Patriotism or Abashment

First off, I want to acknowledge the opinions of anyone reading this. You have every right to not like what transpired just a few days ago.

Did anyone know the Women’s World Cup was starting this week? I love sports and I wasn’t even aware that it was going on. Who do we blame? Media? No. The media only focuses on what “moves the needle” and not what the minority of people want to hear. But one thing that did move the needle this week, the United States Womens National Team (USWNT) absolutely punishing Thailand in the World Cup 13-0. Now, when this game was airing, I was at work and saw a 3-0 score at halftime. My first thought, “Okay, we got this game in the bag and that’s great!” Come to find out just a short hour later, our girls kicked them in the teeth and added another TEN…..TEN GOALS to make it 13-zippy. You would think the American public would be ecstatic because our Men’s team can’t even seem to beat the easy countries nowadays. And yet, the big defeat of the Thai women brought on more scrutiny than ever. Most were not upset about the score, but more so about the celebrations after each score. Here are my thoughts on the goal amount and celebrations.

Background of this video, that same panel (TSN in Canada) had a different, immediate reaction video following the game that said things such as:

  • “If you’re going to blow away a team, do it with humility. They did not.”
  • “…this was disgraceful from the United States. I would hope they could’ve won with humility and grace, but celebrating their 8th, 9th, 10th goals the way that they did was really unnecessary.”
  • “As a Canadian we would never, ever think of doing something like that.”
  • “For me, it’s disrespectful and disgraceful. Hats off to Thailand for holding their heads high. Their first time on a World Cup stage….I would love to be there to just hug them all.”

What a joke telecast. First off, they are comparing Canada to the United States which is completely unfair, especially to the American young women who scored their first goals in a World Cup. “I would love to be there to just hug them all” has to be the most idiotic thing ever said on television. What are you going to do? Hand them orange slices and Capri Sun’s for their effort? If you want respect, you earn it. The Thai women earned their respect by showing up against the USA and playing a full match. Yes, they got the doors blown off in an embarrassing fashion but that doesn’t mean they want you to send them well wishes as if a natural disaster just struck their country. This is the WORLD CUP. The tournament of all tournaments. Welcome to the best of the best Thailand. You got an unlucky draw and got the best team in the world in your first game, tough luck. You know who else in women’s sports got tough luck? (All American’s for the record.)

  • Lindsey Vonn. One of the favorites in multiple skiing events and was injured or banged up for the 2006 and 2010 Olympics.
  • Kerri Strug. Vaulted her way to a Gold Medal in the team event after busting her ankle in the 1996 Olympics.
  • Mary Decker. One of the best track runners in US Women’s history. She was too young for the 1972 Olympics. Got hurt before the 1976 Olympics. Couldn’t compete because of the United States boycott from Moscow in 1980. And finally collided with another runner in the 1984 games and was unable to finish the race.

Kerri Strug

I am not one of the Thai women that participated in the game. So honestly, I do not know if they want sympathy or not. But competing on the World Cup stage is a huge accomplishment. (Again, ask the USA Men’s team how their last World Cup on their couches felt.) For the people who say “why didn’t you let up?” The United States was not going to let Thailand receive a beat down then let up in the last 20 minutes. Why let the Thai women wallow in their defeat during the game while you pass back and forth? That would be the most disrespectful thing ever. Those takes from media members are absurd. Everyone is there to compete and win the tournament. This isn’t a recreational game you see down at the local sportsplex. You’re not going to let up whatsoever to make sure the feelings of your opponent are suffice. Did the Seahawks start taking a knee to run the clock in the 2014 Superbowl up 36-0? No. Because that is the cream of the crop, and to win a Superbowl is the ultimate achievement in the worlds most popular sport. So if your argument is to “lighten up” or “pull back on the reigns,” you are as soft as a My Pillow from Mike Lindell.

My Pillow

Now on to the last point which is where the most outrage was brought up: The Celebrations. I did not agree with some of the women’s celebrations. Let’s get that out of the way right now. Head Coach Jill Ellis needed to tell her players to not let up but be respectful after scoring. Ripping her for “losing control of her team” is out of line in my opinion. If you put yourself in her shoes, do you tell the young women to tone it down after scoring the goal of their life? Absolutely not. But Megan Rapinoe? Come on. What the hell was that leg kick thing? I don’t like how you are 33 years old, have scored many goals on this stage and have to rub it in the faces of your opponent with a choreographed celebration. Mallory Pugh is 21, Rose Lavelle is 25. You are 33 and scored the 9th goal of the game. Go ahead and do your airplane thing and head back to your position.

I disapprove of “excessive celebrations” when up by a huge margin. That is something that I agree with most people on. If you are the Monmouth basketball team of a couple years ago or the Iceland National team who are having fun during the game after a good bucket or nice goal, cool. But those celebrations were not during blowouts. If you want to use the term “act like you been there before” go ahead. But some of these ladies haven’t been there before so I won’t go to the full extent and call these women “classless” or a “disgrace” like the Canadian women did on that telecast.

In conclusion, we all have to come to the understanding that this tournament is not like March Madness or a major sports playoff hunt. This tournament comes once every four years. These men and women have waited their whole lives to wear that American shield with the stars and stripes draped across their chest. If you want to celebrate like you just won the Superbowl, World Series or any other championship you can think of, go ahead! Veterans can act as role models as well. Rapinoe should have celebrated but in a different fashion being one of the veteran captains of this years squad.  I think I can speak for everyone, even non-sport fans, that we have an increased interest in the sports that have our nations flag involved. All eyes are focused in on you and that includes the youth in that respective sport. You can not know what the f*** is happening on the field and still go crazy when a goal is scored. It’s about our patriotism in the end and that is all their is to it. So let’s all put that game aside and root for our ladies representing our nation over in France. I’ll leave you all with a little song by the one and only Toby Keith…

Episode 32 – (Redskins, Nationals, “Two-Point Conversion”)

Back from the Memorial Day weekend, we jump back in to Redskins OTA’s, Kuznetsov in the news and what the Nationals have been up to the last two weeks. Plus, we get a tad bit distracted by the show “My 600 lb. Life”….Take a listen!

Podcast Available: iTunes PodcastGoogle Podcast & Google Play Music

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TIMESTAMPS:

  • Pre-Show Banter – (0:00)
  • Redskins OTA’s – (18:15)
  • Evgeny Kuznetsov in the News – (36:10)
  • Nationals Lately – (45:00)
  • “Two-Point Conversion” – (1:14:20)

Music By: Kenneth Thomas (www.DJKennethThomas.com)

Supporters: We Organize “Professional Organizing Services” ~ Parrando’s Tex-Mex Grill

Stop Killing the Fun

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In the 4th inning of yesterday’s White Sox vs. Royals game, twenty-five-year-old Tim Anderson launched a ball to the moon.

Let’s think of the stakes a little bit here. These are two teams at the bottom of the AL Central, it is a Wednesday day game in the middle of the week, and it is April. Reportedly 14,358 people showed up to a stadium that fits 40,000. This is not what you would call a “big-time” ballgame.

And yet, this longball did not please everybody.

Because in today’s game, if you “show up” an opposing player there are repercussions.

What exactly qualifies as “showing up”? Well, since these rules are technically unwritten, nobody really knows. Over the years we can muster any sort of exaggerated celebration after doing the thing you are paid millions to do falls under that category. A loud roar, a forceful fist pump, a flip of the bat, all of these are actions that some baseball players deem as “not allowed”. You CAN’T be happy. You CAN’T have fun.

There were multiple quotes after the game from a few Royals players.

“Keller did the right thing,” Royals third baseman Hunter Dozier told MLB.com. “He aimed for the lower body. Hit him. It should just be like ‘OK, go to first and move on.’ It shouldn’t have been as big of a situation as it was in my opinion, but I could be wrong. I don’t know.”

Well Hunter, THAT is exactly the problem in the first place. The “correct” response in the game to a guy celebrating a home run is to send a 90MPH+ fastball at him? Okay sure, and you said in the lower body, right? Because Keller, who has 12 walks in his last three games, is always super accurate right? Pitchers never miss their spots, right?

The issue is not the location of retaliation, it is the act itself. A batter has no recourse in the situation, no way to defend themselves. They are at the pitcher’s mercy in every at-bat they have, so basically we are letting one position dictate the rules of the game?

Baseball is CRAVING personalities. The game viewership is skewed much older than they would like. The younger fans need flash, they need emotion. Look at the competition: NBA has dunks and long bombs, NFL finally reinstated TD celebrations, NHL has big hits, home runs is one of the biggest draws to the game itself. Do you know any casual fan who is just dying to watch a 1-0 pitcher’s duel? The long ball is king, and the game is punishing those who wear the crown in a way they don’t like.

You know what would be a great way to get back at a guy who just took you deep? How about doing the thing you are supposed to do on your end in the first place: strike him out.

Don’t take the cowards way out. Why would anyone in their right mind respect that decision? Imagine explaining that entire fiasco to a non-sports fan:

Why are those two teams fighting?

Well, that guy hit a home run and celebrated too hard

Tim Anderson, to his immense credit, doesn’t seem to be fazed by the situation. He is going to continue to “give the fans what they want”. He understands that as a young flashy personality in the game he helps usher in new fans to find a reason to watch the 7-10 White Sox play the 6-12 Royals on a Wednesday afternoon.

The highlight clips of him getting hyped after demolishing a baseball may lead even one younger fan in Chicago to go “oh wow, that dude is COOL”. That fan may then decide let me watch the next time that guy comes up to the plate. Boom, a new baseball fan.

Regardless, there are a zillion games every week. A bunch of new highlights crop up every day. The Royals and White Sox weren’t even going to play again until the end of May, this was a passing moment of fun in a marathon of a season.

Brad Keller seems to think his job is to govern the sacred unwritten rules of baseball.

Time Anderson wants to put on a show.

At least one of them gets it.

 

“Mr. National” – Ryan Zimmerman

I know, I know. “Another rant from Mike about Ryan Zimmerman.” If no one will care to talk about the issue then I will speak my peace until someone besides Ben and I starts to take notice.

Zim is in the last year of his contract and it could not come any sooner. Television crews and some broadcasters out there put out some of these egregious stats such as; “When it is over 60 degrees with the Colorado Rockies in town, Ian Desmond strikes out over two times per game.” Now they have never said that specific thing, but this is very similar.

Around Opening Day, MASN put out this graphic that really “irked” me to say the least. It had the title “Mr. National” for the one guy people lean on every year to take us to the promise land….RYAN ZIMMERMAN? It had a very dumb stat that included his season averages for seasons he had over 500 at-bats (7 Total Seasons – Only 1 since 2013). Of course, they are all inflated. Problem is, if you discount this season and his rookie season, it totals 13 seasons. That leaves out six total seasons of baseball. This is a ploy to show everyone that he is so important to our organization rather than being a COMPLETE liability.

With that, I decided to do a little information seeking on my own. Below will be two stats on each line. First will be the last five seasons combined, and second will be four of the last five discounting his career year in 2017. Here are some stats of the last five seasons he has been a National (incl. 2015-2019).

Ryan Zimmerman Season Averages (2015 – 2019)

  • Batting Average:  .248   –   (.234)
  • On Base Percentage:  .319  –   (.309)
  • Home Runs:  16.2   –   (11.25)
  • Runs Batted In:  57.2   –   (44.5)
  • Extra Base Hits:   36.6   –   (28.5)
  • Runners in Scoring Position:  (122 for 471) = .234   –   (75 for 320 = .214)
  • Runners On Base:  (210 for 799) = .263   –   (126 for 544 = .227)

I always look at the positives for my team. But when there is a legit GLARING hole in our lineup or in our teams outlook, I am not going to stand around acting like it is “no big deal.”

RonBurgandy

Mike Rizzo has assembled this team to be a World Series contender for the last 7+ years and we have nothing to show for it whatsoever. I know Ryan Zimmerman was a bright spot for us when he was drafted back in 2005 (our first season). But you have to look at the recency effect and how he has produced for this team in big spots. Everyone looks at his 11 walk-off homers, his two Silver-Slugger Awards (2009,2010), one Gold-Glove (2009), and his career 2017 season. But what they don’t see are the season’s he did most of those in, where we didn’t even crack 70 wins. You have to produce when your team needs you. Plain and Simple. With this team making the playoffs four of the last seven seasons, poised to make it this year, changes have to be made. Legacy only goes so far when your play is mediocre at best. I just wish people would start to look towards our future rather than our lackluster past.

 

GO NATS!

The Roar of the Crowd

Tiger Woods Wins the 2019 Masters Tournament at Augusta National!

Who would have thought those words would have been said ever again? I am a HUGE Tiger fan. I remember sitting on my best friends couch as we grew up dozing off from holes 5-8, and then waking up for the late Sunday charge of Tiger in his victory red polo. It was something remarkable to watch. Professional golfers choking left and right. Plunking trees, dunking cannonballs into the water, three putting late, or even having to pull a Kevin Na and take forever hitting your golf ball just trying to compose yourself with the presence of greatness in your midst.

Everyone knows the whole saga that started back in November of 2009. We won’t enter into that realm because it was a decade ago. But, the one thing I will address is the sole fact that even though he was a “god” so to speak, to many people, that does not excuse him for his actions. I told my mom the other day, who is a above average sports fan, that “no one has forgotten what he had done in his personal life, but they have most likely forgiven him for his struggles.”

A man on top of the world with money, fame, stardom etc., comes tumbling down a never ending hill. When have we EVER seen someone of his caliber crash and burn in that magnitude? I think most of us can agree after his downfall, we saw the pain he went through to try and come back to golf. This includes, four total back surgeries, recording his worst ever score as a professional (85) in 2015, pain medication problems with an arrest on an alleged DUI etc. Too many things to count in a 10 year span. But this is going to be a positive outlook on what just transpired in Georgia this past weekend.

Seeing Tiger in contention is one thing. But seeing him in the final pairing on a Sunday in Golf’s “Super Bowl” was a completely different viewpoint. Making a charge on any other day than Sunday is fun to watch. But making a charge on Sunday, the final round, counting down the holes, is nerve racking. You can compare Sunday golf at a major championship to Game 7’s in almost any playoff of the four major sports. You have one single day, one game (or round) to make your move and claim the hardware.

Fast forward to his back nine holes. He started off the back nine scoring bogey and moving two back of Francesco Molinari of Italy. Meanwhile, no one really understands that at that point, there were seven golfers within three shots of the lead. With Molinari’s consistency, I was a bit worried at this point. On 11, Tiger found his shot in the trees but got a break with a nice angle to the green and made par. Still two back of Molinari.

Then this is where it got interesting. Molinari started to falter when he splashed his tee shot at the Par 3. At this point in the tournament with a two shot lead and seven holes to play, you can’t open the door for others. Everyone else has to make the move, so seeing Molinari go for the pin instead of playing it safe for the par, was baffling to me. Woods saw this, made par and tied for the lead. (Check out Francesco’s shot below)

Xander Schauffele made his move in the middle of the back nine tying Tiger and Francesco through 13 & 14. Then the Italian started to sink once more at the 15th hitting a tree branch, dunking the ball again losing more ground. Tiger birdied the Par 5 taking the outright lead with three holes to play. With Schauffele not going away, Tiger needed that inner focus we were used to seeing crossing into the millennium. And on the 16th tee box, we got re-introduced to the “old” Tiger Woods.

With a birdie at 16, that all but put the nail in the coffin for Tigers return to greatness. You have to believe that this will probably not be the Tiger of old, where he runs away with tournaments. But, golf just became relevant again with him in the mix. Watch out sports fans…..He’s Back!

Episode 17 – (Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, Nationals)

The snow has put a damper on traveling to do our in-person show but the show must go on. Through the technology of cellular phones, we brought you a show that includes Kentucky natives throwing ham at one another, what we do on “snow-days” and much more to do with the actual product, D.C. Sports. Check it out!

Podcast Available: iTunes PodcastGoogle Podcast & Google Play Music

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TIMESTAMPS:

  • Pre-Show Banter – (0:00)
  • Redskins Coaching/NFL Divisional – (13:50)
  • “New Look” Wizards – (31:30)
  • Capitals Resiliency  – (1:00:05)
  • Nationals Depth Moves – (1:26:06)
  • “2-Point Conversion” – (1:40:45)
  • “Pine Pony Express” – (1:45:45)

Music By: Kenneth Thomas (www.DJKennethThomas.com)

Supporters: We Organize “Professional Organizing Services” ~ Parrando’s Tex-Mex Grill

 

Episode 16 – (Skins, Nats, Caps, Wiz)

It is 2019 and the boys are back! Check out this fun filled episode to ring in the New Year as Serone & Simpson talk Pixar movies, fast food condiments, and what 2% of our audience come to hear, DC Sports. Check out the timestamps below to fast forward to your favorite parts and/or just listen to the entire episode because you should. Case & Point.

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TIMESTAMPS:

  • Pre-Show Banter – (0:00)
  • Redskins Overview – (23:15)
  • Nationals Off-Season Update – (55:31)
  • Capitals Near All-Star Break – (1:17:10)
  • Wizards Turmoil – (1:29:54)
  • “2-Point Conversion” – (1:39:55)
  • “Pine Pony Express” – (1:49:49)

Music By: Kenneth Thomas (www.DJKennethThomas.com)

Supporters: We Organize “Professional Organizing Services” ~ Parrando’s Tex-Mex Grill

 

Episode 15 – (Redskins, Nats, Wiz, Caps)

Join the famous duo as they discuss the Redskins getting back in the win column, Mike Rizzo (Nationals GM) making yet another move to bolster the roster, the Caps winning 5 Straight and the Wizards not shocking us at all with their lack of intelligence. The “2-Point Conversion” & “Pine-Pony Express” are included as always and you can skip ahead to your favorite parts of the show in the timestamps below.

Podcast Available: Apple Podcast, Google Podcast & Google Play Music

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TIMESTAMPS:

  • Pre-Show Banter – (0:00)
  • Redskins Win – (13:39)
  • Nationals Moves – (36:36)
  • “2-Point Conversion” – (56:23)
  • Wizards Shame – (1:10:55)
  • Capitals Hot Streak – (1:20:50)
  • “Pine Pony Express” – (1:26:50)

Music By: Kenneth Thomas (www.DJKennethThomas.com)

Episode 14 – (Redskins, Nationals, Pine Pony)

The Boys are Back and talking about the terrible Redskins loss, the new Nationals news of Bryce Harper doubtful to return, and of course the fan favorite “Pine-Pony Express & 2-Point Conversion.”

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  • Twitter: @dccrossover @Serone16
  • Facebook: “DC Crossover Podcast”

Podcast Available: Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Google Play Music

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Timestamps:

  • Pre-Show Banter – (0:00)
  • Redskins Vacation Starting Early – (11:48)
  • Nationals Lerner Interview News – (33:30)
  • Wizards Update – (47:55)
  • “2-Point Conversion” – (53:20)
  • “Pine-Pony Express” – (1:01:52)

Music By: Kenneth Thomas (www.DJKennethThomas.com)

Episode 13 – (Skins, Nats, Caps, Wiz)

Join the boys as they discuss the Redskins collapse, Nationals movement, Caps hot streak and more! Plus you get two very intriguing Pine Pony Express news stories and Ben’s “Fan Fest” experience with the infamous Kevin Long!

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Podcast Available: Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Google Play Music

Music By: Kenneth Thomas (www.DJKennethThomas.com)

http://www.DCCrossover.com

Timestamps:

  • Pre-Show Banter: (0:00)
  • Redskins Collapse: (16:00)
  • Nationals Movement: (54:13)
  • “2-Point Conversion”: (1:06:30)
  • Capitals Hot Streak: (1:15:00)
  • Wizards Discussion: (1:26:18)
  • “Pine Pony Express”: (1:33:45)