Correcting ESPN The Mag, Part 1
Regular readers might be familiar with my occasional posts — “Correcting Bill Simmons” and “Correcting Rick Reilly” — where I try to help out my better-paid, less-informed counterparts by pointing out when/where they’re wrong. This time, I’m going to tackle ESPN The Mag as a whole. I know I’m going to hear some guy at the sports bar regurgitate this “analysis” as his own opinion and I won’t have the wherewithal to call him on it.
Let’s start with everyone’s favorite blowhard — and I doubt he’d take that as an insult given his commentary stylings — Stephen A. Smith. In his “Up Front” column, he criticizes Oscar De La Hoya for not knowing when to give it up.
Help, someone! Pretty Please!
It would be really nice if someone could muster some plausible explanation as to why a fighter like Oscar De La Hoya, beyond his prime for quite a while before the Manny Pacquiao bout, still chose to step into the ring and get his brains beat out. The mismatch was so obvious that Oscar’s wife, Millie, was screaming for him to quit before he had the common sense to do it himself.
It’s really easy to knock De La Hoya after the match is over when it’s clear that he shouldn’t have fought the fight. But one quick look at the pre-fight odds (-165 Hoya / +135 Pacquiao) reveals that this fight fooled a LOT of people, not just the Golden Boy. According to the betting public, De La Hoya was the clear favorite in the fight, so why would Oscar think that he was about to step into a beatdown? The betting public clearly doesn’t know everything, but it’s a pretty good gauge of public opinion and if the public is fooled, why would De La Hoya — who has an ego of a big-time fighter — know any better?
If Smith writes this column before the fight, I’d give him props. But this is classic kick-’em-while-they’re-down writing.
Let’s move on to Mike & Mike (Golic & Greenberg) who answer “The Big Question” — if the best players in college sports don’t make any noise in the pros, what’s their legacy?
Read the rest after the jump...
Posted in: Boxing, College Football, Humor, NBA, NBA Draft, NFL, NFL Draft
Tags: Andre Iguodala contract, Andrew Bogut, Andrew Bogut contract, Baron Davis contract, Chris Broussard, correcting ESPN the Mag, correcting Rick Reilly, Elton Brand contract, Emeka Okafor contract, Greeny & Golic, Luol Deng contract, Manny Pacquiao, Mike & Mike, Mike Golic, Mike Greenberg, Milwaukee Bucks, Oscar de La Hoya, Oscar De La Hoya - Manny Pacquiao, Stephen A. Smith
2008 Year-End Sports Review: What We Think Might Happen
Itâ€™s time to look ahead to 2009 and play a little Nostradamus.
Last year, we predicted that God would anoint the â€śDevil-freeâ€ť Rays World Series Champions (ding!), that Brett Favre would play another year or two (ding! â€“ sort of), that Isiah Thomas would be canned (ding!), and that Kobe would be playing for a new team by the trade deadlineâ€¦
Granted, that last one didnâ€™t come true, but how were we supposed to know that the Grizzlies would trade Pau Gasol to the Lakers for an unproven rookie and a bag of peanuts? Our occasional inaccuracy isnâ€™t going to keep us from rolling out another set of predictions â€“ some serious and some farcical â€“ for 2009 and beyond, including President Obamaâ€™s plan for a college football playoff, Donovan McNabbâ€™s new home and the baseball club most likely to be 2009â€™s version of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Read on, and in a year, we guarantee* youâ€™ll be amazed.
*This is not an actual guarantee, mind you.
Don’t miss the other two parts of our 2008 Year-End Sports Review: â€śWhat We Learnedâ€ť and â€śWhat We Already Knew.â€ť
||Michael Vick will play for the Oakland Raiders next season.
Once NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell allows suspended quarterback Michael Vick to re-enter the league, letâ€™s be honest, thereâ€™s really only one team that will take a shot on the convict: the Oakland Raiders. Sure, the Raiders would have to possibly give up a draft pick because Vick will still technically be property of the Falcons, but with Matt Ryan on board, Atlanta would probably be willing to give Mikey up for a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos…snack size. With Vick on board, JaMarcus Russell could shift to tight end or full back or offensive tackle or something. Or, Vick could play wide receiver! Or running back! Think of the possibilities! The Oakland Raiders will be the most unstoppable team in the league! That is, of course, until Vick gets the itch for his old hobby. â€“ Anthony Stalter
||The Nationals and Pirates become the official AAAA teams of their respective divisions.
After finishing at or near the bottom of the division since the franchiseâ€™s move from Montreal, Major League Baseball executives analyze the entire Washington Nationals player system and conclude that they have no chance of fielding a competitive team in the near future. In the boldest decision of his tenure, Commissioner Bud Selig demotes the teamâ€™s Major League roster to AAAA status, a phrase long used by baseball personnel to describe players that are too good for the minors but not good enough for the majors. In an added twist, Selig designates that the teamâ€™s assets are fair game for all four remaining teams in the National League East, as a means of creating parity. In order to keep the number of teams even in each league, Selig also downgrades the Pittsburgh Pirates, losers of 94 or more games since 2005, to AAAA status as well. It will be six weeks into the regular season before an NL East team claims any of these former Pirates or Nationals. â€“ David Medsker
||Barack Obama will have a plan in place for a college football playoff by 2016.
He has already spoken out twice in favor of an eight-team playoff format for college football. Granted, there are more pressing concerns for the President-elect â€“ the economy, the war in Iraq and a forward-thinking energy policy, just to name a few â€“ but thereâ€™s no reason that Obama canâ€™t appoint a â€śPlayoff Czarâ€ť to get the conference presidents and the bowl organizers together to hash out a system that works for everyone. Are the bowls worried about losing money? Rotate the semifinals and the final amongst the four bowl cities. Are the conferences worried about losing money? They shouldnâ€™t be â€“ the ratings for an eight-team playoff would dwarf the ratings the current system is getting. And better ratings means more money. This is something that 85%-90% of the population can agree on, and that doesnâ€™t happen often. Mark our words â€“ President Obama will make it happen, especially if he gets a second term. â€“ John Paulsen
Read the rest after the jump...
Posted in: Boxing, College Basketball, College Football, Fantasy Football, General Sports, Golf, Humor, March Madness, Mixed Martial Arts, MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, Soccer, Tennis
Tags: 2008 Year End Sports Review, 2009 Heisman Trophy Prediction, Andre Agassi, Andrew Bynum, Andy Reid, Andy Roddick, Atlanta Falcons, Barry Zito, Baylor Bears, BCS sucks, Ben Roethlisberger, Big 12, Big Ben, Big Ten Network, Bill Cowher, Bill Cowher Cleveland Browns, Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox, Brian Griese, Brian Wilson, Bud Selig, Carlos Boozer, Carlos Zambrano, CC Sabathia, Chicago Cubs, Chris Johnson, Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Cavaliers, Derek Jeter, Derrick Rose, DeSean Jackson, Detroit Lions, Donovan McNabb, Donovan McNabb Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Eastern Michigan, Eddie Royal, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Georgia Bulldogs, Graham Harrell, Jake Peavy, JaMarcus Russell, James Blake, Jeff Garcia, Jim Nantz, Joe Flacco, Jonathan Sanchez, Josh Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Kurt Warner, Kyle Boller, Kyle Orton, Landon Donovan, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Lakers, Luke McCown, Manny Pacquiano, Manny Ramirez, Mark Blount, Mark Teixeira, Marty Mornhinweg, Mats Sundin, Matt Cain, Matt Cassel, Matt Forte, Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford, Memphis Grizzlies, Michael Crabtree, Michael Vick, Michael Vick Oakland Raiders, NBA MVP, Nebraska Cornhuskers, New York Mets, New York Yankees, NL Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum, North Carolina Tar Heels, O.J. Mayo, Oakland Raiders, Obama college football playoff, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Oscar De La Hoya - Manny Pacquiao, Pau Gasol, Pete Sampras, Phil Savage, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Steelers will win Super Bowl, President Obama, Randy Johnson, Rich Harden, Robert Griffin, Roger Goodell, Romeo Crennel, Ryan Dempster, San Francisco Giants, Shawn Marion, Sports Predictions for 2009, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Tim Linecum, Ty Lawson, Tyler Hansbrough, Udonis Haslem, USA Baseball, What We Think Might Happen: 2008
Pacquiao dominates De La Hoya
I’m not much of a boxing fan, but even I knew that there was a big fight on Saturday. It turns out Manny Pacquiao overcame a weight disadvantage to pound Oscar De La Hoya into a mercy stoppage.
In the end, it was a bruised, battered and utterly befuddled De La Hoya, 35, sitting with a blank look on his face as new trainer Nacho Beristain stopped the fight after much discussion before the start of the ninth round. It was a mercy stoppage and one that could have come from referee Tony Weeks during the seventh round, a classic example of a 10-8 round without a knockdown. Pacquiao battered De La Hoya in the round, landing 45 power shots, the most ever recorded by CompuBox in the 31 De La Hoya fights it has tracked.
De La Hoya might have been a shot fighter when he walked up the steps for battle, but Pacquiao, 29, the icon of the Philippines, also deserves credit for the upset in a fight many critics proclaimed as a mismatch. They thought it would be Pacquiao who would be annihilated because he had spent his career fighting in much smaller weight divisions before this leap to welterweight. The ironic thing is that the bigger guy entering the ring was actually Pacquiao. He weighed in officially on Friday at 142 pounds to De La Hoya’s 145. But on HBO’s unofficial scale on fight night, Pacquiao was up to 148Â˝ and De La Hoya was surprisingly only 147.
Pacquiao’s domination earned him his third victory of the year in his third weight division. A former flyweight, junior featherweight and featherweight champion, Pacquiao won the junior lightweight championship by beating Juan Manuel Marquez in their March rematch and then moved to lightweight, where he won a title with a destruction of David Diaz in June. Pacquiao then made the jump to welterweight to face De La Hoya and surely locked up fighter of the year honors by completing his Henry Armstrongesque year.
Next up for Pacquiao likely will be junior welterweight champion Ricky Hatton in the spring. For De La Hoya, let’s hope there is no next fight. If this is indeed the end for him, as it should be, he deserves our respect for a great career and a hearty thanks for the memories. He will be missed but he will not be forgotten.
It’s funny how all the pre-fight talk was about De La Hoya’s weight advantage, but it was Pacquiao that actually weighed in a little heavier just before the fight. Not funny like “ha ha” funny, but funny like “hmmm” funny.
Screw it – you know what I mean.