Parlaying off of Foot Locker's brilliant ad where Kyrie Irving ponders a sports world where “All is Right,” we set out to determine 10 sagas, themes or narratives that sports fans wish would come to an abrupt halt. If you haven't seen the spot, watch it now. Mike Tyson shores up his issues with Evander Holyfield. Brett Favre lays to rest any lingering chances of returning to the NFL, and Craig Sager addresses his Russell Westbrook-like affinity for fashion.
In these sports narratives, each passing week adds another layer to these well-worn stories. And as sports fans, (and the media tasked with covering them), we all just wish they would go away. (Honorable mention to A-Rod, who should probably just retire).
10. The obligatory Lance story. The latest from Armstrong's never-ending fall from grace is that a federal judge recently said it was unlikely he'd throw out a civil suit brought on by the government against Armstrong. The government (and the USPS) is arguing that they never would've paid Armstrong his $40 million in sponsorship had it known he was doping. That followed a story last month where Armstrong was forced to return his 2000 bronze medal to the IOC. He was stripped of said medal this past January following his much-publicized interview with Oprah. Haven't had enough Lance yet? Good. Me neither. Enjoy the new book and documentary about him. Let's move on.
9. Lane Kiffin vs. the world. We wish Kiffin would follow Tyson's lead and make amends with everyone he has burned throughout his tumultuous coaching past at USC, with the Oakland Raiders and at Tennessee. He was unceremoniously fired on an early Sunday morning in an empty airport terminal after USC returned home from a 62-41 loss at Arizona State. From the NYT: “Kiffin said last year that he did not vote the Trojans at No. 1 in the coaches poll when in fact he had. … He barred a reporter from practice for writing about an injury. He prevented opponents from using the Coliseum field for a walkthrough, a common courtesy at most universities, and tried to confuse one opponent by having players switch uniform numbers." We'll miss your antics, Lane. Wait, no we won't.
8. RG3. At what point does the RG3 story become maddening? It never seems to be directly about football with him. We can't go a week without hearing some gripe RG3 has with his receivers or his coach. This past weekend, he criticized Mike Shananan by saying that the Eagles defense “kind of knew what was coming.” How many times does it take for him to learn that some comments should remain in-house? For a quarterback desperate to build trust among those in the Redskins' organization, apparently throwing your coach under the bus wasn't smart. The best way to establish your credibility with teammates is to own your mistakes – and through his second year, Griffin hasn't really done that. At some point, be it his highly publicized injury last year, his (premature?) comeback, his numerous endorsements, his constant media spats, Griffin, from an outsider's perspective, seemed to lose focus. Unfortunately, the honeymoon phase in Washington is over for Griffin, and wins are about the only thing that will pacify this situation. (Side note -- Mr. Snyder, change the damn name already.)
7. Derrick Rose's comeback. Will he come back? He already came back, you guys. Will he ever return to form? Who knows, but he's back. That was definitely him draining six threes this past Saturday in taking down previously undefeated Indiana. The never-ending speculation during last year's playoffs was hilarious, because by all accounts, Rose himself wasn't sure about his return, so how could anyone else be? But that doesn't mean it didn't -- nd still wouldn't -- make for glorious internet fodder. He tore his ACL and sat out a year and a half. Is anyone really shocked that he isn't the same MVP-caliber player NINE games into a return from a career-altering injury? Let's be patient. (Hey, Derrick, can't wait 'til you do this again!)
6. Dwight Howard. We endured the Dwightmare, but now, please, please, please keep your mouth shut, Dwight. You're an otherworldly center who can't help but get caught up in media skirmishes. There's a time to be affable and jovial -- and it's not all the time. If he would run away from the microphone as quickly as he ran away from would-be-foulers, it would be much appreciated.
Like a scornful ex-girlfriend, he recently admitted that he hopes the Magic retire his number. Not gonna happen. That would be almost as crazy as ...
5. LeBron returning to Cleveland. I can't even begin to discuss how frustrating the rumors and reports were that LeBron was attached to various teams throughout his first foray into free agency. He seemed to learn his lesson -- antagonizing Cavs fans throughout his final season -- as he flirted with various teams in major markets on road trips, and has made clear that he's not going to discuss it until the time is right. Does that mean football fields worth of internet space won't be used up dissecting his every move? Hell no. As ESPN's Mark Stein astutely noted:
Leave it to me to overblow significance of LeBron & MLS ... but mere fact he's looked at getting involved shows depth of connection to Miami— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) November 18, 2013
4. Red Sox and their beards. We get it. They're gritty, blue-collar Boston and Ben Affleck is probably writing a movie script about them right now. That doesn't mean they did anything to help you win the World Series for the third time in the last decade. Hear that? Third time in the past decade, which means that winning it at home is nothing more than appeasing this year's fans, since you know, Sox fans had their fun in 2007 ... and in 2004. Speaking first hand, I can tell you Cubs, Pirates and Indians fans would give anything for a championship --on the road or not. Let's end this narrative yesterday.
3. The NCAA: It has become commonplace among media to bash the governing body. It botched the Miami investigation. Its officials make millions off of amateur players. It forbids players from transferring without sitting out a year, while allowing coaches that liberty (This particular issue really grinds our Gary Parrish's gears). And three times in recent months it's cowered to public pressure when facing eligibility questions. Simply put, the NCAA and its model are outdated. Contrary to this list, we don't want this story to gain less traction. Fortunately, change might be imminent, as of earlier this month.
2. One and done. There is no avoiding it, especially this year, with Sports Illustrated covers featuring multiple freshmen and broadcasts revolving around the vast potentials of promising young basketball players. We're two weeks into the college basketball season and mock drafts are in full force. There's no stopping it. Get used to it. The best players are going to leave their colleges early, leaving scant history of an affiliation with their school. The accompanying issue, which isn't stopping until the NBA alters its rules, is tanking. Coach K, for one, called it a shame. The last place an NBA team wants to be is in the middle, and you'd be ignorant to think that NBA teams aren't consciously giving themselves less of a chance to win this year. Of course, teams wouldn't need to outright win the lottery to get a chance at a player like Kevin Love, who was drafted No. 5 in 2008, which leads us to the single-most-frustratingly hilarious narrative.
1. Kevin's Love's outlet passes. Yes, he's really good. Yes, he's an MVP candidate (26.7 ppg, 13.4 rpg), and yes, he could probably go hunting with basketballs. This is what said MVP candidate is most known for:
Have a more frustrating narrative that I left off the list? Let me know @RealMikeSinger or in the comments below.