Supreme Court Round Table Discussion – Join the Debate!

Steve O Speak

By Guest Blogger John Manuel & friends:

Shorthanded on this week’s Supreme Court.  I sent Vic Vinegar and the Matzie to Yemen to cover the Mideast uprisings and its affect on sports.  Expect a solid point/counterpoint in the coming days.  Now to the roundtable…

1-  Is the one and done rule the correct way to go in College Basketball and the NBA Draft? What would be better?

Gib: I think they should allow high school players to go straight to the NBA.  I think the token one-year stop to learn life lessons from John Calipari is a farce that cheapens college basketball.  The NBA already has a development league in place – so why can’t it draft players right out of high school into its minor league just like baseball?  We should stop kidding ourselves that every kid needs to go to college, even in cases when the kid has no interest in being a student athlete pursuing a degree, and allow these players to get on with their basketball career.

Bob: No, there should be no rule that makes a person go to college when they could steal millions from a team that is dumb enough to pay a 17 year old that much money. If these kids cannot figure out for themselves that playing college ball, being a god on campus, and getting one chance to play in NCAA for just one year is priceless, then I want don’t even want to waste my time on them.

Stinger: The one and done rule may be the worst in sports.  It’s the tuck rule of college basketball.  If high schoolers want to roll the dice and go straight to the NBA, they should be allowed.  Matt Damon was able to go straight from mopping floors to managing the whole electrical grid for the Northeast US.  I like to call it the “Calipari Rule” since he is the king of the one and done.  Or until he skates to the NBA and leaves Kentucky facing violations, which may happen in the 2 days from when I type this until it gets posted.  Remember after 4 of his freshman got drafted last year, he said it was one of the greatest days in Kentucky basketball history?  Probably right between national championship 4 and 5. I respect Brandon Jennings a lot for what he did by going to Europe for the one season instead of Arizona, although I don’t expect others like Kyrie Irving or John Wall to head to Turkey or Yemen for a year.

2-  Give one surprise we may see on NFL draft day.

Gib: This year’s draft is in uncharted water given the lockout.  Teams with obvious needs have to address them in the draft, rather risking that there will be a free agency agency period in the near future.  Still, any draft in which crazy Al Davis still has some input is going to have surprises.  However, every year there is more information that goes into each pick and the science is pushing out the art.  Also, picks at the top of the draft are so expensive that teams are now more likely to go with the consensus “safe” pick rather than going out on a limb.  All this means that there are less surprises than in previous years, so the Jets fans filling up Radio City Music Hall should take heart.

There will still be reaches and some will probably involve quarterbacks.  Cam Newton has no business being a #1 overall pick in my opinion, although that is probably exactly what is going to happen.  Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Mallet are also projected to go too high.  I think the next three QBs – Jake Locker, Christian Ponder, and Andy Dalton are much better value picks than the first three.  I would not be surprised if one GM sees that as well, and either Gabbert or Mallet slides, and Dalton leapfrogs them.  I think Jim Harbaugh may be the guy and Dalton ends up being the 49ers quarterback of the future.

Bob: The lockout has to be on everyone’s mind going into draft day. If you believe the lockout is going to persist, and I see no reason why either side should budge until one or both start losing money, then the draft is going to be boring. Because of the lockout, you cannot sign free agents, so teams only chances of improving are through the draft. Therefore, you will not see “projects” being drafted high because the teams can’t coach them until it is too late. So, teams will play it safe, lots of offensive lineman, lots of defense, the pocket passer QBs will go to teams who need them. And the Buffalo Bills and/or the Jets may forget to show up to the draft at all thinking that it too was canceled. Cam Newton will fall to the Skins and it will be a terrible move. So, we do have that to look forward to.

Stinger: When Cam Newton goes #1 it won’t be a surprise, and remember I predicted that weeks ago.  Although most think it’s a smoke screen, I think the Patriots do grab Jake Locker.  They have an abundance of picks to make this happen and he will be in no rush to play.  Just sitting on the Patriots will bring up his trade value in a couple years in case Brady has 5-7 years left.  What I am not looking forward to on the ESPN or NFL Network coverage is when they show the draftees on the phone right before the pick is announced.  All the suspense is gone.  Its like being told that Andy Dufrain was going to crawl through a mile of shit before watching Shawshank or knowing LC showed up at Heidi and Spencer’s wedding before the show aired.  OK, bad example.  Won’t be a surprise when the fans boo Commissioner Goodell.  Finally, with no hope of any players being traded during the draft, I might fire up the 2004 Chappelle Show Racial Draft instead.  The White congregation draft ranks up there with Vinny Cerrato’s 2008 Redskins draft.

3-  Were you rooting for Tiger Woods at the Masters?

Gib: I have not rooted for Tiger for many years.  I think he’s probably the greatest golfer of all time, but I really can’t stand the way he carries himself on the course (and now off, of course).  It’s sort of like watching a spoiled 10 year old kid in a Toys R Us.  Anything he can’t have is met with a little temper tantrum.  Approach shot drifts right, we hear him yell at a gust of wind.  Drive hooks left, someone’s camera clicked and distracted him – he throws his club and yells at the closest guy with a camera.  Putt misses the cup and, almost every time, he stands frozen on the green glaring at the hole like THAT’S NEVER HAPPENED TO ME – THAT DAMN GOLF BALL!  The post-round interviews of Tiger are filled with snarky responses – but at least I haven’t heard him interviewed after a win lately declaring that he “didn’t have his ‘A’ game today” despite lapping the field by several strokes. What a guy.

But as much as Tiger himself makes me not cheer for him, the media coverage of him may be more of a reason to dislike him.  Even Johnny Miller is on his knees for this guy.  Tiger’s golf coverage is like watching Dick Vitale doing a Duke game.  Its borderline unwatchable.  If Tiger is within 8 shots of the lead on Sunday, count on seeing everyone shot on his back nine – while Jim Furyk chases the lead from 4 behind with nary a camera around him.  Listen, I understand that the majority of people want to follow Tiger.  I get it.  I just don’t have to like it.

Bob: Absolutely. As soon as he started making his charge, the text messages started filling up my phone with people asking if I was watching. Tiger is still “must see” TV at its best. We have seen athletes fall before, but it was always for cheating the sport or getting arrested. Never have we had a marquee performer go down because he had an out of control personal life that basically only hurt him, not other people.  I think Tiger owes this resurgence in popularity in the public eye to Charlie Sheen. While Tiger tried and failed miserably to apologize his way out of the situation, Charlie Sheen just swallows the criticism and spits it right back in our faces. Tiger has cleverly placed himself just under the bar Charlie Sheen has set. The image of him gambling at a casino is preparing the world for the new improved single and loving it Tiger. I just wish Sheen and Tiger would do a reality show together.  It would work, they both have Tiger Blood.

Stinger: Maybe not to win, but to be there at the end…who am I kidding I wanted that whore to win.  Then ask Phil to step aside and let his new running buddies “The Situation” and Arvin hand him the green jacket.  Anyone who doesn’t know who Arvin is please contact the Matzie, it’s his idol.  Instead we got some dude named Charl as the victor although he deserved it the way he finished.  Did he parents want to name him Charles and just get lazy?

4-  Should steroid abusers like Manny Ramirez and Barry Bonds be allowed into the Hall of Fame?

Gib: Absolutely not.

Bob: Yes. Steroids were so prevalent in the baseball that it is now defined as the “steroid era.” The steroid era is basically going to have its own wing. These guys will not be voted in by the current writers as they would be hypocrites. But years later, the stigma will fade, and these guys will all be voted. I call this my Pete Rose theory. Nothing Pete Rose has done has changed what he did. Yet, the voters are changing and forgetting, and it is only a matter of time before he gets in. I can’t wait to see the day 30 years from now, when we get to see a white spindly Sammy Sosa, shattering his forearm against the skeletal forearm of a 5’6 125lb Mark McGwire.

Stinger: Not now.  But I did hear a local sports show host who had a great idea.  The need to open the “National Baseball Steroid Era Hall of Fame.”  An inaugural class of McGwire, Sosa, A-Rod, Bonds and Clemens just like CobbRuthWagnerMathewson and Johnson.  They could have the BALCO wing, the giant size hat display, and a daily reading of “The Mitchell Report.”  These guys are going to have to get in at some point or they will have to throw out the record book.

5-  You have one high school football game to win. Which loose cannon coach do you want on the sidelines? Coach Nickerson from “All the Right Moves” or Coach Kilmer from “Varsity Blues?”

Gib: The key here is that it is for one game.  Coach Kilmer has little regard for the health of his players, but how much cortisone can be shot up in just one game?  The guy is a jerk, but he gets results; 22 district championships in 30 years in nothing to sneeze at – and he kept winning even with Pacey, I mean Dawson, at quarterback.  Meanwhile Nickerson doesn’t know when to take a knee and his lawn upkeep is highly suspect.  Advantage Kilmer.

Bob: I’d have to pick Coach Kilmer here just because his quotes reflect the immense love and respect he had for all of his players. “Cry me a river, you fat F’ing baby!” “Your daddy was a no talent p#*!@, but at least he listened.” But most all, he should be picked for his clairvoyance with the quote,” 48 minutes for the next 48 years of your life.” Dawson Vanderbeek, to this day, has probably never heard truer words. Besides his performance in one of the greatest movies of all time, “Rules of Attraction”, the man has not even been invited to one season of Surreal Life.

Stinger: Obvious answer would be Coach Nickerson based on how things ended up.  He moved up the coaching ladder to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and for all we know Kilmer is still clapping his hands in his office saying, “Let’s go!”  Is this is question of Texas vs.Western PA football?  No.  Its all about 30 seasons of coaching, 2 state titles and 22 district titles.  What may be most impressive is how Kilmer was able to completely shut up a full high school assembly by just putting his hand up.  I want to believe that Kilmer quit that night of the district title game, took a season off and signed football memorabilia at the “Landing Strip.”  Then came back to coach one of West Canaan’s rival and continue to destroy the West Canaan team coached by an 18 year old Lance Harbor for the next ten years.  Which makes me think of one more reason Kilmer wins — I don’t remember him having any assistant coaches?  All he had was a trainer giddy with giving cortisone shots and a bunch of old former players watching behind a fence.
Hands down.  Coach Bud Kilmer.



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