My Two Cents

By Tony McClean
Updated: February 25, 2006
NEW HAVEN, Ct. — Some random thoughts while wondering when the dress code and under age restrictions will begin in the NHL now that the United States and Canada hockey teams have made a “national embarrassment” of there respective sports.
Could you imagine the media backlash if either LeBron or Carmelo had whined about his accommodations like Mike Modano did last week? Given dismal showing of both countries, where is the outcry of how the rest of the world has “caught up to us” in the sport of hockey.
Maybe if they stopped making apologies for Wayne Gretzky, they’d realize that USA Basketball is in a helluva lot better situation than their brethren on the ice.
Here’s my two cents.
Go to fullsize image ANATOMY OF A NON-STORY
The Barry Bonds “retirement” stuff last week lets you know just how far out of whack a non-story can be run into the ground by the media. Let’s look back on this briefly. On Sunday, ESPN announced that according to published reports Bonds was going to retire at the end of the 2006 season.
Knowing that Sir Barry has cried wolf several times about retirement, I took it with a grain of salt. So the next day, when the USA Today story stated that Bonds was “leaning” toward retirement, I wasn’t totally surprised. But it brought to mind how sometimes the worldwide leader in sports can at times also be the worldwide leader in manipulation.
Fast forward to Wednesday when Bonds reported to camp for the Giants. That day, ESPN reports that Bonds “gave conflicting reports” about his retirement plans. No, he just reiterated what he told reporter Bob Nightingale in Monday’s article. The fact that ESPN chose to hear what they wanted to hear lets you know what kind of agenda that they choose to to do at times.
Go to fullsize image LOSING THEIR “EDGE”
The signing of wide receiver Reggie Wayne by the Colts pretty much means that Indy will not try to re-sign running back Edgerin James. As far as I’m concerned, the day that “The Edge” leaves, he takes the heart of the Colts’ offense with him. As the loss to the Steelers showed, when the Colts get away from their running game, they become one-dimensional and beatable.
No matter how many numbers Peyton Manning puts up, unless you have a legitimate running game, they will never NEVER reach a Super Bowl. The growing thinking that dominant running backs are slowly becoming expendable in today’s game is one of the most silliest notions I’ve ever seen in the game of football.
Much like Michael didn’t get his ring until Scottie came along, history has proven that Elway needed Terrell; Theisman needed Riggins; Aikman needed Emmitt; Warner needed Faulk. For that matter, even Kelly wouldn’t have reached four straight Super Bowls without Thurman.
Just ask Dan Marino if he had a Barry Sanders or an Eric Dickerson just how many Super Bowls he may have reached. No matter how far away the game gets away from it, football always goes back to the running game.
Go to fullsize image While Isiah Thomas definitely has to take the major hits on the ugly situation with the Knicks, Larry Brown needs to take some body blows as well. He knew exactly what sort of situation was leaving in Detroit to come to the Big Apple. By the way, just which date will Larry’s name come up in conversation for either the Indiana job or any other job opening that will come up so he can have the excuse to leave New York?
Go to fullsize image Even if the Mavericks don’t finish with the best record in the Western Conference, Avery Johnson still deserves to be the NBA Coach of the Year. The fact that the former Southern University standout has Dallas and defense being mentioned in the same breath is more than enough of a mandate to the new direction of this franchise. Will it stand in the long run? We’ll see during the next few months.
Go to fullsize image Two reasons why I want to watch the Milwaukee Brewers carefully this year: Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks. You have to go back to the days of Harvey’s Wallbangers to find a potent lineup that roamed in the home of the cheese heads. However, unless they can get some decent pitching, they may wind up being baseball’s equivalent of the Indianapolis Colts.
Go to fullsize image Four black college football standouts: Alabama State QB Tarvaris Jackson, Grambling teammates QB Bruce Eugene and DL Jason Hatcher, and Howard DB Antoine Bethea are in Indianapolis for the NFL Combine. If you have the NFL Network on your cable system, give them a look see this week. No doubt you’ll be hearing about them again around April during the NFL Draft.
Go to fullsize image FINAL FOOTNOTE
Since I’ve been doing “My Two Cents”, we’ve always used the final words to say a humble goodbye to some folks near and dear to mine and hopefully your hearts. However, I await the day when we won’t have to say good bye to anyone after talking with you.
In that same vein, I leave you with these words: Rest well, Ms. King. You’ll be missed.