Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Kind of a rough week for.....

A busy week in sports often means amazing plays, outstanding performances, and great accomplishments abound. But to be honest, all that’s just not that fun to write about. So this week I’ve decided to point out those who took the biggest hits. Frankly the mass media is far too bright and cheery for my liking, and if irresponsible, uninformed bloggers don’t call attention to all of the negativity, then who will?

John Calipari
“We’ll hit them when they matter.”
“Honestly, I’m not all that worried about it.”

Sound familiar John? These are the words of Memphis head coach John Calipari referring to his team’s inability to hit foul shots. Throughout the regular season and NCAA tournament everyone seemed to agree that the mighty Tigers would eventually fall due to this one fatal weakness, but the Memphis boys proved them all wrong… for awhile.

Up by nine points with 1:55 to play in Monday night’s championship, the game seemed all but locked up in Memphis’ favor… only, not so much. The Tigers’ two best shooters, Derrick Rose and Chris Douglas-Roberts, went a combined 1 for 6 from the line in the waning moments and allowed the Jayhawks to crawl back into the game. The ‘Hawks would eventually tie the score in the final seconds, take the game to overtime, and steal the championship right out from under Calipari and the Tigers. And it wasn’t just the foul shooting that lost them the contest either, it’s a wonder we never heard Calipari churn out any other foot-in-the-mouth gems like:

“I’ll call time out when it’s necessary.”
Or, “We’ll foul the opposition when it makes perfect sense, the championship is on the line, and it will assure us the win.”

Detroit Tigers
This off-season Detroit was the fashionable pick to win the World Series for many of the baseball world’s foremost experts. After one week of play, they’re 0-7.

When an already potent team landed the two biggest acquisitions of the winter, adding Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis from the Florida Marlins bargain bin, the Tigers looked like the team to beat. And apparently that’s exactly what they are… just not in the way they were hoping. Through their first run of games they have taken beatings at the hands of the Royals, the White Sox, and most recently the Red Sox. Their new star slugger, Cabrera, is batting a stellar .100 at the plate and is tied for third on the team in RBIs with 1. Although on a positive note he does seem happy to be in Detroit (and doesn’t look at all like he’s about to go Kenny Rogers on this camera man). Cabrera’s fellow former Marlin has also done his part to aid the Tigers’ unenviable streak. In one start Dontrelle Willis lasted 5 innings and started his year off with a 5.40 ERA (in this shot the ball is actually rocketing back up the middle for a single). So basically, he has made his transition from pitching in the National League to the American League seamlessly (he posted a 5.17 overall ERA last season). Note to everyone out there who was excited about the Tigers adding Willis… he’s not very good.

Now with all that said, there is no reason to panic just yet. After all, we are only one week into the season. However, if things continue to play out as they have, coach Jim Leyland is likely to extend his smoking habit to a carton a day (to be fair he is already 2/3 of the way there) and the Tigers’ grounds crew will be forced to cover the dugout floor in sand to create a giant, stress-catching ashtray.

The Collective Masculinity of Basketball Fans Everywhere
It’s okay to admit that you well up and get the chills each and every year when CBS airs their “One Shining Moment” montage at the end of the NCAA Tournament, it happens to the best of us. Nothing makes a man emotionally crumble like a well crafted sports montage. It’s a fact. It’s our kryptonite. Like a taste for Buffalo wings or the uncontrollable laughter that inevitably follows a good fart, it is encoded on our DNA, inborn, whether we like it or not.

So when CBS takes clips of the year’s greatest sporting event and mashes them up with the rousing vocal stylings of that magical bastard Luther Vandross, we simply do not stand a chance. It doesn’t even matter that the lyrics are arguably cheesier than every Bryan Adams song combined. Or that at the 1:49 mark of this year’s mix they felt the need to include a clip of inane commentator Bill Raftery inexplicably yelling “ONIONS!” after a made shot (do you love it as much as I do?). It still hits every man’s heart, right at the core.

So judge yourself for your futile struggle to hold back your tears at the end of “The Notebook” you Nancy… but don’t ever, ever let anyone take away your “One Shining Moment.”

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