$0.02: Shaq the early winner since soap cancellation
The whole Shaq and Kobe breakup was compelling, yes, but since it happened, “the rebound” has been much kinder to Shaq. Sure, Kobe got his way, he got L.A., he got the purple and gold. It is indeed his team. He must just be tickled, no? No. The Lakers – the NBA title favorites each of the past five years – are 13-11. Miami, on the other hand, Shaq’s cozy new home, was 19-7 and atop its division going into Tuesday night’s game with Boston. Everyone’s making a big deal out of the looming Christmas Day matchup between the friends turned foes, but it might not even be a game! The Heat could win by 30! It all comes back to the cardinal rule of pro sports, which is simply, If you have the most unstoppable player in the game, don’t trade him …
Someday it’s going to come out. The Broncos were told that if they played like garbage over the final two months of the season, North Korea wouldn’t decimate our continent with nuclear missiles. Seriously, there has to be an explanation, and this must be it. Jake Plummer (2 TDs, 9 INTs the past four games) and the rest of the Broncos aren’t goats, they’re heroes! …Lost amid the Cinderella stories that are the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Diego Chargers this season is the sensational turnaround enjoyed by the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons, you’ll remember, finished 5-11 last season. This year they’re 11-3 and considered a Super Bowl contender now that Philadelphia lost its shining star, Terrell Owens, to injury on Sunday. There is a reason for Atlanta’s relatively anonymous rise, however, and his name is Michael Vick. That’s why nobody’s surprised. Vick was injured almost all of last year, and so the Falcons fizzled. Even though he hasn’t put up fantasy-lover stats this year, he’s led his team to wins. If ever there were a time to shun individual statistics as a determinant for MVP, and focus more on sheer win-loss numbers, perhaps this is it.
And yes, I know that Drew Brees and Peyton Manning have done both – put up stats and win games – I just think winning games without the gaudy stats brings a more unique, mysterious element to the argument of superior value. Vick has done that …Can I get a TO for T.O.? Being more injury prone than anyone I know, I’d never wish bad health on anyone. But since Terrell Owens’ leg already is broken and his ankle already sprained, it seems OK to point out the poetic justice in the situation. Owens, you’ll recall, basically vetoed a trade last offseason that would have sent him to Baltimore, because he wanted to play with Donovan McNabb and the Eagles. So he whined his way to Philadelphia, and everything was going according to plan – the Super Bowl seemed a probability. Then came Sunday, and now Owens is out for the year. Again, no laughing in the face of an injured and disappointed human being, but it’s nice to know that karma still reigns …
In parting, I wonder what life on the slopes would be like if skiers and snowboarders wore state identification plates, like license plates on a car. I have a feeling I’d be keeping an eye out for the same state names that I do when I’m driving.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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