NBA’s Situation: Männer des Westens sind so…

  Well, LeBron James has agreed to terms with the famed Los Angeles Lakers, and DeMarcus Cousins looks to provide materiel to the dreadnought known as the World Champion Golden State Warriors while he continues to convalesce. Of course, other acquisitions may be forthcoming, but the chances of an Eastern Conference team adding any pieces to better compete with their Western Conference foes are remote.

In the title of this post, a portion of Falco’s (the late Austrian rapper and entertainer) lyrics used to extol the virtues of Western society was used in this instance to illustrate that the Men in the NBA’s Western Conference are so DOMINANT. Moreover, James’ eventual deal with the Lakers was a fait accompli regardless of whether Kawhi Leonard joined him or not.

           It also proved that the allure of Hollywood and its tangible benefits outside of professional basketball were too enticing for James even though he could have been a better fit for the Philadelphia 76ers in his former conference. Conventional wisdom seems to suggest that James is no closer to acquiring another ring with the Lakers, as currently constructed, than he was with the effete 2017-2018 Cleveland Cavaliers.

No matter how much talent teams like the Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Utah Jazz, et cetera may be, it is unfathomable to see how any competitor (Western Conference, Eastern Conference, AFC, NFC, or the Conference of Catholic Bishops) could force the Warriors into hyperhidrosis in the next few seasons barring catastrophic injuries. This does not bode well for the National Basketball Association.

In our society, it is already a challenge for many individuals to concentrate on things longer than 15 minutes as it is much less an 82-game NBA regular season and two-month playoffs. Basketball fans on Atlanta, Orlando, and Charlotte might as well read War and Peace as a suitable diversion.

           The NBA’s governance must be at least somewhat concerned about its present state of affairs despite the fact that the player movement has been en règle. Predictability could serve as a harbinger of diminution for a league that has thrived from relatively few controversies compared to their counterparts of the National Football League. All the goodwill of the being the “cool kids” will be for naught if television ratings fall into the abyss due to apathy.

In fairness, some fans may be intrigued with how the Golden State Warriors can be defeated by a determined opponent or fall prey to egos that can sabotage the championship parade from within. It can serve as a realistic form of soap opera that is far more entertaining than titular reality television and for less contrived.

Nonetheless, the competitive balance must return or we might face the indignity of restructuring playoff series regardless of conference affiliation. Such actions could salvage broadcast ratings in the postseason, but the eventual champion’s title might be marginalized because one could say manipulation was necessary for them to win. Once someone’s accomplishments are devalued, the accolades will also be diminished.

Devon Berry: A Source for Inspiration at any Age

From the Archives of Hoss Martin:

While most of the nation’s commemoration for the victims and survivors of the day that will live in infamy with regards to the New Millennium from September 11, 2015, a picturesque, serotinal day was taking place on the campus of the Hampton High School Hornets in Hampton, Georgia. The sunlight sky was blue (from the way that our eyes interpret it) with sporadic wispiness of clouds that resembled cotton candy.

There was a sizable klatch of spectators who were participating in tailgate type of festivities like the Partner’s Club where high school students sold barbeque dinners to arriving football fans in an endeavor to raise money for children with disabilities. Suddenly, the marching band began to walk amain the short distance to the stadium where their Hornets Varsity Football Team were already on the field preparing for the visiting Riverdale High School Raiders.

The backdrop for a Friday evening high school football game in the South may not have seemed epochal to anyone who happened to visit until one observed a small film crew capturing virtually every movement of a remarkable young student-athlete. His name was, Devon Berry, a senior at Hampton High School who has excelled at football (he is a captain), wrestling, and basketball; he has also been challenged with Cerebral Palsy.

As the game commenced, Berry did not receive any playing time initially. Hampton’s program is still in its nascent stages of development since opening in 2014. Riverdale was far more experienced which was evident with their quick striking offense that generally amassed any yardage they wanted that resulted in two touchdowns at halftime.

         Approximately seven minutes remaining in the third quarter, the public address announcer notified the crowd that number 62 Devon Berry was entering the game. The home fans cheered ecstatically as the young man used his arms to blitz towards his team’s defensive huddle dragging both legs behind him.

It only took Berry a few plays to get into a rhythm where he was in the middle of the scrum from the defensive guard position to help tackle Riverdale’s ball carrier or at least influencing the mobile quarterback to move to either his left or right away from Berry. Although Berry’s Hornets were eventually overmatched by size and experience that culminated in a 39-6 defeat to the Raiders, his indomitable spirit did not allow his team to demonstrate any signs of waving the figurative white flag at any moment.

For many of us, we are not challenged with a condition that may compromise our ability to ambulate in a traditional sense, but it is noteworthy to see how Devon Berry is making the best of his abilities to the point where he has positioned himself to enter college in the pursuit of a degree in sports broadcasting. What can we accomplish with our God-given talents?

There are moments in life when some of us may feel as if we are unappreciated or overlooked in comparison to others who have enjoyed more of a celebrated status. If that is the case, we must learn how to overcome these periods of distraction by developing the kind of determination to become a champion on the inside whether or not we are always touted by others. Some of us are finally realizing what it takes to become a champion after four decades or more of life; Devon Berry is a true champion in less than half that time.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

 

My Phlegmatic Attitude towards the 2018 FIFA World Cup

  ATLANTA – On Wednesday, June 20, 2018, I will attend a match between Atlanta United FC and Chicago Fire at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Although this matchup is a mere footnote in comparison to the colossus known as the 2018 FIFA World Cup, my interest in a regular season Major League Soccer contest is a direct result of the United States Men’s Soccer Team’s dismal performance that prevented them from gaining ingress into the big tournament in Russia.

Nevertheless, the demise of the U.S. Men’s Soccer is not a problem of FIFA or the other worthy participants, but it does pose a problem in gaining the attention of so-called provincial individuals when it comes to ratings in this nation. Many soccer fans have resorted to adopting equivocal methods of finding rooting interests in other countries based obscured genetic percentage results from companies providing information as to where one’s ancestry could stem from without the presence of the U.S. National Team.

           This is not to say that there have not been compelling matches thus far in early play. Mexico did garner the lion’s share of attention in international football last weekend with a 1-0 defeat of Deutschland (Germany), which some of the modern Jimmy The Greeks prognosticated that the German contingent could be one of the favorites to win the 2018 World Cup.  Since Mexico and the United States have played rather “unfriendly” matches in the past decade, I did not demonstrate very much élan or credence for the team’s adroit performance leading to a well-deserved victory.

Regardless, U.S. Men’s National Soccer must develop a comprehensive strategy that will provide a method to field competitive teams that can do far greater than compete in spurts. Interest in soccer has increased significantly in the United States as the new millennium commenced with MLS being stabilized and greater familiarity with international leagues and talent.

         The 2018 FIFA World Cup will benefit nationally with a void in the sports calendar from the completion of the Stanley Cup/NBA Finals and prior to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game and preseason games of the National Football League. Therefore, the world’s premier tournament may achieve decent ratings by default in North America unless people choose Netflix, amusement parks, or beaches instead.

Unfortunately, the dearth of quality sporting events will not be enough to prevent me from avoiding competition in Russia despite the ukase from its governance. I am all of a sudden acting as if this is the 1980 Summer Games save or the unemployment rate, gas shortage, and malaise.

          The eventual world champion should be lauded for earning their place in history. Jingoism or the perception thereof by a small minority of the population should not diminish this accomplishment. International football is king for a reason, and I am hopeful this nation will someday reach the summit of worldwide athletic achievement. For now, I must continue to appreciate the vastly improved quality of the play and franchises that MLS has proved in recent years for North America.

The NFL is Ostensibly Disingenuous and Correct

  Yesterday, the National Football League’s governance convened in Atlanta to discuss various issues concerning league policies on certain issues. The most controversial agreement by the owners was in relation to the decision that the players are required to either stand during the national anthem in a respectable manner or wait in the locker room until the traditional exercise at the beginning of an athletic contest has concluded or the franchise could incur a pecuniary charge.

            Although there has been conflicting information about how peaceful protests have affected the NFL’s financial outlook in regards to television ratings and game day attendance, the league decided to take a small measure of action that would at least appear that they have considered the values of the majority without the complete alienation of those of a different view. Only historians will be able to provide a definitive conclusion to this subject in the future based upon subjective analysis.

            In reality, the National Football League is an organization comprised of the patricians and economic aristocracy who are concerned with acrimony between the once Colin Kaepernick-led peaceful demonstration and patriotic individuals whom did not agree with his methodology. The impact of past few seasons has been a contentious issue for traditionalists and social activists to the point where any efforts the NFL attempted for resolution have been a zero sum gain.

            The truth is that the franchise owners believe that their fans and sponsors outnumber those who disagree with the current dynamics of society. Therefore, it is unrealistic for those individuals to think that the NFL would alienate their patrons in favor of a minority opinion. If the owners did, it would be seen as a deed of derring-do, but it would become a pyrrhic victory nevertheless.

            Also, Kaepernick did little to ingratiate undecideds (or indifferent) to his cause a few seasons ago by donning attire like Fidel Castro shirts and socks with animated swine wearing police caps. Such acts have a detrimental effect on how his platform could have been perceived as infrangible.

            Of course, the NFL’s governance was irresponsible by the way they decided to enact the policy apparently by consensus without even cursory communication with the Players Association. Their action does not quell their critics who have claimed for decades that the professional athlete is seen as nothing more than modern chattel in the eyes of the league. There is no evidence to corroborate this claim; it just does little to refute this opinion without having a quorum.

            In conclusion, the National Football League should consider providing an opportunity for Kaepernick and others to rejoin the league via clandestine agreements. If these players are seen as being afforded a genuine chance of resurrecting their careers, it could be viewed as the leadership passing an olive branch to those (athletes and some fans) who felt marginalized. Issues would continue along the periphery, but the fairness of the NFL would not be as much in question as in recent years.

Hoss Martin’s Autobiography

 

My parents discovered my obsession with sports and broadcasting when I “borrowed” their cassette tape recorder in a feeble endeavor to imitate Detroit Pistons’ venerated sports commentator George Blaha back in the late seventies. Of course, they opted to keep that amateur “podcast” for years instead of erasing it in a bribery attempt to be used against me when I got out-of-line. Henceforth, I spent most of my time in barber shops promulgating the merits of why my favorite teams should perform better, but I usually attempted to take notes of signature moments in sports for later usage consequently. Although I attended and received my Bachelor of Science in Mass Media Communications from Oral Roberts University in 1996, I never really had an appropriate outlet for these reflections of previous and current sporting events. I was finally able to unleash over 35 years of hidden frustration when I met DJ Mike (http://djmikeshow.com/), who was the impetus behind the establishment of Sports Round-Up With Hoss Martin on November 23, 2010, under the aegis of Chris Mar Studios. So, please enjoy these postings of blog entries, statistics, and links contained on the website; just do not inquire my parents about that tape mentioned above. Contact: hossmartin@hossmartin.com

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