Monthly Archives: July 2012
First, there was the dust-up that involved Brianna Scurry during the 2007 World Cup. You remember when then-U.S. coach Greg Ryan who benched Solo, then a young goalkeeper for the veteran Scurry, who was Solo’s backup but had a more decorated career at the time (two gold medals and a world championship).
We remember the story: Brazil shellacked us in the semifinals of the World Cup 4-0 behind Marta’s dazzling performance. Then came Solo’s memorable quote:
“There’s no doubt in my mind I would have made those saves. And the fact of the matter is, it’s not 2004 anymore. … It’s 2007, and I think you have to live in the present. And you can’t live by big names. You can’t live in the past. It doesn’t matter what somebody did in an Olympic gold-medal game in the Olympics three years ago.”
Fast-forward to last week, when Solo went after former Team USA star/current NBC soccer analyst Brandi Chastain. After the U.S. women beat Colombia 3-0, Chastain criticized U.S. defender Rachel Buehler during the NBC telecast.
Chastain pointed out that a defender’s responsibilities are: “Defend. Win the ball. And then keep possession. And that’s something that Rachel Buehler actually needs to, I think, improve on in this tournament.”
Well, Ms. Solo (appropriate name, isn’t it?) didn’t take too kindly to Chastain’s analysis. Solo took to Twitter, saying “its 2 bad we cant have commentators who better represents the team&knows more about the game.”
As if that wasn’t good enough, Solo fired off more tweets against Chastain. Here ya go:
“Lay off commentating about defending and gking until you get more educated
@brandichastain the game has changed from a decade ago. #fb”
“Its important 2 our fans 2 enjoy the spirit of the olympics.Its not possible when sum1 on air is saying that a player is the worst defender!”
And my favorite: “I feel bad 4 our fans that have 2 push mute, especially bc
@arlowhite is fantastic. @brandichastain should be helping 2 grow the sport #fb”
Look, I like Solo a lot. I love her game, the chip she carries on her shoulders, her swagger – and of course her looks.
But ol’ girl has to stop with blowing up folks in the media.
Sure she doesn’t have to like people criticizing her teammates. She doesn’t have to like Chastain period.
But last I checked, Chastain is getting paid for what she is doing: analyzing Olympic soccer matches. Any analyst in any sport will tell you that part of being a good analyst is telling the truth – even when no one will like it.
Solo needs to check herself before she finds herself in a lot of trouble. If Terrell Owens wasn’t able to get away with it, why should Solo?
First, let me commend the football players at Penn State for vowing not to renege on their commitment and staying with the university. They maintained that not one person built Penn State, and not one person is going to tear it down.
You have to respect those young men for wanting to finish what they started. I know I sure as hell do.
That said, I’ve got some advice for those young men: get out, and get the hell out NOW.
Here’s the deal, those young men will not play in a bowl game at least this season (four-year bowl ban). That means the incoming freshman will not only not get to participate in a bowl, they won’t even get to play in the Big Ten championship game during their four-year run.
Again, I admire and respect the hell out of those young men for their commitment to Penn State. But fellas, c’mon ya’ll! Get out while the getting is good…
The NCAA is expected to make a ruling on Penn State at a press conference tomorrow morning at 9 AM. NCAA president Mark Emmert made the announcement earlier today that he will announce penalties levied against Penn State in relation to the Jerry Sandusky child molestation crimes – and the school’s unwillingness to do anything to stop it.
Now while I agree that a statement must be made for other schools to take notice of what happens when they value football over the safety of children (and anyone else for that matter), I think the NCAA is headed down a slippery slope.
First of all, Emmert is asserting his authority without the enforcement process that takes weeks and sometimes months. He is doing it without any notice of allegations. There has not been a Committee on Infractions hearing, which gives schools the chance to respond to allegations from the NCAA.
In short, he is turning into college sports equivalent of Roger Goodell.
The NCAA is so by the book. It’s hard to believe to see someone, let alone its president, go outside of the box like that.
The NCAA has also opened itself up for criticism from colleges, fans, and the media. How would it be taken seriously when it investigates other athletic programs? It would risk itself being branded as inconsistent in its future investigations at best.
Is this the beginning of the NCAA acting in cases where the primary issue does not center around athletics? Would the NCAA act in the same manner pertaining to sexual harassment cases?
I am not saying the NCAA is beyond reproach in handling violations and its perpetrators. If anything, the NCAA are in most cases lacking in that regard. But at least I could say the process it takes along the way has been consistently bad.
Again, I am not against Emmert and the NCAA using Penn State to send other schools a message. I just think it will make us wonder even more of makes the NCAA tick – even if it would be a more painful endeavor.
Penn State’s president decided to remove Joe Paterno’s statue early this morning. I’ve got one thing to say to this gentleman.
Good for the president in making the right, albeit courageous decision. And congrats to the Board of Trustees in backing him.
Simply put, Penn State had to remove that statue because it has become a lightning rod of so much controversy. After all, Paterno enabled a child predator in Jerry Sandusky for so long. Paterno is lucky that he is not alive to face charges of perjury and witness the backlash to his legacy.
As they say, it takes one act of stupidity to erase many acts of good.
Of course, this is not the end for Penn State. You better believe there will be civil suits coming in the form of tens – if not hundreds – of millions of dollars. The state of Pennsylvania may consider pulling its funding from Penn State. And there is the matter of the NCAA coming down with “unprecedented penalties”.
One more thing: in watching the reaction of the students and alums, it is downright sad to see otherwise intelligent people be so (plucking) delusional. If that’s not proof as to why the statue had to come down, I don’t know what is…
Looks like my New York Knicks may not be Linsanity believers after all.
The Knicks have completed a sign-and-trade for Portland PG Raymond Felton for three years and $10 million. That gives New York at least two solid point guards (the other being future Hall of Famer Jason Kidd). This makes it highly unlikely that the Knicks will match the offer sheet the Houston Rockets made to Jeremy Lin.
Why, you might ask? It’s simple when you break down the math.
The Rockets’ offer sheet for Lin is a little more than $25 million and breaks down as so: $5 million in the first year, $5.225 million in the second and $14.8 million in the third.
Now ask yourself the following question: is Lin really worth $14.8 million dollars for a season?
After only starting 35 games? Really?
Plus keep in mind that this is the same cat who sat out of the playoffs despite being at, in his words, “85%”. Think the Knicks could have needed Lin against Miami in the first round? At least it would have been a more competitive series.
I don’t blame Lin for protecting his money, but why commit that much loot to a guy who said something like that?
Look, I was on Lin’s bandwagon last season. If the price was not so exorbitant (again, $14.8 million in the last year of his deal), I’d be clamoring for my Knicks to bring him back.
However, there is a time and place for common sense. Common sense dictates that a team should not commit that much money to a player based on a small sample size. Good luck to whoever has to trade Lin’s contract during the final season of the deal.
Besides, there is a player named Chris Paul who will be a free agent after next season who on more than one occasion professed his desire to play in New York alongside Carmelo Anthony. Ya think Paul is not an upgrade over Lin?
I’ll tell you what, Houston will have a big-ass egg on its face this summer when they realize they’ll have to pay Lin all that money AND miss out on Dwight Howard.
I have to get in on this Dream Team-2012 Team USA debate on which team is better. Instead of just running off with my mouth as I would normally do, I opt instead to break things down from the rosters to the matchups. After all, it’s all about Xs and Os.
Let’s examine this, shall we?
1992 Dream Team roster
- Christian Laettner (I almost forgot his ass played)
- David Robinson
- Patrick Ewing
- Larry Bird
- Scottie Pippen
- Michael Jordan
- Clyde Drexler
- Karl Malone
- John Stockton
- Chris Mullin
- Charles Barkley
- Magic Johnson
2012 USA Olympic Team
- Chris Paul
- Deron Williams
- Kevin Durant
- Russell Westbrook
- Tyson Chandler
- Kevin Love
- Blake Griffin
- Andre Iguodala
- James Harden
- LeBron James
- Kobe Bryant
- Carmelo Anthony
- Anthony Davis
*Keep in mind that Dwight Howard, Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are unable to play because of injuries.
Let us then compare the starting lineups of both teams, along with the probable matchups:
|Dream Team||2012 Team USA|
So here is what we’ve got: an older Magic going against an athletic freak in James; an old-ass Bird with a creaky back matching up with Carmelo; and a tough, but undersized Barkley matching up with Durant on the perimeter. The only advantages the Dream Team would have had were an MJ and Ewing in their primes.
Sure the Dream Team had Pippen, Malone, Drexler, Mullin, Robinson and Stockton (all in their primes) coming off the bench. And they could more than match up with Love, Paul, Westbrook, Harden, Williams and Iguodala – particularly when it comes to size.
However, the 2012 squad has something that the Dream Team didn’t have a lot of: versatility. Chandler is the only pure center on the 2012 squad, which means the rest of the team can play any number of positions. Plus all those players, except for Chandler, an shoot from almost anywhere from the floor.
And sure Pippen could defend ANY POSITION on the floor, but how about the rest of the Dream Team? The only pure shooters the Dream Team had were Mullins and Stockton. Bird’s back was too creaky to be that consistent third shooter.
Also keep in mind that a few of the Dream Team were grizzled vets. The younger players may have been pure scorers but they played a more methodical game. It was obvious they were coached by former Detroit Pistons coach Chuck Daly. His Pistons teams were tough grinders who rarely played up-tempo games.
Meanwhile Coach K has the 2012 squad running and gunning – consequences be damned. It’s obvious that in order to beat this team you’d have to simply out-score and outrun them. Good luck with that.
And sure the Dream Team was bigger and brawnier than the 2012 squad – so what? All the 2012 boys would have to do is zone their asses on defense and spread the Dream Teamers out, screen and run them to death. It’s as simple as that. As I said before, the Dream Team only had two pure shooters. A zone would rock the hell out of the Dream Team.
Here’s the deal: the Dream Team is the most celebrated Olympic squad for many reasons. One, it’s arguably the most star-studded; two, because it was the most talented.
I’m just saying that this 2012 is the one team that would not be scared of them. If Howard, Wade and Griffin were playing (hello, MORE versatility), it would not even be close. It would be a blowout in the 2012 squad’s favor.
I’d guarantee it.