A not-so-little secret, from a former sportswriter: We in the sports media tend to overhype things.
We make way, way too much out of common events, declare games “the best ever” and are quick to anoint heroes and legends all the time, making enormous mountains out of molehills.
But if what happens today with LeBron James is what lots of folks were reporting Wednesday night happens, then the news’ importance would be inelastic: It could not be stretched.
LeBron James going back to Cleveland would be HUGE. Bigger than huge. The biggest sports story in a decade, I think.
Do you realize what an incredible tale this is? Hometown kid, grows up to become the best player on the planet, plays seven years for the Cleveland Cavaliers and is beloved beyond belief by the fans there. They don’t win a title, and then as a free agent he goes on national TV, humiliates the city that loves him and chooses to go to Miami, where he teams up with other stars and of course, wins championships that he seemed destined to win for the long-suffering fans of Cleveland.
His jerseys get burned in Cleveland. He feels rage like few athletes ever have. The Cavs owner writes a scathing letter ripping LeBron to shreds.
And then, four years later … LeBron comes back to Cleveland? It would be epic. That kind of story just does not happen in sports. You know with Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins, and some other free agents who will soon sign by his side, LeBron would have a great chance to end Cleveland’s 50-year sports championship drought.
Why would he go back to a place that sent so much fury at him? I have no inside information into his psyche, of course, but I honestly think he feels bad about the way he left. I think he knows how he departed, making a spectacle of himself on national TV, was wrong and immature, and he sees this as righting a wrong.
And if he comes back to Ohio and wins a title or two, man, what a story it would make.
I so hope LeBron becomes a Cav again. It would be just a wonderful, wonderful story.
**And now, more Jimmy Fallon awesomeness: He got Halle Berry to agree to be a human hamster wheel with him the other night.
Love how trusting these celebs are with Fallon…
**Finally today, a couple words on the ridiculousness of World Cup penalty kicks, deciding games.
I like shootouts in the NHL regular season, because at some point games have to end, they’re exciting for fans, and with 82 games, it breaks up the monotony and never truly impacts who wins the Stanley Cup. If they ever went to shootouts to determine Stanley Cup playoff game winners, I’d be right out there with my pitchfork with all the other hockey diehards, because it would be positively insane to do that.
And yet, in the World Cup elimination rounds, when a country has waited four years to get a chance to win this prestigious event, if the score is tied after 120 minutes of play, they go to a “skills competition” gimmick to decide the winner.
It happened Wednesday in the Argentina-Holland semifinal, it happened in the Costa-Rica-Netherlands game, and the Brazil-Chile game as well. It’s nuts that after working that hard, and putting so much effort into the game, teams watch one shooter and one goalie decide the outcome, one at a time.
Play it out until someone scores, I say. Allow more substitutions if you must, but to have the whole thing come down to PKs seems incredibly unfair to me.
Then again, I’m not a soccer guy. Happy to argue with anyone who is.