Tuesday Stream of Consciousness

Sewer Rats
I wonder when Peter Gammons and countless other talking heads are going to apologize for calling Radomski and McNamee “sewer rats,” and other similar names, after the Mitchell Report came out. Now that players are confirming what the “rats” told Mitchell, Gammons and others are looking more and more foolish. Maybe Gammons should stick to making shitty music and trying to act cool by hanging with Epstein and Pearl Jam.

Mike Vick
This is the last thing I’ll say about Mike Vick’s dogfighting case. He was not the victim of racism. He committed a crime, something that was clearly illegal, and that he obviously knew was illegal (or else he wouldn’t have gone to great lengths to hide it), and he got caught. The sentence he received was well within the guidelines of what the judge could’ve imposed.

PLEASE don’t compare dogfighting to hunting. I’ve never been hunting in my life, but I’m pretty sure hunters don’t put deer on a rape stand and force other deer to fuck them. I’ve passed by some of those outdoors shows on TV, and never saw anyone forcing a quail to run on a treadmill, or starving a duck until it became psychotic.

For those claiming that Vick merely made a “mistake,” I would say this. A mistake is a one-time occurrence…a brief error in judgment. A mistake is not a multi-state dogfighting operation, built over at least 6-7 years, requiring the investment of at least hundreds of thousands of dollars and painstaking efforts to conceal the operation. Mike Vick was arrested and convicted because he broke the law…not because he was black. Use your fucking brain.

Bobby Petrino
This is also the last thing I’ll say about the Bobby Petrino situation. I don’t fault the guy for quitting. I don’t even fault him for quitting in the middle of the season. I fault him for a lack of honesty and courage. If he knew on Monday that he was going to leave for the Arkansas job (as published reports indicate), he should’ve told Arthur blank then. He should’ve told his team in person that he was leaving them. Instead, he shook Arthur Blank’s hand, looked him in the eye, and said “Tell them you have a head coach.” Instead, he typed a letter–presumably…maybe his assistant typed it?–to his players bidding them farewell. Whatever. I look forward to Georgia beating the snot out of his Arkansas team for the foreseeable future. Good riddance.

The Hawks
The Hawks are at .500 at the latest point in a season since the last time they made the playoffs, the ’98-’99 season. They are 6-3 vs. Western Conference teams. They are currently playing with one healthy point guard, and 9 healthy players overall. They have already made it through the toughest stretch in their schedule, which is unbelievable considering it’s still December. They are young and decimated, and only going to get more experienced and healthier. Things are really looking up.

At the risk of 20/20 hindsight, Billy Knight isn’t looking as dumb… AS dumb. He’s still an idiot, but the Joe Johnson trade isn’t looking so bad. Diaw is quite average, after a flirtation with excellence. Meanwhile, Johnson has emerged as one of the best players in the league, and a team leader. Marvin Williams is following the pattern of many other players that have come before him in that he is starting to figure the game out in his third year. Josh Smith and Josh Childress continue to improve each night, and are blossoming into fine NBA players.

Speedy Claxton and Shelden Williams are a different matter. Claxton has appeared in 42 of a possible 106 games, and Shelden Williams has technically appeared in most of his games, but has gone virtually unnoticed. At this point in his career, he is adding nothing to the team: no offense, no defense, no rebounding. Granted, he is only in his second year, and as some of Knight’s previous moves have revealed, some take time to fully materialize. So, the jury is still out on those two.

Anyway, I only want to focus on the positives at this point in the Hawks’ season. They’re starting to beat the teams they should beat, and steal a victory here and there from teams they shouldn’t beat. They’re on pace for a 41-win season, which should put them in the 6-8 seed range for the playoffs. Playoff experience would be priceless for these guys at this point in their young careers, but there’s a long road ahead to reach that point. We’ll see if they make it there.

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