Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Monday, January 1, 2007

New Year’s Resolutions

Sports are a metaphor for life as one has oft heard. But many times, the lines are blurred when the unscrupulous and the greedy take over. Here are a few New Year’s resolutions for certain people and if they listen up, then maybe the world will be a better place in 2007 and forever.

For our homegrown athletes who toil in anonymous hardship:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It's not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. – Timo Cruz (Coach Carter)

For a controversial college basketball coach:
l came to coach basketball players, and you became students. – Ken Carter (Coach Carter)
We trust that you’re a fine, upstanding, God-fearing man with Christian morals and principles who will set an example and a standard of leadership for our boys – tell me, do you believe in zone defense or man-to-man? – Town member to Coach Norman Dale (Hoosiers)
I’d stress on the Christian morals, Coach.

For the hopelessly inept referees who call the games:
We come to work, and we work extremely hard at this, only for the officials to screw us. We fought, but that doesn't mean anything when you have the officials take over the game like that. You go with the three blind mice, and it's just sad that Tom screwed up that game for us. – Jason Kidd after a controversial New Jersey Nets loss to the Detroit Pistons
Man, I saw some of the worst officiated college basketball games last season. Boo!

For the promoters, managers, and sports officials who take advantage of our poor and ill equipped boxers, know this:
If there’s magic in boxing, it’s the magic of fighting battles beyond endurance, beyond cracked ribs, ruptured kidneys and detached retinas. It’s the magic of risking everything for a dream that nobody sees but you. – Eddie Dupris (Million Dollar Baby)
Why do some people with zero ounce of talent make money out of those who give their bodies to the pain?

For our sports officials who engage in mudslinging:
Reporter: Rocky, do you have something derogatory to say about the champ?

Rocky: Derogatory? Yeah, he’s great. – Rocky Balboa (Rocky II)

For selfish pro athletes:
When you put on that jersey, the name on the front is a hell of a lot more important than the one on the back. – Herb Brooks (Miracle)

For team managers/coaches, may you learn from this:
One February 13, 1999, Arsenal played Sheffield United in a FA Cup match. With the scored at 1-all, a Sheffield player went down an injury. Football has an unwritten rule where the opposing team kicks the ball out of bounds when a player is injured. When play resumes, the team with the injured player kicks the ball back to the opposing team. But on this day, that rule was broken when Arsenal rookie Nwankwo Kanu stole teammate Ray Parlour’s inbounds pass to Sheffield. Kanu passed to another teammate who scored as Sheffield players stood around in shock. The referee let the goal stand and Arsenal won 2-1. Except that it wasn’t a satisfying win for Arsene Wenger, the Gunners’ manager. He asked the Football Association to replay the game and for the first time in 127 years, a match was replayed with Arsenal winning by the same margin 2-1.

For George Steinbrenner, Owner of the New York Yankees:
Winning is not a sometime thing; it's an all time thing. You don't win once in a while, you don't do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing. – Vince Lombardi, Hall of Fame Coach of the Green Bay Packers
I believe that the problem of the Yankees is that the Boss has eschewed what Manager Joe Torre brought to the organization by playing a National League type of game in the American League. That’s small ball as opposed to the majestic home runs that people love. That was the secret of the 1996-2001 Yankees. They grinded it out, were the most patient of batters, and won by the contributions of the team. I miss guys like Mariano Duncan, Charlie Hayes, Tim Raines, Paul O’Niell, Joe Girardi, Luis Sojo, and Gerald Williams. Those guys played hard and only cared for the team’s ultimate goal.

For everyone, here’s a point to ponder for the New Year by one of the greatest athletes of our time:
My childhood ambition was to beat my dad in a game of golf. But my biggest ambition yesterday and today – how can I become a better person tomorrow? – Tiger Woods

Happy New Year, everyone! It’s going to be another great year in sports.

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