Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Boise State: First steps to a national title

It finally happened. We finally arrived at this point.

In case you live in a fish bowl (or don’t follow College Football), I’m talking about Boise State’s epic win over Virginia Tech. They went Far East to a hostile environment and defeated a big name team on their turf. But instead of shutting up all the critics, they only increased the amount of squawking and squabbling from the ignorant college football elitists that refuse to give credence to teams that earned, and weren’t born with, noble blood. After all that (and not to mention the fantastic game itself) I simply couldn’t resist penning a column about the Broncos.

Let me start with some background info: Boise State is not just another program for me. I’ve know about them and been a pseudo-member of the bandwagon long before anyone else. Back before terms like “smurf turf” and “hook and lateral” and “statue of liberty” came into the national consciousness, my Oregon State Beavers used to play the Broncos every year. Those were always fun, high scoring border wars, and they usually ended with Boise coming out on top. I fondly remember OSU getting pounded back in 2004 and thinking that this was not some ordinary small-conference school. I ended up being right – that year they had their first of many undefeated regular seasons and ended up finishing the year in the top 10. By the time they were ready to take on Oklahoma, I knew that Sooner country had no idea what was in store that this would not be the blowout that most expected. If you’ve ever followed a band before it hit mainstream, you know what I’m talking about. It’s one thing to hop on to an artist after he/she has already reached fame; but there’s nothing like being the talent scout that found Usher when he was just a 14 year old about whom nobody had a clue. It’s like seeing your baby grow up from a youth with boundless energy and potential into a highly successful young man – it just feels awesome to know what would happen before everyone else found out.

NBA Offseason Review Part III: The Inevitable LeBron column

I can’t possibly discuss LeBron with any semblance of coherence. Instead I’m just going to spew out all my random thoughts

1.I may be in the minority, but I have absolutely no problem with him teaming up with two other all-stars. We always wish that our athletes put winning above all else and would sacrifice all personal pride and gain for the good of the team. Well isn’t that exactly what LeBron did? He destroyed his reputation, sacrificed numbers, and took less money (to be fair it wasn’t that much less when you factor in Florida’s tax laws, but still its about principle) to join a super team and have a chance at multiple titles and greatness. The notion that he should have been so competitive that he would go to his own team and win it by himself is beyond ridiculous. First of all, that’s not competitiveness. Competitiveness means wanting to win at all costs. Expecting him to not only win but win all by himself is nothing more than misguided machismo. Besides, didn’t he already do everything in his power to win without help during his seven years in Cleveland? Second, and more importantly, every other great player had help!!!!!!!!!! Jordan had Pippen (a top-20 player and a top-3 player in the league during the title years). Magic and Kareem (who also won a title with Oscar Robinson) were both top-10 players of all time. Julius Erving and Moses Malone never won anything until they played together. It’s been well-documented how many spectacular players played with Bill Russell. Jerry West and Elgin Baylor dominated the Western Conference for years and eventually teamed up with Wilt Chamberlain to win in ’72. In this decade alone we’ve seen Kobe/Shaq and Garnett/Pierce/Allen gang up for titles. Off the top of my head Hakeem Olajuwon, Isiah Thomas, Tim Duncan, and Kobe Bryant in 2009-10 (and even then we could debate the Merits of Pau Gasol as a HOFer) are probably the only ones to win titles without another top-50 player…but screw it let’s criticize LeBron for doing what everyone else did. Seriously, shouldn’t all those other players have been super-competitive and demanded to be separated from their great teammates? Shouldn’t Magic have refused to be drafted onto Kareem’s team? Should Bird have told the Celtics to veto the trade that brought in Kevin McHale and Robert Parish? Should Jordan have demanded a trade so he could beat Pippen himself? Simmons was by far the biggest perpetrator of this idiot thinking, which is a problem since his millions of clones are now going to blindly believe that great players should go out of their way to not play with each other. If you want to question LeBron’s competitiveness then point out his playoff disappointments or inability to develop a post up game or spot on jump shot – but don’t call him non-competitive based on his desire to sublimate his ego and be part of a team that will do a shit-load of winning.