The take over, the break’s over.
If you know what that’s from, you probably know, one of my favorite artists.
Anyway, I am back from a week hiatus, and what is going on in the sports world?
My teams are all making me want to turn in my fan card.
First up it’s the Chicago Bears, who are letting Matt Forte walk without even offering him a contract. I get that the two-time pro bowler is 30 years old, which is like the plague to NFL teams in regards to running backs. However, Forte is only one year removed for setting the record for receptions by a running back in one season, 102. He also put up 1,287 all-purpose yards in a time share with youngster Jeremy Langford, in only 13 games.
I get that the Bears have a new regime but Forte’s play hasn’t dipped all that much and every team needs two running backs. So it makes no sense to me why they wouldn’t even offer him a contract. Maybe he would be too expensive for them and that’s okay. But to not even hold discussions with a guy who has been a complete professional off and on the field is nonsense.
This already happened with Julius Peppers, who the Bears let walk because he was too old and he followed that by another seven-sack season for rival Green Bay. Oh, and he busted off 10.5 sacks in 2015. Another brilliant move, Bears, great job.
Back to Forte, whatever team he ends up on will be instantly better, just wait and see the kind of season he has next year. I might take my fan card with him.
As I get older I find my allegiance to teams is waning, maybe that’s because I grew up in Montana. I never got to experience going to baseball games with my father, hitting the football game on Sunday’s with my friends, heading to the hockey rink to get autographs or a stick tossed into the crowd. Or maybe I am realizing how sports are such a business that players like Forte and Peppers are just allowed to walk. It’s not about winning as much as it is about profit.
On the soccer side of things I have been a Manchester City fan since 2006, when I started going to the Crown and Anchor on Tropicana and Maryland Parkway. Awesome soccer bar; there is a cover charge for games it gets so busy. But the environment is well worth it.
Anyway, Man City has delivered two championships to me as a fan, the first being incredibly thrilling. Check this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81bv_gF4j5k if you want to see the insanity, it’s the one thing that makes the English soccer system have miraculous finishes to the season.
This year Man City was in the hunt for a third championship (in second place) and the Round of 16 of the Champions League (Europe’s Super Bowl for the non-futbol people). Then the club announced Feb. 1, City manager Manuel Pellegrini would be let go at the end of the season – for Pep Guardiola (the Bill Belichick of soccer).
So they fired their manager who is still in season and competing for all of the biggest trophies in the sport! Since then, after a win, City has lost three straight, including an embarrassing 5-1 loss to Chelsea in the fifth round of the FA Cup (England’s Cup, where all professional teams in England have a chance to win).
The decision to fire Pellegrini has clearly effected the team’s psyche.
In hockey I am a Quebec Nordiques, Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators fan. Crazy, right? You might say I am not a fan. I tried an experiment. I was a big Joe Sakic fan but wasn’t really into the Nordiques, I just liked watching him play. From there the team moved to Colorado (another reason not to be too loyal) and won two Stanley Cups, the second of which featured a rental of one of the greatest players ever, Ray Bourque.
If you remember the moment the 23-year NHL veteran hoisted the Stanley Cup it was a tear jerker. After Sakic left I realized I wasn’t really attached to the Avalanche and waited for another player to strike my interest. Turned out to be a goal scoring, tough as nails defenseman Dion Phaneuf who was recently traded for a second time to Ottawa. Go Senators!
The point is I feel more compelled by the people who play the sport than the teams for which they play. The only team I have any real loyalty to is the Seattle Mariners because, for me, it was the experience of going to their games live that made me a fan. The team drew me in, the stadium, not one player.
Everything else is based off TV. So consider this my letter to the owners and GM’s who ruin my teams, I am done. I will follow those that who play and mean something, since the idea of loyalty in sports is dead.
Last Week: 0-0
2016 Season: 18-10-3
Stars-Jets OVER 5.5: Two of their three battles went over and the Stars defense and goaltending has been awful in the last two contests. Don’t think it gets solved in Winnipeg.
Islanders-Wild OVER 5: Minnesota is on a tear as far as overs are concerned (one game in the last 12 has gone under) so try to ride the streak as the Isles can score too.
Senators-Oilers OVER 5.5: Both teams struggle on defense but have nights full of goal scoring.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, Round of 16, Manchester City-Dynamo Kijv OVER 2.5: As mentioned above, City is reeling, especially on defense. I think they get up for this game knowing this is probably their last chance to do anything meaningful, but Dynamo will also be up to task.
Only four this issue; follow me @vegasberserker on Twitter, I’d be happy to give you something else during the week.