Thursday, July 12, 2007

Around the World of Sports 7.12.07 [David Stefanini]

DAVID BECKHAM: In recent memory, have you ever seen a soccer player cause so much commotion here in the States? Beckham has arrived in Los Angeles today and the world has been turned upside down. For more of this story here is the International Herald Tribune:

David Beckham left England on Thursday to start his new career in the United States.

The England star, who helped Real Madrid win the Spanish title last month, flew to Los Angeles to join up with the Galaxy of Major League Soccer.

Beckham was accompanied by his wife, "Posh Spice" Victoria, and three children as they boarded a flight at Heathrow Airport. They were surrounded by photographers and television crews but made no comment.


Barry Bonds: Did anyone else catch the little smack that Barry Bonds threw Hank Aaron's way during the All-Star Game? During an interview about what if Alex Rodriguez was to break Bond's home run record, when it is Bond's record, would Barry attend ARod's games. Barry responded with something along the lines of this: All baseball players are part of a family. And if one of the players is going after a big record, the person who holds the record, should be there. Bonds said he would unquestionably be there if ARod one day broke his record.

When I was watching the interview I turned to my girlfriend and said, "good for Barry". He never thinks about what he says, but I agree with him once again. I think Hank Aaron is being ridiculous in not going to wherever Barry Bonds is playing. This game made Aaron a richer man than he could of ever dreamed about. God forbid he takes a week or 2, whenever Bonds gets close enough to break the record, to fly around and be at the stadium.

But no matter what I think, this incident can further the concept of Bonds being an Anti-Hero. Usually any nation will want to love their sporting heroes. We love Tiger Woods, LeBron James, Peyton Manning, etc. But when it comes to Bonds, we have a very difficult time loving him. If he was a nicer person it would probably be easier for us to look past the allegations of steroids and love him like we should, but we simply can't.

I will be in the minority celebrating Barry Bonds breaking the all-time home run record.


TOUR DE FRANCE: Here is the Times Online for Tour De France updates:

Suddenly the big teams have problems. Astana seem edgy and nervous, with both team leaders twitchy and anxious, and worse, they are suffering bad luck.

Discovery Channel, so flawless during the Armstrong years, are struggling too. They have already lost Tomas Vaitkus of Lithuania and at today’s finish a stressed-looking Johan Bruyneel ushered the bloodied Benjamin Noval into a waiting ambulance, after the Spaniard had crashed, apparently into a race vehicle, towards the end of the stage.

Even Discovery’s Plan B, attacking for stage wins, appeared jinxed, as Yaroslav Popovych’s no-holds barred attack on the sinuous descent into Autun came to grief in a ditch. In two days, much will be expected of Discovery team leader Levi Leipheimer when the race reaches the Alps. Bruyneel will be hoping the Californian can deliver.

After 5 stages are complete Fabian Cancellara leads the race.


NBA: Dwight Howard has signed a contract extension for 5 years worth roughly 85 million dollars. This young man is going to become a freak of nature in the NBA one day. He is already showing signs of becoming one. He has unreal talent and has the potential to one day be the best big man in the NBA.

With this signing, and the signing of Rashard Lewis, the Orlando Magic look as if they have re-committed themselves to winning. There was a time when Shaq was in Orlando, where the Magic looked like they were team to beat. In the next 2-3 years they could once again look like a team that has a serious chance of winning the Eastern Conference.

This makes the second big signing for the Magic this summer. They recently signed Rashard Lewis, to a huge contract. I still feel they paid him way to much money, but at least I know why they went after him with such force. They now have Lewis and Howard for at least the next 5 years. This is a team that is going to be very difficult to beat in the upcoming years with Howard, Lewis, and a nice blend of young talent around them.

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