Individual Award Based on Team Success, DUMB!

There has been far too much influence by team success on the individual awards. The latest was Jorge Guitierrez getting Pac-12 Player of the Year. Guiterrez wasn’t even the best player on his team, Allen Crabbe was. It is getting out of control. The Heisman, POY in conferences, MVP of leagues and so on, are all influenced to much by the results of their team. The team results shouldn’t have that much weight on the decision of an individual.

Everyone constantly rips the athlete that is selfish and self-promotes. People can’t stand Terrell Owens or knock Jay Cutler because he looked like he was pouting when he got hurt in the playoffs. They blame the individual for that. Yet, when it comes to picking an individual for their success over the season, they look at what the team has done then pick a player off that team. Looking at statistics, don’t you think it would be harder to be good with less talent around you, I do. Assists would go down, you would draw more double teams, making it hard to score and rebound when you are the best player on a bad team.

There is always the hypothetical trophy that is constantly debated amongst sports fans: The Best of All-Time. Is it Michael Jordan, LeBron James or Larry Bird? Is it Joe Montana, Johnny Unitas or Tom Brady? The championships that their team won is always what makes one the best. Who is a better quarterback, Trent Dilfer or Dan Marino? Well, Dilfer has a Super Bowl and Marino has none. I guess Trent is the better of the two. No! Marino might be the best quarterback of all time but doesn’t get the credit because he didn’t play on a stacked team.

Robert Horry must be in the top 10 players of all time because he has seven rings. He is better than Jordan for sure because Jordan only has six. These guys are better than Jordan too: Sam Jones, K.C. Jones (not the hockey player from Ninja Turtles), Satch Sanders, Jim Loscutoff and Frank Ramsey. They all played on the same team too. Crown them best of all time behind Bill Russel.

Team success can be influenced by the play of one individual and often is but team success should not be the reason a player wins an individual award. Stop looking at teams with a ton of talent and start looking at players with a ton of talent. Start looking at the guys that have a lot more pressure on them because they are carrying a team. Look at the guys like Brock Motum and Jared Cunningham. Take a peek at guys like Kevin Love and Monta Ellis. These are the guys that are being overlooked constantly.

Pac-12 Player of the Year

The regular season is wrapped up and it is time to give out the award for the Player of the Year in the Pac-12 (Which I finally have gotten used to saying. It only took an two entire sports seasons.) It seems to be down to two players, Terrrence Ross from Washington and Jorge Gutierrez of California. Here is the problem with that. Those two are good players, but the main reason they are the front runners is because of team success.

I am getting more and more of a beef with individual awards being based on team success. It even leaks into the “Who is the better player” debates. “Is Jordan better than LeBron? Well, Jordan has rings.” That argument is ridiculous. A championship is the ultimate team accomplishment. The opposite side of that is that an individual award shouldn’t be based on team success. I have gone off on this numerous times and could write a book on it. Well, not a book but like 300 words. I  have other things to do. So, I won’t go any further with this discussion.

Sticking to who should get the the Pac-12 player of the year, here are my candidates, in no particular order (wink).

Brock Motum – This dude is the only thing going on in Pullman lately. He has put the Cougars on his back and has pretty much went HAM in every single game. In a game earlier this season against Arizona State, Motum had 34 of WSU’s 67. That’s right. Motum 34 points, the rest of the Cougs 33. WSU did lose the game 71-67. With team result influencing people’s opinion, everyone should just ignore this game. Dumb! On Saturday evening with 9 minutes to go in the second half against USC, Motum had 27 and USC had 26. He was beating them by himself. Motum is second in the league in scoring, sixth in rebounding and eighth in field goal percentage. Probably the most efficient player in the conference. Although, he takes too many threes for 6’11″ guy.

Terrence Ross – If this guy could find some consistency, this wouldn’t even be a debate. Ross makes spectacular plays on the regular. Against Marquette, he had a 360 alley-opp dunk, that even as a Coug, I got excited for. Ross might be the most balanced player in the Pac-12. He can rebound and score with great success (Borat voice). Ross is fifth in scoring in the Pac-12 and fifth in rebounding.I am pretty sure Ross will get a lot of national spotlight during the NCAA tourney. That is if UW can win a couple games and he can find consistency.

Jared Cunningham – I wanted to put this guy first (not that this are in a particular order, as stated earlier) but outside of scoring he just do enough with the rest of his game to the leader in this debate. Cunningham does lead the league in scoring. His assists might be down because the rest of Oregon State’s squad can’t hit the broad side of a barn (old school cliche). He does the lead the Pac-12 in steals by almost half a steal a game. He, like Motum, is pretty much all the team has for leadership and scoring. I bet his back is pretty sore from carrying the team.

Maurice Jones – This guy deserves some credit. USC has been through the grinder this year. Six starters have gone down and there is like one scholarship athlete still alive on the squad. For anything to come out positive from this team is damn near a miracle. This guy needs to get a lot of praise and recognition for his performance this year.

Jorge Gutierrez – All I keep hearing is that Gutierrez should be the POY. He is only in the top 10 in one of the major statistical categories, assists. Points, rebounds and steals he isn’t in there. Coaches keep saying he should get the award based on leadership, saying he is such a great leader on the team and the team would be lost without him. Well, I guess the real Player of the Year on that squad is Mike Montgomery, I’m sure he is the best leader on the team. Can’t really give the coach a player award. I mostly put Gutierrez on here just to put him on blast. I will say this though, I love his hair. I seriously only wanted his hair in his photo. Just his hair no face or head.

No one else really – The conference as a whole is down this year. There are other players worth mentioning. I will quickly recap who they are and why they aren’t on the list. Kyle Fogg, can’t make a jumper. Tony Wroten, can’t make a free throw or a jumper. Allen Crabbe, best player on his team but no one talks about him. DeVoe Joseph, not sure how your team or you are good.

Voters will just select someone off one of the top teams in the conference and give the award to him. I will argue that is harder to have a good season on a team with less talent than a team loaded with talent. No matter who wins it, I am just ready for the tournaments to start. That’s right I love them all, NCAA, NIT, CBI and the CIT. I honestly had to Google on Bing the last one.

Jeremy Lin is Nothing Like Tim Tebow

Linsanity is taking over every sports outlet. As with any frenzy or mania, there starts to be comparisons to the last one. The comparison to Jeremy Lin that keeps coming up is how he is like Tim Tebow. These two are nothing alike.

Coming out of high school Tebow was a highly touted recruit. He went to one of the most prestigious football schools in America, Florida. The new Jesus played in and won two national championships in Florida. Oh, and he went on some little trophy call the Heisman. He was already one of the most popular players in all of football before ever getting to the NFL. The Broncos traded up and took Tebow in the first round of the NFL draft. Fans in Denver begged for Kyle Orton to get benched in favor of Tebow. When Denver played at Miami, the Dolphins had a Tim Tebow day. How does a home team celebrate a player on the other team? Because everyone loved him. Tebow was basically known by everyone in America before he ever started a game in the NFL.

Jeremy Lin had a harder time getting to play in an NBA game. Lin couldn’t even get an athletic scholarship to his hometown college of Stanford. He played basketball at Harvard, hardly known for its athletics, Ivy league schools don’t even give athletic scholarships. After finishing up his four years at Harvard and getting his degree, Lin applied for the NBA draft but wasn’t taken. The Golden State Warriors signed him as a free agent to a partially guaranteed contract out of college. He played in 29 games but didn’t even average 10 minutes a game. He bounced between the NBA and the NBDL throughout last season. The Warriors cut him before this season. The Houston Rockets claimed him off of waivers but eventually let him go before he played in any regular season games. He was picked up off of waivers by the New York Knicks. He was only on the team temporarily until Baron Davis came back from injury. It took a bunch of injuries, including another one to Davis to get a shot. Lin came in during a game against the New Jersey Nets and went “H.A.M.” for 25 points and 7 assists. He started the next seven games. Almost no one knew who Jeremy Lin was before that game.

Another difference between the two is their level of play during games. Lin actually is playing well during this stretch of 7-1 for the Knicks. Tebow didn’t play well at all. The Broncos defense was playing insanely well during Broncos run to the playoffs. In 11 regular season starts, Tebow went 7-4 and didn’t carry the team at all in most of those games. Tebow had a completion percentage of 46.7, which is terrible for an NFL quarterback. Tebow was 34th in the NFL in completion percentage, which most of you know there are only 32 teams. Jeremy Lin’s shooting percentage was 50.4 during his run. Which would be 23rd in the NBA, with only two other guards in the top 25. Tebow threw for an average of 150 yards per game. Lin averaged 24.6 points a game and 8.6 assist per game. Lin’s numbers haven’t been matched by anyone in NBA history during the first seven starts of a career.

Another factor in the frenzy is race. It can’t be ignored. A few people have gone about bringing it up the wrong way. Floyd Mayweather said on Twitter that the only reason people care about Lin’s success is because he is Asian. That is ridiculous! That isn’t the only reason. It, however, is part of the reason. There has never been an Asian-American starter in NBA history. This does add to the intrigue of the story. We have seen the white quarterback that was a superstar in college go on to have an excellent NFL career. Lin is bringing an aspect to the NBA that has never been seen before, which opens our minds and breaks down stereotypes that have been in place with the NBA for years.

One other major difference is that half the people loved Tebow and the other half hated him. Lin seems to have almost everyone on his side. Both guys are men of faith. Tebow seemed to use his fame as a platform to promote his religion. That gets under people’s skin. Lin wants to become a pastor after his playing career but isn’t using his fame to push his religion. ESPN has covered them both to an extreme but Lin’s play has justified his coverage, Tebow’s not so much. That could have been another reason for all the dislike of Tebow.

It will be interesting to see how each of their careers play out. We will see how each will affect the game they are playing and the people watching them. I am going to go have a few “Lin” and tonics and hopefully I am not Tebowing over a toilet later.

Joe Paterno’s Legacy

All it took was a week of Super Bowl talk and the Penn State scandal is already on the back burner, maybe even locked up in some Tupperware on a shelf in the fridge.

Just a week ago, the back and forth on Joe Paterno’s legacy was the hottest topic in sports, if not the country. People were on the “Joe Paterno is the worst human being alive” wagon for a few weeks. Then, he passed away and they were on the “Joe Paterno was the greatest man alive” wagon.

Which one is it people?

When history looks back on the JoePa is it going to shine favorably on him?

I think it will.

Joe Paterno’s good out weigh his alleged bad.  He coached at one school for 61 years and was head coach for 46 of those years. I can almost guarantee that will never happen again. I doubt anyone will even come close to that many years at one place.

Paterno donated, not thousands of dollars, but millions of dollars of his salary of the years to Penn State. All that money wasn’t donated to sports, it was donated to education. It didn’t benefit just his players, but every student that attend school in Happy Valley.

Remember JoePa touched many lives, not many kids.

Joe Paterno didn’t witness the crime, he was told about it second hand. Everyone wanted Paterno to do more, but he wasn’t the one that walked in on the Jerry Sandusky. The police should have already been contacted before Joe Paterno ever heard about it.

If we were going to place blame on anyone, it should be Mike McQueary. He is the only person that saw anything. He should have gone to the police.

Let’s say you saw a murder outside of your house. You don’t call your mom and let her know what you saw and expect her to figure it out. You call the police.

I can sit here and play the blame game for a few more paragraphs, but I won’t. The truth is Joe Paterno could have done more, however, McQueary should have done everything and he didn’t.

Joe Paterno was looked at as a great man for most of his life and will continue to be looked at as a great man going forward. Many people were positively influenced by him and for that they will always be grateful. Don’t let a bunch of outsiders who never met the man dictate how he will be perceived in history. See what the people who were around him for 61 years at Penn State have to say.

I called the Longoria Shot

I called the shot, and I am not going to lie, it felt good.  I even think my avatar was a little bit prophetic.

However, as I watched Longoria round the bases, I thought of this moment.

Randy looks to the sky after coming in to close the game.

Randy Johnson was called upon in 1995 to seal the game for the Seattle Mariners in a one-game playoff against the California Angels.  I miss the days when the Mariners played in games that mattered.  This game, along with Edgar Martinez’s hit to advance to the ALCS that year are some of the greatest sports moments ever for any Seattle sports fan.

I really hope that the Mariners quit operating like a set of Subway franchises and start operating like a baseball franchise.  Winning matters.  Being in the black every year with bobble-heads and “Stitch and Pitch” nights, honestly, do not.

Girls, let’s agree on this.

Trust me, I love you, I don’t want to judge. When I see you with a Bud Light in your hand, screaming and stomping in the stands, I’m thinking “yeah, we can do this, we’re sports fans, we can hold our own!” I am so happy there are other women in the world who get as worked up as I do when my favorite Seattle team is playing. But, when I actually stop and look at you, you disappoint…

You’re wearing this horrendous pink jersey, complete with rhinestones and a lace cami underneath. Yeah, you know who you are.  Sure, there’s the need to look cute. Maybe you’re trying to impress the people you came with. Maybe you have those heels on  because “you just came from work…” blah blah blah. Is that comfortable? That pink jersey and those black high heels?  You get so dolled up. Why? You’re standing, you’re drinking, and if you’re like me, you get drunk and fall over, and, want to unbutton the top button on your jeans while scarfing down hot dogs and super pretzels. (That could very well just be me who does that.)

And no, just to clarify, I’m not hating on the breast cancer awareness shirts, you all know what I’m talking about.  (Sorry Jess, had to.)

Out of pure interest, and research in support of my rant, I looked up the pink Earl Thomas jersey shown above. $69.99… Are you kidding me? So you’re saying, it’s the same price as a perfectly good jersey, with our proper team colors? (PS: they have them, in our sizes almost too) The more you buy these disgusting Barbie pink jerseys, the more the industry is going to pump out.

And, industry?  If it’s not pink, why is it cut to fit a man’s body? Can we not be taken seriously as legitimate sports fans unless we dress like a man? I bought a Mariners jersey tee-shirt in a size LARGE women’s, and it looks like I stole it off the back of a 9-year-old boy. If I raise my arms in excitement every one is graced with the view of my usually well hidden post-sporting-event beer belly, and nobody needs to see that.

Give us a chance. Start making us some shirts that aren’t boxy, that are not pink, that show off our curves but aren’t cut down to our belly buttons to completely expose our goodies. I just want a nice fitting, clean cut shirt in the colors of the team I’m rooting for.

That’s a great look

I’ve been thinking a lot about sports celebrities and their looks. Knowing full well it has nothing to do with performance…or does it? Bad beards, bad hair and tattoos that make my friends’ drunken back alley leg tattoos look acceptable.

I have to make a shout out to Brian Wilson for inspiring this post, not sure if I love and respect you or want Edward Scissorhands to razor your beard as you sleep. Great choice recently on your spandex tuxedo, though. You’re so different. Let me toss you a PBR and some American Spirit cigarettes and you can move out to Seattle. And, I guess you can throw a mean pitch too.



Also, what’s the story with really good pitchers and their horrible hair? What about our own Tim Lincecum? He looks like a combination of  Ted Theodore Logan and Keanu Reeves, but he’s a consecutive Cy Young  award winner.





The great 22 year veteran, 5 time winner of the Cy Young award, Randy Johnson – same thing. Long greasy mullet hybrid Kenny Powers hair, amazing pitcher. Maybe it’s the attitude that comes along with long “I don’t care” hair that gives them such amazing ability. Is a mullet more aerodynamic? Can we find some statistics on that?



I don’t understand long hair in the NFL either. It freaking hurts when someone pulls your hair. Thank you Troy Polamalou, the obvious number one for beautiful NFL hair. I picture those locks in a Disney movie or running free in a forest, not locked down in a helmet. I mean, you literally look like a prince.  Way to tap into a world of endorsements your agent wasn’t even thinking of….Head and Shoulders. How much is that insured for? Oh, 1 MILLION DOLLARS. Good luck with that. Hair pulls aren’t fun when you’ve got 300 pound guys yanking on it maliciously.

There are so many crappy tattoos I could focus on, in the NBA alone, but I’d like to point out Andrei Kirilenko’s World of Warcraft tattoo. I chose this not because it’s such a huge mistake, but because this is HIS lvl 80 wizard on his back. Where does he find the time? Keep pwning.

I just hope they all get ESPN analyst or hosting jobs some day and look like Don Cherry.

The True Meaning of Catch

Most people just think of catch as something you do to get warmed up for whatever sport you are about to play. Everyone sees their favorite athletes using catch to prepare for the game. Catch is a lot more than that, it brings people together more than a lot of things do. Parents and children, friends and sometimes complete strangers have great conversations during a round of catch. You find out a lot about the person standing across from you, what their week was like, the good and bad that has happened to them recently, how their significant other is doing and so on.

From your childhood until you are an adult, if you have played sports, you have had these conversations. Whether you are throwing a football, Frisbee, passing a puck, kicking a soccer ball or any other sport, you spent time bonding with the other people involved.

The old timers that get together once a season to play softball are a prime example of this. These guys are working 40-60 hours a week with families to take care of. Their catching up with each other doesn’t take place during the game. It’s before the game, during catch. Sure, their worn out, tired arms need warming  up but that isn’t what they care about. They want chat it up with their friends.

The parent and child playing catch in the yard isn’t so much about helping the kid become better, its about the love between the two.

Quality time goes along way in any relationship.

Friends are made by coaches teaming them up in youth sports. A kid you never talked to before all of a sudden is linked to you. An instantly connection is made. All the questions in the world are asked by kids. Get two of them together and they are experts on each other by the time the on field practice starts.

If you have ever been to one of your family members games, you can always find someone else standing around. Catch fills that time before the start of that game.

Just think about the next time you are playing catch. Try to think about how much you are actually talking about. Become an expert on the people you are with.


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