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Bah Humbug

By Patrick Snow

Well it’s the end of the year, and soon you will be inundated with “Best of/Worst of” lists for 2007. Those lists will have the normal good (Peyton Manning/Appy State) and bad (Mike Vick/Bobby Petrino) perspective on a national scale. Instead of that, I thought I would look at some problems facing our Region. I hate to not be in the Christmas spirit, but it’s time to give out some lumps of coal in some sporting stockings.

* Coaches who are ‘over-the-top’ mean and boring - I am so tired of the Bill Belichicks and Nick Sabans of the world who act like they are commanding a military unit in Iraq instead of getting millions to coach football. No one is looking for a stand-up comedy routine, but these men could be a little more human and a little less paranoid robot. If you want to be angry, feel free. If you want to have some perspective, even better. But to resemble a cyborg every time you speak to the ‘outside’ world is just ridiculous. Maybe we in the South have been spoiled historically with great coaches with personalities to match, but we don’t seem to be adding any names to that list.

* Lack of NASCAR personalities - The same concept as above applies to the growing number of cookie-cutter NASCAR drivers. The sport that used to be ruled by win-at-all-costs daredevils is now dominated by corporate spokesmen who tend to race for points instead of checkered flags. By nature, ‘racing’ is an aggressive and passionate activity. Hopefully, the drivers will get back to being exciting and start to reenergize their core fan base.

* ESPN – The national (err, Northeast) network that tends to only see the world in a Boston vs. New York prism just continues to ignore our Region. In college sports, they focus on the Big Ten and Notre Dame while the SEC wins the most championships and tends to have a more exciting product. The AFC South is by far the best division in the NFL, but you would never know it because ESPN has their mandatory Patriots update every 5 minutes. Is it any wonder none of the Playoff-bound Jacksonville Jaguars made the Pro Bowl?

* MLB – While most of the attention over the past couple of seasons has been on steroids, I believe the bigger problem lies in the gap between ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’. While ESPN (see above) covers up the issue by only promoting the Red Sox and Yankees, the biggest problem in the Game is a team like the Marlins having to get rid of a 24-year old Miguel Cabrera (not to mention Dontrelle Willis) in his prime. That makes no sense for growing the game in our Region.

* The record number of players with the ‘Me-Me’ attitude – Unfortunately, the Pacman Jones and DeAngelo Halls of the world seem to grow with each passing season. Whether it’s trouble with the law or just ridiculous displays on the field, these prima donnas ruin the experience for many fans. They only seem to care about money and celebrity instead of their teammates or the fans. Hopefully, the general managers across sports are learning that these type of arrogant athletes tend to not be leaders or winners, and will quit signing them to ridiculous contracts.

related tags

Southern Pro Football,
Tribal Fever,

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