TWO IN A ROW, KOBE, FAKE RIVALS AND MORE by Steve Tannen
Last week began with a tremendous NCAA Final as Louisville and Michigan put on a magnificent display of young guys in pursuit of their sport's ultimate prize. It was an "A" performance. Then we got the 2013 Masters which in my opinion equaled Cardinals over Wolverines for terrific sports theater. Sudden death. The class in defeat displayed by "El Gato" Angel Cabrera. The clutch performance of our champion, Adam Scott. The Tiger Woods drama where he signed an incorrect scorecard due to a 2 shot penalty that dropped the morning after the infraction. By the letter of the rules he was within his rights to continue to play. Some felt a true sportsman would have disqualified themselves. In what world would Woods do the honorable thing? I think it was fine he continued to play. The rules were altered a couple of years back to allow a player to stay in the tournament under these circumstances. But Tiger is the same guy who played musical bimbo chairs while his young wife and babies were home without dad! So now when he tees it up Merion for the US Open it will be exactly 5 years since his last major championship which has covered 15 events. He remains stuck on 14 in pursuit of the Jack Nicklaus standard of 18 Grand Slam victories. It's far from etched in stone he ever catches up.
The Kobe Bryant season ending injury has an historic impact as it's a Hall of Famer nearing the end of his career. I can't imagine Kobe going out like this and he's already set the surgery so he can begin rehab. This might sound cold, but basketball wise for the remainder of the 2013 season and playoffs, it's simply not that big a deal. The Lakers might not have made the post season with Kobe and in what fantasy world would they have survived round one against Oklahoma City who demolished them in 5 games last spring. A better LA team!
With timing being everything we get Padres at Dodgers a few days after the drama surrounding the plunking of Carlos Quinton by LA's overpaid free agent Zack Greinke. It led to a brawl that busted up Greinke's collarbone and will cost him 6 weeks on the sidelines. I'm hearing about how this will heat up the San Diego/Los Angeles rivalry. Really? Didn't know that existed from the LA side. The Padres are one of the biggest joke franchises in American professional sports. No titles and 2 Series appearances in 45 years of existence. Save 1984 & 1998 when they made the Fall Classic but lost in 5 to the Tigers, then were swept by the Yankees, this team has never won a playoff series. They're the Lions, Jets, Clippers, Hawks or any other annual failures we follow in sports. Believe me, this is another one way rivalry. Oh by the way, the Pads are 2 & 10. Scintillating.
If you are a true sports fan and not just some honk for your home team, take a moment to acknowledge what happened 66 years ago today. Jackie Robinson took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Talk about a game changer. Question for today's radio shows. Is this the single most impactful event, beyond the invention of the games in our world of sports??