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As I See It

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A yawning move into spring

What a whirl… what a whirl…

It has been a rough couple of weekends since the Super Bowl. The NFL Pro Bowl… a professional football exhibition game… a yawner… a “who cares” game of the highest order! Why play that game? Most players have been done playing for about a month. They are getting out of shape, they’re just healing up nagging injuries and they are out of the rhythm of the game; someone could get hurt (just ask Drew Brees who received a separated elbow on a sack). Sure, it’s nice to be recognized as the best of the best. Sure, it’s nice to be in Hawaii. Sure, it’s nice for us viewers to see beautiful Hawaiian seascapes. But for the players to actually play a game??? I just don’t get it. Why subject the fan to a sub-standard game, and subject the players to possible injury?

I kinda like all the competitive deals leading up to the game: The fastest man, the most accurate quarterback, the receiver who can catch the most passes, the lineman that can push a Cadillac Escalade the farthest and the fastest, you know, stuff like that.

I guess until we can come up with a better option, or, unless the advertisers stop buying airtime, this’ll be how we honor our top professional football players. I, for one, think we can do better. Whaddya say we put our heads together and try and come up with a better format?

I’m thinking as we speak!

So that weekend was shot. Then we have this past weekend and the woo-woo NBA All-Star game from Las Vegas. Talk about the lost weekend. Okay, here’s the deal. I have to come clean, and say that I’m not a big basketball fan in the first place. I didn’t watch the “game” and I didn’t read the articles in the sports section leading up to the “game.” All I saw were the highlights on Sports Center and the final score, something like 183 to 171. A real defensive struggle!  The dunk highlights alone took 15 minutes. Maybe it’s just me, but, doesn’t one dunk pretty much look like all the other dunks?

Since I have spilled my guts on my feelings toward the NBA, I might just as well go ahead and alienate fans from the other big event of this past weekend, the Daytona 500. I have to say that I’m not a racing buff either, so ergo, you won’t be reading about NASCAR, Indy, Formula One, drag racing, moto-cross, snowmobiling, etc. in this column. Suffice it to say that any “sport” that involves the burning of fossil fuels to determine a victor will not be represented in this space.

I found Phil Mickleson’s collapse at the Nissan Open at the Riviera Country Club disappointing, but not surprising.  Now, if it had been Tiger Woods with a stroke lead with two holes to go, I’d bet dollars to donuts that he’d have closed it out for the victory. And probably with a 30 foot birdie putt allowing him to win by two strokes instead of one. But not Philly. He has a way of keeping us on the edge of our seat, knowing he may make a brilliant shot to win, or, hit a drive into another fairway and lose the tournament. So, in a way, watching Phil is much more exciting than watching Tiger for the sheer surprise of it all!

Oh, turning back to football news for just a bit. Why would you hire a head coach (Norv Turner) in San Diego who has a losing record with his previous two stops as head coach of the Redskins and the Raiders? He has proven time and again that he is a brilliant offensive coordinator, but also a consistently losing head coach. Why, San Diego, why? Why not hire Rex Ryan or Mike Singletary as your new head coach? Hire a dynamic assistant coach hungry for his first head coaching position. Try to find the next Sean Peyton (New Orleans new head coach and coach of the year). Why not roll the dice and hire a new up-and-comer instead of hiring a guy because he has experience? Especially when the guy’s experience has a win-loss record of something like 45-79. That just frosts my pumpkin!

Well, baseball’s spring training camps are starting in Florida and Arizona, and we can look forward to some exciting Grapefruit and Cactus League games right around the corner. American and National league teams can play against one another, evaluate talent, make trades, assign players to the minor leagues and solidify the major league starting rosters. We can also count on endless media coverage on the latest Barry Bonds sightings, injuries, supplements, creams, lies, lawyers and cover-ups. Oooo-boy, I can’t wait (he said sarcastically). 

It’s a shame that Barry will probably surpass Hank Aaron’s home run record this season (barring injury), because he will have done it through extensive use of performance-enhancing drugs. I know, I know, innocent until proven guilty, but gee whiz, could Barry’s head have grown that large by itself? Anyway, if Barry does surpass Hank’s record it should also include a very large asterisk by its side, and a detailed disclaimer of how the record was achieved (in my opinion). 

Anyway, I’m really looking forward to the upcoming baseball season since there has been lots of player and manager movement throughout the league this off-season. There are a lot of teams with a different look (Chicago Cubs, could this finally be your year?) to watch and enjoy.  What can I say, but, Play Ball!

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Author info

Scott Johnson Scott Johnson I was born a poor German child in the suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin on a cold April eve in 1958, on the heels of the greatest event in the history of the state: the hiring of Vincent T. Lombardi to the Green Bay Packers. Hence began my love affair with the game of football and my team in green and gold. Due to my father’s (100%) disability with MS, we moved to sunny San Diego, CA in the summer of 1968 to escape the bitter cold of those Wisconsin winters and its negative effect on my Dad's disease. While in San Diego I found not only my love for beautiful beaches and beautiful girls, but also for the stage. From junior high through college at San Diego State University, I was performing and directing in three to five theatrical productions per year. Between theatre and football I managed to squeeze in distance running as an avocation, competing in numerous 10k races, half marathons and finally the San Diego Marathon. Realizing that the chances of becoming a fabulously rich and famous actor were few and far between, I decided on an advertising career in the newspaper business as my vocation. I began at a weekly publication, then a daily, then the #1 monthly senior publication in the country, Senior World Newsmagazine, where I became their Regional Sales Manager. Looking for a “quality of life” change for our family, my wife I found Sandpoint, Idaho in 1993 and moved here with our son in 1994. I worked for the Daily Bee and then in the car business before finding my niche as Director of Sales and Advertising for Keokee Creative Group in 2001, where I remain today. In the Fall of 2006, Trish found my knowledge of sport, my gift of gab and my theatrical spin on life in the sporting world a match for the River Journal, and I’ve been writing my sports column ever since. Still waiting for that call from Sports Illustrated, though. Of course now that Ric Reilly has retired, maybe there’s a chance…

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NFL Pro Bowl, NBA All-Stars, Nissan Open

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