Daily Archives: March 7, 2012

The great Peyton Manning exits Indy with class. How tasing people has been turned into a sport. And an Iranian girl singing Adele, beautifully

Pardon me for a moment while I channel my inner Dick Enberg

It is so rare that we get a moment like this in sports anymore.
When a great player who has starred for one franchise his whole career, and led that team to glory and championships, has to face the final curtain (as Mr. Sinatra beautifully put it), it almost never ends well.
The player gets old, he gets hurt, the team eventually realizes it has to cut ties with him and start over, and bitterness creeps in among fans and players.

And sure, with Peyton Manning, one of the 10 greatest quarterbacks to ever play (he’s in my Top 5, along with Montana, Unitas, Brady and Marino), it wasn’t the happiest ending that took place Wednesday. He’s had four neck surgeries in the past two years, the great team around him crumbled, winning only two games last year, and he’s owed a Titanic-sized amount of money.

So it was no surprise when the Colts decided to release No. 18 Wednesday. But check out this snippet from Manning’s farewell press conference. See the real emotion between the owner, Jim Irsay, and Manning. This was done with as much class as possible for a team basically telling a player “We don’t want you anymore.”
It was kind of heartwarming to see Manning get so choked up, talking about the love affair he had with the city of Indianapolis. As fans, it’s how we always want the starts we worship to feel about us, but so rarely do.

It’s sad Manning has to finish his career somewhere else (and for my fellow Jets fans praying he’ll make Met Life Stadium the home for the entire Manning family, I say keep dreaming. He ain’t coming here).

But it was nice to see such an amicable parting, and to see an athlete who loves the city that helped make him famous right back.

Vodpod videos no longer available.
Taseball, posted with vodpod

**OK, I’m not even going to try to explain this one. But it appears there is now a sport called TaserBall, where the object of the game is to, well, Tase the opponent. The “sport” is played kind of like soccer, except with giant medicine-ball sized balls, and the way you play defense is to tase the opponent.

“These give out between 3 to 5 milli-amps,”Leif Kellenberger, one of the inventors, said said of the tazers. “It feels like a rubber band snap. It’s shocking but will only make you twitch or drop the ball.”

Yeah, somehow I don’t see this one catching on at your local playground. However, when the announcers at the games say “There’s electricity in the air here tonight,” they will now mean that literally.
Stephen Colbert’s take on this “sport” is here. 

**Finally, while we’re hearing about how evil Iran is these days, and how nuclear war is inevitable, from Andrew Sullivan’s blog comes a YouTube video of a 13-year-old girl, singing some Adele.

As Sullivan points out, this is not just some faceless enemy Israel and/or the U.S. could be at war with. This beautiful young girl with a sweet voice lives there, too.

On Super Tuesday, the Mittster and Santorum solve little. Jon Stewart eviscerates Limbaugh. And Lenny Cooke, a great wasted talent

Super Tuesday came and went Tuesday, and I had a blast sort-of studying for my exam next week and checking the blogs and vote totals as things rolled along.

Some quick-hitting thoughts after a night where not a whole hell of a lot got cleared up in the race to see who gets their butt kicked by Obama in November:

1. Mitt Romney, who will be the nominee because he’s got a big lead in delegates (and we learned in ’08 that delegates is where it’s at), is really, really disliked by broad groups of Republicans. Evangelicals hate him, the South hates him (Rick Santorum easily won Tennessee and Oklahoma, while Newt got Georgia), and non-rich people hate him.
2. In the great history of campaign songs, this immediately vaults up into the Top 5.  It’s Rick Santorum’s two biggest fans singing “Game On.” I beg you to watch this, since it’s, as one YouTuber commented, “the whitest shit I’ve ever seen.”

3. In all seriousness, it’s stunning to see Santorum doing this well. This is not a fluke; while lots of GOP voters see him as “not Romney,” he has tapped into a well of support. The guy got booted out of Pa. a few years ago, and now he’s probably got a reasonable shot of being on the GOP ticket. He’s strong everywhere Romney is weak, and plus, how entertaining would a Biden-Santorum debate be? In the words of Banyan from “Seinfeld,” “gold, Jerry, gold.”

4. There may be no one in the history of mankind who loves himself as much as Newt Gingrich. The more primaries he loses, the more indignant he gets. He will not leave the national stage until he’s tranquilized and dragged off.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

**I haven’t weighed in on the Rush Limbaugh kerfuffle, because really, what’s to say? Guy has always been a Grade A windbag racist and sexist, so getting outraged about him hardly seems worth the effort.
Jon Stewart felt the same way, but happily, he couldn’t resist taking a few jabs.

**Finally, a few words about wasted talent. With March Madness about to get in full swing (and for my college hoop readers, how great has this conf. tournament week been? So much fun), the New York Times decided to look back at one of the great “should’ve been, could’ve been” high school players of all time. Lenny Cooke was once the best high school player in the nation; he was considered by some better than a young LeBron James, and his rags to soon-to-be riches story (he moved in with a wealthy white family to go to school in New Jersey and escape Brooklyn) was told everywhere.

Except, as happens far too often, he listened to the wrong people. He tried to skip college, but then he was passed over by the NBA, got hurt a bunch of times, and now is wildly heavier and out of shape than ever before. His old friend A’mare Stoudemire of the Knicks didn’t even recognize Cooke last year.
It’s a great story by Harvey Araton, but also a pretty sad one.

There’s a special place in hell for agents and AAU coaches who fill a young, naive kid’s head with dreams of glory, then run away as soon as the pot of gold vanishes.