The NBA Spoiled “Spoiler” Games

04-13-17

Hey! 

Did you hear? 

The NBA PREseason is finally over!

Let’s face it, the NBA season is an 82 game formality anymore! Did 82 games really need to be played to find out that the eight teams from each conference are going to make-up the 2017 NBA Playoffs? The lone surrprise of the 16 teams that will fight to extend their basketball season to mid-summer for a shot at the finals, is that Lebron’s Cavaliers aren’t the top-seed in the Eastern Conference. (1) But this season nothing on the court should be surprising. Instead, what should raise eyebrows is the amount of times “DNP – Rest” shows up on a nightly occurrence.

This reoccurring stat omission is not in jeopardy to even once great things that kept the NBA “watchable” throughout the dull of winter. Some of those great things used to be team rivalries, player rivalries, and drama from the OUTCOMES of GAMES. Now, thanks to DNP-R, All-Stars joining up and other factors we have lost a lot of those things. 

Example – Now, the drama isn’t from the outcomes of games but rather the outcome of “Twitter Shade” between  passed between players. But one of those things that should never have been lost are the beloved SPOILER GAMES at the end of the season.

Spoiler games you ask?

Simple. 

They are the games that take place at the end of the season that all teams should be amped up for. 

The point to these games? 

To sell tickets and give one final nod of respect to the NBA’s fans that paid and slaved away nightly for seats to be entertained by these basketball sorcerers. 

Spoiler games can take on many reenactments. It can be a team trying for home-court advantage and a non-playoff contender trying to prevent them from a comfy post season. It can be a top-seed team looking to knock down or knock-out a late season bloomer just on the fringe of the playoff field. 

This past Wednesday, the NBA season finale night, had multiple chances to recreate beautiful spoiler scenarios. Instead, this generation of NBA athletes chose to just toss the apples of entertainment in the trash rather than bite into the spoiling fun!

The Chicago Bulls took on the Brooklyn Nets, presenting the BK-boys a chance to ruin the Bulls playoff hopes. Maybe igniting a storyline to be cliff-hanged for next season when the Nets and Bulls face-off again. Instead, the Nets sat their players, enabling an easy 112- 73 Chicago victory and forgoing the fun of a knockout. (2)

The same thing took place not far away in Indianapolis where the Atlanta Hawks sat starters allowing the Pacers to clinch the eight seed of the East. The Indiana win also ensured that the Miami Heat would stay shored on the beach of the Playoffs instead of bathing in Late-April basketball waters! (3)

The Pacers are in, the Bulls are in and the Heat are left out. No harm done right? Think nothing was lost in the absence of spoiling in 2017? 

Maybe. 

But the damage won’t show in May and June, it will show in the loss of fun storylines that the fans love in 2018. Now, the drama in next year’s regular season can not exists between teams with recent history like the Bulls and Heat or Pacers and Heat or the division rivalry between the Bulls and the Pacers.

Imagine those lines say if the Heat had replaced one of the other two due to a spoiled loss. Or how heated the Pacers-Bulls matchups could be if their was an added lingering feel of playoff envy next winter. How great could a a first round series between Miami and Boston have been had the spoilers effected it accordingly? It might have reignited that recent great rivalry between the two franchises!

But no, thanks to the SHAM of DNP-R, the spoilers did not happen and ultimately the league will have to suffer.

The NBA spoiled our spoiler night, in the Mets case for the sake of rest before off-season rest. (*Shaking My Head*)

It’s been a long and dreadful NBA pre-season that has ended just in time for the Easter holiday. Luckfully, we can all take pleasure that the NBA’s REAL season has rejoined us. So, rejoice this holiday weekend NBA fan, meaningful basketball has hopefully finally risen.

Sources:

1) http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/page/playoffindex17/2017-nba-playoffs-schedule-matchups-news

2) http://www.nba.com/games/20170412/BKNCHI#/recap

3) http://www.nba.com/games/20170412/ATLIND#/recap

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NCAA Die-Hard Fans Should Love the One & Done Concept

03-15-17

Brackets! Let’s talk about them! 

The goal… that your bracket doesn’t go up in flames beneath you like an iMotor Hoverboard. (1) As you fill them out and pretend to know something about each of the 68 (64?, I don’t know what legally qualifies teams as tournament participants anymore) schools involved in the anual NCAA March Madness Championship Tournament, you have to ask yourself the standard questions. 

“What’s their seed?”

“What’s their record on the year?”

“What Conference are they in?”

“How good was said Conference?”

“Who’s their coach?”

“Where’s the game being played and who’s closer or more used to that setting?”

“How long have the players been together on that team?”

“Wh… Wait, not even a year together you said?”

As you adjust your selections along your own unknowing mostly fictional criteria you realize you can’t rely on the name’s on the back. 

Why?

Because you don’t know who those college athletes are. 

The one and done era of collegiate sports has taken over college basketball. Fans have had to become practically foster parents in the stands of the university gymnasiums they get r-o-w-d-i-e in from November through February. Hardly learning the proper pronunciation of the freshmen names that don’t intend to stick around past their 36th credit hour at the college. The process, although ten years old since being added to the NBA laws, is just as frustrating for NCAA fans today as it was in 2006. (3)

It especially becomes frustrating this time of the year when you’re filling out your companys bracket challenge field and want to prove you know more than last year’s winner; Barb in Sales who knows that a basketball has air in it and that’s about it. But Barb is destined to repeat because you don’t know what these 18-20 year-old athletes are capable of doing in a big tournament like you used to be able to with guys like Luol Cinder, James Worthy and Christian Laettner. 

Luckfully, you find something to rely on, since player familiarization isn’t there anymore. Instead, you must resort to Barb’s style of picking in the basketball elimination with one criteria question that’s as historically reliant as the backboard on a hoop; “what teams are historically good?”

ALL OF THIS… made inevitable because of the one and done. You must rely on relevance to state your knowledge. 

Likewise, the same goes into your loyalty as a fan, making an objection to the one and done process being flawed by even the purists of college basketball fans.

Let this theory survive and advance as the purists lament the idea over their alma-mater basketball powerhouse school holding a star recruit long enough for them to complete even a minor degree. 

Sure, there is some form of loyalty lost in the one and done process by not getting to enjoy a routine of name-chants year to year or an as meaningful senior night promotion come February. Fortunately, there is a loyalty that has been summoned up from it and needs to be recognized; YOUR LOYALTY in YOUR TEAM as a fan! 

Lonzo Ball will not be at UCLA next fall semester, Malik Monk will not reside in Kentucky, Harry Giles will not be under the direction of Coach Mike Krzyzewski in Durham. (2) but you know who will be at Rupp Arena, attending UCLA games and at the Duke vs. North Carolina rivalry in 2018? You! The die-hard fan! The one and done process (although frustrating for loyalist fans all over) even helps promote what those very die-hardship use as an argument against players that opt fir the pros early…

“THE NAME ON THE FRONT IS MORE IMPIRTANT THAN THE ONE ON THE BACK!”

Die-hards shouldn’t hate the one and done process. In fact, they should embrace it. The early exits of star players forces fans to build a relationship with something they still can rely on; at the end of the day’s that remaining finalists is the institution!

Sources;

  1. http://mashable.com/2016/07/06/hoverboard-recall/#j1Fb6L29JmqE
  2. https://www.google.com/amp/s/syndication.bleacherreport.com/amp/2655543-one-and-done-candidates-on-the-nba-draft-radar-in-2016-17.amp.html
  3. http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/16237629/ten-years-nba-one-done-rule-no-less-controversial

Kaepernick’s Kneeling Was Actually Beneficial for American Patriotism!

03-06-17

Colin Kaepernick took a strong political stance by lowering himself to a knee on the sidelines throughout the 2016 NFL season this fall as a member of the San Francisco 49ers during the playing of the National Anthem. (1)

Kaepernick promised not to stop the kneeling until he felt he saw positive change. 

Recently, Kaepernick said he has seen that change by announcing that he will go back to standing on the sidelines during the song. 

Arguably, some feel the quarterback has only decided to stop kneeling because he will soon hit the market as an NFL free agent and is trying to make himself as employable as possible with his choice to erect himself back to full-mass. Others argue that there hasn’t been much change at all politically in America and that even Kaepernick’s awareness generated behind the kneeling movement hasn’t produced enough ACTUAL change. 

As a sports reporter in the heartland of America, it’s easy for me to challenge this arguement and tell you of how Kaepernick’s protest have impacted the pre-game ceremony, it just may not have been the former 49er QB’s hopes for it.

UNI took on Drake University this fall for a Missouri Valley Conference women’s soccer showdown in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The Bulldogs of Drake all held there hands over there chest, the Panthers of UNI locked hands. 

Both teams had there own special ways to show courtesy to the anthem. 

This was my fourth time covering the annual in-state rivalry game of Drake vs. UNI and could not recall such attention to detail shown towards how the team’s conduct themselves during the Anthem. Surely, one could challenge or even claim Kaepernick’s antics had nothing to do with that instance but evidence has shown globally that Kaepernick’s impact reached to more than conjured up conductions in a D1-AA women’s soccer game.

Adam Silver made public statements to try and promote/encourage NBA to not do the same as Kaepernick and show respect by standing during the playing of the Nation’s Theme Song. (3)

Even more recently, U.S. Soccer has announced a bylaw change that requires players to now stand during the National Anthem. Megan Rapinoe is a famous member of U.S. Women’s National Team that also participated in Kaepernick’s stance by kneeling during the National Anthem for social injustice. Rapinoe did it because Kaepernick originally did; direct impact! What did it directly change? The bylaw that was put in place to require standing for U.S. Soccer players. 

Oddly, and in what feels a lot like reverse psychology, Kaepernick’s originally unpatriotic kneel has caused a need for patriotic promotion. In a weird way, Colin Kaepernick is an ambassador for the National Anthem after disrespecting it.

Surely, if you can tie Kaepernick’s actions to a bylaw change by U.S. Soccer, or comments made by the NBA commissioner, you can believe that he reached influence of high school sports programs, college teams and clubs and in-general households all over America.

So, on America’s behalf, thank you Colin Kaepernick for helping to promote America. Strangely, all it took was for you to disrespect it. 

Good luck with the job hunt! Good news is Cleveland may be hiring! (4)

Sources

  1. http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/17534211/colin-kaepernick-san-francisco-49ers-again-kneels-national-anthem
  2. https://www.google.com/amp/sacramento.cbslocal.com/2017/03/02/colin-kaepernick-no-longer-kneeling-for-national-anthem/amp/
  3. https://www.google.com/amp/www.thefader.com/2016/10/24/nba-commissioner-adam-silver-national-anthem-protest/amp
  4. http://www.upi.com/Sports_News/NFL/2017/02/22/Cleveland-Browns-Top-free-agency-NFL-draft-needs-for-2017/2721487745539/

Westbrook and KD Broke Up… and It’s SOOOO Cliché

12-1-16

Well, KD was seeing other teams on the side and then West found out about it but just pretended like he didn’t because he wasn’t threatened by the thought of Kev leaving. 

Why would he? You know? 

Kev had a GOOD thing going in Oklahoma City with the Thunder, (the franchise that drafted him by the way). 

He could do no wrong, they always put the blame on other people when the Thunder came up short, like Russell (Westbrook). (1). The one time he did get called out for a failure he bitched about it to the point that the people who published felt guilty for doing so. (2). Then, all of a sudden this new young thing, Golden State, comes along and flirts with Kev and guess what that skinny Son of a Real MVP (3) does next? Despite all the love OKC and Westbrook have given him after eight years of being together? (4) HE UP AND LEAVES FOR HOPES OF GETTING THAT RING! WHAT AN ASS, RIGHT?

The story was the NBA hot-gossip-topic of a drama filled NBA summer/off-season, eclipsing ridiculous contract numbers (including KD’s), USA Men’s Olympic involvements and ESPY Award PSAs. The gossip came in all types of takes from, “will they or won’t they have salt towards each other now” to the question of, “who will do better? Will Russ prove he was a better commodity than we gave credit for? Will KD mesh with Golden State and actually win? Who ends out the better of the break-up?”

NBA podcasts felt more like reaction shows to drama series’ recorded with talking head clips that airs weekly on MTV! Giving off a very drama-queen cibe to very business based league of the NBA. Now, we’re seeing the early results from the baller break-up of the summer and both players are acting predictably.

See, Kev and Russ are both putting on this front that the break-up was mutual and that it was for the better of both of them; as if they’re both better off! (5) (Don’t get me wrong, obviously they needed some time away from each other to see where they were at. They’re relationship was like that couple that acts like everything’s good while they’re together but they have holes in the walls of their home. 

Now, West is pretending like he isn’t even mad that KD just left him and down playing the success he has with the Warriors. (6) BUT WE ALL KNOW WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON! Russ is acting like the typical teenage guy who gets his heart broken so he goes out and hooks-up with everything that walks to prove he doesn’t need his ex, showing what a stud he is to prove his worth. Since the season began Westbrook’s averages stand at 31.2 points, 10.5 rebounds and 11.3 assists through 20 games. (7)

Just like your typical over-testosterone teen guy, Russ is skirt chasing every net in the NBA without the the ball and chain of Durant weighing him down. But how is that effecting the other half in Kevin Durant?

Durant is pretending like he isn’t looking out the corner of his eye at Russ’s numbers and preoccupying himself with the guys that he left West for in the Warriors. It feels like what most women would do after a tough break-up when they move on from a destructive relationship. 

The Warriors and Durant had an awkward transitioning period with early season struggles but the Warriors have greatly improved their chemistry and it looks like the break-up is starting to make sense for KD. The Warriors are 16-2 and have won twelve straight. (8) Sure, there are moments where Kev is tempted to go back to West but at least that ring dream is looking to sparkle a little brighter to most. Durant seems to be adjusting to the move with a newly acquired attitude with new body art and public appearances. (9) (10)

The Westbrook-Durant break-up has been brutal on the kids (the fans) who are now living with Russ in OKC while Kev adapts to the Bay Area and grabbing the attention of the neighbors (NBA followers) because it’s just so damn familiar and played-out. When it happened both claimed it was business related and not personal but that’s not a far cry from “it’s for the best, it was mutual and no one’s to blame for it.” 

The good news is; it’s permanent! Unlike bad relationship breaks-up that ultimately end with people inevitably getting back together only to break-up again in a few months, the Westbrook and KD drama has to fizzle by way of the NBA contract. They only have to see each other for the fans/kids sake a few times a year when the Thunder visit Golden State or vice-versa. Kind of like holiday get togethers or parent teacher conferences. 

Getting too close to home for some? Let’s just let this bad relationship that was West and Kev end! 

Besides, it’s not like they have to play together anytime soon?

Ohhhh, wait… Just wait a minute!…

With Westbrook putting up historic numbers and Durant meshing well in GS, how awkward is the Western Conference’s All-Star line-up looking?

Hell, for the sake of the awkward turtle and the closure of this article; I might even tune in for that All-Star Game for once!

Sources;

  1. https://www.google.com/amp/www.cbssports.com/nba/news/russell-westbrooks-path-of-destruction-leaves-no-room-for-peace-with-durant/amp/?client=safari
  2. http://www.espn.com/nba/playoffs/2014/story/_/id/10868089/mr-unreliable-headline-daily-oklahoman-kevin-durant-oklahoma-city-thunder-causes-stir
  3. https://www.google.com/amp/kfor.com/2014/05/06/youre-the-real-mvp-durant-thanks-mom-in-emotional-speech/amp/?client=safari
  4. http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/d/duranke01.html
  5. https://www.google.com/amp/thebiglead.com/2016/07/19/kevin-durant-claims-he-didnt-leave-oklahoma-city-because-of-russell-westbrook/amp/?client=safari
  6. https://www.google.com/amp/ftw.usatoday.com/2016/10/russell-westbrook-kevin-durant-oklahoma-city-thunder-golden-city-warriors-selfish-feud-video/amp?client=safari
  7. http://www.foxsports.com/nba/story/russell-westbrook-triple-double-average-streak-oklahoma-city-thunder-oscar-robertson-rebounds-nba-history-120116
  8. https://www.google.com/search?q=golden+state+warriors+schedule&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-us&client=safari#sie=t;/m/0jmj7;3;/m/05jvx;dt;fp
  9. http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/17459483/golden-state-warriors-star-kevin-durant-apparently-new-tattoo-rick-james-thigh
  10. https://www.google.com/amp/www.foxsports.com/nba/story/kevin-durant-enjoys-his-night-off-by-entering-mosh-pit-at-kanye-west-concert-102416.amp.html?client=safari

OSU Doesn’t Deserve an IOU! 

09-22-16

No 60.89%  

Yes 38.1%  

Other: 1.01%

The percentages above are based off the question; “Should Officials be Able to Overturn the Result of a College Football Game?” A poll conducted as a sidebar for an article on syracuse.com. (1) The poll is based off a college football game played earlier this season between Oklahoma State University and Central Michigan University, where an errant procedure by a referee crew resulted in an extra “illegal” play for the Chippewas who were trailing 24-27, needing a  miracle to go the extra 51 yards from the game-winning score.

And… They… Got it! In one of the most elaborate last second hook n’ ladder game-winners ever, CMU pulled off the upset. Here’s a visual aid to make up for my lack of ability to describe it. However, I feel even the color playing greats like Vin Scully can’t do the play’s ludacris action justice.

http://youtu.be/jvbpKycXM0A (2)

The poll incites two arguments for societal scarcity. One is the turn we’re taking in sports as a society via entertainment. The other side of the fear comes to how much meaning college football puts into one game. While one needs to be let go, the other is brilliant and should be embraced, not scrubbed away.

The above poll results suggest there are four out of every ten people that believe that the Cowboys deserve that the loss be negated and awarded back to Oklahoma State.

Let’s address that right away…

Oklahoma State needs to accept the loss and move on!

Sometimes, the sun shines on any baboon’s ass on a given day. Even if that baboon is gold and maroon and from the middle of Michigan, sometimes the World takes a u-ey along the path of expectancy. More times than not the Cowboys demolish a team like the Chippewas but that Saturday they struggled. That struggle led to a procrastination that put Central Michigan in a place where a referee’s mistake could change the final score of the game. Notice, I used the term final score and not outcome. The final score was able to be manipulated by a referee crew’s mistake because OSU’s struggle had already made up the outcome. Is it so wrong that the Chippewas took advantage of that notion and used it to their advantage? There were 137 plays in the big upset; what did OSU do in the prior 136 leading to the game’s ultimate climax of a finish that enabled its presence? (4) Whether the orange and black want to hear it or not, the refs didn’t blow the game — just that one play! The Cowboys poor ability to put the Chippewas away is what blew the game.

After the game the officiating crew did the right thing in admitting they made a mistake. They didn’t lie to anyone, they confessed that they (just like you and me) are imperfect humans. (3) Does that negate the fact that Oklahoma State put themselves in a bad situation? NO!

This is the scary side that we’re seeing in sports that a fair amount of people believe the Chippewas should forfeit the win and give it back to the Cowboys… Why? 

Is it because you put money on the game you can’t come up with and have a loan shark trying to bite at your heals?

Is it because you truly believe in the plea that the right call needs to be awarded?

Are you that disappointed in the possibility that some people made a mistake they fully admitted to and the World will just have to move on and accept it?

Or are you just that afraid that the Oklahoma State Cowboys possibly just lost their chance to represent the school and perhaps the Big 12 in the College Football Playoff?

All of these lead to this societal viewpoint that the world should be fair, that no one should be done-wrong. One problem with that theory; if you take that win away from CMU how is that fair for them simply utilizing the dilemma put in front of them and going out on that 137th play and winning the game on it?

No matter what happens someone will be done-wrong, and that’s life. With every promotion, with every relationship created, with every decision made; somebody in the end has to be the one getting screwed. However unfair it seems, the Cowboys essentially screwed themselves by not completing what we all expected to happen. The reason most are so mad about it is what makes college football beautiful!

On December 12, 2015 the Milwaukee Bucks pulled an upset over the Golden State Warriors, giving the reigning champs their first loss of the season; 108-95. (5) The Warriors bounced back to go 73-9 that season and returned to the NBA Finals. Imagine had the story gone; sorry for your ONE unfortunate loss, now you nullify your chance to win the title again. In the basketball world that would seem absurd. In the college football world; that’s the way the soda settles!

College football’s playoff system, like the final score of the Septempber 5th long-shot by CMU is imperfect and that’s what makes it great! You can’t afford bad losses if you’re a Cowboy like you could if you were a Warrior. You have to win those games or else suffer the jeopardy of losing a reservation in the National Championship Playoff tree. The flimsiness that the four-team playoff creates gives excruciating meaning to tough breaks like what happened in the hook and ladder finish. Some may say that’s unjust, I’ll simply say that’s great entertainment! 

We’re getting to a point in America where we don’t use sports to get away from real life problems but instead see it as a platform to promote them. So why not let the final score of CMU vs OSU promote the reminder of life that sometimes things aren’t just? We have to realize we have the ability to prevent the chaos of upsets by not relying on the expected. The Chippewas certainly did that leading up to the last second game-winning play by putting themselves in a chance to win. 

Don’t like the platform that’s been raised? Don’t step up to it! Learn from it! Don’t put yourself in a a dilemma where one unjust moment can have a long-lasting effect on your life.

Oklahoma State might have an appeal case to get the win back in which Central Michigan must agree to accept the loss and have the win taken away. Some have challenged the integrity of CMU in the process. (6)

Dear Chippewas,

For the sake of teaching our society the lesson we need more than fairness, and that the World can throw awkward last second laterals your way sometimes…

DON’T GIVE IN! KEEP THE WIN AND PRESERVE THE TRADITION OF HIGH STAKES SPORTS-ENTERTAINMENT!

Sincerely,

Someone who probably has a lesson in karma coming their way.

Sources:

  1. http://www.syracuse.com/axeman/index.ssf/2016/09/should_central_michigan_give_oklahoma_st_a_win_back_as_cornell_once_did.html
  2. http://youtu.be/jvbpKycXM0A
  3. http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2016/09/central_michigan_stuns_oklahom.html
  4. http://www.cmuchippewas.com/sports/m-footbl/stats/2015-2016/game01.html
  5. http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/GSW/2016_games.html
  6. http://sportsday.dallasnews.com/college-sports/collegesports/2016/09/15/oklahoma-state-student-newspaper-thinks-central-michigan-prove-integrity-give-win-cowboys

 

 

CAUTION: MUST BE THIS YOUNG TO BALL!

08-24-16

The “Dream Team” idea of USA Men’s basketball has taken the form of a nightmare! They lose (or come close to losing), and America yells, “Cut off their feet and throw them over that cruise ship they’re staying in on the way home!” (1) They win and America says, “Okay, they can keep their hands but they should still be grounded from the brothels tonight! (2) Easy to admit that in general, Americans have high expectations when it comes to international basketball. It is believed that the American should obliterate any team they share a court with. But it’s justifiable due to the fact that the team is made up of most the best players that America and probably coincidentally,  the World has to offer. 

In Rio, the newest rendition of the “Dream Team” went an undefeated 7-0 and won by an average of 25.3 points in the process, including a 30 point gold medal round victory over Serbia to flex that USA muscle hard on the way out. But the common American reaction remains one of dissatisfaction, (3) therefore it’s time for a total Olympic format change. The dissatisfied spectator’s remedy is simple and even has an example to lead off of already with Olympic Men’s soccer.

A lot of things irked people about U.S. Olympic basketball’s Rio timeline from their in-game results at Rio to things that lead up to the August 2016 games. 

  • Paul George broke his leg playing in a scrimmage for Team USA that doomed his professional team’s status in 2014-15. (4) George’s involvement with the team was questioned considering its effect on his professional career.
  • Certain aged USA basketball stars skipped playing for the 2016 Olympic team. (5) The veteran players who avoided Rio for the sake of preserving their professional capabilities were also scorned for an un-patriotic approach to the games.
  • A young USA men’s team doesn’t have the chemistry of the other country’s Olympic teams who have grown men complimenting more years of playing experience together. That even legendary American coach Jim Boheim called a USA basketball flaw. Boheim said the other countries Okympic teams would trump a team of college kids if we sent them. (6)
  • People tend to find the games are to predictable with the currently allowed “Dream Team” enabled format. The USA’s blowout games feel like formalities and it’s time that the team is restricted for the sake of entertainment. (7)

The Olympic men’s soccer event is however restricted to an age limitation of participation; Under 23 years-old. (8)

The Olympic Men’s basketball event must adopt this rule from their neighboring soccer event. It would have nothing but positive dividends for the event and the Olympics overall.

An Under-23 years old restricted format would hamstring the “Dream Team” idea that America arguably has come to be bored and displeased with. But, it would still allow for an even playing field among the countries involved to not have to worry about the factor of years played together on such a large scale. Young American NBA and college players could use their windows of qualifying for the Olympic team as a better point of pride then they would as grown men who have already established legacies in the league. Under this approach their would be less hesitation to join the country’s team as we have seen with NBA faces like James Harden, Steph Curry, Blake Griffin etc. from a belief that there wouldn’t be more chances to go if they skipped the few Olympics they could take part in.

Speaking of NBA stars protecting themselves, it would allow for the veteran players to not risk the attrition or possible injuries that could weigh down their later-staged careers. Paul George’s horrific 2014 injury left many wondering why USA continuously  sends the faces of NBA franchises as George is to the Indiana Pacers. If the Olympics held an Under-23 requirement in the basketball event players like George and Lebron James and Dwayne Wade wouldn’t be obliged to participate with the extra involvement of Team USA. The isolation allowance of the star’s NBA career would help decrease their wear and tear as players and forgo future fear of injury. 

The level aged playing field would disallow the ability for more chemistry to be built among the other countries, making for a more competitive and even event. Even though Team USA doesn’t get together year round and play, some of the teams at the Olympics do and have been for awhile. (9, see Lithuania) Not much topples basketball teams loaded with talent but when it does a main culprit is teams with years of chemistry. Just go dig up your NCAA bracket out of the paper shredder from March if you want proof.

There is still the possibility of Team USA dominating even if they just put up their best U-23 players against the best U-23 players of the World’s countries. After all, soccer powerhouse Brazil did still claim gold in the U-23 men’s soccer event at Rio. (10) But their are definitely other factors that would make the decision to restrict the age limit changing things for the better. It would cause for less worry of unjust injuries and rust to build on NBA star’s legs. It would eliminate the scrutiny the NBA stars already face for not competing in the Olympics. And it could even level the playing field not just as a USA talent reduction but a Worldly limitation on chemistry. The games would be less boring on more even terms and their would be less for countries to complain about if there was an installed feel that everyone is held to the same standards.

However, if it does become implemented and the U-23 rule goes into effect, how long before we’re comparing the 2020 U-23 team’s win margins to the team’s that follow it?

Sources:

  1. http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/08/07/sports/olympics/rio-2016-basketball-united-states-cruise-ship.html?_r=0
  2. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3728161/Pictured-embarrassing-moment-Team-USA-basketball-players-caught-BROTHEL-Rio-insist-thought-spa.html
  3. http://www.cbssports.com/olympics/news/the-struggles-of-team-usa-mens-hoops-and-why-its-time-to-manage-expectations/
  4. http://www.slamonline.com/nba/paul-george-likely-out-2014-15-season-leg-injury/#EBuLgxrw9VLFRVHd.97
  5. http://www.cnbc.com/2016/06/23/lebron-james-will-skip-rio-olympics-joining-a-team-of-stars-on-the-sidelines.html
  6. http://www.syracuse.com/poliquin/index.ssf/2016/08/jim_boeheim_olympic_report_spain_is_good_griner_and_barkley_are_wrong_su_would_g.html
  7. https://mobile.twitter.com/Strikers_6/status/762068159360794624?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  8. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Football_at_the_Summer_Olympics
  9. http://www.sbnation.com/2016/8/3/12351142/olympics-basketball-2016-rio-rankings-france-spain-brazil
  10. http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/20/football/brazil-germany-neymar-goal-olympics-football/

HEADLINERS! 08-15-16

**Headlines from the weekend of 8-12-16 — 8-14-16**

Hope Solo Calls Sweden Cowards After USWNT Loses In Olympic Quarterfinal

Quick Reaction: U.S. Women’s Soccer carries with it an expectation to win anything and everything they compete in. So, when they lose as they did to Sweden in the quarterfinals in a shootout it can cause for some expected heated reactions. Hence, what was produced by U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo who called out the Sweden National Team saying, “… But, I thought we played a bunch of cowards. The best team did not win today.” (1) Solo has faced extreme scrutiny since Friday for her comments of Sweden’s successful tactics on the pitch. But why the scrutiny when Solo is actually just doing what we as Americans do… sorely lose? When we get pushed back as a country our first motive is to go and push the pusher even harder. Look at the damning things that have happened to our country throughout it’s history. Great Britain taxes the U.S. unfairly from afar… U.S. goes to war with Great Britain. Japan attacks Pearl Harbor… the U.S. gets involved in World War II. The Twin Towers are attacked… the U.S. declares war on terrorism and Middle East. Does Hope Solo’s comments mean an actual war should be declared on Sweden, HELL NO! but should a soccer war to prove we are the dominant county be declared from Solo’s comments, HELL YES! Let’s just hope that the Women’s National team mirrors the intesni we should expect to see from Solo the next chance they get at redemption in their next soccer competition! While some can claim that Solo is representing the U.S.A. poorly with her comments after a loss, I will play the other card and say she instead is being correctly patriotic in her actions.

Michael Phelps Writes Perfect Ending in Final Olympic Race

Quick Reaction: Michael Phelps swam off into the sunset after winning his 20th gold medal in the American’s Olympic triumph of the Men’s 4X100 Medley Relay Saturday night. Since the race concluded and Phelps announced it would be his last race as an Olympian it caused reasons of questioning in the sports media as to whether Phelps is actually done or if he’ll make a return for the 2020 games. (2) A lot can change in four years just ask your yearbook from freshman year as opposed to your yearbook from senior year. Or to keep it in the realms of sports and avoid the recalls of acne and bad fashion trends let’s compare a different American hero; Peyton Manning. In 2012, Manning set multiple passing records and looked as young as ever coming off a neck surgery as a newly acquired Denver Bronco (5). By 2016, Manning struggled gripping the football and was basically an overpaid “game-manager”. However, Manning still brought Denver a Super Bowl four years later and in four years Phelps could still grab another gold medal, but for once let’s show patience and see what the swimmer strokes like in 2020 before we go calling him back from the sunset.

Giancarlo Stanton ‘out for rest of the year,’ according to reports

Quick Reaction: The Miami Marlins have discovered an internal injury and we’re not just talking about ticket sales within the franchise (ranked 27th of 30 MLB teams). (8) Marlin standout Giancarlo Stanton was diagnosed with a grade three groin strain that will likely place him in the dugout for the remainder of the 2016 season. The loss of Stanton has the Marlins, who are fighting for the second National League Wild Card spot, searching for an immediate answer. The Marlins organization is no stranger to the idea of quick fixes and fast team-builds as they have kind of built a reputation for being the “hit it and quit it” MLB franchise when it comes to success. Of those quick solutions presented, one mention was recently dismissed New York Yankee; Alex Rodriguez. Doesn’t that just sound basic? A New Yorker heading for South Beach to end out their days? Instead, the Marlins should take a step back breathe in that salty southern Ocean air and realize this could be an opportunity to let a different former Seattle Mariner and much more respected MLB legend, Ichiro Suzuki, become the possible savior for the franchise. As of now, the plan for the Marlins is to stick with Suzuki and for the sake of baseball and the avoidance of a basic label or further embarrassment of watching A-Rod continue his career, let’s hope it remains that way. (3)

L.A. Rams Fans Celebrate Historic Win in Preseason Opener

Quick Reaction: Hard to believe anything that’s not an NFL Blooper could be labeled as historic when it comes to the NFL Preseason, but Saturday night saw the return of football to the city of Los Angeles. The Rams pulled off a second half comeback to down the Dallas Cowboys in a 28-24 victory and Rams fans seemed delighted to be rejoicing the win at the end of Saturday night. (4) Hopefully those Rams fans don’t get too horny for more wins! It should be noted that those were not the Rams the fans will see in the regular season kick-off that made that comeback Saturday night. The Rams that will take the field and truly represent the city of L.A. are led by rookie quarterback Jared Goff and trailed 24-7 to the Cowboys at halftime, gave up an opening kick-off touchdown return and allowed Dak Prescott to go 10/12 passing and look as comfortable as he was in college at Mississippi Sate. (7) The Rams need to remember what preseason games really are; a mirage of what might exist on the horizon and something you probably shouldn’t venture towards detering from reality’s true destination. Judging by the first team/half of Saturday’s game that reality is a rough season ahead for the spiral domes of the NFL.

U.S. Men’s Basketball Hangs on to Defeat France at Rio Olympics

Quick Reaction: It seems there is no pleasing spectators when it comes to the Men’s basketball event in Rio for the U.S. Men’s basketball team. The U.S. men started off the tournament destroying their opponents and faced scrutiny for not having entertaining close games. Then, the team beats Australia by a mere TEN points and the sports World responds with criticisms that it was TOO close. Saturday, the men held off a surging, and Tony Parker-less, France National team for a SLIM 100-97 victory. (6) Yet, the talk isn’t about how the Men’s team is playing “entertaining” games. Instead, the talk is about what is wrong with the U.S. Men’s National team. Essentially, we as Americans are acting like college basketball March Madness fans of a number one seed. We don’t want to see a sixteen seed advance for our own well-being but we lose to see that one-seed sweat like a piece of cooked chicken on a grill. We need to remember as fans while we can take this route and play this tight rope of reaction inconsistency that as learned in 2004 that chicken taste a lot better at the end of the night when it’s golden, not charcoal!

 

  1. http://nesn.com/2016/08/hope-solo-calls-sweden-cowards-after-uswnt-loses-in-olympic-quarterfinal/
  2. http://time.com/4451492/phelps-gold-medals-rio-2016-olympics-swimming-ledecky-simone-manuelgolden-finale-for-phelps-final-farewell/
  3. http://www.sbnation.com/2016/8/14/12476348/marlins-giancarlo-stanton-out-for-rest-of-the-year-according-to-reports
  4. http://abc7.com/sports/la-rams-fans-celebrate-historic-win-in-preseason-opener/1469165/
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Denver_Broncos_season#Peyton_Manning
  6. http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/olympics/rio-2016/2016/08/14/team-usa-basketball-france-pool-play/88724218/
  7. http://www.espn.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=400873867
  8. http://www.espn.com/mlb/attendance