Baseball season is soon to start. How do I know? Last week I was in Sarasota, spring home of the Orioles and was a week too early to catch any games. This week, I’m in Washington DC, not far from Nationals Park and catch some radio ads to order game tickets – some as low as $10 – and yet, they’re in Florida. Maybe its just the buzz of the onsetting season that’s got me, or maybe it’s just Mo’s luck. I was in Queens NY and looking forward to a Mets game, staying less than 3 miles from CitiField, and I couldn’t make it. I was in Atlanta, not far from Turner Field, while the Braves were in town…and I couldn’t make it. You’d think it would happen – JUST ONCE – for me that I could make something happen.
So I wait. Just like everyone else that doesn’t like in either a Grapefruit League or Cactus League locale. Damnit.
“Outside the Lines” on ESPN is running a program on “The N Word.” There’s a piece on Warren Moon, where he highlights one game in New England where some DB in the stands laid that on him – as he was one of the only quarterbacks of color in the league at the time – and he said he wanted to go into the stands and get the guy. Joel Ward of the Capitols scored the series closing goal against the Bruins in the 2012 playoffs and was hit with all manner of racist comments – afterall, how many people of color play hockey? I’m highlighting these two issues, because they happened in contests against MY teams, teams that represent my city. My home.
Last week, I wrote about the proposal the NFL is considering a racism rule, that I suggested is a terrible idea. Which isn’t to say it’s something you would hear me say, it’s just that somethings have a way of taking care of themselves. The OTL program, though, was eye opening. I mean, I want to believe we live in if not “post-racial” society, then certainly a far more integrated society. The kids interviewed in the second half of the program, really seemed to not care about it. They said they use it so frequently that it has no meaning. The folks of my generation and older, take great offense to the word. To the point that, truly, I don’t use it. Ever.
But you know, and I recognize that I’m not in a position to comment on the word in specific, but in general, words have power because – and ONLY because – we give it power. So, maybe, just maybe, these kids have the right idea. Desensitize the word. Remove the meaning. Bear in mind, we can point fingers at teenagers and say they’re out of touch. But our history isn’t necessarily going to theirs. I was 22 years old before I interacted at any level with anyone that wasn’t white.
When I was a kid, Generation X was a bunch of slackers…when the Boomers were writing the essays. Now Gen X is in positions of authority, the history is being rewritten. Gen-X has re-written a bunch of rules, maybe that’s why we’re so conflicted about this word. Maybe, 20 years from now we’re wondering why this was such an issue. Those teenagers will be 37 in 20 years – I’d like to see what they have to say then. I’m no Barack Obama political fan, but I’m a fan for one reason: his presidency stands for is the idea that we’ve at least started to move beyond these distinctions.
Think about it. In 20 years, we’ve gone from DOMA to same-sex marriage being endorsed by the President of the United States. We’re in a time of great change. My hope for those kids is that 20 years from now, they feel the same way. Race and conversations thereof won’t matter.
See what I did there? I brought it back to Washington DC. Even managed to talk about sports – in case you missed it, it was in the first paragraph. I’m glad ESPN talked about the issue, because sports is the one area in American life where we all put all the crap aside and root for results on the field. Where the Super Bowl Champion Seahawks quarterback is black. Where the quarterback of the Carolina Panthers – North Carolina, a member of the Confederacy – is black. And bringing it back to my opening, talking about how embarrassed I am that the two stories I mentioned were related to my city. But you know, even those DBs saying that crap about Warren Moon were the same guys cheering all night when Deion Branch hoisted the Super Bowl MVP trophy, those pricks who went after Joel Ward were celebrating David Ortiz’ MVP performance in last October’s World Series. They’re the hypocrites, and the opinions of hypocrites hold no value.
Change and understanding takes time. It’s my belief, sports is important for that reason: they give us a reason to cheer and root on folks who might not look like us. Michael Sam is important for that reason – imagine. Ask yourself how long ago his race would be the story here. The answer is, not that long ago. The fact his race isn’t the story is big. Let’s not lose sight of that.
Goodness gracious me, oh my. It's Sunday again and I trust that everyone is running on all 8 cylinders. Welcome Gabbers and others to my NASCAR updates and other fast stuff. Hope you got your order in for the Dale Jr Daytona 500 winner paint scheme die cast car. Sure to be a best seller. If you want to congratulate Dale Jr, you can now go to @DaleJr on Twitter and he might even respond. He said if he won the D 500 he'd join Twitter. Jimmie Johnson has been working on him to join for a while now. And Twitter folks were pushing Jimmie to push Dale Jr into joining Twitter.
In less than a week Dale Jr has 500,000 followers. Says he didn't join sooner because he didn't want to feel obligated and then up set his fans if he didn't keep up with it. Harvick says Dale Jr has like 500 old photos of his dad on his phone. Thursdays on Twitter have become Throwback Thursday's and Dale Jr says he's ready for that. Says he's got that covered for years. So if your on Twitter, drop Dale Jr a tweet.
TEST DRIVE REVISITED
I'm sure everybody saw the Jeff Gordon in his Pepsi test drive commercial last year. Turns out it was staged. I knew this the second I watched it. I knew there was no way it was real and apparently a writer for Jalopnik named Travis Okulski didn't think it was real either and wrote a very scathing article stating just that. Pepsi decided to seek him out for a prank. With the help of his boss they got him a taxi ride in North Carolina with Jeff Gordon disguised as an ex convict driving a taxi cab.
Travis gets in and not too long after they're moving a cop stops them and Jeff plays the freaked out ex con who won't go back there no matter what to a T. And the wild ride begins. He takes Travis on the ride of his life slamming into barrels in what looks like a construction or warehouse area and end up sliding to a stop through some doors right into a Pepsi display. Jeff opens the door for a very scared Travis. After he figures out it's Jeff and Jeff asks him if he wants another ride Travis says YEAH!!!!
If you go to Yahoo sports in the NASCAR section you might still be able to see it. Every time I found a place that had it the video would lock out. Worth watching. I do believe Jeff has a job in movies if he retires. You know, after he wins championship #5.
I would say this dude was scared.
DAYTONA 500 RECAP
Well if you just crawled out from under that rock you live under, Dale Jr won the Daytona 500. My most handsome Knight of the Mobile 1 had motor issues of the ECU type. The cars sitting on pit road during the 6 hour rain delay brought that about. They reset the electronic fuel injection system and ended up swapping out the fuel tank and all the electronics hooked up to that too. He came back out in 42nd but due to attrition made up 7 spots to finish 35th minus 26 laps. Not the day you want to have but lemonade was made out of lemons.
Dillon the new driver of the #3 took the first lap but fell back never to lead again. He did finish 9th. Not too shabby.
Hamlin came in 2nd. Far cry from last year when back issues side lined him and then dogged him so bad he couldn't concentrate. And he says he had no radio after the rain delay. The humidity in the car knocked it out. No radio means no crew chief or spotter communications. That's scary at Daytona.
Martin Truex lost his motor 30 laps in. Not good.
Kahne had issues. He spun at the end of pit road and then later got a pit road speeding penalty when he was trying to avoid Annett who was spinning in front of him. I call BS.
Of course there was the last lap crash coming around turn #4 and to the checkers. Scccccccaaaaaaaaaaaaareach crack crunch. Yup. Danica was in one of those.
Top 15 finishers - Dale Jr - Hamlin - Keselowski - Gordon - Johnson - Kenseth - Stenhouse - Biffle - Dillon - Mears - Logano - Cassill - Harvick - McMurray - Bobby Labonte
So Keselowski won the pole in that new thing they call Group Qualifying that nobody understood. Do I like the new qualifying? Nope. It sucks. No direction except turn left. Not even the drivers were sure about it. Some were worried about their motors. I'm thinking there's going to be blown motors in the race because of all the crazy whatever that was they were doing. Not a happy camper NASCAR. Hello. You listening?
So lets see here. Ky Bu won the rain shortened Nationwide race last night. Rain shortened race in Phoenix. That don't sound right but he led 155 of the 168 laps. Sprint Cup regulars filled out the top 5 ( Harvick - Keselowski - Larson - Kenseth ). So I would say he's a threat to win or top 10.
Johnson has a 6.3 average finish at Phoenix. He's starting 4th. Your number one threat for a top 5 or W. He was 2nd last year.
Keselowski has the pole. Came in 4th last year. He was strong in the D 500 last Sunday. Top 5 threat.
Dale Jr our D 500 winner is 5th to start the race A top 10 for him.
Edwards was last years winner. Repeat? Could happen. He'll be coming from 23rd. It's doable for a top 10.
Gordon is a top 10.
Bowyer is still in that #15 and showing us he isn't going away. That blown motor in the D 500 was just a misfire. He's good for a top 10.
Of the rookies? Dillon finished 9th. All the others wrecked or were in the 20's. Sad that so many rookies beat out Ms Danica.
I'm keeping an eye on Bowman, Larson, Allgaier, Whitt and Kligerman. Mr Larson qualified 9th for today. Dillon in 24th.
Even Morgan Shepherd got in. Hope he does good. Score one for the old guy.
So being that it's Sunday, I have my breakfast thingy. Got to call the taxman so we can talk numbers, deductions and refunds. Sure could use a shot in the arm of the Benjamin variety. Those of you here on the east coast sit tight. We're getting blasted again. Drive safe. Travel safe. Walk outside safe. Just duct tape yourself fast to the porch railing. We'll get through it. Take Care all.
If this was a weather blog site, we would have no trouble finding topics to discuss this time of year. I don't know about you, but I have had enough of winter...it is absolutely killing my golf game, although apparently some people are willing to play on! Nice swing out of the snow, no?
So, how about a true winter sport that kicks off today with its' official start at Willow, Alaska?
As you can see, the folks up in Anchorage have plenty to howl about! (sorry...I couldn't resist). The Iditarod, the Last Great Race, starts its 1000 mile trek across Alaska today with a finish in Nome in about 8 days. This year, the race trail has had basically the opposite of the weather in the lower 48, with unseasonably warm temperatures and rain instead of snow. The expectation is that the weather and trail conditions will bring a whole new meaning to the term "mush!" Aside from the usual suspects entered in this year's race such as Jeff King and Dee Dee Jonrow, Robert Sorlie returns after a 7 year vacation. He may be the dark horse in what will be a competitive event.
Now on to the spring sports - and returning to my golf theme...here's a now familiar pose:
Tiger has had a very slow start to 2014 - in fact, it is his worst start as a pro. Normally, he wins one of the early events to start the golf season creating a buzz about his upcoming run at Jack Nicklaus' 18 major record. Watching Tiger play, it seems hard to believe he is going to be able to win competitive tournaments, let alone a major. It will make for interesting spring viewing right up through the Masters.
And a few other thoughts...
I watched - on & off - my first Nationals game yesterday as they kicked off their Grapefruit League play. I have to say, I enjoy the background noise that a ballgame provides the office.
Tanaka gets his first start of the spring today...I may have to pull that one up on MLB.TV.
Well, I have to drive into the teeth of the weather on a road trip to Pittsburgh tomorrow. Hopefully I will not be marooned there!
Hello Gabbers and welcome to another edition of Storminnorman's sports blog, a bi-weekly blog that I share with Sully. Anyway before I get to the subject I wanted to talk about, I want to say it's damn cold here in Michigan at the moment. I have lived here all of my life, and never remember a winter this bitterly cold. I visited my doctor today because I was having problems with my surgically repaired shoulder, think I pinched a nerve in my neck, but no tear in the rotator cuff was found which is a good thing. So I am sitting here stoned from the muscle relaxer that he gave me to relieve me of the discomfort I am suffering from at the moment. But anyway, on to the subject at hand....
Now with the Olympics over, and Canada winning both Gold medals in hockey, the Brooklyn Nets decided to sign Jason Collins to a 10-day contract. As you all know, Collins is the first professional athlete to come out and say he was gay. I have no problem from a personal standpoint, because there are probably more athletes in other sports that have probably been afraid to come out and admit they are gay, because of the disrespect they will receive from others in their sport.
My personal feelings are this, before Collin's was forced out of the game he loved to play initially for admitting his sexual preference, he was a heck of a basketball player. Even at 34, he realized he could still play ball so he received a tryout from the Net's who were desperate for a center due to injuries. He was given a tryout and had to earn his way onto the Net's team, so he must still be able to play. Also, if as an athlete you are that homophobic as to where you can't be around other men in a shower after a game, then maybe you should leave the sport. The point I am trying to make is this, before Collins admitted or came clean with the fact that he was gay, he was still in the same locker room with his former teammates, shared the same hotel room with one, and everything was fine. So let's just leave him alone, and let him play out the rest of his career. The problem lies with the media, ESPN in particular who made a big deal out of the signing, by showing his first game last Sunday.
I have several friends who are gay, as well as many of you may also. Does it change your opinion of them, I hope not, because after all they are still your friends. I know it doesn't in my case, and if Michigan ever get's it right, I will be able to attend and watch them share their vows for which I am not ashamed to say after all, because they are my friends, and I don't look at them as being gay, but as my friends.....
I don't normally touch on NASCAR, because I normally leave this for "Q," because she is our racing expert. But that was one hellava race last Sunday night. Six hour delay due to rain, and yes the right person actually won the race in Dale Jr., he had the best car for most of the race I watched. Crash and burn NASCAR, some of the best crashes I have seen in quite some time in the last 10 laps, not that watching the closing ceremonies are boring, but that was fun to watch. Even though my driver did not win, I was still involved in the race right up to the end. Thank you for the restrictor plate racing, at least it makes it interesting.
I must be old school NASCAR, because I believe that someone else who had been around should be racing with the #3 on their car instead of Austin Dillon, who is basically a no-name driver, who is riding around now using the number of one of NASCAR's greatest racers Dale Sr......
As Hank had his surgery yesterday, I realized the Wing's playoff run just might be coming to an end this year, so I am trying to get enthused about the trade for Ian Kinsler and the signing of Joe Nathan, thank you once again for raiding the Texas Rangers for two of their better players. I guess because of this crazy weather, and the occasional look-see at Jeff's blogs about Blake, I just can't get enthused about baseball at the moment for whatever reason. Baseball is normally the time of year that I get the most enthused about sports in general, but with it being so cold, spring seems like it's never going to arrive. Kinsler, Nathan and Raji Davis will give the Tigers something they haven't had since Todd Jones was their closer, and Sweet Lou was their second baseman a little speed and stability, which should benefit Miggy, Justin and Max, because they will not feel like they have to carry the brunt of the load on their shoulders. Not that Prince Fielder was a bad choice, but as we all know Scott Boras is a money grubbing jackass who likes to wait until the end to sign his players, so he can get more for them then what they deserve.
Finally, last Friday I found out through a friend that the "Motor City Madman" Greg Carrier had passed away. Greg had been battling MS for quite a while, and as usual the illness finally won. Greg was an avid Detroit sports fan like myself, and a rather interesting person and fierce fantasy sports competitor. Rest in Peace "Madman," you will be greatly missed by your friends and family.
The Wings were his team, he loved his hockey......
Thanks for stopping by, Sully should be here next Friday.
I was all pumped up to watch Duke play UNC in Hoops the other night a than totally forgot it was on. So a few nights later Duke was playing Syracuse right after the Cuse ruined their undefeated season against Boston College fall asleep missed that one too. I did end up watching a good NBA game if there is such a thing anymore Houston and Golden State in Overtime 102-99 first time in a while was totally entertained by the NBA, I had no routing interest and only could watch the guy do the luge some many times. There really wasn’t anything else on. So I tuned in and actually enjoyed
Has banned collisions at the plate sort of. There has been talk it will take the players a while to get use to it but isn’t the slide or avoid rule at every other level of baseball from Little league to college? It simple the catcher has the ball go around him or slide into the plate don’t barrel him over. The catcher if you don’t have the ball or not getting ready to receive a throw move your ass out of the way what's so hard about it?
Is attempting to implement a 15 yard penalty for certain inappropriate words regarding race and sexual choice. There is no place in the game for using language regarding either. I'm thinking the rule has come about in direct relationship to two recent events. The Richie Incognito stuff with Jonathon Martin and Micheal Samms comming out as a gay athlete which I think once this kid poves he can play and his a good teammate the gay issue goes away.
I think this will be unfair burden on the officials. If one decides to call a penalty because he hears the N word and it costs a team a playoff birth there will be a huge debate. In treality I think the rule is a cover our ass rule by the league. I also think it won't be enforced during the regular season.
The one question I have is how much is the word used during games by opposing players and by teammates and in what context?
I think it's time to give olympic hockey back to the college kids and the junior players. The USA lost and Canada ,Sweden and Finland all medal the hockey was pretty good but wouldn't be just as good if top amatuers played. It's time to keep the NHL open every4 years and it's time to put some meaning back behind the medals. i'm sure every player on those three teams is proud to own Olympic hardware and Canada certainly deserved it. I also thinkthe Stanley Cup means far more to all off them than Olympic Gold. Ithink those medals would mean a hell of lot more too a bunch of college kids and Jr players that may never play in the NHL. just my opinion.
With the NHL Trade Deadline closely approaching I that I would look into a few rumors for those of you who care.
According to TSN,CA Sabre GM Tim Murray says that it’s possible that Goaltender Ryan Miller will be on the move before the March 5th deadline. Murray says Miller could use a fresh start and at least 2 but fewer than 10 teams have shown interest.
According to Lanz
Miller being traded could restart his career and bring him back to top goalie status depending on where he ends up.
Meanwhile in Edmonton GM Craig mactivish is looking for draft choices preferably a 2nd and a 3rd rounder. The Oilers are probably a lootery pick and have traded away their second and third rounders in deals last summer.
According to Lanz
Maybe Craig should held on to those.
According to the NY Post soon to be Free Agents Ryan Callahan and Dan Giradi could be rentals to help some teams out. Callahan has stated he wants to remain on the Rangers.
According to Lanz
Giradi maybe just the Blueliner the Bruins would want.
That’s just a few as usual lots of rumors at the deadline and often not a lot of deals but the NHL seems to make more deals than the other leagues
I’m proud of the Laser he has decided to pack in the last few games of the Hockey season to avoid further injury after his second concussion in less than a year. Aother concussion would sideline him for entire year and he would miss Baseball and fall and winter High school sports.
Lil Lanz AKA the Miser after going 0-12 in the preseason the boys have moved from5th place to third with wins last Wednesday and Saturday afternoon. The Boys are 12-10-7 with about 10games left. They trailed 3-0 Saturday to the Tanners who have had their number all season. They cameback and won 4-3. It was pretty funny Lil lanz has had trouble with a player on the other team all year . This player happens to be a girl. So he gets away with a clear trip(which he got huge talking too by me afterwards) The girl didn’t take it He was going in for a loose puck and she skated and was banging into him all the way down and finally she knocked his stick out of his hand. He ask me if I saw I said about as clear as you tripping her told him she got even. I had to say have to give that girl credit for not taking any crap.
The Middle School season ended last Thursday as the boys were knocked out in the first round of the playoffs.
One family from the Lil Hockey Team has had a rough time we hadn’t seen that player for a while his aunt died unexpectedly and than his older sister had sometrouble delivering her baby. So the Mrs. And a few other mons from the team decided that this young man could use some fun so they to a collection up overwhelming response from all the families from the team. They were able to get some Gift certificates to a local Hamburger place, an Imaxx movie, and a local Ice Cream shop all three places are actually inside a local furniture store. Yes alocal furniture store they also have a Jellybelly jellybean store and a Trapeze School inside. The family was geniuenly moved and they were show appreciative the tears were flowing. There is basic human kindness and genuine gratitu