2001-12-01 / Sports

Ode To The A: Life Is Not A Box Of Chocolates

Ode To The A:
Life Is Not A Box Of Chocolates

Watching and following professional sports sometimes is like watching a train wreck live. When watching sports, I do get annoyed at certain events that seem to happen in every game. There are events that are not explained to the general public as to why it happened and what the circumstances were in the first place. It kind of boggles the mind, but then I’m just a sports fan.

I am appalled when players from college and pro celebrate at instances when it is not needed. A team has the ball for the first possession of the ballgame. They get a first down and then the players jump up and whoop it up like they won the lottery. The player did not score a touchdown and there was no great leaping grab between 3 defenders. The players can curb their desires to celebrate after the scoring of a touchdown or after they win the game. Winning the game is the intent and not acting like a buffoon after one play.

Barry Bonds won the National League MVP for the fourth time in his great career, and it’s a great accomplishment. He hit 73 homeruns and broke a major league record, but he cannot be the MVP. Bonds did not take the S.F. Giants to the playoffs as they fell 2 games short of the eventual champion Diamondbacks. Why wasn’t Luis Gonzales of the Diamondbacks considered? He hit 57 HRs, hit .325 and was the main offensive catalyst in their World Series run. Most analysts said Gonzales accounted for 60-65% of the D’s offense. The meaning of MVP is the player who is great for their team and gets the team to perform well, which usually means they make the playoffs. Major League Baseball and the writers who vote on the MVP should tell us the true meaning of the MVP is.

The NBA fined nine players $5000 each for wearing shorts that are too long. The short shorts that Larry Bird wore in 1985 are markedly different than Shaq’s pants… I mean shorts today. It is the NBA after all who makes billions off of merchandizing. They are the ones who quietly let the shorts get longer while padding their pockets with money marketing the $150 uniforms. Don’t the NBA have better things to do. How about solving the problems with empty seats, bad shooting and Michael Jordan television burnout? Most likely the NBA needed the money for their corporate Christmas party.

On a Friday night, I was surfing through the channels when I tuned in to ESPN 2 Friday Night Boxing. The outcome of the middleweight boxing match between Richard Grant and James Butler was one of the most disgusting things I ever saw. Grant went over to shake hands with Butler after he had won a 10-round decision over Butler. With a closed fist, Butler sucker punched Grant and broke Grant’s jaw. Thank goodness, the State Athletic Boxing Commissioner and incoming N.Y.P.D. Commissioner Ray Kelly took decisive action. Butler was arrested, subsequently charged with assault, his boxing earnings for the match withheld and he now faces up to 7 years in prison.

Now boxing may be a tough and violent sport, but after the match is over, it does not mean that anyone can punch someone else out. Butler, who lost his third fight and chance to compete for a championship fight in the future, took his frustrations out against Grant. Butler must not be allowed to work in New York again and some of the earnings he would have made should go to Grant’s medical bills.

Back in August, in this column, I wrote of my disgust with the Rangers trade for Eric Lindros. I wrote it as the worst trade ever and all fans should go open their windows, stick their heads out and say… (Watch the movie Network for the next line to that immortal quote). I was a bit harsh and now I begrudgingly give my Mets’ hat off to GM Glen Sather.

With a lot of ice time given by Coach Ron Low to get rid of the hockey rust, Lindros has found the mark with the new FLYboys line of him, Theo Fleury and Michael York. When he doesn’t score, he is a catalyst on the ice for things to happen. These are some of the results the Garden looked for and now the Rangers are playoff contenders once again. The Rangers still have to improve their defense, find another consistent scoring line and stop other teams from bashing Lindros into another concussion. Hey, at least it’s a nice start.


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