Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Dimming star (updated!)

Update! After all this, it turns out maybe Kobe isn't such an asshole after all. This bizarre Lakers saga has taken an even weirder turn when it's revealed that the Kobe-Karl fallout stemmed from the Mexican girl-huntin' Mailman possibly hitting on Mrs. Kobe Bryant. Crazy stuff.

Kobe's lucky to have Ron Artest and Lebron James. But for Artest's blowups, Kobe would be fitted to wear Bill Laimbeer's size 16s right now, taking over the role as the NBA's #1 villain. As for Lebron, that budding superstar has taken the burden and pressure off of Kobe as Jordan's heir apparent so that Kobe can be who he is now, just another talented NBA player with "character" issues. Remember when Kobe was the Air Apparent? Handsome, articulate, and clutch, Kobe once hogged the Jordan legacy like he now hogs the rock. But back then, nobody minded. Post-MJ, the NBA needed a new superstar, and Kobe was straight out of central casting. He had it all: the most exciting game since MJ -- complete with the flying dunks, the fadeaway jumpers, and the wagging tongue -- and talent to spare. He won 3 straight championships while leading the league's marquee franchise.

That seemed like eons ago. Seems every week, Kobe pulls a new dick maneuver. First, he tries to snitch out Shaq to the cops when he was arrested for that little thing in Colorado. Now, today, the story broke that Karl Malone won't return to the Lakers, mainly because Kobe dicked him over. The Mailman is what they call a "throwback"; a stand-up man in an age where players need babysitters. Just when you think Kobe can't sink any lower, he goes out of his way to dis a guy like that. I haven't been a Lakers fan in awhile, and have never really warmed to Bryant. But it was hard not to admire his game a couple of years back. Now, it's impossible not to despise the guy.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Fuck the BCS

The BCS, like the electoral college, is a ridiculous way to choose a champion. It's just as ridiculous in determining who gets in the major bowls. And every year, no matter how many times they tweak the formula, they fuck it up. Case in point: one team has dominated opponents all year, losing to the No. 1 team in the country on the road by about 9 yards. The coach decided not to run up the score in the last game of the season, despite the pressure to "look impressive". The other got shutout at home against the No. 2 team in the country, and barely squeaked out a win against 4-7 Kansas in its last road game of the year. So who gets in the Rose Bowl (along with $14 million in BCS dough)?

Cal has the longest Rose Bowl drought in the Pac 10. This year, at No. 4, they finally had their best chance in decades. They were in the driver's seat, but then they lost out because of some coaches who may be voting for Texas to help put money in their own coffers (the conference gets to split a share of the BCS spoils). The coaches poll is a joke; and the fact that the Texas head coach shamelessly lobbied the coaches to vote Texas above Cal just adds to the absurdity. By contrast, Cal coach Jeff Tedford decided not to run up the score in the last series, despite the pressure to "look impressive". But guess what? Dignity does not pay. As recent history tells us, best to shamelessly try to do everything to win than take the high road.

Let's not even get to the fact that Big East champ Pitt, at No. 20, gets to play in a BCS bowl, or Auburn now has no chance for a title despite going undefeated in the best conference in college football. This system is plain fucked.