Archive for December, 2011

I thought hard about one of sports most meaningful quotes as I watched the Indianapolis Colts improbable last second victory Thursday night over the Houston Texans. Stuck in my head was former New York Jets coach Herman Edwards’ unforgettable mantra: “you play to win the game.” Playing to win is the very essence of sports.

Two years ago, the Colts were on the verge of an undefeated regular season. But coaches and management opted to rest certain players so they would be healthy for the playoff run. As a result the Colts lost the last two games to finish the regular season 14 – 2. Indianapolis fans have never forgiven Colts’ management for not trying to win every game in 2009.

The Colts did win two playoff games and went to the Super Bowl, but they would lose a close hard fought game to the New Orleans Saints.

Many have come to believe that the Colts are still suffering from the karmic consequences of a season spoiling decision.

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There was a time – a long time in fact – when David Stern was easily the smartest and best commissioner in sports. He was the first to understood the NBA’s international popularity and wisely began taking advantage of league’s rapidly expanding global reach. For years Stern’s vision for the NBA was much clearer and more focused than the commissioners of other sports.

NBA Commissioner David Stern

But this year Stern’s clumsy pronouncements during the lockout, and his even clumsier handling of the aborted trade of All-Pro guard Chris Paul, have exposed dangerous flaws in his leadership and for the first time suggest that the NBA might be better off without him.

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Despite a new labor agreement, just ratified by owners and players, it appears the NBA has still not figured out that it is not in the league’s best interests to continue to promote stars over teams.

The league must find a way to raise the profile and prestige of smaller-market teams or risk even more devastating financial problems and conflicts in years to come.

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Count me among those not very excited about Tiger Woods finally winning a golf tournament.

Okay it is news, good news, and Tiger was pumping his fist at the end, with a winning birdie put – like the Tiger of old. I’ll give him that. But if we are really set to usher in the next great Tiger Woods era, then we have to see him do it again. Maybe I’m being a little harsh, and not celebrating the “struggle” he has obviously overcome – oh well.

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I find myself torn by what’s become of Donovan McNabb, whose enigmatic career now appears to be on its last legs after being placed on waivers Thursday by the Minnesota Vikings. This is the third time in two years that a team has given up on him. It is not the way a former star quarterback wants to be remembered.

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