Sports

5 Things I Learned in February

Daniel Johnson
Sports Editor

 

Well that month was quick and unnaturally warm! But despite the expediency of the month, the sporting world was gave us memories, games, plays, decision, and moments that would take up a 40 day month let alone a 28 day month. Here are just five little tidbits I picked up on my way through the month.

 

  1. Can We Please Say Goodbye to Tiger now?

If you were to make a Mt. Rushmore of the best athletes since the turn of the 21st century, every person who follows the world of sports would have a place for the golfer formerly known as Eldrick. He was as dominate as Babe Ruth, as feared/respected as Jim Brown, and won as much in his sport as Bill Russell. But father time has always been undefeated. Though his age is still moderately young for golfer, his back and knees might as well put him on AARP already. The injury bug has made a meal out of Tiger Woods to the point it’s sad to watch an athlete who once dominated a sport like very few have now unable to play three straight rounds before being forced to leave because of ailments.

 

  1. So, Basketball Right Now is Really Fun

Who would have thought that after last year’s subpar men’s basketball season and the abysmal year the women gave that we would be standing here today with both the men and the women sitting in third place in conference with the ability to move up higher in seeding by the end of the regular season. This has been very close to a Renaissance for Spartans basketball. The hiring of Trina Patterson and another year under Wes Miller has given the university the best season for both teams in recent years. Let the good times roll!

 

  1. Big Questions for Basketball

Okay, stop the good times because the season’s conclusion leaves big questions for both teams. The women’s basketball team youth movement of seven freshman who pushed the team to close to the top of the SoCon also features six seniors leaving. And while the men’s team feature only two seniors, RJ White and Diante Baldwin combines for twenty-five points, ten rebounds, and are the only players to start every game this season. The question is whether or not the young rosters for both teams can continue their success without the senior’s talents and leadership.

 

  1. Look, the Patriots are the Best.

Tom Brady the best quarterback of all time. There is literally nothing else he could do at this point that could persuade you otherwise. If Bill Belichick is not number one for coaches, then the list in front of him is getting very small. In this era of football, where contracts, free agency, and the salary cap prevents teams from staying together for more than a year or two, the past sixteen years have been a never ending success story for Bostonians. Instead of jeering greatness when witnessing it, sometimes you need to sit back and watch magic happen. Five titles in sixteen years, this is the greatest dynasty the NFL has ever seen.  

 

  1. Dexter Fowler Illustrates the Difference Between Sports and Politics

Donald Trump is a controversial and polarizing figure in the United States. Also water is wet and oxygen is important. This past month, St. Louis Cardinals newly signed outfielder tweeted his disappointment in Trump’s travel ban executive order. One of the countries, Iran, where the ban was enforced, is the homeland of Fowler’s wife. He expressed his disappointment in not being able to see his family, with no mention of Trump himself. Still, the avalanche of harassment and vitriol he received on social media, a good number of it pushing into racism, illustrates the difference in sports when it comes to the relationship players and coaches have with fans in the realms of politics. Steph Curry calls Trump an ass, no one cares. In fact, people laugh and celebrate. Patriots players not attending the White House, a little backlash, but nothing much. But a baseball player in Missouri, where three years ago was the center of the US with the Michael Brown case, calls the order “unfortunate”, fans demand him to shut up and play ball. I just hope that on April 15th, the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier, those Cardinal fans attacking him get reminded that if it wasn’t for players of colored like Bob Gibson, Albert Pujols, Lou Brock, and Ozzie Smith, the last great Cardinal player not seen in black and white was the roided up Mark McGwire and their World Series trophy case wouldn’t have as many trophies in the past 70 years than Fowler has by himself.

 

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