For Derrick Rose, the future is not right now. That’s likely disappointing for Chicago Bulls fans who have waited for some eternity for that moment to come. They’ve endured injury after heart breaking injury as perhaps the league’s third best player watched from the sidelines, keeping the Bulls from being little more than a playoff nuisance for the Eastern Conference’s elite. Now, after essentially two years of waiting, Rose is finally wearing something other than a suit and tie on the bench and can actually contribute to a team some consider, if Rose is playing and healthy, perhaps the best in the entire league.
Life doesn’t always go according to plan. If it did, I’d be writing this from my ski chalet in Switzerland while my 7 year old cures Cancer. Things haven’t gone exactly according to plan for the sports fans of Cleveland, either. That’s pretty much true for all of sporting history, but particularly true at this very moment, where their beloved Cavaliers are now 1-2 to start this NBA season. That wouldn’t be entirely unusual, if it weren’t for the fact that this season marked the return of the Chosen One LeBron James, who returned from Miami to finally bring a title to beleaguered city. And he brought all-star forward Kevin Love with him, who, along with point guard Kyrie Erving, would form the new holy trinity of power in the Eastern Conference, something the Heat managed for the past several seasons.
For all that say the south will rise again, perhaps you need wait no longer. Because right now, they’ve already risen to the top of the college football playoff rankings, with three of the four top teams hailing from Alabama and Mississippi, all three from the western division of the Southeastern Conference. The fourth team currently in that mix is Atlantic Coast Conference leader Florida State, located in the north Florida town of Tallahassee, a state where the more north you go, the more south you go. So if the season were to end today, which it won’t, the four team playoff would consist of schools that could meet for lunch and still make it home for tea.
I was always a huge fan of get-a-way games. Those are typically Thursday afternoon major league baseball games that stand in-between both squads getting on a plane for weekend series somewhere else. For the away squad, it’s often the only thing keeping them from a return flight home. For the home team, it’s often keeping them from a cross country flight and a reasonable dinner hour. So needless to say, the game plays at something of an up-tempo. I once saw the Mets break two hours on a hot July day. Fans barely had time to get through the Shake Shack line before the final out. Guys were swinging at pretty much anything in the atmosphere, and the pitcher looked like a tennis ball machine – just one right after the other.
I have long understood that college is a kind of suspended reality from the real world. It’s four years of limbo that separate the parental control of adolescence to the crime and punishment model of the adult world. In college, you are privileged – encouraged, even – to make mistakes. In some cases, that’s good. Like taking an acting class, or finding out you’re not good at fly fishing. But that latitude often extends beyond the benign to more questionable. Things that in the real world would earn you an arrest or even a conviction – and all the downside that comes with that. That’s what happens in the grown-up world. You commit a crime, and you suffer the consequences.
It was hard to tell former LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling what to do, when the NBA and collective America wanted him to sell his team because of racist commentary. That’s because Donald Sterling was, and is very wealthy. In fact, at a net worth of $2.8 billion, he’s the 223rd richest person in America. So making Donald Sterling do something is like getting the chief of police to move his car. He just doesn’t have to. That is, until he’s replaced by, say, the secretary of defense. That’s essentially the case for the NBA, which strong armed the sale of the Clippers to Steve Balmer, who at $22.5 billion is the nation’s 18th wealthiest. It’s cliché, but Balmer could essentially buy and sell Donald Sterling – eight times, in fact. Which made it much easier for the league to strongly encourage this transaction, equipped with the knowledge they’ve got the biggest kid on the block in their corner. That, more than anything, made it much easier to get rid of one aging racist bully.
I’m going to state an uncomfortable truth. I’m not a huge Derek Jeter fan. Right now, that feels a little like admitting you’re not a fan of puppies and kittens. But it is what it is. I’ve just never been a huge fan of the baseball player commonly known in these parts as The Captain.
The NFL is like a giant vacuum. It pretty much sucks the air out of everything around it. That’s why in May, in the middle of the baseball regular season and the NBA playoffs, all people can talk about is the NFL draft. It’s an American obsession, caring more about professional football than baseball, basketball, hockey, global affairs, and your kid’s birthday combined. That’s the way the NFL likes it.
It’s a safe default to assume you’re always being watched. The notion of privacy is as antiquated as afternoon tea time and top hats. Particularly if you’re somebody, you live your life as if it’s on TV.
You know what they say in sports. There’s nothing like that 18th title. That’s the mantra right now for tennis star Roger Federer, who’s hoping to do just that in this final week of the US Open. Federer will play Gael Monfils in the quarterfinals, the next match in what has been a relatively simple run towards the event’s final weekend. Federer would be a favorite in both this match and the semifinal, although could face the top seeded Novak Djokovic in the final, if all stays to form. Djokovic defeated Federer in the Wimbledon final earlier this year, which some assumed might be Roger’s last chance, as they say.