Monday, December 29, 2008

Dome Pondering – 2008 Year in Review

DomePondering2008

2008. Another year, another chapter. 2008 has shown us all many things about ourselves, about our society, about our country, and most of all, about our world. As we jump into 2009, like last year (2007 Year In Review), lets give out some awards, predict the future, and look back on the roller coaster of a ride that was 2008.

Friday, December 12, 2008

To Give Your Heart and To Have Your Heart Take It Away

This past month, the sports world lost many significant individuals as they decided to hang up the jersey or clipboard, and ride off into the sunset. After years of service in their sport, which included masterpiece seasons, unmatched dedication, and tremendous competitive spirits; many memories, mere trivial answers, and for some, immortality into the Hall of Fame is now their destiny.

A path they willingly chose.

Except For one individual.

On December 11, 2008, Cuttino Mobley was forced to retire due to a condition known as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, or HCM. According to medical definition, HCM is a genetic heart disease that creates a thickening of the heart wall muscle and accounts for over 40% of all deaths on athletic fields across the country. One in every 500 North Americans are diagnosed with HCM. HCM can be detected and treated to allow normal and productive lives. However, if got unprotected, HCM can lead to sudden cardiac arrest, and most cases, death.

Cuttino Mobley, a professional basketball player for over ten years, was diagnosed with the condition upon entry into the NBA. He has since gone on to be a solid player, endure a productive career and become one of the NBA's class acts.

GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
736 570 37.0 .433 .379 .836 3.9 2.7 1.2 .4 16.1

However, upon being traded to the New York Knicks earlier this year, Mobley failed his physical, as per usual due to his condition. However, he was later notified of the decline of his health due to his condition.

Mobley was then forced to walk away from the game he loved, and the dream he gave so much for at the age of 33.

“The specialists I have seen made it clear that my heart condition has gotten worse, and I cannot continue to play professional basketball without putting my health and life in serious danger. As much as I want to keep playing in the NBA, I have no choice but to follow the advice of my doctors and step away from the League. I have had the privilege of playing in the NBA for 10 years, but my health and family must come first, and it is time to move on to the next stage in my life. This has definitely been a shocking situation for me, but I want my fans, friends and loved ones to know that I will be fine. My career has been a blessing and I am grateful to have had this experience.


As Mobley emotionally declared his thoughts during his press conference, he referred to his son, his family and his friends as he put his life in perspective. And although the others who have walked way from their sport voluntarily will be remembered for their accolades and achievements, Mobley reminds us of a common, yet forgettable lesson of how fast life can change, the irony of destiny, and the power of God's faith.

An NBA trade saved his life! Wrapping your mind around the thought, and timing of every detail that came together, may never occur.

We also may not be sure of what the future holds for Cuttino Mobley, but we were reminded that everything happens for a reason, and there is a greater plan in place for him, and his family.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ptiching in Front of The Privelaged



At the conclusion of the 2008 baseball season, two of the greatest pitchers of this generation have decided to retire, Greg Maddux and Mike Mussina.

For most of the last three decades, both men have performed above all else, rising to the top of the league's best, despite pitching during what has now become known as the "steroid era." Chicks might dig the long ball, but these two had more substance than substances to win over baseball purists as well as the casual fan.

We were very much privelaged to witness the careers of two greats.

Mussina, better know as "Moose", began his career with the Baltimore Orioles and spent nine years with them after rapidly blazing through Stanford University and rising through the minors.

After his stint with the Orioles, Moose later joined the Yankees we all had the opportunity to watch him flourish from his prime years into an elder that reinvented himself to finally achieve winning twenty games in his final season. Moose has always been a pleasure to watch pitch. Although it seems his 270 wins, 2,813 strikeouts, and career 3.68 earned run average is more than good enough to enter the Hall of Fame, Moose seems to have many doubters and critics due to his "almost-like" career. From almost winning a World Series to almost winning a CY Young Award, critics always labeled Mussina as never being able to get over the hump.

Nevertheless, memories of Moose's almost (theres that word again) perfect game at Fenway in 2001; Game 3 of the ALDS in Oakland which his performance was overshadowed by Derek Jeter's "Flip Play"; and his work in relief for the first time ever in his entire life, holding the Red Sox and sparking a come back for the Yankees in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, will all never be forgotten. It was an honor to watch Mussina as a Yankee, and a privelage to learn about his knowledge on pitching in John Feinstein's, "Living on The Black."

Mike Mussina
* 270-153 Win-Loss Record.
* 2,813 Strikeouts.
* 3.68 ERA
* Five Time All-Star. ('92,'93,'94,'97,'99)
* Seven-time Gold Glove Award Winner. ('96,'97,'98,'99,'01,'03,'08)


And then there is Greg Maddux. The prototypical definition of the position pitcher. Maddux, who will probably be now known as the greatest pitcher of the modern, post-dead ball era, rightfully deserves the accolades, compiling a resume that will never be matched again.

Maddux, a pitcher that epitomized control over velocity, baffled hitters, fielded his position with the best of them, and won many, many big games, is a package that is rare, and a privilege to have witness in my lifetime. With his knowledge, Maddux will make a great baseball mind that can help others play the great game of baseball.

Greg Maddux
* 355-227 Win-Loss Record.
* 3.16 ERA
* 3,371 Strikeouts
* Eight-Time All-Star ('88,'92,'94,'95,'96,'97,'98,'00)
* Eighteen-Time Gold Glove Award Winner('90,'91,'92,'93,'94,'95,'96,'97,'98,'99,'00,'01,'02,'04,'05,'06,'07,'08)
* Four Time CY Young Award Winner ('92,'93,'94,'95)


Thursday, December 04, 2008

Gun Fires Accidentally, Yet, Plaxico Pulls Trigger on Career

So when the image of the professional athlete could not get any worse, Plaxico Burress happens.

In the wake of a fallen economy, and tough times, the nation looks toward sports, their teams, and their athletes to take them away from their lives. Their reality. It's a position that brings athletes fame, fortune, and wealth at the expense of their fan base. All in exchange for removing them from reality.

However, Plaxico Burress had reality brought to him several days ago when he shot himself in New York.

Plaxico Burress pulled the trigger on his career in more ways than one.

After several days of this situation unraveling, questions have been raised about the safety of professional athletes. Are they in danger? Have they ever felt threatened? Are they justified in carrying firearms? All of these questions can be debated due to the tragic incidents regarding, Eddy Curry, Steve Smith, and the late Sean Taylor.

However, Burress' situation is less sympathetic due to harming himself accidentally, along with the potential of someone else, and his possession of an illegal weapon. Burress, who is now criminally charged and could face jail time, failed to show responsibility to others, his teammates, his family, and himself.

The questions of safety regarding athletes is viable. In fact, it is an issue worth investigating for league officials, players associations, and players themselves. The question regarding Plaxico Burress should be, how can he have let this happen? It is that simple.

We have the right to bear arms. Guns can be legalized. If your safety is being threatened and you are interested in obtaining a firearm, do it the right way. After all, it's the law.

Professional athletes too many times view themselves as invincible due to the accolades and wealth they receive. They become wrapped up in the aura of it all, and lose sight of the responsibilities, and blessing of being a professional athlete.

Buress has tremendous talent, that can stand the test of his peers. His problems prior to this have all been self-inflicted, and one would hope that he truly seek the help he needs.

After Michael Vick, and Adam "Pacman" Jones, you hope that more athletes would be more conscientious of their decisions.

It's a situation we've become too familiar with. Unfortunately, poor choice, and bad judgment may have claimed another career.