Wednesday, 17 October 2012 07:28
My vacation does wonders for New Orleans Saints, Hornets, Red Sox and Kentucky
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jim-millerWe have all heard suggestions that we should take some time off now and then. And just as frequently, we usually thank the one who suggested it as we plow forward with whatever task, job or mission that consumes us. But the past two weeks have convinced me that a little time off isn't a bad thing.



     Consider the condition of the teams I watch the most on October 2, the day the lovely Miss Jean and I left for a two-week cruise from Venice to the Greek Isles. The Saints were reeling at 0-4 with no hope in sight, Who Dat Nation convinced that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would not allow them to win another. Even worse than reeling, my Red Sox had unraveled into the worst team in baseball with a manager who could not impart helpful advice to his players, because his foot was always in his mouth. Kentucky football occupied the same rung in the Southeastern Conference with unforgiveable in-state losses to Western Kentucky and Louisville. What a collection of bums we left behind!

     But something magical happened while we were climbing mountains in Montenegro,  or sipping Mythos in Mykonos. The Saints picked up their first win as Drew Brees surpassed Johnny Unitas and the defensive line finally showed up. Plus, they earned the right to savor that victory through a bye week. The Red Sox admitted if Bobby Valentine could not manage a roomful of stars, he probably could not manage a roomful of prospects next season. GM Ben Cherington, who opposed the hire a year ago, tied the tin can to Valentine's tail, likely sending him back to the ESPN booth he should never have left.

     The past two weeks also pushed Kentucky toward the same likely scenario with Head Coach Joker Phillips. They did not put up much fight against a mediocre Mississippi State team and followed that with a 49-7 loss to Arkansas, a team in turmoil for most of the year. It could have been worse had God not imposed his own mercy rule with a thunderstorm that halted the game in the third period. Kentucky will likely turn a new page soon which will give long-suffering Wildcat football fans another infusion of hope.

     Adding to all that positive news over the past two weeks is the fact that Hornets rookie Anthony Davis is convincing New Orleans what they already know in Lexington. The early exhibition games has confirmed he is a special player. A bonus for the Hornets is the fact that former Kentucky teammate Darius Miller is showing the maturity and skill that is often elusive to the modern NBA rookie. He looks like he belongs.

     I regretted for a time that we did not get much U.S. sports news while sailing around in the lap of decadence. But I will take two weeks of peace and quiet anytime if I can come back to good news. If the Saints continue winning, the Hornets build around Davis and the Red Sox and Wildcats make the right decisions on their future, it would be two weeks well spent. 




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