Food for Thought 8-16-2011

Photo courtesy of Mardy Fish (pictured above) is the top American these days as the ATP stops in Cincinnati and then heads to Flushing.

By Josh Kramer

The past few days have been bonkers in the wide world of sports as usual.  NFL Football returned in the form of Preseason games.  America finally ended their drought at golf majors.  In addition, the American public got to witness one of the biggest choke jobs of all time in the tournament.  Plus we are now in the thick of the best few weeks of tennis that we have in the states.

Here are the items that have my attention.

A&M gets denied

It was a done deal.  The SEC vote was simply a formality.  Texas A&M was ready to leave the mighty Big 12, get out from the shadow of the Longhorns, and head to the best football conference in America.  Think again.

A&M got rejected.  And for the time being, the Aggies program as a whole must be embarrassed by recent events.  I am not sure if any of you have seen the movie “She’s Out of My League.”  But this recent chain of events is reminiscent of a scene in that movie.  During the movie, the protagonist is on an airplane with his family.  Realizing that he no longer wants to go on the family vacation and wants to go after his old (very hot) girl, he lets his family have it.  He scolds them in front of all the passengers on the airplane.  After the dramatic speech, he gets up to leave; only he can’t leave.  The plane is ready for takeoff.  So the protagonist puts his head down and sits down right next to his family that he just reamed.

A&M had basically said all that needed to be said.  They basically had bid the Big 12 farewell.  We are not sure of the conversations behind the scenes, but the Aggies were moving on to bigger and better things.  Only the Aggies are not wanted by the hot girl (SEC).  They have been rejected.  Now this is by no means over.  I still think college sports will undergo a major makeover in the near future and A&M may end up in the SEC when all is said and done. But there is an important lesson to learn from all of this.

Never speak about leaving until the next step is signed, sealed and delivered.  If you are planning on leaving your current job, do not say anything until you have signed a contract with the new company.  Because if you open up your mouth and that new job falls through, then you are left with nothing.  And in this situation, fortunately for the Aggies, they are not left with nothing, in that they are still a member of the Big 12.  But they have been rejected and the entire country knows it.

I will see you in Cincinnati

All eyes in the tennis world this week are heavily focused on the beautiful city in Southwest Ohio, Cincinnati.  This is the big tune-up for the 4th and final Grand Slam of the year, the US Open.  So before the tennis elite head to Flushing, they are required to stop in Cincinnati.  Well for the first time ever in Cincinnati, the week-long event features both the top men and women players going for the title during the course of the same week.

Cincinnati really catches the tennis bug during mid-August every year as the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters becomes the happening thing to do in Cincinnati.

Now not many people are aware of the prestige and historic nature of this tournament in Cincinnati.  Not only is it a top-level tournament these days that is mandatory for the top men and women players, but it is also the oldest tennis tournament played in its original city in the United States (dates back to 1899).

Traditionally, this tournament has been a great precursor to the US Open.  Generally the tennis world can really get a sense of who is hot and who is not heading into the year’s final Grand Slam.  Roger Federer, last year’s winner, will do all in his power to defend his crown in Cincinnati.

The real question that I and every American have at this point is can Mardy Fish break through?  He went to the finals last year at this major event.  He just lost in the finals on Sunday at the Rogers Cup.  Fish is really the only glimmer of hope that American tennis has to take it home at the US Open at the end of the month.  Winning in Cincinnati would be a great start for the upstart American.

Uggla is done streaking

I must tip my hat to Dan Uggla’s remarkable 33 game hit streak.  It is hard to believe that a guy who was batting a horrific .173 on July 4th was able to string together a hit streak of these kind of proportions.  Only 22 guys in history had hit safely in 33 consecutive games before Uggla.  Now the Braves 2nd baseman is batting .231 for the NL Wild Card leading Atlanta Braves.  Baseball is a game more focused on the numbers in my opinion than any of the other major sports.  There are hallmarks to the game.

3,000 hits.  500 home runs. .300 career batting average.  And more.

Well according to the numbers, this has still been an “ugly” year for Uggla.  The real question is where his numbers will end up come October.  The Braves invested a lot of money in the extremely chiseled second baseman who formerly played for the Florida Marlins.  And we all know that this guy has never exactly been a wiz with the glove.

Can he get his average above .250 before the playoffs (his career batting average is .259)?  I doubt it.

10 million this year.  And 13 million for the next four.  Wish I could bat .230, field at a below average mark, and make 10 million for the year.  And also know that there is another 52 million in waiting over the next four.

Just some “Food for Thought.”

Let me hear your thoughts though.  Please comment below with any questions or insights that you may have or shoot me an email at

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.


6 responses to “Food for Thought 8-16-2011

  1. A&M didn’t get rejected…the detail that is delaying this move is there was not another suitable team to join with them. An odd-number of teams makes scheduling virtually impossible, and the SEC has some “secret” criteria for team they want to join. A&M is at the top of the list because it is in a conference which won’t survive and most importantly, A&M would put the SEC on TV in two top-10 markets (Dallas and Houston).

    Make no mistake, all this recent conference re-alignment is about TV markets. The Pac-10 grabbed Salt Lake City and Denver (admittedly not the biggest markets, but they are two of the best available which make geographic sense for the conference), the Big East now has a presence in Dallas/Fort Worth, and this is why the members of the Big 12 who aren’t Texas are shopping for their next home. Look at a map of Big 12 territory and look at how many major TV markets there are outside of Texas…now that Denver is now a Pac-10 market, the only other major market is Kansas City. This is exactly why Nebraska jumped quick to the Big Ten…they are a money program without a major market and they knew their value drops if they are in a conference that is merely the Big 12’s leftovers.

    This is also why the SEC would love to get schools from one of two other “target states,” Virginia or North Carolina. In other words, states where they do not currently have a presence. Of course, if that were to happen, that would mean a major change to the ACC, which in turn would start another cascade of conference-jumping. But breaking the ice takes two. A&M needs a partner in joining the SEC. If the SEC can’t get Virginia Tech or North Carolina to jump ship, they will take Oklahoma or Missouri with A&M.

    However it shakes out remains to be seen, but make no mistake, what happened this past week was not a rejection.

    • JW,
      All very valid points. I still think it was a rejection in a way, at least for the time being. But when another sutiable team will go with, then they may no longer be rejected. The Big 12’s downfall appears somewhat inevitable.


  2. Pingback: Is Texas A&M Getting Ready To Leave It’s Wife For The “Hot Chick?” « Dubsism

  3. sportsattitudes

    Dubsism said to come to this site and so I shall. I believe A&M just jumped the gun a bit because their dance partner has yet to be plucked from another conference. All these motions seem to be couples-action in nature because everyone wants to keep their overall membership totals at an even number…for scheduling purposes, even numbers sound better, divisions have same number of teams in them, etc. I look for this to continue relentlessly until at least one or two of the BCS conferences collapses under the weight of it all. You have to wonder what Texas and ESPN would think would happen after forming the Longhorn Network to keep the Big 12 together. While a provision was installed for other schools to go about the same business, they had to know those who don’t carry enough firepower to warrant it would be at a disadvantage while others would simply be jealous and go their own way. For those who still romanticize about college sports…the times they are a’ changin’.

    • SportsAttitudes,
      I completely agree and appreciate you venturing over to my page. Sadly, College Sports are a business just like all sports in general. It is hard to admit, but it is the truth.


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