In the spirit of “keeping it real”, that opening game of the NBA Finals was not exactly what I had been looking forward to since November of last year. Both teams got to this series on cruise control and this was – in my mind’s eye – going to be a showdown between two teams that clearly stand above the rest of the league and two teams that can legitimately be labeled “juggernaut”. Game One was a blowout and it was clear from early in the 3rd quarter who was going to be the winner. Here is what I would like to see in this series:
- I would like a game to be tied with 2 minutes left to play. Then I want either team to win the game – I really do not care which one – without the benefit of some outlandish call by an official.
- I am only asking for one game like that. After enduring the tedium of this NBA regular season and its playoffs, I don’t think that is so much to ask for.
Down at the college basketball level, do you recall the “Louisville scandal” where a woman wrote a book and said that she had provided escorts and sexual services for Louisville recruits at the behest of the team? That was blaring headline news for a while back then but I did not see the same coverage of a news item regarding this matter about a week ago:
- It seems as if the prosecutor and a grand jury in Kentucky have chosen not to file any charges against anyone in this matter.
Let’s review for a moment. We had allegations that someone paid someone else for sexual favors; if you could prove that, there would be a crime. You had allegations that one of the women who did some of the providing here was the underage daughter of the book’s author. If you could prove that, there would be a crime. Prosecutors and grand juries exist to:
- Determine if there is evidence that a crime was committed
- Bring charges against the individual(s) who committed that crime
- Try, convict and punish said individual(s).
In this matter, the authorities stopped at Step 1 above. Moreover, it is not clear if the “stoppage” was caused by the lack of evidence that there was a crime committed or by the insufficiency of evidence against any individuals here.
The book that initiated this scandal was written and released in 2015. The Louisville program – and Rick Pitino personally – have been under this cloud for almost 2 years now. One might think that these decisions by the authorities in Kentucky would put an end to this and someone somewhere might say something like, “Ooops, sorry about that. I guess we rushed to judgment here.” Well, don’t hold your breath because now the NCAA will do its thing and decide if there are NCAA punishments that can be meted out in this matter. Given the NCAA’s pace of investigation – as evidenced by their progress in the UNC academic fraud matter – the Louisville basketball program will still be under this cloud for several years.
Stop the presses, I think Kevin Durant just threw down another dunk against the Cavs…
After a flurry if firings at ESPN, there was a recent announcement of a hiring. Chip Kelly will join the ESPN studio talkers this season and will contribute his comments to coverage of both college and NFL football. I do not know Chip Kelly but I do know a couple of folks who do and both say that Kelly is intelligent and articulate – – in addition to stubborn. If he is intelligent and articulate, he will fit in with the other chatterboxes on the ESPN studio sets. However, I think there is a more interesting aspect to this hiring than the person himself.
Recall that Urban Meyer spent time at ESPN commenting on college football after he left Florida and before he went to Ohio State. Might this “ESPN gig” be a short-term deal for Kelly as it was for Urban Meyer? Once the college football jobs start opening up, Kelly could well be the guy who takes one of the seats before the music stops. In fact, he might move up the date when the coaching carousel starts to go around if a school really wants him to take over its program.
Here is the proposition:
- OVER/UNDER on the date for the first “Chip Kelly to Whatsamatta U rumor” is Halloween.
- Your call…
Whoa! I think Steph Curry just sank another 3-ball against the Cavs…
Since I just mentioned ESPN – sort of – I want to make another observation. I tuned into a weekend MLB game on ESPN after the game was underway. That means I did not see the opening statements and so I was confused by what I saw. The announcing crew was sitting in the outfield stands. Dan Shulman, Aaron Boone and Jessica Mendoza were all out there and had baseball gloves presumably in the event that a ball landed in their laps.
- Question for the ESPN Mavens: Who thought that was a good idea?
For decades upon decades, the best seats in the house have been set aside for the media – print and electronic. Seats in the outfield stands are not bad seats but they are not nearly as good as the standard ones provided. Compared to outfield seats, the broadcast team would get a better view of most of the game by simply watching the TV feed that all of us are getting. If that is “acceptable” television, why waste the time and money to send the broadcast team to the stadium in the first place? They could do that from a studio in East Jepeep, KS.
Finally, since I mentioned the Louisville scandal above and the potential for NCAA action there, consider this comment from Brad Rock in the Deseret News:
“Southeast Missouri State’s basketball team has been banned from postseason play next year for not meeting NCAA academic requirements.
“Since the Redhawks have made exactly one Division I NCAA Tournament appearance, isn’t that like banning Nancy Pelosi from Trump’s after-party?”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………