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Mike Harmon on the retirement of Kobe Bryant

Posted on 02 December 2015 by WNST Audio

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Klinsmann: “We can not win this World Cup” — Me: “Why are you the coach then?”

Posted on 05 June 2014 by Drew Forrester

I’m sure someone will say, “That’s the way the German mind works.”

If so, I’ll pass on the German mindset.

I had several German players on the Blast roster back in the 1980’s and I’ll admit they had a very different “look” at things.  They were always very quiet.  Always very “down”.  Always locked in on the philosophy of “Don’t get too high when things are going well and you won’t get too low when they aren’t.”

I’ll admit some of those thoughts aren’t all that bad in sports, particularly the latter one.  It worked well for me over my amateur golf “career”, if you will, where you need to keep yourself on an even keel as much as you can.  Two birdies can easily be offset by one bad swing and a double bogey, so it’s better “not to get too high” so you won’t “get too low” when things balance themselves out.

That said, there’s absolutely no reason at all for Jurgen Klinsmann to tell a group of reporters yesterday, “We can’t win this World Cup.”

It’s defeating.

It’s dumb.

And, frankly, it’s NOT the American Way, where we learn from an early age that anything is possible.

Anything is possible if you BELIEVE it’s possible.

I can’t imagine for one second gathering my group of golfers at Calvert Hall and telling them before the season “we can’t win the MIAA championship this year.”  Instead, I’d tell them the exact opposite.

“We can win it all.  Of course we can.  We just have to play well.  Have faith in God.  Have faith in your abilities.  Have faith that your hard work is going to pay off.”

Now, maybe Klinsmann is sly like a fox — and some across the country have written that in the wake of what he wrote yesterday — but I don’t believe he was in “ploy mode” on Wednesday.

While he was busy taking a crap on Kobe Bryant and his $50 million contract, he also dove-tailed that comment into a moment of honest reflection when he said, “We can’t win this World Cup.”

Even if he believes that in his heart, he shouldn’t say it.  A great coach wouldn’t say it, that’s for damn sure.  There’s not a coach in the NFL who would EVER, EVER, EVER stand up at the microphone on Wednesday and say, “Frankly, there’s just no way we can beat the Patriots this Sunday.”

Klinsmann is still busy trying to protect himself from the idiotic decision to leave Landon Donovan off the roster for next week’s World Cup in Brazil.   We can all see, now, what he’s doing.  By saying, “We can’t win”, he’s essentially telling everyone, “Out with the old, in with the new.”  Meanwhile he has an 18-year old kid on the team, Julian Green, who is about as ready for this level of soccer as your mailman.

I’ve liked the job Klinsmann has done with this team, in general.  They are much more dangerous offensively — his strength in teaching, of course — and are no longer a one-sided group on the field.  Now, the defensive players can attack with the same vigor as those who are paid to go forward, and the offensive group are more helpful in the back when called upon.

That said, I will never, ever subscribe to the theory that a professional coach tells the masses, “We can’t win.”

Herb Brooks sure as hell didn’t say that to the U.S. Hockey team in 1980 at Lake Placid, did he?

Maybe Jurgen Klinsmann is right.  Maybe he can’t win a World Cup with “this” team.

Perhaps someone should remind the coach he’s the one who picked the team in the first place.


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10 Sports Limericks

Posted on 25 October 2012 by Thyrl Nelson

This week the Ravens are stammering,

The Texans just gave them a hammering.

You knew they were done,

When they threw out the run.

And now fans want to fire Cam Cameron


The Tigers had visions of grandeur,

And threw out an ace in Verlander.

But for being the best,

Maybe had too much rest.

And in Game 1 got beat by a Panda


There once was a QB named Cam,

Who wanted to be Superman.

But when things don’t work out,

He always starts to pout.

So now people are calling him Sham.



The Bounty-Gate thing was malicious,

Inspiring hits that were vicious.

But the players suspended,

Had their punishments ended.

And now have beef with two commishes.



There once was a Jag named Maurice,

Who called the Bears quarterback weak.

He should laugh at himself,

Because he’s now on the shelf.

With a little foot that he just tweaked.

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Olympic Hoops Age Limit Not As Stupid As It Sounds

Posted on 19 July 2012 by Thyrl Nelson

In his near 3 decades as NBA Commissioner David Stern has at times been misguided, conspiratory, overbearing, greedy and contemptuous but rarely has the commissioner been stupid. Still, as Kobe Bryant surmised as much in assessing Stern’s desire to limit NBA participation in the Olympics to those 23-years old or younger, many seem to agree that the commissioner’s idea is stupid.

The United States never took kindly to losing in the international game, and in 1992 set out to prove their dominance on the world stage despite the fact that said dominance was already universally acknowledged. The result was the Dream Team and the 20 years of basketball history that has followed. The US while no less dominant is no longer the lone source of NBA talent, and the NBA has benefited immensely from the influx of global superstars to their ranks.


It’s probably safe to say now though that the Dream Team era has run its course and the excitement of seeing the NBA’s best on the Olympic stage has dampened. The NBA’s global reach is constantly growing as foreign-born players in the league’s ranks continue to compel new eyes to the game. It’s probably safe to assume that the risk/reward equation that the NBA once embraced in an effort to gain international exposure is now upside down and as a result the league is rethinking their growth philosophy.


One other thing has changed since the 1992 Dream Team. When the Dream Team was conceived, the NBA and the Olympics were both the broadcast property of NBC. Surely the NBA had a lot less issue with offering up their talent (essentially donating it) to the crown jewel sports property of their own broadcast partner than they do now, as the NBA has moved to ABC and recently agreed to stay there through 2016. Safe money suggests that ABC can’t be altogether happy about paying premium dollars to broadcast NBA games then watching the best talent compete for free while making money for rival NBC in the Olympics.


Now that the NBA has reached global status, it’s time to take another step forward. If you’re looking for a model to follow in growing a game worldwide look no further than FIFA and the world’s soccer scene for an ideal path to follow.


International soccer teams don’t send their best to the Olympics. They send very good players, but the best are reserved for World Cups and the like where FIFA stands to make the lion’s share of the money. Make no mistake; putting an age limit on Olympic participation is only step one for the NBA. The logical step two would be to create their own international tournament, own it, and pocket the money rather than providing talent to NBC and the Olympics. That’s not stupid.


Also, if the NBA limited its players, from all countries, from participating in the Olympics after age 23 it would only further stack the Olympic deck in favor of the US which still enjoys a seemingly endless supply of young talent, while other countries with less NBA players to begin with would lose most of their top end talent to the age limit.


From a competitive standpoint, the US would likely continue to shine while the rest of the world takes big steps back. From a US interest standpoint, it might be fun to see younger, more excitable, more anonymous players showing and proving on the international stage instead of the same collection of talent we see year after year at the All-Star game. There are some (myself included) who would much rather watch the rookie/sophomore game than the actual All-Star game on the NBA’s All-Star weekend.


Here’s my 12 man, 23 and under roster for the US this year. Not bad.


Notable Players Left Out for Injuries


Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving and Blake Griffin


The Bigs


Kevin Love, DeMarcus Cousins, DeAndre Jordan, Greg Monroe, Anthony Davis


Swing Forwards


Kevin Durant, Evan Turner, Gordon Hayward




Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Jrue Holliday, Brandon Jennings


Notable Players Left Out


Tyler Zellar, Derrick Favors, Kenneth Faried, Al Farouq-Aminu, Kawai Leonard, Terrence Jones, Derrick Williams, Michael Kidd-Gilcrest, Thomas Robinson, Tyreke Evans, Kemba Walker, John Wall, Jeremy Lin, Brandon Knight, Eric Gordon, Paul George, Josh Selby



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