Monday, February 14, 2011
It's Valentine's Day, Sports, Let's Get Busy!
"Love is the most important word in the English language" - John Wooden.
Well, who am I to argue with the greatest mind in sports.
In honor of the day of love, Valentine's Day, I've decided to give a little love to some of my favorite things in sports.
As an adult, I really have come to hate this day. Not because I have anything against showing affection or the color pink, but because I think its sad that it's turned more into a message of "show your love by buying this $500 necklace" or "she'll know you care when you get her a Tiffany's bracelet." Uggg.
Sidenote: If I see one more of those stupid "He went to Jared" commercials, I am going to pull a Kill Bill eye attack on myself.
That was Valentine's Day in its truest form.
Sports is the same way.
For all the hype and attention some athletes get, there is still a lot left to be desired. Sports often loses its purity by focusing on what is put on the highlights but not the end results. Getting paid is more important than getting wins. My sports Valentines go only to the purest things in the game starting with....
Obviously the Detroit Pistons.
As a team this year, the Stones are pretty awful. A few bright spots with Monroe and McGrady, but the Karen Davidson selling the team mess, and the fact that they have nine small forwards doesn't give me much to get excited about. Until last week.
The team announced it would retire Dennis Rodman's number 10 and for that they deserve some love.
Rodman is now a nut job. That's almost indisputable. But in the late 80s and early 90s, you couldn't find a guy who played with more passion and effort. He was often overshadowed by Hall of Famers like Isaiah and Joe D, but Rodman's presence was just as important. His tenacity and rebounds helped mold the Bad Boys image that, to this day, has not been duplicated. The fact that he went off the deep end makes people forget how amazing he was as a pure hustle basketball player.
He is the greatest rebounder, pound for pound, in league history and deserves the recognition 100-percent.
To the Worm and the Pistons, Happy Valentine's Day.
Valentines #2....Blake Griffin
Dear sweet heavenly dunk gods, this guy is incredible. I am convinced at some point this year a police officer will arrest Griffin in the tunnel of the Staples Center for a Chris Brown type beating he has put on rims. He throws down on the hoop like it owes him money.
I love it.
Griffin has been called the second coming of Shawn Kemp. Umm no. One, Kemp didn't have the handles or mid range jumper Blake Superior has and two, Griffin, as far as I know, has not produced nine kids with eight women. Now, he is only technically a rookie, so I guess he could still make that happen. He is in L.A. Shout out to Charlie Sheen!
Griffin gets love not only for his monster dunks, but because he has done something no other player since Ron Harper has been able to do, make the Clippers watchable. Sportscenter leads with Clippers highlights, which is a change from the usual lowlights title the team has carried for decades. Kids buy Griffin jerseys. And I've watched an entire Clippers game for the first time, possibly, in my life.
Blake has resurrected a franchise. That deserves some chocolate and roses.
Valentines #3 .... trash talk.
Well, well, well look who is drunk texting the sports world, telling it how much it misses being around. I don't know if its the economy, the unrest in the Middle East, or maybe the steroids working overtime, but athletes have gotten a little chippy lately. And I love it.
Soft spoken Kevin Durant calling Chris Bosh a "fake tough guy." Octodad Cromartie calling Tom Brady an "A Hole" and hockey goalies fighting twice in a week. This is great stuff.
As I mentioned earlier, I love the tenacity of Dennis Rodman, pre-Carmen Electra. He signified everything that was right with sports. Guys wanted to show they were tough. Elbows were thrown and blood gushed regularly. Beautiful.
Then guys went soft. Leagues cracked down on extra curricular activities and it robbed sports of a level of intensity that sparked emotion.
Lately, it seems all bets are off. Maybe it's twitter or players realizing that an extra verbal shot can get them front page headlines. Either way, its awesome and carrying over onto the floor.
The Celtics and Heat are pushing each other, literally. NFL smack talks makes you wonder on every play, is some guy going to get so ticked off he will actually decapitate another guy. Maybe this is a bit barbaric, but I love this kind of action and glad its making a comeback.
Trash talk...will you accept this rose?
Valentines #4...the best in the Biz
Jason Whitlock and Dan Patrick. Two of the best at what they do. I struggle to get through my days when I don't read or listen to them. In an era of journalist that kiss up to players in fear of losing their connections, these guys tell it like it is. I love that.
Honorary mentions to Scott Van Pelt, Ryan Russillo, and Tom Rinaldi.
Valentines #5...being a fan.
There are few things in life you can truly trust. America's divorce rate is at 50-percent, promiscuity is encouraged on every TV show (many of which I love, so yes, I acknowledge I'm being hypocritical), and our attention spans are that of an orangutan. But, one thing that remains in its purest form, is fan loyalty.
Being a fan is like being in a marriage. You have to go through good and bad times, but watching your team spring from insignificant to champion is the greatest feeling ever.
Sports unites cities like New Orleans, creates new heroes like Aaron Rodgers, and teams like the 2004 Pistons represent the people who cheer for them allowing the tough, hard working Detroiters to continue to believe that attaining their own personal goals is still possible.
As convoluted as sports sometimes are, they always seem to find a way to spark emotion and passion, like a true love.
The best of the rest of my Valentines.
DeSean Jackson for stepping up.
Ray Allen becoming the three point King.
Tim Bograkos' letter
Packers Celebration Dances, BJ Raji and Aaron Rodgers