By updating RealClearSports I read hundreds of articles every week but sometimes there are particular passages that need highlighting. And to make these passages more palatable I'm doing them in award form! The awards are completely random and will change weekly.
Kobe Bryant thinks he gets fouled basically every time he takes a shot and he lets the officials know that. It's something he learned from the great Michael Jordan. When a quarterback gets hit after releasing the ball they throw their hands up in the air and look for a flag from the official while the player that hit them is dancing in celebration. How often have we seen a baseball player slam a bat after striking out or a pitcher scream curse words into his glove? This is all so commonplace because sports are full of emotion. When things are going well it's like the best drug in the world and when things are going poorly there's nothing more frustrating and depressing.
So why are people so outraged with Tiger Woods' outburst at the Masters this past weekend? Woods tossed a few clubs and - before I tell you the rest of his horrific acts make sure to take out your monacle because I wouldn't want it to fall into your tea when you hear this - he kicked one of his own clubs and cursed! Oh the humanity! On Friday, on the 16th hole Woods' shot with his 9-iron fell short of the green and he dropped his club and kicked it and his muttered curse words were picked up on TV. Is this really something to get riled up about? A player getting emotional? It's not even as bad as Kobe mouthing off to refs or Tom Brady looking for a flag because those acts are upstaging the officials. This is an individual upset with his own play. He doesn't have a right to be mad with himself? He should just smile and move on to his next shot? It's not like he pulled a Happy Gilmore or something.
Woods will almost definitely be fined by the PGA but it's their policy not to make those fines and/or suspensions public. David Whitley of the Sporting News argues they should and maybe it would teach Tiger a lesson: Fines certainly don't bother him. The PGA Tour doesn't have jurisdiction over the majors, which are the only tournaments Woods really cares about. That leaves what?
Tiger Woods would be shamed by a fine? Tiger Woods. Um, I think he's been shamed plenty. We all saw what he did. Why would announcing his fine make any difference?
Honestly, I like that he gets frustrated. Isn't there something endearing in this PC sports world we've created when a player wears his heart on his sleeve? Frankly, I think less of golf because it seems so emotionless. On to the awards!
Comparing Apples to the Biggest Apples Ever
John Clay of the Lexington Herald-Leader argues John Calipari isn't the only one taking advantage of the one-and-done players, he's just doing it the best: Duke's Mike Krzyzewski is losing his second straight point guard to the NBA ranks after a single college season, and somehow it's Calipari that's "Coach One-and-Done."
I'm not here to argue against recruiting one-and-done players but there is a HUGE difference between Coach K and Calipari. In the last two years Krzyzewski has had two players leave after one season (and a total of four over his career) and Calipri will most likely have 3 this year alone. So I wouldn't quite put these two in the same boat.
Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press writes about marijuana in the wake of a few Detroit Lions players and a Michigan State basketball player getting caught with the drug: Do athletes honestly believe pot isn't a big deal? If so, the NFL and MSU can send a loud, clear signal to everybody -- including those fans who think harping on marijuana usage is overblown in relation to other illegal substances -- that criminal law, as well as league and school policy, will be strictly enforced. ... Have them pack their bags (and baggies). The Lions should kick Leshoure and Fairley off the team. And Tom Izzo should do the same with Nix.
What was this written in the '50s? Do ATHLETES believe pot isn't a big deal? Basically no one below 30 believes pot is a big deal. It's not a performance enhancing drug. In fact, it's quite the opposite. If every athlete that smoked pot was kicked off of teams sports would cease to exist. If every student that smoked pot was kicked off campus higher education would collapse (and yes, I did use "higher" on purpose there. See I'm clever).
Why Starting a Career in Making Millions Is a "Travesty"
Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle is the latest to rail against the one-and-done epidemic and he does so by comparing it to the women's side: While arguments rage in NBA circles about "one and done" players coming out of college, there's a measure of sanity in the women's game. Brittney Griner is coming back for her senior year at Baylor, and never thought twice. ...
The result: pure satisfaction for the fans. Say what you want about the women's game, but the men's college-to-pro stampede is a travesty in comparison.
If you're talking about comparisons let's do that. Let's compare. Griner has the chance to leave college and go to the WNBA and make 5-figures! She'd make about $50K as a rookie. The top pick in the NBA Draft will make over $5 million. For women, the biggest stage is the Final Four. It gets much higher ratings than the WNBA so college is the best place for media exposure. That's not the case in the men's game where LeBron James is a much bigger household name than Anthony Davis. The other HUGE difference is women CAN'T leave after one season. To declare for the WNBA Draft a player must be at least 22 years old (or turn 22 in that calendar year) and has to have graduated. Let's not kid ourselves, if the WNBA were on the same level as the NBA and women could leave after their freshman year they would.
It's the End of the World As We Know It
Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe pressed the panic button on the Red Sox's season after just two games: Would it be piling on if we point out that the Sox have lost 22 of their last 29 games? And how many Titanic analogies will you read if these Sox come home something like 1-5 for their Friday-the-13th Fenway opener two days before the 100th anniversary of the demise of the White Star Line ship?
I love the Boston media. Two games in and the Titanic references come out. I'm surprised Shaughnessy was able to compose himself to write after the Sox got swept.
But things were supposed to be different this year. No early-season woes. Bobby Valentine brought structure and purpose to spring training. And changed the culture of the clubhouse. Remember?
I remember YOU saying all those things. This is what he wrote back on March 3: It's been two weeks in paradise watching Bobby Valentine and the "all new'' Red Sox. I see the new drills and the subliminal video messages and the longer workouts and the smarter-than-everybody manager and I keep asking myself the same question . . .How did the Red Sox win two World Series, average 93 wins per season, and make the playoffs five times when they were clearly such a chaotic, disorganized mess in spring training for the last eight years?
He just set up the story and then knocked it down. No one else was saying Valentine was turning this club around but Shaughnessy did and now he's writing as if that first story was popular opinion. You were the only one thinking that.
Filling In for Andy Rooney
It seems all of the Detroit Free Press columnists are behind on the times. Here's Mitch Albom who won't be getting a job at Wired any time soon: Don't tempt me. Turn that screen off.
I'm warning you. ...
I am talking about "Words with Friends," a terribly addicting app that is basically Scrabble played long distance. It involves nothing more than two players making words out of the letters they are given, and trying to score points by doing so.
Way to be ahead of the curve on this one. Words with what again? I'll have to look that up on my Apple 2G2. Loading....Loading...Eh screw it. I'm gonna play Choplifter instead.