By Josh Kramer
Just because we have entered a new year does not mean that the sporting world is going on a break. Actually, it feels like sports have really picked up the intensity if anything. Often, especially during 2011, sports news has been heavily focused on the bad. Many controversial things occurred that we all wish never would have never happened. Today though, we focus predominantly on the good. The state of Colorado has converted from “Mountain Time” to “Tebow Time” (thanks ESPN). A Cincinnati Reds great has been inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame. And we are only just beginning the jam-packed week. Here are the items that have caught my attention.
Larkin heads to Cooperstown
How often do we get to watch a great baseball player dawn the same jersey from Day 1 of a career to the final day for the better part of two decades? I must be referring to the good old days. When players stayed with franchises for the duration of their careers. In addition, how often does a player get to star for his hometown team for the entirety of his career? Well yesterday, a player who did just that from 1986 to 2004 was voted into Cooperstown.
Barry Larkin was Mr. Red for the better part of two decades. During his amazing time with Cincinnati’s favorite team, Larkin was a 12-time All Star, took home the 1995 MVP, and of course was one of the key cogs to the “Wire to Wire” charge in 1990. Typically, Cooperstown is a baseball heaven defined by the numbers. When it comes to Barry though, there is so much more than the numbers. In addition, injuries plagued his numbers. Sure he put up some solid stats, but that only touches on the surface of what a rarity Barry Larkin is and was.
Barry Larkin is a Cincinnati kid through and through. He starred at the great Moeller High School and of course was a mainstay on the elite Cincinnati baseball club Midland (three-time defending Connie Mack World Series Champions). After playing at Michigan, he was given the opportunity to play for his hometown team, the Cincinnati Reds. Talk about a fairy tale right? And from 1986 to 2004, Larkin savored the spotlight playing for the team he grew up loving. So take this all in for what it is worth. Because the days of guys like Barry Larkin are all but gone. Outside of Derek Jeter, name me a Hall-of-Fame caliber player that will dawn the same jersey for their whole career.
Besides, next year is going to be a year of controversy in terms of Hall of Fame voting. Guys such as Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and Roger Clemens will be on the ballot. So in a way, yesterday, we witnessed the end of a “Golden Age” in terms of Hall of Fame voting. From here on out, the vast majority of ballots will be littered with products of the “Steroid Age.”
Unexplainable. Ludicrous. Inexplicable. Unfathomable. Unbelievable. Impossible. And believe me, I could go on. The Tim Tebow story at this point is embodying nearly any hyperbole you can think of. In my lifetime, because that is all I can vouch for, I have never seen anything like it in regards to sports. The man is defying all logic. I feel like everything I have ever learned about football has been flipped upside down. What Tim Tebow is currently during simply perplexes the mind. How is the former “Gator God” doing it?
10 of 21 for 316 yards against the #1 ranked pass defense in the League? In the words of the great John McEnroe, “You can’t be serious.” Considering Tim Tebow had never thrown for more than 236 yards in a game (he threw for just 60 last week against KC) and how poorly the mythical figure had played during the last month of the season, a day like Sunday seemed simply impossible. Tebow averaged just 146.33 yards pers game passing during the last three weeks of the regular season and was completing a woeful 41% of his passes (all three games were losses).
Maybe there is a higher being involved. And yes, I realize that the vast majority of the country is making a huge deal about the fact he threw for 316 yards. Sadly, I do not think his passing total has any biblical significance. But anytime a player is able to control the social media world for over 24 hours, you know something crazy is going on.
Bozeman a Bozo?
Morgan State Head Basketball Coach Todd Bozeman has been suspended indefinitely after being involved in a physical altercation with one of his players. Is this guy the present version of Bozo the Clown? Who punches their players?
He is elite
I do not care what anybody says, Eli Manning has demonstrated the qualities of an “elite” quarterback. And if he plays like he has the past two weeks at Lambeau on Sunday, it will be like 2007 all over again. If you don’t remember what I am talking about, here is a clip to refresh your memory.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.