Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sports Sunday

This is virtually a "Sports Monday" but, hey, when you've set expectations for yourself, you might as well live up to them.

I'm starting from scratch tonight - I've misplaced the notebook where I make notes about interesting items I've read throughout the week. Hopefully, it'll turn up at my desk tomorrow.

Long story short, I'm not working with much at the moment. Anyhow:

As the ill-named "Redeem Team" rolled to a tougher-than-expected victory over host China this morning, I couldn't help but think the NBA is seriously overestimating its sway with the next generation of hoopers. Earl Boykins continued the march of NBA veteran role players overseas, signing a contract this week that will make him the highest-paid player in Italy. Kobe and LeBron openly mused this week about the possibility of someday playing in Europe. And why not? The U.S. team's struggles in international play since 2000 have shown the gap between Americans and the rest of the world in James Naismith's game has nearly been erased. At that point, then, it would make sense for a top-flight NBA star to pursue the most money possible. Maybe I'm naive. But I like the speculation about this sort of shift. I believe in maximizing your options, folks.

Zen passed this item along from Fortune about an ambitious attempt to merge Facebook with fantasy football. I might be the last holdout in the male 18-34 age bracket when it comes to fantasy football. For years, I've had friends and co-workers attempt to lure me into a league and I've rebuffed their efforts each time. I just can't see how tracking the touchdown count of, say, LenDale White, is going to make the games more interesting for me. But I'm addicted to Facebook and football and for the first time, I'm open to becoming a statistical nerd this fall.

There are some quarterback troubles in Los Angeles. First, USC. Now UCLA. As the LA Times notes, UCLA really has nowhere to go from here. But the Trojans, they'll be fine. Mitch Mustain is next in line after Mark Sanchez. He was 8-0 as a freshman starter at Arkansas and certainly won't face tougher defenses out West than he did in the SEC. And, really, that's the difference between USC and almost everyone else in college football. I stand by the Trojans as my national-champ choice.

If this is true, I think Tyson Gay is running for third place in the Olympic 100-meter showdown against Jamaican speedsters Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell. Maybe fourth if you throw Walter Dix into the mix. And that might have been the case had Gay been at 100 percent. The Olympics can be cruel in that way.

Damn. I hate to read stories like this about kids on the cusp of NFL riches. Keep your spirits up and get well, Cornelius Ingram. It's the reason why I always lean toward advising guys to leave school early, given that the move makes sense.

Brock Lesnar is a beast. He might fully convert me to a MMA fan. Might.

Ok. That's plenty. And, really, I can't express in words (bad for a paid professional) how excited I am about the dawn of football season. I've spent nearly $100 on preseason annuals, including my beloved Texas Football magazine, to study up for the fall. I'm not gonna be caught sleeping come September.

UPDATE: I had to mention that Ahman Green is hobbled again, after only one play in the Houston Texans' preseason opener. Doesn't look good for the Texans' perenially porous running game. In early August. But if it makes them feel better, Reggie Bush wouldn't have helped much either.


Anonymous said...

Gil Lebreton of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram wrote a columan about how big that game was in China, with the enormous crowd cheering every basket -- which, he said, all ended when China suddenly discovered it had been cast in the role of the Washington Generals.


What!? No post yet on the Underwater Brother who helped Michael Phelps win another gold?
( I presumed this would lead to expanded swim coverage on your fine blog!


Zen said...

You must definitely blog about the Underwater Brother, an true inspiration to all mankind.

Don't fret the Texans horrible run game saturday, they were playing against the one team that practices against the scheme everyday.

blackink said...

Matt, as always, it's good to hear from you. Welcome to the spot.

I just don't have much to say about on Cullen Jones and Co. because of my own ignorance and limitations when it comes to water events - I can't swim. So it's hard for me to feign interest when I'm not getting into a pool myself.

As for the Chinese, they should be proud of their national team. Sixteen years ago, they'd have lost by 80. That's progress.

And re: the Texans' running game: Zen, you keep on believing that. There's really no excuse for their perenially poor production. The Texans aren't the only team to roll out the zone-blocking system. The problem is their line and backs, collectively, stink on toast.