Friday, November 27, 2009

Nothing like Alabama/ Auburn rivalry

I've seen countless sporting events and numerous rivalries during my years as a sports journalist.

I can easily say that there's no rivalry like the Auburn versus Alabama football game. I know many of you will mention Duke and North Carolina basketball. Some of you will say Michigan v. Ohio State or Florida v. Florida State football. Or, maybe even Oklahoma versus Nebraska. There are a lot of great rivalries and games in college athletics. I simply don't know of any that take over like Alabama versus Auburn.

I haven't been in Alabama for an Iron Bowl in years, so I honestly forgot the intensity of the situation. I was in Enterprise, Alabama for during the Iron Bowl this year. Every other car I passed either had an University of Alabama or Auburn tag, Roll Tide or war eagle flag, or license plates and stickers to show support. Sure, most people see things like this in the same city the game is taking place. But I am talking about just about every city in Alabama. Did I mention that everyone was seemingly wearing Alabama and Auburn paraphernalia on the day of the game?

I can honestly go on... but I won't. I simply wanted to blog about something that was on my mind for a minute.

Roll tide... 26-21.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard fined for comments about refs

Professional athletes have a HUGE price to pay. Many of them make a lot of money, but get fined unreal amounts of dollars for breaking minor rules.

The one that gets me the most is being fined for talking abour officials or referees... especially in the NBA. Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, who's a great guy off the court, was recently (Nov. 11) fined $15,000 for comments he made about some calls on HIS BLOG.

Now, I can see maybe punishing him for telling me or other members of the media some things he didn't like about an official or some calls. But I was really surprised to see him being fined for something he wrote on his PERSONAL blog.

The comments Howard made were after a loss to the Detroit Pistons last week. He only played 16 minutes that game.

"I haven't played that little in a game since I was 10 years old, in pee-wee ball," Howard posted on his blog after that loss. "What really bothers me is they are letting guys hammer me on one end of the floor, yet I am being called for everything."

Howard also wrote: "How can that be ya'll? It was crazy. They called me for a charge on a flop, a push off when the defender was on me and two fouls on blocked shots."

And... those are the type of comments that got my boy fined 15 stacks. Crazy. That's kind of like punishing someone for something they may have written in their diary or something. I guess the biggest difference is that most diaries are private and blogs are sometimes available for many to view.

I simply find it odd and unfair to punish professional athletes for expressing themselves, whether it's through a diary, twitter, facebook or rap albums. What's up with freedom of speech?

Then again, there's seemingly a HUGE price to pay when you PLAY and make a lot of money.