Many have wondered if the fans would come back after a lengthy and sometimes messy lockout. When the overnight ratings for the Christmas Day games came in earlier today, I think we got our answer…everyone just wants to watch some good basketball. The games averaged 6.2 million viewers, which is up from 6 million last year. According to the Associated Press, the Bulls-Lakers game was the third most watched regular season game in ABC history, and the Celtics-Knicks game on TNT that led off the coverage was up 48 percent over the same time slot last year (Bulls vs. Knicks on ESPN). The NBA has as much if not more talent than any other era in the history of the game. The story lines are compelling and the coverage of the games are second to none (except for when we have to listen to Jeff Van Gundy of course). With the packed season we’re going to have games available to us just about every night of the week….perfect timing now that we can’t watch MAC football games on Tuesday night anymore.
We all woke up yesterday morning to the phenomenal news that the NBA Lockout was soon to be over. The owners and players have agreed to a new 10-year deal in principle. The deal still needs to be ratified by both sides, and some other secondary issues still need to be decided upon (i.e. drug testing, minimum age to enter draft, etc). Throughout the day I was following the fan response on Facebook and Twitter and was shocked to see the animosity that so many had for the NBA. “I don’t care if the Lockout is over. All the players are overpaid anyway. It’s going to take a long time for them to get me back watching games.” (Note: The idea that players are overpaid is absurd. The market sets their value based off of what you and I are willing to pay to watch their games either on TV or in the stadium. As long as we keep showing up and paying what we do…the players will continue to make the same amount. I believe the phrase is, “don’t hate the player, hate the game.”) Do you remember this kind of angst towards the NFL players when the Lockout was finally ended? I don’t, and I frankly don’t understand why people are so upset at the NBA for this. Sure, the Lockout lasted a few weeks longer, and the debate was a bit more contentious, but was it really that much different? I would have loved it if they would have wrapped it up sooner, but let’s be honest, none of us were going to start watching until Christmas anyway….
I think it might be because it’s a full-on train wreck happening right before our eyes. The two sides continue to go back and forth on topics that they seem miles apart on. Now, supposedly the NBPA has given Derek Fisher the go-ahead to accept the 50/50 basketball related income split, but only if they can have some new concessions with the mid-level exception and other “system” issues. I don’t know if the players aren’t paying attention or what, but rumor has it that as many as 13 owners are willing to cancel the full season today to make sure they get the best deal. I doubt that almost 50% of the players are willing to take a similar stance to get what they want out of this deal. Billionaires beat millionaires 100 times out of 100. I think the owners have put out the best possible deal for the players at this point. If I’m Derek Fisher, I’m pushing the NBPA to take this thing and run….immediately.
The college football landscape is about as good as it has ever been. LSU v. Alabama (seriously, if you were being recruited by these two schools….would you honestly pick to play for Saban over Les Miles?) with dozens of possible variations for the National Championship soon to be decided by the likes of Oklahoma State, Stanford, Oregon, and maybe Boise State (fat chance).
The NFL has somehow found a way to match the excitement of college football and is making me not miss my beloved NBA (did you hear that David Stern?!?! I don’t need you!!!). I give my predictions for each division champion, wild card teams, and I absolutely pay homage to maybe the most unbelievable athlete body in the history of human athletes….Terrell Owens.
I think I’m having deja vu. If you have watched the University of Utah football team play the last two weeks, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
You’ve got to give Tim Tebow the ball at this point. The 49ers and Lions are for real. The Packers are without question the best team in the league, but don’t go to sleep on the Saints just yet.
The NBA is in shambles. Owners have been overpaying players for years…so the players are being overpaid. Watching Stern and D. Fisher talk about the status of the talks last night made me physically ill.
Tiger Woods will dominate the sport of golf again. There is nothing I am more sure of.
Tiger Woods should be on the U.S. Presidents Cup team and anyone that says otherwise is talking crazy. Michael Vick is going to struggle on and off this year. Arian Foster will see a 25-30% decline in production. Terrelle Pryor will never be the starting quarterback of an NFL team. Tim Tebow may not be the Broncos quarterback right now, but they at least need to get him on the field to impact the game. The NCAA needs to clean up this mess and they need to do it fast. The NBA owners and players association need to lock themselves in a room for two weeks and sort out their differences before we start missing games after having maybe the most successful season in the history of the sport. ….man, I needed to get all of that off of my chest…enjoy the show!
We knew D. Will was upset when he got shipped to one of the (currently) worst franchises in pro sports (I was in the building when I watched the Nets go to 3OT with the Thunder last season….it honestly felt like they were purposely trying to give the game away), but is the talk about playing in Turkey this next season for real? Is this a sneaky plan by the NBA Players Association to put more pressure on the owners? And how in the world did we get talking baseball on the show?! It happened people. I couldn’t resist talking about Derek Jeter and his chase for hit number 3,000 not to mention the joke that is C.C. Sabbathia not being selected to the AL All-Star team. Huge thank you to ESPN700’s Ryan Bailey for taking the time to jive some sports on the show. He’s not a jive turkey, but he did issue a personal invitation to the entire Swedish Women’s soccer team….you’re probably not going to want to miss it.