Tag: Sports

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For two years, I told Bears fans to shut their emotion faucet off for a second and wait for Mitch Trubisky to be replaced properly. Said it at sports bars, said it on social media, said it on the street. He wasn’t ever going to be a hall of famer, but they won with him […]

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Since March of 2020, there have been so many lockdown stories, whether good or bad. People went nuts, or thrived. They read a billion books or got hooked on TikTok. The pandemic definitely showed us who we were, whether it was anxiety ridden or adaptable. Here’s my “lockdown” story. I say “lockdown” because I never […]

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As I write this, I am watching “Petty Blue”, a documentary narrated by Kevin Costner. I’m currently on the part where he was in his last race, and after a wreck, the team, and Richard himself, willed that car to race the final lap for the farewell to the fans. It was the perfect goodbye. […]

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Did you know Dr. J was an Atlanta Hawk for two preseason games? It’s true. Long story short, the Milwaukee Bucks picked him in the 1972 draft after one year in the ABA, which would have put him with Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar(So much for there not being super-teams back then). He ended up […]

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I really shouldn’t be writing this. I shouldn’t be writing this because it’s 2021. Last Chance U exists, Outside The Lines, or OTL, has been doing investigative journalism on ESPN since 1990. This isn’t the old days of Mike Royko lifting the veil off of corruption in Chicago, and making fun of his beloved Cubs […]

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Bad Guy Loses: NBA edition

 

king james scotland crownI have never been a big NBA fan. I remember the cocaine era. I cheered the wildly inconsistent Seattle Supersonics in that era. I appreciated the magic of the Chicago Bulls with star-whisperer Phil Jackson, Michael Jordon, Scotty Pippen, and “The Worm” Dennis Rodman. I admired “the admiral” David Robinson‘s career as a leader with the San Antonio Spurs, along with Tim Duncan, back when they were a distinctly locker-room-disciplined team. And yet, I remember the cocaine era, the referee point-shaving era, the radical leftist ChiCom kowtowing, America-trashing ongoing era, most notoriously embodied in LeBron James.

So, the enemy of my enemy gets my provisional, limited, and temporary rooting interest. The Phoenix [“The Valley?”] Suns apparently managed the second-best record in a self-created asterisk-laden 2020-2021 season. They proceeded to eject the megalomaniacally self-titled “King” LeBron James, and his current star vehicle, the Los Angeles Lakers (a formerly great team), from the playoffs for the first time in Pawn James’ career.

After embarrassing the Lakers in Phoenix with a lopsided 115-85 win on 1 June 2021, the Suns went to L.A. and defended MJ’s legacy. Stuffing LeBron’s playoff run in the first round for the first time ever, the Suns denied a poorly aging LeBron the chance to even get a sniff at Air Jordon’s stratospheric record of six NBA championship rings. LeBron James’s pursuit of MJ’s record led him to Los Angeles because it was supposed to be a team with deep-pocketed owners who would buy a couple of championships in the hottest, coolest global media spotlight. He has only four championship rings, leaving him stuck on the third tier.

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Even if you’re not a hockey fan, there are two (three, actually) valuable lessons here, whether in sports, politics, or business. They emanate from a two-game set this week between the NHL’s Washington Capitals (I am a 43-year fan) and the New York Rangers. I’m still a proud hockey dad. The first game featured a […]

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Observations on the Masters Tournament Sunday 2021

 

crossed golf clubsFirst, it is still proudly the Masters in 2021. It is still the Masters in Georgia in 2021, and the course and clubhouse are not festooned with self-abasing slogans. I am only a very casual fan of sports, prefer high-level mixed martial arts to most other professional sports, and yet enjoy watching a good final round of golf played by the best in the world. This Sunday afternoon, after three preceding days of play, a Japanese man stood at the top of the leader board, with four men tied four strokes back. As they all turned onto the back nine, Hideki Matsuyama was holding or extending his lead one hole at a time. This was compelling viewing, versus the not-so-earnest politicized nonsense being put on by basketball and baseball organizations.

I say not-so-earnest because the NBA courts are now missing the big bold signs signaling supposed virtue. They seem to be back to trying to pay their massive salary overhead with commercial sponsors’ branding. The college basketball courts still had the false premises “UNITY” “EQUALITY” painted in bold all caps on their sidelines for the NCAA basketball tournament. My read of the signs on the two levels of men’s basketball is that the NBA players, who entirely control their league, have declared mission accomplished. Their parlor pink comrades are in full control of the national government, which was the whole point of the past year’s posturing. Never mind that President Trump was objectively better for black Americans of every economic level and showed more real respect for black citizens than the party of Xiden and the KKK ever has. The vanguard of the proletariat gets paid in every “people’s revolution.”

But let’s not spoil a perfectly good Sunday afternoon with the antics of the super-rich. Let’s enjoy a really great walk unspoiled by athletes striking political poses instead of balls.

7 Inspiring Baseball Players Who Overcame Adversity

 

Mordecai Brown, Chicago Cubs

It’s tough to make it to the major leagues and it’s even tougher to stay there. It takes a not-insignificant amount of natural physical ability, a lot of hard work, and plenty of self-confidence to get there and stay there. It’s a battle that plays out every day through competition from the amateur level through the minor leagues and at the major league level. It’s even tougher for some who have an additional opponent they have to conquer along the way. That’s the purpose of this post – to briefly tell the stories of a few of those who had an additional obstacle on their way to the majors. I think I’ll proceed in chronological order.

Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown

Tom Brady: Already Back to Work

 

You do not get to be a professional athlete in your 40s if you are not both blessed with great genes and possessed of a ferocious work ethic. That work ethic might also be characterized as a sense of self-preservation. Tom Brady has all this in spades. He led his second National Football League franchise to Super Bowl victory this past Sunday. Today, Saturday, February 13, 43 year old Tom Brady was back in training, one-on-one, with his personal trainer of many years, Alex Guerrero.

Tom Brady TrainingI have no special fondness for Brady, have ignored the NFL entirely for the past season, and last really cheered the Jim Zorn era Seahawks. Yet, I have to cheer for the old guys to win. You bet I have a George Foreman grill.

Life Lessons from Tom Brady? Well…. Maybe

 

Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just beat the mighty Green Bay Packers and are on their way to Super Bowl 55; coincidentally being played this year in Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers have won one Super Bowl. Tom Brady has taken his teams to the Super Bowl nine times and won six. We were New England Patriots fans for over twenty years while living in Boston. We’ve been in Florida since 2003 and never thought Tom Brady (or Gronkowski) would relocate their careers and homes to Florida. I asked my husband this evening: Is it because Tom Brady is such a good football player? He said he’s more than that, he’s an exceptional athlete, one of those rare people that is not only a team player but excels in leadership.

I thought about that comment because I had just gotten off the phone with my older cousin in Las Vegas, who asked me if I had watched the Biden Inauguration and the program after. I said no, and let her talk. She gushed about how she taped it and wept through the whole thing, “the young poet and her words and hand gestures reduced me to tears”, she said, “how Lady Gaga sang the National Anthem while gazing with so much love at our flag, then there was Jennifer Lopez and Tom Hanks.” She said they were cathartic tears after four years of hell. I knew my cousin and her husband were very liberal, and I thought she knew I was conservative, but I let her have her moment and stayed silent.

‘A Gift to Humanity’

 

If we are to be unified, then we must be able and willing to share life. Bill Whittle and company offer a timely reminder of the tremendous good that social media can achieve when people are free to associate across boundaries and to enjoy life together as fellows.

RIP, Hank Aaron

 

Hank Aaron in the batting cage spring training 1960

Baseball great Hank Aaron passed away today, January 22, 2021, at age 86. No cause of death has been provided.

Henry Louis Aaron was born on February 5, 1934, in Mobile, Alabama to Herbert and Estella Aaron. He was one of eight children which included a younger brother, Tommie, who would also play in the major leagues. The family was quite poor and so the young Henry had to work at odd jobs including picking cotton to help ends meet. He loved sports and learned baseball in sandlot games in which bottle caps or rocks usually substituted for balls and sticks or broom handles substituted for bats. He hit cross-handed from the start and he would keep hitting cross-handed until he began his professional career. Perhaps this is how he developed such quick and strong wrists which was much remarked upon from the beginning of his career. He did play baseball and football in high school, but like the young Willie Mays, he also began playing semi-pro baseball around the age of 14 thus adding another small sum to the family income.

Member Post

 

I enter some dangerous ground writing a sports themed post, made worse by it centering on soccer, and not even American soccer. But forgive me this one time. An incident occurred at a Champion’s League match yesterday between Paris Saint-Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir. From The Daily Mail: “The Champions League clash between Paris Saint-Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir was […]

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Thanks for Excellence

 

November 2020 offered two shining public examples of humans “being best:” one on a racecourse in Turkey, the other racing up from Cape Canaveral to meet the International Space Station. Formula 1 went racing in Turkey on Sunday, November 15, in the rain. The unworldly talent, Lewis Hamilton, started in sixth position and stayed there for much of the race. Then the unexpected happened, as might have been expected.

Closer to home, in all the ground clutter of Democrats trying to steal our republic, you might not have noticed that Space X Crew Dragon roared off the launch pad with four astronauts aboard on November 16. We can be thankful for the individuals and entire systems that produce such amazing achievements while noting that they are gravely endangered by the global leftist movement, to which they at least pay lip service.

Space history:

RIP, Joe Morgan

 

This year has been a terrible year in many ways for just about everybody. It’s been no exception for baseball fans. This year had so far seen the loss of five Hall of Famers; Al Kaline, Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Tom Seaver, and Whitey Ford. This Sunday, a sixth has been added to that list, Joe Morgan. Morgan passed away at his California home on Sunday at the age of 77 due to non-specified polyneuropathy.

Joe Leonard Morgan was born on September 19, 1943, in Bonham, TX, the youngest of six children. He moved to Oakland, CA with his family at five when his father found work with the Pacific Tire & Rubber Company. As a boy, Joe played baseball, basketball and ran track. His best sport was baseball, but he was not considered a major league prospect in high school because of his lack of size (he is listed at 5′-7″, 160 lbs during his playing career) and he was, at best, the second-best player on his team behind Rudy May who was highly sought after in high school and would have a fine major league career as a pitcher. He played baseball at a local junior college where he did attract the attention of the scouts and he signed a contract with the Houston Astros for all of $500 per month plus a $3,000 signing bonus. He worked his way through the expansion Astros minor league system rapidly, getting cups of coffee in the bigs in 1963 and 64 becoming the Astros starting second baseman in 1965 at age 21.

With the Astros, “Little Joe” quickly blossomed into a fine player. He finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting in 1965 and made two All-Star teams while in Houston. However, the combination of the dismal performance of the team (they were always in the second division) and playing his home games in an awful hitter’s park (The Astrodome) helped to hide his light behind a bushel. A blockbuster trade between the Cincinnati Reds and the Astros in the winter of 1971 would change that. The Astros sent Morgan, Cesar Geronimo, Denis Menke, Jack Billingham, and Ed Armbrister to the Reds in exchange for slugging 1B Lee May, fellow 2B Tommy Helms, and Jimmy Stewart. Morgan was initially upset with the trade. He’d made a home in Houston, and he and his wife were expecting their second child. However, the trade would kick his career into overdrive. Over the next six seasons, he was probably the best player in baseball. And, playing for manager Sparky Anderson and teaming with all-time greats Johnny Bench and Pete Rose in one of the best eight-man lineups in history, the Reds would average 98 wins per season and win back-to-back World Championships in 1975-76.

Winning Ugly

 

Let’s get superficial here at Ricochet and talk about looks. This is a tw0-part essay.

Coming into the 2020 season, 19,960 people had played at least one game in the major leagues. Among those 19,960 were all sorts, tall guys and short guys, guys as fast as greased lightning and guys slower than molasses, smart cookies and dummies, honest men and crooks, handsome devils, and those who were a little less fortunate in the looks department. Among that latter group was Don Mossi.

Mossi was a pitcher and pretty good one. He pitched 12 years in the majors as both a reliever and a starter and he was good in each role. He pitched in the majors from 1954 to 1965 and posted a career 101-80 won-loss record, a 3.43 ERA and 50 saves in 460 games and 1548 innings pitched. In his best individual season (1959) the left-handed Mossi went 17-9 and he was also a part of the best pitching staff of the 1950s as a rookie– the 1954 Cleveland Indians – the Indians that year won the AL pennant with a 111-43 won-lost record, one of the best regular-season records of all time, powered by a pitching staff which included Hall of Famers Bob Feller, Bob Lemon, Early Wynn, and Hal Newhouser. Mossi held his own with a 6-1, 1.94 ERA, 7 save performance.