Pick Your Sport

Vince Scully and Other Old Guys that Rule

I am sure you have seen the “Old Guys Rule” shirts worn by middle aged gents who want you to know that they still have old man strength and they are not ready for the pasture yet.   In the world of professional sports, there are a lot of older athletes that are over 35.  There was a strong group of older guys that called it a career in 2016. They didn’t just have good to average careers but long and storied careers that will be hard to imagine anybody duplicating. Read More →

Stop Saying “Old School”

When I hear the term “old school” or “throwback” I want to wince and resist the urge to projectile vomit.   When I hear those terms it is usually said by somebody who didn’t live in the era they are referring to. If they see a player wearing their socks really high or baggy that is called, old school.   Usually, “old school” is a moniker placed on individual who isn’t flashy and not trashy. Old school and throwbacks might be considered boring because they use the tired clichés during interviews. They are considered team players.   Throwback players are tough and don’t reveal their injuries. Throwback guys and gals can play multiple positions and don’t wear gloves for every task on the field. Old school is playing with an injury and diving for a ball near the end of a game. Old school is running every play out, even a dribbler to the pitcher.

Can you see my point? Why are there such terms? Why do we need to label somebody something that is just not required? Why not call them hard workers, no nonsense types, team players and respectful. Since when are traditional values, old school? What is new school, not hard work, short cuts, boastful, lazy, slackers, followers, and crybabies, thick in the head?

I watched the Forty Niners play the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. The first round draft for the Panthers is Christian McCaffrey, a multipurpose player. At Stanford he played running back, punt and kickoff returner.   In the game, he played the same positions. Now that he is in the pro’s he gets called old school. Projectile vomit.   He is unique and multi-talented.   I can agree that few players can play all of those positions but not for lack of qualified players. The main reason you don’t see coaches uses their players for multiple duty is because of injury risk. McCaffrey is talented, not a just a throwback.   Reggie Bush, the great USC running back could play the same positions and did also in the pros.   Sadly, Bush has been besieged by injuries.

Not all things were so great in the old days of sports so when the terms start getting thrown around, see if the announcer clarifies his position. “Look at Joe Blow, he hustles on every play, he is old school.” I want to reach through the television screen and strangle the moron. The reason people want to use the old school label is because they see a player who is not carbon copy of every other player. Maybe they give a damn about character and moral than the next guy.   Substance over style?   What I do know that the floods of money in professional sports makes almost every player a slave to the dollar. They cannot be as risk adverse so everybody starts to act and look the same. I am not sure when the stupid terms will go away, probably never because times have changed. It’s a shame we have use labels to make us recognize what is not really unique at all.

Foul Play in the NBA

 

After the watching the first game of the NBA playoff game between the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs, I thought about the foul calling criteria and how it is ruining the whole game experience for a lot of fans.  Sure the referees have to call fouls which is part of the game but now it has become the most important part of the game that dictates victory. The referees are dictating game flow by how much contact they allow.   Plain and simple. Read More →

The Best Athlete in the World Part 1

Who is the best athlete in the world? What are the metrics is second question one must ask.  CrossFit games, Tough Mudder, the Decathlon, the Highland Games and the list goes on for events that have their own version of who is the best athlete.   The first thing to look at is to separate all of the contest and come to an agreement on the criteria.

Let’s say we start with basic categories; Speed, endurance, strength, power and hand eye coordination. Then you might want to add flexibility, stamina, balance, quickness and skill. Read More →

Jack Lalanne, Where are You?

We are confronted by the all experts telling us we need to do this and eat this and to stay fit and live a long and happy life.   Choices and more choices and decisions and more confusion.   I heard on the radio today a doctor telling me his secret to working out.  He is saying you should work out with a friend for encouragement.  You should also change up your exercise routine every so often to keep it fresh.  It goes on and on.  It doesn’t stick in my head because it all becomes just noise after all these years.

I am no doctor, or physical trainer, professional athlete but I have been exercising for my whole life.  I have also had stretches where I have done no exercise except maybe push a lawn mower which I considered  physical exercise.   Does going to the grocery store count?  I know it does on my Fitbit.  I have tried so many different routines and purchased a plethora of equipment that could outfit a gym.

I saw an advertisement for an exercise program for 8 minutes a day.  I have to laugh because there seems to be a race to who can come up with the shortest routine.  We are getting close to the five minute routine.  Just purchase the set of DVD’s for $49.99 and the dieting guide to own a killer body in two weeks.   It’s coming trust me, so is the one minute workout.

I have thought long and hard about this so called fitness noise.   If you are like most people you want to feel good, strong, and flexible and have good health.  Simple enough.  The real secret is that it doesn’t take hours of torture and ways to trick yourself into working out.  You can do fifteen minutes of old fashioned calisthenics like Jack Lalanne used to do every day on his television programs.   You don’t need to pump endless iron and an do an hour of the Daily Method.  If you like it then good for you.   If want to spends hours every week doing yoga in a hot room with dozens of other people, great for you.    But never try to convince that you need to do it to survive and be in good physical health.

I see ads for the ultimate torture type exercise program that will make you into a rock hard muscle machine.  Great,  do it.  But can you consistently do it for very long?   Probably not. Once you stop,  you have to get back on that program and start at the bottom rung again.   It’s like yo-yo dieting.   Best that you do a moderate to easy routine daily or every other day and keep it going.   The dividends will pay off higher in the long run.

You ever see those older Asian people doing Tai Chi in the park.   It looks simple right.  Well it’s supposed to be.   They are performing consistent movements with their body that keeps them strong and limber.  Look up Jack Lalanne and see what he has to offer.   It’s a beautiful thing to see the simplicity of his message.

Photo – latimesblogs.latimes.com

 

Redemption and Sergio Garcia

Sergio Garcia sinks the final putt at the Masters and ends his long wait to win a major golf tournament.   So it took seventy something tries at toiling and hitting shots in the bunker before the golf gods rewarded him an ugly green jacket.   Okay, it’s not ugly to him but I don’t see too many of those around town.    So I hear a lot of pundits calling this redemption.   I have been always confused when I hear the redemption word.  What makes Sergio Garcia’s victory redemption?   Webster dictionary says this:

Noun

  1. An act of redeeming or atoning for a fault or mistake, or the state of being redeemed.
  2. Deliverance; rescue.
  3. Theology. Deliverance from sin; salvation.
  4. Atonement for guilt.
  5. Repurchase, as of something sold.
  6. Paying off, as of a mortgage, bond, or note.
  7. Recovery by payment, as of something pledged.

Read More →

2017 World Baseball Classic Is a Winner

The United States won the World Baseball Classic but the real winner is the whole sport of professional baseball.   The last classic held in 2013 kept the interest moving forward.    The sixteen nation tournament with its elimination format that most of us don’t understand didn’t distract too much.  For the even the casual fan to see baseball in February and March is a welcome sight.  You even got to see teams from odd locations such as the Netherlands and Israel.   Until then, I didn’t know they even played it in those countries.

The WBC was entertaining because you can see the gap in talent from an international standpoint has closed significantly.  Baseball is growing in popularity globally just like basketball.   The United States has done well in promoting their sports with a lot of money pumped in scouting the world for the best of the best.   The best players in baseball still flock to the US A to compete but the WBC allows them to compete for their home countries just like the World Cup in soccer.

I enjoyed seeing the pitching styles of the various teams.   Of course,  there was a good amount of pitchers from the teams that you see in the Major Leagues but the majority don’t play in the MLB because the eligibility criteria.  It was fun to see the Japan team pitch because every one of their pitchers has some kind of deception in their delivery.   Every guy they ran out there to pitch had this part in their delivery that would have a slight hesitation.  You saw this in some of the other teams as well except for the US team.

The one thing that everybody saw was the joy that most of the players were showing. Rarely did you see demonstrative displays of anger and embarrassing moments of outlandish showmanship.   There was good spirit to the games that players showed to each other.  The winners were the fans.  There were a total of forty games that almost drew a million fans.  Not bad for games that weren’t overloaded with name stars.

Baseball is still king in my book even though it has taken its share of hits in popularity in the last fifteen years. With the steroid era a thing of the past, baseball is on the upswing and attendance is up.  The salaries are climbing waypast the point where a salary cap is needed. Baseball better try to put in a realistic salary structure our they will see the upswing take turn for the worse.   But when you eliminate that money albatross, the game is on the rise with the younger fans because it’s still cheaper to see a game than football, basketball and hockey.    It is still the game of the summer and sunshine and laziness and slow play.   The World Baseball Classic will grow in stature and the stakes will rise.   Let’s hope the positive vibes keep the game moving forward.

Photo – www.inquisitr.com

 

The Culture of Winning…and Losing

“One of the most basic factors in sports is that winning becomes a habit, and losing is the same way. When failure starts to feel normal in your life or your work or even your darkest vices, you won’t have to go looking for trouble, because trouble will find you. Count on it” Hunter S. Thompson Read More →

Baseball Catching…The Toughest Gig in Team Sports

I sure I will get some rebuttal on this but let me give you good sound reasons why catchers need more love.   You might say the hockey goaltenders, football offensive linemen or rugby players got it tougher.   Sure they have to be a talented and physical but a good baseball catcher has those qualities as well.  What I think separates the argument and comparison is the game management element that is essential to every baseball contest.  Read More →

The Oakland Raiders Shuffle

The current misdeeds of the Oakland Raiders is void of player and coaches involvement, they have done everything to uphold the “Just Win Baby” mantra.   After the long losing spell of thirteen years the franchise is experiencing a rebirth and winning ways. The loyal fans of the Raiders, ever so brash are over the top excited about the future of their beloved team.    After years of downward spiraling and revolving doors for coaches and quarterbacks they finally found their leaders.  Read More →

Mike Wardian, The Ultimate Running Man

Forrest Gump was one my favorite movies of all time.   Now a real Forrest Gump like man is the king of long distance running.   His name is Mike Wardian from Arlington, Virginia and he even has the Gump look.   With little or no news coverage, Mr. Wardian ran and won seven marathons on seven continents in seven days.  When I heard about this, I had no idea that would be even possible when you think of seven days and seven continents.   Did he have a Lear jet?  How did he sleep?   And how does a guy stay in a plane for hours and get off and run a marathon, crazy stuff.  His wins came in Antarctica, Chile, Miami, Madrid, Dubai, Sydney and Marrakech.   During that worldwide race, he averaged a 2:45:56 time for the seven races beating a field of twenty three men and women.    On day eight he ran another 16.6 to get to 200 miles. Read More →