Most dominant pro athlete of the era and a little bomp in your life
I remember one night in New Jersey, back when the Nets played in that dump at the Meadowlands.
We’re looking for celebrities in the audience (hahahahahaha, it’s the freaking Meadowland!) and one of the guys says, ‘hey, there’s Mariano Rivera over there in the front row.’
Now, that gets me craning my neck and looking all around because I’m not entirely sure what he looks like in civilian attire and it’s got to be probably 10 years ago and he’s just a good young pitcher.
Well, we finally spot him and I’m like “wow, he’s tiny” because my world is basketball and all other pro athletes pale in comparison.
But who knew that he’d become – and I say this with great conviction – the single most dominant North American pro athlete of my time?
This is timely because Rivera is about to pass Trevor Hoffman as the all-time saves leader in major league baseball; Rivera got No. 600 late the other night in Seattle, Hoffman finished with 601 and no one else is even close.
Most dominant single athlete in any pro sport that I can think of right now.
Sure, Roger Federer was brilliant but so was Sampras in the time Rivera was doing his stuff.
Tiger Woods? Seemed to be the greatest ever until, well, until you know what happened.
The pucks? Crosby’s great but how long has he been around?
Jordan, Kobe, Shaq? All great, not question about it, none lasted all that long, although Kobe’s got some years ahead of him.
Seventeen seasons, I think it is, and he’s an automatic now as he was seven years ago and might be as automatic in three years as he is today.
I know the argument is that he only has to work an inning every two days out of three or something like that but, really, name me someone as good for as long? Don’t know that you can.
I don’t know anything about major league pitching but everyone who steps into the batter’s box against him knows what’s coming and has for a decade and he still gets ‘em out.
It doesn’t bother me one bit that Glen Rice and Sarah Palin had a one night stand (Is that still what they call it? Or is it a “hookup?”)
What bothers me is that Sarah Palin was a sports reporter when it happened. Not sure why but that just rankles me.
I don’t like rankled.
This from the department of Don’t Get Too High When Things Go Well, Don’t Get Too Down When Things Go Poorly.
I know there were those among you ready to lionize young Jonas Valanciunas after his play in EuroBasket early in the tournament and he certainly had some good games and moments.
Well, he wasn’t all that good Wednesday in what has to go down as one of the greatest upsets in that tournament’s history.
The kid had more turnovers (5) than points (3) and also had three fouls in a rather underwhelming performance.
Of course, he wasn’t Darius Songalia-esque and I’m wonder if after that fateful turnovers whether or not they’ll revoke Songalia’s citizenship.
Anyway, Valanciunas is what he is: A 19-year-old kid in his first senior international tournament figuring it all out on the fly. Every report I got from people who’s opinion I trust and who have seen him live is that he’s very good, highly-skilled, plays with an enthusiasm that can be infectious.
But he is a kid and kids will have bad days.
Hey, who does this Loewen kid think he is? Hobbs?
Two-run single in eighth to pull out a come-from-behind win on the road against a pretty good reliever?
Not bad at all.
And I tell you, no matter what their record ends up being (and I’m afraid to go back to April to see what I said it’d be) the TOD has been one pretty good story all year, no?
Lawrie nee Hobbs.
Babe Arencibia The Slugger.
Not bad for a so-so team more about the future than the present.
Okay, this is the last of the “food mail” file I didn’t get to last weekend.
Q: Mr. Smith. Rice Chex, especially after a 30-year absence from Canada.
Okay, how about best bed time snack? Anything that doesn’t get you up two hours later?
Who put the bomp in the bomp shoo bomp shoo bomp? Who was that man?
Man, I hope the Raptors get back soon!
Bob E, Kanata
A: Hmm, best bed time snack?
I suppose if I say chicken wings and Stella someone’s going to get mad at me, right?
Okay, so let me think what would be Nos. 2-5.
I don’t mind a wee bit of chocolate, actually. A small pack of M and Ms from the gift shop at various Marriott properties is a bit of a tradition.
And if there’s a chocolate chip cookie or two around, they don’t last long.
Other than that? I’m not going with wings and Stella; but a nacho and a Yeungling’s been known to work.
Oh yeah, to your other question ...
Reports I’m hearing from Lithuania are that Jose Calderon had a wee ankle issue late in the romp over Slovenia but has been cleared to play in the semis.
Back to the mail.
I could use more, please. Long Niagara day today and need something to do this afternoon.
Okay, how many basketball fans do you think are scouring the interweb today to find out about Macedonia, which is becoming the greatest EuroBasket story I can remember in a long, long time.
Seriously, I can’t tell you how hard it would have been to beat Lithuania in Lithuania with so much at stake and the fact they did it has to rank right up there among the greatest upsets in tournament history.
And I do have to offer a word of thanks to all the zealous Irregulars out there for not asking at any time in this tournament whether or not the HOTH should sign Bo McCalebb.