By Jason Keidel
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In 2011, I’d like to see…
The Knicks keep doing what they’re doing.
The Knicks are good again. It’s true! If you don’t believe me, just watch. Isiah Thomas, the creep who threw his team, his town, and his daughter under the bus in a grotesque reign over the Knicks, is gone – as is the karmic acid rain he brought the moribund Knickerbockers. The fate of the franchise pivots on the brittle knees of Amar’e Stoudemire, who’s had microfracture surgery. But if No. 1 stays healthy, the Knicks won’t be No. 2 for too long.
Floyd Mayweather fight Manny Pacquiao.
No more posturing. Floyd’s renowned, racist rant on YouTube is a de facto duck. Known for slick defense, Mayweather now does all his fighting with the long arm of technology, his wheelhouse now being his kitchen. Floyd and his apologists use doping accusations to dodge the greatest fighter on the planet. Stop beating women, Floyd, and take your beating on canvas. One question Floyd never answered: if Pacquiao is indeed juicing, isn’t it worth $40 million (each fighter’s guaranteed purse) to find out? And, while you’re yakking, please produce the dirty urine that doesn’t exist.
The feet removed from football.
I know – if anyone deserved it, Rex Ryan did. But the fact that the verbose boss of the Jets has a thing for his wife’s feet is incidental. The fact that he often puts his in his mouth is far more germane. You do wonder why they made a video and slapped it online, giving it the tone of voyeurism, but fans care far more about the thrill of victory than agony of de-feet.
A.J. Burnett drop the apple pie and eat some humble pie.
The class clown, so quick to use his talented, tattooed arm to slam shaving cream into the giddy face of a teammate after a big hit, should be ashamed to collect over $16 million a year for 15 losses and a 5.26 ERA. With Cliff Lee in Philadelphia and Andy Pettitte on the brink of retirement, Mr. Burnett can’t be a burnout in 2011.
Michael Vick’s defenders shut up and grow up.
That silence you hear is all of Vick’s apologists hitting the mute button after Vick single-handedly handed the Vikings (and the legendary Joe Webb) a win on Tuesday night. Vick tried to throw four picks, but the Vikes caught only one. Vick also managed to fumble twice, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Still think he’s more deserving of the MVP than Tom Brady? Of course you do, because you’re a Kool-Aid swigging groupie who says, “What’s the big deal? They’re just dogs!”
Joe Paterno retire.
The paternal Paterno is assured a spot on Mt. Rushmore. (He’s older than half the guys up there, anyway) Paterno was coaching Penn State when my mother went there in the ‘60s. It’s time, Joe. You’re under no obligation to leave, and you certainly don’t care what I think. It’s a matter of aesthetics and prosthetics. At some point we’re too old to operate motor vehicles, keep our teeth, and coach a football team. Perhaps my friend (and Nittany Lion) Sweeny Murti disagrees.
The end of Drew Brees dementia.
Too many fine folks who believe in God forget that Drew Brees isn’t. Katrina was four years prior to the Super Bowl title. One has absolutely nothing to do with the other.
St. Drew plays for millions of dollars, not for love of town and country, civic pride, or the victims of a hurricane. We can name several quarterbacks who played better this year and didn’t throw over 20 interceptions.
Millions of Americans donated and volunteered during the relief effort, yet we don’t know about them because their good deeds weren’t captured by cameras. To hear the hyperbole, the United States government created Katrina, and Brees squashed it like some comic book hero.
Brees did not come to the Saints to save a city; he came to pad his wallet, signing a six-year, $60 million contract in 2006. We too often stretch a good sports story to match the arc of social commentary. Charles Barkley had it right, even if he has no idea why: athletes are not role models. No doubt Drew is a swell guy and New Orleans deserved a Super Bowl, but let’s settle down, shall we? Next you’ll say Brees did that Nyquil commercial to help the Red Cross.
TBS stop using the MLB playoffs to pimp their programming every five seconds.
First it was Frank Caliendo. Then it was George Lopez. Then it was Conan O’Brien. While we’re at it, did we really need to see Joe Girardi and Mariano Rivera pawning chalupas after every half-inning? Thank heaven the immortal Mo is a pitcher and not pitchman. Lee Strasberg couldn’t save the great closer.
Tom Coughlin return next year.
Doesn’t 18-1 matter anymore? In one game, Coughlin turned the perfect team, coach, and quarterback into losers, spawning an army of Nicaraguan kids wearing discarded t-shirts thinking they went 19-0. You don’t go from great to goat in three years. And who would replace him? Gruden won a Super Bowl with Tony Dungy’s team and seems to burn bridges rather quickly. Bill Cowher, former boss of my beloved Steelers, feels a bit like a diva. And Cowher lost loads of big games before finally winning in Detroit.
Muhammad Ali speak, just for one day, to remind us why he’s the greatest.
And then apologize to Joe Frazier.
Barry Bonds in prison.
Not because he lied to a grand jury (which he clearly did) but because he lied to everyone. Telling kids it’s cool to cheat while synthesizing the record books, Bonds brought shame to the game and left us all a little more sullen and cynical. No, it’s not a federal crime to cheat, but this is my column and he gets the maximum sentence in my metaphorical Alcatraz
And please pardon Greg Anderson. He may be a dope-dealing moron, but he’s about the most loyal friend on Earth. Give the guy a break.
Mark McGwire in prison.
Brett Favre go away.
If he were to text his testes to a wannabe model and never admit it, did it make a sound? The whole drama was disgusting and taints what should have been a stellar career. Favre now retires to the tawdry soundtrack that plagued Roger Clemens. Favre was divine for about five of his twenty years in the NFL, making him a compiler as much as a conqueror. Favre barely sneaks into my top-ten list, behind Troy Aikman, Terry Bradshaw, John Elway, Joe Montana, Roger Staubach, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Steve Young, and John Unitas.
Brian Cashman smile.
Working for every member of the Steinbrenner family over the last decade adds dog years to one’s life. But you have a few rings and millions in your checkbook, Cash. With those big, sad blue eyes, he looks like a Caucasian basset hound. Smile, Brian. Smile. Listen to his next interview on WFAN and check how many times he says “y’know.” It’s an Iversonian (Practice!) tic, harmless but humorous.
Tiger Woods keep losing.
Does anyone deserve this more than Eldrick? Tiger toils through a montage of courses, losing tournaments he used to win before his first tee shot. Woods, like the Yankees in 2004, learned that Curt Schilling is right – Aura and Destiny are indeed dancing at a strip club. Woods would know: they spent many a night in his hotel room. (And I heard Mystique joined them.) Tiger cusses like a trucker, tips like a hobo, and renders his writhing kids to fawning shrinks for the next decade. The fact that sponsors still keep him speaks to their (and our) disregard for decency.
Christian Bale win an Oscar for his role in “The Fighter.”
The film itself is overrated – Marky Mark’s understated Mickey Ward bordered on soporific, and they don’t even show one round of Ward’s classic trilogy with Arturo Gatti – but Bale’s performance was transcendent, almost making it worth the $13 bucks you’ll pay see it in Manhattan. The best supporting role since Benicio Del Toro’s performance in “Traffic.”
A boycott of LeBron’s next birthday party.
Mr. James is much the pauper, apparently, charging folks up to $500,000 to attend his 26th birthday party. A king with no crown and supreme narcissist, LeBron feeds on attention. It’s time to mandate a diet.
Happy New Year!
Feel free to email me: Jakster1@mac.com