by Matthew Ross
to Root Against the Miami Heat
As autumn takes hold, our sports attention begins to focus on the National Basketball Association. When last we left off, the Miami Heat had just won another NBA title, narrowly beating the veteran San Antonio Spurs. It was an epic series that went down to the final few minutes of Game 7 before we knew who would win.
Despite winning yet another title, there are still plenty of LeBron James haters. Personally, I am not a fan of his personality, but I do respect what he has accomplished and regard him as the best player in the game right now.
That said, if you want to find a reason to dislike LBJ and the Miami Heat, I can certainly think of a few.
3. Their fans: Even though they won an NBA title in 2006, the Heat weren’t even close to selling out their home games prior to signing LeBron James. And who could forget Game 6 of this year’s NBA Finals, when their fans actually started to leave the building before the game was over. You remember, the Heat were down by six with less than 30 seconds remaining. Apparently, a few seconds of game play was too much for them to sit still for. The result was an epic comeback by the Heat and an embarrassed fan base stuck outside the arena when it happened.
2. The announcement: Can you ever really get over that infamous “I’m taking my talents to South Beach” line by James, when he chose to sign with the Heat? Not only did James disrespect the franchise that drafted, nurtured and relied on him in the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he didn’t even inform them before he had his notorious announcement television special. Imagine how the Cavs executives felt, having to find out on television that James would not be back. Could he not have called them a few minutes prior to coming on air? Classless.
1. They’re good: It’s always fun to root for the underdog, isn’t it? Well, after winning two in a row, the rest of the league is basically playing the role of the underdog. Sure, teams like San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Indiana will make a run, but the Heat are head and shoulders above the competition right now. I want some new blood in there. Who else is ready to take on the Best in the World title?
When will Tim Raines Make the Hall of fame?
This year, the baseball hall of fame in Cooperstown, New York, had ZERO players inducted. This is the result of the self-righteous baseball writers who guard this hall’s voting closer than a Canadian guards hockey tickets. The fact that this past July didn’t yield a single player with 75 percent of the vote is a disgrace. Something has to be done to change the system. When someone like broadcaster Vin Scully, who has been calling Dodgers games longer than any current MLBer has been alive, doesn’t have a vote, something has to change.
That said, over the next few years, a venerable who’s who of recently retired players will be on the Cooperstown ballot. These knucklehead writers can vote for up to 10 players if they want to, but most don’t even come close to that figure.
And then there’s a guy like Tim Raines, an outfielder that has the highest stolen base percentage of anyone not in the hall. The man won a batting title, an All-Star Game MVP, a couple of World Series and holds a lifetime on base percentage of .385. Yet, the powers that be have kept him out of the hall for seven years now. Why?
Well, near as we can figure, Raines is being penalized for playing in a small market that had little national exposure during his prime (Montreal) and didn’t reach 3,000 hits for his career. However, Raines was a leadoff man for a major chunk of his career and his eye at the plate and plethora of walks more than make up for not attaining 3,000 hits. But I digress.
When will the NfL
finally come to los angeles?
Last month, we talked about how the National Hockey League should consider expanding or relocating a team to Las Vegas. This time, we’re incredulous about the fact that L.A. still does not have an NFL team. The nation’s second largest television market is without a sports franchise in the most popular league? What gives? Even Ari Gold on Entourage wanted to bring a team back to La-la-land.
For the youngsters, in the 1990’s, Los Angeles actually had not one, but TWO NFL teams. The Raiders and Rams both played out of the Coliseum. Then, crazy owner Al Davis moved the Silver and Black back to Oakland, where they had originated, and the Rams migrated east to St. Louis.
It appears that both teams are doing reasonably well in their current markets, although some Raiders fans will tell you that the Oakland franchise is bound to move back to L.A. one day. Still, it’s unfathomable to think that a sports league has been neglecting the glitz, glamour, and sheer size of Los Angeles for more than 15 years.
What will it take to get a team back there? Aside from the Raiders returning, are there any other options?
Some would say that, the fact that the Jacksonville Jaguars play in a relatively small city and have to tarp off the upper deck of some home games, makes them the most likely candidate to move west. It’s certainly arguable.
But beyond relocating the Jags, it doesn’t look like there are many other options. At 32 teams, the NFL appears to be sitting on the perfect number of franchises in its league. I just find it mind-boggling that we hear the city of Los Angeles uttered each and every week, and yet they still don’t have a team back. Now let’s send it back to Curt Menefee at the Fox NFL Sunday studios in Los Angeles.
Matthew Ross is a longtime sports freelancer and radio host, and the
founder of the recently launched sportsreported.com. Follow @tsnmatthew.