Originally posted 8/28/11….
An earthquake, Gaddafi, and hurricane all walk into a bar… I wish I had a punch line for you. It’s been a crazy week in the world. If you take away the natural disasters and overthrown government, the world of sports was no different! Welcome to IRIS sports week three…The good, the bad, and the ugly.
1) The Good. Another first-time-ever happened in baseball this week. On August 25th, the New York Yankees hit three grand slams in one game. They are the first team in major league history to do this! What? It seems crazy that this has never happened before in all the history of major league baseball. A “grand slam” ain’t just an oversized dish at Denny’s, it’s hitting a homerun when the bases are loaded. The final score was Yankees 22, Oakland Athletics 9. That’s what happens when you score 12 runs with three at bats! It would have been really crazy if the same guy had hit all three grand slams. Then it would have been a hat trick of grand slams. What if he did it three games in a row? It’d be a three-peat hat trick grand slammer. What if he then repeated all of that for three years in a row? It’d be a triple crown three-peat hat trick grand slammer. Just kidding, I butchered the actual definitions (except hat trick). But seriously, considering that it happened on the same week of an earthquake, Gaddafi’s overthrow, and a hurricane…surely we can call it a Tripoli, right? There’s the punch line.
2) The Bad. The legendary University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at age 59. This is an issue that is close to my heart as my mom was diagnosed eight years ago at 69. Summitt has been the head coach of Tennessee since 1975 and has won eight national championships. Simply put, she is a bad ass. She is not stepping down as head coach yet & hopes to have three more years coaching. I admire her courage in sharing her diagnosis with the public (http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=6888653&categoryid=3414465). I wish the best for the Summitt family (she has a son who plays basketball at UT as well) and her Tennessee team as she fights this disease.
3) The Ugly. Unfortunately there are a lot of ugly aspects of sports. The scandal at the University of Miami continues. This week Miami’s coach suspended eight football players. Now it’s the NCAA’s (National Collegiate Athletic Association http://www.ncaa.org/ ) job to determine their eligibility status. Their suspension is due to alleged involvement with booster-turned-convicted-felon Nevin Shapiro. Shapiro claims he provided gifts to players (cash, cars, sex) from 2002-2010. Yes, these talented kids should have known better than to accept these favors. But more importantly, these kids should not have been put in a position to make that decision. Possible punishment for the players could be paying back any money received (reports say some accepted ten grand), sitting out games, or both. Miami’s season starts Sept. 5th at Maryland. It’s reported that NCAA will make a decision soon.
4) Back to Good. It’s still NFL preseason which means teams are still tweaking rosters and figuring out who will be their starting quarterback. Meanwhile, just like politics, the analysts (and probably your coworkers and boyfriends) are already trying to predict who will go to the Superbowl. That always cracks me up. So much can happen between now and the end of the season. But even though preseason doesn’t really matter, it’s still fun when your team wins. Yesterday one of my teams won. The Denver Broncos (shout out to Crested Butte!) beat the Seahawks 23-20. Is this what you meant when you said I should talk about Tebow, Hensley? J (full disclosure: Hensley is a buddy and HUGE Seahawks fan. Plus, he doesn’t like it when girls talk about football)
5) The Best. This weekend is the 18th annual Jimmy V Celebrity Golf Classic which raises money for cancer research. Celebrities like Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neil made the journey into hurricane territory for this good cause. Jim Valvano was the NC State basketball coach from 1980-1990 and lost a battle to cancer in 1993. He’s known for winning an against-all-odds National Championship in 1983 (as well as running around the court looking for someone to hug at the buzzer…legendary clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8l5N2eKdvL4). However his real legacy is his Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research and the uplifting speech he gave at the ESPY awards in 1993 just eight weeks before he died. It’s long but so worth the watch, sports fan or not. Take the time! Don’t forget your Kleenex: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuoVM9nm42E
Thanks for reading IRIS, aka “I Read It Somewhere” sports this week!