Posts Tagged ‘Lockout’

The SaniTERRYum XII: An Essay for Asterisks

The asterisk remains a mysterious mistress in sports. She only shows up on stats and achievements if something out of the ordinary is determined to be by the powers that be. Late game not included. Steroid Era. Pete Rose. Strikes, lockouts and the like. LeBron’s first title? Oh, definitely an asterisk next to that shortened season Miami championship.

This isn’t even coming from the Heat hater, die-hard Bulls fan in me. This is just me keeping it 100. A 66 game season culminating in a ‘chip does not a champion make. Well, technically it does, but with an asterisk next to it in the books…a permanent asterisk. As much as I admire the Spurs, their run in ’99 falls into the same asterisk-ridden category. It’s just not the same if 82 games aren’t played. Hence, the permanence of the ever-lingering, ever-annoying asterisk. You can debate the asterisk all you want, but it’s not going anywhere. It’s as much a part of legitimizing an accomplishment as it is from taking away its legs to stand on in a world of amputees.

Everything LeBron has done in the L has been legitimate. We don’t need to talk about anyone taking their talents anywhere. We don’t need to talk about the receding hairline. We don’t need to discuss the 4th quarter meltdowns of yesteryear. The man is the best player on the planet right now, possessing a skill set mashed with athleticism the NBA has never seen. But I’m sorry, asterisk applied to his first championship. I can hear the so-called Miami Heat fans now:  “It took him so long to get here, and now this fucking jerk off writer from Chicago who’s still bitter about the Derrick Rose injury wants to diminish what LeBron and Co. have worked so hard for?” Hey, don’t hate the player. Hate the game. Asterisk stands.

The LeBron-imposed asterisk would have gone to whomever the NBA crowned champion this year. That comes with the territory of any sports’ lockout, strike, holdout, or any other new way greedy players and owners can find to prevent us, the fans, from enjoying a full, asterisk-free season. And you can bet your bottom dollar, us fans would love to live in an asterisk-free sports world.

On the topic of betting bottom dollars: Pete Rose, in many ways, personifies the asterisk, a walking asterisk, if you will. He has become the victim of an opinionated asterisk, possibly the worst kind of typographical symbol there is. Bud Selig has sort of made it his life mission to keep Charlie Hustle out of The Hall, which makes me wonder: “Does Bud have a running bet with someone somewhere on an over/under for years it’ll take to get the all-time hits leader (among many other records) into Cooperstown?”

“Dive in head first. Like Pete Rose.”

Although Bud’s not alone: On February 4, 1991, the Hall of Fame voted formally to exclude individuals on the permanently ineligible list from being inducted into the Hall of Fame by way of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Rose is the only living member of the ineligible list. Players who were not selected by the BWAA could be considered by the Veterans Committee in the first year after they would have lost their place on the Baseball Writers’ ballot. Under the Hall’s rules, players may appear on the ballot for only fifteen years, beginning five years after they retire. Had he not been banned from baseball, Rose’s name could have been on the writers’ ballot beginning in 1992 and ending in 2006. He would have been eligible for consideration by the Veterans Committee in 2007, but did not appear on the ballot. In 2008 the Veterans Committee barred players and managers on the ineligible list from consideration.

What’s the BFD here? It’s not like he was betting against his team and then throwing shit intentionally. “I bet on my team every night. I didn’t bet on my team four nights a week. I bet on my team to win every night because I loved my team, I believed in my team.” Those sound like the words of a competitor, someone who truly cares about winning, a real gamer. Why shouldn’t he make a little dough on the side? I mean, MLB players’ salaries barely allow one to scrape by, so by all means…

“Do you wanna know the terrifying truth or do you wanna watch me sock a few  dingers?”
-Mark McGwire to Bart Simpson

We are all tired of performance enhancing drugs taking over the sport we love, hijacking the headlines. When I look at the list of baseball players I grew up watching who are now all but blackballed from ever receiving the slightest bit of consideration to top anyone’s HOF ballot, let alone make it in,  it brings a heaping pile of bullshit on fire to my front door. Absolute flaming bullshit. I’ll always have Ken Griffey, Jr. and Frank Thomas though…

Guys have been cheating the game for ages, but now that we’ve evolved into drug-taking, performance enhancers, now you want to blow the whistle? The eligible players on this year’s ballot is mind-blowing when you step away and realize that most, if not all, will remain Cooperstown outsiders…possibly forever. Bonds. Sosa. The Rocket. Piazza. Big names, and that’s leaving out perennial snubs McGwire, Palmeiro, and the rest of the renounced hardball heroes turned ‘roid ragers. Barry Bonds has more to worry about than asterisks, though. By the way, can someone explain to me how the fuck Royce Clayton found himself onto the ballot?

The steroid and human growth hormone, performance enhancing goes far beyond baseball and stretches into the world of track and field, football, the Olympics, and the, wait for it, Tour de France.

Lance Armstrong: what a let-down after so much build up and feel-goodery. The man beats cancer like 200 times, takes over a French-dominated, absolutely enduring event and hope is restored to the humanity of sports. Then it all comes crashing down amongst allegations of PED peddling. Really, Lance? You? Say it ain’t so! Marion Jones gets an asterisk, jail time, AND community service. She was dubbed the fastest woman alive, but she has been stripped of her medals won at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. I’m sure she would have been just fine with an asterisk next to her name in history, but the asterisk only has so much power. We could all learn a thing or two from LeBron James and Pete Rose: just hustle and work hard to get where you’re going. You don’t need to shoot steroids in your butt.

*Late Game Not Included

Emergency Top 5

Posted: November 26, 2011 by Mauricio Rubio Jr. in Basketball, NBA, Top 5
Tags: , , , , ,

This is usually supposed to be a weekly column, and it’s Andy’s turn, but being the biggest buckethead on the show and considering that I’m not a “real” Blackhawks fan yet, and that the NBA lockout just ended, I had to throw this together.

Moe’s Top 5 Basketball Related Youtube Videos

5. Stacey King Finds Stewie

It was before Stacey King hit his stride. It was a time before Derrick Rose, when Bulls basketball wasn’t terrible, but it was a rough watch. Stacey King finds Stewie, and Noc just absolutely posterizes him. Two things, I love Stacey, and a part of me misses Noc.

4. Stacey King’s Top 10 Calls of Derrick Rose

Talent recognizing talent man. These are a pretty good synopsis of what watching a Bulls game is like now. All the catch phrases that spawned a sound board, the pure basketball joy that radiates from Stacey King is outstanding. I love listening to him and I wonder what it was like to sit next to him on the bench during the early 90’s run of Bulls excellence.

3. Derrick Rose, The Unicorn

This started as a meme, I forget who the original outlet was, but a blog called Derrick Rose a unicorn and it all took off from there. This is in the Steve Porter vein of Sports Remixes and all that, and it might be a little weird, but I love it.

2. Jordan tells LeBron What’s Up

This is a mash up of two pretty good commercials that come together to become excellent. It’s a great response to the LeBron “What Should I Do” ad that was out there after he joined the Heat. That and MJ in commercials is always awesome.

1. The 1996 Double Dip

A few things, yes this is two videos, and yes I cheated. This is from that 1995-1996 72 win season, and the intro to the game sums up the emotion perfectly. I remember watching this in my living room after having to see the Sonics celebrate a game 5 victory like they won the whole damn thing, confetti and all. Never bet against Michael Jordan. Ever.

It’s currently day one hundred and whatever of the NBA lockout. There’s some recent optimism that it can end by next week and there’s even an outside shot that an 82 game season may be salvaged. As a basketball fan I’m happy about this recent optimism. As a Bulls fan I’m downright ecstatic.

I don’t want to miss a moment of Derrick Rose’s career. I miss Stacey King. Please give me the hot sauce, I want to go higher.

But there’s been another side to the whole lockout thing that I was kind of expecting, just not to the degree that it’s been voiced.

Hockey fans.

I don’t watch the Blackhawks much. I admittedly don’t get hockey much. At all. I don’t think that the NHL is an inferior product, it’s just not my cup of tea.

This should be fine. I like basketball, not everyone does, I get it.

So why is it that during an NBA lockout that hockey fans are overjoyed that there may not be basketball this year?

Reasons I’ve heard range from the insecure (Now ESPN will pay more attention to hockey!), to the odd (it’ll be easier to follow hockey now, who needs basketball!), to the downright stupid (DERRICK ROSE AND DA BULLS SUCK).

My philosophy has always been that I like what I like, and I won’t tell you what to like. If you like hockey, fine. I don’t. I don’t have to either.

You don’t have to like basketball, or appreciate the game. I don’t care. But where it starts to bother me is the senseless sniping that happens with basketball. The Bulls and the Blackhawks don’t play each other. They don’t really compete against each other. You can even like both if you wish (I’m looking at you, Andy).

But I have yet to hear a good reason as to why hockey fans are coming out of the woodwork and are celebrating the NBA lockout.

If you’re that insecure about your sport, I can’t help you. I didn’t feel happy when the NHL lost a season. I felt bad for my friends that were missing out on their favorite sport. I gain nothing from the NHL losing a season, from the Hawks losing or anything else that is “hockey negative.”

All I’m asking is why? Why do you the hockey fan feel the need to snipe at basketball? It makes no sense.