In this Week in Review, I’ll give my thoughts on the passing of NFL great Junior Seau, whether Cole Hamels plunking rookie Bryce Harper was a cheap shot or old school baseball, Amare Stoudemire taking out his frustrations on a glass cased fire hydrant, Saints players “involved” in “bounty gate” finally learn their fate, my highlight and lowlight of the week, and I’ll celebrate a very important anniversary.
RIP Junior Seau
As a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs since I was a child, I knew that whenever the Chiefs would go up against the San Diego Chargers, I would immediately look for Charger number 55 and yell at my team to stay away from that guy. That man was Junior Seau. Him and Bill Romanowski were my two least favorite players. They were each on opposing AFC West teams, Romanowski for the Broncos and Raiders, and Seau for the Chargers. But I hated them for completely different reasons. Romanowski was roided up dirty player who I had no respect for. I hated Seau because he was the leader of a Chief rival, but I always had the utmost respect for him as a player. If there’s one thing I can say about Junior Seau, it’s that he loved the game of football. He played in the NFL for an astonishing 20 seasons, playing for the New England Patriots, the Miami Dolphins, and most notably, the San Diego Chargers. However, it seemed that when he lost his love after his retirement, his life went through an unfortunate downward spiral that ultimately ended with him taking his own life at the young age of 43. All that hate and animosity and felt when I was a child is now replaced with sadness and confusion. His suicide shocked me at first, but when I remembered about the questionable car crash off a cliff, it not surprising that this happened. Many people will speculate that injuries, specifically brain, are what caused him to take his own life. Barely over a year ago, former Bears safety Dave Deurson, 50, committed suicide the same way Seau did, with a gunshot wound to the chest. While Seau never left a suicide note, Deurson did, stating that he wanted his brain studied for trauma as a result of his time as a football player. It was later proven that Deurson did suffer from CTE, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, which led to brain deterioration, which can cause memory loss, confusion, depression, and progressive dementia. The fact that Seau committed suicide in the same manner as Deurson would lead people to believe that he also wanted to have his brain studied. Reports have surfaced that since his suicide, he did hide injuries, including concussions during his NFL career. As of right now, Seau’s family is still deciding whether or not to have Seau’s brain studied. While past brain trauma could’ve caused Seau to take his own life, one could also point out the fact that just leaving the game that he loved so much could’ve led to his suicide. A report done by Sports Illustrated in 2009 stated that 78% of players who have been retired for at least 2 years were either bankrupt or undergoing financial trouble due to divorce or joblessness. Seau did go through a divorce in 2002. Ultimately, I think it was his divorce from football that led to him to ultimately kill himself and instead of remembering him for his final act as a man, I’ll try to remember him as the player who would give me nightmares as a kid whenever the Chargers would face the Chiefs. Rest In Peace Junior.
Cole Hamels Introduces Bryce Harper to the Major Leagues
Well I have to give Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels some credit for being honest. After last night’s win against the Washington Nationals, Hamels was asked about his plunking of rookie phenom Bryce Harper. Hamels admitted that he was trying to hit him. Well Harper ended up getting back at Hamels, by stealing home plate as Hamels attempted a pick off throw at first, which showed that Hamels’ attempt of intimidation had absolutely had no effect on the 19 year old Harper. Hamels has said that he was trying to continue old baseball, but it my eyes, that’s a cheap excuse. Last time a checked, you intimidate a guy by striking him out, not beaming him with a fastball to the ribs.
Amare Stoudemire vs. Glass: Glass Wins
While I give Amare Stoudemire credit for playing game 4 against the Miami Heat with a busted hand, he’s still an idiot for taking out his game 2 performance on a glass cased fire hydrant. Stoudemire came to Knicks last year as their savior, and through the first half of that season, many people had him as the MVP, but when Carmelo Anthony arrived to New York, Amare lost his grip of the team. It all came to a head in game 2 when Amare took 9 shots for 18 points while Carmelo took 26 shots for 30 points. I believe that his lack of touches and shots caused his blowup in the locker room, not the loss itself. A game 4 win isn’t going to change the ultimate result. The Knicks will lose game 5 and then a decision will have to made in the off-season: whether or not the Knicks will keep Amare or trade him for more role players, making Carmelo the focal point of the offense. I could see the Knicks going the Thunder direction, with Carmelo and Jeremy Lin as their primary offense. Maybe the Knicks could trade Stoudemire and some role players for Dwight Howard. One thing’s for sure, the pairing of Anthony and Stoudemire just isn’t going to work and if you want any proof of that, look at Amare’s hand, which the Pacers were more than happy to make fun of.
Saint Player Suspensions: Fair or Foul
Well, this was bound to happen sooner or later. Roger Goodell finally laid out suspensions for four Saints players that the NFL determined were involved in “bounty gate”. The biggest penalty went to Jonathan Vilma, who’s been suspended for the entire season, without pay. Defensive lineman Anthony Hargove, currently with the Green Bay Packers, has been suspended for 8 games. Saints defensive end Will Smith is suspended for 4 games and Scott Fujita, now with the Cleveland Browns, is suspended for 3 games. First thing that came to my mind after hearing of these suspension was: that’s it? Only four players? I thought it was going to be at least ten. The NFL says that Fujita and Smith pledged a significant amount of money into the bounty pool. Hargrove apparently signed a declaration stating that there was indeed a bounty system and he actively participated in it, which he later denied. However, Vilma was the focus because the NFL claims that he put down $10,000 dollars on multiple 2009 playoff games, including the Cardinals and Vikings. In both games, Cardinals QB Kurt Warner and Vikings QB Brett Favre took vicious hits, though neither were penalized in the game. All four players are appealing the suspensions, claiming that they had nothing to do with any bounty system, which transforms this whole mess into case of He Said, He Said, where one of them is lying.
Highlight of the Week
Lowlights of the Week
And one final note. Today, the sports world is celebrating a very memorable 10th anniversary. I present to you: