Jan 26

This, That, and the Other

Posted By:Brett Haynes - Greenville - SC  Tags:

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If not for the fact that we have an entire Winter Olypmic Games to experience, I would say that Old Man Winter could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Yes, the spring time sports are getting cranked up and ready to lead us into warmer months, but first we will be treated to an event that only comes around every four years. I enjoy very much watching the Winter Games, and this year they come from a place I have been to and really like: Whistler Mountain and Vancouver, BC....

*2010 Winter Olympic Games - In December of 2005, my girlfriend at the time and I made the trek out to Whistler Mountain for a few days of snow-skiing. And while we missed the proper window for when they get the most snow (late January-early March), we still had a great time skiing, and can see why the IOC would have picked this venue to host the 2010 Winter Games. The town of Whistler itself is a very quaint little ski town, a two hour drive from Vancouver.

Vancouver is one of the most modern, culturally diverse cities in the world, with amazing natural beauty. The mountains fall directly into the Pacific Ocean and the city has many parks. Vancouver left the city's most prized 100 or so acres for Stanley Park (named after Lord Stanley of NHL fame), which sits on a point jutting out into the bay. Views of the city from the park are unreal!

But enough about how great Vancouver and Whistler are, let's just say get the games started already! I cannot wait to watch downhill skiing and all of the snowboarding events. Austria dominated at the 2006 Olympics from Torino with 14 medals in the downhill. No one else was close. The United States won the nowboarding event, though, bringing home 7 medals - including 3 golds.

The Olympics are February 12th through the 28th.

*Brett Favre - OK, let me be the very first to say that back before the season began, I was not a Brett Favre fan to put it lightly. He spent more time on my tv than the dust that had gathered around the outer rims of it. He was - to me - the definition of an ego-maniac that absolutely HAD to have his name in the middle of ESPN's "bottom line" for another extended amount of time. Not only was he an attentionholic, but he was washed up. Old. Done. Past his time.

Back then - in August - I thought he had no chance in hell of actually being a good quarterback and being competitive. I knew what he had done in 2008 with the New York Jets (disaster), and that he hadn't won a Super Bowl in 13 seasons. I knew he was once good (1995, 1996 and 1997 MVPs) but felt that his 2009 campaign (and 2008 for that matter) was based entirely on not being able to step away from the spotlight. Why in Heaven's sake would he be coming back???

Because he knew something we all didn't: He could still play.

Mr. Favre, I take a different look at you now. You proved to me in 2009 that you can in fact still ball. Not only that, but you can still ball pretty damn good. Yes, you threw several interceptions in your final game (er, maybe). And yes, you threw a pick that probably cost your team the win that night against New Orleans. That will be a hard pill to swallow for you for sometime. But you also bounced back off the artificial turf numerous times, at the age of 40, after being pummeled by bruising Saints defenders all night long. That aint easy to do for a quarterback of any age.

But the fact that you led your team to a 12-4 record and to the final four of the NFL - regardless of age - puts to an end my thoughts that you were doing it just for the attention. You were also doing it because you were super competitive, and so that when you retired you left absolutely nothing in that battered, talented quarterbacks body. And the best part - to me - is how he won over the Vikings locker room. If those guys believed in him, then he must have been doing and saying the right things.

Favre leads the NFL career stats in most passing yards, most passing touchdowns, most passing interceptions, and 11 trips to the Pro Bowl.

Yeah, he may sit out another training camp and do this all over again to us in seven months. But as of right now, he has earned back my respect. You have changed my perception of you with your play in 2009, Mr. Favre, and now I'm off to buy a pair of Wrangler jeans!

*Tiger, Tiger Woods, Y'all! So Tiger Woods is in Mississippi at a sexual rehab facility. Hmmm.

I am just a bit confused by this. I mean, I am no wizard, but I didn't know you could talk someone into not liking to have sex anymore. A pair of scissors may work. But talks? Not so sure.

Listen, Tiger is the greatest golfer on the planet, and we need to leave it at that. Yes, his personal life - due to his fame - makes some of what he does common knowledge to all of us. And yes, infedility is a bad, bad thing. Tiger should take his punishment for the infidelity, pay Elin the money she is looking for, and then move on in his career as a bachelor.

What he did was wrong - and I am not saying otherwise in any way. But we, as sports fans, need Tiger Woods back. He is one of the three or four most captivating figures in sport, and he is in the prime of his career.

Tiger, forget sexual counseling. Sign your divorce papers, pay your money, and move on as the world's most eligible bachelor. Yeah, you screwed up. But if you skip out on playing golf right now, you will regret this for a long, long time. Prepare to be heckled on the course. You will be. But the first time you slip that Green Jacket back on, or hoist that Claret Jug up in the air, folks will tend to forget things pretty quickly.

You are a winner, Mr. Woods. Folks don't want to see you fail, they want to see you win. My guess is that we will see you be back for The Masters in April.

...And speaking of the PGA, it is back underway (actually going into the 4th tournament) with the Bob Hope Classic from La Quinta, California. The winner was Bill Haas, who earned his first PGA Tour victory.

* That Dadgummed SEC! Well, everyone on Fans25 knows that the SEC has a pretty good grip on NCAA football right now, and we have forum posts to prove it. But as NCAA college basketball and college baseball seasons get firing up, here comes the SEC again! Yes, the Kentucky Wildcats are number 1 in the nation in this week's hoops poll, and they present a very, very real chance to win another national crown for their storied history.

And on the collegiate baseball diamond - starting up now - LSU is the defending national champion and a very strong favorite to do it again in 2010. The Tigers have won six (yes, six!) national championships in the last 18 years.

I'm telling you what - this league is nothing to mess with right now!

*Spring Training - There is nothing quite like the sound of the ball hitting the mitt in the 78 degree February air of South Florida and Arizona. Spring Training is as American as apple pie and Chevy trucks, and always signals that winter is about to come to an end. Pitchers and catchers report as early as February 17th for some teams, while the full squads will all be going by the 23rd. Games start March 2nd. For those of you that may be wondering, the Florida teams play in the Grapefruit League, while the Arizona teams play in the Cactus League. Opening Day for the MLB is April 4th where the Yankees will look to defend their crown.

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