Category Archives: NBA
Your undisciplined blogger here. I’ve got to do better. I’m making this statement for at least the 481st time on Foots Prints. I failed to follow through the first 480 times.
Sports is kind of in a lull right now. The World Cup ended two weeks ago with France defeating Croatia; the Open Championship ended eight days ago with a command performance by Francisco Molinari, who didn’t crack under the pressure of playing with Eldrick Woods in the final round; and one league of Major League Baseball is about as suspenseful as watching paint dry. Four of the five playoff teams in the American League are known: Red Sox, Yankees, Indians and Astros. The fifth spot will either come down to the Mariners or Athletics. Everyone else? Forget it.
Fortunately, the National League still holds drama. The Brewers somehow are only three games back (in the loss column) of the Cubs despite going 1-7 in Miami and Pittsburgh the week before the All-Star break, and Milwaukee has a comfortable lead as the first wild card. The Marlins, Mets and Padres are all done, and while the Reds are playing better under Jim Riggelman, the early hole they dug under Bryan Price is too much.
I don’t know if the Brewers can hold on to a playoff spot. They got some help in acquiring Joakim Soria and Mike Moustakas, but the injury bug has hit Miller Park hard. Milwaukee would have trouble in a one-game playoff against either Arizona, Atlanta or Philadelphia, and then if the Brewers won, they would have to play the Cubs in the division series.
John Tavares signed with the Maple Leafs. The ex-Islander will make Toronto a dangerous team offensively, but Mike Babcock knows there’s no way teams can win 6-4 in the NHL every night in this era. It isn’t the 1980s, when Edmonton was able to rush the puck up the ice consistently with Gretzky, Kurri, Messier, Coffey and Glenn Anderson and score seven or eight on many nights. Also, Toronto doesn’t have a goaltender anywhere near the caliber of Grant Fuhr to take on 40-45 shots consistently.
If Babcock doesn’t find some help on the blue line, and quick, Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen will die from taking on too many shots, and Toronto will never climb above Boston and Tampa Bay in the Atlantic.
The Bucks? Well, letting Jabari Parker walk wasn’t the problem. DRAFTING Jabari Parker was. If the Bucks were smart, they would have taken Joel Embiid number two overall instead of Parker, and even if Embiid would have been slow to heal from the injuries which plagued him at Kansas, it still would have been much better than Parker. Until the Bucks find help for the Greak Freak, they won’t be making it past the second round of the playoffs any time soon, even if the East is wide open after Boston, Philadelphia and Toronto.
I’ve written off the Arizona Cardinals. I don’t care what their record is. Actually, the worse, the better. They need a lot of help. Josh Rosen isn’t going to be the magic panacea to get them back to the Super Bowl. The offensive line sucks, and it has sucked since the Cardinals were in St. Louis. The running game has been non-existent since Ottis Anderson was in his heyday. I am not confident Steve Wilks is the answer.
I’ve also written off my alma mater’s football team. I just can’t see any better than 7-5. I hope I’m wrong. I’m looking at Miami, Auburn, Georgia Alabama and Texas A&M as games where LSU will be at a decided disadvantage. If the Mississippi State game were in Starkville and not Baton Rouge, I would have to favor State, but it’s a toss-up in Death Valley. The Florida game would be a toss-up in Baton Rouge, but in Gainesville, the Gators have to be favored. LSU is at a decided advantage in Baton Rouge vs. Ole Miss, but the Rebels will treat it as a bowl game since they are on probation. LSU has held the upper hand against Arkansas under Orgeron, but the Razorbacks will be dangerous in November after they learn Chad Morris’ system, especially in Fayetteville.
Forget the football played with a prolate spheroid and on a gridiron.
Football season is still 11 days away. The REAL football season, that is.
The Premier League kicks off August 10 when Leicester City visits Old Trafford to play Manchester United. It’s the second consecutive year Leicester has had to go on the road and play the Friday night game to open the season; last year, the Foxes lost 3-2 to Arsenal at Emirates Stadium. The rest of the league plays either that Saturday or Sunday.
The smart money is on Manchester City to repeat as Premier League champions. Why not? Pep Guardiola has built a machine at the Etihad Stadium, and it is still a step ahead of United and Liverpool, the other two teams which figure to be at the top of the table with City. Chelsea and Arsenal have new managers and the distraction of the Europa League, which forces teams to play on Thursdays before turning around to play league matches on Saturday or Sunday, and that will hurt. Tottenham has a golden opportunity this year with Arsenal and Chelsea a bit down and the excitement of moving into the new White Hart Lane, but will Spurs take it?
I don’t think Leicester will be anywhere near the danger of the drop zone, but I can’t see another Claudio Rainieri-Jamie Vardy miracle, either. Mid-table would be fine with me, maybe seventh and a spot in the Europa League.
Bournemouth probably has no business in the top flight, given it plays in a stadium which seats less than 12,000 has nowhere near the resources of the Big Six of the Premier League, and not as much as Leicester, Fulham and a few others. However, Eddie Howe is a fine manager, and that’s the reason the Cherries are still in the top flight and the likes of Sunderland, Stoke, Swansea, West Brom and Hull aren’t. In fact, Sunderland has cratered into League One, the third division, just two years after competing in the Premier League. OUCH.
Meanwhile, the pressure in Italy’s Serie A is on Juventus, where Cristiano Ronaldo has taken his talents after a long and storied run at Real Madrid. The Turin side is always expected to be at or near the top of Serie A, but this year, the pressure has to be crushing.
The same can be said for Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga. It has been Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and 16 weak sisters in most recent years in Germany, but last year, Dortmund was not only looking up at Bayern, but also Schalke and Hoffenheim. Christian Pulisic, the 19-year old American phenom, has a lot of weight on his shoulders at Dortmund, but it’s a position every MLS player would kill to be in.
I have an appointment in Prairie Village Thursday afternoon to get another treatment on my back. Now I know what to expect.
My dear friend Peggy celebrated a birthday yesterday. I know how old she is, but I won’t tell you. Sorry.
Watching The Price is Right now. WHY DO CONTESTANTS LOOK AT THE CROWD? They don’t know a damn thing. If I’m going to lose, I want to do it my way. I’m sure the contestant coordinators don’t pick the highest IQs, so what help can they be? Also, looking at the crowd wastes time!
Yesterday, two of the four major North American sports leagues held their All-Star games.
Both are horrid.
The National Football League once again staged the running joke that is the Pro Bowl. There was a time it meant something to make the Pro Bowl, but today, it’s all about bonus clauses in players’ contracts. The only reason any NFL player cares about the Pro Bowl is the cash he will be making.
Of the 88 players originally named to the Pro Bowl, 10 were members of the Super Bowl LII participants. Another 27 begged out of the game due to injury, whether or not the injury was real.
This meant 37 players who were not originally named to the Pro Bowl got an invitation, and even some of those replacements were injured themselves. Regardless of whether they were injured or not, the players collect their bonuses simply because they were a “Pro Bowler”, even if they were the fourth alternate at their position.
The NFL should eliminate the Pro Bowl. If they want to designate players as “Pro Bowlers”, fine, but then only those originally named can collect bonuses. Or why not have the NFLPA and NFL coaches vote on their own All-Pro team? It would mean a lot more to the players who were named the best by their peers than by the media, although the Associated Press All-Pro team is still pretty significant.
The NFL is constantly publicizing its drive to reduce injuries. Eliminating the Pro Bowl would help.
As bad as the Pro Bowl is, at least it is an actual football game.
The same cannot be said of the National Hockey League’s All-Star game.
Actually, it is now three mini-games of three-on-three between teams made up of players from each of the NHL’s four divisions (Metropolitan, Atlantic, Central and Pacific). The mini-games are divided into two 10-minute halves, and if the score is tied, there is a shootout.
The Metropolitan and Atlantic teams play for the “Eastern Conference” title, and the Central and Pacific teams play for the “Western Conference” title, with the first two winners squaring off again.
If this format isn’t asinine, I don’t know what is.
First, I cannot stand the NHL’s 3-on-3 overtime format in the regular season. Hockey is grueling enough with an 82-game schedule, so I believe overtime should be eliminated. Let tie games stay tied. If the NHL really wanted to reduce ties, it would adopt the association football format of three points for a win, and one point to each team for a tie (draw). The carrot of two extra points instead of one would get more teams to be more aggressive.
Second, the NHL All-Star game has usually been skating up and down the ice as fast as possible and shooting the puck as hard as possible. Checking is frowned upon. Penalties are almost non-existent, and if one is called, it is for something that would rarely, if ever, get called in the regular season or playoffs.
If the NHL wants to have an All-Star game, DO IT RIGHT. Make it real hockey, have the referees call penalties as they would in the regular season or playoffs, and no overtime and no shootouts.
The NBA’s All-Star game is a real basketball game, but defense is completely optional, if not abhorred. If a team doesn’t score at least 150 points in an All-Star game, it isn’t trying. Players will vacate the lane and let the opponent drive to the hoop unimpeded rather than standing their ground.
Major League Baseball has the best All-Star game by far, but from 2003 through 2016, there was a stupid provision where the winning league would secure home field advantage in the World Series for its pennant winner.
The only reason this came about is because the 2002 All-Star game ended in a 7-7 tie in then-commissioner Bud Selig’s hometown of Milwaukee. If Selig, who begged and pleaded with Wisconsin voters to build Miller Park for him so the Brewers didn’t leave America’s Dairyland, was so worried about a tie, he should have allowed pitchers and catchers to re-enter. Also, the manangers have to share some of the blame for the fiasco, since they were trying to play everyone so nobody’s feelings got hurt.
That’s the problem with today’s society. We have to let everyone play. We have to give out participation trophies.
But these are PROFESSIONAL athletes, not kids. They got their bonus no matter if they played in the All-Star game or not. If their ego can’t handle being a mere spectator in an exhibition game, they’re in the wrong business.
The English Premier League gets along just fine without an All-Star game. I think the four major leagues on this continent would not go bankrupt if their All-Star games went by the wayside. Maybe I’m wrong, but I didn’t watch one second of either game yesterday. And I am certainly avoiding the upcoming NBA All-Star game like the plague.
The NBA season ended last night.
I have had it up to here with LeBron, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, and anything and everything associated with the National Basketball Association, which I think should stand for something else. I will not reveal it.
I am beyond fed up with the comparisons between this year’s Warriors and the 1995-96 Bulls, who went 72-10 in a season which featured two expansion teams (Raptors and Grizzlies, who were then in Vancouver) and several established teams who were beyond pitiful (Mavericks, Nuggets, Bucks, et al). I don’t think either team is the best of all time. I honestly don’t think Jordan’s Bulls or Curry’s Warriors would beat the Lakers of Magic and Kareem, or the Celtics with Bird, Parish and McHale. I watched the NBA’s golden age of the 1980s, and nothing will ever compare. That’s why I gave up on the NBA for the most part after 1990.
LeBron flat out lied last night and said he does not believe in “super teams”. Bullshit. Who the hell do you think started the super team idea? LeBron James. He, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade committed gross collusion by talking for FOUR YEARS about joining the same team, which happened to be the Heat. David Stern, the chickenshit bastard that he is, let LeBron, Bosh and Wade commit collusion in the open by forming that super team.
Yes, LeBron went back to Cleveland, but he stabbed the city in the back and proved he is all about the Benjamins by going to Miami to form the super team. The Warriors only mimicked LeBron by signing
I cannot stand Michael Jordan, but I agree with him about not wanting other superstars on his team. He wanted to beat the tar out of Magic, Bird, Isaiah Thomas, Patrick Ewing, Gary Payton, Karl Malone, John Stockton, and Kobe (albeit in his very early years). The NBA was greater when the wealth was spread around, which it was in the 1980s. The Lakers had Magic, Kareem and later Worthy. The Celtics had Bird, Parish and McHale. The 76ers had Dr. J, Maurice Cheeks and later Moses Malone. The Bucks had Sidney Moncrief. The Pistons had Isaiah, Laimbeer and Dumars. The Trail Blazers had Clyde Drexler. The Jazz had Malone and Stockton, plus in the 1980s, they had Adrian Dantley, one of the forgotten scoring greats. The Rockets had the Twin Towers, Hakeem and Ralph Sampson. The Knicks had Ewing. The Bulls had Jordan and later Pippen. In 1982-83, the Spurs had George Gervin and Artis Gilmore.
Can you name players on teams other than the Warriors and Cavaliers right now? I know Anthony Davis in New Orleans, the Greek Freak in Milwaukee, John Wall in Washington, James Harden in Houston and Russell Westbrook in OKC. Other than that, don’t ask. I can’t tell you one player on the Kings, Suns, Magic, Nets or Nuggets.
I am not a big basketball fan. I would much rather watch football, baseball, hockey and real football (soccer). Heck, give me golf, skiing and cricket. But if I’m going to watch basketball, I will watch MEN’s college basketball, and that’s it. I don’t bother with women’s college basketball, because for the most part, we know who’s going to win. Yes, UConn lost to Mississippi State in the Final Four. But that’s not going to happen very often.
I saw an article on ESPN today about who will win the NBA championship in 2018. According to ESPN’s formula, Golden State is a LOCK to win the Western conference. That’s right, the Warriors have a ONE HUNDRED PERCENT chance of winning the West next season. In the East, Cleveland’s chances are 62.2 percent, compared to 28.9 percent for Boston. The third favorite? Milwaukee at 4.4 percent. Wahsington and Detroit (??!!) are at 2.2 percent.
As for the overall NBA champion, Golden State has a 97.8 percent chance to win the title. Cleveland is the only other team listed at 2.2 percent.
To put that in perspective, in 1,000 simulations of the 2017-18 NBA regular season and playoffs, Golden State wins the championship 978 times. Cleveland wins 22.
The 2017-18 NBA season begins October 31. Halloween. What a frightening thought to think I only have 4 1/2 months away from the NBA, the most overrated spectacle in entertainment, sports or not.
As long as I don’t watch ESPN, especially at 5 pm when Jemele Hill and Michael A. Smith spew their garbage, I may be okay.
The NBA Finals are almost over. Praise Jesus.
I was worried last night when the Cavaliers led by seven in the fourth quarter. If Cleveland had won, the series would have been guarantted to return to Oakland for game 5 Monday night, which would have meant more and more and more hype Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
I have had it with the NBA. Enough. Actually, I’ve had it with the NBA since June 1990, when the Pistons won their second consecutive championship by defeating the Trail Blazers in the finals. I stayed up late to watch the four night games in the finals–I missed game three, which was played on a Sunday afternoon, because I went with my dad and brother to an American Legion baseball game–and I was up long enough to see CBS Sports bid adieu to the NBA, since it was their last telecast after having the national television package since the 1973-74 season.
By time the 1990-91 season rolled around, I decided I would severely cut back my NBA watching. If there was nothing else on, maybe I would watch. But if there were other things to watch–and even in the early 1990s, there were–I would skip the NBA.
God I hated the Bulls. Hated them. I was no big fan of the Pistsons, and Lord I didn’t like Isaiah Thomas, but I was sick and tired of all the ass kissing going on around Michael Jeffrey Jordan, ass kissing which would only get worse and worse as his career continued and the Bulls continuued to win championships.
The NBA became as predicatable as the weather on a summer day in New Orleans. You knew the Bulls would win the championship as long as Jordan was there. Sure, he didn’t win a championship until he got help from Scottie Pippen and Hoarce Grant, but give me a break. Jordan was going to win championships with whomever he played with, as long as one of them was an above-average NBA player.
Thankfully Jordan did take some time off from the NBA following his father’s tragic death in July 1993, allowing Hakeem Olajuwon’s Rockets to briefly take center stage in 1994 and ’95. Sadly, the Rockets will be forever linked to Orenthal James Simpson, who told Al Cowlings to lead the Los Angeles Police Department on a slow-speed chase on the city’s freeways while Game 5 of the 1994 NBA Finals were taking place on the other side of the continent at Madison Square Garden.
That week of June 1994 was a great one for American sports. The Rangers won the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1940. The World Cup kicked off in the United States. The Rockets and Knicks were providing some much-needed relief to the montony which had become the NBA of Michael Jeffrey Jordan (David Stern was commissioner in name only; whatever Jordan wanted, he got). And here comes Orenthal James Simpson, brutally killing his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman, simply because Orenthal Jamse Simpson never learned how to properly treat a lady and got jealous when Nicole broke free and found comfort with another man.
When Michael Jordan returend to the NBA March 19, 1995, I said to myself “JESUS F***ING CHRIST”.
Sure enough, the Bulls won NBA titles in 1996, ’97 and ’98, the last coming when Jordan used his right arm to shove off Utah’s Bryon Russell in order to have a clear view for the winning shot in game six. Of course, Dick Bavetta, that cuckold pussy piece of shit referee, wasn’t about to whistle Black Jesus, aka Michael Jeffrey Jordan, for a foul. Ever. How the fuck is Dick Bavetta in the Hall of Fame?
Dick Bavetta, fuck you. Fuck you and almost every other official during the Jordan years. You let the asshole get away with everything, yet something like that done by a lesser player would be an automatic foul. Bavetta and other spineless NBA referees all had balls the size of BBs. As in none.
it was too bad Earl Strom retired the year before Jordan won his first title. It’s too bad Jake O’Donnell was forced out of the NBA just after Jordan ended his first retirement. It’s too bad Mendy Rudolph retired in 1975 and died in 1979. It’s too bad Richie Powers was blackballed out of the league in the late 1970s after he crossed the picket line during a strike and allowed coaches to play illegal defense all game without calling it.
Strom, O’Donnell, Rudolph and Powers had the balls to give equal treatment to superstars and average players. They would not have put up with Jordan’s bullshit. They would not have allowed Dennis Rodman to make a farce of basketball and abuse officials the way he did. Rodman would not have dared head butt Strom the way he did Ted Bernhardt in 1996. Jordan would not have dared scream the whole game at O’Donnell the way he did to just about every referee, Steve Javie excepted, in the mid-1990s.
You wonder why Kobe, LeBron and other superstars get preferential treatment? They learned from the master, Dick Bavetta, who somehow is in the Hall of Fame.
That angered me. Really pissed me off.
To me, Dick Bavetta was just like the late Eric Gregg, the National League umpire who was grossly incompetent, not to mention grossly obese, yet still kept his job for years and years. Bavetta was a showboat who wanted to bask in the reflected glory of the NBA’s superstars. And that meant giving Michael Jeffrey Jordan whatever the fuck he wanted.
I apologize for the profanity. I really do. I’m sorry, Peggy Cox.
Enough about the NBA. I’m praying Golden State ends this charade tomorrow night so First Take, Colin Cowherd, Around the Horn, Pardon the Interruption and every other show can talk about Major League Baseball and the NFL.
I doubt many people in the United Kingdom are waking up at 4 a.m. to watch this. If they are, then God help them. I know the Premier League season is done, but there’s got to be better sports to watch in the UK than the NBA. What about cricket?
It’s Good Friday, when Christians across the world observe the Crucifixon of Jesus Christ.
The Roman Catholic Church prescribes Good Friday as a day of fasting, where only one meal is allowed. I’ve never followed that rule, although I may very well come close this year. I finished off the remainig asparagus I got last night at Outback before leaving the hotel this morning, but I haven’t eaten anything else. I was tempted to eat when I stopped at 7-Eleven, but I held firm.
The vast majority of Catholics in the United States will go back to eating meat on Fridays starting next week. I’m going to try to go old school and not eat meat. It will be tough next week when I’m in Kenutcky, but I’ll do all I can. At least I’m in Lexington, where there are enough options, unilke some of the rural towns in Mississippi and Alabama I passed through on trips to the schools in those states. Good luck trying to find something without meat. If the place had a McDonald’s, at least there was Filet-O-Fish and fries. Not optimal, but it had to do. Finding a Catholic in most of Mississippi is harder than finding one in downtown Baghdad.
I’m now at Buffalo Wild Wings in Liberty. I’m probably going to eat, becuase it would be rude of me not to eat after spending as much time as I have here yesterday and today. I was expecting to see Larry (MIZZOU) so we could play trivia, but by my deductions, he’s at the B-Dubs in Zona Rosa. Oh well. No big deal.
I’m starting to enjoy the B-Dubs in Liberty more anyway. I’ve been going to Zona Rosa regularly for four years now, and it does get repetitive, even if I like seeing eveyrone there. A change of scenery is good. In this case, I’m finding Liberty to be superior to Zona Rosa in many ways: newer decor, lighting not as harsh, climate control works well, musicTV not as loud. I’m starting to get to know people here, so that’s an added bonus. I will never totally abandon Zona Rosa, but as more and more people leave, it’s good to have an alternative.
I’ll make my way west on Missouri Highway 152 eventually. Minksy’s for sure. B-Dubs not so sure.
The NBA playoffs start tomorrow. Yipee. I haven’t cared about the NBA very much since the Bulls ruined the league by bullying everyone behind Jordan and Pippen, and later Rodman. I know who wins, but I’m not going to watch a full NBA game.
The NHL playoffs began Wednesday. All five Candian teams–Canadiens, Senators, Maple Leafs, Oiliers and Flames–lost their openers. NBC is ecstatic. The last thing it wants is a Canadian team advancing deep in the playoffs, becuase it will mean lower TV ratings, not to mention the hassle of trying to broadcast in another country. Except for the Stanley Cup Finals, NBC will simply take the Candian feed and transmit it back to the states when a game is in Canada.
I’m so happy the Panthers, Lightning and Hurricanes are not in the playoffs. The Predators are. Can’t stand them. Period. First, Nashville should not have hockey, and second, their captain, Mike Fisher, was traded from Ottawa to Nashville after his wife, Carrie Underwood, demanded the Senators trade her precious baby doll to the Predators.
Underwood’s demands reminds me of when Wayne Gretzky was traded from the Oilers to the Kings in 1988. The Great One married actress Janet Jones following Edmonton’s victory over Boston in the 1988 Stanley Cup Finals, and then told owner Peter Pocklington he wanted to go to Los Angeles for his wife’s career. Fearing he would lose Gretzky in free agency and not get any compensation, Pocklington sent Gretzky to the states.
I’m sure the Oilers live in fear that their current superstar, Connor McDavid, will demand a trade out of Alberta one day. The Oilers are in a small market and have to deal with the logistical problems of a Canadian team, notably the exchange rate and the high taxes to fund the National Health System. If McDavid played in Montreal or Toronto, it would be far less likely those teams would lose him. But the Oilers are in another boat, even though they have a new arena which opened this year.
Edmonton is in the playoffs for the first time since losing in the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals to the Hurricanes. The Stanley Cup in North Carolina? Don’t get me started.
I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the Oilers, because their dynasty got cranked up at the same time I began watching the NHL regularly. By time the Oilers won their second Stanley Cup in June 1985, I could name much their roster: Gretzky, Messier, Kurri, Coffey, Huddy, Lowe, Anderson, Fuhr, Moog, and so on. Those Oiler teams could score and score some more. Glen Sather is never ranked with Scotty Bowman, Toe Blake and Punch Imlach amongst the great NHL coaches, but he built that team from nothing after the NHL gutted the Oilers after the league absorbedt the Oilers, Whalers (Hurricanes), Jets (Coyotes) and Nordiques (Avalanche) from the World Hockey Association. Fortunately, Edmonton was allowed to protect two skaters, and it chose wisely: Gretzky and Messier.
I’m sure you didn’t come to the blog to read about my Edmonton Oilers musings, so I’ll stop there.
It’s already 12:30? Wow time flies when you’re playing trivia and blogging.
The Cubs won the World Series.
I hate it.
I turned the game off in the fifth inning last night, with the Cubs leading 4-1. I couldn’t take it anymore. The Indians came back to tie in the eighth, but still lost 8-7 in 10 innings.
I have never liked the Cubs. NEVER. I got sick and tired of them in 1984, when they won the National League East division (although the Cubs should have been in the West), and Harry Caray gloated over them on WGN. Since then, they’ve been one of my most disliked sports teams.
One good reason you should hate the Cubs, too: Hillary Clinton loves them. That would be enough for me, but I hated them long before anyone outside Arkansas knew who Hillary Clinton was and how insatiable her desire for power is.
The Cubs are one of four MLB teams I truly despise.
Another is the other team in Chicago, the White Sox. I hate their black uniforms, which are not only ugly, but they evoke memories of the biggest cheaters sports has ever known, the 1919 White Sox, who threw the World Series to the Reds, another team I am not fond of.
I loved the uniforms the White Sox were wearing when I was born. I’m sorry, but the jerseys with the big floppy collars were cool. I bought the hat this summer, not only because the uniforms were awesome and it was the team’s hat when I was born, but because asshole Chris Sale cut up the throwback jerseys in July.
The White Sox play in a shitty ballpark in a shitty neighborhood. The original Comiskey Park had charm. The current park, now known as Guaranteed Rate Field, is the complete opposite of charm. It has a steep upper deck, and if you have a seat in the upper deck, you cannot move, period. Not even to sample the concessions. What a bunch of turds the White Sox are.
The biggest reason to hate the White Sox: BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA or Barry Soetoro or whatever his real name is.
The third team in my axis of MLB evil: the Atlanta Braves.
I hated the Braves from the first time I saw them on TBS. I got sick and tired of hearing them proclaimed as “America’s Team”.
First, Georgia does not speak for all of America. Maybe for itself, South Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi, but not all of the South, and certainly not all of the country.
Second, the Braves were shitty for the vast majority of their first 25 years in Atlanta. The only things mitigating it were (a) Hank Aaron setting the home run record (he still is the legitimate home run king; I will never recognize Barry Bonds) and (b) winning the NL West in 1982 with Joe Torre as manager. I loved watching the Braves lose, which happened often between 1985 and 1990.
Third, the Braves were owned until recently by supreme asshole Ted Turner. Not only is the son of a bitch far to the left, but he also has bought up all the water rights to the Ogallala Aquifer, which provides water to most of central United States, including all of Kansas. Now farmers and the states will have to pay this piece of shit to reacquire the rights. What a fucking turd.
The fourth MLB team on my shit list: the Miami Marlins.
The Marlins are owned by another real fucking asshole, Jeffrey Loria. Jeffrey Loria, the man who ruined the Montreal Expos by running them on a shoestring budget and then selling them for a handsome profit to Major League Baseball, giving Bud Selig and his minions the excuse they needed to abandon Montreal and return MLB to Washington DC for the first time since 1971. Yes, Washington deserves a team, but Montreal should not have had to lose its team.
Somehow, the franchise has won more World Series (2) than division championships (0). The Marlins bought both championships, 1997 and 2003, by using high-priced free agents, then dumping them when their contracts expired after one year in most instances. For all of you who bitch and whine and moan about the Yankees buying their teams, shut the fuck up. The Marlins perfected it, simply because they went back to being shitty after their one year of glory on both occasions.
Right now, I’m sick and tired for all of the sympathy the Marlins are receiving.
Jose Fernandez, the Marlins’ ace pitcher, died Sept. 25 in a boating accident. Turns out he was high on coke and drunk. Too fucking bad. Did himself in. Just like Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and millions of others.
Four of my most hated teams. Here are some of the others.
—Anaheim Ducks–Don’t hate them, but California needs only ONE NHL team. The Kings fit that bill long before the Ducks or The Mighty Ducks. At least they can beat up on the Coyotes.
—Arizona Coyotes–The team moved from Winnipeg in 1996. That made me hate this team forever. Winnipeg has a team again, but it should not have been forced to go without the NHL for 15 years. That’s bullshit. Not only did the team leave Winnipeg, it refuses to let the new Jets have the old Jets’ history. What a bunch of shitheads. Bobby Hull and Dale Hawerchuk never skated one second in the state of Arizona. Why should the Coyotes get to claim their achievements?
The Coyotes also went bankrupt many years ago. Yet commissioner Gary Bettman demanded the team stay in Arizona. Heaven forbid the franchise move to a city which can actually support an NHL team, like Hamilton, Hartford, Quebec City, or Toronto, which could easily support two teams. Even Seattle would have been a major upgrade.
The Coyotes will always be the sixth most popular team in Arizona, behind the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Suns, Arizona State and the U of A.
—Carolina Hurricanes–Stole the Hartford Whalers thanks to shithead owner Peter Karmanos. Hartford supported the Whalers when they would get their brains beat in regularly by the Bruins, Sabres and Canadiens, which was most nights. The Nordiques even took their turn for several seasons. Karmanos said FUCK YOU to the loyal fans of Connecticut and moved the franchise to that hockey hotbed, North Carolina. The first two seasons, the Hurricanes played before empty seats in Greensboro, while the arena in Raleigh now known as the RBC Center was under construction.
What do you call a Hurricanes season ticket holder? One who is (a) too poor to own North Carolina State basketball season tickets or (b) someone who is too stupid to realize the NHL has no business in your state.
—Colorado Avalanche–Don’t hate them. Colorado should have a team. However, it still depresses me they were once the Quebec Nordiques.
—Florida Panthers–Florida should not have hockey. Period. Especially not the NHL. Gary Bettman is a fuckwad. Putting teams in Miami, Nashville, Raleigh and Tampa, yet teams can’t survive in Hartford and Quebec City? Or Hamilton? Or Saskatchewan? HOLY SHIT. Bettman, you fucking suck. Then again, you learned from the ultimate piece of shit, David Stern.
—Nashville Predators–First and foremost, Nashville does not deserve a hockey team. ANY CITY WHERE YOU CAN’T SKATE OUTSIDE IN THE WINTER SHOULD HAVE AN NHL TEAM. Second, my pissant brother and his wife are huge Predators fans, so another reason I hate them. Third, Carrie Underwood forced the Ottawa Senators to trade her husband, Mike Fisher, to Nashville. Since when does Carrie U. Fisher run an NHL team? The Senators should have sued Carrie and the Predators for extortion. I refuse to listen to Carrie’s music. She’s on my no-play list as much as Bruce Springsteen. At least in Carrie’s case, it’s not because of toxic politics. The Boss hates America and always has.
—San Jose Sharks–California only needs ONE NHL team. The Kings were around long before the Sharks came along.
—Tampa Bay Lightning–Again, Florida should not have any NHL teams. Worse, Tampa is a real piece of shit city with piece of shit people. It’s a cesspool. Yet somehow three of the four major sports organizations in North America see fit to place teams in the area. Steven Stamkos’ wife must look hot in a bikini. That’s the only reason he would re-sign with Tampa over going to Chicago, Detroit, Toronto or any other REAL hockey city.
—Atlanta Hawks–Once owned by Ted Turner. Good enough reason to hate them. Also, Atlanta is a shithole with no redeeming value. The only reason to even like them was the cool pea green uniforms they wore when Pete Maravich played for them in early 1970s. Otherwise, they’re a bunch of turds.
—Brooklyn Nets–Russian shithead owner who tried to buy a team. Great to see the team fail miserably.
—Charlotte Hornets–Owned by Michael Jeffrey Jordan. FUCK THEM.
—Chicago Bulls–Michael Jeffrey Jordan. His arrogance is all you need to know about why I despise this franchise. I do not worship Jordan. I do not believe he is the greatest of all-time. I do not believe the 1995-96 Bulls are the greatest NBA team of all-time. Jordan benefitted from a watered-down NBA, one which let him get away with everything. I’m sure he could have murdered someone on an NBA court and nobody would have said a peep. FUCK JORDAN AND FUCK THE BULLS.
—Dallas Mavericks–Mark Cuban can go fuck himself. He’s a complete asshole on Shark Tank, the same way he’s a complete asshole owning the Mavericks. I would love to see Kevin O’Leary (MISTER WONDERFUL) kick him in the balls on Shark Tank. Better yet, it would be much sweeter if Barbara Corcoran kicked Cuban in the jimmy.
—Miami Heat–The Heat committed collusion for FOUR YEARS and David Stern didn’t give a shit. Dwayne Wade begged LeBron and Chris Bosh to come, and of course, who were they to say no? FUCK THEM.
—New York Knicks–James Dolan is a big piece of shit. Cunt. Asshole. Motherfucker. Good enough reason to hate them entirely.
—Sacramento Kings–Left Kansas City in 1985 to move to the cesspool which is California’s capital city. Team was going to move to Seattle, but mayor (and former Suns guard) Kevin Johnson, an admitted criminal, bribed NBA owners to keep the team in Sacramento. Bought by a Russian turd who is just as big a turd as the one owning the Nets. FUCK SUCKRAMENTO.
—San Antonio Spurs–Bruce Bowen got away with attempted murder against the Suns during the 2007 playoffs, thanks to degenerate gambler/”referee” Tim Donaghy. Bad enough. Then there’s the gigantic piece of shit Greg Popovich. The walking definition of CUNT.
—Washington Wizards–Changed name from “Bullets” to be politically correct. FUCK THEM.
—Atlanta Falcons–Once employed dog killer Michael Vick. Also, Atlanta has no redeeming value.
—Baltimore Ravens–Where do I start? Let’s see: Art Modell stole the Browns from Cleveland because he was broke and desperately needed to pay off 700,000 creditors. Ray Lewis got away with murder. Ray Lewis flaunted his “innocence” and Baltimore fans thought he was the greatest athlete in the city’s history, not remembering men like Johnny Unitas, Brooks Robinson and Cal Ripken. Okay, that’s enough.
—Carolina Panthers–Once employed murder mastermind Rae Carruth, who was so callous as to order a hit on his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Cherica Adams, after she refused to get an abortion. Adams died; the baby survived, but is mentally retarded. What a total piece of shit. Why Carruth didn’t get the death penalty, or at least life without parole, is absolutely sickening. North Carolina has some really fucked up people.
(S)Cam Newton has done anything nearly that bad, but he’s an arrogant turd who can’t take it when things don’t go his way.
—Chicago Bears–They play in CHICAGO, home of BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA and birthplace of HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON. There.
—Miami Dolphins–Sick and tired of the overrated 1972 Dolphins celebrating when a team loses so their perfect record can’t be equaled. The 1972 Dolphins played an absolutely shitty schedule. Would have lost Super Bowl VII had Redskins coach George Allen not been so fucking paranoid. HE lost the game for the Redskins. Not Billy Kilmer, Larry Brown, or the Over-the-Hill Gang Defense. George Allen was responsible. Hope he’s rotting in hell over it.
—Tampa Bay Buccaneers–Employ gigantic asshole Jameis Winston, who got away with rape and only a slap on the wrist for shoplifting. Once employed gigantic asshole coach Jon Gruden and gigantic asshole player Warren Sapp. Have disgusting uniforms which they stole from the Raiders. Tampa is a shithole. Need more?
—Tennessee Titans–Nashville is a shithole. I hate that city. I hate it. Vanderbilt is the only thing making that city remotely tolerable. I also hate Nashville stealing the Houston Oilers. Yes, Houston has another team, but for the nation’s fourth largest city to go without an NFL team for five years was very bad.
I do not recognize Major League Soccer as legitimate. Not as long as they want to have playoffs to determine its champion.
The Los Angeles Rams made a huge splash Thursday morning when they traded with Tennessee to acquire the Titans’ No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft, which begins April 28.
It’s the first time since 1991 that a team from outside the top 10 traded up to the No.1 pick. That year, the Cowboys acquired the top overall pick from the Patriots and selected Miami (Fla.) defensive tackle Russell Maryland, who was a starter on Dallas’ three Super Bowl championship teams in the 1990s.
Nobody knew it at the time, but New England and Dallas would someday share a common coaching link. Bill Parcells, who did not retire as Giants coach until after the ’91 draft, would coach the Patriots from 1993-96, and then the Cowboys from 2003-06.
The Rams and Titans already share a common coaching link. Jeff Fisher coached the Titans (previously Houston/Tennessee Oilers) from the middle of the 1994 season through 2010, and then took over the Rams in 2012. The franchises have another link with the late Jack Pardee, who played linebacker for the Rams from 1957-70, then was Fisher’s predecessor as Oilers coach from 1990 through the middle of ’94.
Of course, the Rams played in St. Louis from 1995 through 2015, making Missouri a two-team NFL state, as it was from 1963, the year the Dallas Texans moved to Kansas City to become the Chiefs, through 1987, the Cardinals’ last year in St. Louis before moving to Arizona.
Now, you can clearly tell Missouri is once again the exclusive domain of the denizens of Arrowhead Stadium.
The Chiefs’ radio network now shades all of Missouri as part of “Chiefs Kingdom”, a term liberally used by play-by-play man Mitch Holthaus. It used to only include the section of Missouri roughly along and west of US 63, which includes Columbia and Jefferson City. Those two locales did not have many Rams fans until Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk and Isaac Bruce began “The Greatest Show on Turf” era until 1999. The Rams were dominant in mid-Missouri from 1999 through 2003, but after that, the pendulum began to swing back to the west, but really, both teams were pretty pathetic for many years between 2004 and 2012.
I went to a Bed, Bath and Beyond yesterday after eating lunch with Bill. I did not see a single Rams item. I saw plenty of Chiefs, Royals, Blues and Mizzou. But no Rams. Not even in the clearance bin. It’s been only three months since NFL owners approved Stan Kroenke’s request to move the Rams back to Los Angeles, and you can’t tell the team played its last game in St. Louis last December 17.
Coincidentally, 2013 was a turning point for the loyalties of both NFL and MLB fans in mid-Missouri.
The Chiefs immediately improved under Andy Reid, starting 2013 9-0. They’ve made the playoffs twice under Reid, winning their first playoff game since 1993 earlier this year. The Rams? Did anyone in Columbia, Jefferson City (and Springfield for that matter) notice the Rams? Sure, they were on TV in those cities when it didn’t conflict with the Chiefs, but did anyone really watch? Those with NFL Sunday Ticket certainly didn’t. And most others could simply watch Red Zone to follow all the games at once.
Meanwhile, by September 2013, people in this part of Missouri realized there was a real MLB team playing on the western edge of the state, not a team playing in MLB masquerading as a minor league squad.
The Royals were pretty much irrelevant in all of Missouri, save for the immediate Kansas City area and the I-29 corridor all the way to the Iowa state line, from the mid-’90s until 2013, when Kansas City enjoyed a late surge and finished with 86 wins.
Now, I would say the loyalties may be 60-40 Cardinals, a major improvement for the boys in blue. Columbia is actually closer to St. Louis than Kansas City by a few miles, but there are an awful lot of Royals fans here.
Now hockey loyalties have NEVER been a problem in Missouri. All Blues, all the time. Yes, I’m aware there were the Kansas City Scouts for two seasons in the mid-’70s, but hardly anybody in Kansas City cared, so I’m certain nobody did 125 miles to the east.
Even Mizzou doesn’t have the entire state’s loyalty. The Kansas Jayhawks have owned the Kansas City metro in recent years, and that ownership has only grown after the Tigers left the Big 12 for the SEC. Right now, Mizzou is toxic in the City of Fountains.
The NBA hasn’t been in Missouri since April 1985, when the Kings left for Sacramento (Suckramento–thank you Jim Rome). The Hawks left St. Louis for Atlanta in 1968, four years before the Cincinnati Royals moved to KC. I guess the Bulls are the choice of most NBA fans here, although there may be pockets of Thunder fans in southwest Missouri and Grizzlies fans in the southeast.
Major League Soccer? Sporting Kansas City plays in Kansas. Never mind.
The National Football League is returning to Los Angeles.
Earlier this evening, NFL owners voted 30-2 (I would love to know who the two were) to approve Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s stadium proposal in Inglewood, located in Los Angeles County a few miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles.
The Rams, played in St. Louis from 1995 through 2015, will play in the Los Angeles Coliseum for the next three seasons while the stadium in Inglewood is built.
The Rams will not be the first professional sports franchise to call Inglewood home.
Inglewood is the home of The Forum, which was the home of the NBA’s Lakers and the NHL’s Kings from 1967 through 1999, when both teams moved to Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. The Clippers, who previously played at the Los Angeles Sports Arena from 1984-99, also moved into Staples Center.
The Forum was built by Jack Kent Cooke, who owned the Lakers and was awarded an NHL expansion franchise which became the Kings. Cooke was tired of the Lakers having to share the L.A. Sports Arena with USC and other events, and thus built his own facility for his teams.
The Lakers enjoyed their glory days in the Forum. Led by Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West, Los Angeles won 33 consecutive games during the 1971-72 season en route to the franchise’s first championship in California. The Lakers won five titles when they were in Minneapolis, led by George Mikan, but had come up short time and again in L.A., losing in the championship series five times between 1962 and 1970.
Cooke traded for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1975, and in 1979, drafted Earvin “Magic” Johnson out of Michigan State, and Showtime was born. The Lakers won titles in 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987 and 1988, abut more importantly, the Forum was the place to see and be seen. Jack Nicholson, Dyan Cannon and numerous other stars were regulars at Laker games.
The Kings were an afterthought during their first 20 seasons. They were mostly terrible, more often than not residing at or near the bottom of the NHL standings. Los Angeles often had to struggle to reach the playoffs, and that took some serious doing during the 1980s, when the Kings routinely battled with two other bottom feeders, the Winnipeg Jets (the team which is now the Arizona Coyotes) and the Vancouver Canucks, for to playoff spots.
Hockey became cool all of a sudden on August 9, 1988.
That Tuesday afternoon, just a few hours before the Cubs played their first official night game at Wrigley Field vs. the Mets, Wayne Gretzky was traded by the Edmonton Oilers, who won four Stanley Cups in five seasons with The Great One leading the way, to the Kings.
All of a sudden, the Kings were no longer the poor stepchild of Inglewood. Although the Kings never won the Cup with Gretzky–they lost in the ’93 finals to Montreal–the Kings’ success allowed the NHL to (regrettably, in my opinion) expand further into California and other southern locations.
When the Lakers and Kings left Inglewood, nobody could have dreamed the town would ever host a professional sports franchise again. Yet come 2019, the Rams will call Inglewood home.
The sad thing in all this is the Rams should have never left in the first place. I’ll get into that in this blog very shortly.
For most of my life, the Golden State Warriors have been an NBA backwater.
As of 11:58 p.m. Eastern Time last night (10:58 Central, 8:58 Pacific), the Golden State Warriors are NBA champions for the first time since Gerald Ford occupied the White House.
The Warriors wrapped up the championship in Cleveland with a 106-97 victory over the Cavaliers to take the series 4-2.
Golden State won 67 games, the most in franchise history, during the regular season. It was pushed by Memphis in the second round and by Cleveland in the Finals, but each time, the Warriors erased 2-1 series deficits with three consecutive victories, each time winning two games away from Oakland, where the Warriors were an incredible 48-5. Do they really want to move back to San Francisco, even though this new arena is supposed to be the most modern on earth when it opens in 2017?
It’s the culmination of a lot of hard work by owner Joe Lacob, who bought the franchise in November 2010. Lacob loves basketball, having grown up near Boston and once owning a minority stake in the Celtics. His enthusiasm and business acumen were sorely needed by a franchise which most of the time was a doormat, and at others, a total joke for most of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. The only time the Warriors rose from their perennial status as a punching bag for the Lakers and other Western Conference powers was in the early 1990s, when they featured hte dynamic trio of Chris Mullin, Mitch Richmond and Tim Hardaway (Run TMC). But even then, Golden State could not get out of the second round.
After winning the 1975 NBA championship with a stunning four-game sweep of the Washington Bullets, the Warriors had the NBA’s best record in 1975-76. Instead of a return to the championship round and a match with 1974 champ Boston, Golden State was shocked itself when it lost the Western Conference finals in seven games to the upstart Phoenix Suns, losing game seven 94-86 at Oakland. The Warirrors lost in seven in the 1977 Western Conference semis to the Lakers in a series in which the home team won every game.
Then the bottom fell out.
Rick Barry, the centerpiece of the Warriors–with a brief detour to the ABA–since their loss in the 1967 championship series to Wilt Chamberlain’s 76ers, was wearing down. Clifford Ray’s effectiveness in the low post was declining. Robert Parish, a 7-foot-1 rebounding and shot blocking machine from tiny Centenary College in Shreveport, was a rising star, but the Warriors would soon blow that one, too.
The 1979-80 Warriors were the worst team in the NBA at 24-58. With the number one pick in the draft that June, they selected Purdue center Joe Barry Carroll, an All-American whom Golden State believed was the next Chamberlain, the next Nate Thurmond, the next Clifford Ray. That made Parish expendable, and he was shipped across the country to Boston, where Lacob must have been a very happy man.
Indeed, the Celtics won the 1981 championship with Parish in the pivot, providing the defensive ace Boston needed to compliment the offensive prowess of Larry Bird. Meanwhile, the Warriors were in the midst of seven losing seasons out of eight, bottoming out at 22-60 in 1984-85.
The Warriors made the playoffs in 1987 and stunned the Jazz in first round, but lost in the second round to the eventual champion Lakers. Golden State made the playoffs four seasons out of six between 1988-89 and 1993-94, but big time trouble was lurking.
In 1996, Golden State became the laughingstock of the NBA by dumping its iconic blue and gold palette and replacing it with a character who looked like a 1990s update of the old cartoon Voltron. I laughed so hard at how terrible the new logo looked, and for that reason, I vowed to never root for the Warriors as long as they wore this hideous uniform.
On December 1, 1997, the Warriors showed they were beyond hopeless.
That was the day when the volatile Latrell Sprewell choked coach P.J. Carliesmo during a practice. I was never a fan of the overbearing Carliesmo, who could belittle someone so badly Bobby Knight would blush. However, I also firmly believe nobody has the right to physically assault and choke someone without provocation. Sprewell was 100 percent in the wrong.
Sprewell was suspended for the remainder of the 1997-98 season without pay. I felt that was too lenient. He should have been fined at least another $2 million, and his suspension should have been for at least 164 games–the equivalent of two full seasons–with reinstatement solely up to then NBA commissioner David Stern.
I didn’t shed a tear when Golden State went 19-63 in ’97-’98 and ’99-2000, and 17-65 in 2000-01, then 21-61 in 2001-02. Golden State was getting what it richly deserved for Sprewell, for Carliesmo, for those disgusting uniforms.
The Warriors made the playoffs just once between 1994-95 and Lacob’s purchase of the franchise. In 2007, Golden State stunned top seed Dallas in the opening round of the playoffs, but didn’t return until 2013
With Steph Curry and Klay Thompson in their primes, with Draymond Green coming on, and with veteran savvy from Andrew Bogut, Harrison Barnes, David Lee and Finals MVP Andre Iguodala, the Warriors aren’t going anywhere.
Cleveland gave it their best, but when Kyrie Irving fractured a kneecap in overtime of game 1, the Cavaliers knew that it was LeBron or bust. King James did his best, but he no-showed for most of game 6. By the end of the third quarter, it was obvious the Cavaliers would not be going back to Oakland.
And Cleveland’s wait for a championship continues. And I don’t see it ending before next June at the earliest. I don’t see the Indians getting back into playoff contention this season, and the Browns will be lucky to win more than four games.
The Pro Bowl began a few minutes ago.
As bad as the NFL’s annual all-star game has been through the years, it’s now a total joke.
Instead of the traditional AFC vs. NFC format, which was used from the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 through the 2012 season, the game is now a glorified playground game, with teams chosen the same way third graders choose their teams for kickball at recess.
Two Hall of Fame players serve as team captains. The top two vote getters among offensive players and top two vote getters among defensive players are assigned to teams and advise the Hall of Famers on whom to draft.
Sadly, the NFL isn’t the first major sports league to use this format for its All-Star Game.
The NHL began it one year before the NFL. There have been several formats tried in hockey, including the defending Stanley Cup champion vs. All-Stars from the rest of the league, and a North America vs. World format. This, however, is ridiculous.
As bad as the pick-up formats used by the NFL and NHL are, at least those are pure exhibition games which count for absolutely nothing.
That’s not the case in Major League Baseball.
In 2003, then-commissioner Bud Selig overreacted to the uproar caused when the previous year’s All-Star Game, held in Selig’s hometown of Milwaukee, ended in a 7-7 tie after 12 innings when both teams ran out of players.
Beginning with the 2003 All-Star Game, Selig decreed the league which wins the exhibition contest would receive home field advantage for the World Series that season.
I’ve heard of stupid ideas, but this was beyond stupid. Bud Selig should have been put in a psychiatric hospital for that idea.
MLB rules state every team, no matter how pathetic, must have at least one All-Star. And given the bad attitude of today’s players, who sulk and bitch to everyone within earshot if they don’t get into the All-Star Game, it often puts home field advantage for the most importnat event of the season in the hands of players who have no chance of sniffing the wild card game, much less the World Series.
The NBA does not draft its All-Star Game teams, nor does it count for anything, but there’s no defense, period.
There’s got to be a better way in all four sports.