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Sports Watching & Wondering

Black news from Pasadena - Sports Commentary - Shaq vs Dwight, Matt Barkley, Trojans, Robert Griffin III and moreSHAQ vs. DWIGHT - There is something of a feud going on between these two basketball icons. Shaq was quoted as saying that he thought that both Andrew Bynum and Brook Lopez were better than Dwight. It goes without saying that Dwight was not pleased with these remarks, and he responded in kind. He also suggested that the older players had had their day, and they should quietly step aside, since time had passed them by.

Most of these feuds start when Athletes innocently respond to a question by someone in the Media. Some of them feel that they are obligated to answer any question, no matter how private or controversial, it might be. Some of the Reporters are always looking to start a controversy, since they hope that it will help them in their careers. Athletes need to understand that they are being encouraged to fight, simply to amuse others. They might also consider saying "No Comment", when they do not choose to answer a question.

MATT BARKLEY is one of the nicest people that you would ever want to meet. He is the quarterback for the USC football team. He returned to USC this season, instead of going to the NFL, because he had a reasonable expectation of winning the next Heisman Trophy. With Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III already gone, his expectations seemed reasonable at that time. However, something, or someone, has come up. His name is Geno Smith, and he plays quarterback for the West Virginia Mountaineers. He already has 24 touchdowns this season, without throwing an interception. He just led the number eight-ranked Mountaineers to a 48-45 victory over the Texas Longhorns. Smith is around 6'6" tall, and he weighs about 250 pounds. He runs like a deer, and he has a cannon for an arm.

Smith, like RG III, suddenly appeared on the national scene. He won a big-time shootout over Baylor, before his victory over the Longhorns. He is big, strong, fast, poised, intelligent and competitive. Barring an injury, the Trophy is his to lose. Barkley is very good at what he does, but he is too small and he is not athletic enough to be judged the best college football player in 2012.

TROJANS vs. HUSKIES - They will meet again this Saturday. Except for a twist of fate, Steve Sarkisian would be coaching the Trojans, rather than the Huskies. He was the top assistant to Pete Carroll, when he accepted the offer to become the head coach at Washington. At that time, many of us thought that Carroll would stay at USC indefinitely. Little did we know that he would leave USC and become the head coach of the Seattle Sea Hawks the next year. This surprise move on his part threw USC into a panic, and they were able to get Lane Kiffin away from Tennessee.

In my opinion, Sarkisian is a better coach than Kiffin, and he and USC would be much more comfortable with each other. His record against the Trojans is 1-1. His previously winless Huskies upset Pete Carroll's heavily favored team. However, the Trojans dominated them the following year. The Trojans are ranked higher in the Polls, but I am placing an Upset Alert on this game. Sark is a Shark.

ROBERT GRIFFIN III is the starting quarterback for the Washington Redskins. As you recall, he won the Heisman Trophy last year. He not only has great athletic ability but is also extremely intelligent. Therefore, what he did last Sunday was very surprising to me. He had made a nice game running with the ball, and he was near the sideline, so that he could step out of bounds and not be tackled. However, he must've had a brain cramp, because he chose instead to plow into two very large tacklers. They smashed into the ground so hard that he suffered a concussion, and had to leave the game. Shades of Michael Vick.

The quarterback is by far, the most important position in the NFL. They are required to be both very intelligent and very athletic. While the team is on the field, they have to manage it. They have to throw passes, or hand off the ball to running backs, as required. Every winning team has a great quarterback. So, the NFL has recently taken steps to provide special protection for those who played quarterback. When they are being tackled, the defensive player is not allowed to tackle them above the shoulders, or below the knees. They cannot be tackled if they slide feet first, after running with the ball.

Michael Vick has so much athletic talent that he is often chosen to recklessly run with the football, whenever he chooses to do so. It is exciting to watch him do what he does, and in many cases, exact activities, result in him being injured and having to leave the game. He has been injured many times in his career and he will usually say that he will be more careful in the future. However, when his competitive juices are flowing, he is likely to throw caution to the wind and run recklessly into areas where a smarter man would fear to tread. It is exciting to watch him do what he does, but most of his fans would like for him to be more careful.

We may need to send the Navy Seals to New York to rescue Mark Sanchez. He is being held hostage by Tim Tebow, and the New York Jets. He has Coach Ryan looking over his shoulder, and Tebow breathing down his neck. Most of his confidence is gone, and I get the feeling that he is weary, and that he would just like to get away from it all.

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