Critical history lessons and other key issues
Swatting down some of the more annoying ideas buzzing around like malarial mosquitoes:
LeBron James is the most criticized player in the history of basketball.
The buzz: Nobody — nobody! — gives LeBron his due. No respect!
The reality: It’s sports. It’s 2020. Every critic has a soap box. No athlete gets the 1,000% love he or she deserves.
James is “pissed” that he received only 16 of 101 votes for MVP. He should be miffed at the sportswriters for cheating
Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo out of those 16 votes. Antetokounmpo was better on offense and defense, and his team won more games than LeBron’s.
James’ teammate on the Lakers, Anthony Davis, says
James is the most criticized player in basketball history. Give Davis an F in history.
Most criticized player ever? That’s another vote LeBron will lose.
How about Kareem AbdulJabbar, Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Pete Maravich? Holy smokes, what about James Harden? Draymond Green? Stephen Curry?
No. 1 all time? Wilt Chamberlain.
LeBron can’t carry Wilt’s disrespected jock. Had Twitter existed when Chamberlain played, 95% of all Tweets would have been trolls taking shots at the Big Dipper.
Football coaches don’t need masks.
The buzz: Everyone on the field is tested and cleared, so it’s essentially a bubble. Besides, coaches are talking mostly into a headset. The players aren’t masked and they are slobbering in each other’s faces, so what’s the big deal about the coach? The reality: A lot of people watch football. A coach wearing a mask is a reminder to viewers that the best way to combat the pandemic is to wear a mask.
Jon Gruden apparently doesn’t need a mask, because he already had the crud, but he still can help spread the word about masks, thereby saving lives.
The antimaskers will say that your employer legally doesn’t have the power to deprive you of your Godgiven right to infect your fellow man.
Funny, because many of those same antimaskers argue that your boss does have the right to tell you exactly how to display your patriotism.
As for the coaches who have been fined for not wearing masks, including Kyle Shanahan: No problem. I hear Trump plans to pardon them all.
The reason so many NFL players are getting hurt is because there were no preseason games.
The buzz: You can’t go from 0 to 60 in one day, you have to ease your body and mind into the season gradually, in those four preseason games.
The reality: There is a testing lab that shoots down this theory. The testing lab is called college football.
It is fiction that many NFL players go halfspeed in practice games, prepping to go fulltilt when the real games start.
Yeah, no. About 75% of players in any given practice game are desperately fighting for a spot on the team, or for a starting job, or for a career. They go allout on every snap. So do the smart players, who know that going halfspeed can get you hurt.
Guys got hurt last weekend because it’s football. Also because the Jets and Giants need to save a few thousand bucks on lawn maintenance.
The 49ers are on a “road trip from Hell.”
The buzz: The team flight was
delayed when an airport service vehicle dented the plane, some key 49ers were injured Sunday, and an MRI truck sent to assess 49ers’ injuries got into a collision.
The reality: Injuries aside, the 49ers are experiencing what most of us call “travel.”
A road trip from Hell, I’m pretty sure, would go something like this:
You lose the football game. Like, 5,0000.
Postgame showers: Molten lava.
Inflight meal: Hot Pockets, hot as Hell.
The MRI truck rushing to meet your plane runs over your quarterback.
Only one heat setting on the hotelroom thermostats: “Eternal flames of damnation.”
Robo umps calling balls and strikes would take the human element and the personality out of baseball.
The buzz: Robo umps would be too much tech.
The reality: That’s like saying traffic lights take the adventure out of city motoring.
The truth, as just about any married person will tell you, is that you can’t be charming and wrong.
Minnesota third baseman Josh Donaldson got run recently for beefing about calls, and he pointed out, “There is no reprimand, no accountability” for umps who do a horsebleep job on balls and strikes. Donaldson is wrong. There are evaluations, and grades, and probably reprimands. But they are secret, giving the impression that bad calls simply disappear.
Shows us the grades! Everyone else in the game gets evaluated constantly and publicly, why not the umps? You want us to enjoy the human side of the umps, let us see it.
And how about an umpire bullpen? The ump blows four ballstrike calls? Hit the showers, Meat.
Wilt Chamberlain, shown in a San Francisco Warriors parade in the 1960s, faced way more criticism than LeBron James.