Deaton dishes on the sports scene


Deaton Dishes
Piosphere Columnist Taylor Deaton

*Editor’s Note: Taylor Deaton’s column will return to the back page in the next issue of The Rambler. Stay tuned.
Suzanne Summer and Sven Springtime have acquiesced. As warm weather lovers take their selves Southward for the cooler months, Winifred Winter has started her ascent to the climatological throne. But not to worry! Stephan Sportsbury has chosen not to partake in this particular extended metaphor, and the world of competitive athletics is still red-hot as a result!
Here’s a colon, followed by a list of pertinent sports happenings:

– Suggestion Box
After his childish, defamatory post game rant in which he more or less threw the entire Panthers’ team bus under itself last weekend, this was supposed to be the game where Cam Newton validated his remarks with a performance worthy of such brashness. Going 20 for 39 from the pocket with no TD’s, two picks- one of them a dreaded pick-six – and a passer rating of 57.0 was not the validating performance Cam and his faithful cubs were looking for. Maybe Terry Bradshaw or John Elway can drop a “How to Lead a Football Team” note in Cam’s newly christened suggestion box.
Newton’s response, like the rant itself, does not surprise me. Unfortunately, 4.4 speed and an Adonis-like physique do not a leader make. A real leader is one who can shake off pressure and expectation like 300 pound linemen. A real leader encourages others to step up in a positive, good hearted manner- and then leads by example. And a good leader, like his left guard, always keeps it three-hunna (Chief Keef Voice) with his teammates. Newton has not been candid with his team, and hasn’t shouldered the brunt of the burden expected by QBs in the modern game. His antics should serve to remind all sports fans that you can’t will an athlete to be a mature, responsible adult.

-Pardon The Harden
“This is a team.” Kevin Durant said late last season, as the OKC Thunder were making the longest playoff run in franchise history. “This is a family.”
There is familial discord in Oklahoma City, ladies and gentleman.
After failing to come to a contract extension agreement, the OKC administration chose to trade James Harden, NBA sixth man of the year and one of the hardest guards in the league. As shocking as the decision might seem at first, it really isn’t. This is just another bureaucratic decision. The OKC administration ran a cost-benefit analysis and decided that Harden wasn’t worth what he as asking for. Boom goes the dynamite. You’re disowned. This, unfortunately, is the modern NBA. There are no real “families.”
And while it’s disappointing to see a key cog in the league’s most explosive offense go missing, it should not discourage NBA fandom. This is the league we live in, (share the covers, DAVID!) and while the removed, business first, win-at-all costs model engenders separations like Harden’s, it also bred the Big Three in Boston and Miami, gave the Brooklyn Nets a chance at basketball relevance, and revitalized an aging Lakers squad overnight.

-Ginormous Giants
After nearly being knocked out of the playoffs six times, the San Francisco Giants clinched their second championship in two years by sweeping the Detroit Tigers. Marco Scutaro – who else? – delivered yet another clutch late game hit, a go-ahead single with two outs in the 10th inning that lifted the Giants to a 4-3 win in the series’ final game.
But this is less about them, and more about how absolutely, positively, pneumonia-mono-degenerative ulceritis-level sick I am at the Reds. ONE GAME. YOU CHUMPS HAD TO WIN ONE GAME. More like one inning. Just a few outs. Normally I wouldn’t be so concerned, what with the abundance of young talent, proven veterans, and solid pitching for the first time since the RedLegs were the BENCH-mark for baseball superiority. But the C-Town Beatdown of late has done a better job at beating themselves through clutchless displays and self-inflicted wounds rather than dismantling other organizations. Too many times, this young heart has been broken by “what if” and “if only” moments.
Oh, Brandon Phillips just tweeted me. He says “Were good next year. Joey’s back. I’m the best second basemen in the game. Plus, have you seen this Chapman guy? Now want some free stuff?”
Maybe there is hope.

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