Antawn? Favre? Cmoe On!

Happy Friday!

I talked to Nate Stewart, the TinCaps’ athletic trainer, the other day and he said Peoria, Arizona is a complete and utter madhouse with Padres’ and Mariners’ Spring Training starting up. I guess I didn’t think of those two fan bases as rabid enough to pack an entire town for Spring Training, but I’m glad they have.

My Cavaliers made a HUGE trade the other night, picking up Antawn Jamison for virtually nothing but a draft pick. I’ve been doing backflips ever since. If they don’t get to the NBA Finals, something is seriously wrong. Only in the NBA can a team trade a star (Jamison) for a player (Zydrunas Ilgauskas) and a draft pick, release the player and still consider it a good long-term deal. The NBA: Where expiring contracts happen.

More important than a league where a major rule (traveling) is ignored is the ignoring of phonics in Antawn Jamison’s name. Generally when things are spelled one way, they are pronounced that way. Example: Antawn should be pronounced AN-tonn. Instead, because of a Jaff Decker-esque birth certificate snafu, Antawn is pronounced Antoine. Makes sense, right? So now we have Antawn and this guy both just transposing letters all willy-nilly and nobody seems to care. As someone who enjoys the English language and phonics, I am appalled by the lack of spelling ability in the delivery rooms of American hospitals, whether it’s nurses or parents.

Which reminds me… When I was home over the holidays, I talked to one of my high-school friends who is about to finish her residency and become a doctor. Part of the residency is working in the delivery room and filling out birth certificates. To make a long story short, spelling things the way they sound is apparently not a prerequisite when it comes to naming children, and on more than one occasion, she had to refer to an apostrophe as a “comma in the sky” before some people realized that’s what they were trying to put in their child’s name. I’m not trying to come off like a jerk, but as a broadcaster, I have a special appreciation for the Antoine Walkers, Adrian Gonzalezes and Tom Seavers of the world. They make my life easier.

Now to more important things, like dog shows. I’ve often said the worst dog in the world is better than the best cat in the world, and I won’t be convinced otherwise. Unfortunately, dog shows make a mockery of dogs by making them look like Cosby Kids and other non-dog beings. I thought things were getting better when a beagle won the Westminster Kennel Club show a couple years ago, but I was wrong. I don’t claim to be an expert, but any dog show where it takes 100 years for a beagle to win and a Labrador has never won is not a legitimate competition. Pick dogs which people actually own and include a frisbee-catching competition and I’ll become interested. Until then, Dave Letterman’s Stupid Pet Tricks are the definitive dog show for me.

While I’m on the topic of competitions, what about the Olympics? I like a few events… hockey, curling (shuffleboard on ice), short-track speed skating… Skeleton reminds me of the headfirst sled-riding I used to specialize in growing up… I like the theme of competing for nothing but national pride (and lucrative endorsement deals, but mostly national pride)… But there are way too many events where it’s one person at a time competing against the clock or arbitrary judges deciding the competition. We have no idea who’s winning. I don’t like it. I’d like it more if there were eight people at a time racing down the hill in the skiing competitions, except it would be the most dangerous sport in the world.

My favorite part of the Olympics so far had nothing to do with competing. Bob Costas and Stephen Colbert went on each other’s shows this week and the results were fantastic. Costas ended up on the back of a stuffed moose with his arms raised triumphantly on the set of “The Colbert Report.” Then, after an interview with Costas on NBC, Colbert jumped inside the fake on-set fireplace. I can’t decide which I like better: respected sports anchor on a moose or fake news pundit sponsoring the U.S. Speed Skating team, then mocking the fake hearth on the network covering the Olympics. We need more of this.

Odds and ends:

And now, in honor of Spring Training opening, musical guest… INXS!

Have a great weekend!


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