Archive for May, 2012

This past weekend, I watched an Major League Lacrosse matchup between Denver and Long Island. Lacrosse was one of my favorite sports growing up as a kid, and its always brings back a fresh sense of nostalgia every time I get to see it on TV or in person. The game was in its earlier moments, and a Denver defenseman delivered a huge hit on a Long Island attack man. My reaction to the play didnt even come out before yellow laundry hit the field. Was the hit high? A little, so by the letter of the lacrosse rules, the call was legit. But once the play-by-play announcer made a reference to “the league taking a stance for concussion prevention”.Once the c-word came out of his mouth, I turned the channel.

I fully support the various league powers who are making the necessary steps to protecting players, particularly in the NFL. Every employer should make it their priority to protect their employees. Financially and morally, it seems like common logic. The problem with this logic is that the NFL, much like the MLL and the NHL, is no common sport.  They are some of the last sports that are truly contact sports, descendants of the times gladiators used to fight to the death in the middle of the Coliseum. In no way do I want to see some guy in the middle of Soldier Field with a spear fighting an actual bear (maybe they should do that during halftime, or whenever Chicago’s offense is sputtering*), but many fans and current players seem to be against turning their league into a watered down version of the sport they were introduced to as kids. On that same historical context, football used to be played with leather helmets. Players were not the physical specimens they are now, but that didnt stop them from hitting their opponents full speed. Hockey players, some going with the old school helmet that has no facemask, go full speed into each other constantly. Changing a few rules, and throwing out suspensions is not going to change the culture of a sport that is predicated on violence. Medical concerns be damned, when you sign up for boxing, and you get hit in the head, you write that off as an occupational hazard. The same thing should go for other contact sports.

What this new “concern” over concussions has marred several sports that thrive on their fans’ thrill [lust] for violence. NASCAR fans go to races to see crashes. Boxing and UFC fans go to matches to see knockouts. Football fans go to games to see….touchdowns? Lets not fool ourselves here. If scoring was the first thing on football fans’ mind, they’d be basketball fans. The “Jacked Up” Segment of Monday Night Football Countdown was a collection of the biggest hits.

How do you make football, or any contact sport, safer? Unless you change the very complexion of the sport, you cant. The same reason you cant make boxing any safer or politics any less corrupt. For goodness sake, we are talking about professional sports. If this concussion fiasco gets any worse, then we are on the verge of having to sit through  seasons of contact sports that are officiated by referees who are hair-trigger happy with throwing that dreaded helmet-to-helmet

flag. Its no wonder flopping became such a problem in the NBA soon after the competition committee made increased scoring a priority. The game was being played too rough. People dont want to see low scoring games, that won’t fill up arenas. We need to appeal to a broader audience.

This hit is legal. It also mirrored the hit I saw in the DEN/Long Island game. Shame.

News flash, NFL: if you gain a huge mainstream audience, but lose your hardcore followers, you have about a 5-10 year window of prosperity before your company completely folds on itself. Its happened with the NHL, the WWE, even with countless musicians. It will happen to you as well.

Im not saying take the necessary precautions to keep the players safe, but don’t mess up the integrity of the game. Calling a flag on any play that seems dangerous looking is complete overkill. Monitor the aggressiveness, but do not eliminate it. If you want to keep your head concussion-free, then I suggest you not play football. And if you want to remove the risk of concussions in football, lacrosse, and hockey, the only way to do that is remove the helmets entirely.  And even then, its still a possibility. Its a physical sport. I suffered a concussion a month ago in flag football.Flag.

We watch these sports subconsciously because they are our modern day super heroes. They are doing something, enduring things that most people on the earth can’t. When that playing field is leveled, what were once superhuman performances seem pedestrian. And damnit, Im not paying to watch pedestrians play.

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LA is Going to Be Crazy This Weekend

It’s been an all-LA spring in the sports world.  All three major teams that play in the Staples Center have advanced in the playoffs, meaning those security guards that work there will be getting lots of OT, especially this weekend with games everyday, including two doubleheaders.  So which team is the most likely to advance beaten the veteran Lakers, the upstart Clippers, and the surprising Kings in hockey?  Put your money on the ice squad.  Why do I say that?  Keep reading my NBA Western Conference playoff recap and look ahead to Round 2.

1 San Antonio Spurs vs 8 Utah Jazz (Prediction – San Antonio in 4, Actual – Same): They have the best coach and play the best team ball. I know they were watching the Memphis-LA Clippers series thinking “we’re gonna smoke whoever we play next.”  And Tony Parker said “nous allons battre celui que nous jouons.”

2 Oklahoma City Thunder vs 7 Dallas Mavericks (Prediction – OKC in 5, Actual – OKC in 4): This series ended so long ago, I forgot what happened in it.  From what I remember, the Thunder didn’t really play a good game in this series.  Dallas put up a strong effort in the series.  That should go to show how good the Thunder are this season.

Yes, I was Shocked that Javale McGee was Outplaying Andrew Bynum

3 Los Angeles Lakers vs 6 Denver Nuggets (Prediction – LA Lakers in 6, Actual – LA Lakers in 7): Everyone thought the problem in this series would be Kobe jacking up shots and not getting the Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol involved.  So the big men decided to just skip the middle man and check out of the 3 losses in the series.  Who would have thought that it would take Metta World Peace to restore order in Game 7.  But really, this Lakers team has a serious talent deficiency outside of the big three.  And more important, the heart is lacking outside of Kobe.

4 Memphis Grizzlies vs 5 Los Angeles Clippers (Prediction – Memphis in 7, Actual – LA Clippers in 7): Two virtually even teams.  But let’s not fool ourselves: this series was settled in Game 1.

So let’s move on to what promises to be quick work in this 2nd Round of the Playoffs

1 San Antonio Spurs vs 5 Los Angeles Clippers (Game 1, Tuesday 9:30pm, TNT): The Clippers have no chance in this series if we see stat lines like this again: 8 pts, 4 rebs, 2 blk, 2 TO.  No that’s not Caron Butler, that is Blake Griffin in Game 7.  He’s going to have to have a bigger impact against a team that is not as offensively challenged like Memphis.  But if there is a series that Chris Paul wanted, it would be this one, if that counts for anything. Spurs in 5

This Second Round Might be Cheesecake

2 Oklahoma City Thunder vs 3 Los Angeles Lakers (Game 1, Monday 9:30 pm, TNT): Why was Denver so successful against the Lakers in the last series?  Lightning quick and dynamic point guard play, big men not yielding in the paint, and outhustling the Lakers on loose balls and transition plays.  I think Oklahoma City can double-check all of those boxes.  But here is hoping to the basketball gods that Bynum and Gasol get it and come to play this series because if the Lakers can make this a half-court game I love their chances. Out of respect for Kobe and the fact the Lakers still have two seven-footers I will make this pick. Thunder in 6

3pt Play: As the Playoffs Roll On…

Posted: May 11, 2012 by dontbeskerritt in Must See TV, NBA
Tags: , , ,

Derek Fisher Likes What He Sees in this Lakers-Nuggets Series

Well, well, just a week ago the NBA Playoffs 1st Round had as much drama as an episode of favorite sports wives show: horrible and contrived.  But as we approach the weekend and the 2nd round of the playoffs, things are looking up, especially in the Western Conference.  The Nuggets have fought back to even the series with the Lakers at 3 games a piece, and the Grizzlies finally looked like they figured out how not to choke on big leads against the Clippers.  But I am going to hold off until those series wrap up this weekend.  But I will say this, when Javale McGee is outplaying Andrew Bynum consistently in the series, you know the Lakers have a problem.  Also, Chris Paul has ended the “best point guard in the league” argument with his playoff performance, but will it be enough?  The Grizzlies should be up 3-2 in the series instead of the other way around.  But enough of all that, lets look back (cringe) and look ahead (double cringe) at the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

The Moment When the Playoffs Became Anti-Climatic

1 Chicago Bulls vs 8 Philadelphia 76ers (Prediction – Bulls in 5, Actual – 76ers in 6): I asked 76ers fans on twitter before the playoffs if the team was even going to make it after a series of terrible performances.  A majority of fans replied back and said they would rather not make the playoffs than get swept in the first round.  This series is easily a lesson in playing to win the games, no matter how bad you think you team performs.

Now I’m not saying that the 76ers can make noise in the next round.  Heck, the Bulls almost (and probably should have) forced a Game 7 without Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah.  But hey, if there is a favorable matchup in the next round, it’s playing the Celtics.

2 Miami Heat vs 7 New York Knicks (Prediction – Heat in 6, Actual – Heat in 5): A series that should have been way better than it turned out to be.  Part of it was Knicks injuries.  Most of it was flawed team construction on the Knicks part.  But can Miami get some credit for having the best talent on the court at all times.  Talent alone is going to get Miami to the Finals, unfortunately, but as we saw last year, talent is never enough.  Let’s see if the Heat can get that killer instinct playing in the rest of the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

3 Indiana Pacers vs 6 Orlando Magic (Prediction – Pacers in 6, Actual – Pacers in 5): I don’t think I watched one minute of this series.   Roy Hibbert looked like he played well.  That’s all I got.

Good Defense Hawks

4 Boston Celtics vs 5 Atlanta Hawks (Prediction – Celtics in 7, Actual – Celtics in 6): How long do we have to go on with this Hawks team?  Can Josh Smith pull out a gun and get himself off the team?  Can Joe Johnson go somewhere and be Robin to someone else’s Batman because that is the role where he is best?  Why is Marvin Williams making so much money? The Hawks are just a better 2004-2008 Wizards team and I am tired of them taking playoff space.

So here is the next round.  Hopefully we hurry to the Boston-Miami Eastern Conference Finals that won’t be as good as it will be hyped.

2 Miami Heat vs 3 Indiana Pacers (Game 1, Sunday 3:30pm, ABC): We tweeted out earlier this week that Indiana has no chance vs Miami.  I hope Indiana channels their inner Miguel Cotto: perform well enough to give a good, respectable show, even blood up your opponent making him look mortal, but in the end the outcome is never in doubt.  I’m praying for that.  I don’t think we will get it. Heat in 5

4 Boston Celtics vs 8 Philadelphia 76ers (Game 1, Saturday 8pm, TNT): This was the prominent rivalry in the early days of the NBA up until the 1980s.  On Boston’s side you have names like Bill Russell, John Havlicek, Larry Bird, Dave Cowens, and Red Auerbach.  The Sixers had Wilt Chamberlain, Moses Malone, Dr. J, Andrew Toney, and Maurice Cheeks.  Yeah, those type of guys aren’t in this series, especially on the 76ers side.  Celtics with their experience should take this in 6.  But I am proud for Andre Iguodala getting Sixers fans off his back, at least for one night.

If this article wasn’t exciting for you, then you pretty much figured out the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

Before you watch The Avengers, read this first

Posted: May 4, 2012 by arayegee in NFL

Its 3:24 on a Friday morning, I have a seemingly insurmountable things to do starting at 8:30 am, which includes an early morning workout that at this point might be skipped, and I still have taken time to write this post up. I will be pissed for making this decision for quite possibly the entire weekend, but it must be done.

I Just left from the theaters to see Marvel’s The Avengers, and me and fellow ManCaver DontbeSkerritt both agreed about 20 minutes into this film that it was already in the ranks of best superhero movie. This movie has a running time of two hours and 23 minutes, which gives you an idea of how small a sample we are working with.  The people reading this blog are likely fans of these big budget action films, or you might just be a young lady who’s trying to figure out why her man is literally foaming at the mouth to go see this movie. Either way, you want to keep reading on.

This movie was magnificent. Everything that you would expect out of a movie like this it delivered threefold. I went into the theater worrying about the scores in the NBA playoff games. I left not giving a crap if I even saw highlights. I wont give away any spoilers, mainly because there really aren’t any. Its a superhero flick, if you don’t know by now that the good guys eventually win, then you’re a moron.  What I will say is that every superhero’s power is on full display from start to finish.  Thor was going bonkers with that hammer, the Iron Man had a plethora of different projectiles weapons coming out of every part of his suit, Hawkeye and Black Widow for not have any superpowers had some pretty cool highlights throughout, Captain America and that shield did damage, and The Hulk kicked a whole lot of ass.

You might consider this a blog made purely on the thrill of the moment, or that this movie was just another hook to get us into watching an endless amount of sequels. You might dismiss this as just another guy movie you have to go to because he sat through Say Yes to the Dress or Khloe and Lamar a countless amount of times. You might think the pedestrian storyline is just a set up for the CGI guys to have a field day with the protagonists powers, or that the whole movie was just an elaborate form of propaganda used to validate the government’s need for nuclear arms (that’s for the Conspiracy Theory folks out there).

Well, Mr. or Mrs. Critic, here’s the thing about all that.

Shutup.

It was great.

Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 92% fresh tomato rating. The other 8% forgot to pick up their 3D glasses because they were too tired or stoned. But I don’t want you to watch it because I said it was good, or some website did. Go watch it yourself and you can tell me what you think. Dont worry, Ill wait.

By the way, try getting there early. The previews are quite cool. I have a feeling many will be frequenting the theaters this year.

..Oh yea, on a quick sports note. Rest in Peace, Junior Seau. You were a hero as well, on and off the field.