Saturday, May 17, 2008

Yo, Meathead!

There is so much going on in sports right now, I don’t even know where to begin! So maybe a little salt and pepper...

SEASONINGS: The whole Spygate saga is like a train wreck to me. I almost can’t bear to look, but I can’t tear my eyes away. On the one hand, I am averse to these types of stories that are so blown up by the media that they take on a life of their own. I mean, really, now that it’s over, does it really matter anymore? I appreciate Senator Arlen Specter’s concern (rumor has it that he’s really just a bitter Eagles fan who can’t get over Philly’s loss to the Pats in the Super Bowl in 2001), but can you imagine congressional hearings over cheating in pro football when there are so many other things wrong in this country that really need to be addressed? I just imagine the dialogue on Capitol Hill:

“Do you think we should do something about the rising price of oil, the lack of health insurance for a huge percentage of Americans, the war in Iraq, the mortgage crisis, the massive deficit, or the horrible economy?”

“Nah, let’s hold hearings on football.”

On the other hand, I can’t stand the Patriots and would love to see their long string of success turn sour from a historical perspective due to real, hard, factual evidence of cheating. It surely would explain how one team could be SO dominant for so long in this era of salary caps, free agency, and parity. I have a hard time really hating Bill Belichick since he helped my favorite team, the Giants win their first two Super Bowls as defensive coordinator, but I have to admit he comes across as having about as much personality as a wet blanket—and that’s when he’s happy!

If the NFL wants to hold an independent investigation, as Commissioner Roger Goodell has been prodded to do, I am all for it. I’d be psyched to see Tom Brady and Co. taken down a notch or two. But I don’t think I want to see that at the cost of taxpayer money. It’s hard enough to watch my tax money sucked into the insatiable maw of the Iraq War—now I have to watch it go to hearings on football because Goodell doesn’t have the guts to do the right thing and get to the heart of the matter?

So the Knicks and Donnie Walsh chose Mike D’Antoni as their new coach. Immediately thereafter, the organization was slammed all over the media for hiring a coach who 1) has never won a championship; 2) does not coach defense; and 3) can’t use the players he now coaches, including the plodding Zach Randolph and the not-exactly-fleet-footed Eddy Curry to execute his run-and-gun offense. Not only that, but D’Antoni was slammed for “going for the money” in New York, rather than settling for less cash but a better roster for his style of play in Chicago.

But I say give the guy a chance. There no way he could be any worse than what Knicks fans have become used to over the last seven years. D’Antoni insists that he can tailor his offense to the players he has, and you can bet that the roster will change during his tenure as coach. And let’s not lose sight of the fact that D’Antoni has won an average of 58 games a season for the last four years with Phoenix. Rumor also has it that the new coach might bring in the Big Fella, Patrick Ewing, to assist with his frontcourt players—although Ewing doesn’t want to become known solely as a big man’s coach, there’s no denying the great work he’s done with Yao Ming and Dwight Howard in Houston and Orlando respectively. Maybe Ewing can work some “magic” with Curry—and chances are that Randolph won’t be in New York too much longer anyway.

Certainly, there’s not as much excitement over New York’s first Subway Series of the year as there has been in the past. Who cares about a fourth-place team and a last-place team except for New York fans who are looking for bragging rights? Last night’s rainout only added to the anticlimactic feeling, and even though the Mets won today, I repeat, who cares? Let’s check in again when the teams play in June and see if the games are worth watching by then.

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