Sunday Random Sports Thoughts

Posted: Sunday, December 17, 2006 by Travis Cody in
4

Somehow the end of the football season has snuck up on me. After this weekend there will only be 2 games left. My Raiders can finally put this painful debacle of a season behind them. Oddly enough, with their win over Pam's Seahawks on Thursday, the 49ers have a chance to go 8-8 and possibly win the NFC West. I'm keeping my excitement on simmer for the sake of peace in my apartment.

Terrell Owens: An athlete doesn't spit in another athlete's face. It is a cowardly act of disrespect. But I'm not surprised by the act of an immature child who apparently doesn't have any self-respect, let only respect for anyone or anything else. There is no excuse for this. And there are only so many apologies for a guy like Owens. At some point, a man has to step up and own his actions.

Nuggets vs Knicks: NBA brawls are patently ridiculous. And potentially dangerous. Nobody likes to get blown out and shown up on their home floor. But to play the game with the intent to injure another player - there is no way to spin that into anything other than a criminal act. Ever hear of a crime of passion that happens in the heat of the moment? People go to jail for those. Why should a vicious foul committed in the heat of the moment, and the ensuing fist fight it prompted, not be punished with arrests? When do we consider that on court behavior has crossed the line?

879 - That's the most wins ever by a college basketball coach. The record is held by Dean Smith. Texas Tech Coach Bob Knight can tie that record next Saturday, and surpass it soon after. Coach says, "It means I’ve coached a long time." Well, yeah. Winners normally get to stick around and win for a long time.

Do I need to feel sorry for Floyd Landis, the American cyclist who won the Tour de France last July but who immediately tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone, suggesting the illegal use of performance enhancing substances? He claims he'll be exhonerated. He claims the tests were wrong and there is a legitimate explanation. He claims the scandal caused the death of his father-in-law. He claims his career is over because of the wrongful accusations. So I wonder, do I need to feel sorry for him? He appears to have cheated and he got caught. Life is like that sometimes.

The Phoenix Suns have won 14 straight games, which ties a franchise record for consecutive wins. They've surged to the lead in the Pacific Division. My Lakers are surging too, going 7-3 in their last 10. But it's tough to keep pace with a team as hot as the Suns. Ooops! No pun intended. Heehee.

I don't feel sorry for Allen Iverson. No matter what your opinion of his basketball skill, the guy has never had to learn that ultimately it has to be about the good of the team. When Philly was winning, his off court garbage and disrespectful attitudes toward his coach, teammates, and the organization were dismissed and forgiven. Not so much anymore. He's out in the cold and it's his own fault. It takes a certain amount of selfishness to become great at any professional sport. It takes a greater amount of maturity to funnel that selfishness into an attitude that allows you to work within a team and be a teammate. Iverson has never had that, and now he's paying for it.

I had great coaches and great teammates. I learned respect for the games I played. I learned sportsmanship. Don't kids get taught those things anymore? Playing a game at a high level of intensity should never mean that the players lose their basic humanity. I'm not naive - I understand that the pressure to win increases at every level of sport. But no amount of intensity should ever cause a player to lose sight of the man across the line from him. There's nothing like laying a hit on a guy and hearing the breath whoosh out of him. But there's no need to dance over him. It doesn't make me less of a man if I reach my hand down and help him up.

**climbs down off soap box**

4 comments:

  1. Thinnmann says:

    Read up on Landis. He probably didn't cheat. The testing system is broken. Start here

  1. Travis says:

    Thinnmann: Thank you for the alternative perspective.

  1. Diana says:

    Trav,

    I've been to some games where there are loud, screaming parents in attendance. They get upset if their children are taken out, or if one of the other kids miss a play. You've seen them on the sideline the ones who fight with the coaches to get their way, those extra few minutes of play for Johnny because even though he sucks, that parent yells the loudest so Johnny goes into the game.

    Frankly, I would ban loud obnoxious parents from games. They are the downfall of sportsmanship in the US. Why take a play, or be taken out of a game when you can cause a rukus on the sidelines and get your way. It all comes down to the "ME" society that these SUV driving mothers and fathers have created by showing poor judgement. My child this and my child that. No your child stinks and shouldn't play, or your child can't misbehave in class or have a low GPA and play! It's all totally unfair.

    I thank the over zealous parents for training future athletes to be spoiled brats who won't play for less than 25 million a year. Thanks, leave the sideline and shut up.