Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Bears, Scoops & Bellhorns

Here's what passes for news when things are extremely slow for during the off-season (in an interview with LB Clark Haggans):

Q: Who’s the one player you don’t want to see on the other side of the line heading your way?

A: Not really a player, but I would hate to see a grizzly bear put on some pads if he were on the other side of the ball and he was running at me with a bunch of saliva coming out of his mouth. He wasn't even trying to run me over to score, but instead trying to eat me. That or if on the other side of the ball God himself was at quarterback. He can do anything.
Fair enough about the bear, but I have a question. Do football pads make a bear scarier? Honestly, itsn't it enough just to have a bear running after you, period?

Scoop Jackson, newly of Page 2, has a really good article on Rashad McCants. After reading Jackson's first ESPN column last week, I was a little hesitant to take any of his subsequent writing seriously. I'm all for originality and creativity, but after reading the first two sentences of his "manifesto" I didn't know what to think:

"I believe Allen Iverson is the best player in the game.

I believe Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are better than him."
I don't get it. I know Jackson was trying to be profound, but this just didn't work. That said, it's at least encouraging to see ESPN go in a direction that doesn't scream "SportCenter" (yes you Stuart Scott and your minions) and instead opt for a guy who's less interested in coming up with tomorrow's catch phrase and more interested in at least taking a different perspective in his columns (and when I say different, I don't mean "Skip Bayless is really different because he's so antagonistically contrarian" different). I admit that Jackson does tend to be a bit dramatic in his writing, but either way, it's still a good read.

Here's my vote for the headline I'd least like to see heading into the 2005 baseball season:

"Bellhorn Won't Change Plate Approach"

The bad news is that this was an actual headline from an actual paper (yesterday's Boston Herald, to be exact). And here's how the story starts:

For those wishing to see a dip in Mark Bellhorn's strikeout total this season -- and Bellhorn is one of them -- be careful what you wish for.

Mess with Bellhorn's approach at the plate too much, and you're probably asking for someone other than Bellhorn at the plate.

I understand that Bellhorn walks a lot, but about that little nagging fact that he strikes out 400 times a year and has trouble catching the ball? Just thinking out loud here.