Sports Things that Bug Me

These things have been bugging me the past few weeks:

1. Kevin Garnett Shooting Jump Shots. Before I saw him play regularly, I used to think that Garnett was a better player than Tim Duncan. My argument went, if you surrounded Garnett with the talent Duncan worked with, he'd have just as many rings. Well, 12 playoff games later I'm ready to amend this thought. While Garnett is a much better defensive player, I think his lack of college experience hurt his offensive development. He just doesn't play like the physically imposing player he could be. When Duncan gets the ball in the post, he's going to the rim. Garnett is happy to settle for a fade away, or he'll pass it out of the post. Take the ball to the damn hoop. Seriously. Argh.

2. Complaints Regarding Manny's High Five. If I hear one more sports journalist / media personality complain about how all athletes are overpaid and greedy and then bash Ramirez for actually having fun and playing the game like a game I'm going to go something something. Manny enjoys baseball. I enjoy watching Manny play baseball. He among the three best righthanded hitters of his generation (Pujols, A-Rod), and the three of them likely comprise the three best righthanders ever playing together at one time. Is he a space cadet? Yeah, a little. But in an age of self-importance and self-promotion, many is a breathe of fresh air.

3. Obsessive Coverage of 'Spygate'. O.k., I'll probably be a bit of a homer here. But anyone who thinks the Patriots are the only team in professional football to utilize videotape beyond the written letter of the rules: you are crazy. I am not suggesting that every coach uses tape- I would bet 100$ that straight arrow Tony Dungy has never taped a TV program for fear he might be breaking copyright law. The reason Goddell and the NFL wants this to go away: they don't want the equivalent of a steroid controversy haunting their sport. Spying has been a part of football since the early 60's, when Hank Stram thought every team was sending agents to observe practices. Don't get me wrong: spying is against the rules, the Pats deserved to be punished. But please don't insinuate that the Pats are the only ones abusing the film room.

4. NCAA rules against playoff but adds two additional bowl games combined with OJ Mayo takes money. Maybe OJ didn't take money (innocent until proven guilty), but he should have. If the NCAA and USC are marketing Mayo to get more money, then he should be getting paid. Millions? No. But players should be able to accept up to 40,000 dollars (completely arbitrary number) from third parties every year. I am not suggesting teams or the NCAA pay athletes. But holding to the mantra of strict amateurism amounts to an unfair indentured service in an age when schools are using their athletic programs to build dorms, labs, and parking garages. Again: if the teams and league makes profit from the players, then the players should be able to make profit from the players. On a related point: wtf. wtf. wtf. Just give us one more bowl game. It will not diminish the ratings or prestige of the other bowls. Take the five top bowls- make one of them the "championship game." I realize that games are stretched out one a night to increase ratings. Fine. Start them a bit earlier, play two on one night, and you can have your championship game without adding an extra time to the schedule.

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