Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tuesday Ramblings

Gilbert Arenas and his Washington Wizards teammate Jarvis Crittenden pulled guns on each other in their own locker room after an argument about a gambling debt. Is any of this a surprise? The fact that Hayden Panttiere has boobs and that she’s dating boxing champion Wladamir Klitschko is a surprise. NBA players with guns in the locker room is not a surprise. But the one-liners or newspaper headlines are almost too easy……just a few samples:
Agent Zero and his not so secret weapons
Arenas is a Shooting Guard Gone Wild
Arenas takes the “Gunner” label to new levels
Agent Zero makes his case for the team to go back to the Bullets nickname
Arenas got confused playing at the Target Center in Minnesota
And so on, and so on, and so on. The story is just another example of how these athletes continue to test the levels of stupidity they can reach. These guys have the money, so your bodyguard, manager or your boys should be doing all of the gun carrying and driving after a night of downing Patron. That's the price they have to pay for being part of your celebrity athlete posse.
While the Fiesta Bowl was entertaining to watch, I’m pretty sure it didn’t do anything to help the case for a playoff. Both TCU and Boise State would have been the Michael Spinks to Florida, Alabama or Texas’s Mike Tyson. They are good football teams but they do not have the athleticism, size or speed to truly play with the big boys. I loathe the current system of spread out bowl games (I almost forgot there were more games to play after a 2 day break), the playoff wouldn’t make a difference. Small schools with gimmicky offenses and trick plays (why are teams EVER surprised when Boise State fakes a punt??) may win one game against the powerhouses, but they would not be able to advance through multiple rounds of games. Can you see Boise State beating Georgia Tech and then following it up by beating Ohio State and then having to still beat Alabama in a championship? Neither can I. It’s kind of like Gwen Stefani - she’s not for everyone, and she’s not going to stack up against the most talented musicians or women, but she has her moments of brilliance and can be entertaining.
So until we have a better solution than a playoff - maybe a “plus-one” system where after the bowl games are played we have one final championship game? - we shouldn’t mess with the current system.
USC was put on probation for the improper benefits that OJ Mayo received from boosters during his one year on campus. Memo to all coaches at USC: Stay away from great athletes named OJ that want to wear #32. They tend to bring trouble to Los Angeles. Mayo didn’t (allegedly) kill his ex-wife and her lover, then have his buddy lead the cops on a low-speed chase down the 405 in a white Bronco, and spend the next 15 years looking for the killer on golf courses all over southern California. Yet his brief time didn’t produce overwhelming success on the court and his off the court actions will cause a lasting headache for the entire program.
The only thing more contrived and bogus than the Obama Beer Summit with Henry Gates & James Crowley is NCAA probation. When a program violates the rules, the NCAA cracks down by making teams “vacate” victories during the time of the violation, takes away scholarships and bans
the team from the postseason. Who does this punishment actually affect? In many instances, the players that are the cause of the probation have left school early for the pros. The coaching staff has the ability to leverage the success they enjoyed with the violating player into a bigger, higher-paying job and leaves campus. So the people that have to pay for the violation are the new coaching staff and the players still around on the team who have lost a scholarship and the hope of postseason play.
And if those players want to transfer to a school with an opportunity to play in the postseason, they have to sit out a year after transferring. A coach who jumps programs doesn’t pay any penalty - after crashing the rental car into a tree, he walks away and heads to the bar to toast to his next big pay day. Yes, I’m talking to you, John Calipari or Jim Harrick. These guys crashed multiple programs (Calipari at UMass and Memphis, and Harrick at UCLA, Rhode Island and Georgia) and were continually given new programs to run. Bobby Knight may have been a prick and mistreated his players, but he was dead on when he said that he was glad he was no longer coaching because the game lacked integrity and John Calipari was the perfect example of that lack of integrity. Maybe the game would have been better off if John Cheaney (who is among the few coaches that look like their mascot - the Owls) had actually been able to carry out his threat on the then-UMass coach…………

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