Sports News

A New Hope

It’s that time of year again and no, I’m talking about your
bi-yearly visit to the dentist, tax time or even an oil change. No, this early
spring when the sun starts to shine a little brighter, each day gets a little
bit longer but most importantly, baseball season has arrived in full fashion.

I spent most of last week in
Phoenix mostly to escape the snowfall of Colorado and grab some sun but I was
also treated to a little of America’s past time. Watching and observing each
inning not only brought me to a perfect and much needed place of relaxation but
brought me to a point of rejuvenation. That’s when I realized that in a place
where so many come to retire, to live out their second lives if you will, while
at the same time many others travel to the vaunted vacation destination in
looks of a second chance themselves.

Rookie ball players come from
around the world in hopes on etching their name in the lineup. In some cases
most players are looking just to sign a contract no matter the price while
others are looking to sign the big deal. Veterans enter the likes of Goodyear
and Phoenix Municipal ballpark in order to give one last shot at a title. No
matter the player, no matter the team, no matter the age, each has spent his
life striving for excellence season after season but it is in spring when every
player still has hope.

Hope also lives in the hearts of
the fans. Each individual fan realist or optimist has a glimmer of hope for the
upcoming season, even if you’re a fan of the Seattle Mariners. They spend their
March afternoons counting each pitch, recording each strike, marking every
error and chalking up every win with a positive attitude.

With opening day tomorrow and each
prayer for a good season in the air from players, managers and fans alike,
April brings a new hope and a new season along with it.

-Thomas Hoffman

Mt. Invisible

Traditionally, the NBA’s Western Conference has been the most competitive. The 2012-2013 season has been no different. Teams in the west are going to have to win at least 45 games to have a shot at the eighth spot while out east you could be under .500 and be sitting sixth.

The Knicks and Heat receive all the attention on the east coast and notably due to the A-list players on each team. Melo and the Knicks, although playing very well in spurts, are taking a back seat to LeBron, Wade, Bosch, and the birdman who have now won 14 games in a row.

On the Western side of the league, San Antonio, the Clips, OKC, and of the Lakers receive all the attention. Don’t get me wrong, each of these teams play some great basketball and I think this is the year that the wily veterans down in San Antonio come out on top, but with all the attention fixed on the major market teams that leaves some quality teams literally flying under the radar.

The Denver Nuggets this year have been one of the most impressive teams that I have watched this year. I hale from the Northwest and admittedly haven’t followed the Nuggets as closely as I have this year but George Carl has his team playing some of the best basketball in country this year and no one seems to care one iota.

Denver has wins against all the top teams in the western conference this year including two against noted rival Oklahoma City, the last of which everyone will remember Ty Lawson’s game winner. But even on that night, the best Denver could do was crack the top ten list on Sports Center...

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

 

I had a teacher in High School once tell my class, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” He was referencing the history of politics and war. And as with most things, you can relate them directly to the wide world of sports. This pre-season’s men’s basketball top 25 rankings almost mirrored that of two or three decades ago. With Indiana at the top, Duke just behind, UNLV cracking the top 10, Michigan, Kentucky, and Arizona all with strong programs to start the year, sports enthusiasts across the nation might have thought the was the sequel to Hot Tub Time Machine 2. We’d picture Bobby Knight throwing chairs, Jalen Rose trash talking, Christian Laettner practicing turn arounds, maybe even Adolph Rupp walking out onto the floor instead of Calipari, which I’m sure would be welcomed by most of the nation. At the beginning of the year you could be asking yourself which team would prove to be dominant?

With only a month left until the madness, we’re still asking ourselves the same question, but it’s a question that most of us are glad to be asking. Ratings have declined substantially in the last ten years with so many youngsters fleeing the books and class rooms to the night clubs and team planes. We’ve been missing great rivalries that we were used to seeing year after years. In past years, you could walk into the Bellagio and place a bet at the beginning of the season on Kentucky to win the National Championship and you would almost have a 50/50 shot of being right. People were getting bored of watching freshmen and sophomores struggle through tight situations. No one was developing skills under some of the greatest coaching in the world...

There's no T in Truth

 

Remember how our grandparents always used to tell us how better things were back in there day? Gas was fifty cents and milk was ten. Back in their day baseball was national pastime and the biggest of scandals was which house didn’t mow the lawn. With the recent events I am beginning to agree

Performance enhancing drugs have been around sports for a while now, whether it was the Olympics in the 80’s, baseball in the early 2000’s, and now pretty much all sports anywhere. I think the questions that all of us intermural all-stars, pick up hacks or rec league regulars are asking ourselves is why? What transpired in our culture to make these star athletes believe that their only option was to cheat? Back in the days of our grandparents the biggest scandal in sports was a bunch of guys that weren’t trying to be better than everyone else; they were trying to be slightly worse than the other team! Now, it’s Lance Armstrong and every cyclist for all the world cares now who take PED’s, Manti Te’o has a fake girlfriend, Barry Bond’s head grows eight sizes, and Ray Lewis is using dear antler spray! What ever that does. The sad reality of it all is these guys were probably the best athletes in high school without all of the drugs. They were the guys who could play any sport and be half way decent. They were the guys in college who did nothing but play baseball, or basketball or football. They all had a love and respect for their sport, and they’ve lost the latter...

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