Friday, June 6, 2014

Quick Sports

I was wondering yesterday if there's a more unlikeable guy than Lebron James in sports (only afterward did he have to be carried off the court)?

Then I started wondering was it always this way, that so many athletes were sooo disliked?

In questioning this, the first team that came to mind were the Detroit Pistons from 1988-1991, led by Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer and Rodman. But they wanted you to dislike them. They termed themselves "The Bad Boys." The '85 Bears weren't universally disliked even if they were obnoxious. Guys like Tom Brady, you "hate" him on the field, but off it, do you really? There are countless other franchises, and specific teams, people have come to loathe, but I get the sense the dislike for certain athletes has changed quite a bit.

Is it the "me" culture that so many athletes seem to rejoice in being part of?

I'm not sure Lebron's TV special where he announced the taking of "his talents" to South Beach is the only reason for the dislike. I definitely didn't like him before that. The whole smacking of the chalk before games in Cleveland was pretty lame, and still is. It's quite "me", and I think that's very different now than it once was.

But it's not just Lebron. We hate Tebow, Johnny Manziel, Lance Armstrong, Manti Te'O, Tiger Woods, Alex Rodriguez, Mike Vick, Kobe, Tony Romo, and many more! Tebow, in his defense, is equally as loved, even if he's no longer an athlete.

Even with all those mentioned, I still dislike Lebron more, and there are dog-killers, liars and cheats in that list. Not sure why, either. Michael Jordan is the greatest hoopster ever, and he has a lot of skeletons in his closet. And while feared by opponents, and despised on the court by fans, he was pretty much universally loved for his greatness. Lebron? Meh.

Makes me wonder if the way we dislike athletes, and the reason(s), have changed? Have they changed, so now we dislike them more?

Vernon Davis's comments about his "brand" certainly aren't helping.

Oh, and with regard to the dislike for Lebron, it will only grow. My prediction is they'll win the title again, and him being carried off the court will be an image we see for the rest of our lives. I pray that's not the case.


Speaking of players who are hard to like...Colin Kaepernick epitomizes such an athlete. Yet he'll be in San Francisco for as long as they think it's necessary to pay him his guaranteed $60 Million dollars.

I can't back track from my beliefs about this guy, so I may as well state them again: I don't think he's a great quarterback, nor do I think he'll ever be one.

Can he win? Sure. He has proven that. BUT...can he win on his own is the question? Meaning, does he have the mental capacity to carry a team on his own shoulders the way a Steve Young did?

In my opinion, what Kaepernick lacks is the ability to throw players open when they're covered, to read defenses at a high level, and throw touch passes when necessary. When the pressure is on it seems he either has to have a specific play called for him in order to succeed, or he'll rely on the simplest option available, which teams can defend.

His flaws are hard to rectify at this level. You can either do it, or you cannot. Luckily for "Kaep", he has physical skills superior to most others, which tend to mask his deficiencies, but are dominant enough that a great coach can a lot out of them. At the same time, his primary skill is running, but usually Quarterbacks who run get themselves into trouble, be it a knee injury, concussion, you name it.

So I'll go out on a short limb here and say Kaepernick will not be the 49ers QB for 6 seasons, and will not be paid the entirety of his contract. Nor will he will the team a Superbowl.

Sorry, folks, but if history is a guide, NFL windows aren't open long. Kaepernick's low salary enabled the team to buy other players. His high salary will turn the table on that.


News that former University of North Carolina shooting guard Rashad McCants didn't do his own school work in college, and was merely there to play basketball, isn't very surprising. I would be a lot more surprised to learn the University of North Carolina didn't have a program to funnel their star athletes through school, and onto the playing area.

The most telling quote from the news story is this:

In 2014 Rashad McCants said, "College was a great experience, but looking back at it, now it's almost a tragedy because I spent a lot of my time in a class I didn't do anything in."

I asked a few months back on my radio show if these athlete-students would be better served if we took away athletic scholarships altogether. I still wonder this today. McCants, and countless others, have been shortchanged by the system that exists. Regardless of what you think about their "opportunity."

Of course, Head Coach Roy Williams is denying this ever took place.

"I strongly disagree with what Rashad (McCants) has said. In no way did I know about or do anything close to what he says and I think the players whom I have coached over the years will agree with me. I have spent 63 years on this earth trying to do things the right way and the picture he portrays is not fair to the University or me."
Stop lying. You knew. They all know.

So in addition to being a shitty basketball coach, he's also a dishonest leader of youth. Sweet. And please, don't kid yourself. He's a pretty shitty basketball coach.

There are undoubtedly a great number of athlete-students who do things the right way; taking their studies seriously; doing their own work; not getting into trouble. There is no doubt. In fact, maybe even the majority. However, there are countless others, many who are star athletes within different programs, that take the opposite road. All along the way the program is there to support them. I'm sure there's even a disconnect between those who do it right, and those who do it wrong, both sides not sharing with the other.

So when the defenders of Coach Williams, North Carolina, and every other school start to come out in support of these people and institutions, realize their collective defense means very little to the reality of what is actually happening. To no one's surprise.


Speaking of poor decisions by a college coach, Oregon's Dana Altman has some 'splainin' to do.

A female student at the school has accused 3 players of sexually assaulting her at a party. One of them already had a case pending against himself from another school!

Why would Coach Altman sign a transfer from Providence College who already was in the midst of a sexual abuse investigation?

Not a good look for the University of Nike.

I hate to judge a book by its cover, but after watching Jason Calliste throw a player to the floor, my gut told me this team has some serious discipline issues. It wasn't just this incident that made me question Oregon Athletics, but rather it was more the final straw. In addition to Colt Lyerla's drug issues, the snowball incident on campus, the players suspended from the Oregon team, and now this, Calliste's action was merely a summation of how I perceive them to be.

Win at all costs. Even if takes a few guys who may have assaulted women.


I understand why Oakland Raiders Cheerleaders are suing the team, and I'm sure the incidents aren't isolated to just the Raiders. I think it's wrong to grope anyone. I think it's wrong to underpay someone. I think it's wrong to force anyone to be publicly embarrassed (even if your job is sort of an embarrassing joke). I think all this is wrong.


I don't necessarily think it's wrong for their to be some type of weight requirement for cheerleaders. I mean, the job is to LOOK GOOD. And in America we define looking good as resembling someone who looks like this. If you don't want to live up to this standard then this line of work probably isn't for you. That, or maybe you should be a cheerleader in Nigeria or Ghana, where men seem to like heavier women.

But come on. I support most of your argument. That's just a bit too much even for me.


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