Archive for July 2009
This has been a busy week in the sports and entertainment world for all the right and wrong reasons and I have some random thoughts about them all.
Let’s start with the tragic story and shocking murder of former NFL MVP Steve McNair. On the 4thof July my family and I spent the day with some very close friends, Damon and Amber, enjoying a wonderful day watching our kids play in the pool, reminicing and not only celebrating Independence day, but their re-engagement when Amber checked her blackberry and broke the news to us. We were all shocked. As the details started to emerge in the following hours, I started to feel more and more like you were another athlete who, in retirement, got lost and had to find himself.
Allow me to digress on that point.
When an athlete retires they go through a change. The long hours spent at the sports complex working out and training are now spent at home. Athletes only have a few years remaining in their playing careers after they get drafted. They spent 15 years trying to perfect their craft so they can have a career that lasts, on an average, of eight years. So if you really think about it they are in the twilight of their careers when they go pro.
I think McNair, who was widley regarded as one of the NFL’s “good guys”, lost himself and was going through the transition from star athlete to a person who lives an everyday life style. No one knows what McNair was telling Sahel Kazemi. It is being reported that he was dating her and telling her he was going to divorce his wife. No one knows the internal struggle he was going through at the time of his death. My heart goes out to his children, wife, family, former coaches and teammates. It is a tragedy because of how he was killed, not because of who was killed.
I also think that this exact reason is the reason why Brett Favre cann’t seem to hang them up, he simply doesn’t know what else to do with himself.
I am sick and tired of the “Favre Saga” that has happened every NFL off season the past five years. Favre has the right to play if he wants to. He has the right, since he is now a free agent, to play for whom ever he wants. But I am sick of the media covering this soap opera and the having “Favre updates”. Why? Yes he is one of the greatest players to ever play the game and the impact he has had in his career will be felt from Green Bay to Grenada and New York to New Zealand.
If he wants to play for the Vikings, go for it, but it’s time to crap or get off the pot. Make a statement that you are either coming back and that you want to play for the Vikings or say you’re not coming back.
Albert Pujols is the best player in baseball, hands down. Sorry Alex Rodriguez, Josh Hamilton or Evan Longoria. Pujols is a complete player who’s defense is underrated, he won a Gold Glove in 2006, and offense is unmatched in baseball. He is simply the best hitter I have ever seen in my life. No other hitter in recent memory has that much power, plate coverage, batters eye and patience at the dish and has not been linked to any type of performance enhancing drugs.
I am amazed that teams still pitch to him in crucial situations in ballgames. I watched him hit his forth grand slam of the year friday night off Reds reliever David Weathers with a 2-2 count and the Reds up 3-0. His stats with the bases loaded this season are mind blowing, 6 hits in 7 at-bats with 4 homeruns and 20rbi’s.
What seperates him from other athletes is he is a better person then he is player. He has a foundation, PujolsFamily Foundation, which is dedicated to “the love, care and development of people with Down syndrome and their families,” as well as helping the poor in the Dominican Republic.
The Lakers made the right move adding Ron Artest for the same amount of money they would have given Trevor Ariza. Artest adds the toughness the Lakers lacked at time last year. When the Lakers were playing the Rockets in the playoffs this year a friend and I were sayingthat the Rockets played like they had something to prove, with heart and with reckless abandoned, something the Lakers didn’t do for stretchesat a time during their championship season. That will now change. The Lakers perimeterdefense is now the best in the NBA with Artest and Kobe Bryant and now with Artest’s arrival, it will allow Bryant to freelance on defense and create easy shot opportunities.
On the Ariza side, I would fire my agent right away. He lost a high stakes game of poker and cost Ariza a shot at a few more title opportunities. The same mid-level exception the Lakers offered Artest, they offered Ariza a day earlier only to be told by his agent that they wanted more money and that they had other teams willing to pay more for him. In the words of Charlie Murphy during his “True Hollywood Confessions”, Wrong, WRONG! Now Ariza has to show he can be more then a complementary player and hope to make the playoffs while the Lakers will be the front runners to repeat.
Finally, as I watch the Michael Jackson memorial I can’t help but think of all those who lost people the loved in the past few weeks and it goes unrecognized. I hope your pain is short and memories are long. Your in my thoughts and prayers.
On a personnel note, I will be having my arm surgery on Thursday, July 9th and I will not be blogging for a while. Thank you for all your support and thoughtful comments in response to my posts/blogs. Remember, this is my locker room, but your welcome any time!
God bless and and thank you again.