Well sports fans it has been a day hasn’t it? Now most of my day has been spent in transit getting Judy and Molly down to North Carolina so I can go back to work and give Judy a chance to continue to recuperate. With the exception of listening to ESPN radio on the trip and catching the last few minutes of the Army Navy game when we got here I have been playing catch up on sports stories. Of course the Molly loved the ride down here and is passed out on our bean bag at the Island Hermitage as I get ready to call it a night. Of course Molly knows that the trip is all for her benefit and she has already had several long walks and is looking for the deer that populate the neighborhood.
This was an interesting day. There was a doping scandal, a bench clearing brawl, an unexpected winner, a buzzer beater, a major upper level ownership gaffe and a continuation of a decade of dominance and that was just at the Republican debate. But I jest, the sports world was as scandalous as politics today as several stories broke to steal the limelight from the Presidential primary debaters in Iowa.
Ryan Braun NL MVP Busted?
Topping the news from the baseball standpoint was the report that National League MVP Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers tested positive for a banned Performance Enhancing Drug (PED.) This was a surprise and Braun has been denying the report and appealing the ruling. If the test is upheld and his appeal denied Braun faces a 50 game suspension. This is a blow to the Brewers who will most likely lose free agent First Baseman Prince Fielder and the loss of Braun will hurt. Braun was not someone that I would have thought to have done PEDs but I guess anything is possible. He never in the minors or majors tested positive prior to this. Baseball is no longer playing games with PED use and I expect that Braun will be suspended as no one else has ever won an appeal for PED use. However it hurts the game because baseball has worked hard to clean up the mess created during the steroid era and has the most stringent policies in place of any professional sport. Baseball is not going to mess around with this and because of the risk to reputations as careers goes the extra mile to ensure that if a test is positive that it is not a “false” positive. From what I have read it appears that baseball and its testing agency are sure that this was an accurate test. Too bad as the season was one of the most amazing in baseball history and this takes away some of the shine from all of the players and teams that made it great.
The Hansen Brothers and Dean Wormer enter NCAA Basketball
Meanwhile in Cincinnati Xavier and Cincinnati were playing in their yearly “cross town shootout” and with 9 seconds left in the game a bench clearing brawl better suited to a Charlestown Chiefs hockey game and the Hansen brothers. Both University Presidents issued comments about the brawl reminiscent of Dean Wormer and his comments about Faber College’s Delta House. Methinks that some of these players will end up suspended as well. Too bad they don’t have a penalty box. See the fight: http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/blog/the_dagger/post/Yancy-Gates-decks-Kenny-Frease-in-wild-Xavier-Ci;_ylt=AiT3clAGA6sDmaDIcDxL7cPevbYF?urn=ncaab-wp6817
Classless and Clueless David Stern tries even harder to Blow up the NBA
Not to be outdone in the “no class” category the Commissioner and Dictator of the NBA David Stern made a complete ass of himself and embarrassed a sport already reeling from the self inflicted wounds of the just ended player’s strike. Stern’s office voided a deal between the LA Lakers, New Orleans Hornets and Houston Rockets that would have sent Hornets star Chris Paul to the Lakers. The trade made sense for all the teams involved. In doing so Stern figuratively shot himself and the league in the balls to try to show that he was the boss. He has since back-peddled and the trade will probably be approved in a modified form. By doing this Stern showed his hubris and probably has ensured that the end of his reign as dictator will be only slightly less bloody than that waged by other dictators. The sad thing is that people were starting to get interested in the NBA again.
Christian Watford and Indiana Shock Kentucky
But the bad news was balanced with good news, unless you are a fan of the Military Academy, University of Kentucky basketball or anyone not named Robert Griffin III at the Heisman Trophy presentation. The unranked but undefeated Indiana Hoosiers knocked off the No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats when Christian Watford sank a last second 3 pointer to defeat the favored Wildcats by a score of 73-72.
In Washington DC the Midshipmen of the Naval Academy defeated the Cadets of the US Military Academy, the Black Knights of the Hudson for the 10th time in the last 10 years. It has been termed the Decade of Dominance. Though I am an ardent Navy fan I do feel bad for the Army players who like the classes before them have went a full college career without having beaten the Midshipmen.
Robert Griffin III wins the Heisman Trophy
And finally in a presentation of an award that any of the players nominated could have won Baylor Quarterback Robert Griffin III was awarded the Heisman Trophy. While I was hoping that Stanford Quarterback Andrew Luck considered the top draft choice in the upcoming NFL Draft would win I think that Griffin was deserving. He s the first player from Baylor to win the Heisman. Griffin completed 72 percent of his passes for 3,998 yards. He had 36 touchdown passes and led the nation with an 192.3 efficiency rating.
It was an amazing day in sports and like life it was a day of the good and the bad and the ugly. But that’s life.