I planned to go to Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but I heard one of my exes had become a witch doctor and was a big fan of Ghana, so I decided not to risk it. Here are my sports FourThoughts for this week.
It is no secret I am a Spurs fan. Just like heroes at the end of old kung fu movies, standing over the defeated body of the villain who killed their master, I am basking in the glow of satisfied vengeance. With three dominating performances in a row, the Spurs avenged last season’s heartbreaking loss to the Heat and became the 2013-14 NBA Champions.
Tim Duncan, the greatest power forward in NBA history, and Gregg Popovich, the best coach in the NBA, have now earned five championship rings for the Spurs, the best organization in the NBA.
A more humble person would have stopped gloating by now. Pardon me while I enjoy another victory cigar.
America Surviving The Group of Death
Speaking of winners, the American men’s soccer team gave everyone in the U.S. reasons to cheer with a 2-1 victory over Ghana Monday, June 16th. A header by John Brooks in the 86th minute sent the team that has eliminated the U.S. in the last two World Cups to the bottom half of the group.
Surprisingly, a powerhouse Portugal team is also in the bottom of the group after being dominated by Germany 4-0.
While the win has ignited hopes formerly dampened by the coach Jurgen Klinsmann, it came with a steep price. Jozy Altadore, the Americans leading scorer in qualifying competition, went down with a strained hamstring against Ghana and will miss the next game according to reports.
Next, the U.S. will play a struggling Portugal team, Sunday, June 22 after Germany plays (and probably defeats) Ghana. The U.S. will finish group play against Germany, Thursday June 26.
Tanaka, Star of the Yankees
With both the NBA and NHL seasons complete, the few people who are not interested in the World Cup and are actually watching baseball this time of year should be tuning in to New York Yankee games for two reasons.
First, they should be paying their respect to Derek Jeter, Mr. Yankee, as he makes his goodbyes across the country in his final season.
Second, they should be watching pitcher Masahiro Tananka. Call Tanaka Godzilla, because he is a beast on the mound. He is currently 11-1 with a 1.99 ERA.
Tanaka has speed, nasty motion and incredible control. He is third in the league with 113 strikeouts and leads the American League in wins and ERA. Behind Tanaka’s arm, the Yankees are currently second in their division with a 37-33 record, 2.5 games behind Toronto.
Washington Feeling Pressure
For the second time, the U.S. Patent and Trademark office has cancelled the Washington Redskins trademark registration, citing the Redskins nickname as “disparaging to Native Americans.”
Federal trademark law does not allow the registration of any trademarks that “disparage” or bring groups and/or individuals into “contempt or disrepute.”
The loss of the trademark registration does not force Washington to change its nickname and the last time they loss the registration in 1992, they won an appeal to the decision.
However, the recent loss again adds growing social pressure currently galvanized by a commercial paid for by the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation and aired during the NBA finals.
While many see the recent ruling as a big step toward forcing Washington owner Daniel Snyder to change the name, the fact is it will only make Sterling blink if the ruling holds because it will cost him money.
Even the cost to fight the ruling is negligible to the estimated millions of dollars it would take to rebrand the Washington franchise, which according to reports is the third most valuable NFL franchise and the eighth most valuable overall sports franchise.
“The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” – Muhammed Ali