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June 12, 2012 8:30 AM

Column Awards of the Week (6/5-6/11)

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.

Column Awards for slide.jpgThis past weekend was chock full of sporting events. There was the women's and men's French Open Finals, the beginning of Euro 2012, Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals, Game 7 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals and even the Belmont Stakes was exciting despite no possibility of a Triple Crown winner. But all of those things took a back seat in the sports headlines to the Pacquiao-Bradley fight.

It wasn't just that Timothy Bradley Jr. upset Pacquiao but that the judges are at best incompetent and at worst corrupt. No experts who watched the fight had Bradley winning it. Promoter Bob Arum even said that after the fight Bradley said, "I tried hard, but couldn't beat the guy." Of course, take Arum's words with a grain of salt because those that believe the match was fixed believe Arum was the one behind it.

Arum could stand to benefit from the controversial decision because it will set up a rematch between these two and another huge pay day. There are those that argue that the loss hurts Pacquiao's appeal and ultimately kills the potential fight with Mayweather Jr. but who knows if that fight was/is ever going to happen. I'm not as much interested in whether the fight was fixed or not as I'm interested in whether it even matters. In fact, I think the controversy is probably the best thing for boxing.

Boxing isn't the same as most other sports. Most sports are ruled by statistics but boxing is all about the drama and the spectacle. It's more like the WWE than it is a sport like baseball. This isn't to diminish the sport of boxing but to point out that the majority of those that tune in to boxing matches know about as much as HBO's 24/7 series tells them. There's a reason Mayweather Jr. was only a 3-1 favorite to defeat Ricky Hatton back in 2007. HBO and the media made it seem like Hatton had a chance. The result? Mayweather controlled the whole fight and it was called in the 10th round after Hatton was knocked down twice.

Not all fans are in it for the drama. A minority actually understand the nuances and strategy of the sport. But boxing already has those fans. They aren't about to give up on their beloved sport no matter how crooked it is.

I have no idea if the match was fixed but it seems like boxing has more to gain with controversy than it stands to lose in diminished credibility. On to the awards!


In Need of a Dictionary
Hal Bodley of MLB.com has a curious way of saying the AL East is better than the NL East: Yes, this is a team (the Marlins) with great young talent, they said, but probably not quite ready for prime time -- to take long-term control of what has become one of Major League Baseball's most competitive divisions, undoubtedly stronger this year than the perennially tough AL East.

Oh...he's not saying that? He's saying the NL East is "undoubtedly stronger"? Hmm. Let's examine that. The two divisions just played interleague series' against each other and the final tally after the weekend? 9-6 in favor of the AL. And those NL East best Marlins? They were swept by the Rays. The weekend aside you could make an argument that the NL East is a stronger division but to claim it's "undoubtedly stronger" is just idiotic.

Candidate for NBA GM of the Year
Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post knows exactly how to fix the Nuggets: The Nuggets should pick up the telephone during the next month and make a trade proposal: Lawson, Gallinari and Afflalo for James.

Done and done. Now Kiszla can turn his attentions to the Rockies where he'll try and trade Jason Giambi for Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp. I mean, Kemp IS injured so maybe the Dodgers pull the trigger...

Argument Part of the Problem
Jeff MacGregor of ESPNW doesn't believe women athletes should be subjected to all the awful comments men make regarding the women's physical appearances: Two recent examples here at the dot-com would be stories about Brittney Griner and Holley Mangold. Both strong women, beautiful and accomplished.

Why even mention that these women are beautiful? Isn't that exactly the type of objectification you're arguing against?

Horrible Gaffe of the Week
Either Rick Reilly is hilarious or he's an unfunny lazy columnist. Unfortunately for Reilly, there is far too much evidence that supports the latter. He recently wrote about how people should let go of their hate for LeBron James:
OK, LeBron is not perfect. Threw a Gatorade cup. Punched a walking stick. Carries that stupid little man purse. But if you were to fill a plane with the most spoiled superstars in the country, he'd be boarding in the D group.

Why is this particularly hilarious? Because that walking stick story is from a joke post TheBasketballJones wrote about a month ago. So either Reilly put it in there knowing it was a joke or he was stupid enough to not realize it was a joke.

Grown men are actually strapping microphones to their ties and saying that if James doesn't win the title, the Heat ought to be broken up. For what? For making the Finals last year? For making (at least) the Eastern finals this year? James has been with these guys only two seasons. It took Michelangelo four years to paint the Sistine Chapel. You people would've fired him in two.

Did Michelangelo ever mess up and have to repaint an entire section? It's a matter of progress and if the Heat had lost to the Celtics it would've represented a gigantic step back. It would be like it Michaelangelo started to paint stick figures in place of God and Adam.

Horrible Advice for Michigan Teams
Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press has some advice for Michigan teams: Hype is hell and rarely fulfilled. Avoid it at all cost. Walk around masked, if necessary.
No NFL team has been hyped more in the past few months nationally than the Lions. No college football team has been hyped more right now nationally than the Wolverines. If history is any judge, neither will come remotely close to meeting the outrageous expectations following them nearly three months before their respective seasons start.

Do whatever you can to avoid hype! Don't sign good free agents. Tank the previous season. Don't recruit 5-star players. That way when you fail it's expected. That's so much better than having high expectations...

Insult of the Week
Gil LeBreton of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram draws an unfavorable comparison to Tony Romo: Romo is 32, and he's won what? Only one more postseason game than Quincy Carter?

Now that's a little harsh isn't it? Romo is probably one of the top 10 QBs in the league and Quincy Carter represents one of the darkest times in Cowboys history. Even with his botched hold, Romo deserves a little more respect than that.

Why Newspapers Are Dying
Here's part of the article Greg Cote of the Miami Herald filed Saturday night: The drama of Saturday night's Heat-Celtics Game 7 here played out after the deadline for this column, so all we could do is imagine the polar-opposite feeling that would be sweeping across South Florida right now depending on the result.

He then goes on to talk about what a loss or a win would mean to the franchise and Miami. What's even the point of posting this? Or at least why post it online when it's instantly out-dated? It's like a work site hanging a sign saying '2 days since the last accident' - it just draws attention to major flaws.

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