The Sports Doctor: 2010 highlights

news-london-b2This year, the Sports Doc came to the defense of UVA football, but went on the offense against the likes of Lebron James.
FILE PHOTO BY DAVE MCNAIR

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.

The Winter Olympics

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.

On Danica Patrick

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.

The World Cup

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.

Major League Baseball

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.

Lebron's move to Miami

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.

UVA football

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.

On the launch of espnW

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.

On Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton

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.

Michael Vick

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.

10 comments

ARE YOUKIDDINGME,

This is just a small sample of what Ms.Giles covered this year, and it is in no way meant to be arranged in order of importance. You can view an archive of her 2010 stories here:

http://www.readthehook.com/code/customsearches/authorsearch.aspx?Author=...

Dave McNair

My favorite moment would be Lindsay Vonn winning the downhill. Everything I like in sports and women, fast, strong, beautiful.

How u gon call yoself a sports dr but cant spell Dwanye Wade correct? (SMDH) War Mike Vick being da MVP dis year! Im out... Goodnight now!

CVille Weekly owns The Hook in sports, like I said.

Re: Michael Vick...

Let's not be so quick to absolve the mercurial Mr. Hokie. It seems to me that a great many folks who are heralding Vick's complete and total rehabilitation might be projecting his exemplary play on the field of late onto what they hope is a corresponding personal growth off of it.

I'm not sold yet.

Let's give Mr. Mexico the coming offseason to demonstrate that he can keep himself out of trouble now that he has returned from the wilderness.

Really...these are your moments in sports?

A conficted felon who has no remorse for killing dogs with his own hands.
A lossing football team.
Another big time move from some basketball player because the money was better.

Come on man, open your eyes to what else has gone on in sports this year, especially locally!

You have a three time national champion in cycling living in North Garden, Ben King.

You have a football player sit out his entire junior year because he gave stem cells to a cancer patient he never met,...

There is a lot more to sport than just pro football, basketball,etc.

You also didn't even mention NASCAR...did you forget where you lived, a sham of an article

The Sports Doctor is the biggest joke of a column in local media. No one picks up The Hook to read national stories. It does not fit in your publication, which does a great job of highlighting local news every week. Please get rid of the Sports Doctor! Look at the list above: You have two local angles and that's it! I can't believe I'm saying this, but the CVille Weekly (a rag) has better sports offerings than the Sports Quack. Good riddance already.

also, Chris, the sports doctor is consistently and emphatically wrong in her predictions. Derek Jeter is with the Yankees, the US team went into the second round of the world cup, the Boston Red Sox never bid on Cliff Lee, the Lakers beat the Celtics in the NBA Finals. These are just off the top of my head and what we know so far.

Once Lance Armstrong is definitively shown to have doped, there will be another example of Juanita's sheer and utter wrongness.

She displays a startling ignorance. Her predictions are almost always wrong. She provides absolutely no insight.

There is no reason that is apparent to continue this column. The Hook only lowers its credibility by publishing these trite screeds.

meanwhile...

I agree completely with you. I like The Hook and read it as much as possible, especially online. However, the Sports Doctor is worthless. Who in the heck would pick up a weekly paper in Charlottesville to get insight on Derek Jeter, Lance Armstrong, Cliff Lee, NBA Finals, etc. I would go to ESPN.com, SI.com or watch Sportscenter to get that info. Hawes and the Hook editorial staff do an excellent job, but the CVille Weekly is KILLING and OWNING The Hook when it comes to its sports commentary. At least the CVille Weekly (which is a joke of a paper) offers local, UVa perspective.

"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 itââ?¬â? 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."

Pure idiocy. He inherited a team with far less talent than necessary to compete in the ACC and they still made some surprising strides last year. His first recruiting class was ranked in the top 15 and so far next year's class is on pace to be in the same category, or close to it.

This year, with 6 freshmen and 2 sophomores on the roster, and with their two best returning players injured for several games, UVa is 8-3.

As for his defense "falling apart", the Hoos have held their last 3 opponents under 50 points. A UVa basketball team has not done that in decades.