SPORTS AS LIFE
The AL Central is looking tight, the entire American League for the most part looks to be anyone's to win. The good guys (Bless you, boys ... now THAT is a line from the past!!) are doing super well. The other day, Curtis Granderson made THE catch of the season, and it will be hard to top on the effort and the importance to the win/loss part of the equation.
The Caps - Pens series in hockey is way intense. The Capitals had to overcome their own demons in winning a game six, to stave off elimination. You have to love that the star player was the one who guranteed that they would be back for game 7.
I think it was last year, I saw a line that compared the basketball and hockey playoffs as follows: Basketball is 'Chopsticks' on the piano, while hockey is played as the William Tell Overture. Both are important to being important in playing a piano, but doing the latter well carries a bit more importance.
DYING FOR EACH OTHER
I like that line a lot. Who ever I meet would have to try to grasp that idea. For me, Grandy's catch kind of was an example of it. Certainly, he has his own motivations, but since it saved a very good effort by the ace of the staff, you get to do the infinity strip with it.
Because the pitcher had pitched such a great game, the fielder owed it to the pitcher to make every effort to make the play. That the fielder had done all that he did in the field and at the plate to help the pitcher, the pitcher who pitched a great game.
It is always big when the big time players are the ones who make the big time plays.
The Los Angeles Lakers are dysfunctional. The fissures are small and thin, coated over by the veneer of Kobe Bryant's star. But there is no passion on that team. They play well because as individual's they are often better players than those on the other team. I do think though, they want to be better players as individuals. But they can't. Kobe's ego won't allow for it.
Even before his situ in Colorado, I didn't care too much for Kobe. He wanted to be Michael Jordan instead of being Kobe Bryant. While there isn't any denying of his talent, there are questions of his leadership. In the play offs, there are three teams, based on their leadership intangibles, I think are better than the Lakers. The hated Celtics, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Denver Nuggets.
NOT JUST BECAUSE 'THE SKYWALKER' PLAYED THERE
Chauncey Billups, the 'prodigal' returned home, is a cool and as calm a player can be under pressure. He never looks rattled. In Detroit, he was given the sobriquet, 'Mr. Big Shot', because he always seemed to make the big shots.
But while he was here, he also developed more than just the knack of taking the tough shots. In last night's game which the Nuggets lost, he still did the right thing, getting the ball to an open Carmelo Anthony for a 3 point shot that pulled them within a point. For some reason, I can't imagine that Kobe would have the ability with the game on the line to make that play.
A leader says you do it.
A good leader says they did it.
With the best leader, the men say, "We did it."
-Sun Tzu (I think!!)
I think that his game was elevated when he got here, was given not only a chance, but proper instruction. I remember an article where he credited Larry Brown for helping him to see what the point guard's job was for the team. He helped Chauncey understand that if his stat line read 10 point, 10 assists and 7 rebounds and his team won, he had done his job.
He provides stablity to the Nuggets. They can play relaxed and do what they do best, because when the chips are down, Chauncey steps up. It isn't that they look for him, but he does what is needed to be done.
In sports, whenever there is someone who can improve your game, that person is valued. He makes it so much easier for the other players because he is going to take the tough shots and make the tough clutch plays that are out of sight. The extra pass or the hand in the passing lane that muggs up the other teams play.
That is how people elevate the game of those around them. Let them do the things that they do best, that they have worked on.
I don't know what is going to happen with Boston-Orlando. From what I know, advancing in the playoffs is where experience is paramount, and Orlando still doesn't have the kind of experience to win. BUT they do have the talent, and the Celtics are weakend.
BUT, that champion's heart is something that you can't put a number on. How many points is it worth? When Glen Davis took and made that shot, I wondered if a pyschic dagger went into the Magic's heart. Tough way to lose a game ...
DIFFERENT TYPES OF PUNCHERS
George Foreman, like Sonny Liston before him, were punchers more because they were bigger and stronger than anyone else. Basic, no window dressing on that. I still can see Teddy Atlas in the corner advising Michael Moorer, "...he's trying to hit you with the sucker right hand. Don't let him hit you with the sucker right hand."
As you know by now, with your George Foreman grill in the kitchen, Michael got hit with the sucker right hand!!
There was a big fight recently, Manny Paciqao v. Ricky Hatton. Teddy picked Hatton, but Hatton got BLEW OUT in two rounds. Even when he did his pre fight, I don't think he was sold on Hatton, more that he wanted to give people the reason to think the fight was competitive.
Even though Paciqao was moving up in weight, has been moving up from 106 pounds to 140 over the legnth of his career, it was he, not Hatton who was considered the big puncher. Not that Hatton doled out love taps, but there is a difference. It was in Hatton's best interest to make it a fight of attrition, where he can use his supposed advantages in size and strength a factor.
But when you can punch, you can punch. I think I am going to talk a little shop this week. Going to go out and ride my bike, and think about the good things I can remember, the good things that I have done (like making dinner ... never know if it is good, just know that it gets gone!!), and all the good things that I have to look forward to!!
Man, this future is so bright ... I gotta wear shades!!