Talent Trumps All

The headline applies to the performance of Michael Vick.  Go to jail, come back, redemption story.  Plaxico may or may not have the same fate, but you cannot deny this, talent trumps all.  No matter how heinous the crime, if you have talent, you can always get another chance.

In other news…

the anit-Yankee sentiment in post-season awards continues.  Andy Pettite lost the ’96 Cy Young to Pat Hentgen, yes, Pat Hentgen.  Mariano Rivera once lost out on the Cy Young to Bartolo Colon.  Hideki Matsui was ruled out of winning rookie of the year since he played professionally in Japan (after Ichiro was able to win it despite also being a pro in Japan).  Derek Jeter was once beaten out by Justin Mourneau for the MVP because a Chicago sportswriter was the only writer to vote him outside of the top 2 (he put him outside of the top 10 as a matter of fact).  When asked why, the writer said it was because he was tired of seeing the Yankees win all the time and wanted anyone but a Yankee to win the award.  Nice.  Way to be impartial.  Today it continued when a pitcher with a record of 13-12 beat out CC Sabathia who led the league in wins and led his team to the ALCS.  Good job sabrematrecians.

I’ll be at MSG tonight to see some good basketball.  Not the Knicks, my Terps are in town.  They play the Pitt Panthers who feature 3 guards who can all shoot.  It may get ugly since the Terps view the 3 point line as a forcefield that keeps them away from opposing players.

God speed.

You spin me right round baby right round

This week, I heard some great spins.  Not from the politicians but from sportsmen.  Charlie Villanueva is a forward for the Detroit Pistons.  Charlie suffers from a disease that prevents him from being able to grow any hair.  This is important when you play against Kevin Garnett, one of the most notorious trash talkers in the NBA.  I used to work for the NJ Nets.  During my time there, I would get to walk around near the court up to and during the games.  The trash that KG would spew was not to be heard by children.  Now that KG has been a Celtic for a few years, his hard nose play and childish demeanor has grown bitter and stale.  He has long been a player to trash talk to get into a player’s head and try to take them out of their game.  KG went against Villanueva last week and allegedly said, “you look like a Cancer patient”.  I won’t get into if it was right or wrong for Villanueva to post it but I will pose the question to you.  Love to hear your response.  The reason I bring this up, was after this was made known what KG said, his publicist or he, decided to address the matter with a “prepared statement”.  KG said, I did not tell him he looked like a Cancer patient, I said he was a cancer to his team and to the NBA.  He went on to say, I would never make fun of someone with Cancer as I have a friend currently going through the disease.  Realllly?  The guy has never been suspended for fighting and has been thrown out less than 5 games for double technical fouls.  KG has been thrown out of 5 games in the past 2 years and suspended 1 for throwing a punch.  Please stop with the spin.  I love the fact that there is no way he could have said what he supposedly said because he knows someone going through Cancer.  That’s like the ol’ adage, “I cannot be racist, I had a friend when I was growing up and he was ____”.

The spin continued today despite irrefutable evidence.  Freddie Roach is a long-time boxing trainer and former boxer.  Freddie, like  Muhammad Ali, suffers from Parkinson’s disease.  The disease causes noticeable shakes and can lead to facial distortions when a person suffering from the disease speaks.  Antonio Margarito faces off against Roach’s fighter Manny Pacquiao this weekend.  Check out the video below to see how sensitive Margarito and his team was.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DrlrjXHKdw&feature=player_embedded

This coming from a guy that was once banned from boxing for lacing his fists under his gloves with a plaster-like substance.  His response to the irrefutable video evidence?  “I was not making fun of Freddie. It was just that when I was shaking my hands, I was just saying, ‘Man, I’m really scared,'” said Margarito.

“I think that people misunderstood that. That’s what happened,” said Margarito. “It was a misunderstanding. I have nothing against anybody. I have nothing against Freddie Roach. I respect him as a great trainer.”

Doesn’t sound like he was trying to convince himself of that answer at all.  I would use these same excuses 20 years ago when I was a kid and got in trouble.  They didn’t work then and they don’t pass the sniff test now.  Where would we be without publicists?

Happy Veterans Day and a special shout out to my Marine Corps pops. This birthday boy celebrated his birthday, the Marine Corps’ birthday and Veteran’s Day all in the same week.  Semper Fi Meat.

SEE YAAA

Midterm Elections

I’ve lived in the D.C. area for 10 years in my life so I had developed some strong political beliefs.  With that said, I want to talk about the State of the Union leading up to Tuesdays midterm elections.

In January of 2009 President Obama took office.  I recognize this as a monumental accomplishment to elect an African-American president.  I also recognize this as one of the worst developments for the health and well-being of our country. 

To say I am against the current state of our country would be an understatement.  For the record, I am a moderate and undeclared politically that has beliefs that fall on both sides of the political divide.  It’s important to knowing why I vote the way I do to know that I have also been a salesperson ever since I graduated college.  More than 50% of my compensation is tied to my performance.  Accountability matters to me and has been ingrained regularly. 

In the days leading up to the election, I saw the ways the popularity contest unfolded on TV like many others.  I saw Saturday Night Live shape people’s beliefs system with endless jabs at the age of John McCain.  It came to a head when on a Thursday night SNL special, the hosts of Weekend Update, Seth Myers and Amy Poehler ripped McCain time and time again, going after his military record, age and his unfamiliarity with Facebook.  It got so painful to watch that even my wife who voted for Obama was questioning what she was seeing. 

Fast forward to today.  The things that sicken me about our President include his unrelenting push for Universal healthcare.  I understand there are some flaws in the current way we receive healthcare in our country, but when the bill gets voted down time and time again, maybe you should take a step back and reevaluate the timing of it.  But not this President.  His answer to the criticism on his bill is to put more fluff in the bill to sway the voters against it.  Maybe this will help the country, but there are fatal flaws I see with Universal Healthcare.   Not to mention this has been tried in Massachusetts and has failed but I digress.

1. It starts with the fact that despite how great Obama says this bill is, he excludes himself and the others of Congress that drafted this bill from being subject to the rules.  That’s right, it is so great he wants no part of it.  This is just a joke.  Do as I say, not as I do.  Trust me folks, this is where the lack of confidence in our current regime begins for me.

2. You have a universe of people this bill can help.  In the unwavering efforts of our President to push this bill through, he “forgot” to shore up his lack of an immigration policy.  So, as one of the 80%  or so of this country that is employed, you have an unending amount of people this bill can help.  As people cheat the system, avoid paying taxes and reside in our country illegally, guess who picks up the tab on this blank check?  Any of the remaining 80% or so that have a job.  A blank check is the only way this bill can work and an unending amount of funding is the only way it can work.  Can you see the inflation we are heading towards?  This is all the evidence that people need who question Obama’s inexperience, but then you can also get into his foreign policy (Israel and China come to mind).  That is a story for another day. 

3. You have record unemployment, a failing economy and uncertainty on Wall Street, yet you believe now is the ideal time to roll out a Universal Healthcare plan?  No matter where you fall on this debate, you could question the timing.  Hey, somebody has a re-election to win though.

Economy

You have tried to float the economy by bailing out mismanaged companies, being the first President ever to fire a privately-held companies CEO (Chrysler) only to force them to accept bailout funds then replace the CEO with your own hand-picked successor.  Guess who is another group of people that are immune to the Universal Healthcare bill?  The UAW (automobile union).  Coincidence?  There’s no way our President would bribe a car union right?  Remember the Cash for Clunkers program?  Guess which year the Automobile industry had their most profitable year ever?  2009.  Hmmm.   

The Cash for Clunkers program was pitched as an environmental program.  It would get thousands of cars with poor gas mileage off the road and replace them with more efficent automobiles.  But all that oil eventually got directly poured into the Gulf.  Guess which President has overseen the biggest man-made environmental disaster ever to affect the US?  Obama.  He decided to move forward with Off-shore drilling.  He decided to hire BP.  BP messed up, but how much credit does Obama get for hiring the company that messed up?  Zero.  I won’t get into the controlling of the media that came after the efforts to get the oil leaked stopped in just under 4 months.  120 days to stop a leak when you have shown you know how to sign a blank check is pathetic.  Really, 3 weeks after millions/billions of gallons of oil leaked into the gulf, it was ALL GONE!  Amazing.  But, just in case you don’t believe us, don’t worry about it.  How many reports have you seen since the gusher stopped?   I’m guessing you won’t see a report that depicts the damage in the Gulf.  If a business owner hires someone that kills a bunch of employees, wouldn’t you at least question the decision makers process?  No.  Couldn’t Obama, at a time when the US could use every job it can get, hire an American oil company? (BP is a British company) 

Writing people checks to stimulate the economy didn’t work as people came to depend on the crutch the government offered with the auto program.  2010 will serve to show the drop off the auto industry has seen since the clunkers program.  What did Obama do?  Role out the homebuyers credit.  Guess what that did?  Stimulate the Real Estate portion of the economy until the program ran out.  Then the bottom fell out.  So much so that in the days leading up to these midterm elections, Obama decided to stop all foreclosures.  Ah yes, rewarding people for not paying their bills, just another positive to love about our President.

These are just some of the reasons I cannot wait for Tuesday.  All the blank checks Obama writes are about to be slowed.  The unrelenting control of the Democrats will end.  Not even Jon Stewart can stop it and I could not be more thankful that sanity is about to be restored!

 Hope and change is coming!

The Decision goes live, again

The NBA season started last night.  In the marquee game, the Miami Heat with D. Wade, Chris Bosh and the star of The Decision squared off against the Boston Celtics.  Boston added Shaquille O’Neal and Jermaine O’Neal, but despite playing for the green shamrocks, both are not Irish.  Boston won the game on a late 3 by Ray Allen that iced it.  Earlier in the game, and this is when you knew it was a big game, Paul Pierce left the floor to go to the locker room with an injury.  If you ever watched Paul Pierce play, you know he is a good player but slightly melodramatic.  This guy acts more than Brendan Fraser and just as bad.  He is one of the key culprits that makes me think I am watching soccer with all the flopping Paul does during a bball game.

In other news, the World Series starts tonight.  When the promo came on during Glee last night, my wife said, “Oh yeah, I forgot about that”.  So have most people as Fox will soon learn.

As we near the midterm elections, please do your part and vote.  Look at the issues and vote based on what you think rather than a popular TV show.  Just like ESPN doesn’t have to tell you what to be outraged at in the world of sports, media outlets shouldn’t have to tell you who to vote for.

The Great Pumpkin

An intense topic of discussion this weekend has focused on what we will be for Halloween next weekend.  The Mrs. wants us to do something as a couple, although she only made that known AFTER I came up with an idea that makes me laugh at the possibilities.  Those that know me know how big a fan I am of Will Ferrell.  In Will’s last funny movie (sorry The Other guys, that was lame) but in Step Brothers, Will teams up with John C. Reilly.  John shows up in a scene randomly in a Chewbacca mask and sitting against the headboard of his bed.  Every time I see it, I laugh so hard I cry.

This has been a goal of mine for over a week now.  I’m tall, I’m hairy, and can sound like Chewbacca if called upon.  Plus, the thought of wearing Chewbacca’s satchel to carry all of my things is appealing a la Zach Gafilinakis in The Hangover.

Speaking of the black and orange holiday…

The SF Giants made the World Series yesterday but so did the Yankees.  This insures that one team who has not won the Series in 55 years (SF) will play a team that has never won (49 years for TX).  The Giants feature 5 former Yankees on their coaching staff.  Dave Righetti, Henry Cotto, Bam Bam Meulens, Roberto Kelly. 

Suck it Yankee haters.

It’s kind of sad

The end of the Yankees season always signifies that Winter is coming.  No more coming home and putting on shorts.  No more firing up the grill (ok plugging in the grill) while watching from the balcony and then lighting a cigar as it is still light out.  The boys of Summer give way to the men of the gridiron.  College basketball is coming and that is also some solace for me, but baseball has, will and will continue to be my first love.

Speaking of love…

Could ESPN be BURYING LeBron anymore?  I know in news “if it bleeds it leads” but come on.  The guy yielded to ESPN’s request to make his “Decision” on where he would be playing for the next few years on-air.  He wanted the $3 million check for the exclusive he would give the worldwide leader in sports, to be made out to the Boys and Girls Club.  You never hear ESPN or ANYONE say that.  Why?  Does it make ESPN look bad?  Does it negatively impact their precious brand awareness?  I don’t know, but the only problem I have with “The Decision” is that LeBron didn’t tell Cleveland before the special that he was going to Miami.  AND I really don’t have as much problem with that as I do with the fact that the guy is not the most eloquent speaker to put it nicely.  Granted the whole special was self-serving, but donating the proceeds was a solid gesture and something that needed to be told.  I’d rather know that than hear from bitter Cleveland fans that LeBron is some traitor.  If you were going to take a trip, and then live their for the next 10 years, would you choose to go to Cleveland or to “take your talents to South Beach”?

And the pitch…

I thought it was hilarious to watch RedSoxCenter’s coverage during the ALCS.  Steve Berthuiame, an anchor that was once banished from ESPN for being too critical of the Yankees and too pro-Boston, had to turn to Aaron Boone for insight.  The same Aaron Boone that broke Berthuiame and “Red Sox Nation’s” hearts in October 2003 back when the curse was still the curse.  Getting kicked off of ESPN for being too Boston centric is like being kicked off of Obama’s staff for wanting to hand out too much money.  The irony of the story?  Berthuiame had to reincarnate his career at SNY, the NY Mets baseball network.

ESPN is a network of unapologetic chowdaheads.  The network’s on-air talent includes: Nomar Garciaparra (Sawx SS for 10 years), Curt Schilling (the former Sox pitcher that never met a microphone, or a sandwich, he didn’t like) and Tedy Bruschi (Patriots LB for 10 years).  Who says there is an East Coast (re: Boston) bias on Sportscenter?  Most, which is why they now film regularly in Los Angeles.

Yanks season is over, the Jets are on a bye and college basketball starts in a few more weeks.  Feel free to reach out with some feedback.  I’ll welcome the break from around-the-house projects.

SEEEEE YA!

What would ya say ya do here?

I constantly have to talk fellow sports fans off the ledge. After listening to sports talk radio in the tri-state area, I know all about overreaction and outlandish claims to draw in callers and fill hours of radio for better ratings. It is an absolute joy to hear the ego of Mike Francesa. The guy kicks off his show with 20 minutes of him in a soliloquy type fashion. It is pure radio gold. This guy once name dropped to Joe Montana for upwards of a minute. It was classic. I wish Joe cool would have just said, “you do know I met some people along the way to winning 4 Super Bowls, right Mike?”

Have you seen my baseball?

At the end of today, the Yanks will be tied in their series with the Rangers, 2 games a piece. It is exactly where they should be after 4 games with 2 at home and 2 on the road. Relax.

When I think back, it hurts my head…

I’ve loved sports for as far back as I can remember. I often wonder what it must be like to NOT be attached to sports. I’d have hours more time to do lord knows what. I’d definitely be more boring and perhaps more well-read if not for sports. My wife would like it as she would not have to ask me questions 5 times.
I played sports competitively through college. Towards the end, it was not to have fun, but to keep the best seat in the house or get a chance to dive into the crowd for a loose ball and introduce myself to the newest cheerleader. “Hellllo”

After I was done playing competitively, I focused on being tall. I’ve gotten very good at it. I started playing hoops and softball and found it to be a lot more fun when just messing around with friends. At the end of the day, that is why I love sports. To get to see people compete, share a bond with friends, and have a team to cheer for. I live for this.

Enjoy your evening…

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