Sports musings: Vol. 2

By Justin Hubbard

 

In case you missed my column last week (I know most of you read my work religiously, but not all of you do) I’ve decided to write about multiple topics in my column for the weeks where I don’t have a strong enough opinion about a single topic to write an entire column about it. 

Is it lazy? Maybe. But at least I get to cover a greater variety of subjects in this format.  

Until something huge happens that really grabs my attention, this could be the norm for a while, which is why I used plain old numbers in the headline; I started to use Roman numerals, but I’m afraid I’ll write so many of these I’ll have to constantly do Google searches to figure out which numeral I should use each week. 

Anyway, here’s what’s on my mind this week: 

– Danica’s rant was disrespectful and uncalled for 

I make no bones about not being a fan of Danica Patrick.  

She’s an inspiring figure to everyone – particularly women – because of her ability to break into a male-dominated sport. Kudos to her for being able to do that, but I hate the constant hype and attention she receives. I’d have no problem with it if she consistently ran well and competed for victories, but there’s no way a driver with a career average finish of just 24.4 deserves as big of a spotlight as the one hovering over Patrick. 

Last Saturday night in Kansas, Patrick was running well but was taken out of the race when something malfunctioned on Joey Logano’s car. Logano crashed into Patrick and, moments later, Aric Almirola plowed into both of them.  

Almirola had to be cut out of his car and was visibly in bad shape. Later, he was rushed to a nearby hospital. We found out Monday that Almirola sustained a compression fracture to the T5 vertebra and will be out of action for a while.  

But who did Patrick talk about the most during her post-wreck TV interview? Herself.  

She lamented time and again her bad luck and seemed displeased with Logano, apparently not believing his story that something broke on the car.  

Patrick spent the bulk of her interview complaining about the slip-ups she’s had while in the middle of good races. While she has definitely had a ton of bad luck, choosing that moment to air her grievances about it – while Almirola was in a world of pain – was the wrong move and disrespectful to Almirola.  

There was no reason to go that route with her comments, and I hope since things have settled down, Patrick’s realized she was wrong. 

– What in the world is going on at UGA? 

The last several months at the University of Georgia have been crazy, at least as it pertains to its athletic teams.  

A handful of football players have been arrested for various reasons and, as we learned in the last week, the tennis programs are wrapped up in controversy, too. Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams suspended their top assistants. 

DawgNation, a branch of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, reported that the two coaches were suspended for allegedly stealing and/or mishandling prescription medications “involving a number of individuals within the tennis program,” according to a police report. Manuel Diaz, the men’s head coach, told DawgNation he was the person who reported the issue athletic director Greg McGarity; the police then got involved. 

An investigation into the matter is ongoing and nothing is official, but it sounds like a terrible situation. This was the last thing the UGA athletic association needed. A deeply rooted scandal involving two of the most decorated collegiate tennis programs in the country is never a good thing, but the timing – following so many shortcomings from the football players, especially the D’Ante Demery arrest – makes it even worse. 

I hope this matter is resolved quickly, but I can’t shake the feeling this could end up being bigger than anyone thinks. Hopefully, I’m wrong. 

For now, though, I’m with PGA golfer and fellow UGA alum Kevin Kisner. In light of the controversy surrounding the football program, Kisner called out the UGA athletic association by tweeting the following back on May 2:   

When is the last time we have heard something positive from the UGA athletic administration? 

– Who are the top five MLB players of all time? 

Last Sunday, the New York Yankees retired Derek Jeter’s number. In response, The Captain’s harshest critics came out against the move. 

I sent a tweet hating on Jeter’s haters because, although he wasn’t the best player of all time, he was still an all-time great. A follower of mine reached out and asked me to list the five Major League Baseball players I thought were the best in history.  

After giving it some thought, this is what I came up with: 

1. Babe Ruth  

2. Willie Mays 

3. Hank Aaron 

4. Ted Williams 

5. Lou Gehrig  

Some are probably wondering where Barry Bonds is. That cheater will never sniff my top five.  

 

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