The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.


                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.







Tidbits, Footnotes and a Bold Prediction

by Jerry Keys

We all saw this coming.  We just didn't know when.  LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony are reminding us of a pair of greats that broke into the NBA about a quarter century ago, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.

James and Anthony are not setting the world on fire but you need to remember what teams they play for.  The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers drafted Bird and Johnson, both storied franchises with a very rich tradition.  The Cleveland Cavaliers and Denver Nuggets drafted James and Anthony, both perennial doormats.  In recent years, both teams were mentioned in regards to possibly eclipsing the worst one-year record in NBA history. 

The Cavaliers last posted a winning record in 1997-98 and last had a serious title contending team in 1992-93, the Nuggets in 1993-94 and 1987-88.  Would-be free agents shunned both teams just for their ineptitude.

Jerry Keys

The Cavaliers are 15-28 but are still in the running for a playoff berth.  James isn't exactly surrounded by  talent (9 of the 14 players on the Cavs roster have 3 years or less experience) Bird and Johnson were but he is the cornerstone of the Cavaliers resurgence. 

Anthony got a lucky break by being surrounded with veterans and left-out-to-rot former stars such as Jon

Barry, Marcus Camby, Voshon Lenard, and Andre Miller.  Denver currently holds the #7 seed in the Western Conference (or recently referred to as the Superior Conference) with a 26-19 record.  The Nuggets may not be ready to play with the big boys of the West but they could sneak into a #5 seed by the time April rolls around and pull off a shocker in the first round.

Coming up on February 1st, the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers will square off in the Super Bowl.  The Panthers resemble the Patriots team that pulled off the shocking upset of the high-octane St. Louis Rams just two years ago.  The last four Super Bowl champions were first time winners and three of them were surprise teams, much like the '03 Panthers.

The Panthers must establish a running game with Stephen Davis and control

the clock to have a chance at pulling off the upset.  QB Jake Delhomme needs to sell the rush to the Pats defense and pass to keep them honest.  If the Pats show an eight-man front, he can dump off a slant to Steve Smith or go for broke with Muhsin Muhammad or Ricky Proehl (name sound familiar, think '99 NFC Title Game, Rams v. Bucs).

DeShaun Foster will be the key factor if Carolina is to win.  With a multi-set backfield, Davis and Foster can be the best Super Bowl 1-2 backfield punch since Franco Harris-Rocky Bleier.

The Panthers defense has no superstars but clearly shut down the Cowboys, Rams, and Eagles offenses, averaging just 12 points per game.  To win, the defense must keep the Pats under 20 points.

The game may come down to a crucial field goal or a key punt for field position and the Panthers have two of the best in John Kasay and Todd Sauerbrun.

Seven of Carolina's eleven wins were by 3 points or less, two others by 6 points.  Carolina is seven point

Pete Rose, before and after

underdogs.  I'm taking not only the spread but for Carolina to pull off the upset, Carolina 19  New England 17.

I would also like to apologize to the readers for my bellowing of Pete Rose being reinstated and elected to the Hall of Fame.  Pete showed his classless self by coming out with his new book (yes, the old one had a "few" holes in it) the same day as the two 2004 Hall of Fame inductees were announced.

Rose admitted to betting, betting on baseball, betting on his own team to win.  No surprise there.  When he stated that he did not begin betting until after he retired as a player, never placed bets from clubhouse, and never bet on his own team to lose, I couldn't buy it.

When his own ex-teammates question his honesty, what does that tell you?  If we reinstate Rose, why not "Shoeless" Joe Jackson?  I strongly feel that Rose wants in the Hall of Fame and wishes to manage once again.  He may get reinstated but I think it would be a cold day in Hades if he were ever allowed to manage a team again.

Reinstate Pete but wait until his eligibility is up and must be voted in by the Veterans Committee.  Let Rose be judged by his very own peers he faced in the 1960's, 70's and 80's.  Some current Hall of Fame members vow never to return to Cooperstown if Rose is elected in the Hall.  The worst thing to happen to Rose is to be reinstated and not be elected.  Until he can be reinstated, he will always be right across the street signing balls and bats and proclaiming his innocence.

Rose knows good and well he is looking down the barrel of a loaded gun. The best-case scenario is to be reinstated, elected to Hall, and manage the Reds.  Worst case, to remain banned from baseball for life.  What Rose doesn't realize is that he may be reinstated and still shut out of Hall.  I'm looking for Rod Sterling to walk out with a cigarette and begin to narrate all this as a Twilight Zone episode.

Just as Steve Howe is a poster boy for a once promising career cut way short due to drug abuse, Pete Rose should be a poster boy for thinking that he is above the game.  If Rose is never elected to the Hall, he should have a corner set aside for him where his accomplishments are acknowledged but with a footnote of why he was never enshrined.

Pete, you were a true gamer, you just weren't bigger than the game.