Board operator Rob "Stats" Guerrera brings his trademark negativity from Mike & Mike in the Morning to his exclusive blog, "Stats Don't Lie."
The passing of broadcasting legend Ernie Harwell - I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of a legend. All day on Wednesday we heard people talk about the kind of man that Ernie Harwell was.
I'd like to share a story that I heard off the air from one of my bosses at ESPN. Before he worked at the Worldwide Leader, my boss toiled down in the trenches behind the scenes, very much like myself. After getting an interview with Harwell, he walked away happy as a clam ... that is until he noticed that his mini-disk had not recorded a single word.
As thoughts of failure, anger and I'm sure a string of obscenities began to cloud his mind, he felt a tap on his shoulder. It was Ernie. He smiled and said something to the effect of, "Didn't take? Come on, son, let's do it again!"
For a legend like Ernie Harwell to take the time to re-record an interview with someone who, to quote my boss, "wasn't a blip on the sports media radar" speaks volumes about the kind of man he was. Almost everyone I talked to today had a story just like that one. Simply for having known or heard him, millions of people have been touched for good. There's no other way to put it - the world is worse off with the loss of Ernie Harwell.
Fans running onto the field - I have no sympathy for stupid. If you are dumb enough to leave your seat and run onto the field, you deserve to be Tased, tackled, ridiculed and anything else that may happen to you. If you think that's too harsh, I've got good news for you. There's a way you can guarantee that nothing will ever happen to you: STAY IN YOUR SEAT!
I don't care if the person on the field looks as peaceful as Mother Teresa, they deserve to be taken down. Hard. And no, I don't care if the person gets hurt. When someone is in the process of committing a crime and they're injured during capture by the police, does anyone care? Anyone ever concerned about the health of the criminal? So why are we now? This situation is no different.
Leaving the stands to run on the field is a crime - it's called trespassing. Golic brought up the idea that fans would be uneasy about seeing someone convulsing on the ground after being Tased, but I'm not concerned about that. Too bad, mom and dad. The kid that ran on the field apparently told his father that it would be an once-in-a-lifetime experience. Wow, really? You know what else would be an once-in-a-lifetime experience? A naked romp through the Gobi desert - but that doesn't mean I'm going to strip down any time soon.
Not to mention the safety of the players. Just ask Monica Seles about how dangerous fans running on the playing surface can be. Is that what we need to have before we start taking this more seriously? Looking past all of that, what's the point of going on the field? What's the goal? To run around for a while? Wow, congratulations. You paid a lot of money to run around on some grass and get tackled. You know what I call that? Recess.
Everybody gets a trophy - This golf story of one player throwing a playoffs so his opponent could advance is exactly the kind of garbage that we need to eliminate in our society. Read the story
If you're too lazy to click the link, it basically comes down to one golfer (Grant Whybark) intentionally tanking a playoff hole in order to allow his opponent (Seth Doran) to advance to a national tournament.
Let me just say that this story highlights stupidity on multiple levels. First of all, if you're going to throw the match, why wait until a playoff hole to do it? All of a sudden you grew a conscience after 18 holes?
Second of all, congratulations on completely embarrassing your opponent. You're not playing H-O-R-S-E with your five-year-old brother. You're competing for a spot in a national championship tournament. At least show enough respect for the guy to give him your maximum effort.
Third of all, get off your high horse! You're in a playoff. Who's to say he wouldn't have beaten you anyway? Were you just so much better that he had no chance of victory without your charity?
Finally, if you want to tank a golf hole, there are a thousand different ways you can do it without anyone knowing. Miss a putt, flub a chip, skull an iron. You can even go the classic golf martyr route and call a penalty stroke on yourself. Don't intentionally hit a shot out of bounds and then tell everyone what a selfless thing you just did. That's like saying, "Attention, everyone. I want to make sure you all know that I didn't really lose just now. I'm still really the better player."
No one is ever going to confuse me with a great athlete. I won't embarrass myself out there, but I can hold my own. Because of that, I'm really proud of any athletic achievement (however pathetic) I've ever had. I knew how hard it was for me to achieve in the first place. If I found out that it was all due to someone else going easy on me, I would be disgusted, disappointed and disillusioned (thank you, Jackie Chiles). The whole reason we play sports is because of the rewarding feeling we get when we triumph over adversity. That feeling was completely destroyed by tanking the match.
Why did this happen, you ask? Why would someone completely invalidate another's entire round of golf?
"We all know Seth very well," Grant Whybark explains, "and he not only is a very good player, but a great person as well. He's a senior and had never been to nationals. Somehow, it just wasn't in my heart to try to knock him out."
Well, I don't know about you, but I'm sure glad we averted that tragedy. Think of what could have happened if Seth never had the chance to play in the college golf national championships. Now I can sleep tonight!
Sometimes in life your best isn't good enough. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. And that's okay. Why do we always want to give a gold star to everyone? Are we that obsessed with a happy ending? In case you haven't noticed, all of life's greatest achievements are usually due at least in part to some equally great failure. It's like that old Michael Jordan commercial where he talks about all the game-winning shots he's missed and games he's lost. It is only because he failed in the past that he can succeed in the future. We shouldn't forget that.
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