Respect Greatness


We are living in an era where we’re witnessing historical records are being broken, mesmorizing moments from deciding games are taking place, and once in a lifetime achievements are current. Clear examples of such greatness includes the Golden State Warriors winning 73 games in a regular season, the newly infamous Julian Edelman’s catch that helped propel the New England Patriots Super Bowl LI comeback, and the Chicago Cubs winning their first World Series since 1908.

We are also living in an era where we’re witnessing some of the best athletes to ever play. When I was a child, I saw Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Ken Griffey, and Jerry Rice. As I got older, I witnessed Kobe Bryant, Mario Lemieux, Derek Jeter, and Randy Moss. Now there’s LeBron James, Patrick Kane, Kris Bryant, and Julio Jones. Over the past 30 years, we’ve have seen athletes come and go, but we have all been witnesses to the greatness that certain professionals have displayed.

In the last 12 months alone, we have seen some of the best championship sporting outcomes in history. We saw March Madness end with a buzzer beater by Villanova to beat North Carolina. Two months later, the Cleveland Cavaliers ended the city’s championship drought by coming back against the Golden State Warriors down 3 games to 1 to capture their first NBA title in franchise history. Fast forward to October, we witnessed another drought end but on a more significant level. The Chicago Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians in the 10th inning of game 7 after being down 3 games to 1 as well. Last month, we saw Clemson get their sweet revenge against Alabama in of the most fantastic finishes in recent memory. Serena Williams won her 23rd Grand Slam title. Less than 2 weeks ago, we’ve witnessed the best Super Bowl ending in NFL history. The UConn women’s basketball team are currently on a 100 game winning streak (that is ridiculous!).

It seems like we’re at a point where we expect great things to happen at every major sporting event. From The Master’s to Wimbledon; the Stanley Cup to the World Series; the NBA Finals to the Super Bowl, we are spoiled by greatness. Appreciate these moments while you can because all things (including exceptional moments) must come to an end.

JGOOD

Hardest Job In Sports


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You would think being a coach, manager, general manager, or owner would be the hardest job in sports because of the responsibility and impact they can have in an organization. Even with the tough criticism those positions endure in times of underachieving, those positions also receives accolades for their success.

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Being a referee (umpire in baseball) takes thick skin with no pride or ego. The title also requires integrity, humility, and confidence. You have to be able to call the game equally, be humble enough to admit your mistakes, but also be confident to make a call that you felt that was needed to be enforced. Unlike other positions, referees are usually in a lose-lose situation because someone somewhere is always going to be upset at a call OR lack of a call that was against their associated team. Reality is that every call is not going to be made and there are going to be bad calls made because of human error.

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At times, I am officiating flag football and organized basketball games at my second job. It can become difficult at times when you have both teams in your ear telling you what you are suppose to call or watch out for a certain illegal action. A lot of times it is a “lose-lose” situation because one team isn’t going to be happy either way.

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Refs are going to be highly criticized in the public eye, especially if the public and media feel that a game was decided by the officiating instead of the players. However, if everyone feels that game’s outcome was decided by the players, then you would hear little to nothing about the referees. It’s very rare to hear someone say that “the refs did a job officiating tonight” or “the weren’t any calls missed tonight”.

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At the end of the day, referees are the people that you will notice right away if a mistake is made, but you wouldn’t even think of mentioning if they are doing their job “correctly”.

JGOOD

Post March Madness


Congratulations to Marcello for winning
the JGoodWithSports March Madness contest. His prizes are on his way.

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That game was one of the best that you will ever see in any sport so don’t take it for granted. I have the same emptiness when the Superbowl ended and football season was over (luckily we’re getting closer to the NFL draft).

In other sports:

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NBA – My Bulls are about to be officially eliminated from playoff contention. This has been one of the most disappointing seasons that I can remember. It’s basically the same team as last year (adding Bobby Portis). The only thing changed is the coach and culture. We lost our defensive, gritty, and resilient identity. I’m not sure what will happen in the offseason but I wish we’ll get our defensive, gritty, resilient identity back.

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NFL – The season is still some months from here but the NFL Draft is only a couple a weeks away. “Draft Town” will be in Chicago for a second consecutive year (a 3 day event for fans to meet former players, participate in activities, food, prizes, and have a chance to win tickets to the actual draft blocks away) and guess who’s going?? (Wait for it… You guess it.. It’s me!) I’m very excited. I wanted to go last year but didn’t have the courage to skip work for it. I will let you know how it goes.

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MLB – My Chicago White Sox has started the season off on a positive note by winning 3 of 4 in Oakland against the A’s. Even though the Chicago Cubs are the talk if the town as the World Series favorite, we’re are projected to make a run for the AL Central. We added some much need bullpen help in the winter. Hopefully that’s enough to get some extra wins.

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NHL – The Blackhawks are set to defend the Stanley Cup. The Dallas Stars and the St Louis Blues have been consistent all year. The Washington Capitals are looking like the favorites to meet of those 3 teams in the Stanley Cup. Personally, I want to see Patrick Kane and Johnathan Toews against Alex Ovechkin.

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The Masters are underway this weekend. Honestly I’m not sure who will come out on top. I just hope it’s a close finish on Sunday (preferably down to the last hole).

JGOOD