SportsNet - May 2012
Sports analysts often tend to compare players who have played in different eras throughout history. Whether it's the NBA with Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant or the NHL with Wayne Gretzky and Sidney Crosby, there are always comparisons.
In this article I will be focusing on how you can compare current players in the NBA and NHL to players of the past.
There are many differences that several NBA greats may not want to admit to. Technology has massively improved in the 21st century. Training techniques have developed as well and there is much more information available to the public. The internet didn't even exist back then! Now you can look up on Youtube to find out how you to increase your vertical and basketball skills. You could argue that in this era, the game is a lot more polished. If you were to look at a basketball game from 20 years ago, you would realize three things.
1. The game seemed a lot slower.
2. There were a lot more white players playing.
3. They all wore short shorts.
In all seriousness though, I'm thankful that Michigan's fab five made longer shorts popular.
Premier League Review
Looking beyond the string of results stitched together by Roberto Di Matteo, one has to admit that this league campaign has been utterly disappointing for Chelsea. They finished at sixth position, far below the expectations of Chelsea fans and an exception to top four finishes achieves by the Blues in the last decade or so. At the start of the season, itself, Chelsea knew that this season was unlike the others. Manchester City, by virtue of quality signings would be near the top come end of the season. The fact that none of the top four teams bar Manchester CIity were consistent over the course of the season. Arsenal's disastrous start to the campaign may have lifted the hopes of competitors. In short, you had five clubs vying for top 4 positions. Indifferent form of most contenders to this list and some inspired play by Newcastle United ensured Chelsea were up against it for the whole season. Thanks to Di Matteo, Chelsea now have a chance to play the Champions League next year though a back door, the key to which can only be found in a crowded Allianz Arena on 19th May.
NBA Commissioner David Stern needs to have a press conference.
During that conference, he needs to grip the podium tightly and survey the media with the stoic and matter-of-fact nature with which he carries himself. And he needs to say, once and for all:
"Superstars get preferential treatment because they make more money for the league."
Today, without the press conference, he ended up saying it anyway. He said it through action, or rather through inaction, when he refused to upgrade Dwyane Wade's foul on Darren Collison last night from a Flagrant 1 to a Flagrant 2. By letting the call stand, Stern and the NBA proved that stars like Wade are safe from suspensions and ejections because of their ability to bring in ratings and money.
New Ghana Coach, James Akwesi Appiah has named a provisional 30-man squad for next month's run of World Cup qualifiers against Lesotho and Zambia on June 1 and 9 respectively.
A surprise call up was handed to Europe based Ishmael Yartey, who was sacked from the camp of the victorious Ghana U-20 team of the 2009 FIFA Youth Cup for levelling an unsubstantiated bribery allegation against then-coach Sellas Tetteh.
But consistent superlative display over the past weeks has earned him a new start and a possible fresh beginning at the national level.
Europe-based youngster Ishmael Yartey, together with Christian Atsu, were among the six players who were handed their maiden Black Stars call-ups.
Defending Ghana Premier League champions, Berekum Chelsea dominated the nine call-ups from the local league with the trio of Ernest Sowah, Emmanuel Clottey and Richard Kissi Boateng coming from their stable.
A non-residential camp in Accra by the team will start on May, 21, 2012. The squad will be pruned before the team departs to Kumasi on May 27 ahead of the match against Lesotho on June 1, 2012.
Depending on your perspective, Chelsea's victory over Barcelona was either a victory for pragmatism, for tactics, for defence. or a defeat for football, for creativity, for the way the game ought to be played.
History remembers the winners though. Chelsea fans will tell you with compelling clarity the reasons why the Champions League trophy has eluded their team.
However, history has no respect for excuses. For Chelsea to truly feel comfortable being considered among the elite they will have to win the most elite club competition. They must continue with the Jose Mourinho mentality that "while others talk about history we will make history".
Here, Chelsea have the oppurtunity to win when most people felt their side wasn't good enough, wasn't balanced enough, and was too old. To have this be the year that they win, against all odds, against all expectations, will make victory that much more sweeter.