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Venkataraman: Ten things I think I think

In the absence of any bright column ideas, here are 10 things I think I think about the state of the world of sports, a gimmick ripped directly from the Peter King Monday Morning Quarterback playbook:

  1. I think that the attacks last week on Paris, Beirut and countless other places that didn’t receive nearly as much press, and their globally-felt aftermath, should be the first things on people’s minds. We live in trying times, with so much hate and anger and bad feeling permeating the world. I wish that this were not so.
  1. I think that Aaron Rodgers said it best when he called out a moronic fan who used the moment of silence before the Green Bay-Detroit game at Lambeau to shout a thoroughly insensitive, stereotypical and idiotic message that was captured on audio. In his own words: “…I was very disappointed with whoever the fan was who made a comment that I thought was really inappropriate, during the moment of silence. It’s that kind of prejudicial ideology that I think puts us in the position that we’re in today, as a world.”
  1. I think that even the most plugged-in source would have a hard time projecting this rapid a decline from Peyton Manning, who went from having arguably the greatest season by a quarterback in NFL history two years ago to last weekend’s debacular performance (and yes, I know that debacular is not a word). The stats were ugly enough — 5/20 for 35 yards and 4 interceptions, with a traditional passer rating of 0.0. But at a higher level, the command of the game is just not there anymore. Throws from hashmark to hashmark look like they are moving in slow motion, deep balls look like ducks shot out of the MythBusters turkey cannon, and short throws either knuckleball into the turf or sail high. With a foot injury sidelining Manning for at least the short term, the Broncos have a severe dilemma on their hands. Their defense is clearly championship worthy — would a switch to the young, unproven, but physically intact Brock Osweiler rejuvenate an offense that ranks 28th in yards per game and 18th in points per game?
  1. I think the abrupt firing of Kevin McHale shows just how cutthroat the Western Conference has become in the NBA. By all accounts, the Houston Rockets are underperforming, with just 4 wins in 11 games this season, a clunky offense, some comical defense by everyone’s favorite beard, and an inability to properly incorporate Ty Lawson and a moderately healthier Dwight Howard into the flow of things. But again, McHale was just coming off a season in which he shepherded an injury-riddled Rockets team to the Western Conference Finals, where they gave the eventual champs all they could handle. McHale has been known to be a tough coach to get along with, but he had a close bond with many of the Rockets players, including James Harden. Axing him this early feels like a panic move.
  1. I think that the fight our Stanford football team showed in a devastating loss to Oregon cannot be overstated. The game wasn’t truly over until the final play, and while one can be dissatisfied with the result, one cannot help but step back and admire just how good this team has been for so long. The season ain’t over yet, but regardless of how things shake out, I’ll remember this team with immense fondness for a long time.
  1. I think that, while I’ve always considered stadium security checks to be a huge hassle, I’ll shut up and take my medicine after learning that two or more bombers were sent away from the Stade de France by event security there. The damage that could have been done in a crowded sporting venue is almost unimaginable, and a great deal of thanks is in order for all the vigilant personnel who saved countless lives.
  1. I think that my father downgrading our Comcast cable subscription at home has forced me to get extra creative in terms of watching soccer matches. It was hard enough to catch fringe games with Fox Soccer and beIN sport available on my TV. Now, I just live vicariously through others and follow live blogs and Twitter. A first world problem, to be sure, but you really don’t value something until it is gone.
  1. I think that Stephen Curry is turning into a machine before our eyes. Few players score so much, so prolifically, so mesmerizingly, and so casually. You wonder where Steph has been all game and realize that he has quietly poured in 30+ points.
  1. I think that Tom Brady in sweatpants is a frightening look, but I think the UGGs commercials have desensitized me. Nothing really surprises me anymore.
  1. I think that this holiday season, it is especially important to get close to family and spend quality time with them. No one knows what twists life can take, but having family there by your side always makes things so much better. Happy Thanksgiving, all, and God bless!

 

Ask Viggy what color Uggs he wants for Christmas. Donations can be made to his Venmo @viggyfresh.  Contact Viggy at viggy ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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