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Friday, February 18, 2005

The Godfather awards for 2004

I am not starting this BLOG to be like he sportsguy on ESPN. Okay, maybe I am a little. But in the spirit of the new year and paying all due respect to him, I will borrow his format and offer some awards for 2004 using quotes from one of my favorite movies, The Godfather. Granted, one of the stars of the movie, Marlon Brando now "sleeps with the fishes" and it was a big story of 2004, there were many others. (Note: you'll find a few quotes from 'The Godfather - part 2". No explaination - that's just the way it is.) Here are a few:

"Yeah Paulie, you won't be seein' him no more..." - Clemenza

This one was so good I couldn't get it down to one, but here are my favorites:
  • Oscar De La Hoya - Mercifully, he finally went down - hopefully for good. This great champion is headed for Tommy Hearns and Ali land if he's not careful. Hopefully he'll retire now and begin his long-awaited infomercial career. I do not want the image of Joe Montana slipping around the Chiefs backfield to make us forget how good you really were.
  • Anna Kournikova - We'll miss you on finals weekend as if you were never there.....oh, yeah...I forgot...
  • Karl Malone - He should....I think.....I'm thinking.......He's...... - oy!
  • ... "I guess I'm gonna fade into Bolivian." -- Mike Tyson
"Tell her - I love you-a, I miss a-you-a so much-a I'm-a gonna die" - Clemenza never said much, but he always had he good lines.

To the Texas Rangers. They bid farewell to "The Contract" last year, and while A-Rod delivered with the Yanks, it was Soriano - (a.k.a. - the player to be named later) that really got it done for the Rangers.

"I'm gonna make him an offer can't refuse"

I'll give this one to a team you'll see me bash and cheer for as much as the Sportsguy does his beloved Celtics, my hometown, clueless, Portland TrailBlazers. The contract they offerred Zach Randolph is not only obscenely crazy, they did not pursue Garnett and/or Kidd in the off-season either, and they should have. I liked the moves dumping Bonzie and Rasheed. One more thing - I also think that they paid a little too much for Quyntel Woods. A couple of pit-bulls, and a pound of good reefer would have done it!

"In the next 5 years, the Family will be totally legitamate"

Remember, I said this was for 2004. For that year - I give it to George Steinbrenner. His signing of Randy Johnson proves he is all about becoming a regular player, about as much as Michael Corleone was about turning around the Family in 5 years.

"Today, I settled all family accounts - your gonna have to answer for Sonny" - Carlo had the best "oh, crap" look ever in the movies.

Larry Brown get's this one. He now has an ABA Championship as a player and Coach, 2 NCAA titles with 2 different schools and finally an NBA championship. Larry had to tell his story to the Pacers, Spurs, Clippers, and all the other teams he coached for. What else would you ask for..except maybe a Gold Medal.

"Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" - Sonny Corleone at the tollbooth.

This one took some thinking - but I have to give it to the NCAA and the BCS. If look at the BCS at face value it really is fine. It is fair and for the most part balanced , but needs a little tweaking. The NCAA, however, in how the BCS rankings are applied, has it's head so far up its rear in so many ways we need them to take a trip to the tollboth. A few things just have to happen:
  • The NCAA must take the top 8 from the BCS and play them off. First week in December, they play four-quarter-final games seeded by the BCS. New Year's day - they play the Semi's in two BCS bowl games. The following Saturday, the final is played in a large college stadium. How tough is that? It would be bigger than March Madness. I'm not kidding!
  • The BCS needs to go back to including strength of schedule and we should not see any pre-season rankings until the 6th week. (Remember that Auburn's claim that their victories over The Citidel and William and Mary entitled them to the National Final over Oklahoma, who remained undefeated playing one of the toughest schedules of any Div. I school.)
  • Kill the Florida rule. (This is the rule that requires all Florida colleges to participate in New Year's day bowl games if it can in any way be done. The rule also applies to Michigan, Notre Dame, Nebraska, and we found out this year - Texas)
  • Give a stipend to players so that they are less tempted from "friends of the program" to be offered extra funding.
  • The NCAA has the very best football overtime. Let's get it into the NFL.
"I have gathered together the heads of the five families..."

To Gary Bettmann and the NHL. In fact just about every permuatation of Hockey people in almost as many rooms to try and decide what seems plainly obvious to you and me. Owners, if you are afraid not to have a salary cap because you want to "curtail spending", then my advice would be to ...hmmm.... not offer as big contracts to players that don't deserve it. Players, if you want more in the retirement fund, you might consider buying one less Rolls and put 100k or so of each years 2 million and place it in an IRA. Am I overthinking this whole thing?

"so...some lawyers wanted me to say some stuff about Michael Corleone, and so I said 'sure' but none of that stuff ever really happened." - Frankie Pantangili

To Jason Giambi and the BALCO boys. This is shaping up to be a bigger story than "Who shot JR?" Everyone is waiting for the Barry Bonds shoe to drop, which I think ultimately will. But all we are seeing now is simply enough stupidity to populate the "Gong Show" for a year. If anything at all shows us the impact of the steriod scandal that is sweeping through sports it was that in 2004, the only year we are relatively certain that Marion Jones was carefully clean, she got her butt kicked. She was lighter and a full step slower.
Note: I am glad that the SlimFast diet is so successful. Mark McGwire seems to be as much a poster child as the obnoxious Jared is for Subway!

I am hopeful that each week, I can come up with something witty and insightful. Please stay tuned for more. Let me offer the chance to respond with comments. I might even attempt a mailbag BLOG at some point.

"Don't let the Bastards grind you down"

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