Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Offseason

Okay, it's officially the NFL offseason, NBA had a mini break for the All Star Game, and baseball hasn't fired things up yet. So that leaves us with... Golf? NASCAR? Hockey? Regular season college hoops?

I had to take this past week off simply because there wasn't much worth posting about. And I wasn't the only one struggling for things to talk about. These slow times can be among the most amusing to listen to sports radio because I get a chance to listen to the hosts--hosts collectively charged with filling up 24 hours of air time with interesting topics--struggle and struggle mightily.

Last week I listened to ESPN Radio's LA affiliate fill the air with the following two topics (before they were graciously saved by the questionable hiring of new Chargers coach Norv Turner):

Andy Ried - Was he doing the right thing by taking just one month off? Or should he have taken an indefinite leave? One guy argued that he should stay out as long as it took to help reform his 20 and 21 year old kids. Never mind the implications of the Eagles having to wait 2, 3, or even 6 months not knowing if or when they'd get a coach back (though I'm guessing Ron Rivera would interview for the job if need be), or the fact that it's awful easy to make arguments like this when it's not your job, your money, or your family involved. Would he tell a minimum wage bartender that he should take an open-ended leave of absence to look over his adult children if they were arrested?

Tim Hardaway - What was there to say that hadn't already been said? Yes, Hardaway looked ridiculous. No, his apology didn't come across very sincere. So ESPN Radio's LA affiliate's take? Should African Americans, who have a long history of being prejudged and discriminated against, be more mindful of pre-judging and discriminating against others? Sounds like an interesting take, except... well, we've all been discriminated against at some point or another for being too tall, too short, too smart, too dumb, too ugly, too pretty, too gay, too straight, too black, too white, too Mexican, too Asian, too liberal, too conservative, too thin, too heavy, too rich, too poor, too this, and/or too that. Yet we all keep discriminating against, prejudging, and hating people for nit-picky and irrational reasons. So why should African Americans need to be 'more mindful' of making open states of hate when non-African Americans get off the hook?


I suppose it wasn't a complete void of a week for real sports. The Daytona 500 was run this past Sunday and Kevin Harvick squeaked out a thrilling and controversial finish as several cars, two semis, and a Boeing 757 were involved in a giant crash behind them.

Good race.
Fun finish.
Wake me up in a couple months when the Nextel cup visits Bristol.

I used to follow NASCAR religiously, though that was back in the day when I had a driver whose fortunes I lived and died with. Mostly died. That's probably not the best choice of words, because he didn't die, he just doesn't do much racing anymore. It's a lot more interesting if you are pulling for one guy over the course of a season. Things changed a couple years ago for me when top teams went from picking drivers who'd earned their way to the top from years of driving lower-end equipment to picking them based on their fresh faced marketability. It's kind of like the trend that the NBA went to a few years ago with the addiction to high school phenoms over known commodities. At about the same time, NASCAR started going away from its roots, taking races away from unique and challenging courses like Darlington, Rockingham, and Martinsville, and giving them to achingly dull, cookie cutter tracks like Texas, Las Vegas, or the worst offender of them all, Fontana. Drivers like the tracks more, and why wouldn't they? They're wide, fast, and boring. Give me Talladega, Daytona, Watkins Glenn, Infinion, and Bristol. You can keep the rest.

Great Minds Think Alike

Or at least, almost alike. In his Monday Morning Quarterback column this week, Peter King's 'Factoid of the Week that May Interest Only Me' had to do with who would face Indianapolis when the NFL regular season kicked off on September 6th. Well Pete (if I can call you that), it doesn't just interest you, but it interests me as well! He listed the same 3 potential opponents I did, along with much of the same rationale behind his picks. His order was slightly different though (Me: Saints, Patriots, Broncos; Him: Saints, Broncos, Patriots).

Speaking of the Broncos...

The Rocky Mountain News is reporting a rumor that the Broncos may possibly send Jake Plummer, Tatum Bell, and their #1 to Houston for the eighth overall pick in the draft so they can draft Adrian Peterson. I am guessing that the source for this rumor is a 12 year old die-hard Broncos fan because it has all the earmarks of a trade that heavily favors the Broncos and doesn't make sense at the same time...

1) The Texans already have a running back who couldn't cut it with Denver. His name is Ron Dayne. Is Tatum Bell a big upgrade?
2) Can you tell me how Jake "Arm Like Cannon, Brain like Goldfish" Plummer is an upgrade over David Carr?
3) The Broncos have prided themselves over the past decade of finding diamonds in the rough at running back, making stars of undrafted free agents and late round draft picks. Why would they change that trend to go after Adrian Peterson? (well, I suppose they'd be okay with that if all they had to do was jettison two guys they were probably going to cut anyway)
4) Think the Texans fans, after passing on both Reggie Bush and Vince Young, are going to accept cast-offs from Denver for the privilege of moving down 13 spots in the draft?

Now Playing

The iPod Randomizer says: Everclear's "Blackjack" from Slow Motion Daydream. I still think Everclear's later stuff (SMD, Songs from An American Movie 1 & 2) are very underrated


Arrowed said...

So? What was the mediocre driver you followed? I used to have a particular affinity for Jeremy Mayfield. I don't know why. I think I just liked his name.

I did buy Welcome To The Drama Club. It's definitely a retread album, but it's not bad. Ok, well, I listened to it thrice, then got bored and haven't listened to it again. "Hater" and "Glorious" are good though. Funny that they're the singles...

Freelancer said...

I was (and I guess, still am) a fan of John Andretti. Nice, humble guy. Good racer. Bad luck magnet. In a strange twist, 'my guy' and 'your guy' did a rare in-season ride swap in 1996, sending Jeremy to the 37 and John to the 98. Or maybe it was 1995. Who cares.

I bought WttDC too, though it was more out of desperation. Was driving from Indianapolis to Chicago in mid-December and had nothing but staticy religious and country radio stations to listen to so I stopped at Target and picked up the new Everclear album. I don't remember much about it even though it was only 2 months ago. So I'm either losing it, or the album wasn't that good.