Author Archive

LeBron James, 2012′s Athlete Of The Year

LeBron James 2012 Athlete Of The Year

We don’t forgive so much as forget with a title or two. Awe us enough on the field, and we’ll spot you a Mulligan for your misdeeds off it. Call it jock justice. Or the American sports fan way. But ask Ray Lewis. Or Kobe. Tiger may need Jack Nicklaus’ record for true redemption, but the galleries (and TV advertisers) roar like the olden days when he charges on the back nine Saturdays.

Because, the truth is, we want to watch history more than morality plays.

* * * * * *

We weren’t fair to LeBron James.

America hated 2011 LeBron James for the preening, the arrogance, and The Decision, yes. But LeBron James was not the first prodigy whose ego outgrew his talents. And he would not be the last. America hated LeBron James in 2011 because he wasn’t The One we were waiting for. But, perhaps, he was The One we deserved.

Continue Reading

Email

0

Entering The Mind Of Peyton Manning

Entering The Mind Of Peyton Manning

Imagine you woke up this morning as Peyton Manning: your neck is killing you and you can’t feel your triceps. Four surgeries in nineteen months. Nothing has changed.

You split open the curtains. The news vans are already parked out front. It was fun while it lasted. The anonymity of it all. The quiet morning reps with Todd Helton. The incognito rehab. Then that Dukie kid tweeted about stretching next to you and ruined everything.

You can’t watch SportsCenter anymore. Your last name its own category on the ticker. You are the soup du jour for starving sports writers in the most desolate of sports months.

This is what your muse Favre must have felt like. Except his boss didn’t send drunken tweets about him at 4 in the morning. Some nights you’re family and on others you’re a calculating politician. But every night you’re the subject of a bi-polar billionaire’s warped ramblings for all of the world to see.

Jim Irsay Manning Mind

Your company is in shambles. Your mentors have been fired wholesale. Senior management already anointed your successor: a scruffy, cerebral twenty-two year old kid from Stanford who’s the most breathlessly ballyhooed college quarterback since, well, you.

On the bright side, your baby bro slayed your arch-rival in the House That You Built. You’re proud of him, of course, but inside it grates at you. That the Saints pick-six denied you your own second ring. And that The Onion published those snarky headlines.

Then there’s the arm again… it’s worse than people think. You can’t get the giddy-up on the deep ball like before. You can’t throw left. You can’t throw across your body.

Continue Reading

Email

0

Occupy John Wall Street: A 2012 NBA Season Preview

A 2012 NBA Season Preview Picture

It’s not fair. This should be the most cherry of holiday seasons for Kris Humphries. A morality play on the hard court. That if you worked hard, if you were patient, life would be grand.

Kris Humphries did his time. He paid his dues riding the pine in the NBA hinterlands. One year in Utah. Three in Toronto. He did not complain when Dallas dealt him to New Jersey. He kept grinding. He found his post-game. He found true love. By season’s end, Kris Humphries was a double-double juggernaut on the court who went home to Kim Kardashian off it.

The Nets lavished him with an $8 million deal. E! feted him with a splashy $20 million wedding. And all was right in the world.

For 72 days.

Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries Kiss

Kim filed for divorce. Maybe he couldn’t take the paparazzi glare. Or maybe she couldn’t live in Minnesota. But ten weeks later, she wanted the divorce. And she wanted to keep that $2 million engagement ring, too.

Continue Reading

Email

0

For the Love of the Game

Post image for For the Love of the Game

People who like college sports more than pro sports don’t actually like sports. Instead, they like the other things that college athletes do well: represent a community, foster a sense of historical continuity, and create the occasional Rudy-esque story where a regular person gets the glory. All of that is well and good, but none of it has anything to do with sports.

I get it, it’s easier to identify with college athletes, we lived where they lived, we wore the colors they wore, why that could even be us out there instead of young Mr. Ruttiger. None of that is true for professional athletes. They live in multimillion dollar homes, they never have to eat at Arby’s, and we sure as shit can’t imagine playing out there with them.  Rudy never made it to the NFL because a linebacker would have ripped his dick off and eaten it after breaking both his legs Theismann style. And you know why that story would unfold that way? Because pro-athletes are better than 95% of college athletes by an almost superhuman degree.

If you care about sports, if you want to see it played at the highest level, you’ll prefer watching professional athletes. Watching Michael Jordan is where you just might see the platonic ideal of basketball; the same can’t be said of some 5’7, slightly chubby point guard from a forgettable school who gets by on moxie and who plays the game the right way (“playing the game the right way” being code for either 1) I don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about or 2) I really prefer white people).

Now your average college sports fan might concede these points (except the racist thing) but will then proceed to list several reasons why college sports is still superior. College athletes play for the love of the game instead of money, they always play hard, and the competition means more. As someone who values rationality you’ll want to counter these arguments. And rest assured these points will be addressed, but if you want to skip ahead, here’s the lowdown – they’re all bullshit.

The idea of college sports teams playing for the love of the game is silliness rooted in an antiquated notion of what the term student athlete represents, where the first word in that description has just as much weight as the second one. Maybe 75 years ago you had some square-jawed kid who took to the field because he just enjoyed being out there and he wanted to fight for his alma mater. That was just college though, when it was all said and done he never expected to do anything other than sell mattresses in his father’s store after graduation. That world does not exist anymore.

Continue Reading

Email

2

The Time I Was Drunk With Billie Jean King

The Time I Was Drunk With Billie Jean King

Billie Jean King didn’t know I was drunk. By all accounts, I was an affable fan with shades of a speech impediment.

I wasn’t black-out, per se. But it was that time of the night. You know, the whites whiten. The blacks blacken. The eyes shift from video mode to photo.

Short, choppy snapshots documenting my conversation with sports’ most famous lesbian: Her GEICO commercials. My stoner college roommate. The top-shelf open bar selection. The U.S. Open. Just call it The Open, Billie Jean King corrected me. The players do.

The Open lacks the strawberries-and-cream mystique of Wimbledon. The earth-tone majesty of Roland Garros. But what The Open does offer is size on an All-American scale.

US Open 2011 Fireworks

Continue Reading

Email

0
Hot On The Web