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.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Random thoughts on the Yankees, the Broncos and the Bulls

I’m happy that Derek Jeter got his 3,000 hit and Mo Rivera broke the all-time saves record but I still wish they made it to the World Series. It’s maddening to know that pitching is still a perennial problem but they have not fixed it. They did in 2009 but that’s it.

There are three NFL teams I like, the New York Giants, the Denver Broncos and the Chicago Bears. The Bears and the Broncos are old time favorites and it was only in recent years that I began to root for the NYTD Blue. I rooted for the Broncos not because of John Elway but because of Tom Jackson and Lyle Alzado. I became an Elway fan eventually and seeing them crushed by the Giants in the Super Bowl XXI. I have to admit that even then, I was a fan of NY tight end Mark Bavaro. But what a loss for Denver!

My sports teams are essentially all New York – the Yankees, the Islanders, the Giants, the Jets (to an extent) and those in New Jersey – the Devils (with their new captain Zach Parise), the Nets (who are moving to Brooklyn). The others outside the Big Apple are all Chicago – the Bulls and the Bears.

Tim Tebow joining today’s Broncos rekindled my rooting for this Mile High team. I somewhat followed his exploits at with the Florida Gators and have done so with Denver even before this breakout season. And this NFL season has been nothing short of amazing. It makes for good conversation/debate and viewing. I can't understand why people will not give Tebow a chance. He's 7-1 as a starter for crying out loud.

Just as the Chicago Bulls have not been the same as they were when they had Michael Jordan around so have the Broncos since John Elway retired. They are not exactly a good football team but they are getting the job done. Wherever they will end is anyone’s guess. But I am hoping they make it at least to the playoffs but first things first – this one’s a huge litmus test – they face the New England Patriots and a top QB in Tom Brady. Here’s hoping that the Broncos beat New England.

But it’s been fun following the verbal tussles between Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless (although the latter can be so insulting in his comments that it’s a wonder that Bayless has not challenged him to a fistfight).

Watching the NBA situation and the comments about the CP3 trade to the Clippers and the non-trade to the Lakers. The Miami Heat must be loving it because it takes the scrutiny off them at least for the moment. Everyone’s talking as if the Clippers will win it all. Miami is still a darn good basketball team – they did add Eddy Curry and Shane Battier -- and the failure of last year will fuel them this season.

I have to feel bad about the Boston Celtics’ Jeff Green. I was hoping that he’d have a very good year in Beantown but he disappeared under the weight of the Big Four. Now he’s out for the season and (possibly for the rest of his career after heart surgery) where does that leave him?

Now for the team I root for – the Bulls. Did they do enough to make this team better? They added Rip Hamilton. He might have been good three years ago. But now, hmm…. they are better but not good enough to get past Miami. Unless Carlos Boozer plays both ends and does not take a night off after a great showing here and there. More importantly, how healthy and in shape is he? Will Ronnie Brewer co-exist with Rip? Will Jimmy Butler deliver? There’s a move here that brings to mind a point during the 1997 season when team management traded away forward Jason Caffey. That was done so that Dennis Rodman would be secure in his role as the primary four-spot player and he’d pick up his play. It was a gamble that worked because Chicago won two more titles. So there’s Kurt Thomas departing for Portland. I thought that the Bulls should have used him more. Nevertheless, the onus is on Taj Gibson to take his game to the next level.

The compressed 66-game season will be sloppy at first. Is the time they have for training camp good enough to fix their problems? Make no mistake, I’m excited for this season. I thought that after Michael Jordan retired I’d never see the Bulls compete for a NBA title. They did last season. Now they have to build on that. Anything less than an Eastern Conference Finals berth is a let down.

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