Wednesday, April 14, 2010

DUDE REPORT: Let’s hear it for Nellie

It is ok to admit it that if after reading the headline to this post that you started humming the Thong Song. Although I am still trying to recover from having that song stuck in my head from early 2000 through 2001, I do like Nelly the rapper. Although Cornell Haynes, Jr. (Nelly’s real name) isn’t the focus of this DUDE REPORT he does have some athletic ties. Not only did he make a great catch and hit a monster homerun in the 2009 Legends and Celebrities Softball game at the MLB All Star game, he is also part owner of the Charlotte Bobcats. (In the hyperlinked clips Nelly’s highlights both happen around 2:35. I would be remised if I didn’t mention Rena Walker appearing in the softball game. Spoiler Alert: It was a rough episode of 24 for her last night, and I was sad to see her go.)

Another area where I appreciate Nelly the rapper is when I am running. When I get tired on a run, Nelly’s Heart of a Championship is one of the two songs I use to get pumped back up. The other is Stronger by Kanye West. I would love any suggestions that you have for songs that pump you up. I haven’t gone for a run for over a month (not a coincidence that Paige is one month old today), and when I do get back out there I am sure I will have a lot of these out of energy moments.

The other Nellie, Don Nelson, is the current head coach of the Golden State Warriors and on April 7th, with little fanfare, he became the winningest coach in NBA history. Ironically, it took me four paragraphs to mention his name in a post where my goal is to communicate that his story was unjustly lost in the shuffle!?!?!?

Before I go any further I should point out that Chris Ballard on the back page of the April 5th Sports Illustrated in an article titled, “Genius of the Mad Scientist” wrote about Nelson approaching the wins record. I point this article out for two reasons. The first reason is in case anyone from SI is reading by blog (I wish) I wanted to make sure I gave credit where credit is due. The other reason that I am mentioned Ballard’s article is because, although I consider myself someone who follows sports closely, if I wouldn’t have read this article I would have missed Nelson's milestone accomplishment.

Some argument this accomplishment means less because Nelson has never won a championship as a coach (he did win 5 as a player), or because his Golden State team is terrible this year, or because he has coached for so long many say he should have accrued 1333 wins much sooner.

All of these arguments fall along the wayside when the magnitude of the accomplishment is considered. Also when you consider the coverage that records such as Favre breaking Marino’s career passing yard record, Eric Gange’s pursuit of the consecutive saves record, and the extremely overhyped coverage of McGuire, Sosa and Bond's pursuit of the single season homerun record. While all of these records have their merits, having the most wins ever in a major sport like basketball seems to deserve more attention.

Nellie, you can rest a sure that after today’s post the handful of readers of my blog will now know what you have achieved. Congrats from the 8 of us!?!?!

The media’s current coverage of sports is to blame for Nelson’s achievement being overlooked. First the media, much like the NBA, NFL, and MLB themselves, has a disproportionate focus on large markets. I get it that the money is in New York and LA, but do we need to spend the first 20 minutes of every SportsCenter breaking down Kobe’s ankle injury, the Red Sox’s bullpen, and playing "Can you name which New York Giant got arrested this weekend?". This leaves little time to discuss what else is going on in the sports world. While Nelson’s Warriors do play in California, I still feel this 25 win team with no stars and a legendary coach is marginalized by a disproportionately large amount of coverage given to a handful of other teams.

The second critic of the media goes beyond the coverage of sports. Fox News, CNN, and all the others spend more time covering which Senators yelled “You lie” or “baby killer” in the Senate, then providing us with substance and factual information about real issues. SportsCenter and other sports shows, when not talking about the Yankees or Red Soxs, fill up their time discussing Tim Tebow’s arm angle, Ben Rothlisberger’s latest night club incident, and the Dallas Cowboys old stadium blowing up. While all of these issues are related to sports and could have an impact, they are all off the field topics. I think a sports purist would rather know if the NBA wins record is about to be broken versus hearing 18 analyst’s reaction to the latest Tiger Woods press conference.

My solution is to have Nelly the rapper make a song about Nellie the coach as catchy at the Thong Song. Then none of us would ever be able to forget who the winningest coach in NBA history is!?!?!?!?!?!?


Wade Philips: While Don Nelson has just become the winningest coach in NBA history, Wade gets the award for most confused looking coach in NFL history.

1 comment:

  1. Pump up songs: "Changes" by Tupac and "Let It Rock" by Kevin Rudolf!