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Simmons Says 11-5
Sports are breaking my heart
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When part of your job is to be at sporting events on a near nightly basis, most would safely assume that person loves sports. As we've all found out at some point or another, assumptions are like . . . well, you probably know the rest.
Yes, I love sports. I played them from the time I was old enough to pick up a ball. When I wasn't actively participating in games, I was watching them, reading about them, analyzing them, re-watching them, and then talking about them with friends and family.
Some may not know this, but I was a radio host for a sports show when I was 16. Jameson Bouldin, once compared to Hakeem Olajuwon by our very own James Clark in this award-winning paper, John Jenkins and I were on every week for two years on WCPI. We enjoyed it. I hoped others did too.
A funny thing happens as you age though (yes, at age 31 I feel old enough to say that). You realize some things that were hugely important to you growing up don't matter as much anymore.
Butch Jones helped me realize that. So did Kawhi Leonard.
See, coach Jones has taken my love for Tennessee football away from me. He's like the opposite of Cupid. He doesn't spread love, he spreads loathing.
For the first time since 1998, I won't step foot in Neyland Stadium. I love the pageantry of the games, but I can't take watching him parade around red-faced and spewing catch phrases that are as useful as his Team 118 trash can.
I'll be back when he's gone. It's that simple.
The Spurs, and the emergence of Kawhi as an MVP candidate, have always been my fall back. They're a metronome of success - just year after year of sustained excellence and producing a great product.
Until this year.
Just before preseason, the Spurs announced Leonard was out with a quad injury and there was no timetable for his return. OK, no big deal. The preseason games don't count.
When the regular season started and Kawhi was still in a suit, I started worrying. The Spurs eased my pain by winning four straight.
It was followed by four straight losses, with only Friday's big comeback win over Charlotte saving the Spurs from a sub .500 record.
All reports seem to indicate Kawhi will come back in "weeks, not months." Whatever that means.
Hopefully it means I'm just weeks - and hopefully not months - from loving sports again. Come back soon Kawhi, or say farewell to Butch Jones. I need sports to stop breaking my heart.