Tag Archives: sports

Saying so long to the King and the Boss

Squirrel_spinning_basketbalIt’s been a busy seven days in the sports world.
Spain has been crowned the new top dog in soccer. Major League Baseball held its Midsummer Classic and lost two of the Big Apple’s favorites. And of course, the NBA was turned topsy turvy by the announcement of the forming of the 3-Heat.
It was a week ago that LeBron James went from being the lone wolf in Cleveland to just one of the guys in Miami. King James ended his free agency by joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, turning his back on his home team Cavs and the chance to be “the man.”
I understand the lure of winning rings and appreciate the desire to be on a winning team. I get playing night after night with your best buddies, but personally I think becoming a part of a trio dilutes James’ chance to ascend above every other player. Now, instead of one “King,” we have three stars.
Michael Jordan didn’t bolt from Chicago after the Bulls were trounced in the playoffs those first few seasons. The Bulls didn’t rush out and try to sign Charles Barkley or Karl Malone.
Instead, they drafted a lanky kid out of Central Arkansas. When he was selected, nobody expected Scottie Pippen to grow into the perfect accomplice to Jordan, but he did.
LeBron may have lost as many fans as he made with all the hoopla prior to the switch to the Heat. I know I was turned off by the deafening crescendo of media noise leading up to his primetime special. Yes, there was interest in whether loyalty would win out over playing in a state with no income tax, but we really didn’t need a 24-7 accounting of his every waking moment.
The Heat have definitely improved their chances of taking the title from Kobe and the Lakers, but we’ll see if there are enough shots in a game to satisfy the Heats’ new superstars.
Then on Tuesday, baseball lost an icon. New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner succumbed to a heart attack.
As much as LeBron flipped the NBA script with his free agency, Steinbrenner changed baseball with his decision to buy the best players available.
I was just a kid back in ye olden days when the lure of cold hard cash first put many of my favorite players in pinstripes. As a fan of the Oakland A’s then, it was hard to watch former A’s Reggie Jackson and Catfish Hunter end up in New York. I guess that’s how Pittsburgh Pirates fans feel in this day and age.
After buying the Yankees in 1973, Steinbrenner with his famous altercations with managers and players became as synonymous with his team as any player on the field. Heck, he even became a pop culture star when George Costanza had frequent encounters with The Boss on television’s “Seinfeld.”
Dying only days after legendary Yankees announcer Bob Sheppard, it was fitting the 80 year old passed away on the day the All-Star game was played. He wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

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Baseball Beats Fireworks

Redbird squirrel

I wrote a column for my non-digital gig about how much I really don’t enjoy fireworks like 85 percent of the rest of the good ol’ US of A.

Chicks Queens dig the longball, not the exploding fireball.

Here ya go.

“Fireworks on the Fourth eventually all fizzle out”

I’ll admit from the start that I’m not one of those black powder geeks who spend half of their gross income buying Black Cat firecrackers, bottle rockets in bulk and colorful bombs purchased under a striped tent along the roadside in the hot and humid weeks leading up to the Fourth of July.
Fireworks are just too short-lived for me to enjoy. I like my excitement in a more long-term format. The quick KABOOM and sudden splash of color across the night sky is undeniably both attention-grabbing and beautiful, but I still usually find my mind wandering before the acrid smell of the accompanying black smoke wafts into sniffing range.
Maybe that’s why I’m a baseball fan. The long 162-game season sets a pace a languid turtle could love. No clock limits the time it takes to settle the final outcome and record those 27 outs in a winning effort. Even at the midseason all-star break, the team at the bottom of the standings still has a chance to scratch and claw back into title contention.
Some fans complain the length of the game has stretched out to an interminable span, but I appreciate the longer games. It just gives me more of a chance to explore the sights, sounds and smells of the ballpark like a bloodhound on the trail of an escaped serial killer.
For me, people-watching during the game is probably more eye-catching and interesting than any fireworks display shooting streaks of flame and color across the evening’s ebony sky. Whether it’s the super stat guy who keeps score — noting every pitch, base hit and error — or the Little Leaguer staring at his idol’s every move on the diamond, swinging a tiny bat and mimicking the stance of his favorite player, I appreciate all the fans in the stands.
I also prefer my fireworks on the field. Be it a well-turned double play with the second baseman leaping and pirouetting to make the throw to first while avoiding the sliding runner or a pitcher dropping a curve ball off the table as the batter’s knees buckle, baseball is a beautiful thing.
And hey, they actually have fireworks at a lot of baseball games. None to me are more spectacular than the ones ignited immediately after a home run blasted over the fence by a player from my favorite team.
Now, don’t let me  your ruin your fondness for fireworks, whether they are the hand-held sparklers, the rat-a-tat-tat basic firecracker or the bombastic big blasts. Set them off, light up the sky and enjoy this Independence Day weekend.

Vision Quest

So I spent the majority of Monday on a day long drive from the office to a tennis match to another tennis match to a softball game and back to the office.

It was a long day, nearly 200 miles and several different towns and cities.

I spent most of it by myself in the car. Part of the time driving I was on the phone, but most of it was just good old me, myself and I.

During the course of the day I saw tears of sadness and exhaustion followed by tears of joy. The joyful emotion came not from an athlete but from a parent.

I saw heavy, black thunder clouds that transported tornadoes that ripped up a few communities I didn’t drive through.

I saw a coyote trotting through a field. I don’t know its destination, but I believe it was racing to find a safe spot ahead of the storm.

I saw a rainbow.

I think it was some sort of vision quest day.

Feel Good Friday – Evolve

Happy Friday everyone!

I know this is a commercial for Gatorade, but I can’t find a video version of the song without it, plus I still dig watching Muhammad Ali strut and do his shuffle.

The song is by Kermit Quinn.

Feel Good Friday – Tiger By The Tail

It’s the last day of the work week for most folks, so we need some Feel Good Friday tunage.

In honor (or should that be dishonor) of Tiger Woods‘  first public statement since he crashed his SUV on Thanksgiving and then crashed the rest of his life as a result of his personal misteps becoming public, I present to you Buck Owens and the Buckaroos performing on Hee Haw!

Yep, it’s Tiger by the Tail.

Super Bowl Sunday

It’s Super Bowl Sunday.

Hip hip hurray! It’s a holiday in the Squirrel Queen household.

A day for the best finger foods and snacks of all time. A day for football. A day for creative advertising. A day for comradery. A day for beer!

Unlike many seasons, I’m not rooting against a team, but I will be pulling for one this year.

Peyton and the Colts already have one Super Bowl ring and a Lombardi trophy. Let Drew Brees and the rest of New Orleans celebrate tonight. It would be great to be down on Bourbon Street this evening.

Like the song says, “this aint your daddy’s Saints.”

No matter which team wins today, I’ll be OK with it.

Basketball Dog aka The Hoop Hound

I got a copy of this video in my e-mail the other day and had to share for all you fans of both sports and dogs.

I know we’re in the midst of football season, but this is a basketball-related one.

He dribbles … he scores!

I love an amiable hound who is eager to participate and please.