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The Friday Five: The Almost Totally Noble Edition!

It’s Friday, and that means it is time for the Friday Five, a rundown of some major events in the sports world that may not have received the coverage they are due, mainly because of the sports media world by large dedicating a ridiculous majority of their time to an event that isn’t really much of a news event. We break it down by an event in each of the big 4 American sports, and then for fun I throw in an update on something else happening in the world of sports.

Now as stated in last week’s inaugural edition, I really find it to be a tad dull when I’m being lazy in bed at night or early in the morning, and my TV is locked into hearing the same nonsense over and over. So in case you can live without sporting news, here’s the biggest event of the week.

“Hope y’all like watching me do nothing,” I imagine Manning saying during 24-hour coverage of him not throwing passes.

The Big Story: This past week NFL training camps opened in preparation for the upcoming season. Along with this came the reports on big stars refusing to report, such as Maurice Jones-Drew and Cliff Avril, notifications of players on the PUP List, players continuing to act like spoiled children (I‘m looking at you, every NFLer who makes boatloads of cash and can‘t seem to behave in public), and the hour-long camera shot of Peyton Manning taking snaps at Broncos’ training camp, only to not throw a single football. Yes, you read that correctly. If you were hoping to see some of No. 18 tossing a few passes, you were greatly disappointed by the commentary that he has been limited to the number of footballs they want him to throw. This is the nonsense I’m forced to watch while waiting to see the best of outfielders doing their jobs in baseball?

I break down sports so you don’t have to!

NFL: I realized that in having a section about the National Football League this week could only lead to more stories about training camp, which quite frankly is boring and stale. So I am going to switch the focus to something pretty awesome that some individuals of the NFL have taken it upon themselves to do.

Within the week following the deadly theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, many members of the Denver Broncos organization made visits to the victims and their families. On top of this, Carolina Panthers receiver Steve Smith announced he was donating $100,000 to the victims to help them through their recovery.

A lot of times you hear about how juvenile many rich athletes behave. The media will cover all of the arrests and poor decisions a lot of these men make, but all too often, as with other aspects of society, whenever people do wonderful things like this it gets swept under the rug. Everyone wants to send in a complaint, but when you receive wonderful service, how many of you send in a compliment? I’d like to take a moment to thank any sports star who has dedicated time and money to a noble cause, because far too often it goes unrecognized.

This shirt looks plaid, but it’s actually an amalgam of all of the jerseys of teams Garza has played for.

MLB: With the trade deadline rapidly approaching (Tuesday, for those of you who don’t pay attention) there are still a lot of teams looking to make moves to help their playoff chances. One of the biggest potential moves prior to last week was making a move for Cubs’ starter Matt Garza. That is, of course, before his stock took a hit with his early pull from his last start after experiencing cramps in his throwing arm. An MRI revealed a slight build-up of fluid in his right triceps. Unfortunately this means Garza won’t be pitching again until after the deadline. The Cubs starter has posted a 5-7 record, but with a relatively low ERA. Any team that wanted to make a move for him will do so with a bit of hesitation as to if this injury will clear up quickly, or if it will plague him for the foreseeable future.

NBA: I had contemplated talking about Lebron James jumping on the crazy bandwagon with Kobe about which Olympic team were better, or about how Ray Allen and the Heat are set to open the season against Allen’s former teammates the Celtics, but I figured another noble gesture should be given focus. Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs made quite a bit of money last year. Somewhere in the $21 million neighborhood. Knowing that his best playing years may well be behind him, Duncan did something that not a lot of sports stars are willing to do, he took a pay cut. And I’m not talking about some small little amount of money that is nearly negligible and serves no real good for a team. Tim Duncan took his salary from last year, and cut it in half. More than in half, really. He’ll be making just under $10 million next season, and just over $10 the year after. This pay cut will allow the core of the Spurs to remain in tact, and allow them to continue to be a force in the Western Conference, and still be a relevant name in discussion for the NBA Championship. In the era of super teams and stars taking a ton of money to go somewhere knowing they won’t win a title with their ludicrous salary, it’s good to know there are still players out there looking out for the good of their team, and not just their own wallets.

Upon hearing the Hurricane’s contract offer, Semin had no words, but a very good ‘Not Sure if Serious’ face.

NHL: In hilariously awkward offseason news in the hockey world, the Carolina Hurricanes have signed Alexander Semin to a 1 year, $7 million contract. Now if you’re not a big hockey fan, the reason this deal is so unusual is due to the reputation that Semin has gained over the past few years. Semin is a talented player, there is no doubt about that, but he is two years removed from his only 40 goal season, and last year he only netted 27 and dealt with his fair share of injuries. On top of the on-ice concerns one would have in signing him, Semin has been called out for being quite a locker room problem child. During the first day of free agency, Marc Crawford and Pierre McGuire famously referred to him as a “Coach Killer.” Semin has been criticized for periods of time with a lack of production, especially during the playoffs. Washington had no real desire to sign him, and it took almost a month of free agency for a team to land him. It will be interesting to see if the change of scenery does well for Semin, or if his reputation exists with merit.

The difference between ordinary and extraordinary…is that little extra.

MMA: It was announced that Strikeforce Grand Prix winner Daniel Cormier would face off against former UFC Heavyweight champion Frank Mir at a Strikeforce event later this year. This news came as a shock to another former UFC Heavyweight champion, one Tim Sylvia, because he believed he was in negotiations for the fight, and an eventual return to the UFC. Sylvia, of course, famous for doing nothing of note in a fight in several years outside of being knocked out in 10 seconds by former boxing champ and at the time 48-year-old Ray Mercer. Sylvia, who has gone his whole career without ever being accused of being a good fighter, still believes he is one of the top 20 talents in the world, and thought the fight against Cormier would lead to his triumphant return to the golden roads of the UFC. Mir, who has had trouble with big wrestlers in the past, will fight Cormier under the Strikeforce banner before that company’s heavyweight division is folded into the UFC. Did Tim Sylvia really think he was going to get another opportunity to fight in the UFC? This guy has become quite the joke in the Mixed Martial Arts world, and that was before the Mercer embarrassment. The only reason I could see for Tim to want to take this fight is an attempt to get one last big pay-day for getting his face pounded in by a force in Daniel Cormier. But, I guess that’s why they call him the Maine-iac. (He was born in Maine. Maine-iac. Get it?!)

That will do it once more for your new favorite weekly wrap-up special the Friday Five. If any of you want to discuss anything else that has been missed in the world of sports due to not-news plaguing the airwaves, feel free to drop me a line, comment to the article, or honor the memory of Rick James by being a super freak and tracking me down in my day-to-day. I hope you’ll continue to join me here week after week, and support The Farm Club. For Shane Viars, I’m Shane Viars, see you next week, and remember not to spend too much time on the big stories.

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About lostcitysaint

I am a 25 year old manager of a chain record store. I am heavily into sports, music and all things geek. I am tattooed, chubby, bearded and awesome. Straight Edge. History major. Hopeful musician.

View all posts by lostcitysaint

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