Week 2, KEEP IT REAL FRIDAY: and were off . . .
When I'm right, I gloat. When I'm wrong however, I avoid it at all costs. Last week I mentioned, that when Tiger isn't involved in the major championships(The Masters, U.S. Open, Open Championship, and the PGA Championship) you won't see the winner on the cover of SI and you probably won't remember who won. U.S. Olympic swimmer, Michael Phelps, was on the cover of SI, and the 2008 Open Championship will not be remembered for the winner, now 2-time champ Padraig Harrington, but for a runner-up, Greg Norman. Hats off to Norman, but I'm more interested in what WOULD have happened if Tiger was there, come on so are you, KEEP IT REAL!
Two rather large trades went down this week in the NFL. The Giants traded 4-time Pro Bowl tight end, Jeremy Shockey, to the New Orleans Saints. The Miami Dolphins traded former defensive MVP and Pro Bowl defensive end, Jason Taylor, to the Washington Redskins. Two fantastic players, and you don't know one player they were traded for. That's because both the Giants and the Dolphins received a total of two DRAFT PICKS each, in other words they got players who are still in college and haven't been a proven NFL player for one day. The easiest way to keep this one real is to look at that the trades individually:
The first one to get dealt was Jason Taylor from the Dolphins. Taylor was dealt not because he asked to be traded to a contender or because he had begun to decline in skill level, oh no. Taylor was dealt because the boss of the Dolphins, Bill Parcells, didn't appreciate a star player not spending 365 days thinking about football. Hell, as far as we know Parcells never even showed Taylor the respect of sitting down and talking about it. Taylor, whose 11-year tour of duty with the Fish, didn't even get the respect of a conversation? The same guy who most recently left Falcons owner, Arthur Blank in the lurch, along with the many other owners of the Pats, Cowboys, and Jets, wants someone to be entirely dedicated to football? Forgive me for putting it out there but isn't Bill Parcells the guy who always had the NEXT opportunity in mind? Unfortunately for Dolphins fans, Jason Taylor is no longer a Dolphin because like the Tuna, his next job, whether it be more dancing, acting, or even a modeling career, was on his mind. KEEP IT REAL BILL!
As for Jeremy Shockey, he'll be a welcomed addition to a athletic Saints offense. Most teams would think that the loss of a pro-bowl caliber TE would be huge, but to the defending champs, they think otherwise. Tell me all day long that because the emergence of Kevin Boss and the fact that Shockey spent the playoffs injured, he became expendable, but I have other thoughts. Sorry Eli, it's time for YOU to keep it real. Surrounded by personalities such as Michael Strahan, Tiki Barber, and of course Shockey, you had a hard time getting your two cents in huh? You know who never had a hard time getting his word in, Peyton. You may have as many rings as ole' Peyton, you may even have quarterbacked the team that knocked off your brothers nemesis on the games biggest stage, but to me your still the guy who thought he was too good to play in San Diego. Kudos to Eli for the ring, and congrats of finally being able to say a word in the locker room, I'm sure it'll be refreshing. Shockey is out for a couple draft picks, and the Giants just lost a good weapon because we didn't want Eli to have any locker room loudmouths. Troy played with Michael and the Boys' never had to give him a hand to speak up. KEEP IT REAL!
The sports fan in me has been pining for a team, any team, to take a flyer on Barry Bonds. The truth is, were already 120 days or so into the baseball season and Barry's phone probably hasn't rung that much. The Red Sox, Yankees, and Diamondbacks have had very little conversation about the non-retired slugger and still nothing has gone more than little over conversation as far as we know. I want to slap the Yanks for thinking Richie Sexson, yes hitting .218 Richie Sexon was a better for them, but I have to KEEP IT REAL, he probably was. Barry would probably turn into a very quiet and agreeable character if he did show up on a contending teams roster and there are very few fans bases out there that would tell you once he hit a majestic shot over their fence they wouldn't cheer. Unfortunately, the Red Sox determined Ortiz will be O.K. enough to move forward, the Yanks decided Richie Sexson and Jason Giambi are reliable enough, and the Diamondbacks grabbed the ageless Tony Clark. It's more likely the next uniform we'll see Bonds in will be a government issued jumpsuit rather than a short sleeved baseball jersey with the teams stitching across the front.
Did you think they were dead and buried? KEEP IT REAL, the New England Patriots will be 4-0 as they roll into San Diego on October 12Th and the Chargers better be ready. This isn't the Philadelphia Eagles, the Chicago Bears, the Carolina Panthers, or any other team that got smacked around the year after they lost the big dance. This is the Patriots, the team that is still led by the best quarterback in the NFL, most likely the most dynamic receiver in the NFL, and even I won't bring up Coach Belichick and his Spielburgesque qualities. Sh*t, not even Nick Kaczur and his 200 pills of Oxycontin could stop this show, well maybe 200 pills of Oxycontin could, but you get my point, there good. Parcells takes an offensive lineman #1 overall and then trades the Dolphins best defensive player, so whose going to beat them in their own division? I'll call it now, the Pats go 6-0 in their division, if I'm wrong, I won't admit it. You've got to remember I'm a Cowboys fan here but I can call a spade when I see one, and this is a goddamn spade! LaDainian is a year older, Peyton has knee issues, AND THE PATRIOTS WENT 18-1 in 2007! If not for a miracle play from Eli and David Tyree were talking about the greatest season in professional sports history. Remember when I told you I don't buy the Yanks being buried until the playoffs are here and they aren't in them? Well the same goes for the Patriots, so KEEP IT REAL!
It's a little crazy, and I hadn't thought about it before, but Josh Childress, you weren't at Stanford for nothing. The fourth year Atlanta Hawk decided that his destination as a restricted free agent wouldn't be another NBA city, nope it would be Greece, yep that Greece. International team, Olympiakos agreed to terms with the former Hawk swing man to a $20 million deal over three years, way more more than he would have got with the Hawks. If you don't mind where your playing basketball and want to get paid than heck, go wherever the money is, even it if is half way across the world. In fact Josh Childress' decision has got me thinking of some other players that might want to look to play in Serbia, Russia, or Spain:
and of course, Keith Van Horn
When Childress said he had talked to other players about doing this and it could become the wave of the future, I hope those "other players" included at least someone on my list (preferably Joakim Noah) KEEP IT REAL, are we still wondering if most athletes make decisions based on money?
Who cares about the Olympics, really? I can't stand when I have to stay up till 1:00 AM on a work night to catch the Red Sox on a West Coast road trip, let alone catch Olympic action that is going on in Beijing. I will never play water polo over Marco Polo, I'll never do more than lay out on a raft in the ocean, and I'll never see if I can beat someone in a foot race. I don't care if someone can do the pole vault, high hurdles, or throw a discus. I can see Kobe v. Lebron during the NBA regular season, I don't need to see Kobe v. the best the Netherlands has to offer this summer. I like my boxing at the MGM Grand getting fixed by Don King, not in the Olympics getting fixed by the Chinese judge. Michael Phelps could win 50 gold medals and Dara Torres could win a medal at age 40 and it wouldn't top watching the Tiger win the U.S. Open on one leg or Mario Chalmers drilling a three pointer to push the college finals into overtime. The most interesting thing about the Olympics isn't the actual games its the outside factors, the polution in China, what foreign leaders will be present, and whether or not Tibet will be freed. The games just aren't that important anymore, KEEP IT REAL!
Tonight marked the beginning of the end for the Tampa Bay Rays. I haven't bought into this all season long and I'm not going to start now, KEEP IT REAL. Baseball's darlings have dropped their last seven road games and head into the weekend tied for first place with the Boston Red Sox. The Rays road problems will continue throughout the second half and for a team who finishes with 17 out of their last 27 on the road, including nine road games in a row against division rivals Toronto, Boston, and New York, there in trouble. The Rays road record is only better than last place teams Seattle & Cleveland. With the Red Sox set to add David Ortiz to their lineup on Friday and the Yanks surging since the all-star break winning the last six, the Rays are struggling. These are the Rays, getting better but still a little further off than we thought. COME ON! KEEP IT REAL!