In light of what we believe we know, and the sports’ writers believe that they know about the world of sports and the athletes who compete in their chosen endeavors. I propose the following in this regard, the ‘Hall of Fame’ is deemed the highest honor for any professional or amateur athlete once their career is over. And with their enshrinement and acknowledgement not only from amongst the fans but also from their peers and predecessors who were enshrined before them. They are rightly accorded a great deal of acclaim, as is their due.
As an avid sports fan I’ve watched a great deal of sports across the panacea , since I first emigrated here to the United States from England, some sixteen years ago. I’m an avid follower of the Spurs , Marlins and Patriots. When it comes to the NHL, well I’ve about as much interest for the sport as I would for swapping saliva with Rosie O’Donnell , in a moment of unadulterated and heated passion. That scenario my friends, will never happen, not even you were going to pay me a $ 1million. Six million and you might just peek my interest, for $10-$15 million I’d ‘knock the socks’ of the bi_ch ! But that’s a story for another day.
We can all agree can we not , that the three most popular professional teams sports are baseball , football and basketball ? All three sports are governed respectively by Major League Baseball (MLB), National Football League (NFL) and the National Basketball Association (NBA). Wherein, the commissioners there are Bud Selig, Roger Goodell and David Stern. And though their sphere of influence in the decision making process that takes places with regard to the players that meet the criteria for enshrinement isn’t influential. You can be damn sure that they’re closely monitoring who gets that call for induction. For all three , image is everything and then it’s nothing. Five years after the formal announcement of a player’s retirement , they’re deemed to have met the criteria for enshrinement based upon their career. That being said who are the adjudicators for each of these esteemed sanctums ?
It’s an esteemed body of journalists within the field covering those various sports who make the nominations based upon a body of work we’re led to believe. Baseball has the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). And before I go on , why is it that when using the words esteemed and journalists in the same sentence I begin to feel somewhat nauseous ? Surely there has to be something wrong with the use of this adjective ? Esteemed journalists ? My God the planet earth must be is close to falling off its axis or we’re now closer the apocalypse of 2012 ? For sure enshrinement into the Baseball Hall of Fame , a player’s career has to be one that has been at least a decade in tenure in terms of his playing time. And furtheremore, they have to attain a minimum of 75 % of the ballots cast to be ensured in enshrinement into the Hall. A steep task indeed for the borderline candidate.
For the NBA it is in the cities where franchises are constituted and the NBA journalists covering the sport , cast their ballots for the nominees in question. Over the years the candidates enshrined have been noteworthy and deserving of the accolade. But yet there is the feeling that the NBA enshrinement in some respects is the least noteworthy of them all. What are your thoughts on that ?
Joe wanted to get his ‘swerve on’ , if only Suzy had been more trusting and obliged him later ? Ah well it’s left to the likes of Steve Phillips and Harold Reynolds formerly of ESPN to show what real jack asses can be like , alongside Namath.
The candidates for the NFL have a similar format as that of the NBA and to the adjudication of the candidates. But in terms of longevity of a career. Well there , there have been exceptions , merely because of a player’s performances in specfic games or in part because of one or two memorably ouststanding moments in their careers. See Joe Namath and Lynn Swann, for that . Granted, for Namath , other than guaranteeing the Jets’s victory in Super Bowl III over Don Shula’s Baltimore Colts. Namath’s career beyond that one big moment of glory can be best described as being somewhat lackluster. But he sure knew how ‘to party hard’ and parlay that success to further that ‘Broadway Joe image’. And it served him well over the years , until insobriety caught up with him.
Here, Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon discuss the infamous Namath incident involving ESPN on air reporter, Suzy Kolber . This took place on the ESPN television show ‘PTI (Pardon The Interruption) , of which Kornheiser and Wilbon are the show’s co-hosts.
Over the next few years , no doubt a number of prominent athletes within MLB, the NBA and NFL will end their careers and formally announce their retirements. Though rumor has it that is Brett Favre’s intention to play well into his late sixties . Albeit, that he’ll retired , un-retire several times over before coming to a decision that neither his teammates or the assistant coaches are prepared to continue assisting him in changing his Depends diapers. Not when there’s said to be running stool and urine deposited in the attire. Oh, to be the much beloved, Brett Favre. And it has to be said that potential candidates such as Nomar Garciaparra, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera , Johnny Damon, Randy Johnson, Vladimir Guerrero, Carlos Delgado, Omar Vizquel, Jason Kidd, Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Steve Nash , LaDainian Tomlinson, Marvin Harrison, Randy Moss, Michael Westbrook, Terrell Owens, Clinton Portis , Ricky Williams, Kurt Warner, Junior Seau and Fred Taylor will either be looked upon favorably or they will not. I think more often than not, the adjudicators make this a matter of objectivity , rather than it being subjectivity. And far be it for me to suggest, many of them will no doubt have their own personal favorites amongst the nominees prior to the votes being cast. And in doing so will treat them far more favorably than others. It goes without saying , although we’ve never observed ‘the behind the scenes’ modus operandi as to how each body goes about assigning their votes and how the deliberations take place. Such is the secrecy, that when it’s all said and done you’d have thought this was a meeting of the ‘Conclave of Cardinals’ to decide upon who the next Pope will be.
With all of the controversy that has surrounded the game of baseball and the ‘steroid abuse issue’ , I can’t think in all honesty that any baseball candidate nominated for their voting can escape not being tarnished. And yes, that’ll include the likes of Jeter, Tom Glavine, ;Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, Pedro Martinez and should I even dare to say it , Albert Pujols ? As remarkable as their careers have and seemingly untarnished by any major controversy stemming from the steroid abuse scandal. Even though they’ve been exemplary and outstanding performers. The dye was cast by the actions of such noted individuals as Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa , Andy Pettitte, Roger Clemens and Alex Rodriguez. All of whom found a way of bringing the game into disrepute with their admitted use of steroids or hiding behind the veiled cloak of privacy and privilege. And it certainly wasn’t helped by the sheer ignorance shown by MLB’s hierarchy,the commissioner, Bud Selig,the owners, the MLBPA (Players’ Union) and their utter contempt in addressing the issue head on to begin with. But what more ought the fans to have expect to begin with ? It’s not as if they’ve ever been upfront with the truth surrounding the scandal at all. !
Courtesy of theonion.com
San Francisco – With the publication of a book detailing steroid use by San Francisco Giants superstar Barry Bonds, two San Francisco Chronicle reporters have corroborated the claims of Bonds’ steroid abuse made by every single person who has watched or even loosely followed the game of baseball over the past five years
In Game Of Shadows, an excerpt of which appeared in Sports Illustrated Wednesday, authors Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams claim that more than a dozen people close to Bonds had either been directly informed that Bonds was using banned substances or had in fact seen him taking the drugs with their own eyes. In addition to those witnesses, nearly 250 million other individuals nationwide had instantly realized that Bonds was using banned substances after observing his transformation from lanky speedster to hulking behemoth with their own eyes.
According to hundreds of thousands of reports coming out of every city in the U.S., Bonds’ steroid use has been widely reported and well-documented for years, with sports columnists, bloggers, people attending baseball games, memorabilia collectors, major ballpark popcorn and peanut vendors, groundskeepers, roommates, significant others, fathers-in-law, next-door neighbors, fellow fitness club members, bartenders, mailmen, coworkers, teachers, doormen, parking-lot attendants, fellow elevator passengers, Home Depot clerks, servicemen and women serving in Iraq, former baseball players, Congressmen, second-tier stand-up comics, Sports Illustrated’s Rick Reilly, and random passersby all having stated at some point in the last five years that Bonds was obviously taking some sort of performance-enhancing drugs.
Many of those eyewitnesses came forward following Wednesday’s revelation with their own accounts of Bonds’ seven-year history of steroid use.
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The mindset of the BBWAA and how they cast their votes might not only have to do with the performances of the players themselves and their statistics. But in large part, it may well come down to whether or not they’re viable as a nominee, solely based upon their character and whether or not in any way they were personally tarnished by allegations or their association with a known abuser. Would that immediately count out Derek Jeter ?
And while we’re still on the subject of baseball ,it’s now been the long held opinion that former disgraced star, Pete Rose, should now be enshrined in baseball’s Hall of Fame , in Cooperstown, New York. Now while I’m not a fan of Rose , I do now believe that he’s paid his debt for a poor error in judgement. Albeit, that when confronted he still continued to lie about his actions. The way I look at it, some of baseball’s biggest names that’ve been inducted aren’t without their flaws. Hell you’ve got inductees who are racial bigots, you’ve got philanderers, known alcoholics and quite possibly several more who’ve committed far worse deeds than Rose has been found guilty of. So why the continued hypocrisy of Bud Selig and the Baseball Writers’ Association (BBWAA)? Ah well they feel aggrieved that if Rose gets in, then they’ll look like bunch of fools ? They already are ! Many of the writers who are empaneled as adjudicators had their suspicions about rampant ‘steroid use’ within the game but failed to report it , and in some cases many simply chose not to. But what might be even more egregious, is their now sanctimonious act of piety .
Rose seen here giving an exclusive interview to ESPN Radio’s Graham Bensinger. Acts of contrition have to be sincere and not scripted and condescending.
Baseball they say, may well have the ethereal legacy when it comes to its history and that of its Hall of Fame. But I also believe that the NFL and NBA also has theirs ! And with both sports having a rich cultural history and legacy, I’d have to imagine that they’re in a far better position than that of Major League Baseball (MLB). Well , most certainly their images haven’t taken as many hits as that of baseball over the last decade. And their respective commissioners in
Roger Goodell , and his predecessor, Paul Tagliabue, of the NFL. They made sure that under their tenure that the NFL was a well governed and smoothly oiled machine. And from a business standpoint, that has been very much the case. The same can be said of David Stern and his custodianship of the NBA, as its commissioner. Though neither commissioner and their respective sports have been without their own litany of problems as it concerns the image of their game and of their players.
But it has been their willingness to act swiftly at times that has in some cases curtailed what might have been a monumental disaster image wise for both the NBA and the NFL , why their commissioners and their sport in general is so well respected. Of which the same cannot be said of Bud Selig and his handling of the labor dispute , the lockout and then the whole ‘steroids issue’ debacle. An adolescent child could well have handled the entire situation a whole lot better.
Now the question I’ll pose to you is which of the following athletes would you consider to be a viable candidate for their respective Hall of Fames ? I’ll place a list below of the names of these current and former athletes. And by all means take some time in assessing what you believe are their valid merits for gaining acceptance into the ‘Hall of Fame’. Also note you can choose to name some of the players that I’ve mentioned within this piece , controversy besides them or not . Just as long as you can articulate a valid argument behind your case for naming them .
1) Chris Webber Bio in part.
Thirteenth NBA season (Philadelphia) … In 75 games/starts, averaged 20.2 points, 9.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.37 steals in 38.6 minutes per game … Shot 43.4 percent (617-1422 FG) from the field and 75.6 percent (263-348 FT) from the free-throw line … Had 38 double-doubles on the season to rank 7th in the NBA … Ranked eighth in the league in rebounds per game … Had 40 games (20-20) with 20 or more points and seven 30-point games (5-2) … Had 38 games (18-20) with 10-plus rebounds this season … Had 18 games with 12-plus, rebounds, eight games with 15-plus and two games with 20-plus … Had nine games with six-plus assists (7-2) … Recorded his ninth-career 20-point, 20-rebound game with 27 points and 21 rebounds, versus Minnesota (12/12)… Also had a career-high 18 defensive rebounds versus Minnesota (12/12) … Had 20 boards versus Denver (3/9)… Had a season-high nine assists at Memphis (3/12) … Set his Sixers career-high with 34 points at New York (3/31)… Tied a season-high with five steals at Atlanta (12/23)… Blocked a season-high four shots versus Washington (3/3) … Scored his 15,000th career-point versus Charlotte (11/4) … Scored his 16,000th point at Houston on Mar. 1 … Had his 400th career double-double versus New Orleans/Oklahoma City (11/21)… Missed seven games (5-2) this season, four (3-1) due to a low back strain (1/4, 1/9, 4/8 and 4/10), two (1-1) due to DND – Coach’s Decisions (4/18 – 4/19) and one (1-0) due to the and flu (2/25).
Thirteen NBA seasons … In 761 games (759 starts) averaging 21.6 points, 10.1 rebounds 4.4 assists, 1.50 blocks and 1.49 steals in 38.0 minutes per game … Shooting 48.0 percent (6888-14354 FG) from the field and 65.0 percent (2427-3734 FT) from the free-throw line for his career … Philadelphia is his fourth NBA team, after time with Golden State (1993-94), Washington (1994-98), and Sacramento (1999-2005)… Five-time NBA All-Star (1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003)… Posted 51 points and 26 rebounds against Indiana (1/5/01)… Earned All-NBA first team honors in 2001; All-NBA second team honors in 1999, 2002, 2003; All-NBA third team honors in 2000… Named the 1994 NBA Rookie of the Year after averaging 17.5 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game with the Warriors… In four NBA All-Star Games, averaged 7.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.00 spg and 19.0 mpg (DNP – sprained ankle in 2003)… Leading scorer (18 points) and rebounder (10 boards) for the ‘Phenoms’ team which won the first-ever Schick Rookie Game during the 1994 NBA All-Star Weekend (Minneapolis)… Voted to the NBA’s All-Interview Team in 2002-03, 2001-02 and 1999-00… Named Conference Player of the Month in December 2002 and January 2002… Named NBA Player of the Week eight times, including seven times with Sacramento (12/15/02, 1/16/00, 1/2/00, 4/25/99, 12/11/00, 1/22/01, 1/6/02) and once with Washington (4/20/97).
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In 1995, newly-appointed Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan drafted Davis in the 6th Round of the 1995 NFL Draft. Davis entered training camp as the sixth string tailback and was a long shot to make the team. He managed to impress the Broncos coaching staff after his second pre-season game, most notably with a crushing hit as a member of special teams. Davis kept improving with each pre-season game and was promoted to starting running back for the season’s opening game. With Davis at running back, the Broncos possessed the potent running attack that they had previously lacked. Davis started 14 games during the 1995 season, carrying the ball 237 times, averaging 4.7 yards per run, and scoring eight touchdowns. Davis finished his season with a total of 1,117 rushing yards, becoming the lowest drafted player to ever gain over 1,000 yards rushing in his rookie season.
In 1996, Davis signed a lucrative new five-year contract with the Broncos that was worth $6.8 million. That season, he rushed for a total of 1,538 yards and set a Denver Broncos record for rushing touchdowns with 13. The Broncos ended that season with a 13–3 record, tied with the Green Bay Packers for the best in the NFL that year.
In the Super Bowl, Davis rushed for 157 yards, caught 2 passes for 8 yards, and became the first player in Super Bowl history ever to score 3 rushing touchdowns. This performance earned him MVP honors despite having to sit out the second quarter due to a migraine, an affliction he has suffered with most of his life.
Davis’ 8 touchdowns in his three playoff games and the Super Bowl gave him a total of 48 points, the most ever scored in a single postseason. This record would stand until surpassed by kicker Adam Vinatieri’s 49 points in the 2006–07 postseason.
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3) Roberto Alomar. Bio in part below.
Single…Is active in the community in his home country of Puerto Rico…Conducts free baseball clinics and provides equipment for his former little league and high school…Donated $252,000 toward research on the disease Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) and as a result of his relationship with Umpire John Hirschbeck. ALD is a rare genetic disorder that attacks nerve cells in the brain… While in San Diego, he participated in the “Stay in School Campaign” volunteering as a guest speaker at many area schools, both English and Spanish-speaking…In Toronto, Roberto was a charter member of the Hugh MacMillan Foundation and hosted a celebrity golf tournament for four years to benefit the foundation…Raised $285,000 for the foundation which funds a hospital and school…In Toronto, he was also involved in the DARE program and filmed a PSA on the perils of drunk driving…With the Orioles, he donated over 2,000 tickets as part of the “Alomar All-Stars” program for children from non-profit, youth oriented organizations…With Cleveland teamed up with his brother, Sandy, and purchased 27 tickets (27 was the combination of their uniform numbers, #12 and #15) for every home date in 1999 for local charities.
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. Bio in part.
Dennis Rodman had developed from a janitor who had never played organized basketball into arguably the best rebounding forward in NBA history and one of the most recognized athletes in the world. Enigmatic and individualistic, Rodman has caught the public eye for his ever-changing hair color, tattoos and unorthodox lifestyle. Rodman’s achievements on the court are indisputable. A two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and a member of two championship Pistons teams in Detroit and three title-winning Bulls teams in Chicago, he has led the league in rebounding for seven consecutive years despite standing only 6-8–Wilt Chamberlain is the only player to win more rebounding titles, 11. Rodman is one of the few players in basketball who can change the course of a game without taking a shot. Rodman, whose two sisters were All-American basketball players, didn’t play high school basketball and stood only 5-11 when he graduated. At age 20 he was working the graveyard shift at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport when he decided, after having grown eight inches since high school, that he would pursue basketball. He enrolled in Cooke County Junior College in Texas and later transferred to Southeastern Oklahoma State. In three seasons there, 1983-84 through 1985-86, he averaged 25.7 points and 15.7 rebounds, led the NAIA in rebounding twice and registered a .637 field goal percentage. Still relatively obscure, Rodman lasted into the second round of the 1986 NBA Draft before being selected by the Detroit Pistons with the 27th overall pick
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6) Steve Nash. Hall of Fame worthy or not ? OK, so he’s a two time NBA league MVP recipient . But does that in essence ‘make him’ a Hall of Famer ? Granted, he just might be the best player the Phoenix Suns have ever had. But they’ve struggled as a team to get the job done. And that in no large is not down to Nash but primarily down to the Suns’ hierarchy of their GM Steve Kerr and Suns’ owner Robert Sarver. Their insight into basketball personnel decision making is in line with Sarah Palin’s knowledge on US foreign policy, domestic issues, global and economic affairs. On appearance each might seem to be bright but in reality they just are not ! Need one say anymore on the matter ?
These are but six names that come to mind and I could well have added great many others to the six mentioned here , in my own personal list. But as we exchange comments on the subject , I may well add them as part of any response that I will be making. So for now, read the article , peruse the list of names, gather your thoughts and then respond with a comment , as to a case that can be made for your own personal choice and perhaps some of the names listed within this piece. Thanks in advance for your cooperation. And as always thank you for your continued support as it’s greatly appreciated !