While still kind of mystified and pleased over a recent development in my life...
The Celtics signed Evan Turner this week bring the total number of players on the roster to 18. Even worse is the fact that Turner comes to a team that is already loaded with players of the same general skill level in both the shooting guard and small forward positions he usually plays.
Something has to break soon with GM Danny Ainge's plans to improve the team because right now, there is just too many good but not great players on the team. The plan to rebuild the team through trading players and/or draft picks to land a big time player to compliment Rajon Rondo looks to be going by the wayside. There has been no movement towards landing Kevin Love from Minnesota (with Cleveland and Chicago leading that chase) and after that, there really isn't a true franchise changing player left on the market.
It is going to take something drastic for the Celtics to improve on 25-57 this coming season if they end up with essentially the same roster they had last year.
In other NBA news, the trial for control of the right to sell the LA Clippers took an interesting turn when the team's CEO testified that coach Doc Rivers would likely quit as coach if Donald Sterling is in charge when the next season begins. You can check that article out HERE.
If Doc Rivers quits or Chris Paul and other players refuse to play for the team because of their racist owner, this would make a rather interesting NBA season would it not? The refusal to play or coach for this particular reason would have to be something never before seen on a professional sports level, no?
And since the players are under a legally binding contract, does it open them up for lawsuits from the team for violating the contract. Now that would be an interesting Catch-22 for the league to find itself in the position of having to take sides in.
The New York Liberty got back to work after the All-Star break and handed the L.A. Sparks a 66-64 loss.
The team ventured to Seattle the next night and came away with an 84-80 overtime victory. The two wins improve them to 10-13 on the season.
By the way, you can check out an article on New York's Tina Charles HERE.
As for the Sparks, they fired coach Carol Ross (and assistant Gail Goestenkors resigned) and replaced her with the team's GM Penny Toler. This is an interesting move because Toler has never coached before. I mean if they were looking for a coach, I have 25 years of youth league coaching experience, that has to count for something more that ZERO EXPERIENCE at coaching of any kind.
It has been going on for a few years now, but this trend of hiring people with no actual coaching experience is a bit disturbing to me. Maybe it is because I was a coach (though with the way people keep asking me if I'm going back or suggesting coaching jobs that might become available, you'd think I was still an active coach) but every time I see someone with no coaching experience getting hired to run a team, I cringe a little and get a little bit of outrage worked up over what I see as a devaluation of the coaching profession.
Look, I know that I'm not in the same league as professional coaches, but I still believe that someone who has made coaching their vocation is a far better option than picking a neophyte like say, Jason Kidd, off the just retired as a player list and handing him the keys to the kingdom of coaching.
You can argue that a new coach can simply hire an experienced staff or that some newbie coaches have turned out to be really good at their jobs. The latter is certainly true but exceptions don't prove the rule. As for the former, if you expect a new coach to hire an experienced staff to help guide him as he or she learns on the job, why don't you just hire the experience in the first place. I'm sure players don't really care about who coaches them, but if I was a player I would want someone that I believe knows what the hell they are doing and not being more of a figurehead while the ones with actual coaching acumen do all the work.
WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Tennessee - Ariel Massengale missed the last 16 games of the season last year after suffering a head injury. She's on the comeback trail now and you can read about it HERE.
UCLA - Guard Lauren Holiday announced the end of her playing career this past week due to head injuries. According to this ARTICLE, she suffered 4 head injuries during her freshman season and then 3 more head injuries (and a broken nose) during her sophomore season. She's going to remain on scholarship as an undergraduate assistant while pursuing her degree.
Boston College - The Eagles have signed guard Martina Mosetti, a 5 foot 9 inch guard out of Trieste, Italy. You can check out what they had to say about her addition to the team HERE.
Denver Broncos - My sympathies go out to the Broncos this week after the organization was hit by the body blow of owner Pat Bowlen stepping away from the team due to Alzheimer's Disease. You don't have to be a fan of the team to feel for them. Bowlen has been a great owner and representative of the NFL since taking over as owner 30 years ago.
The press release announcing the move was a bit badly worded in my opinion though. It said he was stepping away to focus on his battle with Alzheimer's Disease. This seems a big disingenuous to me given that it is hardly a battle when you've already lost the war when diagnosed with the disease in the first place. You don't get better, it is a despicably terminal disease and I just thought the way the wording of the statement tried to make it sound like he was actually going to win the battle.
Tony Dungy - The former coach found himself in hot water this week after making comments about Michael Sam. Dungy said he wouldn't have drafted Sam because of all the distraction that Sam being gay would bring to the team.
Now, given Dungy's religious avocation and all the discriminatory things his faith would allow him to feel comfortable getting away with, the comments blew up into a scandal (fueled by ESPN of course).
But as much as I hate being in the position of having to defend anyone of faith, what Dungy said really didn't strike me as coming from a position of Dungy expressing his religious faith. Rather, I thought he was expressing a football coach outlook on the situation.
While Dungy has always been portrayed as a cool, calm and collected opposite of the stereotype of a mad scientist football coach, you don't get to the top of the NFL without a little bit of that 100% focus that comes with being a detail oriented madman.
And that's what I think this is. Yes, making the comments is a bit stupid given the state of the world these days, but last I checked wasn't Dungy answering a question put to him? Asked and answered, no?
And what is so strange about a coach not wanting to deal with someone or something that could serve as a sideshow to the business of putting together a football team to try and compete for the championship.
Jeff Fisher deserves kudos for being willing to at least attempt to take this on. Let's remember that Michael Sam hasn't actually made the Rams yet, shall we? But just because Fisher accepts the challenge of having every question (Did your defense screw up that goal line stand because Michael Sam is on the team?) devolving into a referendum on Sam being gay, doesn't mean every coach would be as willing or open minded. But it doesn't always mean that they are doing it as a form of discrimination.
Of course, Dungy backtracked his statement the next day and the tempest in a teapot died down but now he's been tarred and feathered in the media for expressing his opinion and there is no walking that back.
I hope Michael Sam makes the Rams, I really do. Not because he's a gay football player but rather because the football player making the NFL is the culmination of a path started in pee wee football and that is something anyone should aspire to and others admire their dedication in pursuit of that goal. Sam has repeatedly said he just wants to be a football player. I think it is time every outside party start covering the story that way.
Books - I finished reading the Michael Connelly book The Gods of Guilt. It is the latest in his Lincoln Lawyer series. It was a decent enough read but it took darn near forever for me to really get into the book. Not a whole lot of fireworks.
TV - MTV announced that they will air a series based on the Terry Brooks Sword of Shannara book series. The show will be called Shannara. I was actually kind of excited about this at first, I'm a long time fan of the start of the series (the first trilogy) and a few of the succeeding follow up series.
But when I read the news article saying they plan to skip the first book in the trilogy and start with Book 2 ( The Elfstones of Shannara), my BS alarm started ringing. I'm not going to get down on a series before seeing it, but this does have me feeling a bit cautious now.
I know MTV's target audience is teenagers with little understanding of depth of content but I do not want to see an adaptation of a series I loved turn into little more than a show about horny teenagers with no brains running around with swords. MTV needs to insure that if not exactly the tone of Game of Thrones, that the Shannara series at least aspire to reaching for great dramatic heights and not wallow in the muck and mire of most of their "original content." You can read more about the series HERE.
Sunday October 12th is the premiere date for the fifth season of The Walking Dead. And at the San Diego Comic-Con on Friday, they unveiled the 3 1/2 minute trailer for the season. It is freaking intensely awesome! You can see it below.
Music - My review of the new Judas Priest album Redeemer of Souls is now available HERE.
Meanwhile, there was a couple of new videos online this week that I thought you might want to check out. The first one is for the Overkill song "Bitter Pill". This is the second video from their new album White Devil Armory (which I received the deluxe edition of in the mail yesterday). I found it much better than the first song released, "The Armorist".
The second video is from blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa. It is the title track from his new album Different Shades of Blue (due out September 23rd) and quite honestly this is an amazing song. It was so good that I immediately put the album on my to buy list. I like the song so much I'm already considering adding it as a candidate for my song of the year.
Ray Rice. Two games and another game paycheck. Why be outraged? Did anybody expect anything more than that? If you did, you aren't seeing the big picture here. Keith Olbermann said it best: You can go out and beat the shit out of your girl, then go on line and by the female version of Ray Rice jersey on NFL.com for $59. Wow, just wow.
Bart Scott on CBS Sports Network says he got off light because the NFL doesn't have a policy on Domestic Violence and that they'll have to start one. THAT IS THE MOST COWARDLY OF ALL TAKES OUTSIDE OF DEFENDING RICE. Uh, hey Bart, they just did you moron! The bar has been set at 2 games and another game check for clocking a woman. So what happens when some moron gets bent and stabs his signifcant other? 3 games and anoter game check? Oh, and by the way Bart, I don't hear any denouncing of what Rice did.
Hey Baltimore fan, if you cheer this guy, you freaking suck! And if you buy his jersey or the female version of Baltimore 27, you're worse. But the sick thing here is you will. Just like SF fans cheered Barry Bonds and will cheer that freaking drunk ass wannabe gangsta Aldon Smith. Just once, when a-holes like this make a play, I'd like to hear the crowd go silent. Don't say a word. Don't cheer, don't boo, just go silent. Ya think maybe that'll send a message?
Noticeably silent on this whole thing? YEP, the mother fucking Union. No denounciation of the DV, no nothing. You think that the union placed pressure on Goddell to go as light as possible? Was he gonna go with four games, then some handshake agreement came out of it to take two plus a game check and Rice doesn't appeal? Of course it went down like that, Owner Jim Irsay is still on the docket and he has to be dealt with. Could you imagine if he dropped the hammer on Rice then did little to Irsay? Could you imagine the Union then?
By the way Baltimore, five arrests, oh, and that little incident 15 years ago with Ray Lewis? Just what the hell does it take to get B-more organization to maybe crack down on these freaks?
Don't laugh San Francsico, you have just as much of a problem, and so does San Diego every Sunday Night after a game. Yeah San Diego, you aren't slipping under my radar.
Seems to me that the NFL, it's union and alumni, just are scared to deal with something like domestic violence. So here's the deal NFL, I've already consciously watched less of your watered down product over the past few years. I'm not going to be a hypocrite and say boycott the NFL. No, I won't do that. But what I can do is this: I can call you all a bunch of MF-ing cowards, too scared to do the right thing.
I know that I myself can do little to change the mentality - it will never change in the NFL. So I'll cheer like hell against Baltimore probably more so than I will against Seattle, just like I'll cheer against Aldon Smith and to a lesser degree that silver spoon BOY (as opposed to being a man) Johnny Manziel.
PC Police. Just so I understand, a radio personality can call Erin Andrews a bitch on a radio show and he loses his syndication on NESN. Tony Dungy is crucified for saying he wouldn't draft Michael Sams because he hates media distractions, and has to "clarify" his comments. Anybody who agrees with Dungy in terms of "media distraction" (including myself) are homophobes according to talking heads. Meanwhile, love him or hate him (and he's definitely polarizing), Rush Limbaugh had a point: They ran his ass for that assinine McNabb comment IMMEDIATELY and permanently,
Just one year ago Riley Cooper ran his ignorant mouth and he got a two day vacation for basically communicating a threat against a specific race of people. And didn't Jesse Jackson use a not so flattering term at least once to refer to our President, not to mention referring to a specific religion with a pretty nasty epitaph?
Can somebody please tell me what the rules are, and can somebody enforce them equally?
Where is the special interests? You know, the womens groups, those who support "law and order", victims groups? Where is the outrage, and I mean that sincerely? We as individuals can go out and be outraged, yet I hear nothing from our leaders and those who think they can speak on our behalf. What a bunch of freaking cowards.
While ticked off that the car brakes went out on me on Wednesday but tickled pink because the rest of the week was a series of awesomness that I haven't experienced in quite a while. Yes, overall I had a GREAT week...
YOUTH SPORTS FOLLOW UP
My friend Brian attended the wake for our mutual former player Ryan last week. He told me that another player caught up to him after he left the building and told him how much Ryan thought of Brian as a coach and from playing for him. Kind of a nice thing to be told despite the sad circumstances that led to the information being given.
MLB ALL-STAR GAME
While my mother watched the All-Star Game this week, I ended up skipping it. But I caught the highlights. I have to say that if Adam Wainwright grooved the pitches to Derek Jeter, he didn't honor Jeter, he dishonored both the player and the game.
As a Red Sox fan, I fully wrap myself in the sports hatred of the Yankees. But I've always thought Jeter carried himself with a huge degree of class. A role model of the game. So his departure from the game will be a big loss.
And while seeing him get a hit in his final All-Star appearance was something any appreciative baseball fan would want to happen, knowing that it was basically served up to him cheapens those hits in my mind. That's not a knock on Jeter, but rather an insult to Wainwright.
I know he tried to back off his statements, but no one really believes his retraction do they?
Thanks to a Cappie Pondexter (pictured below) game winning shot with 0.4 seconds left in the game, the New York Liberty hit the All-Star break with a 77-75 victory over the Atlanta Dream. They are 8-13 on the season.
By the way, Pondexter was selected as a starter for the All-Star Game while another Liberty player Tina Charles was added to the squad as a reserve.
Oh and no WNBA subsection here at Sunday Musings would be complete without some form of mention of Katie Smith, this week brought another of the WNBA trading cards that she is featured on into my collection. This time it was the 2006 League Leaders in Free Throw Pct%.
The MMQB.com had a lengthy article this past Wednesday on former Packers and Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren as he finds his way into retirement. You can check it out HERE.
BOSTON COLLEGE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
While the team continues their offseason preparations, which you can get updates from all over their Facebook and Twitter pages, you can get to know soon to be sophomore Emilee Daley (pictured below) via this interview.
COLLEGE BASEBALL SUMMER LEAGUE
This past Monday evening I ended up at the Wareham Gatemen game against the Brewster Whitecaps. It was a home game for Wareham in their Cape Cod Baseball League schedule. Unfortunately, despite a close game, the Gatemen ended up losing 3-2.
I was there because I was having a mini reunion of sorts with a friend of mine from high school. I haven't actually seen Rachael since her graduation party 25 years ago. We reconnected via Facebook and when she told me she'd be here for a week we made plans to meet up. It was great to see her and meet her husband and kids. I also met (or met all over again as the case may be) one of Rachael's best friends, Julie. All in all, just a good way for a week to go where I wasn't totally glued to the TV. It was almost like I had a "real" life or something.
Here's a photo of the group of us at the game:
From R-L: Julie, Rachael, Nick (Rachael's husband) and me. Julie's daughter Sydney is in front of her mother.
TV - The lights out fantastic season finale of 24: Live Another Day aired on Monday night. You can read my rather extensive recap of the episode HERE.
For those of you who might be a fan of the Showtime series Homeland, the first look trailer for Season 4 is below.
And let us not forget that the new season of Doctor Who starts August 23rd. You can check out the first trailer for the new season below.
Comics - The world's largest comic convention, the San Diego Comic Con, is being held next week. There's bound to be a ton of huge announcements in relation to comics, movies, TV and gaming.
Movies - On Thursday, I logged into my Twitter account (don't forget to follow me @TheOneTrueJay) and I had received a message from the guy who sent me that book I Am Pilgrim to review. It turns out they have now signed a deal to make the book into a movie. I'm psyched about that! And the fact that the guy took the time to keep me in the loop about it. You can read the article about the movie announcement HERE.
Also, I watched the documentary film Life Itself last week. It is about the life and career of film critic Roger Ebert. While parts of it were tough to watch, overall this was a fantastic look at the good and bad of Ebert, pretty much the only movie critic I relied on to form at least a basic foundation on whether or not I was going to see a movie.
Books - Speaking of prose storytelling, this week conspired against me in regards to completing any books. But yesterday afternoon as I made my appointed rounds, I ended up picking up the brand new Daniel Silva hardcover The Heist. It is the latest in his Gabriel Allon series. While I typically don't buy hardcovers, when it comes to this series, I tend to grab the book when it hits the shelves because invariably I'lll find myself immersed in a story do deeply I don't want to put the book down.
Music - Ever wonder what became of the woman who played the title role in the video for the Night Ranger song "Sister Christian"? Well, someone tracked her down and you can read this article to find out.
Rat Pak Records will be releasing the first solo album from Cinderella guitarist Jeff LaBar in August. The CD is called One For The Road. You can check out the video for the song "No Strings" below.
Oh and "Weird Al" Yankovic has a new parody video out called "Word Crimes". You can check it out below.