Lacrosse, LeBron, EvilSPN and other thoughts
July 3, 2015
The first day of the men's and women's elite divisions went pretty much according to plan. On the men's side, all the top seeds won. The women, who are playing a round robin, had one upset — No. 5 Lakeshore over No. 3 Team Wild, 10-9.
Men's masters also begins today with your LaxGear Silver Oysters as the No. 1 seed.
As lacrosse balls fly all over the county, we take a whirl around the world of sports.
LeBron's a free agent
Remember all the sentimental stories about how LeBron James was coming back to Cleveland to lead the Cavs to a championship. Remember all the ads with "Take Me to Church" by Hozier, which portrayed LeBron as an almost Moses-like figure.
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It has been and always will be about the Benjamins with James.
He's not going anywhere. Even LeBron couldn't be so sadistic to Cleveland. The big thing to remember is that the NBA receives more money under a new TV deal and the salary cap will sky-rocket.
LeBron's going to become a free agent again to max out the money he's going to make. The salary cap is going from $63 million to a projected $90 million after the 2015-16 season.
Yes, take him to church.
In fact, let him buy the church.
A light time in sports
OK, we in the newsroom usually have the TV on. It's ostensibly in the office, so if news breaks, we'll know about it. But let's face it, it's a sports TV.
Thursday night, we were reduced to watching Canadian football. It's a Week 2 matchup between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Right now, Hamilton is leading Winnipeg, 3-1.
OK, the rouge, or the single. If a team kicks the ball into or through the end zone — not on a completed field goal — and the other team doesn't return it, then the kicking team gets one point.
I get the point of a point to encourage teams to return punts, but a point for a missed field goal? Scott Norwood's wide right would have sent Super Bowl XXV into overtime and the Bills might have actually won.
This is a long way of saying, "Why is there no baseball on TV?"
The E stands for Evil
We're watching ESPN2, and that brings up the worldwide leader in sports.
The Hollywood Reporter is saying that ESPN is likely not renewing Keith Olbermann's contract this fall because his commentaries, which were rightly negative toward NFL commissioner Roger Goodell during last year's Ray Rice affair.
ESPN is going overboard in its "protect the NFL" stance. First, Bill Simmons and now Olbermann? Yes, the NFL is the biggest and best business in sports, but its personnel does not walk on water.
I've always thought that the E in ESPN stood for the East Coast. After all, the San Francisco Giants are making just their third appearance on the network this season against the Nationals. Yes, I'm Giants Boy, but they've won the World Series three times in the past five years. Had the Yankees or Red Sox done the same, they'd be on every day. Oh, wait a minute. They pretty much are.
Back to Olbermann and the NFL, ESPN is showing it's not the worldwide leader in sports by muzzling criticism of the league.
Colorado State to the Big 12?
University of Oklahoma president David Boren talked recently about expanding the Big 12, which, naturally, has 10 teams. (Seriously, why is the Big 10 still the Big 10?)
It's clear from the Baylor-TCU snub from the college football playoff that the Big 12 actually needs 12 teams, so that it can split into divisions and have a championship game.
Among the possible expansion candidates is Colorado State. (BYU, Cincinnati, Memphis, Central and South Florida are others.)
Why would the Big 12/Texas want CSU? (Make no mistake about the Big 12, but Texas runs this league.) CSU has a small stadium (even with the new facility) and is (likely wrongly) the No. 2 program in the state in terms of media profile. (Yes, the Buffs stink, but people pay more attention to CU.)
And do the Rams want Big 12? The knee jerk reaction is yes, but the Big 12 is one Texas or Oklahoma twitch from imploding.
Take a pass, CSU.
The United States Women's National Team looked dominant against Germany, while Japan squeezed by England in heart-breaking fashion (for England) in the World Cup semifinals.
The American women are peaking and Japan's used up its karma.
The USA wins its third World Cup on Sunday.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.
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