By Sam Finley, EDN Sports Editor
You hear the word ‘resolve’ a lot in the world of sports. It’s mostly said by coaches hoping that their team will rebound after a tough game. I suppose you could argue that some other words could be used instead, but maybe it is a good time for me to suggest some quick resolutions for some folks in the realm I cover.
First of all, I have a resolution for Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo. After years of bravado, maybe it’s time for this signal caller to put up or shut up. How do you keep Romo away from your festivites? Tell him he’ll have to play a big game there.
Seriously, I’m tired of hearing that this guy could be the next Brett Favre. (Though he does have the off-field drama queen role down pat). Either he shows what he can do in a pressure situation (this weekend against the Giants is a great opportunity) or it is time to turn off the hype machine.
Next up, LeBron James. We know what this so-called “King” can do in the NBA regular season. However, we’ve been told that LeBron just needed a better cast of characters around him before he could win the title.
That excuse floated out the window when he left Cleveland for Miami last year, and he started talking about the multiple championships that the Heat would acquire. Funny thing is, in the 2011 NBA Finals, the best player on the court was Dallas’ Dirk Nowitski (who let his game do the talking for him).
Therefore, until the Miami Heat win the big one, maybe it’s time all of us have this joint resolution: We saw Michael Jordan play. Michael Jordan was the greatest basketball player of all time. LeBron James, you’re no Michael Jordan.
Now for a more local resolution. For the Oregon football team, it’s pretty simple. The Ducks have had three marvelous seasons under head coach Chip Kelly. Going to two Rose Bowls in the past three years (and playing in the BCS championship in the one between) is nothing to sneeze at.
But in early 2012, they need to do something to solidify their 2011 campaign as a step in an even higher direction. They’re playing Wisconsin in Pasadena this Monday, and should probably borrow the mantra from the late Al Davis. Yep, they need to “just win, baby.”
You’ll find a an article written by myself an Mr. Don Smalley on what the Ducks (and Badgers) need to do to come out ahead on Monday. What that article DOESN’T tell you is what will happen.
As I see it, it comes down to one factor I didn’t list: De’Anthony Thomas. The freshman phenom can do it all from lining up in the backfield, running a pass route, even returning kicks. Some have said Oregon hasn’t seen an offense like Wisconsin’s yet. (That’s bunk! They were called the Stanford Cardinal).
The truth is, I don’t think the Badgers (or any other Big-10 school) has seen an athlete quite like DAT this year. I’m looking for him to have a big day in front of his Southern California relatives, and that’ll be a big reason why the Ducks will finally get that elusive Rose Bowl win. Here’s my prediction: Oregon 42, Wisconsin 31.
Let’s get to one or two of my resolutions before I wrap this one up. First, I intend to keep my long standing resolution not to every play leap frog with a unicorn. (I’ve heard that can be painful). I’m also planning to try and be a little nicer…but we’ll see how that goes. It may take a little more ‘resolve’ on my part.
Seriously, 2011 had it’s ups and downs for me. But this was a good year, and my resolution is to take the EDN sports section and continue to mold it into something worthy of your constant attention. We’ve had some great articles in our first year, but we want to take what is good and make it even better.
We’re going to be starting some weekly reviews for both college and prep basketball that I know you’ll want to read. You’ll also find even more profiles than ever before. For that matter, you’ll probably find EDN in some places you didn’t necessarily think we’d go. Here’s a perfect example: The WWE is coming to Matt Knight Arena in February, and I intend to be there. (Look out Triple H, here I come). So check back here and watch the evolution happen.
Until next time, I’ll see you in the bleachers.