Thursday, October 23, 2008

The State of the Sports World

It seems as though each major sport is in a whole lot of trouble, and the economy hasn't even taken its full toll on professional sports yet.

Major League Baseball - Phillies versus the Rays? Are you serious? The Royals facing the Pirates would make a better storyline than this, ESPECIALLY with the Phillies winning game one. Best case scenario: Joe the Manager pulls out all the stops, continuing to turn water into wine, and the Rays finish a miracle season. Great story for baseball.
Worst case scenario: Joe the Pitcher ends up being a more beneficial midseason transaction than the Dodgers trading for Manny or the Brew crew trading for C.C.--Philadelphia wins the title, and the most arrogant team with the most arrogant fans (that's right...sorry Yankee and Boston fans, there are bigger jackasses just a few hours away. I only say this because they don't have any grounds to gloat, yet still somehow savor the smell of their own brand anyway) gain bragging rights for a whole year. Let's go Rays.

National Football League - Further proof that everything I touch turns into anything but gold. Since I discovered my deep down amorous feelings for Tom Brady, how has his life been? The 18-0 Patriots lost the Super Bowl, he gets injured in the first quarter of the first game of the 2008-2009 campaign, out for the season, and now surgery complications have raised even more questions for the NFL's poster boy. It's a shame what's happening there. Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you. No Joe the Savior in this league. Peyton Manning is struggling, Tony Romo's wittle finguh has him out until mid-November at least, and Joe the Ravens' quarterback sure as hell isn't going to give fans what they need in a star. The league's best team has a racist alcoholic backup quarterback starting for the disgruntled suicidal former college star. We're a long way from the 2006 AFC Championship game.
Best Case Scenario: Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens bust out some old school end zone dances, Matt Ryan and Brady Quinn emerge as stars, and Julius Jones and Larry Johnson start giving me some fantasy production. A Jets/Packers championship game wouldn't hurt the league, either, as far fetched as it sounds.
Worst Case Scenario: Kerry Collins and Gus Frerotte run 1 & 2 in the MVP voting. A dozen more players miss time due to staph infections. Al Davis looks like a genius for firing Lane Kiffin, as the Raiders win the Super Bowl. Hey, at least JaMarcus Russell is taking the snaps.

National Basketball Association: Allan Houston needs to stop trying to come back. It's getting kind of sad. Michael Jordan pulled it off, Roger Clemens pulled it off, hell, Doug Flutie pulled it off...but Houston just can't pull it off.
Best Case Scenario: LeBron, Kobe, Shaq, or Greg Oden win a title. A repeat with the Boston Three Party wouldn't be TOO bad.
Worst Case Scenario: LeBron or Kobe win a title and decide they've finished their business in the United it's time to make some REAL green. The NBA loses one of its biggest stars to some crappy European league that will pay them tens of millions of dollars AND allow them to average 70 points per game. Or seven points per game--what do they care? The $$ is guaranteed.

National Hockey League: Huh?
Best Case Scenario: People miraculously start to care. Sid the Kid is the only one who can make this happen.
Worst Case (and most likely) Scenario: Things stay as they are. Who even runs the NHL? How do they still have a job?

College sports need to save the professional sports right now. I absolutely HATE HATE HATE to even suggest this, but Joe the College Football Coach winning a National Title at age 82 would be a great story for sports. First, the Nittany Lions need to get through Ohio State. THEN the crappy defensive Big Ten style of play needs to find a way to beat a high powered offensive AND defensive showcase put on by an SEC, Big XII, or Pac-10 school.

College basketball on the Men's side is fine. I would just like to see Wisconsin win less than ten games this year. On the Women's side, Pat Summitt and Geno Auriemma either need to continue their feud to make things interesting, or they need to work together to salvage the sport. Oh yeah, and Marist making a Final Four run and winning the National Title would be good, too. That's right, it's almost time for Marist Women's Basketball blogs again!!


Eric said...

I was just talking to a friend of mine about how I'm not even interested about the World Series this year with these teams.

Trent Edwards and the Bills will save the NFL from Pretty Boy Brady (how could you like him?? I'm glad you did though.. don't come near my Bills though) and Manning's struggles.

I can't remember the last time I cared about basketball. Either side for that matter (NBA/college). The NBA's only bet is to have Jordan come back again.

I've tried hard to get into the NHL. Its a sport that I would love to play but for some reason, I just can't get into it and watch games.

College football, in my eyes, is very lame. You get 2 or 3 good players per game if you're lucky. Everyone else is just so slow or just bad. Aside from Penn State winning the National Championship, College Football can save itself by getting rid of the shitty BCS and get some type of playoff going. I'm sick of seeing teams win the "championship" on paper or on a computer.

Men's College Basketball is 'meh'. Out of all the other sports mentioned, I'd rank it number two behind the NFL for watching ability.

Travis Miller said...

haha I already came near your Bills...remember? I picked up Trent Edwards in fantasy!

I agree with most of the stuff you said...I feel like MJ should stay away from the game, given what recent comebacks have led to (Lance Armstrong, Rawja Clemens).

I like Brady because even though he's a pretty boy, he has a sense of humor and isn't arrogant about his success. He also seems to have a genuine interest in being a leader, unlike others like him...coughcoughjetercoughcough

The NHL is really only good live. Watching on TV just doesn't cut it.

Changing the BCS is near impossible, mostly because the players don't get paid, and sponsors are locked into the bowl games for the most part, so there are too many hoops to get through to do a complete overhaul.

And finally, I completely agree on your top two sports for watchability. College football is a close third, but the point you made about having so few household names on each team takes away from it being more personal of a game.

Michael J. Clark said...

Excellent post, Mr. Miller. The thing I'm looking forward to most in the college basketball season has to be the great Steph Curry. I think both Steph Curry and Stern's new rule about kids not playing the NBA right out of high school has really made the college basketball season exciting. How will UCLA lose in the Final Four this year? Will Billy Donovan ever run out of hair gel? Did John Calipari recruit anyone with a free throw percentage under 80?

I'm looking forward to the NBA as well. The only problem is that we might be faced with another worst-to-first story, but this one won't be as refreshing as last years or the Rays of this year. Miami tanked the second half of last year to get the number 1 pick in the draft (even though they got 2). The Heat could easily make some noise in the East with a healthy DWade, Shawn Marion, and Mike Beasley. We'll see.

As for the NFL, it isn't easy rooting for a team with the worst starting quarterback in the NFL. Watching Matt Cassel handle the Patriots office is like watching a 17 year old girl handle Joe Nero's cars. But the team still reminds me of a Pats team from 2000-2006. They'll lose games they should win (especially to Miami), they'll lose a coin flip or two (San Diego), but they end up 10-6. I guarantee a 10-6 finish for the Pats at worst. I am a homer.

Is the NHL still around?

A Texas/Penn State national championship would be luscious. That would get a huge rating. I'm hoping for another Boise State this year. My best guess? I have money on Boise State.

Travis Miller said...

Looking ahead at their schedule, I completely agree with 10-6.

Losses at Indy, vs. Pittsburgh, vs. Arizona, and at Buffalo sound fair.

Michael J. Clark said...

Loss at Indy is questionable. Indy isn't that good.

Eric said...

You think they can win back to back weeks on the west coast? They get the red hot Rams and I don't think they can sweep the Jets either. I'm not so sure about a 10-6 record.

Travis Miller said...

Something tells me Indy can rise to the occasion for New England, Bradyless or not. And the Hoodie doesn't lose to the Rams.

...or the Jets.

Eric said...

We'll see what the Hoodie does with no video cameras or no Brady.

Michael J. Clark said...

Still with the video cameras, Eric? I thought you'd be better than that.

Eric said...

Three championships with the camera.. If any other team did this, they would still be talking about it but since ESPN has such a throbbing boner for the Pats its like it never happened. Another reason why you don't hear about how much of a scumbag Bellichick is. Cheating on his wife, sex tapes, just an unpleasant person to be around and so on.

With all those close Super Bowls the Pats won, I wonder how many of them would have come out differently without cheating? Its very sickening.

Michael J. Clark said...

There is no legit proof that any of those three Super Bowls were tainted. Just the word of a golf pro and a dumb decision by Belichick to blatantly flex his muscles by having a camera in the Jets game after the league put out a memo to all teams to stop. The truth is, the tape was confiscated in the first quarter (the score was 7-7). The first quarter of the first game of the season was taped? Scumbags!

I have never pretended to be an apologist for the person that Bill Belichick is. I have made it quite clear on many separate occasions that the guy is a grade A douche. And if you think not enough people know that, you are sorely mistaken. It is common knowledge that Bill's a douche.

Apparently, you're also forgetting the month after SpyGate when the hacks at the Worldwide Leader discussed it ad nauseum. Even you, as a Bills fan, was sick of hearing about Spygate. You can't have it both ways.

Eric said...

Actually, you're only part right. It was one quarter of all of last season that was taped, but that wasn't the only tape during Bellichick's tenure. Walsh, himself, had about 8 tapes (including a playoff game) dating from 2000-2002. I have a hard time believing they only taped one quarter after '02.

I wasn't sick of spygate at all. I was sick of the analysts saying that it wasn't a big deal and that it pretty much didn't matter. Which brings me back to the boner ESPN has of the Pats. Nobody would defend a scandal like this if it were another team.

I strongly disagree that its common knowledge of what kind of man Bellichick is. Yes, most people dislike him but its more because of his success (same reasons people hate teams like the Yankees and Cowboys) and how he doesn't always shake hands after a game. Back to ESPN.. The words "Bellichick" and "classy" have been used in the same sentence from their first Super Bowl victory up until last season's Super Bowl loss. Common knowledge throughout AFC East fans? Yes. Throughout the NFL? No.