It’s been a long couple of weeks, and sadly, even though we spend most of our time celebrating in the sports world, there are times when we must mourn…
The Great 20th Century Philosopher
“If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up somewhere else.”
“You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.”
“I never said most of the things I said.”
These are some of the things that one of the greatest thinkers of our time uttered. He was Yogi Berra, and on September 22nd he passed away at the age of 90.
Yogi was the consummate baseball man. He played catcher for 19 seasons, all but one with the Yankees. He signed with them just before being deployed during World War II, where he served in the Navy for three years. When he returned, though, he changed the way the game was said (yes, said…he had words for every occasion). He caught a perfect game in the World Series in 1956. He was a 15 time All-Star. He even received MVP votes for fifteen consecutive season, a feat second only to Hank Aaron.
Then he became the Yankees first base coach. After a stint as the manager for the Mets, he returned to the Yanks in 1976, where he helped them win a World Series in 1978 and eventually became their manager in 1984, but that only lasted a little over a season.
He was a Yankee. And a Met. Even an Astro at one time, but who is really counting. Berra will be remembered as a boy from St. Louis who fought for his country, swung a mean bat and had a different memorable quote every week.
“It ain’t over till it’s over.” Well, as long as those famous sayings are engrained in our heads, it won’t be over for a long…long…time.
So Long, Big Mo
I was raised in a house where football was THE sport of choice. I didn’t really get into baseball until I was seven or eight (which was about my third season in little league). College basketball for a UK fan was so-so in the early to mid ‘80’s.
It wasn’t until the later part of that wonderful decade full of tape decks and big hair that I got into the NBA. That was when Jordan was coming into his own and the popularity of the 1990’s was just around the corner. It was also the latter half of the career of Moses Malone.
Moses was one of the premier superstars before the rush of big talent like Barkley, The Mailman, Air Jordan, Hakeem and Clyde the Glide. He was one of those crazies that passed on college to play in the ABA. In fact, he was the last active player in the NBA to suit up in the ABA.
He was the consummate journeymen in a world of sports where there wasn’t really a free agent. He won MVP’s in Houston, he won a ring in Phily. He scored his 20,000th point as a Bullet (that’s what the Wizards USED to be called) and scored in double figures in 75 of his 81 games one season as a Hawk. He even backed up David Robinson in San Antonio his last season as a player, which was also his 21st season if you count his two year stint in the ABA.
On September 13th, The Chairman of The Boards passed away at the age of 60 of a heart attack. Of that era, he was one of the unheralded greats. He will be missed.
The Greatest Month…
Just because I get bored sometimes at my day job (where I build high performance engines for celebs), I often think about things that most people probably don’t. One of which is “What should be considered the greatest month in sports?”
I have pondered this for a few days and came up with some pretty good arguments.
First, let’s look at September. Like I said before, great time for sports. You have the opening of the NFL and NCAA football seasons, where it is anyone’s chance to be number one and even Jaguars’ fans can say “This is the year!” You have the winding down of Major League Baseball and all the division races. You have the final push of NASCAR, the PGA Championship, a Williams sister getting beat. You name it.
But is it as good as January? See, in January you can watch the big bowl games in college football, college basketball starts conference play, and the NFL playoffs lead into the first week in Feb where you get the Super Bowl.
Then, of course, there is March. March has the end of the NBA season, the spring training camps in baseball, and of course, March Madness in all its glory.
Those are just three months, and there are nine more to go. What do you think, faithful sports reader? If you have free time, comment and let me know or tweet me at Robert Vincent @voiceonsports. It’s a good debate.
Bits and Pieces
It’s week four in college football and Kentucky still can’t beat Florida. Maybe by the time my four year old is my age, The Wildcats might be able to beat the Gators. Kentucky does host Missouri though, and should win 21-20. UCLA goes to Arizona and will get beat 30-23. Tennessee goes to Florida, and wins 23-13. Miami of Ohio goes to WKU, and loses 42-34 and Louisville hosts and kills Samford 48-12.
As for the NFL…
Last week saw Tony Romo joining Dez Bryant on the injury bench, The Colts, Seahawks, Saints and Ravens all fall to 0-2, and The Jets looking like I have no idea how to pick wins and losses.
This week’s big games: Cincy over the Ravens 24-20; Falcons over the MASH unit in Dallas, 31-20; Indy’s transparent defense over Tennessee, 24-23, Denver over Detroit, 34-21 and…because I can, San Fran will lose to Arizona, 21-20.
That’s all for this week. Sit back and watch some sports. And I will leave you with this…
“The Future ain’t what it used to be.” –Yogi Berra.