Recent Comments by naturalpro

Colt McCoy's Dad Rips Browns for Playing Him After Hit

Brad McKoy is a very highly respected football coach in the State of Texas. Yes, he's a father -- but he's not "just a father" fighting his son's battles. This man knows what he is talking about. Though not a doctor that specializes in head trauma, he's got the credibility to speak up.

His decision to voice his concern publicly, certainly given the heightened concern in the NFL and NHL regarding head trauma/brain injuries, etc., is probably another good wake up call to commissioners of leagues and conferences, presidents and principals of schools, as well as officials and others in decision making capacity that this is a critical topic that needs further action and careful control before more young people are sacrificed, handicapped or killed in the name of toughness, money, guts and glory.

I'm all for being tough, but being tough at the risk of losing your livelihood or life, in my opinion, isn't worth the price.

And rcade, I usually agree with and appreciate your comments and insight on most topics, but Brad McKoy is a long ways from being a "stage mother", and Colt McKoy surely doesn't need his father fighting his battles -- he can do quite well on his own.

posted by naturalpro at 06:50 PM on December 10

Cowboys Fans Fill Candlestick Park

I spoke with a few people who were at the game and they said there was a solid one-third of Cowboy fans at the stadium. That's incredible. Turn it around, I just couldn't imagine a solid one-third of 49 er fans filling up Texas Stadium.

On a similar note, this past Saturday, I was at the Rose Bowl watching UCLA play Texas -- and virtually the same thing was happening there.

I almost couldn't believe that nearly one-third of the stadium was Longhorn fans. When I was walking up through the vast golf course-like grass parking area, there were tens of thousands of burnt orange clad fans. I even over heard a Texas fan talking on his cell phone saying that he felt like he was at a "home" game!

Seems those Texas fans are unbelievably passionate and supportive of their teams.

I don't know if Dallas is really "America's Team", but I did hear a statistic last night on NFL radio that the Dallas Cowboys are the most valuable sports franchise in the world -- ahead of the New York Yankees -- and that their merchandise sales are No. 1.

Dallas sure hasn't won much of anything lately, but for some reason the fans around the USA and world just love those Texas teams -- the University of Texas is also No. 1 in merchandise sales as well. Go figure . . .

posted by naturalpro at 04:21 PM on September 19

Heat Beat Lakers on Christmas Day

Sometimes, you get what you deserve.

Sure, the Lakers have big talent up and down their roster, but as most any sports fan knows -- if you don't focus, hustle and give effort on every possession, and if your shots aren't falling -- then you're gonna get your butt whipped.

Personally, and I probably speak for alot of folks, the Lakers have brought their pain upon themselves -- and deserve nothing less than the suffering that surrounds them now.

When I observe the Chicago Bulls, the Oklahoma City Thunder, the LA Clippers, the New Jersey Nets, the Memphis Grizzlies, the Utah Jazz, the Mavs and the Spurs -- just about all of the present NBA -- those teams BRING IT every night. Those guys hustle and give effort on every possession.

The Lakers seem to sleep walk through alot of their games, or a good portion of most of their games.

That Andrew Bynum fella is a huge underachiever. If he just upped his effort to around a 50% level, he'd be a force. Yes, he's been injured (seems he always injured . . .), but nevertheless, that guy just doesn't have the drive and the passion it takes to be great. For whatever reason, its just not there.

And Pau Gasol, he seems totally lost in the low post as of late. And Ron Artest -- it seems his best is behind him. Only Derrick Fisher hustles, but at his age (though he's in tremendous shape), he just can't run for near 40 minutes a night any more.

Oh yes, that Kobe Bryant guy, yeah he gives effort, but when he strays away from playing a team game, all his hustle still usually adds up to a loss for the Lakers (just check the record -- big point totals don't mean big wins).

Overall, the Lakers don't play as a team and have little or no cohesion.

The San Antonio Spurs bring it every night -- and they're winning without probably half the talent as the Lakers. Perhaps some of the Lakers have some off the court/personal issues that the public isn't aware of. With their inconsistency, it makes you wonder.

Something is very wrong with that group which should winning at least 85 - 90% of the time.

The Laker Haters are rejoicing -- and for good reason: The Lakers are getting what they deserve. Each of those players are professionals being paid massive sums of money -- though they are allowed to be unfocused and give "effort" that doesn't come close to matching their salaries.

Watching the heart and hustle by teams like the Golden State Warriors and the LA Clippers makes a fan appreciate the players and all the good that comes their way. If the Lakers played like those teams, they'd be near impossible to beat -- but it won't happen because the don't bring it.

And by the way, I'm a Houston Rockets fan.

posted by naturalpro at 01:10 AM on December 27

Chapman Throws Fastest Pitch Ever Recorded

Seems young Aroldis has thrown the ultimate "Radio Ball!"

You can HEAR it -- but you can't SEE it!

posted by naturalpro at 01:42 PM on September 28

Alabama Rolls to BCS Title Over Texas

After reading the posts to this point, I'm bit surprised that the biggest issue -- the major key of all -- hasn't been expanded upon.

If there was ever a clearer example of Leadership (or leadership lost), and its effect upon an outcome of a game, I don't recall seeing one in recent history so extreme like what I saw last night in the BCS Championship game.

I have no ties to either the Tide or Texas just a fan of football that desired to see a competitive football contest. However, when, on the fifth play of the game, Texas' leader, their heart and soul commander went down -- it demonstrated perhaps the clearest example of how important leadership is to a team (or an army, a corporation, etc.).

Texas just didn't lose just any player, they lost "Colt McCoy" -- the winningest quarterback in the entire history of college football. Yes, other people need to "step up" and be leaders in the moment (and the true freshman quarterback finally somewhat composed himself), but how could anyone even ever come close to replacing such a supreme leader.

I'll say this; if Alabama had lost any one of their key players -- even their fine and intelligent quarterback or even their Heisman Trophy winning running back Mark Ingram, or their defensive leader Rolando McClain -- they wouldn't have skipped too many beats. Their second quarterback is seasoned and their second (and third) running backs are outstanding. Rolando McClain is for sure a force, but the Tide defense would by no means have lost their compass, lost their direction and fallen apart. The extreme degree to which Colt McCoy was counted upon to lead his team renders his presence irreplaceable. The entire balance of the team, offensively AND even defensively was shaken at its core.

To their credit, they pulled together as best they could and mounted a comeback against mighty odds (and a heckuva lot of crazy bad breaks and unfortunate calls, which we say is "just a part of football") -- and almost pulled off a comeback for the ages, but they fell short. Yes, it would have been better if Garrett Gilbert had been afforded more snaps during the season, but most any team seems to go with their starting quarterback till very late in games. (And it didn't help Texas' cause that that big receiver Malcolm Williams dropped a for sure touchdown pass just as he entered the end zone).

Certainly, Bama fought hard the whole way through, too, so they deserve a lot of credit as well. But it seems that a hard fought victory should be won against the best your opponent can bring against you.

When that Texas team lost Colt McCoy, we saw not only a game changer, we also most probably saw a shift in history being written as well as what true leadership means to becoming a champion or not one.

posted by naturalpro at 03:14 PM on January 08

Cowboys Spoil Saints' Perfect Season

Granted, New Orleans is a good bunch, but they've been living on borrowed time for a while now. They ran into a Dallas team that finally lived up to its capabilities and basically took care of business -- except for their kicker who evidently has some mental struggles.

If Dallas performs like they're able, they should win out, and give anybody a run for their money in the playoffs. Of course, Dallas seems to always have a big problem playing up to their abilities and may stumble once again.

posted by naturalpro at 03:01 AM on December 20

'Horns squeeze into BSC title game with close victory over the Huskers

Up in New Hampshire, we don't have much to get excited about with regard to any of our football teams. So, I've taken a good look this season and watched all of Florida's, Alabama's, Texas', Cincinnati's, TCU's, LSU's, USC's and most of Boise States and many others.

From what I saw Saturday night with the Texas team, they ran up against a well coached and fired up Nebraska bunch that pretty much played over its head. Yes, they're a solid group that played with a lot of passion and they've got the Big Suh -- who is totally tremendous --, but it seems that the Texas team never got in sync.

Certainly, Nebraska was disruptive, but they weren't nearly as disruptive in any other game throughout the season. They did put a whippin' on Oklahoma, but with Oklahoma, you never knew who would show up on any given Saturday. Excellent one game, terrible the next.

One of Texas' strengths was clearly their weakness on Saturday night. Their Offensive line is solid and battle proven, but as a group, they just didn't perform -- and they made Nebraska look like world beaters. If Nebraska had played like that throughout the season, they'd be ranked no less than in the Top 10 -- even with their limited offense. But if I recall, Iowa State put a hurtin' on 'em. Yes, Iowa State. (Or maybe Nebraska just didn't "have it" that day)

As most of us know, there are times when good teams for whatever reason, just don't "have it" on a particular day. Matter of fact, Florida seemed to have had a similar problem on Saturday, too. For sure, Alabama is a very, very fine and balanced team (and much better than last years team), but I can't see how anyone would be surprised if the final score would have ended up up flipped around in Florida's favor. We'd be saying Florida just did their thing against a very formidable opponent. Florida just didn't have it, and just couldn't get in sync -- and Alabama is good enough to put the hammer down if given the chance. (And Mc Elroy had a incredible "career day" on the perfect day)

Seems the same for Texas, they just couldn't get untracked. Should have been a good game with Texas winning fairly easily 27 -- 10 or thereabouts.

Now as for the National Championship, that should be one heckuva game. Texas matches up quite well with Alabama -- and I'm sure Texas is quite happy not to have Tebow and company to cope with.

Everybody's going to have their opinion, but I'd say that game is going to be one of those "last man standing" kind of classic battles -- an absolutely intense fight by young men that could be remembered as a great one -- as they'll be some great players on the field that could provide some instant classic moments.

It appears that Texas is (and should be) the underdog. But I wouldn't be surprised if Texas lands the last hay-maker and wins by a knockout at the end of the last round.

posted by naturalpro at 04:57 PM on December 07

Marion Jones looking for comeback in WNBA

Second chances are a large part of life for most of us all.

And, Marion Jones may be 34 years of age -- but she for sure is not "old." At 5' 10" 1/2 and 152 pounds, she is still youthful, ripped and ready. Let's don't forget, this woman is "World Class." In Track & Field, she has primarily been running forward (as opposed to the sharp cutting and jumping of basketball movements), and for the most past, was never seriously injured. Since she hasn't been playing basketball (in which she is quite capable of playing at the highest level), her legs/knees, etc., haven't been worn and torn down.

As a collegian, her basketball skill level was phenomenal. Its certainly not too late for her to hone those skills quite sharply once again. And quite importantly -- she is a competitor. She knows what's before her in this endeavor, and she's in it to win it. She's performed at the highest of stages, and she understands what few do: What it takes to be a Champion.

Yes, she cheated -- but sincere contrition and paying her debt to society also offer her the chance for redemption, renewal, and a life she can now lead as an example to others who have fallen and now risen with grace and dignity.

My life hasn't been anything close to perfect, and I certainly won't be casting even the smallest stone in her direction.

posted by naturalpro at 06:13 PM on December 01

Renee Richards Questions Caster Semenya's Eligibility to Compete

Drood, if you would choose to view the issue of Castor Semenya in manner that's no so gruff and simplistic, you might see that the larger overriding issue that has been taken up by the authorized Sports governing bodies is quite well founded.

This is much more than merely sour grapes by other competitors.

Its an issue of fundamental athletic fairness, and it must be addressed sooner or later.

Additionally, I've reread my previous posts, and I don't believe any objective observer would believe in any way that any comments written could be construed as "whining".

To the contrary, I believe they are balanced, objective, and discuss the issues as they have been presented before us.

Perhaps if you actually care to have a reasonable discussion on this board's topic of Castor Semenya, you could take a bit of time to view all of the previous posts.

If you just choose to have a closed opinion, talk tough and swear -- it'll be very hard to have the vast body of people respect you (here or anywhere) and pay any attention to your point of view.

Having been an All-Conference college football linebacker and sprinter (and other sports), and a successful businessman in competitive world, I know quite well a thing or two about toughness, as well as keeping my head about me in challenging and uncomfortable circumstances, or with people in which I may not agree.

Like all of us, you have a right to your opinion. However, most times whether it makes any difference or matters to anyone other than yourself depends on how you express it. Perhaps a little more living of life may show this to you, or perhaps not.

posted by naturalpro at 03:12 AM on August 28

Renee Richards Questions Caster Semenya's Eligibility to Compete

To "Drood":

Certainly, the manner in which young Castor has been "treated" by the media, the IAAF and other sports bodies and journalists has been quite less than exemplary -- although I wouldn't go quite so far as to say she has been "condemned'. Their handling of the whole situation began poorly and only got worse as they attempted to put a better spin on it.

However, the very valid issue/question of Castor being acceptable, or not, for athletic competition against women is one that clearly must be addressed.

Her competitors essentially cried out for it. She was different --- make that Super Different --- awfully fast in the span of less than one year as compared to her previous best times.

For sure, its a very tough situation -- especially for Castor Semenya, however, let's hope that a much better methodology for handling such issues as hers can be established so that a circumstance such as this won't even have the opportunity to get so negative and hurtful in the future.

posted by naturalpro at 12:55 AM on August 28

Renee Richards Questions Caster Semenya's Eligibility to Compete

Hi Weedy, nice to see your comments.

I'm not so certain it's my next move, though it's certainly the move of those who will adjudicate this issue before them.

As to your comment that "We've never seen this before", well, that may be accurate with respect to the available science of a decade or two (or three) ago, which didn't allow for precise genetic testing and such.

However, there have been numerous "women" in the not so distant past (the Press Sisters of the USSR seem to come to mind) that surely possessed a dominance of "male characteristics" -- but the archaic science available at the time did not allow for an accurate assessment of their gender classification as it relates to athletic competition.

Also, back in 1984-5 I had occasion to meet the World Record Holder in the Women's 800 M -- yes, that "woman" Jarmila Kratochvlov. She was running at the old UCLA Pepsi Track & Field Meets in Los Angeles. Speaking with her standing no more than perhaps two feet from her she wasn't anything that resembled just a superior athletic female. This woman could have been running in the backfield for the UCLA Bruins! She was POWERFUL. Actually, so muscular that one might believe she was too muscle bound to run at such speeds for distances of 400 and 800 meters

Yes, I know there's a great likelihood she was seriously on "the juice", so her situation is not that as of Castor Semenya's at least we don't think just as yet but it's a bit hard to fathom that Jarmila did not inherently possess some major male characteristics to begin with. But, without proper testing protocols (drug or genetic testing) to even launch a case for investigation, she was off and running much faster than her competition.

However, the science of today may certainly provide those of testing authority to establish protocols (along with current protocols) to make a valid determination as to how to "classify" one's gender for purposes of athletic competition.

I'm as interested as anyone to see how this all pans out. ALSO, a quik note to "drned" regarding the great Babe Didrikson -- she was a fine physical specimen, not so terribly feminine -- but she wasn't even close to the "female" athletes under discussion. She would get blown away in a speed and power competition test of any design if she were alive today.

The Great Babe was phenomenally skilled at numerous sports -- but she was an absolutely skilled and talented (and mentally tough) sportswoman athlete. Her achievements weren't due to great physical/genetic dominance, but of a natural God given talent that she refined through many, many years of hard work and determination.

She was a rightly proud Texas girl who didn't like losing to anyone -- male or female.

posted by naturalpro at 12:00 AM on August 28

Renee Richards Questions Caster Semenya's Eligibility to Compete

Atheist -- its fine that you've clarified your point -- but again, that's just how you "feel" -- which won't have any effect upon how this "case" will ultimately be determined.

You see, Castor's plumbing may very well show "she" is a female, but because it may be determined that she naturally has an exceedingly high degree of "male characteristics" (i.e., testosterone, other hormones, genetic traits, etc. as determined by those in authority to do so), she will not be "classified" as female with the right to compete against females.

If this turns out to be the case, its certainly not Castor's fault (she seems quite nice and the outcry of support on her behalf is quite noble), buts its just the way it'll be.

Remember, the overriding issue is competitive fairness, and those in authority will make their most measured decision in the best interests to all competitors.

posted by naturalpro at 07:48 PM on August 27

Renee Richards Questions Caster Semenya's Eligibility to Compete

Whether or not we would like to accept it or agree with it, those in the capacity of authority (sanctioning bodies and associated scientists, specialists and laboratories) will utilize the accepted standards to render their determination as to Castor Semenya's gender classification and right to compete against females.

Since the "accepted standards" (the "law' if you will) of medical/scientific classification of one's gender is now more than ever being observed by so many in the world, those who will be rendering their "decision/ruling" are no doubt taking their time and measuring every aspect of this "case".

Now, due to this controversy, perhaps we could end up having "new" law (accepted standards) created as it relates to determining the issue(s) before the "court" of jurisdiction (those empowered to decide this case).

We can all apply conjecture as to what we think, feel, "believe", want, feel is "right" or whatever -- but the bottom line will be the Central Issue that has been noted above in my two earlier posts.

People -- that's the law, unless however those empowered to decide elect to create new standards of determination to more effectively arrive at an equitable solution to this not so simple "just check the plumbing" issue.

posted by naturalpro at 05:01 PM on August 27

Renee Richards Questions Caster Semenya's Eligibility to Compete

After reading the 2:39 post by Atheist, it's once again clear that the central issue is still being missed.

I understand the points you are trying to make -- but if Castor's body is "naturally" producing a degree/amount of testosterone or whatever other substances or male characteristics that are scientifically determined to be beyond the realm of a female -- then she is simply not a female.

Yes, "people are what they are, for what ever reason, genetic, hormonal, nutritional, environmental, or cultural" -- but if those people are appropriately determined by recognized/accepted science as being of not the same gender as their competitors -- then the sports sanctioning bodies must step in to halt the decidedly unfair competitive advantage.

You see, there is also an overriding issue of fairness to all competitors that must be considered -- and this is clearly why this entire issue came about.

Its understandable that this is not a simple/easy determination to be made by the appropriate authorities/scientists -- although we can be fairly sure that those making this determination are being closely scrutinized and their medical findings will be viewed under intense magnification.

Ultimately, this could be a very important test case for future similar issues of gender classification as it relates to competition in sport.

BTW, the point you make regarding the Chinese basketball player is a non-issue. Since the player is unquestionably a male, his pituitary/genetic condition is irrelevant to the central issue. He is a male competing against other males -- he just happens to be a genetically advantaged/superior male athlete with regard to his height.

posted by naturalpro at 03:46 PM on August 27

Renee Richards Questions Caster Semenya's Eligibility to Compete

It seems that you guys are missing the central issue: Whether or not she can be defined as a "woman/female" as defined/determined by a panel of multiple medical specialists utilizing numerous scientifically accepted standards/criteria.

If Castor possesses a greater degree of "male characteristics" (not just being "naturally genetically superior/advantaged" with regard to being a female athlete), then she clearly will not be a female competing against females. Case in point: Allison Felix is very, very fast -- as in 10.93, 21.88. 48.00 FAST -- but, she is without a shadow of a doubt a Female.

Case in point: Lisa Leslie is quite tall and an incredible athlete -- but she is definitely a Female.

Both Allison and Lisa are "naturally genetically superior/advantaged" -- but, they are both females competing against females -- which may not be the case for Castor Semenya.

Those in the IAAF and/or other authorized sports bodies are zeroing in on this central issue -- not the other peripheral points that have been made so far on this board.

Also, I want to note that I personally, at this juncture, believe young Castor is a Female -- that just happens to be a helluva runner. Matter of fact, somewhat brings to mind a person by the name of Maria Mutola -- herself one helluva 800 meter runner.

posted by naturalpro at 01:48 PM on August 27

Giants down Cowboys 21-17:

I've never been a Cowboy fan, nor a NY Football Giant fan -- hence, I had no emotional stake in the outcome of their contest. Just from a pure football playing standpoint, it seemed fairly clear that the Cowboy team squandered nurmerous opportunities to gain momentum (dropped passes, etc) and score clear touchdowns. Their penchant for committing penalties also destroyed their chances. Additionally, allowing the Giants to score so quickly at the end of the first half was pathetic on their part. The Cowboys are probably the better team, but there's no way they deserved to win. Those pokes apparently need to learn some lessons -- and they'll get a long off season to realize and apply them. The Giants put pressure on Romo and kept battling, and you've got to hand it to them for hanging on at the end. They were less than sensational, however, it just seemed that they were destined to win and the Cowboy team certainly obliged the football gods by self-destructing. Now, we get to see what destiny holds for the Packers in the venerable "Frozen Tundra" of Lambeau Field. Brett Favre has got to be a nostalgic favorite to longtime football fans to make it to the Super Bowl, and I'm sure the networks will definitely be pulling for the Packers. I'd like to see the Giants knock them off, although it would seem their football destiny probably ended today -- but again -- that's why they play the game.

posted by naturalpro at 11:57 PM on January 13

Rutgers upsets Louisville

btw - My guess is an Ohio State/Texas rematch for the title. Tell you what "bdaddy" -- you may very well be precisely right. If Texas runs the table on their remaining games, and wins impressively, Florida and Auburn probably don't have a chance no matter what they do. If Texas wins this weekend v. K-State, the Harris Poll will move them into third. They'll be positioned to smooth into second after Ohio State v. Michigan. Heck, the networks and advertisers would surely want an Ohio State - Texas rematch. Florida or Auburn would be OK, but in the build-up to the national title game, neither of them would arouse as much interest in the nation as a whole. Additionally, that Colt Mc Coy kid has got a great name, but even better, he's got the game to back it up. Granted, he had a lackluster start against The Ohio State University way back on Sept. 9th -- but that was a long time ago. He's the real deal -- and he seems to get better each week. He's tough, smart, athletic and has that incredible intangible -- he's a born leader. By the way, the game played by Rutgers was one of the most inspirational efforts by a group of young men that were undersized underdogs I have ever seen. My God they fought one helluva fight on a night they were not going to be denied victory. There's no question anymore, they have the unquestioned respect of the nation -- with a bigtime capital R.

posted by naturalpro at 02:32 PM on November 10