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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Rapid Fire Week-in-Review: Phillies Comeback, Eagles Receivers, NBA Europe? and Bruno Suspended

With the Eagles game tonight and not much going on, here’s a few quick thoughts on the week:

• Yesterday’s comeback by the Phillies may have been the most impressive thing about the season so far. It was shaping up to be a classic getaway game – the last game of 20 games in 20 days, the end of a long road trip, and the Phillies had already put up a 8-1 record on the trip that included beating the Giants in a series, 3-1. And they went down 5-0 to the Dodgers in the first inning. To come back and win that game shows something rarely seen in sports. I don’t want to call it character, because it doesn’t really rise to that level, but it was good to see.

• The Eagles signing of former Giants receiver Steve Smith, whose still recovering from micro fracture knee surgery should have fans concerned. They reportedly even reached out to Randy Moss – something they ought to keep doing. There’s no way anyone would have thought they would bother with such moves at the end of last season. Now, Jeremy Maclin is dealing with an undisclosed health issue and DeSean Jackson is in camp but unhappy with his contract. Hold off on those Super Bowl plans for a while.

• I’m so tired of hearing about NBA players going overseas during the lockout. So what? The idea is that they’re going to show that they don’t need the NBA, right?

That has to be one of the dumbest concepts I ever heard. Let’s say Kobe Bryant actually risks all the money he still has on an NBA contract to play in Europe. After about a week of SportsCenter hyping it up, who is going to care? NBA owners are suddenly going to rethink their stance on the NBA business model because Bryant highlights are on ESPN? I doubt anyone but NBA scrubs would do it anyway, and the stars would get bored with it in about three weeks if they did do it. It’s just a stupid idea.

• There’s something disturbing about the suspension of sports talk show host Tony Bruno for a tweet he put out right after or during the “fight” Friday night in the Phillies-Giants game. The more accurately described “shoving match” was ignited when Ramon Ramirez threw at Shane Victorino. According to multiple posts online, Bruno tweeted: “gutless #!@%*# Giants. Bochy is a coward for having his illegal alien pitcher hit a guy since mighty Frisco boys ...” From what I’ve read, Bruno deleted the tweet almost immediately.

I’m not a fan of Bruno though I listen to his Philadelphia show, nor am I defending what Bruno tweeted. But I’m tired of the hypocrisy. Stephen A. Smith was running around calling Kevin Kolb “corn on the Kolb” last summer. It was absolutely a racially charged reference, and no one cared. Other less direct references to race by black (and white) sports personalities constantly go ignored – white receivers are questioned for their speed all the time, white basketball players are scrappy. No, it’s not as directly racist as Bruno or Smith, but it’s not far off. A commentator would be thrashed for questioning a black quarterback’s ability to run an offense.

And the fact that Bruno tweeted something and quickly deleted it, yet was still punished, is even more disconcerting. It’s as close to the “thought police” as I’ve seen in a while.

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