Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Demise of the Answer & Bobby Bowden is Bernie

Before getting to today’s post, we need to take a moment of silence. It’s been confirmed that Bobby Bowden is actually recreating Weekend at Bernie’s. Not knowing the score or the time in a postgame conversation is another nail in the old man’s coffin. Time to hang up the straw hat, Bobby.
Even though NFL week 10 starts tonight with the Bears at 49ers, I refuse to move Degenerate Friday to Degenerate Thursday. Maybe it’s that I’m bitter with the NFL for putting games on the NFL Network, and since I have Time Warner Cable, I have to go out to a bar to watch the game. Wait, I guess that’s not that bad of a penalty…………. Anyway, I’m taking the Bears (+3) over the 49ERS. The Bears have looked horrendous in getting crushed by the Bengals and Cardinals; however the 49ers don’t have the passing game to take advantage of the poor Chicago secondary. And with Vernon Davis shooting his mouth off, the Bears defense will be fired up to knock him around. Mike Singletary may have to drop his trousers again to motivate his team to rebound from this tailspin.
I linked to the story about Allen Iverson on Tuesday, but wanted to get into it a little further today. Iverson has always been a lightning rod, from his high school days when he was convicted in a brawl in a bowling alley, to college when he dominated the Big East, to the pros where he produced a tremendous amount of points, steals, turnovers, shots and bumps & bruises. And yet, he never won a championship. Now he has taken a leave of absence after 3 games with the Memphis Grizzlies, who had just signed him in September as a free agent. So what do we make of Allen Iverson’s career?

There is no doubt that the guy could put the ball in the hoop, he’s 16th all-time in scoring, and 2nd among players under 6’5” (behind only Jerry West). He is a 10-time All-Star, Rookie of the Year in 1997, League MVP in 2001, and 3-time All-NBA selection. He’s also led the league in turnovers twice (12th most all time), and field goal attempts four times (and was 2nd or 3rd another four times). He is a physical marvel, and it is amazing that at his size, he has been able to take the beatings and continually crash to the rim. However, is he another example of a player who filled up the stat sheet at the detriment to the rest of his team and winning? His only team that made the NBA Finals was the beneficiary of some suspect officiating and a missed 7-foot jumper by Big Dog Robinson (don’t get me started). Otherwise, he has never led a team to a championship. And even when surrounded by talent, such as the 2004 Olympics (LeBron, Wade, Anthony, Duncan), they only managed a bronze medal.

I think he’s a pure physical talent, but the fact that he has been so selfish and such a terrible leader over his entire career has held him back from being among the greatest to ever play the game. The league climbed on board A.I.’s bandwagon, when the league was trying to find a suitable replacement for Jordan, and the entire league was full of selfish, egotistical, immature, poor leaders – Iverson, Vince Carter, Stephon Marbury, Steve Francis, Antoine Walker, Latrell Sprewell, etc.

Maybe his legacy is perfectly explained by his most famous tirade about practice. “Practice? We talkin’ bout practice. Not a game, not a game. Practice……” Perfect example of the poor leadership skills and selfishness that held him back. But it was amazingly entertaining.
Or there is the remix, which incorporates Jim Mora, Dennis Green and Mike Gundy:

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