Monday, March 3, 2008

This Time, 9 Thoughts For You

Sometimes I feel like the curmudgeon of these parts with only negative things to say. I just want you all to know that I am really not that pessimistic about all things sports. However, more often than not I tend to look at things without the rose-colored glasses and more doses of realism than most people So, when I say things like I think the Pats resigning of Teddy Bruschi is no reason to celebrate, or that KG needs to play on the blocks more (which apparently he did yesterday), or that Kevin Youkilis is best served as a 450 AB super-sub, I don't say those things to be a dick, I say them because I think they are the truth.

Anyway, I just wanted to throw that out there because sometimes I get a bit self-conscious of what could be perceived as my own negativity. And with that being said, now some things that I really like in the sports world and in general:

1) Rajon Rondo. I don't know what else to say. For the first time since Sherm Douglass the C's have a point gaurd worth watching and for the first time since Dennis Johnson they have a point gaurd with legitimate star potential. He'll probably never be Jason Kidd, but he certainly has the ability and possesses the proper skill set (awful jump shot and all) to be a tick below Jason Kidd. That is of course by no means a bad thing.

2) Manny Ramirez. I'm going to be banging out a serious Manny article which I have the leg work done for before the start of the season. Say what you will about the guy, but I felt prior to signing with the Sox that he was the best hitter in the AL and since coming on board he has done nothing to let me down. For me, the true mark of an incredible athlete is how effortless they can make something really difficult look. Didn't Manny's walk-off BOMB off of K-Rod in the ALDS last year look like he was hitting off of a T? Um K-Rod's one of the 5 best closers in baseball. He's really, really good. That was an incredible piece of hitting and for him to make it look so effortless....come on now.

3) Paul Pierce. When the Celtics were sucking the past few years, I'd tell anybody who would listen that regardless of the team's record, Paul Pierce was a top 10 player in the NBA and if ever given the chance to shine on a great team, he'd make a glut of NBA fans shake their head in disbelief at how truly great he is. My favorite Pierce moments are definitely his 46 point outburst against Philly in the deciding game of the first round of the 2002 playoffs and how he more or less single-handedly lead the Celtics to victory over a far superior (but Isiah Thomas coached) Pacers team in 2003. The clinic he put on against Al Harrington in Game 4 of the series punctuated by the 3 he drained in his face at the end of the third quarter will always be my lasting image of him.

4) Dave Stewart. He's popped back into the news lately because of some comments he made on Roger Clemens, but believe it or not there is nobody I have wanted to write about more for a longer time. Before RBB I had toyed with getting back into the blogging game and the reason for that was to write on Dave Stewart. Simply put, he was the only pitcher I ever knew of that whenever he faced the Sox, especially Clemens I felt as if the game was over before it even started. He may not have the credentials to get into the Hall of Fame, but if there was a Hall of Fame for dominance in the late 80's and early 90's this guy would be on the first ballot. I think every Sox fan will agree with me here.

5) Ken Griffey Jr. My all time favorite baseball player. I choose to think of the Seattle years. He has been a shell since going to Cincy. Still the best player I have ever seen though.

6) Allen Iverson. My favorite non-Celtic of the past 15 years. The way this guy competes is absolutely legendary. I love watching him play. Nobody attacks the basket like him. Sure he can throw up some 10/30 nights every now and again but you can never knock the guy for lack of effort.

7) The Randy Moss signing. Holy crap I was terrified that the Pats were going to let him go. It's funny too because I always thought that he would be one and done but after getting what they got from him last year, and hearing the way Tom Brady revered him, there was really no way that they could not bring him back. Basically what I was terrified of was them letting Moss walk, infuriating Brady, and then being right back where they were a couple of years ago except being an old team that is two years older now and having an unhappy franchise QB to boot. With Moss back on board and signed they now need to start throwing money at defensive players not signed up with the AARP. I'm with Ben and I think most other people in New England as far as bringing back Ty Law (I know I said young, but still...) and I will even go out on a limb and say that if Ty Law comes back he will have a comparable season to Asante Samuel. I'm glad Asante is getting paid so he can feed his family and kids and whatnot, but Philly paid for a shutdown corner and that is not what he is. A very good corner yes, but you never see him take guys out of games like Law could in his day. What I will say though is that Asante does have a knack for making big plays and the guy is a great hitter for a DB. He'll be missed but if Ty Law comes back all will be forgiven. I think they can survive the loss of Randall Gay too as long as they can bring in some somewhat competent warm-bodies - really what Gay was in a nutshell. Obviously the linebacking corps needs some work - although expect a monster 2008 from Adalius Thomas - and they definitely will need to improve depth in the secondary and to a lesser extent the d-line but hopefully now that the offense is square they can spend the rest of their offseason addressing these needs on defense because the offense will continue to be great. Let's not forget what won the first three Super Bowls.

8) Fantasy baseball and fantasy basketball. I am a total fantasy sports snob. I enjoy fantasy football as it is a nice way for me to enjoy the games on Sunday that I otherwise would not care about but it has nothing on fantasy baseball or basketball. Why? Well, the others require a considerable amount of plotting and skill that football does not. In football you just want to stockpile yards and touchdowns and that is it. In the others you need to consider a whole spectrum of stats. As such it puts a premium on all players, not just stars and. Granted that means they take more time and energy, but I am a tool like that. Therefore, big ups to fantasy baseball and basketball. Little ups to fantasy football.

9) Miller Lite. Wow. I can't believe I just wrote that. I'm actually coming around on the Miller Lite bandwagon after all these years. First off, let me start by saying that I used to despise Miller Lite. Don't get me wrong, I'd drink if it were available but if you are asking me for a Miller Lite or a Bud or Coors lite, I'm going Bud or Coors ten times out of ten. Well, that's still the case. But I at least tolerate and mildly enjoy Miller now. You see, a few weeks ago we had some people over and inevitably some Miller Lite got left behind. There were some premium beers left and some Coors Lite too. Naturally, I drank all of those first. And that left six Millers sitting in my fridge. Now, obviously I am going to drink them. I'm not that hardcore. But, I'd be lying if I said I was not dreading having to suck them back. And then something funny happened. I actually enjoyed them. It was crazy. I almost felt like I was betraying myself and the world's most adamant Miller Lite antagonist, Matt Burke. Just crazy, let me tell you. I feel like I don't even know myself anymore. Now that I can actually enjoy a Miller Lite, what is next taking up golf? Starting to follow soccer? It's a scary new world I'm living in now and because of that it is time for me to go.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Neil, you are absolutely right about KG in the post. However, as I've said before and will probably say again, regular season basketball isn't really basketball (due to the lack of defense and general lackluster effort), so nothing anyone does really matters to me that much on an individual level. If, however, he's still popping 15 foot jump shots and not getting on the blocks come playoff time, I will be with you in tearing out multiple hairs.