So, for your viewing pleasure I have provided you with a compilation of the best ever John McEnroe freak outs. Enjoy!
On January 21st in sports history, John McEnroe was disqualified from the 1990 Australian Open for tournament misconduct. McEnroe had repeatedly verbally assaulted officials and smashed rackets. He was the first player to get tossed from a Gand Slam tournament since the Spaniard, Willie Alvarez was disqualified from the 1963 French Open.
So, for your viewing pleasure I have provided you with a compilation of the best ever John McEnroe freak outs. Enjoy!
Last night, The Lakers Nick 'Swaggy P' Young dropped 31 against the Bulls - the first time this season a Laker had 30+ points. This leaves the Denver Nuggets as the only remaining team in the NBA without a 30+ point scorer this season.
On January 16, 1993 an EPIC basketball game occurred between the Orlando Magic and the Chicago Bulls in the United Center. Something was in the water that night, as the G.O.A.T. Michael Jordan scored 64 and a young, frail Shaquille O'Neal went for 29 points and 24 boards. It was the second highest single game scoring performance of Jordan's career. Despite Jordan's ridiculously dominant performance from all over the floor, the original Superman had a bigger impact in the game. Shaq' dropped 29, adding 6 blocks and 24 rebounds. The Bulls had no one to stop the monster that was The Big Shaqtus and the Orlando Magic. Orland would win the game 128 - 124.
The calendar year of 2013 was not kind to New York Sports. Statistically, the combined winning percentage of all the local teams for the 2013 calendar year was the worst since 1966. Nineteen Sixty Six! There are nine local NY sports teams- The Giants, Jets, Mets, Yankees, Knicks, Nets, Rangers, Islanders, and Devils (yes...the Devils are considered a NY Metropolitan team). Three of the four teams that concluded their season's in 2013 finished with a sub 500 winning percentage. It was truly an unacceptable year in the eyes of millions.
The Mets, Yankees, Giants, and Jets season's all ended without playoff berths. Both the Giants and Jets had decently high hopes entering the year, but each missed the NFL playoffs for the 2nd consecutive season. Despite the Giants going 7-3 in their last 10 games, they finished 7-9 overall because of their AWFUL 0-6 start. They are now stuck in draft limbo with the 12th pick. The Patriots nearly owned the NFL this year, so the Jets needed a Wild Card berth to get into the playoffs. They however, finished their last 7 games with a record of 3-4, totaling 8-8 on the year. Not good enough. Both head coaches will be back next year and sitting on the steaming New York hot seat.
For the Yankees, it was only the second time in 19 years that they missed the postseason! The Yanks have been the only local NY team so far to complete their season above .500 (85-77). But, they finished 3rd in the American League East standings. Seems like a decently successful season for the Yanks, right? Wrong. Ask any Yankee fan about their expectations for the squad, and they'll say World Series or bust. In Queens, the Mets finished with an average record of 74-88, missing the postseason for a 5th year in a row. Ouch Met fans, very ouch. Like every year, they have high hopes coming into the next season, but always seem to fall short. "Same old Mets."
The Knicks, Nets, Rangers, Islanders, and Devils all began their seasons around Thanksgiving, but will not finish until the Spring/Summer of 2014. Despite that, all five teams played enough games in the 2013 calendar year to have a strong impact on the local NY winning percentage. The Knicks finished 2013 with a record of 9-21. Pathetic. They were the second seed in the East just a year ago! Likewise, the Nets had high aspirations, but finished only one game above the Knicks, 10-21. The Islanders seemed like they could have a promising year, but...13-21-7. Mediocre. The Rangers and Devils were the only in-season teams to finish 2013 above .500 (20-19-2 and 17-15-9, respectively.)
So yeah, it was a bad year. A record setting bad year.
But that doesn't mean that 2014 has to end up the same way, right? The new year has been quite generous for the in-season teams, as everyone of them are above .500 on the year. The Knicks are 6-2 and the Nets are 5-1. Both are playing great basketball right now. In the calendar year so far, the Knicks have beaten the Heat, Mavericks, Spurs, and Suns. All above .500 teams. The Nets have been on a tare, having just lost their first game of 2014 this past Saturday. During their 5-1 stretch, they've taken down the Thunder, Warriors, and Heat. All championship caliber teams.
As for hockey, The Rangers are 4-2-1, Islanders are 5-2, and the Devils 3-2-2. They're playing some great hockey, notably the Isles and Rags. Both the Islanders and Rangers took out the Chicago Blackhawks recently, the odds on Stanley Cup favorite. The Rangers did lose a close one to Colombus in a shoot out. But they're finding their grove. The Devils have been steadily plugging along, grinding out close wins over the Canadiens, Panthers, and Stars. They also lost two close ones in OT/SO's to Toronto and Philadelphia which could have easily been W's.
So despite the horrid year that was 2013 for local New York sports franchises, 2014 doesn't look so bad. The Knicks and Nets will most likely qualify for the postseason, as a few sub .500 teams will get in from the East. They're both currently one game out of 8th place. As of today, the Rangers hold a playoff spot, but the season is far from over. The Devils are not too far behind, but the Islanders do need work. Both the Yankees and Mets have signed notable free agents- Carlos Beltran, Brian McCan, Jacoby Ellsbury for the Yanks and Curtis Granderson and Chris Young for the Mets. We'll have to see what the Giants and Jets do come draft day to try and gauge where they'll be next season. In my eyes, there's no reason not to believe that 2014 can be a great one for New York.
This past year, Christano Rinaldo of Real Madrid had more games played with 2 or more goals than he did games played with 0 goals. This statistic was crucial in FIFA's recent decision to name him the 2013 Ballon d'Or (soccer's MVP) winner.
On January 14th in sports history, the Miami Dolphins defeated the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl VIII, 24 - 7 in 1974. The victory concluded the '73 Dolphin's undefeated season, which has yet to be accomplished again by any other team in NFL history. Fullback Larry Csonka rushed for 145 yards on 33 carries with 2 touchdowns to take home the Super Bowl MVP trophy.
In 1963, Detroit Eastern High School gave the NBA a 7’0″ behemoth of a man named Reggie Harding. Reggie was the first player to forego his collegiate eligibility and get drafted into the National Basketball Association, right out of high school. Reggie Harding was an opportunist who ‘seized his day.’
Fast forward to 2003 and you’d be hard pressed to find anyone under the age of 60 who would recognize the name Reggie Harding. The great state of Ohio would soon bring us arguably the greatest basketball player this world has ever seen, LeBron James. In 2003 LeBron, an 18-year-old kid, signed a 1 million dollar endorsement deal with Nike and too forgave his collegiate eligibility to enter into the NBA draft. Imagine being the kid in your high school who signed a million dollar shoe deal, yet still has to change for gym class…awkward. Being drafted with the first overall pick, this 18 year old athletic specimen signed a 3-year $12,961,080 deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Lucky Kid.
Soon after, the NBA and the NBA Player’s Association decided that beginning in 2006, prospective players would have to be one year removed from high school to declare for the draft. Good thing for LeBron, cause he would have never seen that money if he had to wait another year to enter the league (he said in a sarcastic tone). So all the ‘would be’ professional basketball players now have to go to college for at least one year (or play professionally in another country…or just sit on the couch and wait a year) before they could enter the draft. Commence, the ‘one-and-done’ era.
College is a grind. It’s a long process of mental and physical evolution. It turns children into adults. But most importantly, it grants us the opportunity to better ourselves as people. College is like the preseason. You feel out all your weaknesses and get the kinks out, in preparation for the game. As Herman Edwards once said, "You play to win the game." The game, is a career, and college helps you develop a successful one. The same metaphor defines collegiate basketball.
Players are now being recruited on a yearly basis, as the best ones are shoe-ins for the NBA. The game has changed. Graduation rates are no longer the emphasis of conversation from coaches to parents. ‘How quickly can you get my son paid?’…asked mom. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with someone maximizing their potential for a monetary gain. Except, when the actions taken to do so are impeding so negatively on others, that it changes the landscape of an entire culture.
Gone are the days where one could say, ‘we saw him develop before our eyes.’ No longer can people recognize college basketball players by their number, as that number gets passed along like a hot potato. These one-and-dones are taking up scholarship space for the kids who, dare I say, may want to get a college degree, while simultaneously growing as basketball players. Year to year, college basketball lacks a steady face, leaving the country guessing as to which kid is the next proclaimed phenom.
It's obviously not Bron's fault that the league decided to impose the restriction. He had no control over the decision. But the possibility of having more LeBrons, running around high school gyms signing Nike deals was scary for the NBA; young superstars that aren't old enough to legally order a Rum and Coke at Fridays. The league was protecting its own interests. David Stern did not realize, the decision would hurt the leagues value. It's straining its own farm system. The game has changed.
Between 1995-2005, 39 kids were drafted from high school; 30 of them never participating in a single All-Star game. 2 of them, never stepped foot on an NBA court. The rule forced kids who thought 'taking the money' was a better route, to now impede on the kid who thought 'student-athlete.'
Football, Basketball, Baseball, Hockey, Tennis, Boxing- all major professional sports throughout the world. Each sport listed is highly different from the next; some are played on grass, some played on ice. Some are played with multiple referees, others with one guy who may sit in a really high chair. Some of these games are played with dozens of teammates, others one-on-one. Some of them are only played by men, others unisex. However, there is in fact one key systematic trait needed to posses in order to succeed at all of these sports- having above average footwork.
Any coach will tell you that footwork is the key to giving your game the opportunity to succeed. Discipline with your feet leads to discipline with your mind. Once you have firm confidence in what you’re supposed to do with your body, it becomes second nature. You can simply focus on the ball hit towards you, the fist coming at your face, or the line of pursuit needed to track down an opponent, and react. Some American’s may not be aware, but there is in fact a game played by people that is entirely based off of footwork- soccer. The game of soccer is one of elegance. Key footwork is really all you need to play the game (at a young level). Learn successful body control as a child, and it can be translated into any other sport you want to participate in.
Try pulling off a turn-around 180 degree step-back-fade-away jump shot over a man a foot taller than you, without the right footwork (HINT: it wont work). What about literally escaping punches from a man in a cage who is faster, stronger, and has a higher level of cardiac endurance than you do. Think footwork doesn’t matter there? Think again. An offensive guard that needs to pull around 3 or 4 other 300+ lb. men and kick out a corner needs to have superb footwork, or he’ll get trampled. A second basemen trying to turn a double play has no room for error, as one small step in the wrong direction will botch the entire play.
Children who grow up playing soccer will end up as far better, well rounded athletes than say the 7 year-old kid who signed up for pee wee football. Kids who are products of soccer will be able to make decisions on their feet quickly (pun intended). He or she will stand lighter on their toes. They’ll have a strong idea of how to run and compete with a low center of gravity. These soccer bodies will contain above average cardiac endurance. The kids will also want to do the running (which is huge). They will be able to learn how to trust their bodies, while not having to deal with so many other variables of a game at once. The game will teach them their physical limits in a much less brutal, and more encouraging way than football or hockey or boxing.
These attributes can and do get applied in full force throughout other major sports. To most American kids, soccer is far less of a flashier sport than say the NFL or the NBA. It probably seems like a boring sport, compared to Boxing or Tennis. The game also can feel slow, unlike professional hockey. But as a parent, re-think the option of signing up your 6 year-old kid to play tee ball or ice hockey. Put them in a soccer league. Let them hone in on their footwork / body control. It will make every one of those other, more attractive sports easier to play. I promise.