Things we would like to see in sports, Part 1: Pacquaio-Mayweather, Brett Favre making a decision, Tiger Woods winning a Major, Cubs in the World Series

Pacquiao-Mayweather

Imagine, after both completing successful seasons, the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts make it to the Super Bowl.  Or imagine the Yankees and Phillies get to the World Series or the Lakers and Magic both reach the NBA Finals.  Then… they simply decide not to play one another.  Sounds ludicrous, doesn’t it?  I mean… the two best teams are supposed to play each other in order to determine a true champion.  That’s the way it works in sports.  Well, every sport except boxing (and of course, college football).

The lack of structure in the professional boxing is one key reason the sport is on the decline.  There’s too many belts, too many divisions and way too many corrupt promoters.  In short, there are too many cooks spoiling the broth.

There’s one fight, however, that can singlehandedly revive the sport, yet nobody involved is making it become a reality.  Not the trainers, not the fighters, not anyone.  It’s over a hundred million dollar pie and nobody wants to take a bite.  The only person doing anything to make it happen is Jerry Jones who offered top dollar to host the event in the new Dallas Stadium.

Still, the fight’s a no go and the two greatest, pound-for-pound boxers on the planet continue to fight in bouts that have no relevance.  It’d be like Florida repeatedly playing Vanderbilt, Kentucky and South Carolina without having to play Alabama.  No wonder nobody watches boxing anymore.

Cubs Winning the World Series

We might not all be Cubs fans, but everybody loves an underdog.  And there’s no more underdog team in professional sports than the Chicago Cubs.

The Cubs, who haven’t won a World Series in over a century, continue to give their fans glimpses of hope year after year, only to repeatedly break their hearts.  Sound familiar, Cavaliers fans?

Even the Boston Red Sox eventually removed the Bambino-sized monkey from their backs in 2004, but no matter how hard they try, the Cubs can’t seem to get it done.  They won their Central Division in both 2007 & 2008 but were promptly swept out of the playoffs.

This year, at least they’re not giving the Wrigley faithful anything to cheer about.  They’re well under .500 and it’s only a matter of time before we see an unhealthy sequence of Lou Pinella meltdowns.

After back-to-back, promising seasons only a few years ago, it looks like it might be back to the drawing board for America’s lovable losers, meaning a World Series is that much farther away.

The Raiders, Pirates & Knicks relevant again

It wasn’t long ago that the Raiders, Pirates and Knicks dominated the sports landscape in their respective leagues.  The Raiders won three Super Bowls between 1977-1984.  The Pirates won two World Series in the 1970s.  The Knicks won two titles in the 1970s and made two Finals appearances in the 1990s, losing to Houston and San Antonio.

On second thought, that was a long time ago, at least in the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world of professional sports.

Pittsburgh, Oakland and New York are among the proudest franchises in sports but lately, have been god-awful.  Oakland hasn’t been relevant since 2002.  The Pirates haven’t had a .500 season since Barry Bonds left town.  And the only time the Knicks are worth discussing is when LeBron James is rumored to join their roster.

Fortunately, their fan bases are still intact.  But for how much longer?  The Knicks have become a punch line, the Pirates have become a farm team and most think the NFL has passed Al Davis by.

Until some serious changes are made in these three franchises from top to bottom, expect them to continue to be the butt of most jokes.

Brett Favre making a decision

We’ve seen it time after time.  Brett Favre sits in his Mississippi home, riding his mower and sipping on sweet tea, while the NFL team he’s under contract with sits and awaits his decision to return.  No forty year old has ever had as much leverage over the NFL.

Ultimately, the Packers moved on, placing their future in the capable hands of Aaron Rodgers.  Last year, the Jets drafted Mark Sanchez and couldn’t be happier.  Now it’s Minnesota’s turn to wait on Brett, their immediate future held hostage while he decides whether to return for another season.   Unfortunately for the Vikes, Brett holds all the cards.

After all, he did lead them to the NFC Championship game and a near Super Bowl appearance in what was a dream season for the franchise.  Without the gunslinger under center this year, the Vikings know duplicating that success will be nearly impossible.  But yet, we still sit and wait.  Minnesota has no hand.

To make matters worse, it’s only May.  So sit back, grab an iced tea and relax.  Expecting Favre to make a quick decision is as futile as wishing for anything else on this list to happen any time soon.

Tiger Woods winning a major

There’s a saying in sports that winning cures all ills.  If that’s the case, Tiger Woods can’t wait to get that first win under his belt.  After Tiger’s now famous Thanksgiving family gathering, his life has been in shambles and the public has learned way more about his personal life than we ever cared to know.

After a four month hiatus, he returned to golf, played well at the Masters but has since missed a cut, withdrawn from another tournament and lost his swing coach.  Eldrick just can’t seem to get out of his funk.

Most of us, at one point in time, were Tiger Woods fans.  He revolutionized the sport, dominating golf for nearly a decade.  There was Tiger Woods and then everyone else.  He was the most recognizable, most marketable and most admired athlete on the planet.  Not so much any more.

I honestly think, despite his recent struggles with fidelity, most would welcome another Tiger victory.  Even though his absence has allowed other golfers to become victorious, we don’t want to see Tim Clark and Rory McIlroy hoisting trophies on Sunday evening.  Deep down inside, part of us still wants to see Tiger doing what he does best: dominating the links.  But from what we’ve seen lately, he’s nowhere close.

Maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe there’s a huge contingent of people who want Tiger to fail, payback for his actions.  Then there’s a handful of others that are indifferent.  But most just want to see Tiger win once again.  It’s just going to take some time.

38 thoughts on “Things we would like to see in sports, Part 1: Pacquaio-Mayweather, Brett Favre making a decision, Tiger Woods winning a Major, Cubs in the World Series

  1. Chris

    ’til they get the international governing bodies down from the figure of 5 or 6 or however many that it is . Then the likes of King , Arum and Di Bella will be allowed to run amok in the sport.

    That’s why now my allegiances are more towards MMA and UFC . The latter rules the roost and everyone knows their pecking order in things.

    The Mayweather __ Pacquiao bout will only take place unless Arum acquiesces and meets the boxer’s demands for stringent drug testing.

    The fallout now from the Cavs’ loss in the series is already being felt economically.
    If LeBron leaves will he be more hated than Art Modell ?

    The Texans’ Brian Cushing though denying he used steroids still can’t explain why it is that a female reproductive hormonal drug was found in his system. Will this be the direction that the NFL now takes and what happens when certain players start to cramp up and complain of bloatedness once a month ? Never mind the fact that their nipples will either become soft or hard and quite possibly begin to lactate. Whoa Nelly ! What the hell !

    If I see Josh Freeman or any of the Bucs’ players ever crying on the sidelines then I know what’ll be happening. It won’t be about them losing but about them finding their emotional and feminine side. Who knew ?

    Alan Parkins

  2. Next time you talked about the Pirates you must put a picture of their best player ever and is not Wllie Stargel it is Roberto Clemente baby, told you Magics and Celtics baby, Magics on 6. Also Bonds is not worth mentioning since who knows for how long he was using steroids. Would love to see Brett again next year he has not lost anything yet.

  3. Chris

    If you’ve seen the Pitt movie ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’. Here’s a new spin on it all.

    Courtesy of Assoc. Press


    Student: Suspected impostor ‘played the part good’

    By BETSY BLANEY and SCHUYLER DIXON (AP) – 1 day ago

    ODESSA, Texas — A lot of guys dream about going back to high school and recapturing their athletic glory days. A man who went by the name of Jerry Joseph did it, police say, and now he’s in big trouble.

    Authorities say the boyish-looking 22-year-old posed as a 16-year-old sophomore phenom to lead the Permian High School basketball team to the state playoffs. He was jailed on fraud charges, and the rabidly competitive West Texas high school that inspired the movie “Friday Night Lights” may have to forfeit its season.

    “Everyone just thought he was a big guy,” said Permian senior football player Steven Pipes. “He played the part good, skipping down the hallways acting goofy like a 16-year-old.”

    Pipes and some teammates approached the 6-foot-5 player they knew as Joseph soon after he enrolled last year, asking him if he wanted to play football. Pipes said Joseph, who was attending a junior high at the time, declined. He liked basketball instead, and he was good enough to average about 20 points per game over the final nine games heading into the playoffs, where Permian lost in the first round.

    Joseph was a starter and played center and forward. But suspicions about the player’s identity first arose when three Florida basketball coaches familiar with a former player named Guerdwich Montimere recognized him last month at an amateur tournament in Little Rock, Ark. Montimere, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Haiti, graduated from Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale in 2007.

    =====================================

    Click on link to read in its entirety.

    =====================================

    They say high school is supposedly the best time of your while in school ? Well it is but once you become 21 or 22 you’re expected to get out get ahead and be in a well paid job.

    Alan Parkins

  4. Al…

    And I guess the current powers that be in boxing won’t let happen. They stand to lose too much. If Congress wants to interfere with sports, they should look into the sweet science.

    I’m not sure about being hated more than Modell. Cleveland fans can’t even say that name without grimacing. But it’ll certainly rank.

    And the latest that I’ve heard from both camps is that they’re coming closer to meeting in the middle. How can you not want 25 million dollars?

    And Al, when that happens, will they name it the Adam Morrison/Tim Tebow Award for No More Tears?

  5. Con calma, salsero.

    Nobody suggested Stargell was a better Pirate than Roberto Clemente.

    Oh, and I’ll be attending Game One. Don’t hate.

    Plus I’m not sure Bonds was using in Pittsburgh. He was still pretty skinny and, by the way, had already racked up a few MVPs, I believe.

  6. SportsChump fact checker:

    Barry Bonds won the MLB MVP in ’90 and ’92 in Pittburgh, then again in ’93 in San Fran.

    Oh, he then rattled off four more between 2000-2004.

  7. It’s a shame what they’ve done to boxing. I have a lot of fond memories of the sport. Mayweather-Pacquio would be a classic.
    I think most people can identify with the Cubs. I know I do.
    The Raiders,Pirates, and Knicks are all great names in sports history. I hope that someone can come along and lead them back to greatness one day.
    One thing that I really don’t understand is the Viking’s faith in Favre and Favre alone.
    Hindsight being 20-20, I believe Tiger came back too soon. He should have taken time to heal, afterall none of us are as young as we used to be.

    Have a great weekend man!

  8. So do I, Aer. My dad was a boxing fan first and foremost. There was nothing like watching a fight with him or just talking about boxing. Not so sure that’s being done this generation.

    I think the only people that would object to a Cubs victory are White Sox fans.

    Speaking of Raiders, Knicks and Pirates, Aer, which do you think will be the first of the three to return to prominence?

    Re: Favre, I think, at least this year, they’ll be better with him than without him. But by all means, they should have a backup plan.

    Tiger may have come back too soon but he loves the Masters. He’s not gonna be the Tiger of old until he fixes his head and his heart.

  9. Chris

    What makes you think that Congress wants to intervene when it comes to boxing ? You saw how they fawned and preened themselves in the congressional hearings in baseball . I mean John McCain believes MMA to be barbaric but this is the same guy who let loose upon us Sarah Palin . Who the hell wanted that in the first place ?

    Stern is said to be extremely upset that the NBA Finals won’t be a LeBron _ Kobe match-up but word is he’s closely monitoring the Suns __(front office) and their employees. I guess he’s worried about the immigration status of Goran Drazic, Leandro Barbosa and Steve Nash then ? LOL,LOL,LOL !!! Anything to make sure that at least one of his boys makes it to the game’s showcase event.

    Alan Parkins

  10. Love the way you attacked boxing there in the opening! I’ve been reading the Manila times since Pacquiao won his election, and was reading how his mom said she wanted him to fight Mayweather. Hopefully he listens to mom!

    I hope the Raiders find their way again. I have friends that used to hate the Raiders so much, and let me know every time I saw them. Now they just feel bad for me! My how times have changed…

    Honestly, I want to see Tiger in the hunt, but come up short over and over. I’d love to see him get top 5 finishes for the rest of his career, but not win. I never really liked the guy for some reason, maybe jealousy, but I’ve always rooted against the guy. I think maybe it was that arrogance he had, like I’m better than you. Jordan had it too, which is why I didn’t like him, but in the end I do love watching them play their sport.

  11. Good point, Al. Not sure which is more barbaric.

    With LeBron getting bounced early, at least we now know that the NBA isn’t rigged. We d know that, don’t we?

  12. Chap…

    There’s more attack on boxing in Part Two of Things We Want To See In Sports (But Won’t), so stay tuned.

    The Raiders finished strong last season so we’ll see if that carries over into 2010. Gradkowski was serviceable when in Tampa. Just not sure he can carry a team to the next level.

    Ouch! So speaks the Chapman who clearly falls into the category of people who would like to see el Tigre continue to fail.

    I have a feeling he’ll win one of the next six majors. Just not sure it’ll happen this year.

  13. That fight would be great (maybe), but 2 weeks later boxing would be irrelevant again. MMA is killing it with the younger demographic. Boxing needs a charismatic, badass, who can talk the talk. Clubber Lang comes to mind.

    Pinella’s meltdowns sell tickets.

    Clemente is not only the greatest Pirate, he has to be top-5 in all-around players, ever.

    Favre and Woods…YAWN!

  14. Han-O-Gram…. or you. You might be America’s best bet. Our future is in your hands, dude.

    It’s a sad state of affairs when the Cubs are selling tickets based more on the veins popping out of their manager’s head than for the actual talent on the field, huh?

    Top Five Players? Clemente? Close, but how about Aaron, Mays, Williams, Ruth and Cobb? No?

    Yeah, I know, Han. Woods and Favre. Booooring. But much like Pinella’s outburts selling tickets, Favre and Woods draw SEO. And they don’t even ask for 10% of my earnings… although Elin might.

  15. It would be a ridiculous end result if Pacquiao vs. Mayweather never fought. But, the sport needs more than that to permanently be revived, although the last year has seen plenty of great action, and lots of big fights.

    As for the MMA killing boxing, boxing routinely outsells the UFC when they go head to head.

  16. Yeah, I’m a hater. I’m sure Tiger will come back and win at least a couple majors before it’s all said and done!

    I’m optimistic about the Raiders this year, but if they fail miserably, I won’t be shocked! I just hope we’ve bottomed out…

  17. Okay, I might have got carried away with the top-5. How about top-10?

    Although, Clemente’s defense— run on that arm at your peril— and baserunning have to be way better than Hammer’s. Hank’s only big advantage over Bobby was hitting for power….it was a BIG one though.

  18. Boxing may outsell MMA head to head right now, but all those young, Ed Hardy wearing, douchebags that watch MMA now will be older douchebags still watching MMA 20 years from now.

    It seems like there are one or two cable channels that survive solely on MMA ‘reality’ shows. I don’t think boxing has that kind of juice now, and wonder if it ever will come back.

  19. Hey Chris that guy Gene Knows his baseball . Talking about Parents watching boxing with his kids I let my kid watch his 1st fight with me Mike tyson vs marvis frazier back in 86 or 87 , that was after my kid beg,beg and beg some more so I said yes. He was only 6 or 7 to my luck the fight lasted on 30 seconds knock out 1st round poor kid was mad. ha ha ha

  20. great article….

    Boxing needs to goback to the old school ways of seting up matchs up ie best of best fight….

    UFC is great sport.. Rampage vs Evens should be a good one…

  21. Jake, well said. But as you mention, making that fight happen would be a big step.

    Fans are just begging to believe in boxing again. We just need a reason.

  22. Jake

    The boxing cards that outsell MMA are the ones that go up against the smaller outfits such as Strikeforce and Bellator programs.

    UFC’s cards are on par with that of the PPV shows.

    Boxing is control of two idiots in Bob Arum and Don King. And they’re the primary reason why the sport is almost prostrate and on its knees.

    chappy

    It’s all well good Manny’s mother saying she wants her boy to fight Money. It doesn’t mean it’ll happen. Consider what Bob Arum (promoter) wants and then you may well see the fight take place. Afterall he’s the reason why the fight well through in the first place by reneging on a verbal agreement with regard to drug testing. This from the same promoter whose fighter Margarito had an illicit substance taped to his wrists in his bout against Miguel Cotto.

    Alan Parkins

  23. Jake

    Furthermore boxing’s PVV gross revenues for 08 and 09 were less than that of UFC’s over the same period. So what facts are you actually looking at in that respect ?

    Alan Parkins

  24. If the Knicks get LeBron then I’d have to go with them, if not then I’ll go with the Raiders. They are only a good quarterback away. The Pirates are going to need a change of management before they will seriously contend in their division.

  25. aero

    Put down that crack pipe it’s blasphemous for wanting to see LeGonad go to the Knicks. He’s better off with either the Heat or Bulls.

    Alan Parkins

  26. Chap…

    The Raiders ended last season strong.

    Gradkowski was a serviceable QB while in Tampa but I’m not so sure he’s the guy the want carrying them to the next level.

    Hey, at least he doesn’t drain the buffet line as much as JaMarcus.

  27. And Han, as I was telling Jake, that’s another problem boxing will face in the future.

    Guys of our generation were raised watching a dominant, fun heavyweight division.

    The longer boxing goes without one, the more likely they’ll lose a whole generation of fans, while the MMA will have those viewers in the bag.

  28. Al, Jake and Han…

    The MMA’s marketing campaigns are also considerably more aggressive than boxing’s.

    MMA knows better than to go up against a huge boxing match but that’s not something they have to worry about very often as that rarely happens.

  29. Al… Jake’s got a nice boxing site. I wrote with him over at Associated Content.

    You should go check out his URL and throw him a couple of roundhouses.

  30. And no, Al, I missed Nelly at the Trop. I saw him give a free concert a few years back and wasn’t all that impressed.

    Which was surprising considering the success of “Country Grammar.”

  31. Aer… I still think the Knicks are a longshot.

    And even bringing back Leyland wouldn’t make the Pirates winners again. They need a little more help than that, no?

  32. And I can tell you I’m probably less interested in Tiger’s bulging disks than whatever pics you have posted on your site but you know I’ll be over there anyway to take a look.

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