[SPORTS] The Week In Sports #24: Bienvenido a Miami

LeBron James was still “undecided” on his choice of teams the last time I wrote this article. That night, Wednesday the 7th, James appeared on the most ridiculous, annoying, boring special of all time that aired live on ESPN.  Just like everyone (other than the citizens of Cleveland, Ohio) though, he picked Miami to complete the tri-fecta.

I was very glad to see Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley quickly come out and point out how cowardly James is. Jordan said that he never wanted to play with Magic or Bird because he was too busy trying to beat them. Imagine how ridiculous any team with those three would have been? That would have ruined the NBA. Will this new Miami group make the NBA unwatchable? Will James ever really have a legacy after committed to play second fiddle on a glorified All-Star team? We’ll never really know how good LeBron James is.

Luckily, the NBA still has a ton of other great players and it is certainly not a given that the Heat will even win it all. And when they don’t, I’ll be the first to laugh. But, that’s most likely because I’m just a bitter Knicks fan.

MLB: For the first time since 1873 (not really, but it seems like it), the National League won the All-Star game (3-1) and has gained home field advantage in the World Series. This might end up being huge for the NL. That extra home game without the designated hitter could end up deciding the World Series Champion.

Tour De France: Things are getting crazy in the tour De France. I’ve been trying to watch more, but I’m way too American to appreciate this bike race. I do love soccer, but auto racing and bike racing is still a work in progress with me.

This year’s race has been exciting mostly due to the crazy and erratic behavior of some of the competitors. There was the head butting incident that led to a competitor being disqualified for trying to use his head to knock an opponent off of his bike. Yesterday, Irish rider Nicolas Roche of AG2R La Mondiale berated his French teammate John Gadret on his personal website for refusing to give him a wheel when his had been puncture. Here is the exact quote, and remember that these guys are teammates:

“If John Gadret is found dead in his hotel room in the morning, I will probably be the primary suspect. As he sat beside me on the team bus I had great difficulty in not putting his head through the nearest window.”

Personally, I love that he is able to be so candid and say exactly what is on his mind. Clearly, he isn’t really planning on murdering his teammate, but he was mad and he had to fume. His quote was entertaining and real and that’s why it’s so great. No canned, PC statement there.

On a side note, Alberto Contador of Spain is the over all leader, but he’s only eight seconds ahead of Andy Schleck of Luxembourg.

Golf: South African Louis Oosthuizen has any extremely difficult name to write. Writers all over the World have been forced to check and double check to make sure they spelled his name correctly this week. Oosthuizen won the British Open at St. Andrews last week by seven strokes over England’s Lee Westwood. He celebrated by buying a tractor. This is just what you’d expect from a professional golfer. I hear Phil Mikelson bought a brand new John Deer riding mower after winning the Masters last year….eh, maybe not.

NHL: The NHL rejected Ilya Kovalchuck’s 17 year deal with the New Jersey Devils saying that the team was breaking rules in an attempt to circumvent the salary cap. Kovalchuk’s contract is loaded with money in the beginning years and slowly dwindles into the veteran minimum by the 17th season. I’m tired of these crazy contracts. Just sign him for 6 years. What’s the big freaking deal?

Remember when Steve Young signed a 43 year $36 million dollar deal with the USFL’s L.A. Express in 1984? Too bad the team folded two seasons later and the whole league went defunct in 1986. Young went on the play for the Buccaneers and made his name with the Forty Niners. But, how cool would it be to see Steve Young still slinging the ball at age 66? Probably not that cool.

Injury: A while back, I interviewed Oakland A’s outfielder Ryan Sweeney. I’ve been paying close attention to his statistics ever since. He was leading the team in batting average (.294) before undergoing season-ending knee surgery this week due to chronic tendonitis. Let’s hope for a speedy recovery so he can continue to patrol the spacious outfield in Oakland next season.

Here’s the Sweeney article if you missed it:

http://thefatherlife.com/mag/2009/10/19/q-and-a-with-oakland-as-outfielder-ryan-sweeney/

RIP: James Gammon, the character actor most well known as Indians manager Lou Brown in the 1989 comedy Major League, died this week of natural causes. Gammon’s character in Major League is one of the most well-known in comedy movie history in one of the most quotable movies ever made. He’ll definitely be missed. I’m going to go watch Major League right now in his honor. But, not Major League 2.That movie sucks.

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