Archive for March, 2012

With Tiger Woods’ five shot victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill on Sunday, most of the golf world breathed an enormous sigh of relief, but certainly no more than Tiger himself, a man who has struggled mightily to regain his form and his confidence, ever since he crashed into that tree and lost his marriage and the respect of many.

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Peyton Manning is a Bronco. Bounty hunting is severely punished. And Tim Tebow takes Tebow-mania to the Big Apple. Just like that, in the span of only a few days, the very predictable NFL world has been turned inside-out.

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This is a truly heartbreaking story, not just because he had so much potential as a player, but he also seemed to be a young man with high intellect, an engaging sense of humor and insight far beyond the basketball court. From all appearances Greg Oden is a genuinely nice guy. The kind of guy the NBA can proudly market.

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This has easily been the biggest sports decision ever made in Indiana’s capital city. But deciding to release Manning, who has had at least four “procedures” or surgeries on his neck in two years, has ramifications that loom far beyond the stately, retractable roof, downtown football stadium that Manning’s greatness helped build.

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While the nature of the game dictates that injuries will always happen, it is clearly out of bounds to deliberately do harm to another player with a so-called bounty payment as incentive.

That said bounties have a long, if undocumented, history in the NFL. But bounties have been implicitly tolerated for years because no one talked publicly about them. Bounties were always whispered, and speculated about, which meant the league and the commissioner never had to take action. In other words – boys have at it, but please don’t embarrass the game.

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Growing up I devoured just about everything I could about sports. And reading about the story of Wilt’s 100 points was probably the first sports treasure that truly captured my imagination. It certainly hooked me on Wilt Chamberlain.

For those who don’t know the basic facts about that night, 50 years ago; the game was played in a little arena in Hershey, Pennsylvania. It was personally witnessed by a small crowd of just over 4 thousand people. It was Wilt’s 3rd season with the Philadelphia Warriors.

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