By Josh Kramer
I am in a much better mood than I was last week at this time in regards to sports. No new controversies. The focus is on actual sports related actions on and off the field. The way things are supposed to be. It was a wild weekend though (in a good way). Here are the items that have caught my attention.
A second “MonStars” in Miami?
-Back in July of 2010, there once was a “King” who resided in northeast Ohio. This “King” was well-liked by most, and at the pinnacle of his craft. Then that aforementioned “King” decided to take his talents to South Beach, in similar fashion to the famous rap artist Will Smith back in 1998. The man who many once called a “King” instantly became a prince, having to take a lesser role due to the fact that there already was a King in South Beach. And by June of 2011, the man who was once the “King” of Cleveland had become a mere peasant, and one of the most villainous figures in sports. I am of course referring to the tale of the one and only LeBron James.
-Now the baseball team in Miami, who are now called the Miami Marlins (rather than Florida), are making some noise. One of baseball’s most unpredictable franchises is at it again, and this time, look to be after championship number three. I for one have never understood the Florida Marlins (now Miami). They are a franchise that decides to win one year, and decides to completely tank the following year. Don’t professional sports franchises like sustained success? Isn’t that what puts butts in the seats and develops a loyal following rather than one good year a decade? Here is a brief tutorial on the Florida (now Miami) Marlins if you are a bit confused at the moment.
-The Florida (now Miami) Marlins were an expansion franchise back in 1993. In their nearly 20-year history, they have never won a divisional crown. Yet, they have obtained two wild card berths, and cashed in with a World Series during both of those years. Immediately following both World Championships (1997 and 2003), they imploded their entire team on purpose. Go figure. I guess completely demolishing a team that just brought you a championship by choice is the new bold strategy in sports these days.
-Well now Miami appears ready to go after another championship. They already acquired one of the best closers in the game, Heath Bell. And now they have picked up arguably the best shortstop in the game, Jose Reyes (when healthy). This is a bit reminiscent of the Yankees infamous blockbuster acquisition of the great Alex Rodriguez. Only Rodriguez, in similar fashion to LeBron James, was willing to accept a lesser role to the other star on the team. As you are all well aware, Alex Rodriguez, who was arguably the best player in baseball back in February of 2004 (and best shortstop), put on the Pinstripes, and accepted the lesser role as the team’s 3rd baseman. LeBron James also took on a diminished role with the Heat in order to “win,” letting Dwyane Wade remain the unquestioned leader of the team. Jose Reyes is heading to Miami “to win.” But contrasting from other stars like James and Rodriguez, will remain in his natural position of shortstop. Hanley Ramirez, the current Marlins star, will accept the reduced role, and move to 3rd base. Now the real question is will Albert Pujols follow Reyes to Miami? And if “the Machine” becomes a Marlin, will the Marlins become the MLB’s version of the Miami Heat?
A rematch for the National Championship
-On Sunday, all of College Football’s elite teams found out where they will be spending their bowl season. And to the disdain of many, namely non-SEC fans, the big game on January 9th will be a rematch. Mores specifically, an all SEC West National Championship Game. And I for one am completely fine with it. Now I see where the critics are coming from, and I completely agree that Oklahoma State definitely warranted consideration. That consideration was demonstrated by just how close the Cowboys were to leapfrogging the Crimson Tide.
-But at some point, you have to be honest with yourself. Does anyone out there truly think that Oklahoma State had a snowball’s chance of defeating LSU on January 9th? Does anyone out there really think that Oklahoma State could even beat Alabama? Sure OK State has an electric offense that features the lethal trifecta of Weeden, Randle, and Blackmon. But have they faced a defense of half the caliber that either LSU or Alabama have?
-Now most argue that Alabama had their chance. And not only did they lose, but they took the defeat at home. But regardless of how low-scoring it was, the game in Tuscaloosa was very high-caliber football. Without question, after watching that game, I considered both SEC powers to be the top two teams in the nation (and still do).
–If Oklahoma State, would not have tanked on that fateful Friday night (November 18th), this discussion would be entirely mute. There would be no argument. There would be no animosity. Sadly though, this is the world we live in terms of college football. A +1 game could help solve all of this. Discussions are on the table in regards to this extra game. Hopefully it becomes a reality in the near future. Or we are going to continue to have years where three teams appear deserving to play in the two-team National Championship Game. Just like most parties, there are never enough invites to satisfy everyone.
Welcome back to the winner’s circle
-It had been a long two plus years, but Tiger Woods finally was able to fist pump on a Sunday. I for one am happy for the world’s most famous golfer (and once most famous athlete). Tiger has always had the Michael Jordan mentality. “Winning is the only option.” Not winning was harder on him than it was on the fans. Believe me. In addition, golf is in a major decline due to the lack of a major star. Tiger is the only player capable of filling that void.
It was nice while it lasted
-It appears the very up and down career of Donovan McNabb may finally have come to a close. The last couple of years for one of the greatest Philadelphia QBs of all time did not end in the most ideal fashion. At least the great empire he established with Chunky Soup will live on.
Any questions about who the best QB is?
-I dare you to say that Aaron Rodgers is not the best quarterback in the NFL at this time. Good luck providing an argument that says Brady, Brees, or Manning are better in the present (guy has a passer rating nearly 20 points higher than Brady or Brees). And not only does Rodgers get the job done on the field (his Packers are now 12 and 0), but he also has the best interviews.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.