Archive for March 2010
Everyone knows who I am talking about. One of the most dominant programs in NCAA history is the UConn Woman’s Basketball team. They are a force to be reckon with and they have won by less than 20 points only five times this whole season. They have the longest winning streak in woman’s basketball history and it is about to get at least six games longer. They are undeniably going to win this year’s tournament and there are not very many teams in this year field that will give them a huge challenge.
One thing that the team is being criticized for is being way too over dominant. If this was a men’s team, would we be saying the same thing? There are critics who say that it is unfair to judge them the same as men because first and foremost, woman’s sports have not been around very long. This year is the 29th anniversary of the woman’s tournament and the men’s tournament has been around for 71 years now. Also, the team has been compared to the John Wooden era UCLA Bruins. They were one of the most dominant teams of the late 1960s and early 1970s and no one ever complained about their winning streak or their dominance. It is completely unfair that we have decided to judge the UConn team just because they are women.
The other thing that this team is doing is they are establishing woman’s sports here in the United States. The two dominant programs in this country, Tennessee and UConn have a combined 14 NCAA National Championships and are constantly at the top of the polls every year. They used to play a game against each other every year but it ended last year after a dispute broke out between the coach’s over former recruit and current UConn player Maya Moore. These two teams have set the standard high for other teams and they also give other sports hope that there is more out there.
Here we go again. Its time for the big dance. The bubbles have been burst and the teams have been selected. Our beloved WVU Men’s basketball team has been battling this whole season to make its mark and they now have their destiny set. They did everything they could to get the highest seed possible and now its time to analyze how far they are going to make it.
First and foremost, this bracket carries a couple of challenges and a couple of teams that could pull a George Mason and be the Cinderella story of this year’s dance. The big one goes by the name of Cornell. They are the underrepresented Ivy League team that could make a splash with their players who are not nationally known. The other two teams that present a big problem go by the names of Kentucky and New Mexico. Kentucky spent a good deal of time at number one this season and boast two of the best freshmen of all time in John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins. WVU will not be seeing them until at least the Elite 8, but they will have to get past a tough New Mexico team. Steve Alford has led this team to greater standards since taking over the head coaching position and they show a great threat even at a number three seed.
If one thing has to be constant for the Mountaineers this post season it has to be Da’Sean Butler. If there one thing he has been doing this whole season, it has been saving the Mountaineers booties at the last second almost every other game. When the game is tight, everyone knows the ball is going to Butler but for the most part, teams just seem to forget about Mr. Clutch. Butler has to make almost every shot he takes if this team wants a shot at making it to the title game. If worse comes to worse, he will also have to make that last second shot even if there are five guys on him.
If there is one person who will lead this team to victory it will always be the hard-nosed straight talking Bob Huggins. Huggins is seeking that elusive NCAA Championship that has been close but still out of reach for quite some time now. The one key to this equation is that his players actually have to listen to his advice and coaching techniques every step of the way. No more games where over 50% of the free throws are missed or where the players just decided not to listen to Huggins. Its do or die for the whole team. So if success is what they want, Huggins is the man to lead them there.
Fresh out of jail, Marion Jones is trying to make a comeback into the athletic world. Instead of trying to get back into track and field, Jones is getting back into her first love, basketball. Jones won a NCAA National Title in basketball back in 1994 when she was a freshman at the University of North Carolin and has decided that that experience is good enough to make a career in the WNBA. I don’t know what the Tulsa Shock were thinking when they decided to give her a contract but I don’t think she will go far with a $35,000 contract. I know that the team recently moved from Detroit to Tulsa so I see this as more of a publicity move than a move to get a potentially great athlete.
Honestly, I think the addition of Jones to the WNBA is a a huge publicity stunt all around. The WNBA is a struggling league that is barely making it. It never has that high of ratings and I am sure most of America can not name the team who won the WNBA championship last year. All I can say is that it didn’t work. People covered the story for not even a day and then America was over it. In America, we have turned away from all of this steroid phenomenon because it has been overplayed way too much. She gave her medals back and served her time in jail. To be honest, I think she needs to leave sports for good. Move on with her life and find something new to be passionate about.
My opinion is that all athletes that knowingly or unknowingly use steroids should be banned from sports for life. Steroids take away from the purity of the sport and ruin what authenticity is left. When you use steroids, you are using an illegal advantage that is just making sports a mockery. Bravo to Jones for trying to put her life back together but I am over it and ready to go back to my life without knowing that she was trying to make an athletic comeback.
Ben Roethlisberger is slowly going to the bad side of everyone in the NFL. Within the last year, the two time Super Bowl winner has been accused of raping a women at a resort in Lake Tahoe and this past weekend, he was accused of sexually assaulting a 20-year-old woman in a bar in Georgia. This type of behavior could be expected from a single 28-year-old with a normal life but Big Ben leads no normal life. That $105 million contract he carries with the Steelers makes him a target for scrutiny and it should be a lesson to him to grow up. Big Ben needs to learn that after college is when you become an adult. If he wants to make a lasting impression in the NFL, he needs to stop hanging around bars with a whole bunch of underage girls and getting photographed in a t-shirt that prompts excessive drinking.
This is not the first offense for the young Big Ben. Back in 2006, Roethlisberger got into a motorcycle accident that severely injured him and almost ruined his career. When this occurred, most critics just blamed it on immaturity that should come with age. Just Ben being irresponsible. This was supposed to be his wake up call to grow up and become that quarterback that everyone was hoping for. Well, I guess it never happened. When most people go through a life threatening accident, they tend to analyze their lives, realize their stupid behavior and revamp their lives and live with more responsibility. Not Big Ben. He has decided that growing up and being a respectful adult in society is not priority number one. When was the last time you saw Tom Brady in the news for supposedly raping a girl? How about when did he get caught last at a college party? It doesn’t happen to the big time quarterbacks. They realize that they are a brand to the public. They may be playing the game they love, but they are scrutinized on a daily basis because they are held to a higher standard in society.
Here is what Big Ben needs to do to fix his problem.
- First and foremost, Roethlisberger needs to get this sexual assault charge straightened out in Georgia. His lawyers claimed today that nothing happened, so Roethlisberger needs to prove it. He needs to cooperate with the police fully and get the charges dropped. After that, he needs to stay at his house in Georgia and not wander off to little college bars.
- Second, Roethlisberger needs to make sure that the rape charges in Lake Tahoe get taken care of. If his case is anything like the Kobe Bryant case, it needs to get resolved quickly. Bryant learned quickly that once that ordeal is done, it is time to move on and forget about everything that happened. Once that case is done, Roethlisberger needs to stay out of the public life and try and rebuild his image.
- Lastly, Roethlisberger needs to find a mentor. Someone should be calling Tony Dungey or anyone that can teach this immature gentleman about life. He needs someone who can teach him how to appreciate what he has in life and not run around town being a drunk idiot every chance he gets. This mentor will help Roethlisberger grow up and learn what it really means to be a role model and a franchise quarterback.
This past Wednesday, Lebron James filed paperwork with the NBA to officially have his NBA number changed from 23 to 6. This is all stemming from a November statement that James made. James claimed that all current NBA players should give up number 23 forever to pay tribute to Michael Jordan. This claim was also after a Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat game where Jordan was sitting in the front row watching and supporting the Heat’s Dwayne Wade who had just joined his shoe line. James has claimed the Jordan was his idol and onlookers at the game claimed that James kept looking at Jordan for some sign of approval throughout the game, but Jordan gave him nothing. With all that happening, it is no surprise that James made this statement after the game because it looks like he was looking for the approval and even a little bit of acknowledgment from the man he admired so much. Since the statement had been made, everyone was looking for James to make the first step and he finally did. But, is this jersey change all for Jordan or is it for James’ personal gain?
Although James claims that this is all just to pay homage to Jordan, his talk does not fool me. Like all NBA superstars, James has a ginormous ego and cares only about himself. Jordan made a brand for himself from the number 23 and if James wants to follow in the same footsteps, he can’t necessarily build an empire with the same number. If anything, this is just an extremely smart business move for James. As much as Lebron would like to honor his first born son, I don’t necessarily think that is what important to NBA superstar who wants to make an everlasting name for himself in the NBA and in the world. It has also been claimed that James is chasing after Kobe Bryant. Bryant changed his number from 8 to 24 after the 2006-2007 NBA because it was the first number he started out with in high school in Pennsylvania. That I see as a reasonable claim because 24 was not available when Bryant joined the Lakers and a player must be with a team for at least four years to make a petition to change his number. The number was available and it had been four years but ever since then, Bryant has been the leading money getter in jersey selling. Now, I don’t think James is too happy about that, so just maybe this will give James that boost to be the number 1.
The other question, is Lebron being even a little bit considerate of all the other NBA greats who wore the number 6. The biggest argument is for Bill Russell who has 11 NBA championships, 5 more than Jordan. A prominent African-American player who led the way for players like Jordan. So the question is, if we retire Jordan’s jersey throughout the NBA, shouldn’t we retire every other great player’s jersey? Jordan was not the only great player to ever go through the NBA, so why should we single him out? What about Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who wore the number 32? Larry Bird and 33? Jerry West and 44? If I keep going, we will run out of numbers and nobody would have a number to wear. Lebron just needs to drop the act and move on. We will accept his new number 6 and we will forget about his rant in about a month.