Sometimes lists just don't make sense
I’m sure there are a lot of things that Time magazine does well – although I’m far more a Newsweek guy so that’s a presumption more than anything – but apparently make “lists” is not one of them.
Time came out with its list of the 100 Most Influential People as, as always, there was a fop to sports with the inclusion of some athletes; four to be exact.
And one of them; well, two of them; maybe three of them, almost made me laugh out loud when I read their names.
Jeremy Lin? Most Influential In The World? Gah!!!
Tim Tebow? Most Influential In The World? Bah!!!
Novak Djokovic? Most Influential In The World? Hmm, that’s a stretch.
Lionel Messi? Most Influential In The World? Um, My Man Kelly makes the case and I will defer.
But the others? Come on.
Look, Lin, the guy I know best of the four, is a very interesting guy and for a month or so he was a very good NBA story, of that there can be no question.
The rags-to-riches side of the story was a fun angle; the way he caught the public’s attention for a few weeks was a lot of fun, and driven almost entirely by a voracious New York media looking for something to cling to. He handled his ascension with class and dignity and, yes, it’s nice that he went to an Ivy League school and is smart.
Guy made basketball popular again in a country – China – where it was popular once before. He played pretty well for a team that’s played better now that he’s been injured.
Same with Tebow? More rags to riches. More nice guy makes good. More marginal talent captures attention for a little while. When it’s all said and done, he’s greatest contribution to the world may end up being a pose he’s mocked for.
I guess, though, I’m feeding right into what Time wanted me to do. These lists – and I’ve said this about ESPN lists and SI lists – are entirely fabricated to engender debate and discussion and that’s just what I’ve spent 400 words or so doing.
But, really, when I think of “influential” people in the world, athletes rarely come to mind, especially athletes who haven’t really accomplished a thing or dominated their sport in any tangible way.
Oh yeah …
There’s this, and then there’s this plea for mail. Do it here, please.
A step back
Funny, I was about to write a nice Ed Davis story – and I’m sure I still will, it just doesn’t fit into this narrative – and he goes out and lays one of his second-year guy eggs.
Four rebounds, eight points in 31 minutes and gets beaten up by the likes of Dexter Pittman and Juwan Howard.
Yes, there is still work to do, as Dwane pointed out after the game.
“It’s good for them to go through that, good for Ed to get bumped, that tells him how hard he has to work this summer in the weight room.”
Time for it to end
Gary Forbes is an intriguing basketball player in a lot of ways.
Has pretty good size, is pretty strong and can guard a couple of positions.
But they need to know right now that whatever he is, he is not a point guard. Never has been, never will be, time to put him where he belongs and let him try to improve his skills there rather than ask him to do something that we’ve found out this season that he can’t.
If this year was mainly about finding out things about players, there’s one question that’s been emphatically answered.
The other mantra
Now, I’m all for “changing the culture” and becoming “defensive-minded” and I think they’ve accomplished that for the most part.
But we saw once again last night – with Davis and with DeRozan (who couldn’t get anywhere near the rim most of the game) and with James Johnson and Alan Anderson – that they simply aren’t strong enough.
Especially the kids and they need to send them both off this summer with a tape of that game in their hands and these words from Casey ringing in their ears.
“It tells us how much guys have to work in the weight room this summer. When they’re lifting weights, think about how we got pushed around and bumped and knocked off our mark … when you’re physically ready to take that challenge, those things don’t happen.”
Okay, a couple more quick things, I’ve got some Nothin’ But Net stuff to get done before the afternoon flight.
This is what it’s come to, and I’m afraid only our friends with access to American sports networks will get this totally.
It’s about 6:55 a.m., ESPN is doing a promo for its morning chat show and I so hate the sound of Stephen A. Smith’s voice and the oft-incomprehensible things that come out of his mouth that I just muted the TV rather than listen to 30 seconds of his drivel.
Hang on a sec.
Someone scored 10 goals in a pucks playoff game?
That’s odd, right?
And no one speared anyone, there were no scripted fights, no concussions, no head shots, no looming suspensions?
Good night for the pucks, indeed.
Hang on one more sec.
The Philadelphia Phillies (Cliff Lee) and San Francisco Giants (Matt Cain) played an 11-inning, 1-0 game in 2:27?
That’s hardly time enough for the folks watching the scantily-clad women and listening to the incessant pounding of so-called music time to have fun and enjoy “the experience.”
Oh, wait, never mind.