SPORTS w/The Jock 2/25

by Tom Weppel
NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
The NBA trade deadline is come and gone, and we can finally stop hearing about what could possibly happen with Carmelo Anthony!
Seems like every single day we were finding out more and more about where the guy was going. Then earlier this week, the New York Knicks came through and completed a deal that got Anthony back into New York, where the guy was born. A number of other players were involved on both sides of the deal, including the veteran G Chauncey Billups, who tagged along with Carmelo in the deal.
Now, while the Knicks aren’t necessarily Title contenders at the present, they will at least be an interesting ball club, and I’m sure we’ll be hearing plenty about their exploits each night on the hardwood. The combination of Amare Stoudamire and Anthony, along with Billups and Co., should be enough to give us competitive games for the rest of the regular season, and into the playoffs, which the Knicks should be getting into for the first time in years.
And while the spotlight shines on the big-market clubs, such as the Celtics, Heat, Lakers, and now the Knicks, the San Antonio Spurs will simply mind their own business and keep on picking up ‘W’s, as they steam towards the top seeding in the Western Conference with the best record in the NBA. Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, and Tim Duncan continue to make things happen for their team, both on and off the court, keeping everything in order.
Look for the Spurs, in the end, to get into the Western Conference Finals, at the very least…
NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
This week the NFL held their annual ‘MEAT MARKET’, a.k.a. the Scouting Combine! It gives all the teams a chance to check out a number of guys coming out of college that could be drafted in April, or at least signed to a deal and brought in to Camp in July (assuming there will BE a camp!).
How these guys perform these next few days can have a whole lot to do with where they end up and how much attention they get from what particular teams…and also how MUCH they will receive!
We all know about Auburn QB Cam Newton. We have seen him plenty of times on national TV as he led the Tigers to the National Championship. He won the Heisman, and now the spotlight continues to shine on him, as there will be plenty of speculation as to which team will want to draft him to be their starter.
Initial feelings are he could go to Buffalo or Cincinnati. We shall see.
While so many football fans have their own personal opinion on Newton, there is one guy whose name we are hearing so often, yet don’t know much about. That guy is Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert. In these past weeks, Gabbert seems to have emerged as the top QB available, for his skills and abilities. In some circles, Gabbert has been thought of as potentially being a better pro QB prospect than Cam Newton. When that is even mentioned to others, there is a lot of argument ready to take place!
Gabbert seems to be coming out as more of a pro-style QB, with the skills and abilities to read defenses and make the throws necessary in the NFL game. That’s different than what a lot of us are seeing in the college game, where QB’s like Newton are simply able to pull the ball in and run to get a first down or TD. Of course, in college, the crowd goes wild and the teams win. In the NFL, what happens is that a lot of guys on Defense are just as fast as those QB from college, and they get caught and hit and injured much easier!
Nonetheless, it should be interesting to see how things evolve, starting in Indianapolis, when the NFL scouts and coaches put the boys through the drills. And there are a good number of QB prospects available, including Newton, Gabbert, and also Jake Locker (Washington), Christian Ponder (FSU), and Ryan Mallett (Arkansas).
It will indeed be very, VERY interesting to see where each of these guys goes when the Draft is held in April…
PGA TOUR
Another week on the PGA Tour has come and gone without a victory by Mr. Eldrick (Tiger) Woods.
WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO?!?!
Seriously, it seems as if Tiger has proven that his stature has digressed to the point where he should be simply looked upon as just another guy on the Tour.
Now, here are the REAL questions…
Is this fair? Is it RIGHT?
It seems as if Tiger is being looked upon as almost this befallen superhero! Some fans simply don’t know how to judge the guy. Should they look at his exploits stronger ON the field, or OFF? Its gotten to be crazy, in oh so many ways.
I hope he is handling all this attention in a solid manner. I’m positive he has enough cash to live off of while he continues to get his life and his game together. While he has lost a f couple of sponsors, he still has a few others that are holding on while he toils through this season.
In the meantime, it seems when Woods enters a tournament and does NOT win, all the media pundits come out and start to question whether he still has ‘it’.
Well, my feeling is he still has ‘it’, and he will one day win a tournament or two, and perhaps even a couple of Majors, possibly within this calendar year. In the meantime, the guy is simply getting almost too much attention every time he goes to tee it up. Whether it is good or bad for the PGA Tour overall is another item worthy of plenty of debate. And we can get into that soon…

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