More Sports Thoughts

Posted: October 8, 2008 in sports

In my sports thoughts from a month ago, I pondered how the Cubs might choke away their title hopes.  I kind of thought they would choke (it’s just what they do), I just didn’t expect it to be on a giant hunk of t-bone with no chance of recuscitation.  Whoa.

The NBA will be up and running soon.  From 1984 to 1998, the NBA experienced The Jordan Era, most likely the greatest, most entertaining, and well played basketball that we may ever see.  Then, from 1998 to 2005, we’ll call that The Thug Era.  Arrests, tattoos, fights, punks, and totally sloppy, one on one basketball ruled the nation.  But then, a ray of light.  2005 to 2008 has brought us Lebron, the Phoenix Suns, Dwayne Wade, Steve Nash, a championship for KG, the New Orleans Hornets, Chris Paul, and a relatively mature Allen Iverson, who at 32 is still faster and more sick than most 22 year old NBA players will ever be.  I’m starting to care again.  I just don’t really have a team, and that makes it hard.  And I don’t have cable, which means I can watch about 1 game a week, at most, if I’m so inclined.  COME ON NBA, GRAB ME, PULL ME, MAKE ME LOVE YOU AGAIN!!  That’s all I’m asking.

After the Mariners in 2001 – most wins ever in the regular season, see-ya-wouldn’t-wanna-be-ya in the playoffs – and this years Cubs, it’s sort of hard to remember that Lou Pinella won a ring with the Reds way back in 1990, the same year he got ejected from a game then pulled first base out of the ground and flung it, ala Bobby Knight, into the outfield.  Then picked it up, and flung it again.  Awesome.

Lance Armstrong is coming out of retirement to race again.  Old guys coming out of retirement is a 50/50 shot, man.  Some kill it, others get killed.  Where do you put your money on them?  Jordan, Roger Clemens, Brett Farve, Allan Houston, Rickey Henderson, Muhammad Ali, Martina Navritalova (at age 47 no less), Charles Oakley, Ricky Williams.  It’s a coin flip.  Lance is the greatest cyclist ever, but it’s been like 4 years, and this is not an event where you can pace yourself and take a day off every now and then.  However, it’ll probably be cool having his bud Matthew McConaughy cheering him on along the side of the road, showing off his pecs and playing the bongos nude. 

20-something year old PGA golfer in the 1980’s – 5’9″, 180 lbs, clean cut hair, green or plaid pants, cotton shirt with collar, hits the ball about 260, goes and gets a beer after the round, has to “pay his dues” to be respected on the tour.  If he plays well, will make about $100,000 to $150,000 a year in earnings and endoresements.   

20-something year old PGA golfer in 2008 – 6’1″, 170 lbs, gets all the media attention, wears $1000.00 outfits that look like they came from Banana Republic and then were dyed in pastel colors, wears only 100% polyester clothing, eats only chicken and salad, hits the ball about 305, and heads to his next media event after the round to promote one of his 14 sponsors.  Regardless of whether he plays well, will make about $2,000,000 to $10,000,000 a year in earnings and endorsements.

Does anyone reading this actually place real bets on sports?  Other than the very occasional $5.00 office pool, I have not.  I used to sell cars with a dude who had about $2000 to $3000 riding on various college and pro games every weekend.  He’d be at the dealership on Sundays, and never once speak to a customer because all he could do is check his computer or phone for sports updates.  I’m slowly starting to believe that this is much more common than I ever thought.  Maybe not to that scale, financially, as I’m sure most betters have more like $500 a week floating, but more in the regular habit of it. 

The Titans have an old Kerry Collins and pretty much no one else that you’ve ever heard of or can recall a statistic for, and they’re 5-0.  Indy has Peyton, Marvin, Reggie, Addai.  The Patriots have everyone back but Brady.  The Vikings have all-day Peterson.  The Saints have Drew Brees and Reggie Bush.  The Chargers have LT.  And they’re all struggling to play .500 football.  It’s probably what I love most about the NFL.  It’s the one professional sport, where, truly, from game to game, week to week, ANYBODY can beat ANYBODY, and every single game makes a huge difference.  A 2-4 record in basketball, baseball, or hockey pretty much means absolutely nothing, nada, squat.  A 2-4 record in the NFL is do or die time, pull up your jock strap time, eat your Campbell’s Chunky soup time, play every game like it’s your last time, because the chances are that you’re looking at heading home to play golf in December.

  1. bill says:

    i am in absolute agreement about the NBA. the former fans/current haters need to give it another chance.

    …and i’m still not ready to talk about the cubs.

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