Monday’s Seven Casual Contemplations

I know I have missed the last 3 weeks but considering that It is my goal to start your work week off right with random thoughts, ideas, rants and ramblings from the week that was in the world of sports, I felt I should get back on the horse. Unfortunately for those of us not still in elementary or high school, it’s Monday so let’s get to the contemplations. Exclusive to Painting the Black, here are your Monday Morning Casual Contemplations…

Help Me Become Canada’s Next Sportscaster!

Reminder or in case you did not know: I was selected as a top 24 finalist for theScore’s (a TV sports station in Canada) Gillette Drafted competition, which is the search for Canada’s next great sportscaster and I need your help. That’s right, your help.

Voting has become an integral part of the process and I need as much support as I can possibly get. Shameless self promotion is key and what I ask of my blog readers is to go to my voting page http://www.drafted.ca/finalists/chris-ross/ and vote every day. Tell your friends, family, coworkers, strangers, pets and just about anything that could possibly work a computer to vote as well.

Thank you for all your support in advance. It is unbelievable to know that I have the backing of so many people in the hope of achieving my dream job.

Jeremy Lin a Rocket?

Isn’t this Lin-teresting. Jeremy Lin might actually be going to Houston. That’s quite a shocker.

The contract is ridiculous but I think the Knicks will never hear the end of it if Jeremy Lin turns out to be a quality point guard in the NBA. Raymond Felton thrived in Mike D’Antoni’s offense without Carmelo Anthony. He has struggled ever since getting traded from the Knicks and who knows how he will perform in a brand new offense. Jason Kidd is 39.

You add in the business side of this equation and it seems like an odd decision (Stephen A. Smith would disagree) on the Knicks part to let Linsanity go in favour of Raymond Felton. Lin’s contract, while ridiculous, still offers immense upside. They struck oil in a Beverley Hillbillies manner with Jeremy Lin. However, would undoubtedly be problematic for them to bring back Lin now after the comments from ‘Melo and J.R. Smith. Even so, you would have thought they would have liked to see where Lin could take them because a Raymond Felton/J-Kidd combo isn’t taking them anywhere.

I for one am hoping they end up regretting it one day. I mean, come on, all Lin does is…Lin, am I right?

Beer Me

I will assume that you saw this video over the weekend of Steve Nash being handed a beer by a group of rather ecstatic fans while on the highway. No biggie, right. Of course, Steve Nash was smart enough to take a video of it and post it on twitter.

And this is why the world loves Steve Nash. He’s on that same kind of stardom level as Derek Jeter in the sense that he can do no wrong and I’m not just saying that because I happen to be Canadian. Nash has that star quality and likeability that enables him not only to be dearly loved by fans but also to get a pass on most anything he does that isn’t very role model-ish (i.e. cheating on his wife).

I see nothing wrong with him getting a pass on those types of things. He’s a character that everyone can like and you can never have enough of those. I mean, how many athletes would allow fans to deliver a beer from car-to-car on the highway?

Steve Nash would.

Olympics and Basketball

Blake Griffin went down with a torn meniscus in his left knee. Apparently, that means Mark Cuban was right. Owners don’t like their prized assets risking their futures for free. Playing simply for pride and being patriotic doesn’t fly with them. They want to restrict the Olympics to players who are 23 years and younger.

What else do they want to do? Put a leash around their player’s necks and tie them to a tree for the entire off-season?

If they’re not playing in the Olympics, they’re probably playing ball somewhere else (see: Kevin Durant at Rucker Park). Obviously, the intensity can’t match the level that they go through preparing for and playing in the Olympics, but they’ll be playing some form of basketball nonetheless. Injury is a risk anytime physically activity occurs.

The owners concerns are valid but they can’t stop player from doing everything athletically related in the off-season. Players are going to work out. They’re going to play. Kyrie Irving broke his hand at the Cavaliers summer-league practice facility over the weekend after he slapped a padded wall in frustration.

I guess I don’t like the idea of taking away these players ability to represent their country. Olympic gold is a big deal to these guys and I’m not just talking about the Americans.

I can’t imagine there’s a much better feeling than having an entire nation root for you. Doesn’t seem right to take that opportunity away from them.

Feel For Ya

Ever since I read “Ball Four” by Jim Bouton, I can’t help but feel sorry for the fringe MLB pitcher.

Mop-up situations are often reserved for pitchers that are too good for the minors but not good enough to be used in any sort of high leverage situation in the majors. It takes the most die-hard fan to care for the mop-up situation.

However, Jim Bouton’s book made me realize how much each and every outing matters for a MLB pitcher struggling to earn his keeps in the Bigs. 2 runs allowed in a 14-3 game may not concern 99% of the viewers but to that one pitcher who allowed the 2 runs, it could be the difference between grinding out a 5 hour bus ride to Tacoma or flying on a chartered jet to New York City.

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Jesse Chavez had one of those make or break outings on Saturday. He had been struggling lately and came into the ball game with an 11-4 lead. He left the game with the score 11-8. His line: 0.0 IP, 3 hits, 4 runs, 4 earned runs. His face had devastation written all over it.

I really do feel for the guy. What can you do though? Like so many others who get a cup of coffee in the Majors, Chavez was sent back to the minors. It’s the unfortunate reality of professional sports. Not everyone can have a happy ending.

Oh yeah, if you’re a sports fan and you haven’t read “Ball Four,” you better get on it. An absolute must read.

Easy Breesy

So Drew Brees got a lot of money. Don’t really know how the whole logistics of how his $40 million first year pay-day affects the Saints’ salary cap but I hear it’s not nearly as brutal as it sounds. An average of $20 million a year isn’t so bad either and it looks as though the two sides finally met somewhere in the middle in agreeing to this contract.

I still do have trouble comprehending why Drew Brees wouldn’t want to take a little less money for the greater good of his team but, hey, it’s easier to say that when I’m the person sitting in front of my laptop screen typing for free. So, who am I judge?

Of course, I will continue to judge anyways.

Oh Tiger, My Tiger

He missed the cut at the Greenbrier Classic a couple of weekends ago but he’s still got to be the favourite going into the British Open. His game is on the up and he is playing more and more like the best golfer in the world is supposed to.

A fair bet won’t be Tiger or the field at least until he wins another major. However, I like Eldrick’s chances this coming week at Royal Lytham and St. Annes.

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