The original Dream Team vs 2012 Olympic team

In the past few weeks, I have heard more than a few debates about who can beat whom between the original dream team and the current Olympic team which just won the gold medal. It makes for interesting discussions on sports talk shows and casual water cooler chit-chat.  Opinions are varied on this topic. I find that many of the younger fans feel the current version of Olympians are better. I have to totally disagree.

The current team of consisting of Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant might be the most athletic basketball team ever assembled at any level.  Sometimes I wonder if those guys belong on the track too running against Usain Bolt!! They have a big athletic edge against the original dream team but the original team might have been the smartest basketball team ever assembled. There has never been a team with a trio of three smarter players with higher basketball IQ’s than Magic, Bird and Jordan. Magic and Bird were at the tail end of their careers during the 92 games but they could still play at a high level. Michael Jordan was in the prime of his career back then.  LeBron may have been able to hold him to about 40 points if they were matched up.

I look at the matchups of the two teams and the guard and small forward matchups would probably be a wash. Jordan would be the best player on the court but Kobe and LeBron would do their share of damage as well.  The big advantage either team would have is with the power forwards and centers. The original dream team would just dominate the paint. Who on this year’s team could check Charles Barkley. Nobody!! And that goes with Karl Malone, Pat Ewing and David Robinson. This year’s team would have no answer for any of those superstars.

So this talk about who is the better team is really nonsense!! If Spain, with several okay but not great NBA players can score 100 points against this year’s team, I would think the dream team might put up 150-175. I put my money on the original dream team.  They were the greatest basketball team ever put together. In fact, it is not even close!!

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Romney’s great pick for VP

Finally!! The suspense is over. After weeks of speculation on who Mitt Romney will pick as running mate, the mystery was put to rest yesterday with the announcement that Paul Ryan, the chairman of the budget committee will be the vice president nominee. I think Romney made a very wise move in picking one of the bright young minds in Washington.

In my opinion, the biggest issue facing the country today is the run away spending that is taking place in Washington. Our national debt is increasing at an alarming rate with no end in sight.  This problem affects every single American and we should all be concerned.  We are heading toward bankruptcy which would totally ruin this country. Many politicians including the current administration simply do NOT GET IT!! But Paul Ryan does.  He was courageous enough to put together a budget which would deal with the problem and help grow our economy.  That is what true leadership is all about.  Ryan is a refreshing young star in the Republican party.

Of course, no sooner had the announcement come out when people started mocking the pick and calling Ryan an extreme conservative. You may remember someone saying that “Ryan wants to push Granny over the cliff”.  Medicare funding is a growing problem in this country. If we do not do anything about it now, it will be bankrupt in 12 years.  These programs are just not sustainable and must be dealt with. Ryan has a plan which deals with Medicare and other entitlement programs.  It may not be a popular plan with some people but I have to ask those who are crying about the cuts, Do we want to end up like Greece and other European countries where runaway spending has killed their economies? I would rather deal with the problems now before it is too late.

I admire the vision and courage that Paul Ryan has.  I highly doubt he nor any other person in Washington wants to throw Granny off the cliff. But if we don’t do anything now, we might have no other choice but to throw and many other people off the cliff because the government has no money!!  Paul Ryan is the type of leader this country needs.

 

The “you didn’t build that ” statement

A few weeks ago during a campaign speech, President Obama talked about business owners with his famous “you didn’t build that” speech. He talked about how there was probably some teacher who helped them in the past and about how someone else built the roads they use for their business.

I agree in some respects with the President’s words but have some issues with the overall theme of his speech. Anyone who ever has built a business has indeed gotten some help from others. It takes many good people ranging from employees to good loyal customers to make a business successful. No business owner can honestly say they did it completely by themselves. Of course, the successful business owner did not built that road right? Hahaha! They did not actually build that road but the high taxes he pays probably funded the road. So the president is way off in saying the business owner had nothing to do with building that road. It is just another silly remark by the president

Somewhere along the line, that person had a vision, a dream to operate a business and make it work. He or she made the effort, took risks and gambles, made the proper decisions to make that business grow and prosper. They are the ones with the final say on hiring the right people and making sure all the pieces are in order. To have the leader of our country stand up and pretty much disrespect many business owners is very sad. Instead, how about give some credit to the people who have worked so hard to get where they are at. Most average Americans could not run a business so give just a little bit of credit where credit is due Mr. President.

Maybe if the President should have said that I am here to help your business out. Like lowering the corporate tax rate so business owners can afford to compete with other countries. Or not calling for higher taxes for those making over 250 grand a year which includes many business owners. Or lessening many regulations which makes life difficult for those trying to start a business. Just a few of many things the president could help any business owner. But being a former community organizer and not a businessman probably makes these ideas hard to grasp for the president.

I agree that any business owner along the way got some help. Unfortunately these days, big government is more of hindrance than a help to any business. I just wish certain politicians would realize that business owners actually helps out the government more than the government helps out a business owner. Give business owners their just due.

The Chick-fil-a controversy

A few weeks, the CEO of a major fast food chain, Chick-fil-a, Dan Cathy was asked in a interview if he supported gay marriage. Cathy replied that he supported the traditional marriage of one man and one woman. Once word got about Cathy’s remarks, a firestorm of hate was released at Cathy and the chain. Some people were immediately calling for boycotting Chick-fil-a and certain mayors did not want the franchise anywhere near their city. According to these people, Chick-fil-a is nothing but a bigoted franchise that do not reflect the values of their people. Oh really!!!

Personally, I think the uproar is absolutely silly. While I don’t like companies getting involved with social issues such as gay marriage, Cathy’s remarks should not have come as a surprise to anyone. Chick-fil-a is a Christian based restaurant chain that is not open on Sundays. Believe it or not, it has and continues to hire gay workers so how can the franchise be called bigoted? According to some of those gay workers, they were treated with respect and dignity. It is very unfortunate that people seem to make such a quick generalization about a company which is tolerant to many types of people. Their stance on gay marriage just reflects the teachings of the bible which the company models after.

I find it rather sad that many gay marriage supporters stress the word tolerance towards gays but when someone disagrees with them, then they themselves are not very tolerant. My local Target store supports gay marriage but just because I disagree with their stance does not mean that I will stop shopping there. I respect their viewpoint even though i disagree with it. I wish people would just grow up and respect other people’s views and statements. Tolerance is a two way street!!!

 

Those unheralded Olympic athletes

Like many folks around the world, I have been watching a good amount of the Olympics and find the games to be highly entertaining. How can you not be excited about seeing Michael Phelps go for another gold medal and trying to break the medal record? Or seeing a young Gabby Douglas shine in gymnastics or Missy Franklin in swimming. There are so many good story lines that make the Olympics so fun to watch. It sure beats the normal boring sports docket of endless, meaningless games. I love drama in sports and the Olympics certainly give us a good share.

The other day, I happened to read an article about a local young woman who was excited about participating in the fencing competition. Now fencing isn’t exactly a hot prime time sport and I doubt many people in this country could name a single athlete participating in the fencing competition. But for many of the athletes in the games, it is not about recognition. It is all about representing your country in a hobby that you have a great deal of passion with. Many of the athletes at the games are unheralded but that doesn’t stop them from pursuing a dream of a gold medal.

The sacrifices and training that go into being an Olympic athlete is truly amazing. Some spend months or years training for a competition that will only last for a few days. Many have full time jobs in addition to their training schedules. I cannot imagine having the schedule that some of these athletes have. Sometimes when I don’t feel like working out on a particular day, I think about those athletes and it inspires me to push myself to work out. Most of the athletes who participate likely know they will not come close to winning a medal. But participating in the Olympics is an experience that they will never forget and worth all the time and effort.

When people think about sports athletes, professional athletes come first to mind. You know those people you see on television countless times and making millions of dollars to play a game. I think the real true athlete are those I was just mentioning. So many of the Olympic athletes are not recognized or will make any money from the games. For most, this will be it. It is time to live a normal life after the games. For those thousands of you at the games,  I tip my hat to you. You are the real true athletes in the world.