Other Folks Deserving of Some Independence

A few years back my lady friend and I were at Rhythm & Booms and we were surprised to find out that the big fireworks spectacular was set to the music of The Beatles. Now I would question the sanity of anyone who would say a negative thing about The Beatles’ music (well, except for “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer”), but for an Independence Day party? Weren’t The Beatles, you know, English? And isn’t Independence Day all about celebrating our freedom from the English? Do you think Barbara Walters is going to celebrate her independence from Star Jones by reading chapters from Star’s book Shine: A Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Journey to Finding Love? Seriously, the 4th of July should be about Spotted Cow, sparklers, and Grand Funk Railroad. No Beatles, Stone Roses, and certainly no Kajagoogoo allowed.

Where am I going with this? Oh, in celebration of Independence Day, here’s some sports figures and teams who could use some independence of their own:

1. The Green Bay Packers. Is it too late for them to declare independence from new head coach Mike McCarthy? I know he hasn’t coached a single game yet, but does anyone have a good feeling about McCarthy (apart from Bears and Vikings fans)? He didn’t come in with a good resume to begin with, and his sparsely-attended workouts are a sign that he does not command much respect among his players. But, you say, the players like the laid-back approach. Well, who was the last Packers coach to be lauded for a relaxed demeanor? Ray Rhodes. And we all remember all well he worked out.

2. The Buck. When I heard that Milwaukee’s NBA team was unveiling a new logo this week, I was hoping that the organization was going to replace the deer, not just the color scheme and font type. I’ve always felt the buck mascot looked not intimidating, but sad, as if he was looking down the barrel of a gun on the first day of deer season. But no need to change the name of the team — why not just replace the deer head with a picture of humorist Buck Henry? Or former Hee Haw co-host Buck Owens? Or just a pile of money? After all, what symbolizes professional sports more than money?

3. Alex Rodriguez. I know I shouldn’t feel sorry for any good-looking guy making $25 million a year, but Rodriguez deserves freedom from those annoying Yankee fans. So the guy had a little bit of a slump through most of June, which fans hope he broke out of with his 12th inning game-winning home run against the Braves this week. He still has an on-base percentage of almost .400, he’s got 55 RBIs, and he’s a solid threat to go deep every time he comes up to bat. Yankee fans shouldn’t be booing and jeering that. Nor should they be complaining everyday — this means you, Regis — because the team is “only” 44-32. Suck it up, Yankee fan. Things could be a lot worse. Right, Royal fan?

4. Adam Morrison. The former Gonzaga standout, just picked up by the Charlotte Bobcats with the third pick in this week’s NBA draft, needs some independence from his agent or whoever it was who gave him the advice to become a spokesperson for EA Sports. So now Morrison will not only be known as a softie who cries during games, but also as a geek who plays video games? At least free yourself from that mustache, Morrison. I’ve seen boys at my son’s daycare with more impressive facial hair.

5. Mike Golic. He may be a more polished broadcaster, but does Mike Golic’s on-air radio partner, Mike Greenberg, ever have any interesting insight on the world of sports? Has he ever made a correct prediction about anything? Don’t his “stone-cold lead-pipe locks” always turn out to be wrong? I think ESPN keeps him on the air because he’s a company shill, never afraid to gush over the latest “Dancing with the Stars” episode or embellish World Cup ratings. Golic, and ESPN Radio listeners, deserve better.

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