Saturday, July 17, 2010

Keeping Score

OK, let’s put a wrap on LeBron, LeGone or LeLoser, take your pick. . . . After the great ESPN debacle, Gene Wojciechowski of ESPN.com wrote: “The whole thing
was semi-ridiculous, although it did reveal a vain, self-absorbed side of James that’s as attractive as braided nose hair.” . . . Bill Plaschke, in the Los Angeles Times: “LeBron James is the King, all right. The King of Crass. The King of Callous. The King of Cowardice. What kind of man arranges and stars in a nationally televised infomercial during which he kicks his hometown to the curb? What kind of man summons a crowd of millions to watch him break up with a city that has loved and supported him for 25 years?” . . . Mark Heisler, in the L.A. Times: “James, who once flew to Nebraska to meet Warren Buffett, prides himself on his business acumen. In the real world, he and his ‘people’ — friends from high school — are children dressing up as adults.” . . .

Dan Gilbert, the majority owner of the Cavaliers, also owns Fatheads. The day after LeBron flipped the bird at Cleveland, Gilbert ordered the price of James’ Fatheads lowered from $99 to $17.41. Why $17.41? Well, infamous American traitor Benedict Arnold was born in 1741. . . . After ESPN sold what was left of its soul to James, The Left Coast Sports Babe noted: “Not to be outdone, Brett Favre says he will announce HIS decision about next year in an ESPN mini-series.” . . . Bill Simmons, at ESPN.com: “Michael Jordan would have wanted to kick Dwyane Wade's butt every spring, not play with him. This should be mentioned every day for the rest of LeBron's career. It's also the kryptonite for any 'Some day we'll remember LeBron James as the best basketball player ever' argument. We will not. Jordan and Russell were the greatest players of all time. Neither of them would have made the choice that LeBron did. That should tell you something.” . . .

Jason Whitlock, over at Fox Sports: “You can argue James has the right to destroy his image. Man has the right to smoke cigarettes, too. It’s still stupid. And nonsmokers have the right to point out the stupidity of smoking. . . . There was nothing honorable or smart about the way he orchestrated his exit.” . . . Here’s Eric Stangel, head writer and executive director on The Late Show with David Letterman, via Twitter: "I'm keeping my 2 yr old up to watch the LeBron James Special. I want her to see the exact moment our society hit rock bottom." . . . Headline at SportsPickle.com: LeBron to donate remaining Heat roster spots to Boys & Girls Club. . . .

Ron Judd, in the Seattle Times: “The Tour de France, starring American hero Lance Armstrong and other blood-science specialists, is under way. It'll end July 25 or whenever they run out of Type O negative.” . . . A little birdie says that CFJC-TV is losing Tracy Pellizzari, the host of its Midday show. The birdie says she is going to the dark side — she will be in Victoria working for the government. . . . When Michael Vick didn’t show up for his own celebrity golf tournament, comedy writer Jerry Perisho knew why: "Every hole has a dog leg." . . . Remember Sergei Bubka, the Ukrainian who was the world’s best pole-vaulter for a long time? His son, Sergei, is working to make a career as a pro tennis player. . . . Ian Hamilton, in the Regina Leader-Post: “Infamous American figure skater Tonya Harding got married recently in Washington State. One wonders if the bridal party went clubbing afterward.” . . .

Was it just me or was every player in the majors an all-star this season? . . . That may account for the game’s TV ratings bottoming out. . . . Charles Barkley, after hitting one into the water during Thursday’s round at the American Century Championship at Lake Tahoe, Nev.: “Things could be worse. I could be Mel Gibson.” . . . The Left Coast Sports Babe knows why one fast food company’s revenue is down: “KFC, home of the famous ‘Double Down’ sandwich, made from two pieces of fried chicken, announced that second-quarter revenue fell seven per cent. Well, duh, some of their best customers are dying off.” . . . Wait until she hears about the foot-long cheeseburger from Carl’s Jr. . . . Seriously. . . . What’s next? A 24-inch hot dog? . . .

Has there been a time when two once-beloved sporting figures fell farther quicker than Tiger and LeBron? . . . And to think that LeBron would have gone down in history as one of the greatest of sporting heroes had he chosen Cleveland. Come to think of it, were he a real leader, he would have had Bosh and Wade playing for the Cavaliers. . . . Baseball’s West Coast League has added Klamath Falls, Ore., for the 2011 season, giving it 10 teams, including the Kelowna Falcons. The Klamath Falls Gems will play in Kiger Stadium. . . . If you blinked, you may have missed the Edmonton Oilers attempt at romancing Vancouver Giants head coach Don Hay earlier this week. Gotta think the offer didn’t include a Rexall outlet in Kamloops because it didn’t take Hay long to say, “Thanks, but not thanks.” . . .

Outfielder Tyson Gillies of Kamloops has been plagued with hamstring problems through most of his season with the double-A Reading Phillies. He is about 10 days away from running again, and is hopeful of returning to play in early August. . . . Too bad they couldn’t have had the Germans replace the Dutch about halfway through Sunday’s World Cup final. Boy, did that game set soccer back a century or two. . . . Iain MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun pretty much summed it up: “It’s a shame somebody had to win. Soccer players have never been better and a World Cup has never been worse, even with the refreshing entertainment provided by third-place Germany.”

Gregg Drinnan is sports editor of The Daily News. Email him at gdrinnan@kamloopsnews.ca, or visit his blog at gdrinnan.blogspot.com. Keeping Score appears Saturdays.

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