SportsAttic Turns 100 With 100 Thoughts on the World of Sports (Part 1: #1-50)

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No, not 100 years.

But we are at our 100th post here at SportsAttic, and that’s cause for celebration. And with the perfect storm of today’s sports calendar upon us (NBA season’s home stretch, March Madness, NFL Free Agency and Draft Prep, MLB Spring Training wrap up), what better time than now for 100 unconnected and random thoughts on the world of sports?

And we’re off:

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  1. Brockmire. If you are a baseball fan and haven’t yet tuned in, you are badly missing out. Best show on television right now (warning on language, content, and general poor taste), I laugh out loud more than once every episode. It’s on IFC (not even sure what that is), but Hulu (also not sure) has Season 1, and I pieced through Season 2 on United’s in flight entertainment programming. Season 3 begins April 3rd. Binge it.
  2. Scott Van Pelt. Best thing about Sports Center and ESPN these days. You east coasters have to wait until midnight for SVP, Stanford Steve, Bad Beats, etc., and it is well worth the wait. Stay up for it. It’s like talking sports over drinks with a lifelong friend. And another that’s likely to invoke laughter of the “out loud” variety.
  3. Noah Syndergaard. Love watching him pitch, but the guy’s a real character, too. Between his role as an extra on Game of Thrones, to riding that horse to Spring Training a couple of years ago, to serving up chin music as a rookie on the first pitch of his first World Series appearance, this guy is the real deal. And again, he’s funny! If you are on Instagram, follow his page. Great stuff coming out with regularity (“I’m here to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and I’m all out of bubble gum”).
  4. Antonio Brown. Because it’s always good to have someone to root against in the NFL.
  5. James Dolan. In case we ever need a reminder of the definition of “douchebag” or “bully”, or should we forget what POS stands for.
  6. You want to revisit your childhood, go open an old shoe box full of baseball cards. That aroma of stale cardboard is like a magic carpet ride back in time.
  7. There is no shade of green greener than the first glimpse of infield grass when you come out of the tunnel to look for your seat at a baseball game.
  8. Is there anything more full of promise than that moment when you complete your brackets for March Madness and imagine your upcoming perfect run through the finals?
  9. Clyde Frazier calling out LeBron James’s indifference this past weekend was one of his greatest moments as a broadcaster.
  10. I miss Carmelo Anthony.
  11. The only thing that would have made Jacob deGrom’s Cy Young season of 2018 even more outstanding would have been if he hadn’t gotten that darn haircut.
  12. Is there a bigger example of a post-career train wreck than Lenny Dykstra?
  13. I’d like to see a computer simulation of Jesse Owens racing Usain Bolt in the 100 yard dash. Throw in Bob Hayes just for fun, too.
  14. Does anyone else wonder if Daniel Snyder has a poster of James Dolan on his bedroom wall?
  15. Dick Vitale is still my favorite March Madness ambassador. His enthusiasm is genuine and good for the soul.
  16. Anyone picking Duke to win the Big Dance this year should have to pay a luxury tax  on their pool admission fee.
  17. I propose a new reality series where NFL owners square off in an Ultimate Fighting round robin format. I’d gladly throw $50 bucks away on Jerry Jones versus John Mara. Double elimination. Let the proceeds go to a fund for retired players dealing with CTE.
  18. How do Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic keep doing it? Is it me or are there more old superstars (hello, Tom Brady) that have been dominating for decades today than ever before in our history? But to have three of them all in men’s tennis, with no heir apparent? Wow.
  19. I wonder about Aaron Judge. It’s hard to be anointed an all-time great after your rookie year. Pitchers adjust, injuries hit. Important year three coming up for him.
  20. Now that it looks like Mike Trout’s an Angel for life, will they ever bring in some pitching? And no, Shohei Ohtani doesn’t count.
  21. How many Home Runs would Barry Bonds have hit without the juice? I’m guessing around 475, but that would only be part of a monstrous stat line that would have included 700+ doubles, 400+ stolen bases, a .320 lifetime average, 3300+ career hits and recognition as one of the greatest defensive left fielders of the day. Yeah, and probably still a first class horse’s ass, but hey, he’d be in the Hall of Fame right now.
  22. Joe Buck’s cameos on Brockmire are priceless and have made me a fan of his (okay, well, almost).
  23. Steph Curry is 31? Doesn’t seem possible.
  24. I don’t follow the NHL much anymore, but I can’t help but wonder if there are any defensemen who patrol the blue line striking terror into opponents the way Scott Stevens used to at the height of the New Jersey Devils dynasty (had to throw the hockey fans a bone).
  25. I sometimes wonder if I’m the only golfer to ever play Augusta, Pine Valley, Pebble Beach, Spyglass, Winged Foot, and Shinnecock, and not break 100 on any of them (there’s the bone for you golfers)?
  26. Will Serena set the record for most majors won? I’d like to see it, because she’s an awe-inspiring athlete and her extended dominance has been nothing short of stunning, but I could do without her shouting at umpires about how she’s a mother. Not for nothing, but there have been mothers playing successfully on the WTA tour for a long time, and not using it as an excuse to throw a tantrum when things didn’t go their way (and for clarity, I like tantrums in tennis, let’s just leave the motherhood part out of it, okay?).
  27. Why hasn’t someone signed Craig Kimbrel? Is he on the downward trajectory part of his career? Yes, it looked like it at the end of last year, but still…seems like an ideal candidate for the Nationals to zoom in on and ensure he’s completely spent.
  28. Manny Machado could go for 45 dings and 150 ribbies this year and no one will notice because he’s in San Diego and the Pads won’t reach 75 wins (maybe ever?). I think that may have been his plan all along.
  29. Bill Walton makes watching Pac 12 hoops so much fun. Another guy who’s just having a blast and taking the viewer with him.
  30. Poor Luke Walton, though. He never had a chance when The King came to town, and now he can look forward to being summarily dismissed at season’s end. Here’s guessing he goes on to a long and successful career when he takes over his next team. Scapegoat, anyone? Anyone?
  31. I wonder when the moment was that Michael Jordan said to himself “screw it, I’m just going to stop pretending and let everyone know what a dick I am.”
  32. Chuck, Kenny, Ernie and Shaq own the months of April, May and June. I, for one, can’t wait.
  33. This whole Charles Oakley-James Dolan feud is tiring (and yes, Dolan is at fault, per usual), but I still don’t retire Oak’s Knicks jersey. Great player, but falls just short of the Garden rafters.
  34. Another show with some terrific NYC sports references is Jordan Peele’s Big Mouth, on Netflix. Yes, it’s a cartoon, and incredibly cringe-worthy at times, but another that will make you laugh out loud in spite of yourself multiple times an episode.
  35. I wonder how many followers Pele would have if he played today and had an Instagram page (actually, maybe he already has a page, or a Twitter handle — have to check).
  36. Is Manny Pacquiao really going to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. again? Can I just send Showtime the $100 dollars along with a request begging them not to air the fight?
  37. There was a time in the ’90’s when Michael Buffer was my favorite sports personality, bar none. “Let’s get ready to rummmm-blllle!!” But I’m already sick of that car commercial of his.
  38. Is Colin Kaepernick a courageous revolutionary or a brilliant opportunist? I’m not sure, but my experience tells me that these answers usually lie somewhere in the middle.
  39. Yes, I’m rooting to see Tim Tebow in the outfield at Citi Field at some point this season. And when it happens, I hope it’s because he’s earned his opportunity.
  40. Do we have an over/under on the first time Gabe Kapler and Bryce Harper come to blows this season? How about June 1?
  41. Based on what the Dolphins are doing this offseason, it seems to me they may have done Adam Gase a favor when they threw him down the stairs at the end of last season.
  42. Is Ben Roethlisberger really the problem in Pittsburgh? I don’t think so. Asshole? Yes, for sure. But not the problem.
  43. I really hope Seton Hall makes some noise in the tourney this year.
  44. Can you imagine how much hype would surround Damian Lillard if he played outside of Portland? The guy is a stud, and maybe the best point in the league, but the Blazers can’t be taken seriously in a playoff series.
  45. The ’70’s were boxing’s golden age for heavyweights. We had the Ali-Frazier Trilogy; “DOWN GOES FRAZIER” when “Big” George Foreman (another in the list of added first names along with “Millionaire” Bruce Wayne and “Poor” Eli Manning) literally lifted Joe off the canvas with a colossal right hand; Kenny Norton breaking Ali’s jaw; and Ali shocking the world, pole-axing Foreman in The Rumble in the Jungle (“Ali bomaye”). Ali fought each of the other three. So did George. Joe fought Ali and George, as did Norton. Did Joe Frazier and Ken Norton ever square off? Answer at the end.*
  46. I don’t care about the World Baseball Classic. I hope they don’t bring it back, and if MLB quietly just never brought it up again, would anyone notice?
  47. Quick, who’s your Mount Rushmore of sports broadcasters? Mine is Howard Cosell, Marv Albert, John Madden and Vin Scully. (All New York version — Mel Allen — although I only remember him from This Week in Baseball, Bob Murphy, Marv and Pat Summerall — had to work Summerall in somehow, and hey, he played for the Giants).
  48. There will never be a better backcourt than Walt “Clyde” Frazier and Earl “The Pearl” Monroe. Ever. Plus they had Hall of Fame nicknames.
  49. Was anyone else surprised as a kid when they picked up a newspaper and saw that the great Rangers winger, Roger Bear, actually spelled his name Rod Gilbert?
  50. Brockmire. I feel so strongly about Hank Azaria’s show that I’m bookending this post for all of you who may not have taken it seriously yet. And if you aren’t on Instagram, go set up a page simply to follow Brockmire promos. His “around spring training” posts are hysterical — especially the ones about Chicago, Anaheim and Philly.

Whenever I do a post like this, I always think of a dozen or so that should have been included after I’ve already published. That’s why I’m doing this one as a two-parter, so that I’ll have a forum for the ones that should have made it in when I think of them in the days to come.

Stay tuned, #51-100 limbering up on deck!

*And for those paying attention and still reading: “He wasn’t sure if he could kick my ass, and I wasn’t sure if I could kick his ass, so we just remained buddies and never fought each other.” — Joe Frazier, on why he and Ken Norton never faced each other in the ring.

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