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The Memphis Grizzlies

If anyone out there is actually a fan of the Griz Nation I apologize ahead of time, no wait, no I don’t, they are a let down.

The first round of NBA playoffs is here, and once again they are poised to be eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.  Other than last year when they made a decent run at it, almost every single year they have made it to the playoffs, they have been eliminated in the first round.

It seems like the Grizzlies continually put together a solid team, but clearly not a clutch team.  I don’t know if its just the pressure of the playoffs that makes them stop performing or other teams like the warriors or the spurs who are currently crushing them are just too good… San Antonio had their entire second string in for the fourth quarter in game 2, they were up by 30 points… That’s sad.  That is sad basketball.  It’s like putting a college team in the NBA playoffs.  It’s a snowballs chance in hell kinda thing.  Just my quick rant that Memphis needs to figure out how to be a legitimate contender, because they get there every year, and every year they pull a ROMO.

ODB

Beckam Jr. has certainly made his mark in the NFL and seems to be here to stay.  We have seen other phenomenons come in to the league and blow everyone away in their first couple seasons but then begin to trail off and perform at a more average level.  I hope ODB does not go down that same path.  I think he is an exciting player for the sport and great to watch.  I am not at all a Giants fan but i do like seeing ODB pull a ball to  his side out of nowhere.  Check out some of his top highlights from this last year.

NFL

Who doesn’t love football?  Not soccer, the American kind.  The good ole NFL.  Fast paced hard hitting, need some wings on the table and a beer in your hand football.  Peyton Manning finally announced his retirement thank goodness.  The man could be broken for life if he tried one more season, go out on top like anyone would love the chance to.  Don’t come back Peyton, don’t pull a Favre or a Jordan.  You can make plenty of money doing Papa John’s and Nationwide commercials and probably be an analyst on sportscenter or the NFL network, or maybe even fill in on the Fox panel.  Terry Bradshaw isn’t getting around that well anymore and he may soon need a replacement.

The skills of football players continue to improve, as science and vitamins help to continue to push athletes bodies to new heights of performance, their commanding presence on the field becomes more impactful and more fun to watch.  However, with every advance in physical prowess that the players take, it seems as though the Commissioner wants to institute yet another rule that is going to keep them down.  Preventing them from being able to utilize that skill to the fullest because of the ruling on the field.  People are scared for the health of the players, and want to avoid concussions.  Let me ask a dumb question…. how on earth is a running back supposed to push his way through a defensive line without being able to lower his head and drive his mass forward.  With his head up his center of gravity is too high and he is much easier to knock over.  They made the rule so people wouldn’t lower their helpmet to tackle others especially in the backfield, but it entirely incapacitates running backs and their effectiveness.  When was the last time we had two seasons in a row that were so tainted by referee decisions that could make or brake ball games over these new rules, don’t even get me started on the replacement ref debacle.  How about catches.  You remember the good old days when you could make a diving one handed catch?  It was exciting right?  Not anymore, he doesn’t have full control of the ball before he touches the ground.  You wont see anymore catches like that on Sportscenter’s top 10 because all of those once catches are now all ruled as incomplete, because the ball wasn’t at your chest with two hands on it.   How much more precise can these quarter backs get for crying out loud.

I say let them play ball.  Let them break each other, paralyze each other, whatever they want to do to move the football down the line.  Football is not meant to be a civilized game, for a long time it was close as we had to Gladiators in the Colloseum.  These rules, in this guys opinion, are choking the life out of the sport and if they continue on modifying season after season, then football will become more boring like baseball.

Golf

Golf, the gentlemen’s game. Not so much anymore. Golf is no longer the sport that your grandfather grew up understanding. It’s as cut throat of a sport as any other these days and can cause just as much excitement. People come out by the droves to watch these guys, galleries are load and exciting, there are younger better players every day and the competition level is through the roof tense right now. We are getting to see the evolution of the greatest golf shots ever played due to technology advances in skills, balls, and clubs. It is a fun time in the future history of the sport to be a fan. If you are not you should check it out. You say “i don’t like it, it’s so boring”.I agree sometimes it can be, but I believe the more you play it yourself and try to understand it the more what you watch on tv begins to make sense. Then you can understand the chess game that’s unfolding before your eyes. Take my boy Sergio for example:

The face, the attitude, the style, and the game of golf has evolved, unlike other sports that have not evolved positively I think Golf is better today than it ever has been. It’s a great time to be a fan.

Nike

Nike is a beast of a corporation. Their ability to infiltrate and dominate fields are absolutely astonishing. At one point in sports history, Nike was a basketball company only, then slowly they took over football, baseball, and maybe their biggest conquering is ad a period where they dominated Golf. That may have been their biggest conquering I have seen. Challenged now really only by Under Armour and taking a small hit with the career collapse of Tiger Woods, they are still the monster player in sports, and one of my biggest questions is what industry will we see Nike try to take over next? What about sports supplements? Nike Protein? They could do it, and they would profit.

I must say I have always been a fan of Nike shoes. As a guy with larger than average feet that are particularly wide and in need of good arch support, shoe shopping becomes very difficult for me. Sometimes taking me hours to try things on and check different brands. Every once in a while I will find another brand where that model just seems to work, but on a whole it seems like Nikes are continually the greatest fitting shoes for me. The only brand that I buy the most other than Nike are Pumas, and Skechers for most of my work shoes as they definitely favor the wide foot, and I am a fan of the memory foam soles that now exist.

 

shoes

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Though Nike, Gatorade, and Wheaties helped soar Michael Jordan into one of the greatest known figures of the world. Nike almost single handedly got Tiger Woods to where he was at the top of his career. Don’t get me wrong, Im not saying these guys’s skill didn’t have anything to do with it, I mean that’s a given. They are two of the greatest athletes in their respective sports of all time, no argument. But Tiger’s own brand became so synonymous with that Nike swoosh logo, I mean it was everywhere….. And in every commercial. So much so that Tiger eventually created his own brand “TW” to go along side the swoosh. Balls, clubs, hats, towels, shirts, gold shoes, caddies…. everything was branded. And Nike continued to make him the front runner creating some of the greatest commercials that I have ever seen out of any sport.

Basketball part 2

Ok, now you know my basketball history which leads me in to my rant about the current state of the NBA.  I know that there is a certain nostalgia that goes along with growing up om a certain time period.  Those who grew up with certain sports heroes will always appreciate that particular era of sports.  Those that grew up in a certain generation of music will always have a soft spot for that kind of music. I’m not sure why that is other than a growing up memory factor that we tend to cherish things that remind us of our youth.  All that to say that I may be biased in my assessment of the NBA dues to this, but it is how I feel.

I believe I grew up in the greatest era of basketball that ever.  I know, maybe its a little biased like I said before, but I really honestly believe I have not seen the same level of skill, or sportsmanship, of competition, of teamwork, and of defense since the early 90s.  1985 to 1997 was the best 12 years in basketball history.  Every team had multiple all start caliber players, I mean every team.  Everyone played defense, a missing skillset in today’s game.  Everyone had hustle, guys hit the floor left and right fighting for that ball, for the foul, for the single point.  Remember when guys followed their shot and went after their own rebound?  That’s like basketball 101 when you are a kid.  But you don’t see pros do it any longer.  Remember when the refs called traveling and you actually had to have dribbling skills because you could really only take 2 and a half steps to get to the basket?  3 seconds in the key?  There was an as art, and a competitiveness, and a grace to the game that in this guys opinion, just doesn’t exist in today’s game.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to take away from the skills of today’s players, but I believe I would enjoy it more if I felt it was more of a team game like it once was, like it was meant to be played.  But then again, maybe I just miss the days of old.  I don’t think it will ever get much better than watching these 3…..

basketball 1

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Basketball part 1

Lets get this one out of the way early, as will probably be my most impassioned post for some time.

I grew up loving basketball.  My dad played in college until he had a very bad knee injury at work.  He was on a heavy construction bridge building crew while going to college.  He suffered a bad injury when a steel beam fell on him crushing part of his knee.  The next 10 years of his life would entertain multiple knee surgeries and braces and the occasional set of crutches.  Needless to say he had to let go of his basketball dreams.  It never stopped him from playing though and to this day I wouldn’t want anyone else on my team.  He can still grind and still shoot the lights out.  So some of those dreams and aspirations got passed down to me as a little kid.  So we always had a basketball hoop in the driveway and dad taught me all the tricks of the trade.

This lasted as my primary focus all the way up until middle school.  I believed I was in the top 5 players of the school, honestly, and even in retrospect I am not being boastful, I believe that to be a true claim.  Unfortunately for me, I did not get my Fathers height, instead I got my Mother’s shortness.  So I was not that appealing as a ball player, but as I still surprise people today on the court I knew my skills could overcome this objection.  The middle school coach however for whatever reason, valued speed over skill.  In two days of tryouts we did 30 running drills, and only 1 massive scrimmage game in which I touched the ball one time.  So my skills did not get a chance to show, and I certainly never claimed to be the fastest, though in basketball I disagree with the importance placed on that quality.  Needless to say, I didn’t make the squad, and thus my aspirations and love of the game of basketball began to fade.