Brand Names and Superstars

You see it everywhere in sports, college or professional. If you have made a name for yourself at ANY point in your history, you are seen by the public eye with a big target on your back. You’re the big bad bullies on the block, the tyrant king that everyone wants to overthrow. But here’s something that grinds my gears year in and year out in sports: The professional leagues only care about a handful teams’ success, or in some instances, specific players, and the NCAA certainly has their favorites they want to win as far as football and basketball goes.

Let’s start with the NBA shall we? The NBA has become a media-driven, star-driven sport where¬†most national sports media platforms cover news and stories strictly for their own benefit, rather than the audience, their fans. Remember those old days in the sport when it required a TEAM effort to win championships? I don’t, I’ve only been on this screwed up planet for 21 years. I unfortunately am growing up in a day and age where this sport, one I grew up playing and paying close attention to does not give a flying fuck about teams anymore. It’s absolutely absurd. I have seen one team take home the Larry O’Brien trophy five times in my lifetime, all in a 15 year span. That team, my friends is the San Antonio Spurs…..Who? Exactly. They are the poster child for success in this sport, Everyone equally contributes year after year, doesn’t question their role on the team and accepts their purpose to the team and is dedicated. Sure, it helps to have mainstays like Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobli, and head coach and now resident caveman Greg Popovich. But it’s those same professionals that have helped propelled this team to where they are today. They continue to win 50+ games a season, draft very underrated, significant role players to help bolster their roster and just continue to do things right. Apparently the NBA either doesn’t like that or does not care. All the NBA cares about is where guys like LeBron and KD will be and how their teams will do. Look, I am blessed as a sports fan that I get to watch legends-in-the-making like those two play basketball everyday. People can say what they want about them. “Oh they suck, they’re overrated, I hope they lose all the time or get hurt.” Here me out, don’t point the finger at them. They are the two men keeping this god forsaken league afloat. You see all those empty buildings around the league? Yeah, even the Palace was like that for a good 5-6 years now. You don’t see empty arenas where ever the King and the Durantula show up on any given night. Look at the league. They don’t get it. They care about their players, not the teams of their league. Nowadays it is all about having a “Big 3” on your team, apparently it leads to some sort of success or something? Wait……..you’re figuring it out now? Boston was the first to do it in 2008, then Miami again in 2011? No! First off, San Antonio started that back in 2003. The reason it works for them is because they have a whole bench of other role players to chip in for their consistent success. The best part? They don’t care. They simply just do not care about how they win or what outsiders think. Wake up NBA. Care about your teams, not just the players. Big 3’s make the league so top heavy and un-competitive to watch. You should be damn lucky and proud the Spurs are winning championships.

Let’s go to baseball next. I think where you all know where I’m going with this one. Let’s look at two teams. The Yankees and the Dodgers. These are MLB’s prize winning dogs, and why not? They have all the money, the fame, the success right? WRONG AGAIN! It is not a sport when all you care is about a handful or less of your teams. Just because you’re a big market doesn’t mean it’s all about them. Yes, I hate the Yankees. I hate them for a number of reasons, this being one of them. It sure is nice knowing my Tigers can handle them in the postseason right? Anyway, back to my point. When these team are at a low-point and not contending for a title, the MLB goes into a sadistic stage and ratings just plummet. You want fans to watch the sport right? You want people to attend your stadiums and root for your teams? Are we just pawns to you? Why do you ONLY care about those two teams? Hell, since 2004 you can throw in the Boston Red Sox to that category. Ever noticed how many times those 3 teams are always on national TV? I don’t want to see that crap on a weekly basis. Stop showing me them. I don’t need to see a lineup 1-9 hitting barely .250 hit home runs out of their high school size stadium. What a joke. Play half a season in Comerica Park and let me see your numbers then…..So who would the “Spurs” of baseball be? Gotta be the Cardinals right? Or the Giants? Pick your poison. Top to bottom, not very star-laden, but they do it best and just know how to win. After the Giants beat KC in 7 games this past Fall Classic, I will take the Giants or Cards against the field in the National league every year, until I see a true changing of the guard. As for those Skankees? Well…..plain and simple, you all can just go fuck yourselves, you slimy, selfish, greedy, spoiled classless fans.

Now onto the college level. Let’s start off by saying that every so-called student athlete is merely a pawn in the sports, both football and basketball, purely a moneymaker for their universities and the NCAA as a whole. All these brand new, fancy looking, high paying football stadiums and old historic basketball arenas? Straight cash, homie. More money in the pockets for the universities. So who else kisses more ass than Ohio State? Oh, I’ll answer that question. Nobody. It is ALWAYS about them. If they and/or Michigan are having a sub par season, it’s suddenly an unsuccessful college football season. Get over yourselves. Seriously? There’s plenty of skilled, talented, and championship-caliber college programs in this country. But I guess when you’re a Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, USC, Nebraska, Texas, etc., things are just handed to you on a silver platter. How about you evaluate the teams properly? Five of those six teams did not even end up in the final rankings of this college football season. Nebraska was suppose to just “roll through the Big Ten and claim the crown from everyone”, said many experts when they made the switch. How’s that going for ya? Welcome to big boy football Nebraska. Not so easy is it? You made a mistake firing Bo Pelini in my mind. I cannot stand this “What have you done for me lately” world, but we’ll do that some other time. Back to the Fuckeyes. They are the prime example of selfish scum who think of themselves better than everyone. I was the happiest man on this planet when that story came out about them cheating and selling memorabilia throughout the season. Serves you right you god damn cheaters. I hope they lose by 5 TDs to Oregon on Monday night.

Well this has been a longer posting than I would have liked. But I feel I got my point across and did my venting. You agree or disagree? Would love to hear your opinions. It is welcomed!

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Pilot – Pistons streak snapped, so now what?

The Pistons made a very bold decision on December 22 to waive veteran and highly paid Josh Smith. Smith was a hot free agent target with loads of talent and a number of faults that only he was oblivious to. It certainly did not take long for head coach and president Stan Van Gundy to make a move going forward. With intentions to develop the younger players on the squad and distribute playing time more evenly, Detroit showed Smith the door.

I can’t say I blamed Stan Van Gundy for wanting to try out the Smith experience. Smith was in the Motor City before SVG, so it was fair for the coach to let him play and see if he could be the savior and figure out the problem. A guy getting paid the money Smith was getting certainly wasn’t going to ride the pine very often. It was obvious to not only Pistons fan, but every NBA expert and analyzer that Josh Smith simply does not fit in the organization.

So what has happened post-Smith? Only a modest 7-game win streak. Five of the seven on the road, including back-to-back W’s in San Antonio and Dallas, six of the seven were by double-digits, and two of the victories included double-digit comebacks by the Pistons. The most important and eye-popping thing about this streak? The chemistry. Everyone is distributing, having fun, helping each other, and having the common mentality of wanting to win basketball games. It is safe to say this team is moving in the right direction since allowing Josh Smith to move elsewhere. The team could not quite overcome a 20+ point deficit in Friday night’s game at home against the equally hot Atlanta Hawks, who had won 20 of 22 coming in. They are clearly the class of the Eastern Conference right now.

The Pistons however, showed a toughness and resilience to them that they never did when Josh Smith was on the team. Let’s face it, he was toxic to the team and affecting their will to win and their ball skills. He flat out did not give the other players on the team to perform at the level they have been lately. If Smith was still on the team for the last eight games, including tonight, there is a good chance they would have lost majority of them, by a wide margin like they did when they had him on the roster.

Better team now? Absolutely. Win streak a fluke? I don’t think so. Playoff bound??? We’ll see how they respond.