A poor substitute

Seen any good games lately? Me either. I recognize the loss of games is trivial in light of the on-going struggles of much of the U.S. and the world, but it doesn’t make missing sports any less palatable. In addition to watching “The Last Dance”, the Michael Jordan documentary on ESPN, I am scratching my sports itch by watching the entire Friday Nights Lights television series (for about the fifth time, my family reminds me.)

At least I have the monthly routine of updating the SI wall calendar. I am down to covers that I have been avoiding for one reason or another. Maybe I didn’t like the subject matter or the look of the cover or it just didn’t fit the theme for the month. For the time being, the mix on the wall is going to be eclectic.

As an aside, I didn’t notice when I was putting it together, but Johnny Unitas is on the wall twice which is good because his covers are in close proximity to the John Manziel and Baker Mayfield covers, helping to offset the bad karma of those two Browns QBs.

I am still giving the Washington Nationals some love, hence the Expos cover. I am not a big fan of teams leaving the cities, but it doesn’t seem like Montreal was too fussed with the whole thing.

I like the looks of the Everest cover, but I have mixed emotions about it. Certainly a para-athlete climbing is impressive, but in general, the Everst experience is becoming one to avoid. It is so crowded climbing the mountain that you have to take a number. It is hardly the unique accomplishment it once was despite the fact that it is still very dangerous. That, and I have heard the base camp is a dump, literally.

This is one of my favorite Jordan covers from SI, which is saying something because he is on a ton of them. The casual shot of Jordan is the same essence that ESPN captured in that documentary. Easy going, life of the party. That was Jordan during the rare times when he was not bending both his opponents and teammates to his will. LeBron James has blown me away with his drive and determination, but he’s no Jordan when it comes to intensity. Then again, no one is.

SI did a piece recently about what we’re losing with pandemic. One loss is a full season of Mike Trout in his prime.

The same could be said of Sid Crosby. I don’t know if the NHL season will resume or not. It is a shame because the playoff hockey looked to be particularly competitive this year. The Capitals, Flyers, and Pens all took turns being dominant. The Stanley Cup playoffs certainly had a chance to be something special. Not sure that is going to happen now.

This cover makes me laugh but not because I don’t respect Rhonda Rousey. It was the outlandish headline. Her run was impressive, but UFC fighting, particularly with women, was hardly mainstream. To figure that she was the most dominant athlete in sport was hubris indeed. What’s the saying? Pride goeth before the fall. And, man, did Rousey fall. Hard.

True leadership is an attribute rarely seen. Not so much because individuals aren’t capable of it but because much of life is stable enough that being a good manager will often suffice. The pandemic, however, has provided that opportunity and no one seized that like Adam Silver as head of the NBA. His swift action to shut down the NBA led the way for the other sports teams to follow. I have a feeling it will be one of the “where were you when?” type of memories.

I hope everyone is hanging in there. This can’t last forever, so stay strong and stay safe.