Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Midweek #HotSportsTakes: Marathons are Really Long

By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

Midweek #HotSportsTakes is a weekly segment here on SuiteSports, where we offer shallow and somewhat incendiary analysis on random hot-button sports topics of the day.

Let's get right to it.

On Meb Keflezighi Becoming the First American in 20 Years to Win the Boston Marathon:

Let me first say how awesome this year's Boston Marathon was, and not just because the heavy police/military presence focused on keeping people safe, and not busting college kids for drinking out of solo cups along the race path.

It was a pretty inspiring race all around. If you haven't stood along the street for the last few miles of it, you're missing out. I don't mean when guys like Keflezighi are running by, though it was awesome to see him leading the pack at mile marker 23.5, I mean when the "normal people" are running.

You can see they're beat, and they're just digging down for every bit of strength they have to complete this life goal. Then you have the crowd on the side, yelling words of encouragement and giving high fives, it brings a smile to your face and, surprisingly, seems to actually give the runners a little extra wind.

Having an American finally win the Marathon this year, of all years, was incredibly sweet, but the guy who wins is never really the story. It's the triumph of those non-professional runners that complete the ultimate test of human endurance in front of their friends and families, and that's why the bombs struck a chord with so many Bostonians last year.

Those bombs didn't go off when world class runners were crossing, they went off when your cousin or friend that raised money for charity was crossing. It was great to see things back to normal.

Also, damn are marathons long. We were about 2.5 miles away from the finish line yelling "you're almost there!" to runners. Shoot, I can't remember the last time I even ran that far outside without stopping. It's crazy.

On the Bulls Going Down 0-2 at Home to Washington:

With the way basketball is going in the Midwest, the freaking Wizards might make the East finals.

On the Pacers Not Selling Out Playoff Games:

This is what I'm talking about. People in Indiana claim to be basketball nuts, but even they can't get excited about the Pacers, and that's after the team captured the 1-seed in the East.

Indiana has just fallen apart over the last month-plus of the season, and until Paul George went bananas last night, they looked totally disinterested against Atlanta.

Still, I'm not letting Indy fans off the hook. This is the same fan base that called Miami fans "fair weather" (Ok, everybody does that), and they can't sell out a playoff game? At the end of the day, Indianapolis, an underrated sports town, is just like any other. If the stakes aren't high and the team is uninspired, fans will watch from home.

On the Practice Fight Between Lance Stephenson and Evan Turner:

Check out this quote from Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski:

"Two Indiana Pacers dragged a cursing, cut Evan Turner out of the Bankers Life Fieldhouse court, untangling him from a practice-floor fistfight with teammate Lance Stephenson...Truth be told, there were probably Pacers willing to let Stephenson and Turner beat the dribble out of each other. Still, Luis Scola and David West finally grabbed an enraged Turner and separated Stephenson."

This sounds like a team ready to make a title run. Yeah, I guess I wouldn't buy tickets to watch them either.

On Albert Pujols Joining the 500 HR Club:

Was he not there already? I swear, we've been talking about him as one of the all-time greats for so long, and now he's kinda stinking it up, so I assumed he had already hit like 535 and was now slowly floating into obscurity on a boat full of cash.

That being said, I like Albert, and I'm happy for him. Even though I thought this already happened.

On Red Sox Fans Booing Jacoby Ellsbury:

#BostonStrong grudges.

On the 10 Year Anniversary of Pat Tillman's Death:

I remember when the story of Pat Tillman giving up an NFL career to join the armed forces, following September 11th, broke. I didn't think it was that big of a deal, because everybody was feeling patriotic and everyone was looking for some kind of closure/vengeance, though most of it was misguided.

Looking back on it, I can't believe that actually happened. This is the kind of stuff American athletes did for World War II and Korea. Like, when athletes didn't make that much money. But Tillman gave up a multimillion dollar career to do what he thought was right.

Whether you agree with his cause or not, you have to respect that.

On the Release of the NFL Schedule:

For the life of me, I have no idea why people get excited about this. If you know what division your team is in, and where they finished in said division, you already know the teams they're playing next year.

This "reveal" just tells you the order and which games will be home and which will be away. I guess it's exciting to see if your team will be in any prime time games, but I'll probably look at the schedule tonight and be like "Oh, the Steelers get Indy at home and travel to Jacksonville… They're still gonna suck though."

On Lamarr Woodley Saying the Raiders are "Definitely a Playoff Team:"

Well, he also said the Ravens would never win a championship as long as Joe Flacco was the quarterback, so this sounds about right.

On Charlie Strong Saying Texas "Will Not Be in the National Championship Game:"

I agree.

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