Friday, September 20, 2013

The Sports Scene

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

Here is a change of pace from the norm.

I've decided to take one topic from each of the Four Major Sports and talk about it.

Lets start with the NFL. I know this is a sensitive issue, but I have no problem with Washington Redskins Owner Dan Snyder keeping his teams' nickname. The fan base has identified with the Redskins and it's Snyder's right to keep it. He is a businessman that's allowed by the free enterprise system in this country to turn a profit. I doubt you'll see Commissioner Roger Goodell pressure him to change the name. I'm sure they'll talk about it, but that's as far as it will go. There is a rich tradition with the Redskins name.

The only time I ever objected to Snyder trying to make a profit was when he used to charge fans money to see team practices in training camp early in his ownership. But when he saw it was a bad public relations move, Snyder backed off.

Super Bowls have been won with the Redskins name and legendary Coach Vince Lombardi also coached in the Nations Capital.

Many college universities had to change their Indian names or they risked harsh NCAA penalties such as not being able to host NCAA sanctioned events and would be subjected to fines if they didn't comply..

The Florida State Seminoles have been able to keep their name.

I can't see Robert Griffin III or Alfred Morris playing for the Washington Wheels. So no worries Washington fans, you'll be able to see important games at your stadium as long as your team is good enough to play in them.

Hosting a Super Bowl is the only exception because warm weather climates and indoor stadiums get these games.

If the Redskins have to change their name, then the Kansas City Chiefs should do the same to make sure there is no double standard. We know that won't happen.

These Indian names will stay.

In MLB, some of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrated their division title by doing belly flops and jumping in the outfield pool at Chase Field after defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks took offense to this because they felt as though they were showed up as a sign of disrespect.

Seriously?

Really?

This was a lighthearted celebration and really a good idea.

The Diamondbacks should be complimented that they have one of the newer and nicest stadiums in baseball therefore it was utilized in a positive way.

Besides, it's nice to see a celebration out of the clubhouse and we're showcasing water and not alcohol. I will never object to anything that is creative, original and different.

In the future, the Diamondbacks should win the game instead to avoid such a celebration in their house.

In the NBA, we're starting to see a trend of former star players playing in games overseas and finishing their careers in places like China. Former Houston Rockets Guard Steve Francis played their briefly in November of 2010. For a short period, Francis had an inexpensive shoe that he was selling in China.

Allen Iverson also played overseas in the Turkish league in 2010-2011.

Now recently retired Tracy McGrady is contemplating the idea. I think this is neat because it allows the world to see some of these athletes. There has been a lot more of this in baseball as players careers that wind down go to Japan.

If a player can get paid to do what he enjoys doing, live in another culture, then more power to him. If these guys have endorsement deals, then it's another way to market them, especially since basketball shoes are huge overseas. The NBA has done an outstanding job marketing overseas especially now that they're playing exhibition games that are leading to regular season contests.

In the NHL, it's hard to believe that hockey is playing exhibition games. What will make this year much different then any other is that the Detroit Red Wings and the Columbus Blue Jackets are now in the Eastern Conference while the Winnipeg Jets are in the Western Conference.

This is a move long overdue and it will be interesting to see how both teams adapt to the physical nature of the Eastern Conference.

In a different way, I doubt they'll be much adapting to the reduced travel schedule and not changing the time zones.

But I have to admit that in a perfect world, it would be great if the Chicago Blackhawks played in the Eastern Time zone if for no other reason, all Original Six Teams would be in the same conference. However, that will never happen unless there is future expansion which somehow allows this to take place. I'm not holding my breath.

I'm glad the Red Wings will have the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens in the same division and they'll see more of the New York Rangers. Five Original Six teams in a conference is a great consolation.

Being a resident in The Sunshine State, I'm looking forward to seeing the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning face the Red Wings more often.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com.

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