I love sports. I love all kinds of sports stories. I'm a sucker for the off-field stuff that goes on, but not so much so that I let it trump the actual games themselves.
Right now, we are in the midst of one of the better NBA Finals in quite a while. But instead of the water coolers lighting up about the Lakers and Celtics, everyone is talking about LeBron James and the upcoming free agent class. If someone takes a pic of Dwyane Wade walking out of a donut shop in Chicago, it becomes news.
Look, I'm interested in where these free agents are going to go. The thing is that I can actually WAIT (that's a big word that I'll get to later) for the Finals to end, the Draft to occur and then July 1st when they can actually sign with someone.
By the way, I'd like to take this opportunity to send congrats to the Chicago Blackhawks for winning the Stanley Cup. Now let's talk about the important stuff: NCAA Conference Realignment. Colorado is going west. Nebraska is going east. The Texas schools are planning their next move. What will the SEC decide to do? What about Notre Dame? Will the Big XII dissolve? Will this also cause the Big East to be on the endangered species list.
Oh, yeah. Way to go Chicago!
Same thing in baseball. We are going ga-ga over Stephen Strasberg's debut and that's not a bad thing. But we are barely mentioning the greatness of Ubaldo Jimenez in Colorado this year.
We need to learn how to WAIT and enjoy what's going on around us now. Once the Lakers or Celtics win the NBA Championship, it won't take long for us to wonder if they will do it again next year. Let them enjoy what they just did before moving on so fast!
In college sports (especially basketball), the second after the NCAA Tournament is over, we all go into "who's leaving early" mode. Then we start blaming 19-year olds for taking the ungodly amounts of moneys instead of playing as a "student" for free just because it weakens our team for next year.
As a Tar Heel fan, I know this all to well. Right after the euphoria of a title in 2005, everyone went into immediate "will Felton, McCants, May and Marvin Williams go pro" hype. Same thing after the 2009 title with Lawson, Ellington and Ed Davis. I get that it is part of the whole deal, but let everyone enjoy what just happened for a while instead of thinking of next year. On SportsCenter after a championship game, they already have a top five or ten for the next season queued up.
The problem is that there is no going back. We now live in an age where information is sooooo easy to obtain. We also live in an age where any schmuck (which includes me) can get on a computer and spread rumors and gossip about anything that enters our mind. Fifteen years ago, the only way I knew about North Carolina's recruits is when they actually signed ... and that was a blurb in the newspaper.
Now I can find out who North Carolina is looking at for the next couple of years. We can watch their high school highlights on YouTube. We have mock drafts and power rankings ... all meaningless exercises used to try to figure out the futures of our franchises. We have this other way of doing that -- wait for the season to play out.
Excuse me while I check my LeBron James free agency rumor site as well as streaming the Ben Roethlisberger testimony tapes.