Saturday, July 11, 2009

TOP 10 SIGNS IT IS TIME TO HANG EM UP - A guide to sports retirement

Spokane Washington's Hoopfest, the biggest 3 on 3 basketball tournament in world with over 6,000 teams is a great illustration that your never to old to ball it up. If you walk down the street at Hoopfest you will see a multitude of over aged men throwing their bodies around trying to re-live their glory days. How do I know, because I was one of those over the hill guys trying to show that I still had it. Now, that was 3 years ago when I was a young eager 35 year old but I am sure things haven't changed too much. I am well beyond this stage in my life and I have no desire to ever play again, except for the occasional student-teacher basketball game. This made me wonder, at what age is time for an athlete to call it quits?
Brett Farve hasn't figured it out, Shawn Kemp hasn't figured it out and Shaquille O'neal has yet to understand that when you get older your skills diminish. It is said that the average age that a world class athlete retires is 33 years of age and that include the gymnasts who retire at an age of 19. So what are the signs that an athlete is getting too old? When is it time to say..."you know I have had a great career, now I am going to be an color commentator or rapper?" I believe that there are some tell tale signs:

Top 10 Signs It Is Time To Retire From Sports

1. You have retired once before...see Brett Farve

2. You have thought about playing with elbow and knee pads...see Kevin Willis

3. Your vertical jump is less then your waist size...see Shawn Kemp

4. You have injured more than 3 body parts...see Fred Taylor

5. You have thought about wearing goggles...see Kurt Rambis

6. You are over 33 years of age and your fastball doesn't register on the radar gun...see Jaime Moyer, Tom Glavine and Tim Wakefield.

7. You don't ever have to throw or shoot or touch a ball...see Ken Griffey Jr., Bruce Bowen, Brad Johnson

8. You have thought about becoming a player coach...see Michael Jordan & Pete Rose

9. You have an audition for "Dancing with the stars" or some other reality TV show.

10. The announcers use the terms: Gritty, Experienced, or Grizzled.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Is technology ruining sports?
Each year some new modern gadget comes out that is said to revolutionize the way the game is watched and each year the sports fan loses the one thing that makes sports exciting; the debate. Baseball's new modern revolution is now upon us with a statistical software that "will record the exact speed and location of the ball and every player on the field". The software plays like a video game and will give stats on anything from which infielders reach the hard-hit grounders up the middle? Which base runners are the fastest from first base to third? Which right fielders charge the ball quickest and throws most accurately?
This software can not be good for us classic sport fans. No longer can we debate the best arm in baseball or the fastest player between the bases. This software will tell us exactly who is the fastest to ground ball or what outfielder throws the ball the hardest. Do we really want to know this information? The debates I have with my friends and other sports fans makes baseball exciting. I claim Derek Jeter is the fastest to first base and then my buddies laugh and throw things at that is sports.
Baseball already has enough statistics. With baseball's invention of WHIPS, OPS and IBBs I think we are good on stats thank you. We need something to be left up to our imagination. I want to be able to argue who is the fastest, strongest, most athletic , or even who eats the most. Sometime more is not better.

Top 5 Worst Technological Advancements in Sports

1. The Glowing Puck
Fox Network came up with this ridiculous idea calling it FoxTrax. Did they really believe that hockey fans couldn't follow a black puck on white ice (I am not a color coordinator but at least I know that black and white are contrasting colors). The traditional hockey fans hated this glowing red puck almost as much as they hate running out of Pabst Blue Ribbon. It lasted only a couple of years and will forever be known as the worst innovation of all-time.

2. Instant Replay
I know this may not be a popular choice but to traditional fans instant replay has ruined the game. Referees NEED to make WRONG calls. We fans need someone to blame our teams losses on. We need someone to yell at and we need something talk about. Referee mistakes are good for the game. Not only that but Instant Replay is still wrong many times (just ask Seahawk fans ie...Testeverde and then the Superbowl debacle). Wimbledon has even brought instant replay to tennis. Tennis without yelling at the refs (think John McEnroe) is like NASCAR without the crashes; we need bad calls. Instant Replay has taken the joy out of being a rabid fan.

3. Artificial Turf
Not only did artificial turf ruin players careers but it also annoyed many traditional football fans by taking away the mud. Think of some of the great football players of the past, Dick Butkus, Y.A Title, and any Green Bay Packer, and then picture them playing on artificial turf. No mud, little blood and no dirt. Football was meant to be played on grass, not turf, not sand but grass. I like the mud, I like it when players slip and slide. Who cares that the game is looks better.

4. No Announcers
This is the anti-technological innovation. The NFL tried this idea in a game between the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets. The game would played without any announcers, so that fans could hear the sounds of the game (roar of the crowd, refs whistle, total silence, etc). This is like having a comedy without the laugh track or a horror movie without the music. It was a total flop and they never tried it again...wonder why.

5. Helmet headset
This may be a great idea if and only if, I also got a helmet headset and could make and change play calls. Instead it just makes the game like a video game in which two players miles away form each other talk smack over a game of Ghost Recon. I can't hear what they are saying and frankly, if they want to talk to each other just let the coach be ON the field like they do in training camp. Let the players play please.

If you have any other innovations I missed please let me know.