What up world! This Earl and I’m back with another edition of The Blog About Nothing. As I sit here jamming Last Winter by the homie Bas, and trying my best to keep warm, I still can’t get my mind off the end of the Super Bowl. As most of the world knows, the New England Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks 28 to 24, but the Seahawks were oh so close from becoming back to back Super Bowl Champions.
After a miraculous catch from Jermaine Kearse, all they had to do was give the ball to Beast Mode Marshawn Lynch and that trophy was theirs. Theirs!! What did they do instead? They threw the damn ball, it got picked off, and the game was over. Dumbest play call in sports history. Second and goal from the 1 yard line and you throw the ball? You didn’t try a play action pass, where you at least gave the threat of a run, you didn’t run a read option, nope you throw a quick little slant at a receiver too damn soft to even muscle the defender for the ball. Stupid play. Stupid ending to a good game.
I’d go deeper into a full Super Bowl recap but to be honest I didn’t pay too much attention to the game before the 4th quarter started. I wasn’t even home for a good portion of the game. Time waits for no man, and I had to do what I had to do, so count me down as one of those who watch the Super Bowl, but don’t really WATCH the Super Bowl. I missed Katy Perry’s halftime show too. Great that she brought back Missy Elliott but I didn’t see it. So I can’t tell you what I thought. Not that it matters anyway, because the whole world should have known that Missy had that heat. Y’all must have forgot, if it was brand new to you.
So, I’m off that. This week I’ll rap a taste about college football’s National Signing Day, the interesting decision made by WNBA Diana Taurasi, why I agree with Chris Paul, and I pour out a little liquor for Tiger Woods. This blog should be interesting. Let’s do this!
On Wednesday February 4th, the annual “holiday” that is National Signing Day took place. OK, it’s not an official holiday but that day can feel like the second coming of Christmas to college football fans. I’ll speak for myself. I have a lot of windows up on my desktop at work, and one of them was open to ESPN so I can keep checking the committment lists for the day. I was glued to my screen, just to watch entitled 17 and 18 year olds announce where they’ll go to college in the fall. I was practically hanging on their words and their tweets, and the funny thing is while I admit the whole thing is a bit crazy, I know my interest was rather mild compared to the diehard fan.
There are fans in this world that befriend these recruits, that tweet at these recruits, that practically get on their knees and beg for these kids to choose their school. It’s intense. It’s also pretty sick, because God help the kid that doesn’t choose that particular school. He gets the tar and feathers kicked out of him for making a decision that benefits him, and not the fan at large. Its crazy the emotions involved. Its also crazy the sense of entitlement some of these kids get.
We are definitely in the midst of the “all about me” generation. For a day these kids put on their flyest suit, make some grandiose statements, and beam like they are kings of the damn world. Then they enter college and get knocked down a peg, but for that brief moment they all act like they’re LeBron just before he dropped The Decision. I’m taking my talents … you know the rest.
ESPN is all over it too. As I said earlier I kept a window open to ESPN.com, but their ESPNU channel had about 10 straight hours of coverage dedicated to this event. Insanity. Grown men were breaking down the potential of kids. Most of these kids won’t even pan out. One of the things I like to read around NFL Draft time, is an evaluation of where players were in their development coming out of high school. For every five star high school player, there is that one player who was a three star, or a two star, or wasn’t even ranked. For example with the upcoming NFL Draft we have a former five star player in Jameis Winston duking out with Marcus Mariota who wasn’t even ranked by some of these high school evaluation services.
What I’m trying to say is the whole damn thing is a crapshoot, yet it’s probably one of the best reality shows on television. If you follow college sports, you’re drawn to National Signing Day like flies to shit. You can’t avoid it, and you want more. As a Michigan fan, I have to admit that I looked up the bios of every player that committed to Michigan this year, and I’m hoplelessly optimistic that one of the two quarterbacks that were signed to this class steps up and becomes the next great Michigan QB. If anything the day does bring hope, but I’m worried that as the years go on, that this thing becomes so big that it overshadows everything good about college sports.
A part of me feels dirty about participating in Signing Day. I don’t feel clean about the fact that I dedicated an entire day to the whims of kids. I wasn’t an athlete. My decision to attend college didn’t play out in front of millions. My decision wasn’t even much of a decision really.
I wanted to leave New York and go to school. However, that was something my parents weren’t on board with, so I applied to a few schools in the New York City area. I was about to settle on St. John’s University, when I took a visit to the campus and realized that by mass transit (since I didn’t have my drivers license at the time) it would take me almost two hours to get there. Not wanting to deal with that every day, I settled for a school a little closer to home. I eventually did attend St. John’s, and I hold a degree from there, but imagine if my decision played out in front of millions?
Thankfully it didn’t have to, but I imagine there was a lot of pressure on some of those young men this week and I’m a bit ashamed to have played a part in it. However, we are the “everything must get bigger” culture so I expect the craziness behind National Signing Day to get even more intense as the years grow on.
From the whims of kids, let’s turn our attentions to the decision made by WNBA player Diana Taurasi this week. Taurasi, the former University of Connecticut star, made the decision this week to sit out the upcoming WNBA season to rest. The WNBA is primarily plays during the Spring and Summer seasons and many players go overseas to play during the Fall and Winter months. Diana plays in Russia, and her team pays her around $1.5 million for the season. Her WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury, paid her just over the WNBA maximum salary of $107,000.
Clearly Diana’s decision was financially motivated, and it shows a huge disparity between what the WNBA pays and what an athlete can get on the foreign market. There’s a 10 to 1 difference in what Diana makes here in the United States and what she makes abroad. It’s definitely enough of a difference for her to set aside the upcoming WNBA season and focus solely on the Russian season. It also makes me question, do we really need the WNBA?
I have to be honest. I don’t watch women’s sports. I don’t follow women’s college basketball or soccer. I’m not some sexist, or some bigot, but women’s sports do not interest me at all. Judging by the ratings of the WNBA, and the failures of women’s professional leagues in the past, I get the feeling that I am part of the majority and not the minority with this attitude. I also believe that unless the WNBA can find a way to close the financial gap, the women’s game in the United States won’t last much longer. Why would these women continue to play all year round, if they can earn a big enough salary that they can afford to take off and have an offseason?
If the wage disparity can’t be changed somewhat, then it’s time to dump the league all together. The women’s game does have some pockets of the country where it’s popular, and ratings are at a strength but that isn’t exactly the case nationwide. The NBA can probably save the money it kicks out in operating costs and put it to better use elsewhere. That might sound harsh, but as far as I see it, it is what it is. Good decision by Taurasi, and hopefully that puts the WNBA in a position where it can really re-examine itself.
OK. I did just say I wasn’t a bigot or a sexist, and I’m about to double down on that right now. I have to be honest, I agree with Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul. Thursday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Chris received one of the five technical fouls called against the Clippers in their loss against the Cavs. According to CP3 he disagreed with the technical foul issued to him by referee Lauren Holtkamp. The guard said that he tried to take the ball into play, and was told “uh-uh” by the ref. Chris responded “uh-uh, why?” and was hit with a tech.
While that was bad, it’s what he said post game that has drawn some ire. Chris in his remarks to reporters said the following: “That’s ridiculous (in response to his technical foul). If that’s the case, this might not be for her.” It’s that “for her” part that is getting him in trouble. Holtkamp is the third female to ever referee an NBA game, and “for her” is being implied by some to be a bit sexist of Paul to say. However, I see where Chris was coming from.
I don’t think Chris is stressing her gender at all. What he is stressing is the quick technical fouls that were called by Holtkamp and crew. Even if you aren’t a fan of the NBA, we’ve all seen a game where a player has been called for a technical foul. Sometimes, it takes little to no dissent for a ref to decide he’s being shown up, and hit a player with a tech. Some referees have some pretty quick trigger fingers, and are pretty quick to call a foul over little to nothing. In that regard it’s what I believe Chris was saying to Holtkamp. If she is going to call a technical foul because he questioned her a little bit, then maybe this game really isn’t for her. It’s just the poor phrasing of “for her” that’s going to get him knocked around for awhile. Sad to say.
Finally, I’m going to pour out a little liquor for Tiger Woods. Is it just me, or was it not that long ago that Tiger was on top of the world? He was winning tournaments, winning majors, transcending the sport of golf, and then his wife ran him out of the house because Tiger was cheating on her with a gang of hoes? I don’t know those women, but I’ve always said to myself that I was impressed how Tiger maintained his grip on golf, while juggling that many women. Thought it was a bit impressive of him. However, all of that seems like a lifetime ago now, as Woods looks sad and broken down.
After Elin ran him out the house, and he hit that tree, Tiger has been on a downward spiral. He got divorced, she got a ton of money, and he has been struggling to rebuild his game since. He’s had several back and knee injuries, he’s gone through a few swing coaches, and he appears to have some issues with his confidence.
Now, if this feels like the blog of sports I don’t watch and don’t really care about then guess what? It is. I don’t watch golf. I find the sport a complete bore, but Tiger Woods is an individual that has been around since I was a freshman in high school. You had to know who Tiger was, and although I can’t watch golf without falling asleep, I cared if he won or not. That’s why, I find his current status to be pretty sad.
Tiger missed the cut in the tournament he played last week, and he pulled out of the tournament he was participating in this week due to back trouble. Now, is his back really hurting him, or did he not want to miss another cut is a question worth asking. For someone who announced that his swing was back to where it was 15 years ago, and that he felt he had regained his speed and power, it’s crushing to see him not perform on such promise. Was he talking out of his ass a few weeks ago when he said that, did he re-injure himself, or has his confidence left him?
As I keep saying in these blogs, I love a good comeback story. I live for it. However, I don’t see that with Tiger Woods. He’s still a young man, as he only recently turned 39, but I have to say I think it’s over for him. That sign that he can turn it around, chase after Jack Nicklaus’ majors record, and become the ratings force that the game needs, doesn’t appear to be there. I hate to kick a man when he’s down, or count him out, but I can’t help but think the referee that is father time has gotten to the 8 count and Woods is still staggering to get off the canvas.
I’m done. I can’t type no more, and I’m sure you all have gotten your fill. Thanks for reading. Thanks for supporting www.7poundbag.com. Peace.
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