Archive | Sports

Farewell to a Great Champion, Andre Agassi

Andre AgassiYou know you’re getting old when sports stars your age begin to slow down and retire. I was reminded of this last week during the NBA finals as the commentators noted that the “elder” Shaq doesn’t play like he used to.Today Andre Agassi announced that he would be retiring from professional Tennis. He said that his last tournament would be this year’s U. S. Open.

Andre AgassiI feel like I grew up watching Agassi play tennis (or maybe I should say, grew up with him). When I played on my high school tennis team back in the late ’80’s, Agassi was the man. He was the James Dean of tennis. He was to tennis was rock ‘n roll is to music. He was the proverbial rebel who exuded cool.

It’s been interesting to watch him grow out of that over the years into an “elder statesman” of the game. What a great career he’s had, what a great contribution he’s made to the sport, and what a great champion.

Agassi, you will be missed.

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The Refs Close-out the Mavs, 95-92

Referee Holds the Mavs BackThe story coming out of this depressing series will be all about Dwayne Wade’s rising star, but the real story should be about how the referees handed some close games to the Miami Heat. The Mavericks had their hands full with the Heat, and it’s a shame that they had to compete against the refs as well. I have to say that the officiating was disgusting at some critical moments, and it cost the Mavs a championship.

That being said, the Mavs were not on top of their game. They could have played much better. If they had, their fortunes would not have been determined by the poor officiating.
Heat Win

Congratulations to the Miami Heat. Dwayne Wade is an amazing player, and they couldn’t have done it without him. Also (and I mean this with all sincerity), I am always happy when great players in the twilight of their careers win a championship. I am thrilled that both Gary Payton and Alonzo Mourning will leave the league with a championship under their belt. Well done.

Nevertheless, I am now going to put on my sackcloth and ashes. If anyone needs me, I’ll be crying myself to sleep.

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Just When I Thought It Couldn’t Get Any Worse

Mavs PastorJust when I thought it couldn’t get any worse than the fact that the Mavs lost last night, I came across this story in the Dallas Morning News: “Pastor turns service into pep rally for God, Mavs.”Apparently, this pastor in this Dallas area doesn’t know the difference between a worship service and a pep rally. Can you guess what his justification is for profaning Sunday morning worship? It’s pretty predictable.

“We put God in a box. Why can’t we bring life into the house of worship? More people will come to church if you have these kinds of things.”

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Mavs 100, Heat 101

Josh Howard et. al.I am way too emotionally invested in this series. I am dejected. What a heartbreaker.Though Dirk Nowitzki didn’t seem to be channeling David Hasselhoff (see previous post), Josh Howard seemed to be channeling Chris Webber. Josh Howard really messed up in calling the time-out when he did.

Anyway, here’s the coverage of game 5 of the NBA Finals in the Dallas Morning News: “Burned: Heat outlasts Mavs, 101-100.”

P.S. The officiating was horrible. Wade didn’t deserve that last foul. He went in clean and just missed a lay-up.

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Can Nowitzki Channel Hasselhoff While Shooting Jump Shots?

David Hasselhoff, I am a sucker for the underdog, and therefore I am a sucker for our hometeam, the Dallas Mavericks. I was a manager at the Mavericks’ practice facility back in the bad old days when they used to lose all the time. It was really sad back then when they just couldn’t get a break.But now things have changed, and all of us here in Dallas have our hopes set on a championship. Yet after watching the Mavs lose a heartbreaker on Tuesday and an ego-crusher on Thursday, many of us are beginning to feel that sinking feeling in our stomachs again.

Those of us who are fans know that the sinking stomach might be more than a feeling as long as our players are getting suspended and Dirk Nowitzki is shooting poorly from the field. Right now, what we really need is for Dirk Nowitzki to bring his A-game. And that means that we need him to channel David Hasselhoff not only at the foul line, but also when he’s shooting jump shots.

Jerry Stackhouse Hacks-a-ShaqI think he can do it, and I’m still holding out hope for a championship. What I don’t want is for our main memory of the 2005-2006 season to be Nowitzki’s fondness for this.

In any case, if the Mavs will just bring home a championship, I’ll even listen to some Hasselhoff.

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Have You Heard about Jason McElwain?

This is the kind of story that makes your heart full and your eyes well up with tears. It’s a Rudy-esque tale about a kid with autism. It’s the story of Jason McElwain, and it’s so good that the movie studios are already lining up to make a movie about him.

Jason McElwain is the waterboy for his high school basketball team, and he’s also their biggest fan. Because Jason is a senior and the team’s most ardent supporter, the coach decided to let him suit-up with the team for the last home game of the season. Then, the coach actually let him play for the last four minutes of the game. As Jason goes into the game, the fans hit their feet and roar with excitement. This much of the story is enough for the makings of a great movie, but what happened next makes it even better.

When Jason hits the court, he starts shooting the basketball. He misses two shots right off the bat—one jump shot, one lay-up. On his third shot, he drains a three-pointer, and the crowd goes absolutely nuts. He then proceeds to drop five more three-pointers, finishes the game with 20 points, and ties the school record for most three-pointers in a game.

As the buzzer sounds, the student body rushes the floor and carries Jason off the court in triumph.

I know this sounds too fantastic to believe, so I would encourage you to see for yourself. Someone videotaped the game. Greatness.

CBS News – “Autistic Teen’s Hoop Dreams” (video)

ABC News – “Hoop Dreams for Autistic Student” (video)

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