Who is ready for a shootout? I am.

Welcome sports fans to the grand finale of the piece I call “SHOOTING FROM THE MOUTH”. It’s a sad day for the update, but that doesn’t mean that we go out quietly. I still got some things to say before this baby wraps. However, someone else wants to speak their mind. Let’s hear it for Terry of Scarsdale, NY, with her first “shoot-off”.

“Sports hero”

Who is your sport hero? We all have one…I mean really, the one who changes your way of thinking, your way of being…you. Think about it.

I’ll tell you mine…Phil Jackson. Not so much Phil

Jackson Lakers coach, but the Phil “mophead” Jackson of the NY Knicks and Chicago Bulls. He captured my heart when I was in HS and he was a NY Knick. I pursued it to the point that we became pen-pals. He knew about my college years, marriage, teaching job, divorce etc…..he knew all about my life. Then for several years we lost touch. When he became an asst. coach for the Chicago Bulls I once again pursued. As luck would have it, the summer right before he debuted as the head coach of the Bulls, I finally met him. Yeah, 3000 miles away from home, I met my sport hero in CA.

Sometimes we put our heroes on a pedestal and think he/she can do no wrong. Yet, when I finally met Mr. Phil Jackson I was not disappointed. He was everything I imagined him to be and more. From the physical to the cognitive to the spiritual, I knew he would forever be my sport hero for life. My point? Don’t ever give up on your hero. You may not ever meet him/her….but at least know that the way you imagine them may just be real. Who is your Sport Hero?

That was a great piece; I’m sure that everyone indeed as a sports hero. I would like to know who YOUR favorite sports hero is. That would be very good to know. Now, it’s time for the final shootout.

There are many hot stories in the NFL. The infamous “Spygate” case is just one of the various subplots within this league. Yet, the case that will remain throughout the year is Tiki Barber vs. the Giants. Tiki left to pursue other interests, but he revealed that he might have returned if Giants coach Tom Coughlin was fired. Barber also attacked the Giants defense in the first two weeks of football. Yet, he gave them a lot of credit (well-deserved) for their victory against the Redskins. One victory will not shut Barber up. The Giants are still the team that should take a pounding because they did not address their needs on both sides. Barber will be waiting to point out the mistakes they make for the next loss. In the end, Barber already won the fight before the first pass was thrown.

There are many stories within all of sports. There are two of them that are very important in this sports world filled with cheaters and liars. The Yankees literally came back from the dead to be in post-season contention. The bullpen may be shaky, but there is a back-up bridge for closer Mariano Rivera. The 22-year old Joba Chamberlain is the man for the job, but his story is very inspirational. Chamberlain is a Native-American Nebraska native. His parents divorced when he was three. His father, Harlan, has been battling polio for all of his life. He had to play catch with one hand and was unable to move the other. Yet, in the present day, Harlan can watch his son achieve a dream that many people wish to do: play for the New York Yankees. Harlan has always been a Yankee fan, and seeing Joba always brings a tear when he’s on that mound. When Joba pumps his fist after a strikeout, so does his father. Nothing in this world should make a parent prouder than that.

The other story is one of the NFL’s “better stories”. Brett Favre is still playing, and many people (including myself) thought that Favre should have retired after the 2006 season. Yet, Favre is still in the league. Since 1991, announcers have been saying, “Favre throws a touchdown”. The same question has been repeated in everyone’s mind: Why doesn’t he retire already? Well, he just can’t. Can Brett Favre really see himself as something else other than a football player? The answer in his mind is no. He’s suffered so much in recent memory. His father passed away in December of 2003, and Favre persevered. His wife, Deanna, battled breast cancer in 2004. Favre’s family lost their house during Hurricane Katrina. Favre has already won a Super Bowl and an MVP award. Why does he keep playing? He keeps playing because football is his sanctuary. His teammates and coaches are extended members of his family. He may be selfish at times, but all he wants to do is to win once more. Favre tied Dan Marino for the most touchdown passes in NFL history by a quarterback. He will break this record. That is inevitable. Yet, no matter what happens to the Packers in the season, Brett Favre is already a legend. Breaking this record will only make him an immortal. Brett Favre is a winner in my book.

The point of “Shooting From The Mouth” was to get people thinking. Sometimes, I would get in people’s faces. Other times would have me speculating on the future. I got some people to agree with me, and others to disagree. I got what I wanted: FEEDBACK! Just because that “Shooting From The Mouth” is saying good-bye does not mean that this is the end. It’s just a new beginning. I would like to thank everyone that has subscribed to these updates and encourage you to see who else would like to read them. Expect a regular update for Saturday, as I will bring you the latest with a new format. Until then, sports fans, good night everybody.

Yours truly,

Sebastian Maldonado

Copyright © 2007 by Sebastian Maldonado


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