Here we are on the verge of 2017!! Can you believe it?
I can remember reading George Orwell’s book “1984” when I was in high school, and it was supposed to be a “futuristic” look at society. To be honest a lot of that stuff came true. Somebody’s always watching you, even if it’s just with a cell phone.
You know, if you were born in 1984 you’re 32 years old now. I wonder if they still assign that book for reading in high school? Seems like a waste.
Conan O’Brien used to do a bit on his talk show called, “In the Year 2000.” Then came the year 2000, and can you believe Conan has been on TV that long? Do you realize it’s been 25 years since Johnny Carson hosted “The Tonight Show?”
What will 2017 bring? Well, it should be interesting to say the least. I don’t ever remember a year like this one coming up, when I can envision anything from great prosperity to nuclear holocaust. If you can tell me what’s going to happen with Donald Trump as president you’re a better prognosticator than me. I’ll confine my predictions to football games, thank you.
There are some things I’d like to see addressed in the new year, however. Here are a couple.
One, I’d like to see the Virginia High School League get on the same page with all sports and classifications. As it is now, it’s a mish-mash of districts, conferences and how they go about declaring champions.
First of all, I think all levels should operate the same. In football you had some regions with 16 making the playoffs and some with 12. You had some crossing over for the semifinals, and some that did not. The rules weren’t the same for everyone.
As a result, it was tough to follow what was going on. In the past couple years I would ask the basketball or baseball coaches about playoff possibilities late in their seasons, and they were clueless as to what was going on. That shouldn’t be the case.
It wasn’t like that a few years ago, before these “conferences” came into play. I think the VHSL should bag one of the two, districts or conferences, and it would make it a lot simpler for everyone.
They also should cut down on the number of state champions, but I’ve discussed that before and it’s not going to happen.
Two, I’d like to see the NBA do something about able bodied players “resting” during regular season games, and not just because it’s playing havoc with our fantasy league.
There was a recent case where the Cleveland Cavaliers “rested” LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, all on the same night, for a game in Memphis. They were all healthy and available, but they didn’t even make the flight to Tennessee.
To do such a think is not only ridiculous, but thoughtless to the folks who play these players the big salaries; guys like you and me. Well, at least guys like me.
Imagine this scenario. You live in the Memphis area and you have a couple kids who are NBA fans. Cleveland, starring LeBron James, comes to play in your city just one time all season since they’re in the Eastern Conference and the Grizzlies are in the West.
The kids would love to see LeBron James play, and you decide to splurge and get tickets. I don’t know about Memphis, but in many cities “Premium” games, like when the Cavs or Warriors come to town, cost more for tickets than if it’s the Sixers or Kings.
So, you pay a high price for four tickets to take the wife and kids to the game, maybe even needing to buy them on “Stub Hub” since the Cavaliers’ game is usually the first to sell out, and ALWAYS sells out with LeBron on the team. As the day nears the kids are all excited and you feel good about spending the money, even though it sets you back a few weeks on your bills.
Well, on the morning of the game the Cavaliers announce that not only will LeBron not be making the trip, but neither will Kevin Love or Kyrie Irving. So, basically you’re paying big money to see the Grizzlies beat up on a team comparable to the one that was the worst in the league before LeBron arrived. And you’re still stuck for 15 or 20 bucks parking and exorbitant concession prices at the game.
Why? Because James, Love and Irving are “resting.” Ironically, the guy paying for the tickets most likely had to work extra time to afford this game. And, he probably has a job much less glamorous than NBA super star. He would probably like to get paid thousands of dollars on a day he didn’t go to work so he could “rest.”
San Antonio started this a few years ago, and now it’s spreading to the entire NBA. Guys in their mid-20s were “resting” during the second or third weeks of the season. Before the Spurs started pulling this stunt no one ever “rested” their players. They were getting paid to play basketball and people were paying big money to see them, thus helping the entire league to thrive.
This actually happened to me a few years ago, so I know how it feels. I paid a premium price to see the Miami Heat play in Charlotte when they had LeBron, taking my wife and two grandsons and paying for a hotel room to stay overnight. Then, when the game came, LeBron and Dwyane Wade didn’t play. The kids were so disappointed, as was I.
I relate this to buying expensive tickets to see the Rolling Stones, then Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts don’t show up. Instead, three other guys take their place and perform the Rolling Stones songs. They’re the same songs, but that’s not what you paid for.
And, in the case of the NBA games, it’s still basketball, but it’s not what you paid for. The commissioner needs to step in and put a stop to this “resting” business, and the people who got hosed should get their money back. And, if players do rest, it should always be at their own arena so at least they’re not cheating someone else’s fans.
Michael Jordan never needed to rest. Larry Bird played with sore knees and never missed games. And don’t even get me started on Cal Ripken, although that’s a different game.
Well, I’ve gone on enough about this and there’s no room left for other things I like to see happen in 2017. I’ll just wait and see what goes down and listen to Kellyanne Conway tell me why it’s a good thing.
Happy New Year. . . . and good luck.