One Shining Moment

April 11, 2009

“One Shining Moment” has got to be the corniest, most melodramatic song on the planet. You can basically smell the cheese coming off of it. But you know what? I’ll be damned if I’m not staying up until 12:30AM after the NCAA Championship to watch the montage of highlights and emotional moments of March Madness that accompanies Luther Vandross’ serenade. It’s magical. If there’s a better sport than college basketball, someone please let me know.

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Yankees Rodriguez BaseballLook. I get it. A lot of baseball players take steroids. It’s cheating and it sucks for those that have been true to themselves and the game and resisted the temptation of the juice. But can we please stop talking about A-Rod everyday? I seriously don’t give a fuck anymore. I’m tired of his lame ass excuses and backtracking. I wouldn’t be surprised if word got out that he used after 2003 as well. I won’t care then either. Let’s have regular random testing for every player, and if someone fails, suspend them for a year. Case closed, end of story. Anyone that used is banned from the Hall of Fame. That’s it, sorry. That way we can move on and concentrate on great stories like the one I read on ESPN.com today (and ESPN is probably more guilty than any outlet for putting A-Rod under the microscope).

A high school player in Wisconsin lost his mother to cancer, and after initially indicating that he would sit out his next game, decided on game day that he wanted to play. Since he wasn’t listed on the roster for the game, his team was issued a techincal and the opponent was awarded two free throws, despite attempting to decline the foul. In a moment of pure class, the opposing coach instructed the player who volunteered to take the shots to miss the free throws on purpose–to no resistance from the player. It’s a great story and an example of the type of sportsmanship wholly absent from athletics today. Class begins at the youngest levels and is shortly thereafter abandoned, unfortunately. Check out the story HERE.

Stephen Curry

December 9, 2008

Any person that considers himself a college basketball fan is aware of Stephen Curry, the man singlehandedly driving Davidson. Last year, Curry propelled the squad to the Elite 8 and this season has them positioned as the No. 22 team in the nation, an impressive slot for a small program like Davidson.

When I noticed that Davidson was playing West Virginia tonight on ESPN for the Jimmy V Classic, I was eager to watch Curry play as I hadn’t seen him in action since the tournament last year. I tuned in for the second half and although Davidson was ahead by a couple of buckets, Curry was struggling from the field. Despite the fact that he had dropped 44 on NC State in his last time out, or perhaps because of it, Curry was forcing outside jumpers and taking bad shots early in the possession. Curry displayed a marked ability to create his own shot and has a rapid-fire release, but he seemed to want to win the game on his own.

Come to find out, that’s exactly what he did. As Davidson found themselves down by a few due to atrocious rebounding, all it took was a jumper to go down for Curry to find his stroke. He wound up scoring Davidson’s last 11 points, including the step-back three that ultimately put Davidson ahead for good. Some might argue that Curry is too small to play in the Association, but his ability to create his own shot and marksmanship from outside will make him a threat. As my dad used to say, a great shooter makes up for a multitude of sins.

Watch the PTI guys argue about Loyola MD’s strategy to double team curry the ENTIRE GAME despite losing by 30:

It seems to me that the Olympics have lost a bit of luster. The last time I remember being really excited for the Games was 1996 in Atlanta, perhaps because it was the first time I could actually follow the Olympics in an American city (I was a year old when the ’84 Games were in L.A.) But I think it had more to do with the fact that there were actually notable marquee athletes to root for. The ’96 Games had Michael Johnson and his awesome gold shoes, Carl Lewis, Kerri Strug and many others. Nowadays, I would be pressed to name more than one (Michael Phelps) athlete to watch for. I also think that 12 years ago, people were naively ignorant of doping. In the realm of modern day athletics, anytime a competitor breaks a record, people can’t help but wonder.

The only reason the 2008 Games are getting the attention they are is due to their setting. Talking heads are babbling on about China’s worthiness as a host country due to highly publicized (and sometimes exacerbated) human rights offenses. Is that really all there is to talk about?

Regardless, I just saw something that got me excited again. Nike is notorious for its cutting edge advertising and proved yet again why they stand alone atop the mountain of apparel companies. Nike’s new Olympic ad literally gave me chills and does so each time I watch it. It reminded me of why we should get excited about the Olympics: the Games are an opportunity to see the finest athletes compete on a global stage, for the world to momentarily put aside its issues and focus instead on individual courage. Of course its an ideal and a naive one at that, but it sounds pretty nice doesn’t it? For two weeks it almost works.

Check out the ad. It features The Killers’ “All These Things That I’ve Done,” which works really well, particularly with choir accompaniment:

Tonight, the basketball gods have shined on the Chicago Bulls. With less than a 2% chance to win the 2008 Draft Lottery, the Bulls pulled the largest upset of the season by beating out the rec-league teams of Miami, Seattle, and Minnesota. Now the Bulls are faced with the tough decision between Memphis phenom Derrick Rose or Kansas State man-beast Michael Beasley.

Both players are leaving after prolific freshman seasons. Derrick Rose carried his team to the NCAA Championship game, while averaging 14.9 pts 4.5 rebs 4.7 asts 1.2 stls. Michael Beasley wasn’t a slouch either. He led his less-talented Kansas State team to the second round of the tournament, while averaging a panty-dropping 26.2 pts 12.4 rebs 1.3 stls 1.6 blks. Both these players are 19 year old future millionaires with the skills to become perennial allstars.

As an avid Bulls fan, I am ecstatic about this opportunity. They already boast a solid team with a core of Luol Deng, Ben Gordan, and Kirk Hinrich along with talented youngsters in Tyrus Thomas and Joakim Noah. Based on need, I would say that Beasley would be a perfect fit. He’s the front court presence they need, and he has attitude. His low post moves are mature, and he’ll rip another guy’s (friend or foe) head off for a rebound. The problem is: Rose seems like a potential superstar in the mold of Dwayne Wade. If Rose blows teams away in workouts, I would push for a trade of Kirk or Ben and Tyrus for a low post player. Rose will be the closer the Bulls need.

Anyways, I think either player will help the team. Next season is going to be great, and I’m definitely buying tickets to watch the Bulls rip the Knicks. I can’t wait to hear the Boos of Knicks fans rain down from MSG on that overpaid pu pu plater of players as Rose/Beasley drop 30.