Sports and Music

by jimberrysports

Whitney Houston’s tragic passing took me back to the Super Bowl at Tampa, Florida in 1991. I remember because I was there. It was the first Super Bowl where security was amped up to a high level because the US was in the Gulf war.

Everyone was feeling patriotic when Whitney stepped up and sang her resounding Star Spangled Banner.  Actually, she didn’t just sing it. She BELTED it out. It stuck with you.  The dramatic game between the Bills and Giants was decided on a missed field goal by Buffalo’s Scott Norwood. Still, afterwards, players on both teams were talking about Whitney. Her version was SO good, it actually became a hit recording.

It was one of those moments that reminds you of how sports and music always dance together. I tune out the endless hip hop at NBA games. But I remember real singers bringing their “A” game at major sporting events.

Marvin Gaye at the NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles in 1983 was another such moment. Marvin sang the anthem as only he could, with unmistakeable soul.  Its the only time I ever recall an audience clapping in unision during the anthem. We were at a basketball game, but Marvin took us to church.

Prince singing “Purple Rain” IN the rain at the 2007 Super Bowl. You couldn’t have scripted that any better.  Great theatre. It took our minds off of the fact that this was the soggiest Super Bowl in history.

Whitney’s gone, but my memory of how she blended sports and music will stick with me. As athletes often say about each other…she had game.

Will the REAL Dwyane Wade…??

by jimberrysports

The young Dwyane Wade was one of the most exciting players in the NBA. The aging of the most unpredictable.

There are times he still looks like the dazzling daredevil who can make tough shots, and take tough licks. And then, there are times Wade is a turnover machine who spends too much time whining to the refs.  With all due respect to Erik Spolestra, there’s only one person on the Heat who can tell him that….Pat Riley.

The Heat will NOT win an NBA title if Wade is less than himself. Teams will take Lebron out of the game (if he doesn’t take himself out). Chris Bosh is talented, but not a true 4th quarter go
to closer. Wade is…but he’s got to clean up his game.   Get a better handle on his handles, and put the purity back in his jump shot.  Maybe he’s being a warrior fighting through injuries, and I’m being too unsympathetic.

Or maybe he needs to buckle down, and maybe deep down he agrees. If I were a betting man, I wouldn’t bet against Wade. He’s still got the closer mentality,  and certainly seems to have lost no level of desire.  He just needs to re-discover those parts of his game that once made him Jordan-esque.

If the NBA miles have added up and taken that away from him, then its up to Wade to re-invent himself into a different kind of player. He’s still stronger than most guards who try to stop him..still quicker than any forward trying to check him.  Dwyane Wade is still a great athlete, and by far, the Heat’s most popular player. He’ll get a pass for his past heroics….for a while.

But come money time…the Heat will need the real Dwyane Wade…to be the REAL Dwyane Wade.