The Bouncing Ball, Thoughts on Sports by Paul West: The Pro Bowl Edition
Hi, sports fans! I hope you’re staying warm if you’re in the Northeast; these wind chills are ridiculous. Without further ado, another round of my sports-related thinking points…
- The Plumlees are forces of nature, but if Duke’s gonna go deep into the tournament, it’s becoming more and more apparent that Seth Curry is gonna have to be the man.
- The old schoolyard move of faking to third and throwing to first…is now a balk. Which makes sense, per the reasoning that the balk rule is meant to prevent excessive deception of the baserunner.
- I really, really wanted Li Na to win. Azarenka really got a break when the Australian Open final was interrupted by ten minutes of frakin’ fireworks (no, really) just as she had gained momentum in the third set. She had rolled an ankle earlier in the match; the ten minutes probably gave it time to get nice and stiff, and in the very first point after the (frakin’-stupid-could-have-waited-til-after-the-match) fireworks show, she re-rolled the ankle–and slammed the back of her head onto the hardcourt in the ensuing fall. She STILL almost won. Azarenka might be a battler, but that doesn’t mean she has as much ‘heart’ as some people think. I’m not convinced.
- Every time I see commercials about Papa John’s giving away “a lotta free pizza” (the actual words of the commercial), I think it’s pretty funny that they were unwilling to pay such comparatively little money to provide health care to their employees. And by funny, I mean…expletive deleted.
- Russell Westbrook went up and snatched a halfcourt mascot shot on its way down. Here’s a key detail: that halfcourt shot looked like it might have a shot at going in, and had it gone in, it would have given free grub (not filet mignon, but still) to the fans in attendance. Which further supports the premise that Russell Westbrook is a self-centered, thoughtless jackass.
- On an opposite note, how you gonna hate LeBron James? He reacted like this when some ordinary schmo hit a halfcourt shot to win a bunch of dough. I know LeBron did a lot to bring ridicule on himself with “the decision” and all, but people make far worse mistakes at that age, under far less scrutiny…and far more scrutiny. He’s the closest thing to Magic Johnson since Magic Johnson, and people wanna be mad because he passes the ball in the clutch. I hate the Heat, too, but shut up about the kid already. He really seems to be a good kid, and he isn’t just a freak of nature–he’s a complete basketball player, and he’s still evolving by his own force of will. Leave him alone, and save your hassling for players who really have it coming.
- I am SO GLAD the NHL is back.
- Wes Welker’s alleged drop in last year’s Super Bowl was NOT a drop! Just because it hits a guy’s hands, doesn’t mean it’s a drop…he was WIDE OPEN, and Brady could have dropped it in for a first down and the game would have been a lot closer to sealed. If he’d caught it, it would have been considered a great play; to me, that precludes the idea of it being the kind of gaffe that people call it. However, that third down drop against the Ravens–now THAT was a drop. And I think it changed the game. Welker might be a Patriot next season, but it’ll prolly only be because Brady campaigns for him pretty hard. The Pats already tried to throw him under the bus to begin last season, by running the offense as if they were pretending that he didn’t exist.
- I might get around to watching the Pro Bowl, but I might not…I will, however, be watching LOTS of NCAA basketball.
Have a good weekend, and stay tuned for news on the upcoming Tarnation Sports podcast, with PW & Doc!