Sports 56 WHBlog Q

December 10, 2008

The Miscellany, Vol. 1

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — Peter Edmiston @ 11:42 am

Before we get started, there is no truth to the rumor that Chicago native Ron Tillery offered Javaris Crittenton to Rod Blagojojejogevich for Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat.  And while we’re on the subject, I wish such a ridiculous scandal was headlined by a guy with a more pronounceable name.  Blagojevich.  If you’ve never heard someone say it, even guessing at the pronunciation is impossible.  (Correct: blah-GOY-ya-vitch).   It’s like the political version of the Tim Donaghy thing  (“Don-a-hee?” “Don-a-ghee?” “Den-a-hew?”).  From now on, let’s all agree on a pronunciation and roll with it.  We can do this.

While I’m thrilled for the University of Memphis football team and plan to be in attendance at Tropicana Field for their bowl game, I still cannot believe that the St. Petersburg Bowl is actually, truly sponsored by Magicjack.  Wait, sorry, it’s actually supposed to be spelled magicJack.  My bad.  I can’t believe we’ve reached the point where infomercial products can now be bowl sponsors.  The collision of economic troubles and a billion bowls creates this kind of thing.  I eagerly await next year’s Jack Lalanne Power Juicer St. Petersburg Bowl  – or maybe the Nads Hair Removal St. Petersburg Bowl.  I’m on board with this trend.

It is better than the Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl, though.  I am told Roady’s is a truck stop.  Awesome.  The only one more ridiculous is the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.  That seems like overkill.  Why do I care about San Diego-area banking choices?  There has to be a more efficient way to get people to bank with the SDCCU than to sponsor a bowl game.  Where’s the Memphis Area Teachers’ Credit Union Bowl?

Last night marked the 20th anniversary of Jerry Sloan’s hiring as Utah Jazz head coach.  Think about that for a second.  The man has spent 20 years in the same coaching profession and has done a brilliant job.  He doesn’t have a big ego, he doesn’t put himself all over TV all the time – he just wins with all sorts of different players and makes Utah a destination for players who want to win.  The fact that the man doesn’t have a Coach of the Year honor is an indictment on the award itself.  Clearly the voters don’t get it.  Consistent, solid performance tends to get overlooked, and Sloan has been as consistent as they come.  And he made Andrei Kirilenko cry…that’s a tough dude right there.

Since I’m writing about the NBA, let me throw a few other thoughts out there…Lebron James is the most absurdly gifted player in NBA history; doesn’t mean he’s the best, but there’s been no one else with the combination of physicality, speed, and skill he has…the Pistons are now 7-9 since adding Allen Iverson and the Nuggets are flying since adding Chauncey Billups – those are not unrelated things…how is Mike Dunleavy still employed as an NBA head coach?…for that matter, how does Kevin Mchale still draw a paycheck in any capacity with the Wolves?…the Spurs are lurking…everyone else in the East besides Cleveland and Boston can shut it down now – those two will be in the Eastern Conference Finals come May.

Now, to the Grizzlies – just a few things.  First of all, the proposed deal Ron reported yesterday on The Memphis Edge involving Javaris Crittenton to the Wizards for the Grizzlies’ conditional 1st round pick that originally landed Juan Carlos Navarro needs to happen.  Crittenton is growing more and more frustrated with his lot in life, rightfully so, and the Grizzlies need to get something back for him before it’s too late.  Disgruntled players who aren’t actually all that good are really bad to have on your bench.  This is a no-brainer.  However, I’m not sure how Washington would clear roster space and deal with the cap implications of the move since they’re over the cap.   (LATE EDIT: Apparently the deal is done, and it involves a third team – the Hornets – to make the deal work for the Wizards.  Good.)  Secondly, it is becoming clearer and clearer to me that O.J. Mayo is the most valuable player on the Grizzlies roster now and certainly has a chance to be light years better than a lot of people expected.  It’s not just his jump shot or tenacious defense, it’s the fact that he has a voracious work ethic that’s contagious.   He is making Rudy Gay better, he is making Mike Conley better, he is making Marc Gasol better.   Talent is nice, but talent and hard work is so much better.  Mayo is more important to this franchise than Rudy Gay.

Sam Bradford should win the Heisman.  Tim Tebow is a leader, is an excellent quarterback, and is very loud – this year, that’s simply not enough to outdo Bradford’s insane numbers and Oklahoma’s brutally efficient offense.  Hell, decide it on the field – whoever wins the national title can give their QB the Heisman.  Done and done.

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