Saturday, December 09, 2006

Sports Illustrated in Review: December 11
This week's SI is the Sportsman of the Year edition. And the winner is....Dwyane Wade of the champion Miami Heat. This seems to be a pretty controversial selection, and I'm sure they'll be a zillion letters to SI next week telling them how wrong they are. I was skeptical at first, but after reading S.L. Price's piece, I'm on board.

Here's how this issue goes:

Leading Off - Great pic of a jumpshot shooting Yao Ming. He's having a great year. There's a picture of a Sepak Takraw match during the Asia Games. I think I had Sepak Takraw at Urban Thai the other day. That and one of those Thai ginger iced teas that they have. Those things are great.

Letters - No big arguments going on this week. Benihana sponsors Hideki Matsui's first at bat at each Yankee game. A teacher and her fourth grade class correct Steve Rushin's history of Michigan.

From the Editor - Stuff about Dwyane Wade. He's from the bad part of Chicago. Then, SI's offering customizable webpages for those that would be interested in such things, which does not include me.

Air and Space - Chis Ballard, a guy with a Deadhead beard, sits in for Steve Rushin. Pretty good column, about how NFL pre-game shows have degenerated into a lot of guys who are not very funny, acting like not very funny guys who think they're funny. TV suits think that this is what viewers want. This is a good article, and timely, as I've still got that image from a few weeks of Jimmy Johnson and Terry Bradshaw dancing seared into my mind. Who wants to see that? I googled Terry Bradshaw Fanclub, and there isn't one. But then I googled Terry Bradshaw Fan Club, and there is one. But it seems like really a front to sell stuff autographed by him. There's nothing about people wanting to see him dance.

Scorecard - Stuff about Mark McGwire and voting for him for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Tom Verducci isn't going to do it. He admires Ken Caminiti for going public about the steroids thing. But he's not going to vote for him, either. Speaking of steroids, Justin Gatlin tried out for the Houston Texans. They're not going to sign him, though it doesn't have anything to do with the steroids. A blind 94-year-old lady bowled a perfect game. Matsuzaka isn't the only baseball player in Japan. I think I had heard that, even before Japan won the World Baseball Championship. Here's something crazy: former tennis hotshot Andrea Jaeger is now a nun. There's a picture of her in her habit. She likes to help kids. She sounds cool. The Beat mentions Jessica Simpson, but this week's gratuitous babe picture is of Mia Hamm. She's having twins. Sometimes people play polo on elephants.

SI Players - Dr. James Andrews is a busy guy, working on Daunte Culpepper and Donovan McNabb. He did a great job with Drew Brees, only those with keen fantasy football, playoff history aside, would have known to draft Brees. NFL players aren't so unlike you and me, they also find TO annoying. They find Doug Johnson fifth most annoying. He must be really really annoying, since he rarely plays. Monta Ellis of the Warriors reads SI every other day. I'm not sure what that means. Stuff about kickers. More high school football players. They're all going to USC or Florida. Lots of young Somalian guys run cross country in Minnesota.

The first big article is about Dwyane Wade. I hate to say it, but his trip to where he is today is pretty inspriational. He's overcome a lot of crap to become such a great player, and he still seems like he's a pretty good guy. He's married to his high school sweetheart, his mom's had a great comeback from drug problems, he's tight with his sister. He's not afraid of Gary Payton. And, you have to admit, he pretty much dominated the NBA playoffs. So I'm on the Dwyane bandwagon, good for him, though the spelling of his first name kind of bugs me. I'm glad that horse doctor didn't win.

Next, Fantasy. No apologies about the Jamal Lewis thing from last week. That's OK, I'm kind of glad fantasy is over for me. Expect Reggie Bush to go nuts. Sounds plausible. Take a flier on Arnaz Battle of the Packers who will "have a field day." I doubt it. Next week, play Jamal Lewis. Have they seen any Ravens games this year? In week 16, expect to see Cedric Benson play for the Bears, as they'll rest Thomas Jones. Benson is the guy his teammates hate. That might be interesting. They think Randy Moss will have a good game next week. It's part of that, "well, he has to have a good game eventually" strategy. That's a flawed strategy. Edgerin James. Brett Favre might not be a good choice. Thanks.

Then a feature on Tony Romo. Coming into this, I knew that Tony Romo was a former Division 1-AA quarterback that had stuck around a while with the Cowboys, longer than some over-hyped baseball players, and when Drew Bledsoe played bad there was a groundswell to start Romo. Parcells finally gave in, and the Cowboys have played well since. I was ready to dislike this guy, but he seems OK. He's a scrappy guy, a hard worker and dedicated, he's spent hours after practice trying to prepare himself for any possible throw he'd have to make. Sounds good, I hope Jason Campbell does the same thing. Despite the whole Jessica Simpson thing, he seems like he's pretty level-headed. So I hope that the Cowboys lose the rest of their games, but I can't really muster a hatred of Tony Romo. Maybe after he starts pounding the Redskins.

Then we have the inevitable article on the BCS. For those of you that don't know, it's controversial. For a number of years, people that care about college football advocated a playoff system. Several years ago, NCAA authorities, instead, started the BCS system. Which then resulted in the invention of sports talk radio. Or at least you'd think. Anyway, most people, including the guy who wrote this article, still thinks a playoff system would be better.

Here comes some college basketball. Michael Jordan loves Chase Budinger of Arizona, who's also a great volleyball player. Arizona has lost to Virginia, by the way. I'm just saying. It was Virginia's first game at John Paul Jones Arena. I listened to Houses of the Holy today.

It's starting to get cold, so we get some coverage of skiing. The Olympics are over, and Bode Miller is back. Him and his damn RV.

Mike Modano, may be the best American hockey forward ever. He's good. He dates Willa Ford, who apparently is a pop star. Got me. She looks OK, though. He lost $5 million in a bad business deal. Yikes. He was fired as team captain during training camp. That hurts, he's trying to be big about it, but you can tell he's pissed.

Now it's This Week in Sporst Inside. More stuff about Ben Wallace's headband. Vince Young, the real deal. Forget about his weird arm angle and his poor test scores. Jason Taylor's not big on Bob Kuechenberg. Peter King thinks Caleb Miller plays like Ray Lewis, and J.P. Losman may be OK afer all. Teflon Matt Millen. Dr Z picks the Giants over the Saints. I go with the Saints. Dr. Z's 49-47 for the year. Flip a coin.

Rick Reilly writes about Rick Barry shooting free throws underhanded. This article has been written before. The usual stuff -- Barry's way definitely is better, but none of the NBA's non-foul shooting stars will give it a try. Bye Rick.

Overall Grade- I thought this issue was pretty good. I learned things in the Wade and Romo articles. And Andrea Jaeger's a nun. Could have used some baseball, weren't the winter meetings going on? I guess that'll be next week. Overall Grade - B.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Arnaz Battle caught one pass for 11 yards, btw.