Three Things Today…

There have been more than a few reports and studies done which conclude that female athletes are more prone to ACL injuries than male athletes.  If you doubt that assertion, please Google, “female athletes ACL injuries”.  When looking at such data sets or thinking about the basis for how this may be the case, it is always tempting to hypothesize that there is some genetic cause for such a predisposition.  After all, if one could find some genetic coding on the X-Chromosome that led to such a predisposition, one might then conclude that female athletes are merely suffering from a genetic make-up accident since women have 2 X-Chromosomes and men have only 1 X-Chromosome.

Such hypotheses rarely – if ever – pan out; and in these times of increased emphasis on gender equality, that sort of thinking is not generally well-received.  Nonetheless, in an article in The Telegraph in the UK, here is the lead paragraph:

“Sportswomen should go on the pill to avoid career-ending injuries, the authors of a groundbreaking study have suggested.”

You can read that entire article here.

I am surprised that this report appeared a week ago and there has not been a flurry of protest because that kind of reporting tends to draw the ire of fairly diverse subsets of the populace.  I am also surprised that it seems not to have attracted any attention in the media here in the US where women’s sports are seeking to get additional coverage.

The study in question was done by researchers at Brown University – so it is more than fair to assume that the research was controlled carefully and that the peer-review system for the work was not slipshod.  The report says that the number of women studied here was 82,874; I may not have a PhD in statistics, but that is a large sample size to have studied over a ten-year period.

Imagine for a moment the delicate nature of the following scenario:

  • A male head coach of a women’s athletic team [Let’s say Geno Auriemma as head coach of the UConn women’s basketball team…] stands up in front of the team with this study in his hand and tells those young women that he thinks it would be a good idea for them to “get on The Pill.”
  • What could possibly go wrong…?

Two of the NBA’s flagship franchises are in a bad way at the moment.  The LA Lakers have been a jewel in the league crown since the 1960s; the team hit a dry spell starting about 5 years ago but everyone assumed that had been brushed away when LeBron James signed on with the Lakers last summer.  Well, the Lakers’ fortunes have not soared to previously known heights nearly as quickly or as surely as Lakers’ fans anticipated – or even expected.  The Lakers missed the playoffs again in 2019 and then the franchise seemed to be coming apart at the seams:

  • During the season, the team produced lots more drama than it did wins.
  • Team President, Magic Johnson, abruptly quit his job without giving his boss, Jeanne Buss, prior notice of his decision and of his announcement.
  • Head coach, Luke Walton, was fired/scapegoated.
  • The Lakers’ top candidate for Walton’s replacement chose to go to the Phoenix Suns rather than the Lakers.  Think about that; he chose to cast his lot as a first-time head coach with a team that was 19-63 last year and which is owned and operated by the mercurial Robert Sarver as opposed to signing on with an “NBA flagship”.

Now, it appears as if Tyron Lue has walked away from talks to become the Lakers’ new head coach and there are reports that there is tension in the Lakers’ executive ranks about the power that LeBron James is trying to wield upon the franchise.  The Lakers have seen better days…

Meanwhile, in Boston the Celtics’ season in 2018/19 was almost as under-achieving as the Lakers’ season.  Yes, the team had injuries, but this was a team expected to challenge for the NBA Championship and not be a “middle-seed” in the Eastern Conference playoffs.  Most of the problems and angst in Boston focus on Kyrie Irving.  He is going to be a free agent once the playoffs are over and the rumblings have already begun regarding:

  • Can or will the Celtics resign Kyrie Irving to a Super-Max Contract?

Personally, I think that is the wrong question to ask because I think there is another question that needs to be answered in the affirmative before you can get to the question above.  Here is the predicating question:

  • Do or should the Celtics want to sign Kyrie Irving to a Super-Max Contract?

Kyrie Irving is a more than accomplished scorer; and every other week or so, he will effect a defensive effort which demonstrates that he can play that part of the game too – – when he chooses to do so.  Add to the frustration that kind of play might engender and consider:

  • Kyrie Irving is rarely happy about anything.  He takes the slightest criticism of his play or his demeanor so personally that you have to be glad that the age of dueling is deep in the past.
  • He refers to himself as a “basketball genius” even when the team loses – – casting aspersions on the other folks who are wearing the same color uniform as he is.
  • He left a championship caliber team in Cleveland because he did not want to be the ‘second-best” player on such a team; he wanted to go somewhere else to be “The Man”.  The result of that is that he went elsewhere but did not show himself to be of such leadership caliber as to be “The Man” on a team that aspires to a championship.

Looking at Kyrie Irving as a whole, I think he is a perfect free-agent signing for the NY Knickerbockers.  He will fit in just fine with the crowds in the Garden and with James Dolan as the guiding spirit of the team.  Maybe if the Knicks’ fans are really lucky, the team can also convince Carmelo Anthony to return to the team to play under the wing of the self-proclaimed “basketball genius” that is Kyrie Irving.  I can only hope…

Finally, here is a Tweet from Brad Dickson about a new brand of shoes:

“There’s a new type of shoes for kids called Hickies. I’m just glad there is no possible negative connotation for this name.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………

2 thoughts on “Three Things Today…”

  1. Given how many head cases there appear to be in the NBA, maybe we need a “reality show” team to put them all on so there’s something interesting to watch during the regular season. Cage matches are optional in the locker rooms.

    I was also at the Division 1A rugby championship last week, I didn’t like the outcome (though it was better than last year’s beat down) but Life went about it like true ruggers, playing hard, fast and resiliently. A worthy champion, but we’ll get it back soon. I also thought it was a pretty good match in artistic terms.

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