Wednesday, July 16, 2014

1357 The Sporting News

Okay, everyone, you can go back to your seats and relax now.  Germany has won the World Cup and LeBron has returned to the Cavs.

A world at last at rest.

Soccer fans -- known everywhere in the world but here in the US as football fans -- are nuttier and more volatile than American football fans.

There hasn’t been a knock-down-the-stands riot at an NFL game in this country since Columbus.

Unlike baseball’s World Series, the World Cup really is an international affair.  It’s also a big bucks operation.

The host country this time, Brazil, proved that it could hide reality long enough for most of us to forget how terrible conditions are for some there.  High crime.  Street urchins. Poverty. Disease.

No, the Brazil we all saw was pretty women, intense athletes, nice, sparkling playing venues (don’t lean against those walls, please. They’re scenery, not structure.)

So after nine-thousand rounds, there’s a winner… this time, Germany. Makes college basketball’s March Madness seem like a cameo instead of the endless betting parlor it really is.

Speaking of Basketball: LeBron James is a really really good basketball player.  And he’s a native of Ohio.  And he played for the Cleveland Cavaliers for a long time.  He was a first draft pick back in the day.  And they picked him.

After seven seasons, he went to the Miami Heat.  Now, after weeks of intense guessing about his future, he shocked the world by going home.

The Cavs can use his help.

The Heat was getting cold.

And this is no knuckle dragging dummy.  His new 19 million dollar contract has an escape clause after a year.  And lots of other bells and whistles.

Plus at the age of 29, James has to think about his future.

Many a burned out or retired professional athlete has found himself adrift after the games are over.

Some stay in the public eye.  Shaq has commercials for Gold Bond, Icy Hot and Buick.

Michael Jordan is everywhere.  So is Magic Johnson.

So James has to keep an eye on the ball -- where it is and where he thinks it will be.

And based on the Hamlet-like public pondering about where to go after the Heat, we see James has a good eye for the public eye.

More power to him.  And more money.


--While we’re on the sports page, a question.  Why does the American League “always” win the all-star game, as it did last night?  As they used to say in Brooklyn, “wait ‘til next year…” when there’s no more Jeeter.

--Newspaper columnist Maureen Dowd recently wrote a piece skewering Chelsea Clinton for receiving 75-thousand dollars per speaking appearance. In it, Dowd didn’t mention that she charges only 30-thousand a pop, according to the watchdog group Media Matters. Maybe the Texas red head is just green with envy.

--New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is heading to Italy and a vacation later this week.  Hardly the time to blast off, Mr. DeBlastoff.  With a commuter rail strike looming the only place you should be is City Hall.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2014

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