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.







2004 Round-Up

By Jerry Keys

If you haven't heard yet, the Red Sox 86'd the Curse of the Bambino in astounding fashion, winning their last eight games.  Outside of free agent signings, this time of year is not reserved for baseball.  One of my personal favorite yearly baseball occurrences is the Hall of Fame balloting. 

12 of the 27 names on the ballots this year are first-time nominees.  Only one of these 12 will be enshrined in their first year (and probably ever).  Wade

Boggs should make it on the first try.  For the first ten years of his career, he was considered a better hitter than Tony Gwynn (1982-91) and is a member of the 3000-hit club. 

With only one sure-fire first ballot enshrinement, the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) should pay attention to Bruce Sutter and Goose Gossage, the predecessors of today's relief pitchers.  Bert Blyleven and Tommy John should have gotten in a few years ago so this would be a perfect year to right that omission.  A few sluggers from the 1980's who deserve strong consideration are Andre Dawson, Jim Rice, Dave Parker, and Don Mattingly.  And for their exclusive glovework, Ryne Sandberg and Dave Concepcion should merit consideration as well.

One the college football slate is the "title game" of USC and Oklahoma.  The BCS has been exposed as a joke and this year has solidified it.  Why the

Jerry Keys

college administrators will not allow a playoff system is beyond me.  It would increase their school's revenue, therefore I see no reason why it shouldn't be done.

As for the NFL, I still am sticking to the Pennsylvania Super Bowl.  Give Peyton's brother, Eli, some slack.  With the Giants' offensive line, Joe Montana couldn't win on his best day with that pathetic pocket protection.  He will come around.  I am glad I stuck with Carolina last month, even at 3-7.  They just may pull a few upsets in the playoffs just like last year.

On the NHL forefront, ooops!  O.K., skip that one.

That leads me to the NBA.  Believe it or not, there was something more compelling than the L.A. Lakers, the rhubarb in Detroit last month.  There has been extended coverage of the brawl by now at every angle imaginable.  The key to this is not should they be suspended but for how long. 

It is my belief that every player that went into the stands should have been suspended for the remainder of the year.  Stern punishment?  I do not think so.
I understand that NBA players must absorb negative comments from fans but can I be bold enough to say that they are paid handsomely for that "detriment."
Should the players have the right to defend themselves in the stands?  Sure, just let the owners cut your salary 75%.  Why is it that I do not think that would occur?

I agree that the entire incident should not have occurred but does that justify a spillage into the stands?  No. 

Maybe it will take a fan, one like the bottle thrower, who provokes a star player into the stands and suffers a beating, to in turn sue the player for half of his wages for the next ten years. 

The NBA players are called professionals for a reason.  A professional would rise above misdeeds such as what Ron Artest experienced.  Arenas have security for a reason such as that.  And when you are paid as a professional, far be it from fans like myself to expect you to conduct yourself as one.

Would you have expected Michael Jordan to rush into the stands?  Larry Bird?  Charles Barkley?  OK, skip that one.  You get the point.

Three teams to watch out for come March in the NCAA basketball landscape is Richmond, Pepperdine, and UT-Chattanooga.

A special thank you goes out to Mia Hamm, for 17 years of excellence in women's soccer.  Along with Brandy Chastain and others, they helped put soccer on the national level.  She accomplished to women's soccer what Pele did to men's a generation before.

Get used to the Cleveland Cavaliers being atop their division.  LeBron James is the better version of Kobe.  Too bad Jordan retired a year before he started, it would have been nice seeing his heir apparent on the court with him one time. 

Keep an eye on the Utah Jazz, coach Jerry Sloan is the best coach of our generation minus Phil Jackson.