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The Corner of Controversy and Criticism- 11/23/2014

As a sports fan I always love hearing about the feel good moments and stories that you don’t often hear about because our society and the media is based on negativity. There were two great stories that I saw this week that were touching in two totally different ways. This past week Lauren Hill gave Devon Still her jersey that she wore during her first basketball game. Lauren Hill is battling inoperable brain cancer and Devon Still’s daughter Leah is also battling cancer. Both stories have shown how generous, courageous and compassionate people can be. I personally enjoy hearing about the courage and the fight rather hearing about a lady in Washington choosing to end her own and making it through the national media. Lauren Hill is fighting, and still proving dreams can come true no matter how bad the situation is. That is the right message to send to people who are struggling. Lauren Hill and Leah Still are giving people hope and a sense of pride and there is no greater message then that.
The other story I that caught my eye this week was the tribute that the Toronto Raptors gave Vince Carter when Carter came to town with the Memphis Grizzlies. The tribute really moved Carter and he was in tears when it was all said and done. Vince Carter was a huge part of the Raptors early on and I think it was super cool of the team to recognize his contributions to the team and city. I always felt that if Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady would have stayed together that they would have won multiple championships because they were good together and the players they had around them played well under their leadership. It’s too bad that McGrady’s ego got in the way because neither of them have ever won a championship. Ironically enough the Raptors and Grizzlies have the best records in the league with both teams being at the top of their conferences. Maybe we will see Vince Carter against his former team in the NBA Finals? That’s something to think about. 
Something else to think about is legalization of sports betting. This week NBA Commissioner Adam Silver supported the idea of making sports betting legal across the whole United States. I personally agree with the idea. Think about if a majority of casinos got to have sports betting in their facilities. I think you would see the casinos be a little busier. Imagine if you could go to a casino and bet on your favorite team and then go to their sports bar to watch the game that you were betting in. It would be a dream for those who love to bet on sports. I personally don’t gamble and would not put thousands or millions on the line for a sporting event but for some people it’s a way of life. Why should betting just be limited to Vegas? Vegas is not the only town with casinos in it.  I say if your state has a casino then they should allow that casino to participate in sports betting. Adam Silver thinks it will happen in three to five years and I hope he is right because I would love to see if it impacts the economy or not. 
Earlier this week Jonathan Paul Koppenhaver who is now known as War Machine pleaded not guilty to 34 felony charges including attempted murder, sexual assault, battery and coercion. All you have to do is look at the photos of Christy Mack’s face and know that War Machine is anything but innocent. The guy is a low life thug who hopefully is convicted. If he is convicted he could face life in prison and that’s where he needs to be. He used his MMA skills against two defenseless women and when you have skills and training like that your body can pretty much be a deadly weapon. I say give him life and let him rot in prison. 
One thing to keep an eye this coming week is where Pablo Sandoval is going to be headed for the future. Sources say the Giants want to keep him and the Padres and Red Sox are offering big bucks to sign him. There a lot of big name free agents up for grabs this off-season but most people are talking about Sandoval at the moment. One of the things I would do if I was a team trying to improve is getting pitching. There are big name pitchers like Lester, Shields, and Scherzer who would make great additions to anyone’s starting rotation. There is a lot of time left for free agents to make their moves so keep any eye out in the month of December. That seems to be the month that has the most signings and off-season trades. There will much more news to report in the future. 
It’s been a week of the good, bad, and ugly. We have survivors, criminals, inspiration and disgust all in one column. That’s how crazy sports are and how crazy the athletes are as well. Until next week be safe, be strong and believe in yourself. Controversy Doesn’t Come Without Criticism!

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