The Sports Doctor: 2010 highlights
Love her or hate her, The Hook's Sports Doctor (Juanita Giles) isn't afraid to calls things as she sees them. And 2010 was no exception. Here's a selection of her sports doctorin' sure to get you hot under the collar all over again.
Along with advertisers, some people have forgotten about the Games– although, of course, lots of folks just don't give two figs about them at all. But in all probability the lack of excitement is most likely because many people actively, completely–- and often histrionically–- detest the Winter Olympics. Sports are about excellence, and it's pitiful that Americans–- according to Bryant Gumbel, at least–- choose to ignore events we don't dominate. As much as I'd love to disagree with him on that point, I get the feeling he's probably right.
UVA basketball coach Tony Bennett
It's clear to all that Bennett's legendary defense is falling apart for the Cavaliers, and offense is pretty darn close to nonexistent. And while that's obviously not what UVA's paying $1.7 million a year for, any coach worth his salt should be allowed to find a way to fix what's broken, even if it takes losing five straight games to do it–- shouldn't he? It's not an ideal situation, but every program runs hot and cold sometimes. That sounds logical, right?
Unfortunately for Tony Bennett, logic isn't on this season's menu.
Patrick held everyone but herself responsible for her poor performance (23rd) at the Indianapolis 500 qualifier. Over the racetrack's public address system, Patrick said her car was "totally skating across the track" and wasn't "set up right," implicating her mechanics and pit crew.
She was immediately and, according to Deadspin, lustily booed by her very recent fans in the grandstand. Apparently in Indy racing, it's bad form to blame problems on the cars or the crew, even if they are responsible for a poor performance.
I say the only way the words "United States" and "World Cup" should be in the same sentence is if the phrase "will lose in the first round of the" is sandwiched between. With South Africa about to become the center of the universe, the U.S. of A. is all set to undergo yet another exercise in humiliation.
Before we go any further, let me assure you–- no matter for what team your six-year-old plays, or what kind of sticker you slap on the back of your minivan–- you're American, and you live in the sole country in which football requires a gridiron and pigskin. America may have a national soccer team, but that team is about as un-American as it gets.
Baseball is always letting someone off the hook. The most recent heinous example of getting out of jail free is Jim Joyce, the now infamous first-base umpire who cost Detroit Tigers' pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game. Whether it's letting Mark McGwire be a batting coach for the Cardinals, not suspending A-Rod, allowing Manny Ramirez's minor league games to be televised, or sending Jim Joyce out to be head umpire the night after his blown call, Major League Baseball doesn't demand accountability anywhere, not even a little bit.
James has every right to go where he wants, but the manner in which he made this move saturates him with a stink of vanity and callousness that will not soon dissipate.
What, besides a total lack of brain function, could explain the duo's [James and Dwanye Wade] disrespectful conduct toward Heat coach Erik Spoelstra–- with the ink on LeBron's contract not even dry?
When they weren't stroking their own egos, James and Wade were kissing the bum of Pat Riley, Miami Heat president, six-time NBA championship coach (once as an assistant), and three-time NBA Coach of the Year. Riley was in the stands during the James/Wade/themselves lovefest on July 9, perched on a stool and handling his microphone as if he were Diddy trying to impress the ladies.
Why were sports reporters dancing on UVA's grave just in time for pre-season practice? For the same reason you laughed when the school bully picked on the nerdy kid in the fifth grade: It's easy, it's expected, and everyone else is doing it.
Maybe the journalists who trash UVA football fear they won't be invited to each other's cookouts if they don't toe the line. Maybe every newspaper editor's spouse is a Tech fan who won't abide anything positive about Virginia. These hypotheticals could be true, but the heart of the matter is that it's safer and more popular to treat UVA football like yesterday's garbage than to express even a hint of confidence in the coach or the players.
When it's [ESPN] not ignoring female athletes, the network consistently belittles, marginalizes, and sexually objectifies them. Were it not for the Williams sisters, ESPN could literally go months without mentioning a female athlete, and the network seems to be doing pretty well with that formula. If they wanted to change it, the 31-year-old network would have done so long ago. That's what makes ESPN's foray into women's sports coverage such a joke.
Most people don't care if college athletes lie, cheat, steal, rape, do drugs, skip class, beat up their girlfriends, and generally grind common decency under their heels. Win, whatever the cost–- that's what most people believe–- and Pollyanna that I am, I don't understand why.
I'll be blunt: Cam Newton and every college athlete like him make me sick. Newton was caught cheating three times at the University of Florida–- three. He stole another student's paper, put his name on it and turned it in. When his treachery was discovered and he was given a second chance to write the paper, Newton found a paper on the Internet and turned it in. When he was caught for that, do you think he was man enough to face Florida's Student Conduct Committee? No. He ran.
I am immensely grateful for Michael Vick, not just because he has changed, but because his change demands more from us.
The man who came out of Leavenworth is very different from the man who went in, and that's what everyone wanted, isn't it? Vick has been punished, publicly shamed, and he learned from it, as is evidenced by his behavior as a football player.