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Sequential Non-Sequiturs – Born on the First of July

July 1, 2011

In a writing format utilized by Larry King that inspired apathy and caricature, and then imitated by many to even lesser acclaim …  I bring you the first series of what is certainly to be many Sequential Non-Sequiturs!

First off, I don’t watch “American Idol”, but I generally know or hear about who wins each season, and otherwise who started their careers on that show.  Still can’t figure out how Jennifer Hudson finished 7th in her season, but really, aside from Hudson, Daughtry, Kelly Clarkson, and Carrie Underwood, William Hung is who I most associate with that show (She Bangs!), as I find the rest of the artists produced by the show to be entirely forgettable.  Which is why I go out of my way to say that I was sucked in by “The Voice”, that I look forward to hearing more from not only the winner Javier Colon but several other contestants, and that I will watch Season 2.  I loved almost everything about the show (except for the whole “V Room” social media concept, nothing worthwhile ever came from those segments), including the group numbers, the behind-the scenes montages, the coaches’ performances as well as the star duets in the Finale (Colon and Stevie Nicks’ performance of “Landslide” gave me the goosebumps). I’m also convinced Vicci Martinez would have won Idol in at least eight of the 10 seasons held so far, including the last six, and she finished 3rd in the competition (or 4th, they weren’t clear about that, but whatever) …

… Tour De France starts tomorrow, ask me who will win, and I’ll ask you “Who’s left that is clean and can race?” … Apparently three–time winner and defending Champion Alberto Contador was cleared to participate even with a Court for Arbitration of Sport doping ruling in August looming over the race that could strip him of last years title and this year’s result …  With the race most likely to again be decided in the Alpine climbs, Contador is the overwhelming favorite, with only the Schleck brothers from Luxembourg providing a serious challenge … Despite the downward spiral of Cycling as an above-the-board sport, of course I’ll still watch, I’m a sucker for helicopter shots of old French farmhouses and castles  …

… Just when you thought the propaganda emanating from North Korea could not get any stranger, their women’s soccer coach blamed their 2-0 loss to the US at FIFA’s Women’s World Cup on the assertion that several of their players were struck by lightning last month in Pyongyang, including the goalkeeper and the four defenders.  Suuuuuuure.  Hope Solo’s seven saves had nothing to do with it … That’s about as believable as Kim Jong-il inventing the question mark … No wait, that was Dr. Evil’s father, Kim Jong-il claims to have invented the hamburger, which makes you wonder if he also accuses chestnuts of being lazy … Meanwhile on the US Men’s side, rumors are starting to swirl that Bob Bradley’s job is indeed in jeopardy, with US Soccer President Sunil Gulati responding to a query on Bradley’s status last Tuesday with “We’ll have something to say later this week.”  With “later this week” now here, that’s about as reassuring as any athletic director’s or general manager’s ‘vote of confidence’ for an embattled coach …

… Have we just seen the figurative Death of Roger Federer after his quarterfinal loss to Jo-Willy Tsonga at Wimbledon?  (Maybe. His Grand Slam winless streak is now the longest it has been since he started winning them, and he turns 30 in August.)  Does that mean that Tsonga, like Federer did when he beat “Pistol” Pete Sampras in 2001, will win multiple Wimbledon titles and become the heir apparent to the grass game? (No, he’s already 26, and has had so many injuries that it’s a wonder he can compete at the highest level at all.) And with Federer gone, can Andy Murray find a way through Rafa Nadal and bring Great Britain their first homegrown Wimbledon champion since Fred Perry in 1936? (Doubtful, Nadal is still the best player in the world, and the pressure that British media put on their athletes can be unbearable).  As for the Ladies, I can see the promos now … Breakfast at Wimbledon! Kvitova! Sasha Vujacic’s fiancé! ScreamFest 2011 – The Ladies Final!!  Forget your alarm clocks, just leave your TV on all night and the first point will wake you! You provide the berries and cream, and we’ll give you gratuitous shots of the Royal Box – maybe Pippa will be there too!  Only on NBC!

… Herm Edwards’ speech at the NFL Players’ Association Rookie Symposium was quite entertaining, only thing it was missing was “You Play to Win The Game! … Hello?” … Just found out the NFL Network is televising Canadian Football League games, and I gotta tell ya, that’s just not going to do it for me … HBO’s “Hard Knocks” should cover the labor negotiations, or better yet, follow the players from one team in the absence of training camp, seeing how they try to cobble together 7-on-7s, following rookies and journeymen vets to their second jobs, and what happens without a team-imposed curfew … I vote for the Philadelphia Eagles, if only for the awkward potential of Michael Vick doing more dog-oriented public service events and watching DeSean Jackson taunt opposing players during pickup football games in the park …

… Somehow my Arizona Diamondbacks are in 2nd place in the NL West, only 2 games back of the San Francisco Giants and 3 games back of the wild card half way through the season, amazing what an off-season relief pitcher buying spree can do for a team’s prospects …  With the 2011 All-Star Game in Phoenix in 11 days, and most of Arizona suffering through “excessive heat” (somehow more than the usual extreme heat), will we see the first pro athlete spontaneously combust at Chase Field on national television? …  Cliff Lee is a baaaaad man … Charlie Sheen revealed he used steroids while filming “Major League”, which makes it about the 943rd most dangerous substance he’s introduced to his body … Is there anything more annoying than so-called “judges” on a food competition show?  So serious, so sanctimonious, so obnoxious, you’d think they were deciding the trials at Nuremburg half the time, and with the Food Network skewing towards all sorts of this contrived “reality”, that network has become less and less watchable … I have not seen ANY summer movies so far, and frankly, I might go 0-fer … Is it just me or does Tiger Woods’ new beard make him look creepy? …  At 39, Jaromir Jagr wants to return to the NHL, and my reaction is: What could he possibly have left in his tank? What’s even stranger to me is that as of late last night, his own agent had no idea where the Jagrmeister actually was, inspiring a number of “Where’s Waldo”-style comments across the hockey media, some even going out of their way to mention the turtles that halted air traffic at New York’s JFK airport in relation to this almost non-story story, which only proves even journalists can go crazy from the heat … Today it’s officially “Goodbye Pac-10, Hello Pac-12!”, as we welcome the future red-headed stepchildren Utah and Colorado … I for one as a Pac-12 “wonk” couldn’t be more excited about the future of the conference and the eventual conference cable and internet broadcast network, if only to counter the SEC and Big Ten/Eleven/Twelve cable TV onslaught I’ve suffered the past few years …

Finally, the National Basketball Association instituted a lockout today at 12:01AM EST when their collective bargaining agreement expired, having been a foregone conclusion for months and triggering the onset of a potentially contentious negotiation between the players (labor) and owners (management).  That makes two of the three major US professional sports (I’m not counting NASCAR or the NHL) that are being boarded up for the winter, and while the issues in the NBA are somewhat different than those being negotiated in the NFL, the common denominator is that greed has become the ‘white lie’ cover story, the more forgivable sin than the actuality that bad financial management has pitted owners against other owners as much as the players.  While it should go without saying that the ultimate losers in this are a.) team/stadium employees and vendors that will be out of work when and if games go missing and b.) the fans (who should prepare themselves for Sundays without football in the fall and better acquaint themselves with the college version of both sports to avoid severe withdrawal), one senses these are trivial concerns to the parties warring over how to split Billions (with a “B”). I can’t be the only one who finds it galling that NBA owners are essentially asking the players to save them from themselves, despite the fact that like other major sports, television revenue is becoming larger than ticket revenue as the driving economic factor, and only looks to improve in the long term.

Seems to me that labor and management have much more incentive to reach agreement than continue discord; as Baseball and Hockey proved with a slow recovery after lost seasons, they have more to lose than gain from any work stoppage that cancels games and alienates fans.  Then again, that didn’t stop MLB and the NHL from going down the path of mutually-assured self-destruction either, so I won’t be holding my breath on wisdom and common sense prevailing.  Instead, I’ll grab some popcorn, catch up on some reading, and ponder who will be this labor stoppage’s Patrick Ewing and utter verbal magnificence to the effect of “Sure, we make a lot of money, but we spend a lot, too.” … Have a great holiday weekend everybody!

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2 Comments
  1. erin permalink

    Bob, this was great! Keep ’em coming. It follows my short term attention, and made me smile. Liked the Vicci on American Idol analogy.

  2. A quick review …

    – Bob Bradely still has his gig, and US Soccer has been silent on the matter since saying something was coming later in the week, which was last week.

    – Alberto Contador is in 39th place after 5 stages of the Tour De France, 1:42 behind the yellow jersey and a minute or more behind the main competition for the overall title. Of course, he can still make that up in the Pyrenees or the Alps.

    – Andy Murray left British tennis fans wanting again, losing in the Wimbledon Semis to Rafael Nadal, who then promptly lost to new #1 Novak Djokovic, someone I neglected to mention above due to his inconsistent play entering the semifinals. Tsonga didn’t win Wimbledon either, losing to The Joker in the semis as well. Meanwhile, “ScreamFest 2011” did wake me up but Maria Sharapova’s play failed to hold my attention so I went back to sleep and dream instead of having berries and cream.

    – Found out the NFL Network is also televising Arena Football League games. Also not going to do it for me.

    – The Arizona Diamondbacks remain 2 games back of the Gigantes entering today’s games.

    – Roy “Doc” Halladay is an even baaaaaaader man than Cliff Lee.

    – As it turns out, Jaromir Jagr did make it stateside, and signed with the Philadelphia Flyers last Friday, causing one blogger at WickedGoodSports.com to exclaim “Jagr means ‘jerk’ in any language.”

    – I’m still creeped out by Tiger Woods’ beard.

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