FIRE JOE MORGAN: Here's What I'd Do Over, If Given the Chance:

FIRE JOE MORGAN

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

 

Here's What I'd Do Over, If Given the Chance:

I'd sneak into the MSNBC.com offices and toss Mike Celizic's freelance writing submission in the incinerator.

Here's what he'd do:

What if we all had do-overs in sports?

Everybody makes mistakes, but not everybody admits them. And, when you get high enough up in a hierarchy, getting someone both to admit to a mistake and then correct it can be like spending your days down at the docks waiting for the Titanic to come in.


That's the opening paragraph. Yikes. "When you get high enough up in a hierarchy?" "...getting someone both to admit to a mistake and then correct it can be like..." Is that English?

And what is that analogy? The Titanic? Seriously? The only thing hackier than making a reference to the Titanic as a classic disaster is making a reference to New Coke.

That’s why it was so refreshing to hear NBA commissioner David Stern not only admit that his beloved high-tech synthetic basketball was a bigger mistake than New Coke

Oh my holy Lord.

but also order the microfiber ball banished at the turn of the new year and replaced with the familiar cowhide sphere the players know and love.

For Stern, it was a do-over. And seeing it happen had to make a lot of people wish there were more mulligans in sports, because the landscape of the games we pay to see other people play is littered with the kind of mistakes that cry out for correction.

The first thing I thought of that could and should have been corrected in the first two months after it was introduced was the designated hitter. The American League came up with that abomination in 1973, and it should never had made it to 1974.


Pretty sure that should read: "...should never have made it..."

That’s just my opinion

It's not iron-clad mathematical fact? You have misled me, sir!

and I recognize that many baseball fans whose powers of reason are otherwise in tip-top order believe the DH is the greatest thing to happen to baseball since beer vendors.

Mike Celizic writes like a man who has seen witty, urbane, humorous men speak in old movies and television shows and is trying to imitate them, but who dropped out of school in 8th grade and drinks a lot of really cheap brandy every morning at 11:00. And wears a funny hat.

But there are a lot of other situations that everyone would agree would have benefited greatly if teams and individuals could do it all over again...

I’m pretty sure the day will come when Michelle Wie will wish she’d have put off turning pro until a couple of years after her Sweet 16 party and concentrated on winning in the women’s game before taking on the men.


Really? She's still like 17 or something and is super super rich, and famous, partly (largely) because she got a lot of press for playing with men.

If Brett Favre could do it all over again, he might want to revoke his decision to play one more year with the Packers instead of either retiring or asking for a trade to a team that could actually play football.

Maybe. The Packers are terrible. But that dude really likes playing football. And you really think he would ask to be traded? Really?

These are the best examples of "Mulligans People Would Like To Take In Sports?" Not like Jean Van de Velde at the 1999 British Open? Or Mike Martz running Marshall Faulk more in the 2002 Super Bowl? Or the Trail Blazers taking Sam Bowie over Jordan in the draft? No? You're going with "Michelle Wie shouldn't have turned pro?" and "Bret Favre should have asked for a trade?" Okay. Hennessy's in the cabinet, Mike -- help yourself.

If we could only hit control-Z for life’s well-intentioned blunders

You know he just learned how to do that on his computer.

how much easier would it be? Alex Rodriguez could have reversed his trade to the Yankees and found a home in a city with more adoring media and fans. And the Houston Texans could have decided a month into the season that they were going to take either Vince Young or Reggie Bush after all and let somebody else have Mario Williams.

ARod, maybe. Texans, definitely. Now you're cooking with gas, Celizic!

Pete Rose could go back to when he agreed to a life-time ban and started confessing his sins right then and there.

This is effing genius. Pete Rose would not go back to the first moment he bet on baseball and decide not to bet on baseball. He would go back to the moment he agreed to the lifetime ban for betting on baseball and apologize. Excellent plan.

If the NHL’s players association had the ability to go back and fix a bad decision, we would have had a hockey season in 2004-2005. Same thing for major league baseball had the players had the ability to say, “oopsie,” and ask for another shot at getting it right in 1994.

I know that 22 years later, Portland still wants to throw Sam Bowie back into the NBA draft pool and take that Michael Jordan fellow who went third to the Bulls.


There it is. Right after "the NHL shouldn't have struck in 2004." Well placed.

Back in 1979, the entire National Football League ignored a pretty good college quarterback because of what they thought was certain knowledge that the kid was a little too small and didn’t have a strong enough arm for the big time. Finally, in the third round, the 49ers wasted a pick on Joe Montana, who worked out all right in the end.

Here's my problem with this: Yes, obviously, all those other teams would have loved to have had Montana. But is it a "blunder" not to have taken him? No. He happened to be the perfect fit for the newly-designed Bill Walsh offensive juggernaut in San Francisco. But that doesn't mean he would have been just as awesome for the Browns or something.

To me, a "blunder," a thing you should want to take a mulligan for, is a thing that everyone in the world can see is a mistake, but you ignore them and do something else. Like not drafting Jordan. Or not drafting Reggie Bush. Or not pulling Pedro in Game 7 in 2003. Sometimes things happen that are very unexpected -- like, say, Tom Brady turning out to be a great QB. But the fact that Tom Brady turned out to be a great QB doesn't mean that all the other teams blew it by not drafting him before the 6th round. Because that would mean the Pats themselves actually blew it like 5 times. See?

Tom Brady, like Montana, was passed up repeatedly before going in the sixth round to the Patriots.

Oh. You don't see.

If life came with do-overs, Grady Little could go back and pull Pedro Martinez before the Yankees could come back and win the 2003 ALCS. Leon Lett could run across the goal line in the Super Bowl with his fumble recovery before holding the ball out for Don Beebe to knock loose.

Pedro thing: absolutely. Lett thing: embarrassing, but the Cowboys won that game like 78-4.

Ara Parseghian could have gone for the win against Michigan State in 1966.

Look, I hate ND. But this famous slam on Parseghian is a mystery to me. The Irish had lost like three guys (Nick Eddy, their QB Hanratty, and someone else who I am too tired to look up) and their back-up QB was (I believe) diabetic or something and was like vomiting from exhaustion. And the next week they beat USC 300-0 and won a share of the national title. Maybe the more manly thing would have been to try to score, but I kind of don't blame the guy for playing for the tie. Neither here nor there.

Ralph Branca could throw a different pitch to Bobby Thomson.

Sure.

John McNamara could have put in a late-game defensive replacement for Bill Buckner.

Dave Stapleton was ready and willing. You're on a roll, Mikey!

Dennis Eckersley could have pitched around Kirk Gibson.

Oops.

Pitched around him? Gibson hadn't played in forever and had like 3 bad knees, and Eck's ERA was like 0.000003 and there were two outs and a guy on first and Steve Sax was on deck. Pitched around him? Are you serious?

Maybe you can argue he shouldn't have thrown a backdoor slider on 3-2. But you cannot argue, ever, that Eck should have "pitched around him."

Mike Tyson could decide to find a protein source that wasn’t attached to Evander Holyfield’s head.

Hilarious.

If only it were as easy for all of us as it was for David Stern.

If only you would retire and run a men's haberdashery, like you are destined to do.

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posted by Ken Tremendous  # 12:06 AM
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