(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.


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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Random Observations about the Sports World

Here goes:

1.  Great to see international soccer return.  Curious to see if any of the big teams will make a major move in the remaining two weeks or so until the clock expires on the summer transfer period.  Manchester City are playing like they have something to prove.  Chelsea have not gotten off to a good start and manager Jose Mourinho has not lasted in any job beyond three years.  Could change be coming to Stamford Bridge?  And perhaps this could be the year that Arsenal make a breakthrough (note the subject/verb alignment is the way the English do it).

2.  Has Jordan Spieth had an incredible run or what?  And does Tiger Woods have one more good run in him?

3.  Is MLS becoming the Seniors' Tour for great footballers from the major international leagues?  Kindly note that all players that come from across the ocean are well into their thirties, which makes them somewhat ancient by international footballing standards.  The Kaka of ten years ago only would have been seen in Orlando visiting Disney World, not playing football.

4.  Is there anything to make out of the NFL's pre-season?  Only that it is two games' too long.  Sure, it's fun to watch the younger players battle for roster spots, but the vets are desperately trying not to get hurt.

5.  Will history prove that every coach we like/honor/respect now will prove to have significant character flaws that will render him historically unlikable?  Bear Bryant and Vince Lombardi ran brutal drills, Adolph Rupp was a racist and John Wooden wasn't as squeaky clean as he would have liked us to believe.  Bobby Knight's methods are legendary.  What will people say about Rick Pitino, John Calipari, Urban Meyer, Jim Harbaugh and Nick Saban?  As for the footballers, perhaps that they didn't care about preparing kids for jobs outside pro football and for their long-term health.  Is that possible?

6.  Will LeBron win a title in Cleveland?  Does Kobe's insistence on making his max deal hamper the Lakers in a way that Tim Duncan's generosity in not insisting on a max deal helps the Spurs?  The answers are yes and yes, I think.  Basketball is just too far away to contemplate anything more deeply than that.

7.  Ah, baseball.  Yes, they still play it, but the powers that be should worry about their demographics, how hot it is outside and how long it takes to play games.    Was at AAA Lehigh Valley over the weekend and loved the clock for time between pitches and time in between innings.  MLB should adopt both and move their games along.  Also, for those who deny global warming, just try attending a baseball game in the Northeast in the summertime and 5 p.m. and have the temperature still be 90 degrees.  That didn't happen 30 years ago.  Baseball needs some more oomph and stars in this world of immediacy.  Other sports -- namely football and basketball -- benefit from the speed of media coverage and are more savvy about that coverage.

8.  Tennis.  Has it suffered in popularity because there are more choices for sports fans that ever before and, well, the equipment is so good that smash and score tennis without colorful personalities makes the sport almost unwatchable?  Had Serena Williams played twenty years ago she would have been THE story.  Not so today.

That's it from here.  Slow news day, slow summer day, watching to see whether Chase Utley allows himself to be traded and whether Sam Bradford's knee can hold up.  Yawn.


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