Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Tuesday's Starting Five

1) Hank Steinbrenner is a blustery, bloated idiot who got his job the same way that James Dolan got his. By the end of the week he could have lied about two always-say-never decrees. And, Yankees fans better hope it turns out that way. First, he negotiated with A-Rod even after the slugger opted out. Now, he better wise up and sell the farm for Johan even though his arbitrary and arrogant deadline passed by last night. Can you imagine if the Sox throw Johan Santana and Josh Beckett four times in a seven game series? If Beckett never ever throws another postseason pitch he will go down in history as one of the best ever in October. And, he would be their #2?

2) NBA Basketball. Last night in Memphis there was a contest that showed why it CAN be the best hoops game around, even if that isn't always the case. Portland topped Memphis 106 to 105 at the buzzer on a Travis Outlaw 6-foot runner. The two teams were playing with March Madness intensity and the talent level on the court was just so far above anything that you'll ever see in a college basketball game. Ever. Rudy Gay had 30/8/3 for Memphis. Brandon Roy had 26/9/7 for Portland. Pau Gasol scored 14 and pulled down 15 rebounds while Lamarcus Aldridge scored 23. Even on lesser teams there are top-flight athletes in the Association and on those nights when the effort is there then you'll still see the best athletic competition that any professional sport has to offer. The talent level in the NBA is really as high as it has been in a long time. There is a good reason to go see every team play.

3) Brett Favre. Named Sports Illustrated's 2007 Sportsman of the Year. Blah...it seems like this award should have been his about a decade ago when he was racking MVP awards rather than this year when he is arguably the most over-celebrated athelte of his era. But, as a quick glance of the SI article points out, that pesky painkiller addiction could have kept him off a few ballots back then. All in all, the most interesting section of the coverage of this honor is the list of other nominees, folks like Roger Federer (who really, really deserves this).

4) Rex Ryan. Ravens Defensive Coordinator who called the timeout just as that 4th-and-1 play was getting under way. You know the first of three times when it looked like the Ravens had the game won? Watching replays it sure doesn't look like anyone near the line of scrimmage heard that whistle. The Pats WR on the outside, by Ryan and the ref who whistled, turned his head but that seems to be it. Either way, the Pats were not getting that yard with the play they were running and Ryan arguably cost his team the game. Of course, one can argue that the REFS cost the Ravens the game. Especially since Coordinators ARE NOT ALLOWED TO CALL TIMEOUTS. Only players and Head Coaches are allowed to call timeouts. This is a rule.

5) The Orlando Magic continue their domination, knocking off the second-hottest team, the GS Warriors, in OT.

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