Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Some Thoughts on the NBA Lockout, ESPN's TQR, Rick Reilly and LeBron James

I've had quite a few things in the sports world lately that I've wanted to write about on here... but I can't seem to turn any of them into long enough posts to make them all individual posts. Solution? One post, with a bunch of random sports thoughts. Here goes:

  •  The NBA Lockout is a mess. While the players certainly aren't to blame, the owners do in fact have almost all of the leverage. The owners obviously were able to become NBA owners because they had other, more successful businesses that made them even more money. From a strictly monetary standpoint, NBA players are at a major disadvantage because while most make some money from endorsements it's nowhere close to the salary they get for one year of playing. So, while the players' are offering to take less money than they got in the last deal (the players are willing to go from earning 57% of the pie to 53%) the owners really have no reason to cave until they get the 50-50 split they apparently crave. Also, a memo to NBA players: Tweeting "Stand United" and "Let Us Play" is not going to have an effect AT ALL, so please stop filling my timeline with it. Thanks.

  • ESPN made a huge deal about their new quarterback stat they developed this off-season, called "Total Quarterback Rating." In theory it seemed to be at least a decent idea, but when ESPN continued to shove it down all of our throats I was annoyed and had little interest in actually taking it seriously. Now that Tim Tebow's second half this past week rated higher than Aaron Rodgers game, it's clear the "new stat" is a complete joke. Tebow completed 4 of 10 passes for 79 yards and a touchdown, and he ran six times for 38 yards and a touchdown. Rodgers was 26-39 with 396 yards and two touchdowns. Neither player turned the ball over. Seriously, what would you rather get from your quarterback? 395 total yards and 2 touchdowns, or 117 yards and 2 touchdowns? That's what I thought. 

  • Rick Reilly is among the worst sportswriters in the country. Sure, he's won numerous awards, has his own column on ESPN's website, gets some cameo appearances on Sportscenter, and he used to have his own back page column for Sports Illustrated. Sadly, this is not a case of Reilly deserving all of these accolades. Sure, he was great for a while at SI, and his back page column was often times the first thing I would read while sitting in the waiting room at my orthodontist years ago. But he's no longer worthy of even being read. After Monday Night's Lions-Bears game, in which Bears quarterback Jay Cutler got absolutely no protection, Reilly for some reason brought up a "Justin Bieber prom date" while discussing Cutler's protection issues. There's no reason someone on ESPN, let alone someone who's as old as Reilly is, should be trying to make pop culture references. He's not funny anymore, his writing has gradually gotten worse somehow (and he usually writes about things that have been written about by everyone else a few weeks earlier, like his article on Andrew Luck), and his appearances on TV make me want to punch him in the face. I can't be the only one.

  • Lastly, people need to stop talking about LeBron James possibly playing in the NFL. First, despite LeBron's athletic gifts, he hasn't played football since high school and would certainly take more than a few weeks to learn an NFL playbook. Setting that aside, there's no way any team would be willing to give LeBron more than a minimum contract, and there's no way LeBron James is risking his $100MM+ remaining on his current NBA contract to play for $300K in the NFL for a few months. None of it makes sense, and the fact that ESPN is trying to make it a story is embarrassing.