Monday, April 4, 2011

I Am Tired of....

There are quite a few things that annoy me in sports. So why not list some of mine? I’m sure we all have our own, and hopefully you’ll agree and agree to disagree. So, I am tired of……

….hearing people think the Red Sox are going to win the World Series in 2011.

It’s not going to happen. Forget the fact that I am a diehard Yankee fan and I hate the Red Sox with a passion. But money doesn’t buy championships; we’ve seen it over and over again. And when teams buy players, it takes time to construct a team. The Red Sox have huge flaws that people are just overlooking.

a) They can’t pitch: Jon Lester is good, and Clay Bucholtz is solid, but they have no starting pitching beyond that (And stop with the “Josh Beckett will rebound” argument. Just stop)

b) They don’t have a bullpen: After Daniel Bard, who can be trusted?

c) Someone will get hurt: Adrian Gonzalez is coming off shoulder surgery, Kevin Youkilis is hurt every two months, Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury were hurt last year. There’s no way they all stay healthy.

d) The competition is better: Whether people want to believe it or not, the Yankees are still the Yankees. The entire AL East is much better, and the White Sox, Athletics, Tigers, and Twins will all challenge for the Wild Card if they don’t win their divisions.

...the talk about expanding the the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

How many companies would kill for the popularity the NCAA has? Yet the NCAA needs to change that. I understand tweaking little things about the tournament, but to alter the structure that everyone has fallen in love with, I just don’t get it. We are heading towards a 96-team tournament, and then a 128-team tournament, and soon enough, every team will be in the tournament. I love doing my bracket exactly how it currently is (Isn’t that why 98.3% of Americans watch the tournament anyways?). And expanding the tourney will completely backfire in the face of the NCAA.

…seeing Tiger Woods suck.

Look, I get it. The guy cheated on his wife 9000 times. But we are not fans of athletes for what they do outside of their sports. We are fans of them once they step inside. And when he is on his game, Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer of all time. Golf fans are spoiled because few remember when we didn’t have Tiger Woods. The guys people were rooting for were Nick Faldo and Greg Norman. While they were solid golfers, people love to root for the best. And for a decade, Tiger Woods was the best. Imagine baseball where the best hitter is Torii Hunter, or football where the best QB is Matt Cassel. Would you really care then?

…when people try to talk to me when I am using my iPod

If you see me with my headphones on, just know that I am not going to hear you when you talk to me. And don’t roll your eyes at me if I can’t hear you. I know this has nothing to do with sports, but doesn’t everyone get annoyed by this?

…Geno Auriemma

Does anybody like this guy?

…sports not using technology to its advantage

It’s the year 2011. We carry around portable computers and can stream a movie while sitting in a local park. I can call someone in India for practically free. And yet, referees still spend 10 minutes wondering if a ball is fair or foul. Sports have a ton of money. Put it towards the game, not towards a player’s salary.

I love what tennis does. They use high-tech lasers and crazy computers, and within two seconds, you’ll know whether a ball is in or out. You think tennis has half the funds the MLB has? But we still can’t figure out safe or out, ball or strike. When there is so much on the line, the calls need to be right.

And the naysayers will say “Oh, but a sport needs that human element to it.” So you’d rather a call be wrong than right? It just never made any sense.

…the same college basketball coaches get a pass for poor performance

How many years will it take for Pittsburgh to suck before we can say Jamie Dixon is not a good coach? What about Kevin Stallings? Rick Pitino? The list goes on and on.

Teams should have one goal, to win the national championship. Yet every year, the same highly-ranked teams enter postseason play and completely falter. Stallings of Vanderbilt has coached 18 years, has a record of 358-210, has made seven NCAA tournaments. How many times has he made it to the Elite Eight? Zero.

Bill Self is another one. Yes, he won a National Championship, but that was his only Final Four appearance in eight years with Kansas. This is the same Kansas team that in that time period, never finished lower than second in their conference and has not lost double-digit games in a season. Yet Self continues to take his teams to the NCAA (teams that are probably Top five in most talented) and whiff in big spots.

Rick Barnes is my favorite example. 13 years with Texas, 199 games over .500, and not a single appearance in a championship game. This guy had Kevin Durant and D.J. Augustine and couldn’t get out of opening weekend.

Teams need to take a stand. Stop accepting mediocrity. Your players deserve better. So do your fans.

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