Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Sports Illustrated jinx and other bad luck

They've done it again. Sports Illustrated has a long history of jinxing various athletes after featuring them on the cover of their mag. In the latest edition, Mo'ne Davis, she of the Philly Little League team.was front and center. Remember her name (as if we could ever forget), quoth the SI geniuses.

The same day that issue arrived in my mailbox, Mo'ne Davis and her "Mid-Atlantic" team were eliminated from the Little League World Series. Outta here. And what's up with the term Mid-Atlantic anyway? The only thing going on in the mid-Atlantic is a whole bunch of salt water, and maybe a few nuclear subs. Why not just call that team what it is? They're from Philly. Last time I looked Philadelphia was land based. "East Coast" would have done just fine on their uniforms and made a lot more sense.

And "remember her name"? We'll see about that. Davis is 13, which means she's maxed out on the age limit for little league baseball. How time flies. One day she's throwing shutouts at opposing batters, and the next the little league has put her out to pasture with the rest of the teen-aged geriatric bunch. Poor old hag.

Mo'ne is about to enter the 8th grade. This is called "middle-school" these days, though it was "junior high school" for decades, even centuries. And what was so wrong with that? Why do we have to keep changing the names of the obvious? No matter.

At any rate, maybe Davis will keep playing baseball competitively -- or not. It remains to be seen how she will fare as the boys around her get bigger and stronger. When kids are 12-13, there's not that much of a physical difference between boys and girls. Fast forward to 17-18, and that's a whole different story.

Even Davis herself has said baseball isn't her favorite sport. She wants to be a hoops star and go to UConn. Will she be good enough to atrract the interest of Geno Auriemma, assuming he's still there in five years or so? Time will tell, but the odds are highly against that as well. Mo'ne would have to develop into a blue-chip high school basketball player before Geno would even give her a sniff. That's a pretty tall order.

Bottom line is -- contrary to the SI hype -- Mo'ne Davis might very well fade away, never to be heard from again on the sports scene. Even in her last game as a little leaguer, she was a total non-factor.

As for other bad luck? David Price of the Detroit Tigers just threw a complete game one-hitter against his former team -- the Tampa Bay Rays. And he got beat.

Everybody has heard about Paul George of the Indiana Pacers recently suffering a compound fracture of his right leg on a freak play. That's just bad luck.

Yet wide receiver Golden Tate left the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks via free-agency to sign with the Detroit Lions, presumably for a few extra bucks. When you get into the multi-millions, does one or two more really matter? Seattle is favored by the oddsmakers to repeat. Meanwhile, despite all the the typical chatter/hype/koolaid coming out of Detroit, some knowledgeable football people predict the Lions to finish last in their division.

How does this relate to Tate? That's not bad luck.That's just dumb. There's a difference.

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