More On Sports: LeBron, Owners, MLB, etc.

Posted: Friday, July 30, 2010 in Current Events, Sports
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

As promised, here’s where my head is at, as far as Sports goes, in this, the Summer of our Lord, 2010.  Sorry this post is starting off with some old shit; just haven’t gotten around to tightening up and publishing my notes till now.  I promise that each topic will get subsequently more, well, topical, as we move along.

More on LeBron’s Weak Shit

Here are a couple of my favorite LeBron-to-Miami reactions:

The G.O.A.T also thinks that LeBron’s shit is weak.  “I am Michael Jordan.  And you, Sir, are no Michael Jordan.  I’m Michael Jordan, and I approved this message.”

Here is, by far, the best take on LeBron, from the great Drew Magary, as per usual:  As you can see, I left the enitre url intact, rather than couch the link in text, because no one writes a headline like Drew Magary.

And in the spirit of fairness, here is the counterpoint to Magary’s piece, also from the great sports blog

Oh, and Jay-Z is apparently not pleased. Now you’ve gone and pissed off Hova, Lebron: not good.

Dan Gilbert

You can’t blame this cat for going fucking ballistic over the way LeBron left the Cleveland Cavaliers.  First of all, as owner of the Cavs, Gilbert had to watch his franchise lose, like, at least $100 million in value during a televised dog-and-pony-show hosted by that douchebag Jim Grey.  And secondly, Gilbert watched arguably the world’s most exciting basketball player “take his talents to South Beach” along with Gilbert’s best chance to bring the first championship to Cleveland since 1964.  So I get it: getting dumped by the hottest girl in school really, really, sucks. especially when she leaves you for someone way sexier and shallower.

But Gilbert has gone way off the deep end here, and his actions are analogous to spreading nasty rumors about, calling and hanging up on, and driving by the house of, said hot chick.  That ridiculous diatribe that Gilbert “penned” on the Cavs website should have been subjected to the whole put-the-angry-letter-in-the-desk-drawer rule, because both he and it could have used a little cooling off time.  And perhaps the choice of going with the “Comic Sans” type-font wasn’t the best call in hindsight, as the hand-written style of the font closely resembles the penmanship of the bat-shit crazy poo-painting inmates locked up in solitary (I love me some MSNBC’s “Lockup.”)  The choice of the Comic Sans font was so curious to people, that #comicsans became a trending topic on Twitter.

OK, now lemme just bottom-line this business, as this story is well past it’s expiration date:  Gilbert’s anger and impulsiveness, while understandable and somewhat admirable, is also immature and short-sighted.  How many big-time free-agents are gonna choose to play for Gilbert and his Cavs, now that he has blasted and aired some dirty laundry of the one of the league’s most popular players.  Players talk, Dan.  If I’m a Cavs fan, I’m pretty pissed about this, as Gilbert spent up a lot of the good-will and rooting that is coming the Cavs way in the wake of their very public dumping.  If you own a pro sports franchise, you just have to be able to take the high road in these type of situations, especially when dealing with extremely large children.  Besides, most owners should remain invisible anyway: unless you own a transcendent sports franchise, that is worth billions, thanks in large part to your efforts, no one really takes you seriously or gives a fuck about what you say anyway.

George “The Boss” Steinbrenner

And while we’re on the subject of iconic team owners and, shall we say, less than dignified behavior, I gotta say a few things about The Boss.  First, let’s get all the bad shit out of the way – and mind you, I’m a Yankees fan.  Now I am to young to be cognizant of the days when George was kind of out of control, and was firing Billy Martin during the press conference announcing the man’s hiring.  This kind of stuff, and the rest of Steinbrenner’s antics back then, fall into the aforementioned category of STFU.  George didn’t really earn the right to be such an over-bearing presence at that time, even after bringing two titles back to the Bronx in the late 70s.  He would have done well to shut his mouth and listen a little more; perhaps those great Yankee teams would have been a dynasty had he done so.  And all those shenanigans just made him look more like the buffoon famously caricatured in Seinfeld.  Over time, George did become a great elder statesman, all while maintaining that great bad-assery he was so known for.

George Steinbrenner’s mercurial and somewhat ruthless personality most definitely was a mixed bag, and probably had a lot to do with both his personal, and the Yankees’ team, success, thus making George like any other complicated individual, only amplified to the extreme.  And I have complicated feelings about the way that The Boss obsessively chased championships at all costs like Ahab, with seemingly little regard for what carnage lie in his wake.  On the one hand, I of course understand that George endeavored to put the best product on the field each year, and I have personally enjoyed the sweet fruits of the Boss’ efforts as we Yankee fans have watched our Bronx Bombers ascend to the premiere professional sports franchise in the world.  But on the other hand, the precedent set by Steinbrenner’s literal win-at-all-costs strategy has hurt the competitive balance of Major League Baseball, and has taken some of the fun out of winning when you have the highest payroll by a mile.  I’m not complaining too much, because I sure do appreciate being a Yankees fan instead of rooting for, say, the Pirate or Royals.  However, it is extremely annoying to deal with the inevitable payroll complaints when discussing Yankee greatness.  This is one of the main reasons why the NFL is by and far the most popular professional sport in America: this time of year every team has hope to make a run at a world championship.  Again, George played within the rules, and made up some of his own when he could, so he deserves the adulation from the Yankees’ faithful, and the ire from the rest of baseball.

As far as the personal side of the Boss goes, the side often hidden from the general public and media: every account since his passing paints a picture of a great man with a huge heart who would give of himself every chance he got.  The most public version of this aspect of Steinbrenner’s character manifested itself in the way George reached out to help troubled players like Darryl Strawberry and Doc Godden, and was always ready to grant a blessed second chance.  So many stories from people who have been on the receiving end of George’s great charity have emerged since his passing, the reason being that Steinbrenner did not his generosity publicized, thus making his philanthropy all the more sincere and meaningful.

Like I said, the Boss was a complicated and great man, who I feel is the embodiment of the so-called Byronic Hero, my favorite kind of hero.  He certainly was an idealized but flawed man, as all the great and interesting ones are.  He died as champion, and has left the New York Yankees as the #1 sports property in all of sports.  So I tip my cap to you George, the Boss; fare thee well on the Other Side.

Stay tuned for more on…

A-Rod’s 600th HR (and why no one gives a flying fuck.)

MLB and the Season of the Pitcher

And some other stuff…

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