Thursday, June 26, 2014

Selected Sports Subjects

A quick whirl around the wide, wide world of sports.....

Time to weigh in on the subject of the nickname of the NFL's Washington DC franchise.  How anyone, Daniels Snyder and son-of-a-US-Senator Roger Goodell especially, can defend a name as pejorative as "Redskins" as an honorable tribute to the heritage of American Indians is at best a joke, and is in actuality an embarrassment and a disgrace.  Many of you have probably received the supposed-to-be-funny email circulating that defends the "Redskins" name by attacking the entire concept of political correctness, but, really, do the folks sending that out REALLY think it is okay to bandy about a terms like "Redskins"?  In the year of Our Lord 2014? Wow.

The sad irony is that Snyder and the NFL will inevitably give in and change the nickname, not because it is the right thing to do, but because they will realize how much money can be made from merchandise sales when a new nickname is put in place.

I am not so certain where names such as "Braves", "Warriors", "Chiefs", and "Indians" fall in this discussion.  They seem less offensive, if not inoffensive, to me, but, then again I am not a Native American, so perhaps I'm not qualified to judge. That said, even if the name is okay, the Indian-head logo of the Cleveland Indians really has to go. 


The Steelers, in the person of Heinz Field Operations Manager and mouthpiece Jimmy Sacco, have weighed in on the pigsty that Luke Bryan concert attendees turned the Heinz Field parking lots into last Saturday.  In case you missed it....

The word coming down from on high is that it wasn't so bad, not nearly as bad as last year's Kenny Chesney concert (now THERE'S a great argument!), and anyway, look how much in tax revenue was collected by the City.  The Mayor's Office responded with words to the effect that a just because one pays taxes, it doesn't give you the right to turn city property into a waste dump and an open public toilet.

I think this is one instance where the Steelers should have just kept their mouths shut.


Belated congratulations to the San Antonio Spurs for their thoroughly dominating beat down of the Miami Heat in the recently concluded NBA Finals.  Winning four games out of five with each win having a greater than 15 point margin of victory, the Spurs left no doubt as to who the best team was in the NBA Playoffs.  

This was the Spurs fifth NBA title in the last fifteen seasons (and they were so close to winning it last year, too).  The term "dynasty" is not undeserved when discussing the Spurs of the Greg Popovich Era.  And is not Tim Duncan the most underated, unappreciated "great" player of his generation, if not of all time?  And you could ask the same question about Greg Popovich as well.

The Spurs seem to be getting a bit long in the tooth, so who knows how long this run will continue, but it sure has been a great one.


Speaking of the NBA, the playoffs really brought the LeBron James haters out in full force.  Not sure I understand the enmity that is out there towards James (other than in the City of Cleveland, of course), but it is only going to get worse now that he has elected to opt out of his contract in Miami - which, I remind you, he has every right to do (as he did when he left Cleveland in 2010) - and become a free agent.  The pursuit and eventual landing spot of LeBron James will no doubt completely dominate off-season basketball news.


Barring any rain outs, the Pirates will reach the literal half-way mark of the 2014 season at the conclusion of Saturday's game.  They currently sit at 39-39, and there is some stat out there that tells you that they have had the best or second best record in the National League since May 1.  They are not the team we saw last season, to be sure, but neither are they the team of the twenty seasons previous to last year.  There are areas of concern, but it really isn't a sinking ship or a lost cause at PNC Park, either.

They are going to make it interesting for fans in the second half.  Making the Post-Season will not be easy, but it is far from a lost cause at this point.  

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