What a Week… and a rededication…

Well I have been putting off this blog for nearly a week now…  Not sure how to approach the subject or just too full of anger and disappointment to put it down in words so that they would come out intelligently and not write when I am angry, but since I am a fan of the NFL, I really need to express my opinion on the whole issues [s] of what has gone on the last week. 

First, lets state the obvious, Ray Rice is an asshole, plain and simple.  He made the conscious decision to spit in the face of his then fiancé and now wife Janay in the elevator of an Atlantic City casino, then if that wasn’t enough, he punched her..  TWICE..  the second time the blow was so hard she fell and hit her head on the handrail of the elevator, knocking her out.  The video of the entire altercation was released by TMZ Monday, causing a shit storm that rocked the NFL to its core.  Ray was suspended earlier in August for 2 games based on what was public at the time regarding the incident, and it seemed like the NFL was done with the issue, and we were all moving forward.  Then Monday after the video was released, the Ravens cut him, and the NFL indefinitely suspended him thereby guaranteeing he would not see the field for the 2014 season. 

The video is horrible, and it has been played over and over again by the media, but the fallout from the video is what has blown this up into a national discussion about power, domestic violence, and the image of the NFL.  The NFL denied it had seen the video, Roger Goodell the commissioner of the NFL, did an interview that day flatly denying he had seen it and to “his knowledge” no one in the front office of the NFL had seen it.  The league was not granted access to it, was not provided it, and therefore did not see it.  The Associated Press later came out and said they had in fact mailed a copy of the tape to the NFL offices and they have a recording of an NFL official confirming receipt of the tape and stating that what was on the tape was “horrible”.  Goodell later reiterated his stance on the matter saying that he had not seen it and was not aware of anyone in the office ever receiving the tape and that it was being looked into.

Let’s remember that the NFL is the most powerful Professional league I the US.  its popularity is number one, no other league comes close in this country.  The NFL has powerful resources, and does extensive background checks on all its players before they are drafted.  One would think that somewhere, somehow, someone I the front office at one point might have said, “we need to see the tape” to understand the extent of the situation and see exactly what happened.  Apparently, by the statements made by Goodell, they felt the interview they conducted with Rice and his wife was enough to get an understanding of what happened and no further investigation was necessary.  This is where my face crinkles up and I hold my nose, because something stinks, and no amount of air freshener is going to get rid of this smell.  My Opinion on this matter is this…  Goodell is protecting the shield, trying to push the incident under the rug, not wanting the situation to tarnish the good name of the NFL and thus, deny everything.  This is an attempt at a cover up, plain and simple, and the mastermind of the cover up is Roger Goodell himself. 

I have never been one to hold back my opinions on this guy ever since he took over the Commissioner’s job when Paul Tagliabue retired, so let me make this even more clear.  Roger Goodell is a disgrace to the game, he has handled this whole situation, and the follow up social issues so bad, that he has lost his right to preside over the NFL in any capacity.  He should resign, he should take his $44million and walk away, never to be seen again.  The problem is that he HAS to resign, he MUST resign, because as we all know he wont be fired, oh no, he wont, and you want to know why?  Because all 32 owners have his back.  Goodell has done nothing but make these owners money since being commissioner and there is NO WAY ownership is going to fire him, as he has been their meal ticket since day one.  Because of this Goodell must do the right thing by walking away from the NFL, never to be seen again, as he has lost ALL credibility, all trust from the fans, and most of all, he has put a black eye on the most popular and successful sports league in the country. 

Now overnight, there is yet another player in news over what appears to be flat out child abuse, and the problem for the NFL in this matter, is it involves arguably the best RB in the entire league.  News out of Texas is that Adrian Peterson, RB for the Vikings was indicted on child abuse charges, and pictures have been released showing the abuse, specifically bruises and scars on the child.  what makes this so horrible is not that it is AP that is in trouble, but that the child is just 4 years old.  Supposedly AP is stating that the bruises were the result of him hitting the child with a SWITCH and that stated that it was the result of normal discipline and is nothing out of the ordinary.  You can decide for yourself, as the pictures of the injuries are here, and they are disturbing.  I am a child of the 70’s and 80’s, my mother used t beat me with a wooden spoon, and who here has never experienced the pain of their father whooping them with a belt that grew up in that era, but one thing my parents never did was hit me to the point where there were marks or bruises on my body.  This is abuse, plain and simple, and where this goes at this point is not clear, AP was booked into the Montgomery County Jail this morning and posted $15,000 bond right away. 

On a final note to these issues, I sit here a sad person, because all of the negativity that has come out of the NFL this week has tarnished the game I love, not to mention the league I love, and I am unsure how to handle it.  I would like to believe that most of the players in the NFL lead upstanding, normal, relatively clan lives, but with all of the news this week, plus the other off-field issues regarding Josh Gordon, Wes Welker, Orlando Scandrick, Ray McDonald, and Greg Hardy, my overall opinion and view of the NFL has changed.  I know that most of the players in the league are good people, and that they do wonderful things off the field for charities, are upstanding family men, and are not the problem, but it seems like only the bad news becomes public, and along with the NBA and MLB, the NFL is going to be yet another league that is associated more with how their players behave off the field rather than on the field.

Finally, I want to address an issue that has been eating at me for months.  I originally started this blog to make regular contributions to it, and in my eyes, I have failed to do so.  I have been lazy and inattentive to the site, and as of right now, September 13th, 2014 (My 48th birthday btw) I am rededicating myself to making regular contributions to this blog on a weekly basis.  I hope to post 2-3 times a week, and provide updated and fresh content for my ramblings, rants, and perspective on not just the NFL, but the entire sports world.  So settle in, get ready, and here we go.  The Sports Nerd is coming of age, and will begin to make an impact on how you view everything related to the sports world.

Get in the Game….  Or ride the Bench, the choice is yours…3

 

Scott “The Sports Nerd” Wright

So.. It’s Been a While…

Funny thing about outside influences, they can get in the way of trying to move forward, accomplishing goals, and just flat out make you unproductive.  That’s been me for the last few weeks.  I have had money issues, car issues, work issues (offline job) and have just plain let this site go to shit because I was too caught up with other outside things to post on a regular basis.  Hopefully I can re-focus and get back to doing what I love to do.  Create content, make you think, laugh, and most of all, create interest in this blog again.

My last post to this blog was on June 15, and I pretty much said the same thing in that post that I have already said in this one.  However, the difference is that the NFL and College football seasons are starting soon, and if I want to be relevant I need to provide some content so I don’t lose my edge.  My thoughts need to be put out there on a regular basis so that you, my audience can know that I am on top of things, somewhat know what I am talking about, and for those that care, confirm that I am still breathing. 

So…  Since my last post, we have three Golf majors in the books, including a multiple winner in Rory McElroy with his win at the British and PGA Championship, The Sprint Cup Chase is getting more clear, the Race is on for the Baseball playoffs, NFL Preseason is two weeks old now, there have been some off the field issues that have come up not just in football but in other sports as well, and I have not posted a “Thursday Throwback” In about 2 or 3 months.

So with that being said, lets get this going….

First…  Rory McElroy, back to back majors, and not since Tiger has anyone tore up the PGA field like this kid has done the last few months.  He is on a roll, and he is now just one major shy of the career Grand Slam.  He has already stated that he is going to be focused on winning The Masters come April, and I for one will be on the edge of my seat to see if he can do it.  Honorable mentions in this “Rory Fever” has been the play of both Sergio Garcia and Ricky Fowler.  Sergio is playing some of the best golf of his career, and he seems to be in the thick of it week after week, making things very interesting.  I haven’t seen Sergio smile so much since he bolted on he scene 15 years ago.  He looks like he is having fun on the course again and anytime Sergio is playing good it is good for golf.  He is one of the games most charismatic and talented players and golf needs him since Tiger has faded and seems to be on a “long-term” route to healing and making a comeback.  Ricky Fowler has also had a great year, finishing in the top 5 in all 4 majors this year.  He is close to getting over the top and becoming a breakout star on the PGA tour,and it won’t be long before we will se the words “Major Champion” on his resume.  I like Ricky’s approach to the game, he is humble, well liked on tour, and from what I have seen, um, the ladies really like him…lol  The thing about both Sergio and Ricky that has me excited for the game is that in both the PGA and the Open they were right on the coat tails of Rory in the last round, and neither one of them had a bad final round I the tournament, Rory was just that good.  It is going to be an exciting 2015 if this keeps up, whether or not Tiger is in the mix.  In my opinion tiger has had so many injuries and so many off the field issues, he may never again be the dominant player he once was.  No, scratch that..  remove the “may” from that.. Tiger will NEVER be the dominant player he once was, and I am going to go out on a limb and say he doesn’t reach 18 majors, not only will he not beat Jacks record, he wont even tie jacks record.  there is just too much going on between his ears right now, and the hardest obstacles to overcome are always the mental ones, so no, he wont do it. 

NASCAR…

The race for the chase is heating up, and only a few slots are up for grabs as of the start of the Michigan race today.  With that being said, the only thing on my mind is the tragedy of last weekend and the death of Kevin Ward Jr.  To this day I haven’t watched the video of it, and probably never will watch.  Tony has decided that he still isn’t ready to get behind the wheel of a race car yet, and I can’t say I blame him.  It’s a sad situation, and I really feel like Tony wont race the remainder of this season,  I don’t think he can get in a car without thinking about what happened, and as I mentioned above, the hardest obstacles to overcome are always the mental ones, and this is a serious mental issue that tony will have to over come and only he can decide when or if he I ready to race again.  Jeff Burton will be driving the 14 at Michigan today, and Tony has yet to rejoin the team since the accident.  I hope he can get through it, I hope he can over come it, cause NASCAR without “Smoke” in it is boring.

MLB Baseball…

Well, My Rays finally did it, they traded David Price, they really didn’t get anyone for him, and they Gave the Tigers probably the best Pitching staff in the major’s.  I am pissed about it, I am hurt, and not just cause Price isn’t a ember of the Rays any longer, its because to add fuel to the fire, they traded him to Detroit, a major rival to the Indians, so I lost on many levels in t hat trade.  Now as of today the Indians don’t have much of a shot at the WC as they are about 5 games out and have to leapfrog teams like the Angels and Mariners to get there, don’t know if there is enough magic or time left in the season to even accomplish that feat, but I guess that’s why they play the games,  so we’ll see.  There were a few major trades at the deadline, too many to list here, but lets just say that the A’s have put themselves in place for a run at the pennant, and rival Detroit in their starting pitching.  Surprises to me are the Brewers the Orioles and the ROYALS!! Their hold on first place in their respective divisions is amazing.  if you would have told me in April that all THREE of those teams would be in first place in August I would have asked for whatever it was you were smoking at the time.  The most intriguing race in those three divisions is between KC and Detroit.  that’s a race that could come down to the final weekend and with the Royals not being in the playoffs for better than 20 years, it is exciting to watch.

NBA (YES!! the NBA!!!!)

So the hometown boy has come home to Cleveland…  Welcome home LeBron, Cleveland has missed you, and yes we are a forgiving city, we will welcome you home with open arms, forgive the whole fiasco of “The Decision” forgive the fact that you bailed on us for a couple of rings, forgive that you decided that $$$ was more important than loyalty, and yes we will cheer you when you hoist an NBA championship banner in Cleveland, something the city hasn’t seen I 50 years.  Just remember that as we forgive you, we wont forget, nor will we trust you until you in fact do what you say you are going to do.  Finish your career in Cleveland. 

NFL – Best For Last….. (with some NCAA thrown in)

Where to start, cause there is so much.  Ray Rice, Hall of Fame, Josh Gordon, Johnny Manziel, Roger Goodell, New rules, Buffalo and the ownership, NCAA Playoff, Notre Dame, The Big five Conferences,   Oh hell…  Maybe I will just hit the highlights and leave other subjects for stand alone posts for later. 

Ray Rice needs to be suspended for 6-8 games.  He punched his woman, he dragged her out of an elevator.  That’s all that needs to be said about that.  You don’t get a pass from me or anyone else.  That’s criminal, he should really be in jail, but if I say that people will think I am biased against the Ravens.  Great class of inductees to the HOF this year, my favs are Derrick Brooks and Ray Guy, having watched Brooks since his rookie year and seeing Guy play  in his prime, it was great to see them get in to the HOF.  Ray Guy should have been in the HOF years ago, but because he is a punter, well, some say he isn’t a “real” football player, but Guy invented the word “Hang Time” and was a big reason the Raiders were so good in the 70’s and 80’s.  Ray Guy was a FIRST ROUND draft pick… as a punter…  first round…  think about that…  DB was the reason the Bucs D was as goo as they were in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.  he was the leader o that defense and the major reason they were so dominant.  Say what you will about the rest o the players, Sapp, Lynch, Barber, Rice (Simeon, not Ray), all should be in the hall, but sadly I think that the only sure fire player that is going to go is Rhonde, Lynch maybe one day, and Rice being the long shot.  Josh Gordon got to state his case to the NFLPA over the course of two days last week, with a decision not coming down til later this week, which is in and of itself stupid.  either they are going to suspend him or they wont, they need to make up their minds so Cleveland can move on towards the first game against the Steelers and get ready with the players that will be there.  this is the first year for the NCAA four team playoff.  All I can say is it is about time, but there are still NOT ENOUGH teams involved, and with the announcement that the Big five conferences can now pretty much do what they want when it comes to compensating their players (Big 10, SEC, Pac 12, Big 12, & ACC) the playing field is no longer level and the smaller conferences have no chance at all in participating in the playoffs.  This puts the little guy in the ranks of the Div II colleges and just isnt fair.

I will save the other topics for stand alone posts at a later time, but I do want to end on a non-sports related topic..  One of my favorite people in the whole world passed away this week, and I have been severely affected by it.  Whether you loved his acting, his stand up, or just how much joy he brought to the world, Robin Williams was a giant.  Academy Award Winner, Philanthropist, TV Star, Supporter of the troops, Golden Globe Winner, his resume was wide, his list of accolades was long, but yet we never knew how deep his pain was.  Until this week, none of those outside his immediate circle knew just how deep his depression was.  I was shocked, saddened, and felt a part of my youth was stolen away from me when I heard the news that he had passed.  I grew up on Mork N Mindy, Loved ALL of his movies, his stand up was second to none, except maybe Carlin, and we are all better for have seen and experienced his talent.  If you, or someone you know is dealing with depression, know this, it is serious, it is a disease, and it is fatal if not treated.  It may not be a viral or bacterial disease, but it is a disease nonetheless, and as someone that has dealt with it all of my life, I know that friendships and family are the keys to dealing with it, along with treatment, whether through drugs or counseling.  If you are depressed, get help, and if you know someone that is depressed, make sure you tell them you love them, give them a hug, and always be there for them.  With that, I will leave you with this…

Mork Calling Orson…  Mork Calling Orson..  Na Nu Na Nu….

 

Get in the game, or ride the bench….. the choice is yours

Scott “The Sports Nerd” Wright

Life Gets in the Way

Howdy folks, sorry I have been away not tending to my blogging duties.  I have had an interesting couple of weeks since I last posted.  I will try and cover a few things on that then get back into my routine.

A couple of Mondays ago my care decided to blow its valve cover gaskets, burn a hole in its manifold cover, and finally to top it off, lose the catalytic converter..  Me being the poor ingrate I am, had no idea how I would pay for it.  As most of you know, I work for a major auto insurance carrier, but most don’t know that the office is 35 miles from where I live so my commute is long, and thus my car is essential to me being able to make a living until at least I make a Full Tim income from this industry, or hit the lottery whatever comes first.

So, I lost about a day and a half of work unpaid, but now it is fixed, and I am back to work again as of Tuesday Morning.  to make up for the lost time, I just completed 51+ hours in 5 days, and boy am I bushed.  I have to hand it to my boss, as she was very understanding in the situation, and luckily I am still employed.

I have truly learned that having a cushion for such things is important.  You would think that I my 47.5 years on this planet I would have learned that by now, but I have never been great with managing my funds,  I have to put more effort into it, and now have a plan.  Family bailed me out this time, and not without a lot of grief from my Father, but I have to admit I was scared. 

Putting that behind me, I want to thank my great friends here in the interwebs that were supportive, asked how I was doing the last two weeks and how they all came together and helped me through it.  One of them especially and they know who they are. I’ve Known this person a long long time, and they were there for me, I love you, don’t think I have said that enough lately.

.Anywho…  the whole situation has put a damper on my blogging plans, as another of those good friends advised me, better to have “quality” posts then screw it up when you aren’t into it, and make a lot of shitty posts. 

This is bound to be another long one, so lets get to it….

A few thoughts on the last couple of weeks in the world of sports:

  • I cant remember a more exciting series of games in a Stanley cup final in my lifetime.  three of the five games went into OT, two of those went into DOUBLE OT and the Kings were definitely the better of the two teams, but man, what a series, and congrats to the Kings on being Stanley Cup Champions!  To be honest I was pulling for the Rangers only because of Marty St Louis and Brad Richards, both players that were on the Lightning when they won their cup in 2003, but it was surely exciting to watch it al unfold.
  • So we didn’t have a Triple Crown winner, and the owner of California Crown turned out to be a douchebag sore loser in the process.  If you don’t like the rules, petition the governing body to get them changed, don’t go on a tirade on national TV and blast the rules, the winning horse, its owner and everyone else you can think of.  You will lose your argument EVERY time.
  • Baseball season is nearing the half-way mark, which means, teams will be looking at the trade deadline soon, the Tampa Bay Rays are the worst team in baseball, however they always seem to turn it up in the second half.  My thoughts are they going to make a run or are they going to start a fire sale that will gut the team.  There is a certain Cy-Young winner on the roster that could be finding a new home in the next month or two, will be interesting to see who makes a run for him, what the Rays will do, and if I have to just be like the usual Tampa/Cleveland fan I am and say, “wait ‘till next year”
  • The US open is this week, and after three rounds Martin Kaymer has a five shot lead going into the final round today at Pinehurst #2 in NC.  I have only been able to see a little bit of the coverage due to working these last five days, but am looking forward to the final round today.  One memorable moment from the first round was Rickey Fowler who paid tribute to the late great Payne Stewart by wearing  this outfit during round one of the open, and it was a huge hit.  for those that don’t know who Payne Stewart was, well, either you don’t follow golf, or you are under the age of 25 years old.  Payne was a great ambassador of golf in the 90’s and his tragic death in 1999 left a huge hole In the sport, a widow and two great kids, and memories of his US Open victory that year (at Pinehurst #2) will linger with me for the rest of my life.
  • So, there is this thing called the “World Cup” going on.  I am not a fan of “Footie” and as I told a good friend of mine, there are several other activities I would rather be doing than watch Soccer all day, most of which include either watching paint dry, baking a cake, or just sleeping, but the excitement of the whole thing is hard to ignore, and I understand there actually were a few good matches in the last couple of days, but to be honest, I don’t understand the aura around the sport, it bores me, and it does not compare to the #1 sport here in the states when it comes to action or excitement.  Just my two cents worth, and in all honesty, I could care less about it. 
  • I’m going to discuss the NBA finals now, only because of the beat down that the Heat are getting by the Spurs in the series.  The Spurs are a throwback 20 years ago as to how the game should be played.  Not made up of a bunch of superstars all trying to show off, and create a highlight film, but instead they are a team, all focused on one goal, and not interested in the spotlight.   Each player has a role to play, they have a game plan in place to win as a team, and all of this reminds me of the great teams of he 80’s and early 90’s when Jordan was in his prime.  Not only were the bulls a TEAM, they worked together as such, and as in the Spurs today, they all had a role to play in the grand scheme of things.  Jordan was the star, but if not for players like Scotty Pippen, Steve Kerr, Dennis Rodman, Bill Cartwright, B J Armstrong, Horace Grant, and even Will Purdue, the Bulls would not have won 6 championships in the 90’s.  That theme also extends to the teams like the Lakers, Celtics, and Pistons of the 80’s.  It truly was a team game in that era, and I miss that style of play.  Luckily they still play that way in College for the most part, and the tournament this year was the most exciting in years, and a blueprint for how the NBA needs to get back to the prominence it had before Michael retired.  I will secretly be rooting for San Antonio to put the Heat away tonight, and although I wont watch, I will quietly cheer when the clock reaches zero and the tweets come in waves on how the Spurs are the 2013-2014  NBA Champs.
  • Finally on a sad note, the NFL lost a giant on Friday, as Chuck Noll, long time coach of the hated Pittsburgh Steelers passed away at the age of 82.  Noll was the head coach of the Steelers from 1969-1991 and was the mastermind behind the 4 championships won by Pittsburgh in the 70s.  The Architect of the Steel Curtain, if you will, and the cause of many a frustrated seasons in the the city of Cleveland in that decade.  I hate the Steelers, as you know, but the respect I have for Noll is infinite.  He was a quiet man, never reached for the spotlight, and in fact his phone number could be found in the phone book up till the day he died.  Noll was a class act in every sense of the word, and on this sad day I tip my hat and say a quiet prayer for the man that ruined many a season for the Browns.  Safe journey Chuck, thanks for the memories, no mater how bad they be, for the sports world is better for having known you.

Well that’s it for now..

Look for a “Thursday Throwback” soon.. 

Get in the game, or ride the bench….. the choice is yours

Scott “The Sports Nerd” Wright

Thursday Throwback–Roger Staubach

Roger Staubach

 

Before there was Tony Romo, before there was Troy Aikman, there was Roger “The Dodger” Staubach.  Staubach was the QB for the Dallas Cowboys from 1969-1972.  He won the Heisman Trophy in 1963 and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1964.  He spent 4 years in the Navy after that including a one year tour of duty serving as a supply officer in Vietnam.  He was one of the original Scrambling QB’s to ever play the game, amassing over 2200 yards rushing in his career and 21 touchdowns.

 

This week has been a hard one for the Nerd, putting in over 50 hours in at work, surfing more due to the CTP Teams competition and just plain out flat being broke and tired. A hearty combination to be honest, but for the most part being able to get up in the morning and face another day is better than the alternative, so I’ll just keep moving forward. 

We lost a couple of giants yesterday, first Maya Angelou, Poet, civil rights activist, and inspiration to millions everywhere.  Her ability to speak from the heart and inspire was amazing, and she will be missed.  Second, Malcolm Glazer, owner of The Tampa Bay Buccaneers passed away yesterday at 85.  Mr. Glazer bought the Bucs in 1995 and in the short span of just 7 years, brought Tampa Bay its first professional championship, winning The Super Bowl in 2002. 

Things I’m watching this week:

  • NHL Playoffs.  Both series are exciting to watch and game 5 last night between Chicago and LA went to double OT before Chicago scored and forced a game 6 in LA.  I’m curious to see if the Blackhawks can give the Kings a taste of their own medicine and win 3 in a row after being down 3-1 in the series, not for sure they can, but..  that’s why they play the games.  Game 6 tonight between the Rangers and Canadians at the garden, and no one is believing the Habs can win, but they wont go down without a fight. 
  • The French Open began this week, and yes, I am a huge Tennis fan, especially this time of year when the majors start heating up.  You have the French in May/June, played on clay, then there is the greatest tournament of them all, Wimbledon, which finishes 4th of July weekend.  Wimbledon is played on grass, and there is always a dark horse that shines through, and that 2 week span of tennis is second only to the final major in how demanding the game is.  The last major of course is the US Open, played on hard court, and is hosted by flushing meadows.  The US Open is the most exciting tournament of the year, It is demanding in that it is played in the intense heat of Late August into September.  the best part of it for me are the night matches because some don’t finish until the wee hours of the morning.
  • Tiger Woods announced he will miss the US Open due to his rehab after back surgery.  Obviously he is not back 100% or else he would be playing.  I enjoyed the Masters this year despite him not being in the field, so I see no reason not to enjoy the Open as well with him gone.  Tiger is still chasing Jack for the most majors of all time.  time is running out, and it will be more difficult for him to get there as he is not just getting older, but the talent level in the PGA is better now then it was when he was in his prime.

Roger Staubach was one of my idols growing up as a kid and to watch him play was magical.  He finished his career with 22,700 yards passing, 153 passing TD’s, was the MVP of Super Bowl VI, and was a member of the NFL’s all 70’s team.  He was the king of the comeback during his era, he won Two Super Bowls with the Cowboys in the 70’s, and is one of the greatest QB’s to ever play the game.  He is a member of the NFL HOF class of 1985, he played with emotion, passion, and as luck would have it, walked away on his own terms in 1979 from the game he loved.   so on this week in which we celebrate our heroes, I salute Roger for being part of the reason I fell in love with the NFL, and for his service to his country. 

Have a great weekend, see you Sunday night at 7:30 with my good friends Bob and Brian on The Sports Nerd Show and enjoy the sports this weekend.

Get in the game, or ride the Bench…..  the choice is yours

Scott “The Sports Nerd” Wright

Monday Mash-up May 26, 2014

First of all, before I get to the sports stuff, I want to take this time to honor our members of the military both past and present for their service.  I currently have a sister serving in the Navy, my Step-father is a Vietnam Vet, and I also have an uncle and another sister that served in the military in the past.  Military service is part of my family’s history, and although I was unable to serve due to medical reasons, I have to take a moment and honor what my relatives and all that serve have done for our country.  Thank you for your service, and please wherever you may be serving this Memorial Day, as always, stay safe..

NOW..  on to the Mash-up

The past week has been interesting, with not much action going on in the world of sports outside of Playoffs, the races yesterday (Including Morocco) and some golf, there really hasn’t been much excitement ON the field.  As for off the field well we got plenty of storylines to look at, so brace yourself this is gonna be fun. 

Lets start with on the field…

The NBA and NHL Playoffs continue to excite me, (well except for the NBA part), the Kings/Blackhawk series is living up to its name and my prediction of seven games is still alive, very much alive as the Kings beat the Blackhawks in game 3 in LA taking a 2-1 lead in the series.  The Eastern conference Finals between the Rangers and the Canadians seems almost over as the Rangers gave the Habs a taste of their own medicine last night, winning in OT 3-2, in yet another great game.  Game 4 of the West series is tonight in LA once again, and this nerd will be in front of the TV watching it.  The NBA Finals…  aww who cares.. NEXT!! 

Yesterday was Christmas for all manner of race fans, no matter their favorite type of racing, whether it be NASCAR, Indy Car or Formula 1, cause three of the biggest races of the year all ran out yesterday and provided for some exciting stuff.  First we had the Monaco Grand Prix where Nico Rosberg led from start to finish winning the most coveted F1 race on the circuit, in case no one has ever seen the spectacle that is the Monaco Grand Prix, well I suggest you look up the highlights and watch the first few minutes of just the Pre-Show that NBSS put on.  The amount of pageantry, gaudy yachts, super wealthy and the uber rich, all congregate for this race every year.  There truly is nothing like it here in the US that I can compare it to.  Second we have the Indy 500 where Ryan Hunter-Reay traded back and forth with Helio Castroneves over the last 6 laps for first place.  It was an epic finish and Reay managed to hold off Helio to take the checkered flag for his First 500 win of his career.  What made this race so good was first, there were no yellow flags the first 150 laps, and second it was the battle between the top three finishers all day, Reay, Castroneves, and Marco Andretti, one of the most exciting finishes I have ever seen.  Finally we come to the Coca-Cola 600 race at Charlotte motor speedway.  this is the longest race of the year for NASCAR and Kurt Busch was planning on making it an even longer day as he was racing both the Indy 500 and the 600.  He finished 6th in the Indy race, which is in of itself is amazing since he has NEVER raced Indy car in his career, so for a rookie to finish 6th in the most prestigious race in history, is pretty amazing.  He catches a plane to Charlotte to compete in the 600, and because he missed the rivers meeting he has to start from the back of the field.  Sadly his day ended early, not being able to complete the entire 1100 miles between the two races as he blew a motor 126 laps from the finish and ending up 40th.  this was a good day for Busch, and he may have improved his image with the way he handled himself through this whole deal.  I respect him a LOT more for what he did yesterday.  On a side note, Jimmy Johnson won the race for his first of the season (meh).

Was gonna talk about Adam Scott’s win yesterday in Golf, his first since taking the World #1 ranking last week, when in fact he didn’t even play, but on my way to thinking about how to write that down and make it exciting, there was a flash to the left of my face and what do I see..  The Rays and Red Sox in a brawl!!  FINALLY the season is heating up when two teams that completely HATE each other are finally showing some emotion.  To top it off there was the season’s first No-No  yesterday, so let’s switch gears to baseball.  First, the Red Sox were in Tampa Bay over the weekend having lost 7 straight coming into the 3-game series.  Tampa won both Friday and Saturday each by 1-run in walk off fashion, including Saturday night when they walked off in the 15th inning, but yesterday, they were up by 5 runs in the seventh inning, and Yunel Escobar for the Rays decided he was going to steal third due to what’s called “defensive indifference” (ESPN’s explanation not mine) and that set off the Red Sox, causing both benches to clear and the result being ejections of Not only Escobar and LF Johnny Gomes, but Rays DH Sean Rodriguez.  I understand that Escobar can be a jerk, but for the Sox to have an issue with the Rays stealing a base in the seventh despite having a 5-run lead is hypocrisy at its best.  Flashback to the divisional series last year.  Red Sox had a SIX run lead in the 8th and Ellsbury stole second base, so yeah, they overreacted a bit.  Rays won 8-5, finishing the sweep and giving Boston its 10 straight loss of the season.  that losing streak is the Longest in 20 years for Boston.  The other big story yesterday was of course Josh Beckett of the Dodgers throwing a no-hitter against the Phillies yesterday, the first of his career and the first of the 2014 season.  Beckett finished with 6 Strikeouts and 3 walks, throwing 128 pitches.  Remember folks, Beckett last year nearly had a career threatening injury with a nerve condition that left him unable to feel his fingertips.  this is an amazing story and he deserves all the accolades he gets, even though it was against the lowly Phillies.  In an unrelated nugget, the Chicago Cubs, yes those lovable losers, have signed, of ALL people, Manny Ramirez to a minor league contract as a coach/player for their triple A Iowa Affiliate, so there’s that… 

Now on to the off field stuff, sorry this is so long winded, but it has taken on a life of its own and I cant stop now….

First..  Ray Rice and his new wife held a news conference Friday and all I can do is compare it to the theatre of the absurd.  He stated that he was sorry for the situation and the affect the whole issue had on the Ravens organization and the fans. He DID NOT apologize to his wife, who was sitting right next to him during the Press Conference, but his Wife DID  apologize for her role as well.  My whole life, I have been taught, you do NOT hit a woman, you don’t raise your hand to one, no matter what she says or does, that’s a line you DON’T cross.  I don’t care if Janay Rice smacked Ray in the face or kicked him in the nuts, Ray was WRONG, and he is the one that needs to apologize.

Second…  Donald Sterling just needs to go away.  After being adamant about not selling the Clippers (Yes this is the NBA) franchise, he has decided to give control of the team to his soon to be EX wife and allow her to pursue offers for the team.  Gee Don, have a change of heart or realize that no one LIKES you or WANTS you in the NBA?  go away, just go away.

Third… Johnny Manziel was sued for sexual harassment  in a Florida Federal Court and it is an obvious hoax, but the reason I mention it is because of Johnny’s past, and what lengths people will go to in order to get a quick buck.  If you want the details, they are posted here for all to see.  Again, it’s an obvious Hoax, and in fact Johnny was so concerned about it, he was seen in Vegas over the weekend partying with Rob Gronkowski and a few of their friends.  Take a look here and you tell me if this is bothering him. 

Fourth..  Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts has been charged with two misdemeanors following his arrest in March, Operating while intoxicated and one count of operating a vehicle with a controlled substance in the body.  The NFL released a statement saying that they are looking into the incident and that the personal conduct policy applies to everyone.  Well la dee dah!! The NFL has spoken.  where were they when Irsay was arrested?  Also they have allowed Irsay to represent the NFL at owners meetings, the draft and be a visible owner since the arrest.  This is Hypocrisy in its raw form, and I for one am PISSED cause they will be quick to pull the trigger on a player if he gets a freaking PARKING ticket, but the owner of a franchise.  Lets monitor the situation for a few months and see what happens.  Unreal.

Fifth.. Something that I forgot to bring up during the show last night and also because we ran out of time (Love it when we can fill 90 mins and NOT be done) was this lawsuit that has been filed by former NFL players regarding the distribution of pain killers to players by the NFL and its franchises while these players were active.  Some of the names from our past that are involved in the lawsuit include Richard Dent, Jim McMahan, Kyle Turley, and Marcellus Wiley.  This is again a matter of the NFL taking responsibility for how it has treated its players in the past and how they handle injuries.  Bleacher Report has a good article on it and that link is Here

My final thoughts on this week conclude with how much we love our favorite sports, how we cheer for our favorite teams ands players.  remember that they put their bodies on the line every day or week in order to play a game, entertain us, and to support their families.  they basically live two lives as professional athletes, the public one that we all see on TV or at our local stadiums and arenas, and the private one.  The one we DON’T see.  they interact with their kids, their spouses, they put their pants on the same way we do, they have to pay bills, they have to shop for groceries, they go out to eat with their families as well.  I bring this up because of something Bob Pizor said during The Spots Nerds last night.  Please remember that they have lives outside the spotlight, and try to respect those times where they are just enjoying being a normal person and not out there on the field or on the court doing their job.  If you see an athlete out in public, spending time with their families, try and respect that, don’t approach them for an autograph, wait for when they are at the stadium, on the court or doing team related activities.  When they are involved with their job, that’s when they expect droves of fans to come up to them for autographs, not when they are sitting in a restaurant eating their dinner with their spouse and kids.  Have some respect people….

Have a great week, and thanks for reading…

Get in the game, or ride the bench….  the choice is yours…

Scott “The Sports Nerd” Wright