Saturday, February 20, 2010

200 Posts and Running - Random Sports Musings + One

200 posts and since this week has been busy and interesting at work, I'll just hit you when some random thoughts.

NBC's Olympic coverage is lagging something fierce. There is absolutely no excuse why an Olympic event in the Pacific Time zone is on tape delay. There is no excuse why Olympic planners cannot plan events later in the evening to fit prime time except to accommodate East Coast media deadlines (which shouldnt matter in the Internet age). Instead what we have during prime time is a pre-packaged story where certain events and certain people are shown on NBC.

***i.e. We have post-event interviews that are some time after the event has ended (no excuse why Apolo Ohno, JR Celski and Shani Davis' interviews were delayed hours after they won.)

The execs will tell you that they have events on CNBC. But overall their coverage is a sham. The Olympic "ideal" is a myth that the network perpetuates by lagging on showing events. Now we pretty much watch trying to avoid who won or merely seeing how someone did it since NBC owns the rights to it.

It's a neat story but there's no suspense, no realness. The only thing genuine is the emotion of the competitors. But the experience showed on television is merely a packaged, sanitized version of the real thing.

I had to speak on the Lakers since I've been impressed with how they've played without Kobe. 4-1 with a one-point loss to Boston. More than anything, I like how Lamar Odom has continued to play aggressive, especially on the boards, and Shannon Brown is showing why he might be our 1-guard of the future (not point guard, key difference).

The loss to Boston showed the good and the bad without Kobe. The good is that this team can respond under pressure and has done so (see winning at Portland for the first time in 5 years). They went on a 13-0 run in the 4th that I thought would punch Boston back in the gut and let them know we could fight. The bad is that in crunch time, we lack someone to take big shots and make smart decisions (see Gasol's entry pass to Brown under the basket, calling timeout right away with 6 seconds instead of 2.2, Fisher taking an off-balance shot at the buzzer).

(That my friends was the last game of the Boston rivalry as we know it. The C's are getting old and won't make the NBA Finals, the Lakers' biggest rival is Cleveland and Denver as far as im concerned. It's always a rivalry but it won't have the punch of 2008-09)

But if anything it showed how good this team can be and it showed that Kobe's return will be one of leadership, not dictatorship trying to take over. He knows that despite being defending champions, Cleveland got stronger and has a bigger advantage than Orlando did last year. The best way to get another ring is to convince everyone how great they are and remind them how well they played without them.

It was a good sign to me. This is a good team without Kobe and now they need to show it again with him.

Ignorance reared its ugly head again down in my second favorite city. UC San Diego saw a Compton Cookout sponsored by a few students that was just another example of a racial-themed party that has been an issue since 2005 and possibly earlier.

You know the type. Show up at this party and participate in various stereotypes in order to have a taste of the ghetto. During Black History Month no less. I mean it is sad to think that people did not think twice about the reaction or the negative impact.

I wrote about this issue in an editorial in my school newspaper back in 05. To me, it was a big concern because students of color (esp. Black and Brown) are a minority on campuses, especially at mine. And it's something that has been a passion of mine because it shows me a big problem with my generation.

It's my annual reminder that ignorance is the greatest disease we face. It's why I said a year ago that Obama being president isn't going to change people's attitudes. It's only through education and awareness that we can change. So if you think that being upset is much ado about nothing, then you are truly a reminder that we still have far to go.

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