The Blog of Champions

Part of a Nutritious Breakfast

Here we go again

This doesn’t surprise me. Or maybe it should. Brett Farve is contemplating ‘un’-retiring.  This is, of course, according to a source, whom we have no clue about their reputation, good or bad. My take on this whole thing is simple: Who cares? Who really cares if Brett Farve returns or not. Sure, Packers fans will. But, I think, this is a whole media plot to increase ratings. Isn’t that what it’s all about anyway. All these stories, (and if you notice, my tone is directed at ESPN) have no bearing on what sports is all about: the games. Shouldn’t the games be the focus, not the athletes? Ridiculous. It’s a reason why sports can be so bad. Because they don’t deserve this attention. No other profession gets covered like this. Politics, maybe. But anything else is not covered in the same fashion that sports are. And that annoys me. Because we should be focusing on the great stories, the triumphs, the tragedy’s. Not the ‘will-he-or-won’t-he-return’ or ‘player x- is-considering-holding-out-for-even-more-money’. It’s a shame sport has to come down to this. But there’s nothing we can do. We’re stuck getting fed the news, and we have no way of dictating it. It’s sad, but it’s true. There should be a viewer-driven news station. I want to hear the facts, and I don’t want them to beat around the bush. It’s preposterous, and naive, to think that the news services, whether they be sports, or otherwise, want to give us the news. They want to give us the news, so THEY can make money. And they have a ton of it. Everything nowadays, and I mentioned it in my podcast, is about money. Money makes the world go ’round. It’s terrible. I wish it could be fixed, but it won’t. No matter how hard we try, people need the news, they need the information. The news business, the sports news business, will never go away. And we’re stuck dealing with all of its issues. 

July 2, 2008 Posted by | rants and raves, Sports, TV | Leave a comment

My Wish

I know I’ve been critical of ESPN in the past. But, they do shine in certain areas. Their shining moment? The unbelievable My Wish series. ESPN, in conjunction with the Make-A-Wish foundation, help make sick kids dreams come true, with the help of their favorite athletes/teams. An amazing thing to watch, and a great job using the power and wealth ESPN has to truly make a difference. 

July 2, 2008 Posted by | Sports, TV | Leave a comment

ESPN

ESPN does it again! During a fascinating piece about A-Rod and Pete Rose’s unlikely friendship, they suddenly stop it, to cut to… soccer?!? Are you kidding me? I find it amazing that the only time ESPN covers soccer is during the World Cup and UEFA Euro Cup, but when those tournaments come around, ESPN goes all out, covering it like they know everything about it. I find it amazing that they think they are the best at covering soccer. They’re not. I don’t know who is, but it’s not them. No one in America even likes Soccer. And yet ESPN covers it like it’s the World Series. Now I’ve been a supporter of ESPN in recent days, but there is nothing here to support. A disgrace. Terrible. ESPN needs to find it’s limits, learn them, and know them. If not, they’re kidding their fans, and ultimately themselves.

June 20, 2008 Posted by | rants and raves, TV | 2 Comments

Tiger and Celtics

Two interesting items of news today. First off, the Celtics won the NBA championship, and we here at The Blog of Champions congratulate them. It was well-earned. Bill Simmons has his usual funny take on the Celtics champion win. Adrian Wojnarowski at Y! Sports, tells of KG’s long wait. Johnny Ludden thinks the Lakers quit.  Mike Kahn at Fox Sports, talks about the Celtics defense. As is the norm for celebrating, 22 Boston fans were arrested last night.  Good job Celtics.

As for Tiger, his season is over. I can’t believe how he won the US Open, with one leg, basically. He’s a freak of nature. Pat Forde, at ESPN, writes about Tiger’s courage. Tiger proves how good he is, how superhuman he is. He also knows how good he is.  It was great to watch, and we wish you a speedy recovery.

Throughout the playoffs, I’ve been a supporter of ESPN/ABC’s coverage. And I think this where they shine. The announcing team of Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, and Mark Jackson, provided quality insight, while still having a good time. The Video of old Finals Highlights, still gives me chills. And their interviews with the old Celtics and Lakers stars were top-notch. And those freaky ‘There can only be one’ commercials, are still great, no matter how creepy it is seeing half Kobe, half KG.  They have always done a great job with the NBA, and this just proves it. On the other hand, ESPN can confuse me. They’re already starting Fantasy Football coverage?  I think ESPN is overzealous with it’s football coverage. Is it because of Monday Night Football? I don’t know. But covering Chad Johnson’s ankle injury in June is ridiculous. This, unfortunately, was breaking news on ESPNEWS. I go to ESPN for my sports news, but sometimes they just confuse me. Cover real stories, not players who just want more money. If you are looking for good criticism of ESPN, go to their Ombudsman, Le Anne Schreiber, who provides solid insight into their decision making. By the way, I think it’s a bad sign when you hire someone to critique your network. And they’re paying her to do this. But I digress.

Good job Celtics, and good luck Tiger. By the way, I think I’m going to start a daily tab of great articles of the web, articles I’ve enjoyed. Here’s one, from Rick Reilly, to start you off. 

June 18, 2008 Posted by | Great Websites, rants and raves, Sports, TV | 1 Comment

Tim Russert

Sad, sad news today. Tim Russert, NBC political analyst, has died at the age of 58. I will always remember reading his book, Big Russ and Me, and talking to my father about it. I remember watching Meet the Press,learning about the nation. I remember asking my dad questions about who that senator was, who that person was. After reading Big Russ and Me, I had a new perspective on life. I learned about the daily struggles that people had to deal with. And after I read his book, my dad and I would speak about it, talk about life, its struggles, his struggles, his father, who I never met. The book reviews I read said that it’s a must-have for Father’s Day. Now I can only think, on the weekend of Father’s Day, that Tim Russert can’t spend time with his dad, his son can’t spend time with him. Life isn’t supposed to be this cruel. It isn’t supposed to take away lives of gracious, caring people. But that’s what happened today. His analysis on politics will be missed. His opinions will be missed. But there will be father’s and son’s across America who will miss the bond he had with them. I know my father will. I know I will. Tim Russert is more than just a journalist. He’s an icon. He has brought families back together. He has reported in times in crisis. He will always be remembered. He will be missed. And paraphrasing George Steinbrenner, I guess Heaven needed a journalist. 

June 13, 2008 Posted by | Politics, TV | Leave a comment

Lakers-Celtics Game 4 Halftime Thoughts

Wow. Wow. What a first half by the Lakers. Lamar Odom. Where was he? He was on fire tonight. Trevor Ariza, providing great energy off the bench.  And the best part? Kobe’s not scoring. When you can get that kind of lead without your best player producing, it’s a very good thing. I was impressed by the Lakers control. They never got too relaxed, even with the huge lead. Now, the Celtics. Where to start? Cold from the field. Terrible, terrible defense. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but you can’t worry about Kobe. You have to play solid team defense, covering all five guys. Kobe will beat man-to-man, but you won’t have those outlet passes to the open jump shooter. Did Rondo’s injury contribute to this? Possibly. But the main reason, and its quite simple, KG and Paul Pierce aren’t producing. Allen is, but you need Pierce’s scoring, KG’s defense to really win. Lakers look like they’re having fun, an underrated, but important part of the game. Dominant half by the Lakers. 

And again, great job ESPN/ABC with the NBA coverage. I don’t usually like their other coverage, but some of their old footage gives me chills down my spine.

June 12, 2008 Posted by | Sports, TV | Leave a comment

Plaxico (still no Praxico)

Plaxico Burress won’t show up for mini camp unless he gets a new deal . With Strahan retiring, some other losses on Defense, the Giants can’t afford to lose another star player. Plaxico, one of the better receivers, and the recipient of the Game Winning Touchdown in Super Bowl XLII. (sorry for the crappy quality)

And for old times sake:

June 11, 2008 Posted by | Sports, TV | Leave a comment

Lakers-Celtics Game 3 Halftime Thoughts

And here comes the Lakers! No wait, here comes the Celtics! What a first half. Lakers, Kobe start out on fire. They were taking advantage of the fouls, something that did not go their way Games 1 and 2. Sasha Vujacic was on fire, playing great basketball. But the Celtics, somehow, stayed in this game, with no production from ‘the big 3’. You have to expect Pierce to come out strong in the 2nd half.  Garnett will heat up. They have too. They’re too good not to. But when will the Lakers contain these bench players? Posey, Cassell, Brown, are all having significant impacts on the game. Now, for the Lakers, I would play Fisher at the point. I like Farmar, but he plays too out of control for me, and I think Fisher is a better defender. Has anyone noticed that the Celtics make a run when Farmar is in? Coincidence? Look, the key to winning any NBA game is rebounding, good D, and making your shots. The Lakers need to rebound better, play better D. But I really think the Celtics will end up winning this game. They closed the half so well, you know Pierce and Garnett will play well. Perkins has been quiet. If the Lakers come out on fire, hitting their shots, getting to the line, then they will win. But if I am in that Laker Locker room, I am very, very worried about Pierce. That should be their focus;containing Paul Pierce. If they do that, they should be fine. If they don’t, well the Lakers will be in desperation mode.

On a separate note, I think the ESPN/ABC coverage has been superb during the NBA playoffs. They are not overdoing it, which ESPN/ABC does all of the time. The announcing crew is great. The studio shows, bringing in the former Lakers-Celtics stars was a great idea. Bill Rusell, Magic, Jerry West. Great job, keep it up. 

June 10, 2008 Posted by | Sports, TV | Leave a comment

Bill Walton’s Back- Rejoice!

Great news today: Bill Walton will be back on ESPN! Bill is probably my favorite analyst on ESPN, on any sport, and I cannot wait to see him return. Some great Bill Walton quotes can be found here

June 10, 2008 Posted by | Sports, TV | Leave a comment

Lakers-Celtics, Game 2, Halftime Thoughts

What’s with the officiating? Terrible, terrible calls tonight, especially on Kobe. You figure there will be some bad calls, but all of them seem to be going on the Lakers. As for the game itself, it’s still a great game, but I can’t help but wonder what would happen without all the fouls. Let them play. On the other side, Paul Pierce is playing possessed. He’s playing like an animal. I originally said Lakers in 6. I’m changing that now. Celtics in 5. This team is so good defensively. You have the veterans. And what a game by Leon Powe. Rarely used, he gets his chance and proves his worth. Rajon Rondo, another great game. But where’s Kobe? He can’t shoot. Forget the fouls, he needs to make his shots. He’s getting good looks. P.J. Brown, comes out of retirement and still can play. The Lakers need to stage a huge comeback and win this game to stay in the series. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Phil Jackson steaming at the refs after the game. 

On a different note, anybody see the pregame show? What a great job with Bill Russell. And the opening before the game started, showing the old Finals highlights, was absolutely perfect. Great job ESPN/ABC. If there’s anything that gets me excited about a game, it’s the old highlights, it was enough to send chills down my spine. Spectacular.

June 8, 2008 Posted by | Sports, TV | Leave a comment