclosed on. But the future is bright for Daly he’s still on the golf course and he has downgraded from the $5k slots to the $100 & $500 slots. Way to go Mr. Daly!
- Jack Clark (Baseball) – Like most of his peers and many citizens of the good old U.S.A Clark spent beyond his means at one time making 17 simultaneous payments on 17 different luxury automobiles when tired he would discard and buy another. This particularly taxing habit cost him several homes and a drag racing business. As daunting as his fall was in true ‘up from the boot straps’ Clark turned his habits and
- Mike Tyson (Boxing) – “Iron Mike” was the king of the boxing ring during his run. The youngest boxing champion ever at age 20 under the tutelage of the great Cus D’Amato Tyson seemed destined for unparalleled greatness! This actually came to fruition with the defection to the promotions of Don King Tyson as they went on to make millions in the ring and constant drama out of it. Making nearly $350-$400 million over the course of his career Tyson filed for bankruptcy in ’03 after years and year of famously frivolously spending! He spent lavishly on cars, homes and an entourage that left him penniless.
The tremblings that started December 8, 2011 and concluded on August 25, 2012 was a seismic shift in professional sports with all the plate tectonics pointing to Southern California (SoCal) for the uninitiated!!! That’s right along with the ‘laissez faire’ attitude, tropical weather and too many things to do from snowboarding-skiing, to surfing-jet skiing, to hiking, camping, swimming to the stars of Hollywood to viewing the stars from Griffith Observatory, it is the ultimate area for things to do. Where else can you go to the movie and potentially see that star in life of course it would be from the back seat of a limo or riding down the strip known as Rodeo but never the less if your got the gumption and the mood is right you could be in for a hello and an autograph!!!! But more than anything the sports scene in SoCal has been star blinding! Let’s start with some of particulars:
- Albert Pujols – (12/2011) Headlined by Pujols with his mammoth $254 million/10 year contract and pitcher C.J. Wilson’s $77.5 million/ 5 year contract the LA Angeles of Anaheim announced there relevance in trying to vie for the all important attention and dollar of the sports fan!
- Chris Paul – (12/2011) No sooner had the ink dry on the Angels deals the veto felt around the southland registered when Chris ‘CP3′ Paul was first traded to LA then denied then traded back to LA again. NBA commissioner denied a trade that would’ve moved CP3 from the New Orleans Hornets to the LA Lakers but approved another deal that sent him back to LA…to the CLIPPERS! Again the buzz created by the move was enough to fuel the deemed ‘lil’ brother to the 2012 playoffs and along with Blake Griffin gave the Clippers so much appreciated attention for the sports fan dollar! Bang for the buck indeed!
- The Los Angeles Kings – (12/2011) Buoyed by a early season coaching change from Terry Murray to Darryl Sutter the LA Kings rode the change through the playoffs as an eighth seed and became a prime story by beating the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd seeds in the Western Conference division setting up a match versus the New Jersey Devils who the Kings defeated in 6 games for their 1st Stanley Cup!!! The star arising from the campaign would be none other than goaltender Jonathan Quick who was the MVP of playoff run!!!
- Los Angeles Dodgers – (5/2012) With the announcement that Guggenheim Partners, LLC, Mark Walter, Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten, Peter Guber, Todd Boehly and Robert Patton, Jr would become the new ownership team heading up the storied baseball franchise a new chapter would unfold in the valley of chavez ravine. A record breaking purchase price north of $2 billion (reportedly $2.15 billion dollars) signaled these new owners weren’t concerned about costs triggering a higher playing field in professional sports in southern California.
- XXX Summer Olympiad (London) – (7/2012) With the lighting of the Olympic torch in Stratford, London, England the amount of southern California entrants totaling nearly 70 by either college attendance or permanent residence was prolific from track & field to basketball it was quite a showing full of SoCal medal attainments.
- Los Angeles Lakers – (7/2012) A devastating exit from the 2nd round of the NBA playoffs set in motion the win now machinations that seem to be the hallmark of this storied southland sports franchise, ask wilt chamberlain, kareem abdul-jabbar, shaquille o’neal, pau gasol and now steve nash (7/4) and dwight howard (8/10). With the insertion of these two eventual hall of famers without losing gasol or world peace with a bolstered bench of jamision, meeks, etc. the lakers seemed primed to re-enter the championship discussions.
- Los Angeles Dodgers – (8/2012) How badly do you know if your wanted? When you spend approximately a $134 million on 3 other players to get the 1 guy wanted. That is exactly what happened when the LA Dodgers and Boston Red Sox completed a trade where the Dodgers picked up $260 million in salaries and Red Sox reduced salaries with Loney, De La Rosa, Webster, De Jesus, and Sands! In a matter of two months the Dodgers have traded for Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino and Adrian Gonzalez. Matched with signings of Kemp, Either and cuban free agent Yaisel Puig the sky seems the limited for the dodger blue!
Now with the movements settling the shaking from the mass amounts of contracts with bodies moving to addresses connected to palm trees and warm sandy beaches its apparent that all eyes are on southern California. The last several months are sure to be the talk of the upcoming seasons for the NBA, NHL, the MLB and rest of the sports national beware if a NFL team returns to Los Angeles dare we say the sporting universe would then officially revolve around soCal for good?!
It didn’t take four years of preparation but as I synced my DVR, checked my interactive athletes and medal count lists in anticipation of the XXX Summer Olympiad I couldn’t help but be let down by the long, commercial interrupted opening ceremony of the host county Great Britain. This brought to mind the challenges for any host country, but for Great Britain there were the terrorist threats early on during preparations, the infrastructure upgrades for venues and travel all marked for a difficult hosting of the games. Only a half hour into the ceremonies I felt the immediate lasting memory was how the proper acting, non emotional exhibiting Britain’s could be hosts of such an expressive Olympic game. I hadn’t meant to compare 2008’s opening ceremony but Beijing’s art and pageantry immediately put London behind the host curve ball! Maybe it was the amount of emphasis placed on show and not substance, it could be the political platform used by most countries at the expense of the athletes, or maybe it was my preconceived notions about the Olympics and the people of Great Britain pleasantly surprised the games would only get better for me!
As simple starting the games itself the games immediately picked up which was a testament to the Olympic committee. Led by British Olympic great Lord Sebastian Coe the venue set up was magnificent transforming East London into the atmosphere needed to showcase top athletes from around the world. The ExCel, Aquatics Centre, Basketball Arena, Horse Guards Parade all great centers of action with some of London’s great sites not far away from sightseers in some cases even serving as the backdrop to events. How could the games not take an uptick with Buckingham Palace and Chinese shooter Yi Siling winging first medal of the games? But it was more than that for me; it was a complete turnaround from the dull, dreary looking opening ceremonies to excitement of watching athletes put forth their best efforts after years of practice representing team and country. Who would show this better than the host country, Great Britain?
From commoner to royal the display of enthusiasm for their athletes was contagious. Even the partial reporting from famed BBC was chucked out the door when it came down to giving the actual occurrence of events or rooting for team GBR. Notwithstanding the medal hording by the Russians, Chinese, and Americans summer Olympic hosts usually don’t fare so well in the medals won standings but with golden performances outside of the norm events of rowing, equestrian and archery team GBR was providing something for the home fans to cheer and spot some tea to! There is definitely something to the feeling of the home crowd, using that buzz to perform feats otherworldly and the Olympians from Great Britain were proving just that thrill for the spectators from overseas and the neighboring boroughs!
Just witnessing the acts of team GBR that resulted in many moments and medals; Mohamed Farah in the 5,000m & 10,000m, Jessica Ennis in the Heptathlon, Jade Jones & Muhammad Lutalo in Taekwondo with Brownlee Brothers, Alistair & Jonathan in the triathlon competition all proved home town backing can equate to great Olympic moments! And with the performances in the books my movements from the XXX Summer Olympics were complete. I very much appreciate the every 4 years when competitors from around the world come to perform at the highest levels in front billions, where a mindset of dull and emotionless is changed to being impressed and full of emotion. Can’t wait to see what is in store from the fiesta that will be Rio de Janeiro in 2016!
Now that the dust has settled and the nightmare off season for not only Dwight Howard but the Orlando Magic is at a stated end the question still remains, has the NBA’s recent collective bargaining agreement done its job leveling the playing field for all its franchises? Let’s check the scorecard.
Boston – Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen commit to joining Paul Pierce in the summer of 2007, Garnett’s 7-for-1 trade one of the most heavily one sided (player wise) trades in NBA history, totally benefiting the Boston Celtics with the two coming to the parquet floor. Showing immediate dividends the Boston Celtics were able to win the championship during the 2007-08 season.
Los Angeles – the lakers were able to pull off a major coup trading for Pau Gasol away from the Memphis Grizzlies for what was essentially his brother Marc Gasol and two 1st rd draft pics, leading the lakers to immediate championship hardware in back – to – back season in 2008-09&2009-10.
Miami – With the ‘decision’ made by Lebron James the newest ‘big three’ had been made when he and Chris Bosh decided to join Dwyane Wade in South Beach! Miami was able to after a year of adjusting were able to capitalize that decision into a championship during the 2011-12 season.
So the theme here big time potentially NBA hall of fame type players were able to move from their essentially smaller metropolitan cities to bigger ones scoring championships in the aftermath, leaving their former teams in disarray in attempts to turn their received players and draft picks into successful formulas. This led many smaller city teams to decry for restraints that would prevent players, teams, etc from moving and penalizing/stabilizing the bigger city teams with financial burdens if they made a move to obtain the wanted players. Hence the new collective bargaining agreement had financial, selective points in place to slow or prevent the recent movements discussed. So the aftermath…..Lakers were able to seek three big time players Chris Paul (unsuccessful), Steve Nash and Dwight Howard (successful). Now coupled with their new television contract and packed home stadium for the upcoming season how can they not be one of the favorites for not only this season but barring not be able to keep D12 for seasons to come! Is that a level playing field the same for Orlando, Indiana, Atlanta, etc.?
With the induction of the Jack Butler, Dermontti Dawson , Chris Doleman, Cortez Kennedy, Curtis Martin , Willie Roaf into the NFL Hall of Fame and the first punt in the exhibition Hall of Fame game between the Arizona Cardinals/New Orleans Saints the NFL season starts anew! This is the time of year where every fan has the fantasy (that’s another story) that their favorite team is in the running for that final game in Superdome under the big lights for Super Bowl XLVII, this is even if reality means your team is really in line for the top prospects from the upcoming meat market infusion known as the draft than hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. But all that matters as much as who won Super Bowl XLVI (sorry New York Giant fans) cause the new season brings renewed faith especially in Indianapolis, Minnesota, St. Louis, and Tampa Bay. But delusion notwithstanding what are some of the hot points for the 2012 NFL season and which team as the greatest chance of catching lighting in a bottle (que the Giant faithful) like the New York G-men did last year?
Let’s start with mainstays – AFC –New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens. All aforementioned teams have the points of success; 1) Leadership from both head coach and stellar play from their respective quarterbacks, 2) Bend but don’t break to outstanding play from the defensive side of the ball, and 3) The team culture that provides the continuity that keeps them in the hunt for the Lombardi year in, year out. On the NFC side – Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints have provided over the last several years striking consistency for the same reasons mentioned for the AFC squads to the tune of Green Bay thriving despite the pigskin switch from Packer greats, Holmgren & Favre to McCarthy & Rodgers. This will stand true as well for the New Orleans Saints who will be able to withstand the recent smear of the bounty gate incidents culminating the loss of players and coaches throughout the upcoming season.
Which leads to the next slate of what ifs, will the offense or defense lead the seasonal hot buttons this year? What players will light it up like a young guns Cam Newton and Von Miller or come in consistently like QB’s-Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Aaron Rodgers – RB’s –Maurice Jones-Drew, Ray Rice and Michael Turner – Wide outs-Calvin Johnson, Wes Welker and Victor Cruz or on defense like Jared Allen, London Fletcher, and Kyle Arrington? Will mercurial wide outs Terrell Owens and Randy Moss return to NFL be write up feel good stories of redemption or predicable falls of ‘I told you so’? Will the fans of Indianapolis and Washington forget the woebegone times of last year, return to glory days of yore with NFL draft picks 1-2 of (Luck-1-Indy & Griffin III-2-Washington) or will the pressure of restoration bury the rookies? Will the hot seat teams- New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, etc be able to keep from imploding in route to the bayou? Is all back to normal now, that the dust has settled from last year’s collective bargaining agreement or are there issues still brewing for the commissioner’s office to address? It’s all up in the air which is the beauty in all these questions, your player, your team, your league can do this year if any, why not now? Release the proverbial hounds its kick off time!
Newest edition of RSDz’s Lovely Ladies of Sports…the women’s Brazilian ’12 Olympic Volleyball/Beach Volleyball Teams!!!!
..that’s right the entire team! We don’t play with your lovely ladies nor our sports!
During these Summer Olympics hosted by the United Kingdom and all the surrounding Isles there have been so far many great moments…none greater than what is going down at the Aquatics Centre when a 3x Olympian swam to his 19th medal after his 21st Olympic final. Introducing the most decorated Olympian, Mr. M. Phelps:
1. Michael Phelps/U.S.A. (Swimmer)
2004 – 6 Gold/2 Bronze
2008 – 8 Gold
2012 – 1 Gold/2 Silver
2. Larisa Latynina/Soviet Union (Gymnast)
1956 – 4 Gold/1 Silver/1 Bronze
1960 – 3 Gold/2 Silver/1 Bronze
1964 – 2 Gold/2 Silver/2 Bronze
3. Nikolay Andranov/Soviet Union (Gymnast)
1972 – 1 Gold/1 Silver/1 Bronze
1976 – 4 Gold/2 Silver/1 Bronze
1980 – 2 Gold/2 Silver/1 Bronze
Ruwkus,can you fathom an athlete working through 12yrs/3Olympics/19medals & be under 30YO? I can’t be mr phelps can and he’s not even done yet!
Just another angle courtesy of ruwkus connections…(thank you mr. adande)
Olympic great moments..USA B’ball style…thank you mr. carter!!!!!
Recently the reigning National League M.V.P. Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers collected his 1,000 hit as a major league baseball professional. More than 250 players have hit more than 2,000 hits topping out with Pete ‘Charlie Hustle’ Rose’s 4,256 hits. List of the prominent 1k, 1.5k, 2k, 2.5k, and 3k hitters (and the hits needed to next milestone):
Alex Rodriguez 2,866 (134 hits needed) to 3,000
Omar Vizquel 2,856 (144)
Bobby Abreu 2,432 (68 hits needed) to 2,500
Todd Helton 2,415 (85)
Miguel Tejada 2,362 (138)
Jason Giambi 1,967 (33 hits needed to) 2,000
Jimmy Rollins 1,963 (37)
Andruw Jones 1,920 (80)
Torii Hunter 1,891 (109)
Aramis Ramirez 1,878 (122)
David Ortiz 1,861 (139)
Adam Kennedy 1,476 (24 hits needed to) 1,500
Matt Holliday 1,457 (43)
Jose Reyes 1,400 (100)
Alex Gonzalez 1,393 (107)
Brian Roberts 1,386 (114)
Robinson Cano 1,379 (121)
Adam Dunn 1,378 (122)
Shane Victorino 999 (1 hit needed to) 1,000
Jose Lopez 992 (8)
Geoff Blum 990 (10)
Kevin Youkilis 984 (16)
Dan Uggla 981 (19)
So it looks like there will be several new hitter levels reached by the 1k club, congrats Mr. Braun!!!!
Came across an article that gave a little history to the industry I enthusiastically call myself apart of, SPORTS TALK RADIO. Now today you can’t turn the radio dial without coming across shows like; Sports Wrap w/ Pep & Dre, The Big Show, Mike’d Up: Francesca on the FAN & Mad Dog Radio (formerly Mike & the Mad Dog), Jim Rome Show, Todd Wright Tonight, etc. On stations all across the U.S., Canada, U.K, South Africa, New Zealand, Ireland, etc. on stations considered terrestrial or satellite you have conversations about sports, players, teams, leagues and the mass amounts of interest/money they generate! But it all started in one place, in the late 1980′s in the city of New York on WFAN over 25 years ago!!!
Yes thanks to Mr. Jeff Smulyan and Emmis Broadcasting, 24 hour sports talk was introduced very unceremoniously to the fan and sports interaction would never ever be the same. Technology caught up so not only could the big names converse about the sports actions of the day but the common fan could now become the voice of their favorite sport or team forever changing the landscape of sports reporting!
So thank you WFAN / 660 AM on July 1, 1987 at 3 PM you, Suzyn Waldman and Jim Lapley began what I enthusiastically call my sports wrap ch’i every weekday for at least an hour!!! (Ruwkus, peep the EPIC meltdown of the immortal Pete “Acid-Breath” Franklin pre Mike & Mad Dog!!!!))
In Sports – - dre b better known as the SportsFiend
Recently there were a couple of sports happenings that warranted the discussion, is he are they the best ever? Now around the water-cooler, on the sports television or radio broadcast the talk has LeBron James arrived as one of the all-time greats and is the Spanish National Futbol team one of the best assembled teams ever? The questions are blurred tremendously when you try and consider the number of great players to have played in the National Basketball Association since its inception during the 1946-1947 season and this is compounded when the speaking of international (association football) or Futbol teams who have been competing since the mid-19th century. But there is no doubt in my mind, that Lebron James can be currently counted as one of the NBA’s all-time greats at 27 years of age and the Spanish National Futbol team is one of the all-time great teams of the last several years. Let’s see how I’ve come to these conclusions:
National Basketball Association – LeBron James :
At 27 years of age Lebron Raymone James has a career made of legendary proportions capped off in his 8th season with his 3rd regular season MVP award, 1st NBA Championship and 1st NBA Finals MVP award, more specifically he is one of eight to have 3 MVP awards. A prolific scorer one of eight to score 2,000 points in seven straight seasons, one of four NBA players to average 20pts, 5 rebounds and 5 assists during a rookie season. One of two players to average 21 pts, 6 rebounds and 6 assists in six consecutive seasons (the other being the Oscar “the big O” Robertson). He is the youngest to achieve 2,ooo pts in a season and the youngest to score a career 1,000 points through 19,000 points. The list can go on and on and on!..and the guy just turned 27 last December. Suffice to say at his present rate King James will surely go down as one of the NBA’s all time greats! Game-set-match!!!
Spanish National Futbol Team:
Team sports are that much more difficult to measure and the time frames are spread out across more sports and time. But there is no doubt that soccer (here in the U.S.A.) & (Futbol) everywhere else is the most popular sport in the world, with over 250 million players participating in 200 countries!! This doesn’t even compare to the estimated 3.5 billion fans who follow these players and teams!!!! But the recent six year run of the squad nicknamed ‘La Roja’ has been unprecedented. The current title holders in both World Cup and European Championships has never been achieved before. They are the first team to hold two Euro (2008 & 2012) and World Cup titles (2010). In July of 2008 La Roja rose to the top of the FIFA rankings the sixth national team to do so and the first to do so without a World Cup title. From 2006 through 2009 La Roja won a feat tying 35 consecutive matches, losing to the United States team in an unprecedented upset.
Clearly LeBron James and the Spanish National Futbol team are to be considered two of the best examples of the BEST professionals sports has to offer!…that’s NO debate!!! SportsFiend outro!!!!