Subiect: a quarter century afte
Each week, The Reporters put their thumbs out to the good and the bad in the world of sports. This week, they discuss the ongoing Redskins name debate, a truly dominant pitching performance, the bargain basement standards of the LPGA and MLBs latest fine import. Bruce Arthur, Toronto Star: My thumb is down to the Washington Redskins name debate, and not just because theres any debate at all over the most clearly racist name in sports. No, its because the debates getting dumber by the second, as it ratchets up. A sitting U.S. Congressman - low bar, I know - compared Barack Obama to Kim Jong-Il, or -Un, after a federal trademark case declared the name derogatory. A Fox News host - low bar, I know - compared the name to the New York Giants offending tall people. This happens often, and its always, always stupid, people. Its like the Yankees, or the Lakers, or the Dallas Cowboys of stupid. Calling Dallas the Cowboys, of course, should only be offensive to competent and/or humble cowboys, one and all. Steve Simmons, Sun Media: My thumb is up to Clayton Kershaw, superstar pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who brought the no-hitter back into vogue with a performance for the ages Wednesday night at Coors Field. And I know what youre thinking: another no-hitter, big deal. Theres been so many of them in recent seasons that weve all grown a little bored of pitchers we didnt know or care about throwing another no-no. But it was different against the Colorado Rockies. This is a big name - Kershaw - striking out 15 batters, walking no one, in total command, only reaching the count of three balls on one batter and had it not been for an error by Hanley Ramirez, were talking perfect game here. Add Vin Scully broadcasting to the occasion and baseball doesnt get any better than that. Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated: My thumb is down not to 11-year-old Lucy Li, who qualified for the U.S. Open, but to womens professional golf, whose thimble-deep talent pool made it possible for an 11-year old to qualify. The sixth-grader, who looked like she should be entered in a hopscotch tournament and not slugging it out on Pinehurst no. 2, shot a pair of credible 78s, a score that matched marquee names Natalie Gulbis and Laura Davies but left her far off the cut. Nice two-day story. But rather than celebrate the presence of a sprite in the event, shouldnt the USGA, and by extension the LPGA, be mortified a novice qualified? The kid is precocious, but she isnt exactly Mozart. Dave Naylor, TSN: And my thumb is up to Masahiro Tanaka of the New York Yankees for proving that sometimes a player really is worth all the hype. You may remember how Tanakas transfer from Japan was the major story of the MLB off-season. You may also remember that when the first Major Leage hitter he faced in Melky Cabrera took him deep … some were wondering if the Yankees had just uncovered the next “Dice-K” Matsuzaka. Well right now Tanaka leads the American League in wins and ERA and is among the leaders in innings-pitched, as well as strikeouts and walks per nine innings. And hes looking like a good bet to win both the Cy Young and Rookie of the Year honours. Coming off a perfect 24-0 record in Japan last season, experts cautioned not to expect the same thing from Tanaka in the major leagues. And they were right. After all, on May 20th against the Cubs he did something he never did all of last season in japan. He took the loss. Adidas Tampa Bay Lightning Jerseys . The 10-year deal the league and players agreed to that ended the 2011 lockout gave either side the right to opt out after six years. With the league projecting financial growth, there has been speculation that players will take that option in three years, especially since a new national TV contract will be in place by then. Authentic Ondrej Palat Jersey . Pistorius denied the allegation that he said to the close friend of the girlfriend he killed: "How can you sleep at night?" The accusation by Kim Myers provided a bizarre twist during the trial of the world-famous double-amputee Olympian, who is facing 25 years to life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder for shooting dead Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, at his home last year. http://www.cheaplightningjerseysauthent … is-jersey. According to various reports, the striker is about to sign a five-and-a-half year extension with Manchester United worth a reported 300,000 pounds a week that would see him at Old Trafford until 2019. Authentic Brayden Point Jersey . Wiggins, a 6-foot-8, 200-pound forward who plays his first exhibition game on Wednesday against Pitt State, was the top prospect in the class of 2013. Cheap Tampa Bay Lightning Gear . At times during a solid but not spectacular season, they looked all three. Still the defending AFC champions persevered, riding their top-ranked defence and key contributions from younger players to a 12-4 record and their eighth playoff appearance since 2000, remarkable consistency in a league where change is the only constant.ALAMEDA, Calif. - When George Atkinson IIIs name went uncalled through seven rounds of the NFL draft, there was no doubt where he would end up signing as an undrafted free agent. Despite offers from several teams, Atkinson ultimately signed with the team he was always destined to join, following his famous fathers footsteps to the Oakland Raiders. Now more than a quarter century after George Atkinson Jr. terrorized Lynn Swann and dozens of other NFL wide receivers as a hard-hitting safety with the Raiders, his son is trying to make the team as a backup running back and special teams contributor. "I had to turn a lot of teams down," the younger Atkinson said. "Right out of the gate, they were like, Dont go to the Raiders. I know you want to follow your heart but, weve got a spot for you here. But I know without a doubt this is the spot for me." Father and son knew this was a distinct possibility as the fifth round of the draft ended and no team had called. With two rounds remaining, they believed it might be better if the younger Atkinson wasnt drafted so he could make sure he could sign with the Raiders. While some sons might prefer to blaze their own trail in an organization with no connection to their father, the younger Atkinson had been waiting to put on a Raiders uniform ever since he was a kid. "Ive looked up to this organization and this club for a long time and there was no part of that going on with me," he said. "Ive looked up to my dad and wanted to follow in his footsteps but also lead my own trail at the same time. Youve got to find that balance and thats what Im trying to do right now." The elder Atkinson is a beloved member of the organization for his hard-hitting play that epitomized Oaklands style of play in the 1970s. He had 30 career interceptions and helped Oakland win its first Super Bowl following the 1976 season. He was most famous for his hits on Swann, which led former Steelers coacch Chuck Noll to refer to him as part of the "criminal element" in football.dddddddddddd He is now a broadcaster for the team but made a point of staying away from rookie minicamp last weekend. "He doesnt need that added pressure," the elder Atkinson said. "Hes learning a new game altogether. The pro ranks are a little bit different from high school and college. He needs time to focus on getting adjusted to the NFL. I dont need to be around. Its his time. I dont want to be a distraction to him and the team." The opportunity to play with the Raiders took out much of the sting of going undrafted after skipping his senior season at Notre Dame. In three years in college, the younger Atkinson rushed for 943 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also returned two kickoffs for scores as a freshman. "Its not all about how you come in, but how you leave," he said. "How you set your mark here in the league. You still have to make a team, drafted or undrafted." Atkinson is part of a crowded group of running backs that includes free-agent acquisition Maurice Jones-Drew, returning starter Darren McFadden and last years sixth-round pick, Latavius Murray. But Oakland is searching for a returner and Atkinson III brings one attribute none of the other players competing for a roster spot have. "I think hes a talented athlete and hes got a lot of speed," coach Dennis Allen said. "He has the ability to help us on special teams also. So, I think anytime a chance to get a legacy, somebody who has the Raider blood lines, ... those guys understand what it means to be a Raider. We were pleased that we were able to bring him in here." NOTES: The Raiders signed seventh-round S Jonathan Dowling and CB T.J. Carrie to four-year contracts. ... 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