Sunday, February 12, 2017

More dumb rants

Idle thoughts: So how did it come to pass that his name wound up being Keith Urban (citified), when he would make his claim to fame with rural (countrified) music?

On that note, ever notice how country stars of the past had names that the average working stiff could relate to? Johnny CASH. Charlie PRIDE. Most definitely Johnny PAYCHECK. His real name was Donald Lytle, but Paycheck and Cash surely beat the heck out of, say, Credit or, heaven forbid, Debitcard.

What do you get when one TV station breeds and becomes a half dozen of them? Not sure, but one of the byproducts might be called SC 6. The SC is short for SportsCenter, a highlight show ESPN has long featured. But the "6" will offer up talking heads Jemele Hill and Michael Smith. They used to be on something called "His and Hers". Evidently, the powers that be are trying to repackage basically the same product and get a ratings boost. Hey, Jemele and Michael, Bud and Lou, Stan and Ollie -- whatever. They are what they are, or were, and there ain't no changing the spots on those leopards. But this is what happens when a network stretches itself too thin, while trying to report on the same amount of sports worth paying attention to. The "6"? Nobody seems to know for sure what that denotes, but put a "deep" in front of it, and it might just be what the network does to this show when the ratings inevitably plummet after a year or two.

See the amazing Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder. See Russell leading the league in scoring. See him put up 30, 40, maybe 50 points. See him and his teammates trash talk former teammate Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors when they came to visit OKC. See Russell and Co. lose the game by 20.

And that's the thing. While Westbrook is so busy putting on a one man show and racking up his personal stats, that necessarily means his teammates on the floor aren't contributing all that much. Worse, if they come to overly depend on him, it will be to the team's detriment. No one player, regardless of how super-talented he may be, is ever going to win a championship in a team sport. Michael Jordan wouldn't have won squat if not for Scottie Pippen and Co. pitching in. Nor would Magic of the showtime Lakers. He had Kareem and Worthy. Lebron couldn't win until he teamed up with D-Wade and Bosh. Even in Cleveland today, he's got a worthy cast of supporting characters. The GS Warriors have a 3-headed monster, with able role players as well. Westbrook can talk all the trash he wants, be he and his Thunder will continue to go down to superior team oriented squads like the Warriors and San Antonio Spurs until he gets the rest of his teammates more involved. So while he makes the highlight reels, he's also making a fool of himself in a larger sense. And let's face it. For whatever reason, the Thunder let guard James Hardin get away from them a couple years back. He's become an MVP candidate and certainly one of the top 5 players in the league. Then Durant took a hike. Maybe dear Russell should get the message good players don't want to be on the same team with him. Either that, or change deodorants. Something....

The once proud Detroit Red Wings have thudded into the basement of the NHL's Eastern Conference. Their long run of playoff appearances appears to finally be over. Know what's really strange? Out of the 16 teams in that conference, only one has a losing record. How the heck can that be, you say? Well, this is what happens when the league adapts a politically correct scoring system. Teams are given points for games they ultimately lose. Like so many other wimpy sports these days, EVERYBODY'S has to be a winner. No criticizing allowed and nobody stinks, although they really do. Like the Red Wings. And it doesn't look like they're going to get much better any year soon.

Their coach, Jeff Blashill, successful at the minor league level, finally got his chance at the big leagues. Only to inherit a team in serious decline. Poor devil. Meanwhile, former coach Mike Babcock, who enjoyed much success with the Wings, including hoisting Lord Stanley's cup, bailed to the Toronto Maple Leafs. And after being terrible for so long, the Leafs are on the rebound, while Babcock is back home in Canada, no doubt much more happy. So guess who got the best of that deal?

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