Sunday, February 23, 2014


Canada, why you not very nice in Sochi?

This is what all Americans were thinking after the trouncing of the Canadians in the Gold Medal tournaments this past week.

They didn't shock me with their ability to beat America when it came to the 1-0 win against the men, but against the women (with one of the best teams in Olympic history set up by the USA Women) it was an utter disaster. Up 2 with less than 5 minutes left in the game the USA Women's hockey team collapsed and choked under the pressure of winning the gold. No matter what sport it is, you cannot lose a game with that amount of time left especially in such a high competitive atmosphere as the Olympic games and for that, we have to put the choke sign up for the USA Women in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

For the Men... let me just splurge about the men for about a paragraph or two... The Canadian team didn't just beat the USA Team, they took their souls. I know Finland is a pretty good team and they were definitely a challenge, but the USA Team didn't even compete with them. They also made numerous mistakes and were lackadaisical in several areas where they were screening their own goalie, Jonathan Quick was out of position on another goal, they gave up the second goal shortly after the first one, they missed on 2 penalty shots that could have given the USA hope, and it all caused the USA to lose 5-0 in the BRONZE (yes, the BRONZE Medal) Game. Don't tell me it doesn't matter because they were only going 'Gold or Bust' it's inexcusable to lose 5-0 in a championship round weather it's for bronze or for a participation slip. It's the freaking Olympics and the Men mailed it in when it comes to the final game.

To put some perspective on this I want you to think back to the 2004 Men's Basketball team. They had a gluttony of All-Stars with Carmelo, LeBron, Tim Duncan, Allen Iverson, and Dwayne Wade just to name a few. They lost to Puerto Rico and Lithuania in the Olympic Tournament which only allowed for them to enter the tournament to finish 3rd at best. Let me remind you, Tim Duncan was a back-to-back MVP, Iverson won MVP in 2001 and LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwayne Wade were supposed to be the future of the NBA at this time. We had the best players in the world and we couldn't compete with the likes of Puerto Rico? These guys also played quite often in the summertime and played against elite competition internationally quite frequently outside of the young guys on the team. This was an eye opener for the USA Men's Basketball squad quite similarly to the Men's Hockey squad this year in Sochi.

I understand the United States didn't create this sport, but we built it up to the level it is to day with the NHL and the promotion we put on in cities across the country. Yes, today it's not the most popular sport, but for it to get this bad this fast no matter the outcome where we can't even medal or at least force the Bronze medal opponent into an instant classic? Embarrassing. It's Canada's game, but it's our promotional slam piece. And damnit did we mess up!

See you all next week!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sam I Am

Potentially the first gay athlete in the NFL.

As headlines strike across the land and chaos ensues because a gay man will be coming to an NFL stadium near you, people are in upheaval over this decision... as people would say to the classic American Dream seekers still searching for the 21st Century. Times have changed people and maybe we should turn off this talk of sexuality once and for all.

Michael Sam, co-defensive player of the year in the best conference in all of sports (The S.E.C.), came out on February 9th, and will be the first openly gay player in NFL History. Yes, I know I said potentially to start the blog, but let's be honest, how many First Team S.E.C. defensive players not get drafted to the NFL. Not very many, especially if they were co-defensive player of the year in that conference. 

See, here's the thing with sexuality people, it means nothing between the white lines. Whether it's baseball, basketball, curling, or NASCAR, I don't think it's relevant to be pushed into my face in the realm of sports. I understand it is a ground breaking, Jackie Robinson-esk, type of story and I know it is very important for those who are part of the LGBTQ community to have someone come out in such a public manner. At the same time, this story only sheds light on how far some people still won't accept the ideal of at least a third sex within our nation. Look at how the media misconstrued the words of Sam's father and how they perceived him of having a negative outlook on his son's sexuality. The next day, the father had to defend his own words that the media drew a disgusting picture of. Where the money is is where the money flows, and it should show that our nation still has some acceptance issues to spell out.

They say his sexuality will have an issue in the locker room. Really? You think the Missouri Tigers had an issue with his 11.5 sacks this season and his ability to cause havoc in the backfield. Shoot, if I had a gay player in my locker room have three 3 sack games, I would care less what genitalia he preferred in his private life. It's not like NFL players live, dine, drink, and club in the locker room. The chemistry is built there, but it's not like everybody has to get along. They merely need to respect one another, stay flexible, and understand each others roles and find each others strengths to suit the best opportunity for the team. OH! Doesn't that sound like a regular business within america? Where sexual preference isn't an issue among 99% of the businesses by what their standards require? If the media says it's going to be an issue within the locker rooms, than maybe players need to become more professional in and out of the locker room because honing in on a mans sexuality and pulling an Incognito is not something that most locker rooms support. Buttons are pushed, words are said, and ignorance is portrayed in many locker rooms, all athletes know this. But their is a line and just because a guy is LGBTQ won't change anything of the sort. If it does, than clearly there is a larger issue in that said locker room.

Oh, he's going to get serious shit on the field.

And so does everybody else, whether they are black, fat, have braids, talk to much, talk to little, drop passes, have an ugly family member, everybody gets crap told towards them on the field. So just because Michael Sam is gay, do you really think he's going to be more "sensitive" to the choice in his sexuality? I think he'll embrace the negative remarks and use it to his advantage to become a standout player because it only gives him more fuel to the fire.

Let's also make another point about this. Just because he's gay doesn't mean he's now all of a sudden a bad person. It's a choice he's made and a decision he's living with. He's doing it because it makes him happy and comfortable in his own skin. OH! What a concept America, a human being being more comfortable in their own skin. With how much media mamba-jamba is out there about needing to take this drug to calm you down, or this drug to make you focus, or this stimulant to make you more comfortable in your own skin because of X Y Z, this guy is making it known this is who he is. With all this criticism of how someone is, maybe the people waving the banners of "what god would say" should actually talk to god and tell him how they find another human being less worthy of them because of a choice they have made to become happy. We can get into more politics about how religion is super hypocritical anyways, but you didn't click on this link for that reason. 

You wanted to hear my view on Michael Sam.

Well, Sam... I am on your side. Be free, be happy, and I accept who you are. I hope those who clicked on this link can join me in that sentiment and can also understand that a sexual preference doesn't matter on the football field.

Also, it's 2014 for goodness sake. Let's evolve shall we?

I'll see you next week.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Basketball runs the land again; Deadzone ahead

We are here in 2014 starting this journey towards another run at the Madness of March, the ides of NBA Playoffs, and a summertime still far off into the distance, but not as far as it seems with where we are in the sports calender. We are heading into another dead zone in the sports world as the NBA All-star games gets closer and closer, the calm before the storm is February for college basketball, and NASCAR is set to kickoff in a couple weeks but for now, basketball is what runs the nation. It's the first Sunday without football and will be for the next 150+ days till August decides to roll around again where the boys of fall will rise again. For now, it's the men of the hardwood and the ballers of the streets who run the sports world today.

Marcus Smart pushing people in the crowd, double overtime games filling update boards on countless sporting news stations, and Dick Vitale speaking the language of diaper dandies across the land. It's not quite football, but it's the second best thing in this country. We'll adapt, we are malleable creatures who can find peace with the orange ball. The hardwood doesn't have elements that will dictate strengths through mother nature, but the spirit of the game cannot be matched by anything but soccer. The smell of the grass won't apply, but court side seats will. The pounding of pads will be replaced with the screeching of shoes across the wooden surface. Fantasy may take some time off and it won't be the same, but this needed break from the gridiron might do us some good.

It will help us reunite with our family's, help us recreate bonds that we left stale during the fall, and things around the house will actually get done on our day of rest. Yes the madness of March will be here soon, the Masters will come faster than later, and Major league baseball will roam daily across the land. But, the king will be basketball from now until the summertime comes back. Our first deadzone will be here very soon, and NBA All-stars will roam the television screen for many sports fans here in the next couple weeks. Till then, find something to do, get away from the sports for a bit. It's valentines day on Friday, find a nice girl, take her out on a date, and plow her cornfield till the cows come home. Puns are appreciated, and this will be the worst blog I write for a while. You can anticipate some awesome All-star weekend material next week, but for now, a break is needed.

Go watch some Olympics, and read up on the terrible news going on in Sochi, because I guarantee you you'll be entertained.

See you all next week!

Follow Marty Elm and I on our new time slot on where our show (Speed Hump Sports) will be on now at 6:30 am pacific time on Monday, Wednesday, Friday. We give out Starbucks cards on Friday!

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Impact of David Stern

O.K. I know the Super Bowl just ended, but let's be honest it wasn't really that entertaining with a 43-8 beat down and with the most lack luster performance of Super Bowl commercials in a long time, what is the point in wasting space on the internet to speak about it? The one real question for Seattle fans outside of when the parade is (Wednesday February 5th, 11 am) when will the Sonics come back? Adam Silver will get them back if he knows whats best about business. First though, lets get back to the impact David Stern had on the NBA.

You can name all the negatives that David Stern had throughout his career (Having the Sonics leave Seattle the way he had it happen, implementing ping pong balls to decide many NBA teams fate in the draft, and adding a dress code that only made the NBA more transparent to the rest of the demographic in the sport) but there have also been a ton of positives. Since David Stern took over in 1983, the NBA went from being a stabilizing business nightmare to a global phenomenon that has become one of the most popular sports in the world. You can't measure his impact alone in America like you can football or baseball, but if you dig deeper into the impact he has made across the globe in places that were once soccer strict countries (many south america countries) that are now basketball driven countries, that was all based upon the marketing of guys like Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Shaq. The way he marketed them he made them seem larger than the game, like superheros, like giants among men. That marketing strategy led them to be viewed across the planet as individuals who could brand the sport in way never done before and make the streets of Shanghai look like the streets of New York where every kid is picking up a basketball instead of picking up a school robe. Not that I advise that, but that is a huge impact for international countries.

He made small market clubs have the opportunity to expand when in the past the room to grow seem insurmountable. It also doesn't help when the league before the 1980's didn't have to buzz around it that David was so lucky to get with the hype of Magic and Bird. Now when you are given a gift, all you can do is take it as far as you can, and when David Stern was given the gift of Magic and Bird, he took it to China, the Moon, Mars, and back. You know your sport thrives when guys like Larry Bird are getting more press than a guy like Oscar Robertson (who played in the 1960's). That's not to rip on Larry Bird who was incredible but Oscar is on a whole other level. That's what David Stern did, he made insignificant players more important and over time, put a ton more money in their pockets which nobody can deny.

At the end of the day, being a big wig sports commissioner your goal is to make more money. He did that. He improved a brand so globally that only soccer can compete, and with the talent that came into the NBA over the past 30 years, his branding strategy was spot on. With where the league will go from here, I personally hope the NBA brands more in a team format with Adam Silver at the helm. On the whole, David Sterns impact has been so great, it really cannot be put into words how great of a job he really did. The sport will miss you David, and you have left the NBA in a better place then when you got it.

I'll see you next week!