Here are eight things I know about sports:
1. It really is all about the money.
Free agent pitcher CC Sabathia, by all accounts, wanted to play in California for a National League team. That would lead one to believe he’d either end up in San Francisco or Los Angeles, provided they offer him an acceptable contract offer. So where’s CC going? To play for the New York Yankees, of course. Sabathia has agreed to the largest pitching contract in baseball history, worth more than $160 million over seven years.
Desperate to be relevant again, the Yankees opened up the checkbook and basically told Sabathia “You write how much it’ll take to get you in pinstripes.” And while Sabathia was one of the biggest names in free agency, he’s also easily the biggest body – weighing in at 300 lbs.; so let me ask you, was this a smart move for the Yankees? Handing over $160 million to an already morbidly-obese pitcher who will be 35 years old when this deal is done? I’m not a Yankees fan, but wouldn’t it have been smarter to acquire Johan Santana a year ago, since he’s half the weight and twice the pitcher?
So enjoy your new pitcher Yankees fans, especially in two or three years when he’s too fat to make it to the pitching mound and has to be converted to a designated hitter.
2. Basketball general managers have no accountability.
How long was Isiah Thomas allowed to run the New York Knicks into the ground before someone finally noticed? And the same scenario is currently playing out in Minnesota with Kevin McHale and the Timberwolves.
The Timberwolves fired coach Randy Wittman after starting the season 4-15. Apparently no one was supposed to notice that Minnesota’s talent left the day Kevin Garnett was shipped off to Boston, so Wittman was blamed for not turning his junior varsity team into a championship contender, even though it was McHale who gave Garnett away for a bag of peanuts.
I don’t have anything against Washington Wizards general manager Ernie Grunfeld, but to fire coach Eddie Jordan when Grumfeld was the one who built a team that hasn’t gotten any better in the last three years is a joke. Every other team in the Eastern Conference has improved over the last couple seasons while the Wiz are still waiting for Gilbert Arenas to get healthy and banking on a team of soft jump shooters who don’t play defense to magically beat legitimate championship contenders. Good luck with that.
3. Mike Vick will play in the National Football League again.
How many second chances did Pacman Jones get? He sucker punched the security guard who was hired to babysit him and people still found a way to make excuses for him. Those people who despise Vick for his cruel treatment of animals need to understand that some owner out there is going to take a chance on him and we will see the controversial quarterback playing on Sundays again sooner rather than later. He might be converted to a wide receiver or asked to come off the bench, but Vick will be around – probably running the Wildcat formation for the Dallas Cowboys as soon as he serves any suspension that the commissioner hands down.
4. Hockey is back.
Having superstars like Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby is great. Having competitive teams in markets like New York, Boston and Washington helps even more. Networks like ESPN can try to bury hockey all they want, but the sport is officially back to “top four” status.
5. Golf is nothing without Tiger Woods.
The two biggest names outside of Tiger are Phil Mickelson and Michelle Wie, neither of which has ever been confused with being clutch. Unless you’re a diehard golfer or you tune in to see Wie not make the cut in yet another men’s tournament or Mickelson’s latest meltdown, you’re simply don’t care until Woods is back in action. Fair or not, that’s just the way it is.
6. The Ultimate Fighting Championship is here to stay.
The only way I could see the UFC running into trouble is if president Dana White goes all “Vince McMahon” on us and lets his ego destroy the company. Having his fighters sign their life away or be fired in order for the company to make money off of their likeness is petty. The UFC’s sole focus should be about putting together the best fights possible. If that means working with a non UFC fighter like Fedor Emelianenko, then put your ego aside and make it happen. Your fans deserve it.
7. The Heisman Trophy is meaningless.
Sure, I could have just said that college football still needs a playoff format and have been done with it, but the truth is the biggest trophy in collegiate sports is a joke. Colt McCoy of Texas, Sam Bradford of Oklahoma and Tim Tebow of Florida are all fine players, but here’s my issue – they’re all quarterbacks. In fact, since 2000 seven out of the eight players to receive college’s “most prestigious” award have been quarterbacks.
You mean to tell me that across the entire country over the last decade only one non-quarterback was considered elite? Let’s review the names in Heisman Trophy history since 2000: Chris Weinke of Florida State, Eric Crouch of Nebraska, Carson Palmer of USC, Jason White of Oklahoma, Matt Leinart of USC, Reggie Rush of USC, Troy Smith of Ohio State and Tebow last year. Yes, the Heisman is supposed to recognize excellence in college – not which player will go on to be a great professional player. But when the average sports fan wouldn’t recognize Weinke, Crouch or White if they were bagging our groceries then there’s a flaw in the system.
8. If you listen to Colin Cowherd, I don’t like you as a person.
Really, this one is self explanatory.
Brian Murphy is an award-winning sportswriter who also goes by the name Homer McFanboy. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.