Quick Takes


    A very funny piece by D. J. Gallo after the Super Bowl. He  is the founder and sole writer of the sports satire site SportsPickle.com. He is also a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine. It’s the old story........what have you done for me lately?!

    Tom Brady is balding. He's past his prime. It's all downhill from here. He's in his 30s now. He'll never get close to 50 touchdown passes again. His ankle is hurt. His shoulder is all messed up. Who knows what else is being hidden in the injury report. Gout? Scabies? Mumps? Measles? Rubella? Gisele will see the writing on the wall soon enough. She'll dump him. Then he'll start dating Jessica Simpson. And then it will get worse from there. Three years from now, he'll have a 65 quarterback rating and four kids with Britney Spears. The Patriots should use their first-round pick this year to draft a quarterback and get it over with. Goodbye, Tom.


    Letterman’s opening line on his show the night after the Super Bowl: “You think it’s too soon for me to start hitting on Gisele Bundchen?”


    A total of $92.1 million was wagered on the Super Bowl in Nevada’s 174 sports books. The result was those books losing $2.6 million, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board. It's only the second time in 18 years that Nevada sports books lost on the Super Bowl.


    Sportscasters continue to refer to the team as the New York Football Giants. No need to distinguish. The New York Baseball Giants haven’t been there since 1957. No one has told Chris Berman, et al.


Story of the Week


    Dennis Rodman was the hardest working basketball player I’ve ever seen. He didn’t care about scoring points; he played to prevent them. He was the quintessential blue collar worker as a defensive star and rebounder.


    When Rodman entered the NBA in 1986, he was officially listed at 6-8 (I never thought he was even that tall) while playing one of the most physical positions in basketball, namely power forward. Despite often being matched at a height disadvantage, he became one of the most dominant rebounders in NBA history, and was also a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year.


    Rodman, who grew up in Dallas, was far from a basketball prospect in high school. He played for Southeastern Oklahoma State. There, Rodman was a three-time NAIA All-American and led the NAIA in rebounding in both the 1984-85 and 1985-86 seasons. He also averaged over 25 points per game for his three-year NAIA career.


    After a strong NBA pre-draft workout, the Detroit Pistons took sufficient notice of him to select him in the second round of the 1986 draft. Rodman's intensity was a perfect fit for a team known for its rough style of play and tenacious defense. The Pistons were knocked out of the playoffs in 1987 by their nemesis, Boston, although Rodman did a decent job of guarding Larry Bird.


    In 1988, Rodman seemed to show even more star potential, crashing the boards more and defending better than before. In 1989, he was finally recognized for his work by being named Defensive Player of the Year, the first of his two consecutive DPOY awards. He finished second to Bill Laimbeer in rebounding on the team, and Rodman helped the Pistons put away the young Chicago Bulls for the second straight year as they won their first NBA championship.


    The following year was almost identical, with the Pistons beating the Bulls in the Eastern Conference finals again, winning their second straight title, and Rodman again winning Defensive Player of the Year honors.


    Rodman led the Pistons with 12.5 rebounds per game in 1991. In 1992, Rodman improved significantly, averaging over eighteen per game as he won the first of seven straight rebounding titles. In a March, 1992 game, he totaled  a career-high 34 rebounds. Rodman's second best rebounding performance was in 1993, in his last season with the Pistons.


    In San Antonio, Rodman continued his rebounding expertise and allowed center David Robinson to focus more on scoring; Robinson won the scoring title. It marked the first time that teammates won both the scoring and rebounding title, but it would not be the last for Rodman. The following season, Rodman helped San Antonio to their then-franchise-best win-loss record of 62-20, and they made it to the Western Conference finals. However, his increasingly erratic off-court life, including a brief but heavily-publicized relationship with singer Madonna, and on-court antics, such as dying his hair and all the tattoos and piercings, proved too much for the Spurs.


    Prior the 1995-96 season, Rodman was traded to the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls, with Rodman and Michael Jordan’s return from retirement improved 25 games from the previous year's 47-35 record to a NBA record 72-10 regular season finish in the 1995-96 season.


    Later, in the playoffs, the Bulls easily made their way to the NBA finals, and the NBA championship. Rodman, Jordan, and Scottie Pippen all made the All-Defensive First Team, the first time three players from the same team made it on the first team. Rodman led the league in rebounding for the fifth straight year, and Jordan won the scoring title, the second time that teammates had led the league in scoring and rebounding. They would repeat in 1997 and 1998 as the team three-peated for the second time in the decade.


    Rodman was known for his shocking behavior on the court, including his head butt of a referee in 1996. In 1997, Rodman was involved in another notorious incident during a game against Minnesota. After tripping over cameraman Eugene Amos, Rodman kicked Amos in the groin. Though he was not assessed a technical foul at the time, Rodman ultimately paid Amos a $200,000 settlement, and the league suspended Rodman for 11 games. Despite his behavior, Rodman was for the most part kept under control by coach Phil Jackson and Jordan during his time in Chicago.


    Dennis Rodman left Chicago after the 1997-98 season as the Bulls started a massive rebuilding phase. He also finished his last major season, as he would have brief stints with other NBA teams including the Lakers and the Mavericks, creating more controversy there than results. But make no mistake about it; Rodman was a premier rebounder and defensive player during his NBA career.


Last Week’s Trivia


    How many times did Muhammad Ali lose the heavyweight title only to win it back again? Who beat him? Who did he beat to win it back? Ali accomplished the feat twice. He lost the title to Joe Frazier in 1970, won it back from George Foreman in 1974, lost it again to Leon Spinks in 1978, then reclaimed it from Spinks in a rematch later that year.


Trivia Question of the Week


    There are three MLB players who have stolen a base in four separate decades. Two of them are Rickey Henderson and Tim Raines. Who is the other player? To be sure, you’ve heard of him, but this one will surprise you. See next week’s Sports Junkie for the answer.