Monday’s Seven Casual Contemplations

It’s Monday, time for some contemplations. Some a bit more casual than others. Starting your work week off right, here are your Monday Morning Casual Contemplations.

Shaq Daddy GM?

I can’t begin to tell you how ridiculous this sounds. It’s even more ridiculous that the Orlando Magic didn’t deny their reported interest in Shaquille O’Neal as their General Manager.

Being a GM is an art. It takes years to learn the ins and outs of the business. Shaq is a sideshow. He is an entertainer. Shaq also doesn’t seem like the brightest individual. Funny, yes. Smart, the jury is still out. I’m sorry that his MBA from the online University of Phoenix doesn’t convince me otherwise. General Manager’s need to be intelligent, dedicated to the craft and savvy. Shaq might be 1 for 3. Although, I’m not sure which one it is.

The desperation is simply pathetic on Orlando’s part. It’s sad to see that they would even consider pursuing an entertaining basketball superstar with ZERO experience in an NBA front office. And don’t tell me that Dwight Howard wants the guy who he allegedly stole the Superman cape from him to be his boss. I don’t think anyone can comprehend this interest on the part of the Magic but thankfully for Orlando fans, Shaq says that he has no interest in the position at this time.

High Rolling

In the latest case of high-profile athletes blowing all their money, former NFL running back Jamal Lewis filed for bankruptcy. Lewis is 3 years removed from football yet this is hardly surprising. It’s another example of a professional athlete’s inability to adjust to life without receiving big fat cheques throughout the year. I understand the temptation of money, especially when so many of these guys come from nothing then suddenly having everything. But for these ex-players to be able to go through so much money so fast is unfortunate.

Guarantees in Sports

The Rangers-Devils series is over. No player on the Rangers pulled a Mark Messier and declared his team victorious before game 6 had begun. Good call, because they lost. The thing is, what would be the point of it anyways?

Sportsnet analyst Nick Kypreos had an attention-grabbing title to his recent article that read “Guarantees a Thing of the Past.” The article fell flat for me though mainly because he believes that no one has the “cojones” anymore to risk their legacy like Messier did. He thinks that this generation of stars doesn’t have the courage to answer a question with the honesty and boldness of Mark Messier in 1994.

Boy, is Kypreos off the mark or what? Guarantees similar to Messier’s in ’94 are a thing of the past but not because today’s stars are unwilling to risk their legacy. It’s because guarantees have become meaningless. The Joe Namath, Mark Messier type assurances don’t happen these days because too many athletes have used the line. There is no point anymore.

With the increased media coverage, guarantees can come from anywhere. They don’t get noticed all that much anymore. It’s hardly a risk to say it in 2012. Athletes don’t even have to worry if they’re wrong because it will blow over in a very short period of time.

Patrick Ewing guaranteed a win in game 6 of 2000 Conference Final playoffs, they lost. Chad Johnson guaranteed a win over the 2-5 expansion Texans back in 2002, they lost. Anthony Smith guaranteed a Steelers win over the Patriots in 2007, they lost.

Nick Kypreos is right, guarantees are a thing of the past. But only because they are as worthless as a Nick Kypreos rookie card.

French Open Coverage

NBC has the rights to the French Open and what a nice change of pace. ESPN does a good job covering Tennis’ other majors but they miss one key ingredient – John McEnroe. He makes watching matches so pleasant. Colour commentating comes so easy to him. He doesn’t need to push personality into his all around exceptional analysis because it is already there. John McEnroe doesn’t force anything. In the booth, McEnroe is like Federer was when he was playing in his prime. It almost as if he isn’t even trying.

The Dominator

At 47, Dominik Hasek is reportedly planning a return to the NHL. The idea of Hasek attempting a comeback at his age is about as preposterous as Shaq becoming the GM of the Orlando Magic. This is a pretty minor story and probably doesn’t deserve all that much press.

However, it gets me thinking about the dominator and how, ah, dominating he was. The fascinating thing about Hasek is how great of a goaltender he was despite how sharply his style contrasts with the current NHL goaltending “stars” minus Martin Brodeur. His mask tells you everything about him. He is as old school as it gets but still was able to be a very solid goaltender into his 40’s. No butterfly, no gigantic pads, no size (he’s was listed at 6’1”, 166lbs by NHL.com).

It’s refreshing to reminisce about a goalie who played the position the way it was meant to be – with pure athleticism and instincts.

TSN 2

I know that much of my readership resides in the U.S. and writing about something exclusive to Canada won’t mean anything to you Americans. But heck, I’m going to write about it anyways.

TSN appears to be the Canadian sports station with the most money as they get the vast majority of the biggest sporting events. They get so many big events that launched a 2nd channel in 2008, TSN2, to complement their original TSN channel.

However, what TSN does with TSN2 is absolutely slimy sometimes. TSN comes with the basic cable package but TSN2 does not. However, what TSN will do on a fairly regular basis is place the bigger sporting event of the day on TSN2 while TSN is showing something on a much smaller scale. They do this in order to force people to buy the package from their TV service provider that includes TSN2. Last night, while NASCAR (not important to Canadians) played on TSN’s regular channel, game 1 of the Spurs-Thunder matchup was placed on TSN2. Their French Open coverage, which starts at 5am eastern every day, is being played on TSN2. These decisions by TSN do not affect me anymore because I now have TSN2, but I know that there must be many people in Canada who don’t happen to have the extra pocket money or have yet to change their television package to include TSN2. It’s unfair to them.

I think it’s wrong that TSN is able to have the rights to these big sporting events but play them on whichever station they choose. In my view, the purpose of a second channel is to avoid conflict if there are two major sporting events on at the same time. The purpose of that second channel is not to suck people in to purchasing your second, mostly useless, channel. TSN should have to play the more important game/match on their regular channel – the one that anyone with basic cable has.

People in Canada have and are going to continue to be missing some must see TV because TSN is willing to compromise all integrity to make a little extra cash. I guess this shouldn’t be too surprising considering this is the station that callously bought the rights to the iconic Hockey Night in Canada theme song.

Western Conference Final

San Antonio is going to lose game 2. You ask, why? This one is too easy to figure out. The Spurs are 9-0 in the playoffs, have won 19 straight games and 30 of their last 32.

Clearly, they are due for a loss.

Bonus (Shameless?) Contemplation!

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About Chris Ross
Questions, comments, suggestions? Send yours to cross_can15@hotmail.com. Follow me on twitter @paintstheblack

17 Responses to Monday’s Seven Casual Contemplations

  1. Nice section on ‘guarantees’. They are a bit payed out. One of the more recent guarantee faux paux was Rex Ryan telling the sports world that the Jets were going to the Super Bowl. That team went 8-8. I realize he isn’t a player but the concept is the same.

  2. J-Dub says:

    Why not give Shaq the Magic GM job? He couldn’t be any worse than Otis Smith…seriously.

    • Chris Ross says:

      Haha fair enough. Seriously though, if they want to fix their franchise they would be best giving the job to someone who might actually be able to steer the franchise in the right direction.

  3. nbababble says:

    Hey, Chris. Did you notice Roddick went down in the first round (again)? Someone needs to teach that man to play on clay.

    I’ve got a few more articles up on the NBA playoffs. If you’d like to take a look and give some feedback, that’d be cool.

    http://nbababble.wordpress.com/category/2012-playoffs/

  4. Jsportsfan says:

    I have basic cable and I get TSN2. Might be the cable companies trying to get away with something. But I do understand the frustration. The Spurs/Thunder game should have been on TSN instead of Nascar. Love these Monday musings.

  5. diamondjoe88 says:

    I agree with you on the guarantees, there will never be another guarantee like Namath or Messier, all the guarantee’s being made today don’t even count. The media is obsessed with players guaranteeing victories, I mean how many Giants players guaranteed a Super Bowl win, like all of them and half of them or the majority of them were nobody’s. I put no stock into any of them, its getting ridiculous. Speaking of ridiculous, Hasek coming back at age 47!! Now that’s ridiculous, he must have blown all his money.

  6. The Spurs may well be due a loss but it won’t happen unless the bench of the Thunder actually contributes more . There’s a reason why the Spurs won their regular season series’ with some ease . Did the Thunder have an answer for TP when he dropped 42 on them ? And have they shown that their defense is capable enough in this series ?

  7. Look, I like Shaq. I think he’s funny, witty, positive, intelligent and he knows talent.

    That doesn’t mean I want him as my GM.

    I’m not sure what the DeVos’ were even thinking by making that announcement but it was a little too circusy for my taste. They better get someone in that organization, a basketball mind who knows what the hell is going on, before that brand new arena is empty before they can say T-Mac.

    FYI… my take on the Stan Van dismissal is up.

  8. Chris

    After last night’s surgical dismantling of the Thunder are you still sure that Brooks’ team has what it takes to beat the Spurs ? There’s nothing on the bench beyond Harden but yet fans are crowing that this series will be close . It hasn’t really happened and once again Parker has been completely been outplaying his counterpart Russell Westbrook . So once again, I ask how do you see the Thunder taking a game in this series ? Defensively they’ve (Thunder) no real answer even for the Spurs’ players coming off the bench .

    • nbababble says:

      The gap isn’t quite as big as you appear to think, especially given that OKC held a fourth quarter lead in game one at SA. OKC is still a good team with the best overall player on the court (Durant) and a point guard who can get very hot on any given day. I expect each game in OKC will be close and hard fought. A sweep by the Spurs wouldn’t shock me, but I don’t really expect it to happen.

  9. nbababble

    Sloppy ball-handling by the Spurs and much better defense last night by the Thunder led to the victory .

    • nbababble says:

      I don’t disagree with that. My original point was only that the gap between the two teams isn’t huge (two best teams in the NBA), so natural randomness happens. Last night the OKC bench also outplayed the SAS bench. They’re not a deeper team normally, but sometimes that just happens. Any of the following could possibly cause a Thunder win again in game 4:

      * Epic game from Durant
      * Epic game from Westbrook
      * Another bad game from the Spurs (this one’s unlikely)
      * Thunder as a team get hot and shoot over 55%

      This is why I almost never predict sweeps. People constantly predict sweeps, and they’re usually wrong.

  10. The officiating also has been questionable and inconsistent the Eastern Conference Finals’ series.

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