Friday, August 31, 2007
They can start the designs on another one of these babies for the Pats.
On Wednesday, Sports Illustrated released it's annual NFL preview issue. You know football season is here when that baby comes out. Peter King also took time to rank the 500 best players in the game, with a little one-liner for the top 300. A very good read.
You know what that means, right? Well, it doesn't mean that I'll be making a list of 500 football players, but it does mean that I will be bringing to you my first ever NFL preview column. I've decided that our two season forecasts should coincide with each other. Of course, there really isn't much to preview. The Patriots are a virtual lock. If Brady stays healthy, they will win. This is all a waste of time.
But I suppose if you're actually sitting down and reading this right now, you don't have anything but time on your hands. So here goes:
Cowboys 10-6: If Tony Romo is for real, if last year was no fluke, they'll challenge for the NFC crown. If not, they'll go nowhere. I think Romo's for real. I don't think last year was a fluke.
Eagles 8-8: When McNabb is healthy, they invariably challenge for a spot in the Big Game. But at this point, you can't count on him staying upright for a full 16.
Giants 6-10: Nor can you count on this Giants team for anything, period. They are totally unpredictable. But they went 8-8 last year, they're still dysfunctional, don't know what's up with Eli or Coughlin and they lost Tiki.
(And speaking of Tiki...what a scumbag. You don't trash your former team like that. First Coughlin, now Eli. This man will do anything to draw attention to his stupid little radio show. Great player, but what a jerk.)
Redskins 5-11: Sorry D.C., but I believe in Jason Campbell about as much as I believe in Santa Claus. He deserves a chance, but I don't expect much from him. I just don't see it.
Bears 12-4: Losing Thomas "The Hitman" Jones hurts, but with that D, they're still the class of the conference.
Lions 8-8: The Lions will take a huge step forward...and finish .500.
Packers 6-10: Seriously, it's time to move on from the Favre era. It's over. The magic is gone.
Vikings 6-10: I believe in Tarvaris Jackson about as much as I believe in the Easter Bunny.
Saints 12-4: 2,000 total yards from scrimmage for Reggie Bush this year. 1,200 on the ground, 800 in the air. You can mark it down now. And Brees will have an ever better 2007 than 2006.
Panthers 11-5: Put me in the minority: I still like Jake Delhomme. What's wrong with Jake Delhomme? I don't get it. You can do a WHOLE lot worse than having Jake Delhomme as your starting quarterback. A WHOLE lot worse.
Bucaneers 6-10: This may be the Chuckster's last stand in Tampa.
Falcons 2-14: This could get ugly.
Seahawks 9-7: Hassleback's gonna be more familiar with Branch, so that's good, but Alexander's 30 now and that O-line just ain't what it used to be without Steve Hutchinson, as we saw last year. They'll sneak into the playoffs, but don't expect much from them once they get there.
49ers 9-7: They'll be the NFL's version of the this past season's Orlando Magic: They keep getting better, they're headed in the right direction, they'll even sneak into the playoffs...but they're not ready yet. Nice start,
(Just don't go giving Donte Stallworth Randy Moss-money this summer. Orlando took two steps back by giving Rashard Lewis $118 million this summer. That was ridiculous. You should get two Rashard Lewis' for that type of cash.)
Rams 8-8: Don't see them getting any better this year.
Cardinals 7-9: Soon, but not yet.
Patriots 15-1: Most loaded team since the '98 Broncos. I heard somebody bring up their aging linebackers as a possible cause for concern, but that's really no problem at all: Belichick's linebackers don't get older, they just get cagier.
Jets 9-7: Loved the Thomas Jones signing, but it won't be enough this year.
Bills 7-9: Marshawn Lynch will be this year's Mo-Drew. I like what they're doing in Buffalo. They're taking steps forward, even if they're still baby steps at this point.
Dolphins 5-11: Does Trent have anything left? Based on last year, no.
Ravens 12-4: McNair should be used as nothing more than a game-manager these days; at 34, he's not the man he used to be. And they lost Adelius Thomas. But they picked up McGahee, who's poised for a breakout year, and even without Adelius, the defense remains STRONG.
Steelers 11-5: Bounceback year for Big Ben. Last year was an abberation for Pittsburgh.
Bengals 9-7: Still question that defense.
Browns 4-12: The Browns just suck. Although I believe Brady Quinn is a team-changing quarterback. One day, we'll look back and wonder how he fell to No. 22 in the draft.
Colts 12-4: I keep hearing about how many players Indianapolis lost this offseason. Um, isn't Peyton Manning still on this roster? Isn't he one of the five best quarterbacks in the history of the game? Isn't he in his prime? Peyton Manning is what Brett Favre used to be. The Colts will be fine.
Titans 10-6: Tennessee will win a Super Bowl within the next three years. Vince Young is like a more athletic John Elway. You're watching the early stages of a future legend. Witness as he takes on the Madden Curse this year and kicks it's ass.
Jaguars 8-8: Five years ago, they may have been able to get away with having a shaky QB and average-at-best receivers, because their defense and running games are so sound. But this isn't five years ago. This is five years later. Too many good teams in the AFC right now.
Texans 5-11: Andre Johnson is excellent, but Matt Schaub may struggle behind an offensive line that still sucks, and I don't know how much Ahman Green has left in the tank. I hate to rub it in but...they should've drafted Reggie Bush.
Chargers 14-2: Not much to dislike about this team at all. Philip Rivers' natural progression from first-year starter to second-year starter will make up for the lack of a true No. 1 receiver. He's special. These guys are all set; all Norv has to do is stay out of the way.
Broncos 10-6: 1,500 yards for Travis Henry.
Raiders 8-8: A healthy Daunte Culpepper leads Oakland back to respectability.
Chiefs 4-12: Herm is always fun to have around, and LJ and Tony Gonzalez are great players and absolute gamers. Other than that...not so good. I enjoy watching their antics on HBO, but K.C. fans will not enjoy watching the Chiefs play football this season.
So, it's gonna look like this:
1. Patriots 15-1
2. Chargers 14-2
3. Colts 12-4
4. Ravens 12-4
5. Steelers 11-5*
6. Broncos 10-6*
1. Bears 12-4
2. Saints 12-4
3. Cowboys 10-6
4. Seahawks 9-7
5. Panthers 11-5*
6. 49ers 9-7*
*indicates wild-card team
(3) Colts over (6) Broncos
(4) Ravens over (5) Steelers
(3) Cowboys over (6) 49ers
(5) Panthers over (4) Seahawks
(1) Patriots over Ravens
(2) Chargers over Colts
(1) Bears over Panthers
(2) Saints over Cowboys
Patriots over Chargers
Bears over Saints
SUPER BOWL XLII:
Patriots over Bears
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
It is hard to see that a man well respected for his game on the football field my many is somewhat "erased" from websites, online stores, and company websites.
This is where I feel sorry for the man. Vick will be forever perceived as a killer, a sick person, and a loser. Look through the NFL online store, Nike.com, atlantafalcons.com (jersey), and so much more that had his name, is no longer there.
So what next for Michael Vick? Jail is the next step, but hopefully he comes out a changed man. Will his life ever be the same? Will he return to the field? What will be the public opinion on him?
Michael Vick, good luck on your future. Let's hope you find your way.
To be continued...
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Right now, as I write the loose-leaf version of the internet blog post you are now reading, ESPN Classic is showing the famous "Rumble in the Jungle" match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, circa 1974 in Zaire. And I've already set a reminder on my tube for five o'clock this evening, as they will be broadcasting Mike Jordan's unforgettable "Sick Game," Game 5 of the '97 Finals between Chicago and Utah in Salt Lake City. Two of the three greatest athletes ever in two of the signature performances of their careers, for our viewing pleasures. Those three hours alone make for a great day of television.
And I don't know why I'm just noticing, because they replay this stuff over and over again, and why I've never read or heard anyone else talk about this, but these telecasts demonstrate similarities in the way these two legends managed to prolong their greatness and remain on top despite diminishing physical traits. Completely different sports, but the same mentality. Most athletes accept their mortality and take a back seat to the younger generation when the time comes; not MJ or Ali. Not surprisingly considering the level of success they achieved, Jordan and Ali refused to just bow out. They were too stubborn for that.
Ali was 32 at the time of the Foreman bout, and past his prime in terms of speed, quickness, lateral movement and all of the other things that made him such a unique heavyweight. He didn't fight for three-and-a-half years after having his license stripped for refusing to represent the US in the Vietnam War, and the time off had a negative effect on his legs. Jordan was 34, in his second full season back after a seventeen retirement, and while he may have been fresh at the very beginning of the comeback, by this time fatigue had caught up to him as well. Neither one of them was the same man he once was, athletically speaking, but their smarts and will to be the best never declined. They only got expanded. And they had to, in order to remain effective.
In the Foreman match, Ali fought and won with his head and not much else. Foreman was younger, bigger, stronger, and considered unbeatable. He became heavyweight champ after stopping Joe Frazier with six knockdowns in two rounds. He was 40-0, with 37 wins coming by way of knockout, and a 24 straight knockout streak. No opponent had even lasted more than two rounds against him in three years. Even Howard Cossell, Ali's loyal friend and supporter, looked into the camera and gave Muhammad what amounted to a eulogy during a pre-fight show. No one gave him a chance.
But Ali came in with a plan. He would lie on the ropes for most of the night (the "Rope-A-Dope"), taking Big George's hardest punches but also baiting him into wearing himself out. (And boy, did George fall for it. I mean, what an idiot. He just kept flailing away. He's obviously smart, or else he wouldn't have been able to make all the money he's made from the grills and what not, but back then, on that night, he fought like a complete and total moron. Give credit to Ali for knowing his opponent.) And all the while, he was in his ear - "Is that all you got George?" - and in his head, wearing him down mentally. And waiting for the perfect time to strike.
And then it happened. Swiftly, unexpectedly, and (to the untrained eye) out of nowhere, Ali unloaded a five-punch combination that sent Foreman to the canvas for the fight. He had regained his title. It was beautiful and brilliant.
The '96-'98 MJ will always be my favorite version of His Airness, and "The Sick Game" shows him in his purest form. Drained and damn near out on his feet due to the old "flu-like symptoms," and already having lost a good portion of his natural abilities (hops, hangtime, explosiveness, etc.), to age, he was stripped down to his skills and saavy. His core. And that was more than enough. That was all he needed.
To make up for what he no longer had, MJ transformed into what Mark Heisler once described as a "Larry Bird-level shotmaker," improving his three-point shooting and converting himself into perhaps the most accurate mid-range shooter in the game's history. He had perfected his patented fadeaway, unblockable and virtually automatic, one of the deadliest signature shots in NBA history; put it below Kareem's skyhook but ahead of Gervin's finger roll, Duncan's bank shot and anything else you can thing of. Also, the muscle he had added over the years helped make him the premiere non-big man post player in the league. He could still get off his shot whenever he wanted, and he could still get whatever shot he wanted. Pull-ups. Turnarounds off the mid and low block. Catch-and-shoots. Off of contact. Dribble-drive stop-and-fadeaway. Going left. Going right. Straight away. Falling out of bounds along the baseline. Stutter step, head-and-shoulder fake, look you dead in the eye and drain it in your face...he had it all and used it all. Plus, he was as fundamentally sound as it got, his footwork exemplary, and he could still get to the hoop and finish as well as anybody, albeit less frequently and not as spectacularly.
He would pick and choose his spots on defense, conserving his energy for the other end but still being sound enough to remain a first-team all-league defender. Not many guys are intelligent enough to change their games as they get older in order to maximize their potential and maintain their dominance. Jordan was one of the clever ones.
The result was a player whom many deemed to be better than ever before. He was certainly never more polished. And he shined on that night two years ago, showing the same champion's heart in beating the Jazz that Ali had shown more than thirty years ago in toppling Foreman.
Of course, heart and courage only get you so far. Ali and Jordan would both continue to compete well after these nights, and they would both hold on too long. In the end, all the know-how in the world can't overcome Father Time. Ali would fight until the age of 39, and it took losing to Trevor Berbick for him to realize it was over. Jordan would make another comeback at 38, and after failing to even make the playoffs with the Wizards in two seasons, he decided to call it a career for the final time.
Another similarity, I guess.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Tiger Woods holds up his most recent major championship trophy.
Originally, in the wake of yet another Tiger Woods triumph yesterday, I was gonna use this space to talk about his place in the synagogue of non-team sport athletes. I was gonna make a list. Had my ten finalists narrowed down and ready to blog.
Couldn't do it. Over the last couple years, I've tried hard to convince myself that golf is a sport, so that I could jump on the bandwagon with everybody else and talk about Tiger's place in the athletic landscape, both currently (I was gonna discuss that in my own variation of "Who's Now?" weeks back) and historically (as I was going to touch on today). Wasn't in me. Just as I was about to get started on the countdown, something hit me, and I woke up out of my coma: "Golf ain't no damn sport and you know it. What the hell is wrong with you? Snap out of it, fool." Sorry, Eldrick, but I just don't see it. I just don't. I mean, let's be real here: golfer's don't have to run. They don't have to get physical with each other. The crowd must remain completely silent and avoid distracting them in any way so that they can concentrate fully on their next shot. They have little flunkies who carry their heavy equipment bags around for them, so that they won't have any extra strain on their bodies that will tire them out or make them weak as they WALK across the course.
That's a sport? Really? By what criteria? What's athletic about it? Could a guy like John Daly win two major titles in tennis? Could I? Come on. People play golf to relax. It's an activity. It's a game. It requires skill and technique and smarts, but it's not a sport. I know mainstream media has accepted it as such, but, well, to hell with mainstream media. This is my post.
But I'm no hater, and the purpose of this post is not for me to hate on Tiger, but to show him love. To show love for his greatness. He's unbelievable. Yesterday, he held off two guys to won major champiopnship no. 13, putting him only five behind Jack Nicklaus, and two ahead of him at the same point in their careers. I don't mention the names of those two guys because their names don't matter. There's Tiger and there's everybody else. All of his opponents are the same, when it comes right down to it: just a bunch if faces who can't keep up with him. Can't get on his level. And honestly, if we could transplant the in-their-primes versions of Jack or Arnie or Ben or Lord Byron out there with him, they wouldn't be able to f--- with him either. Tiger Woods>the field. Always.
You have to admire the way he carries himself, the way he never shows any sign of anything other than confidence. The way he never looks rattled. The fact that other grown men are completely terrified of him on a golf course. The way he ripped Rory Sabbatini to shreds (first with that slick comeback about Rory's lack of success, then by kicking his ass at Bridgestone two weeks ago). His big shot ability. That immortal Nike commercial that shows his incredible chip shot at the 2005 Masters. The fact that he is Mr. Nike. The fact that he singlehandedly took golf to a whole new level in terms of popularity. The fact that you don't change the channel anytime you see Tiger Woods with a club in his hand on a Sunday afternoon. You can't change it. You might miss something.
And so now, I bestow upon him the greatest compliment I can in recognition of his talents: Tiger Woods plays golf as well as any other person ever did any other thing. The same statement has been made about Michael Jordan, but it applies to Eldrick as well. He's that great.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have an appointment with a hypnotist: Golf is a sport, Anthony. When you wake up, you wil consider golf to be a sport like any other.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Barry, you brought stuff like this on yourself.
When Barry Bonds connected on that Mike Bacsik fastball last night, raised his arms in elation and relief that he had finally done it and proceeded on his record-breaking jog around the bases, America's Pastime reached the point of no return. Well, at least for a few years, anyway. You-Know-Who will soon come knocking on Bonds' door, looking to recreate last night for himself, but until that time comes, baseball has reached a new era. An era in which Barry Lamar Bonds is the all-time home run king. Hammering Hank, the hero, has been unseated. And he's been unseated by an accused cheater. The Record is tainted. And a lot of people have a problem with that.
I don't. Is the record tainted because of Bonds' suspected steroid use? Well, from 1986-1998, ages 22-34 of Bonds' life, he hit a home run in every 16.1 at-bats. From ages 35 to now, he hit one in every 9.2 at-bats. Each individual can take that bit of information and do with it what they wish. I know some people who go by the "He's never been tested for anything" theory, but I, personally, look at that data - which illustrates a player nearly doubling his home run rate at a time in his career when most athletes fall off - and get more than a little suspicious. Call me crazy.
But I don't really care that baseball's most hallowed mark now has a giant asterisk next to it. Alex Rodriguez is going to come along and break this record in six years tops, and everyone will be happy again. If there's anything I'll regret from this mess, it's how Bonds - perhaps as gifted a player as baseball has seen since Wille Mays - has tarnished what could've been a golden legacy in the sport's history for no real reason. Unnecessarily and by his own foolish doing.
Barry's father, Bobby, was a three-time All-Star and Gold Glove outfielder from 1968-1981, primarily for the San Francisco Giants. Combining power and speed at the leadoff spot, Bobby was a 30-30 guy five times, flirted with becoming the first 40-40 guy twice (39 bombs and 43 stolen bases in '73, 37 and 41 in '77), and finished up with 332 jacks and 461 bags. His godfather is the great Willie Mays, widely hailed as the best all-around player ever. He had the genes and learned the game from two great players. Bonds couldn't miss.
And he didn't. Bonds began his career in Pittsburgh, where he won two MVP's in seven seasons. He then moved to San Francisco, where he added another MVP in his first season there, maintaining his speed, bumping his average and adding a little power as he hit his prime. He was also a Gold Glove left fielder, winning eight of them, the most ever at the position.
No red flags yet. And this is where the first part of Barry Bonds' career ends, after the 1998 season. Act 1: The Clean Years. 441 homers, 445 steals, a .290 average, eight gold glovers. Griffey had more power, Barry had more speed; overall, you'd probably have to give a slight edge to Barry as the best player of the nineties. An obvious Hall-of-Famer. Could've easily accepted his inevitable fate, the sometimes rapid, sometimes gradual decline that even the greatest athletes undergo. He still would have retired with almost 600 jacks, still the first ever 500-500 guy, one of the five most complete players that ever lived. End of story.
But, of course, that wasn't enough.
According to Jeff Pearlman's book, "Love Me, Hate Me: Barry Bonds and the Making of an Antihero," Bonds became jealous of the attention Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire were receiving for their home run conquests, assumed that they were juicing up and decided to get on a cycle himself, to start using some "hardcore stuff." And when he did, allegedly folowing the 1998 season, he went, as Bob Costas described it - in full TV mode - this morning on "Mike and Mike," "from a truly great player to a superhuman player."
After an injury plagued 1999, in which he hit 34 homers in 102 games, Bonds hit a career-high 49 in 2000 - at age 36. Then a record 73 in 2001 - at 37. 46, 45, and 45 in 403, 390, and 373 at-bats, respectively, over the next three years. The extra homers padded his average, as he hit between .328 and .370 from '01-04, a period in which he won four consecutive MVP's. Prior to this stretch, Bonds had only hit above .312 once in 15 seasons. He became the most feared hitter ever, setting the single season walks record three seperate times - in 2001, 2002, and 2004. His slugging percentage went over .600 in 2004, for the first time in the game's history.
And suddenly, he had risen to a whole 'nother level: from obvious Hall-of-Famer, one of the very best players ever, to the best player ever. Seven-time Most Valuable Player, with all the other stuff on top of it. Better than Mays, better than Aaron, better than Ruth. The Greatest.
But soon, suspicion found it's way to Bonds, as the walls began to crumble around the game and a cloud of dust formed over "The Steroids Era." And Bonds became the posterchild of it. Another book, "Game of Shadows," was written detailing his rampant drug abuse. His hometown newspaper released his testimony to a federal grand jury in which he stated that he had unknowingly used undetectable steroids known as "the cream" and "the clear", given to him by his personal strength trainer, Greg Anderson, who spent four months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute steroids and money laundering. Opinions were formed and a consensus was reached: Barry Bonds is a cheater.
And it didn't have to be that way. Bonds should have left this game without controversy, without jokes about the size of his forehead, without a reputation as a dirty player who ripped the prestige out of the home run record. It was in his hands. Sadly, at least to me, he chose the dark side.
And that, more than anything else, is what I'll think of first whenever I recall the night that Barry Bonds hit 756.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Barry Bonds just hit his record breaking home run in the 5th inning of Mike Bacsik of the Washington Nationals. After a video recorded message from Hank Aaron, and an emotional speech from Bonds, I hope he is at ease. Selig should not be. Going to a meeting instead of watching history? What a supportive commissioner.
I am so relieved that it is over. Despite allegations, boos, and hatred towards Barry Bonds, I am still a Barry Bonds fan. I grew up loving Barry Bonds and I still do. He has my support through it all.
Nothing else to say but congrats and keep on swinging.
To be continued...
Thanks to Romy Dinsay for the great Barry Bonds banner.
Monday, August 6, 2007
Pictures like this are the reason Michael Irvin had to wait a couple years to get the call from the Hall.
Michael Irvin became eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2005, and he was very deserving. One-third of the famed Triplets. Won three Super Bowls. Led the league in receiving and set a record with 11 100-plus yard games in 1995. Finished his career with nearly 12,000 yard receiving and 65 touchdowns in twelve seasons when he was forced to retire at the age of 33 due to a spinal cord injury. Second most productive playoff receiver ever. The first big, strong, physical receiver, Irvin was rough with opposing cornerbacks, shoving them aside with such ease that the league was forced to create the "offensive pass interference" rule in order to give hope to overmatched defensive backs. "The Michael Irvin Rule." The prototype for Anquan Boldin. The template for Keyshawn Johnson. The original Terrell Owens. The Playmaker.
So why did he just make his induction speech yesterday? Because the Hall of Fame selection process is retarded, that's why. The voters have too much power. They're dumb. Common sense and logic is thrown by the wayside. It's just one big mess, when you think about it.
These are the rules each year: you need at least eighty percent of the vote to get in. If no one gets the minimum percentage, the three with the highest number are elected. If more than six get the eighty percent, the six with the highest percentage
are selected. You follow me?
Now, I don't know how many times either of these scenario's have actually come into play, especially the latter one. It's hard to imagine there ever being more than six no-brainers up for induction at the same time. And that certainly wasn't the case in Irvin's first two years of eligibilty. Here were the 2005 enshrinees: Benny Friedman, Dan Marino, Fritz Pollard, and Steve Young. The 2006 inductees: Troy Aikman, Reggie White, Harry Carson, John Madden, Warren Moon, and Rayfield Wright.
And herein lies our first problem. Marino, Young, Aikman, White, and Moon all made it on their first try. But the others? The first NFL Hall of Fame class was inducted in 1963. Players must be retired five years before they become eligible. Coaches must be retired. Well, Pollard, the first black NFL head coach, worked his last job in 1928. Friedman, an ancient quarterback, quit in 1934. Madden, enshrined as a coach, retired following the 1978 season. Wright...1979. Carson...1988. Did you do that mental math yet? What made Wright a HoFer in 2005 that didn't make him one twenty years earlier? He didn't add anymore Pro Bowls to his resume during that span, did he? Did Carson record any more tackles in the period he was left out? What about Madden, did he win anymore games, or get the Raiders to another Super Bowl? Friedman was such an important player in the game's history that his name didn't even come up in discussions until the last decade - more than sixty years after he retired, more than thirty years after the Hall's inception, and more than 15 years after he died. I mean, this guy played so long ago that they don't even have definitive stats from his era. He might have led the league in touchdown passes during his career...and he might not have. We don't know for sure. It was too long ago. He was selected by the Veterans Commitee, who elect players who have not been selected after twenty years on the ballot. What a stupid idea. Um, there's a reason they didn't get in after all those years. If you're on the ballot for two decades and you can't garner enough votes to get in after all that time, you're not a Hall of Famer. Period. Case closed. I can't even believe I have to think about something so ridiculous. Is anybody with me? Helloooooooo? Am I the only person perplexed by this nonsense? Why do I feel like I'm the only one? Why do I feel like I'm alone? My goodness. I'm starting to get a headache.
Anyways, Irvin should have gone in in 2005 as the third most deserving candidate behind Marino and Young. It's not even an argument. Which brings us to another problem: the saintly voters. Irvin was one of the most troubled athletes - off the field - ever, and when he came up, the Selection Commitee sat atop their high horses, looked down on him, and decided that they were going to punish him for not living up to their ethical standards. Mike indulged himself in cocaine and women in his free time and the voters didn't approve, so they took it upon themselves to make an example out of him. You can call it the 88th Commandment: If thou engages in drug-driven sex orgies and the wearing of full-length mink coats to court appearances, thee will be penalized by Us, the Holy Electors, regardless of how game thou was on Sunday. These jerks shouldn't have the authority to make these kinds of moral judgments. They're mere mortals like everyone else. More than that, it just ain't about the righteousness - or lack thereof - that someone exhibits in his personal life; it's about on-field performance and nothing else. Or at least it should be. Aikman, the good guy, goes in on the first ballot, and Irvin, better at his position and just as important to those great Cowboy teams of the nineties, doesn't. B.S.
And the beat goes on. Roger Wehrli, Mike's 2007 classmate, gets in on his twenthieth try. Derrick Thomas still isn't in, for reasons unknown to man. And it's not just football, either. James Worthy had to wait five years. Bernard King, one of the best and most admired players of the mid-eighties and a legend to true basketball fans, still ain't in. Andre Dawson continues to be denied. Numbers mean more than anything now, especially in baseball. That's not what has kept Dawson out (you can blame that on pure stupidity), but it is what might keep David Ortiz out. Big Papi got a late start on stardom, and probably won't finish his career with the kind of numbers that would be deemed Hall worthy today, let alone fifteen years from now. He won't have 3,000 hits, or 500 homeruns, plus he was a DH, and the voters will likely look at that and decide that he doesn't deserve to go down as an all-time greats, instead of focusing on what really mattered: that he was the most beloved and respected player of his era, a playoff hero and Boston legend on par with Larry Bird, the guy from this generation you'll remember most 30 years from now, for all his clutch hits and the way he tossed his helmet rounding third after a walkoff bomb. Would you bet against them doing this? I sure wouldn't.
And when they do, will you any longer have any reverance for the Hall of Fame? I won't. I barely do now.
Saturday, August 4, 2007
Embracing his son at home plate, and showing love to his family, the sounds of cheers and boos were recognized from the field. The game is not over, but I wish he does not hit 756 there.
I wish Bonds hits 756 in San Fransisco. I hope he plays no more road games, so history is made at home. After he does, I hope he retires the day of the home run. Let all the Bonds haters feel an itch inside their body that they can't scratch. They would not be able to do a darn thing about it.
That would be sweet. Barry, hit it soon. It will all be over.
Oh and by the way, congrats to my man A-Rod. 500 baby.
Anymore milestones today? Good. I am going to watch some Law And Order.
To be continued...