Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rain, Rain Go Away...

I couldn't think of a better title for this entry, although I don't mind the rain one bit most times. I could do without the blustery wind and rain that happens from time to time, meaning it's quite miserable to be outside for any amount of time. I can handle just rain quite nicely, I don't mind being drizzled on because if you avoid being outside around here during the rainy months, you'll be confined inside between late October until early June most years around here. It's part of being around here that we get rained on...
I've also enjoyed the concept of All-Star Games for most sports leagues, because the concept is to have a game that is for the fans showcasing the best talent the league can offer. Just like most other things, selecting teams often generates a lot of controversy because while fans are certainly entitled to their opinions and often vote for the players they want to see, their selections at times don't make much sense. This is very apparent for this year in the NBA where Tracy McGrady is one of the leading vote getters in the Western Conference despite not playing a single game this season. Allen Iverson is also a leading vote getter for the East, despite playing in Memphis for the start of the season. Teams have campaigns to get their fans to vote for their favorite players, which often produce results that don't correspond to actual performance at that time.
I get that sometimes fans vote in players because of past performance or likability, but with the NBA All Star teams only having 12 available spots per side, selections are at a premium, so unlike the MLB and NFL, a bad selection ends up harming the event quite significantly. The MLB mandates all teams need to be represented, but they end up having 32 players a side so one bad selection doesn't harm things, while the NFL's game hasn't really mattered for years because even the players don't seem to care about playing in it. The NBA, meanwhile, tries to balance the fan selection with the coaches selecting the 7 reserves to fortify the 5 selected fan starters. There's always somebody that gets left off the team that deserves to play, and sometimes the players do the right thing and decline the honor to allow a more deserving player to show up. However, you can't always count on people doing the right thing (right, Jay? you're being the better person?), so things like McGrady being voted in are just a product of the system. Unless the NBA gets a handle on this situation and does what is best for the event, nobody can really take the selection process that seriously. I didn't watch an All Star game until Brandon Roy got selected, and otherwise, I just wouldn't care to watch.
Meanwhile, the devastation in Haiti just gets worse, as another quake hit the area today. I just can't imagine what it is like to be dealing with all the chaos, destruction, and stress of trying to simply survive where everything around you is falling apart, literally and figuratively. The pictures and video are hard to watch, as one of the poorest regions in the world continues to get battered by nature while the world comes to their aid. I'm thankful that there are many stepping up to help, including one heroic doctor who simply wouldn't leave a makeshift medical center after orders were put out to evacuate the site. I don't like to throw out the label of hero all that much, but Dr. Gupta's actions are quite simply some of the most heroic things I've ever read about. He could have left the area, but he couldn't abandon the patients who were clinging to their life. If you haven't given to Haiti yet, please do so because it's that important. And it's vital for the Haitians to know that the world is watching and pitching in to help them recover from this devastation.

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