MARK COOGAN, Sports Editor
As always, these are 100% real emails sent by Round Table readers. If you have a question or an article suggestion for the Sports Bro, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hey Sports Bro, with the Summer Olympics coming up in London this year and the UEFA European Soccer Championships coming up this summer, I got to thinking, which is the best worldwide sporting event, the Olympics or the World Cup?
-Scott Dyke ‘12
Here’s the way I see it, Scott: Soccer is by far the most popular sport in the world and except for here in America, everyone goes cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs during the World Cup. Businesses and schools across entire nations shut down so that everyone can watch their country play the world’s favorite game. That’s pretty awesome. The World Cup final in 2010 had a global audience of over 700 million people.
But here’s why the Olympics are better: There are so many more sports. In London this September, there will be over 300 events. There will be everything from track and field to equestrian, from cycling to synchronized diving, and everything in between. One of my favorite things about the Olympics is being able to find a sport I’ve never heard of before at two in the morning on MSNBC, and end up being captivated by it. During the 2010 Winter Olympics, I saw curling on TV for the first time in my life, and watched it for hours.
Another one of my favorite things about the Olympics is being able to cheer my heart out for a person that I’ve never heard of before, and in all likelihood, will never hear of again for a while. Do you remember the names Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser? Neither do I. But I do remember jumping off the couch in excitement when they teamed up to win gold medals for the United States in the men’s beach volleyball competition. People go from being total nobodies to national heroes and back again every single day during the Olympics. And it’s awesome.
Hey Sports Bro, I read your breakdown of the NBA’s point guards last week and appreciate the love you gave to Ricky Rubio. Speaking of love, Rubio’s Minnesota Timberwolves teammate Kevin Love is the best power forward in the league right?
-John “Goomba” Jorgenson ‘12
Here’s my top five list of NBA power forwards right now.
Honorable Mention: Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics; Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers; DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings
The first two guys would have been in the top five two seasons ago but Father Time has taken his toll on both of them. Cousins very well maybe in the top five two seasons from now if he ever decides to grow up and play basketball like he’s getting paid to do so. The ceiling is very high for Cousins, but because of his maturity issues, the floor is also very low.
5. Chris Bosh, Miami Heat
A lot of people don’t see Bosh as an elite player because he so often gets overshadowed by his two more famous teammates, LeBron James and Dwayne Wade. But Bosh has really found his role for the Heat and I believe he will be the x-factor for them when the playoffs come around. He is often forgotten by other teams because they spend so much energy defending Wade and James. If Bosh can step up and take advantage of that lack of attention, it’s hard to see anyone beating the Heat in the playoffs this year.
4. LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trailblazers
Aldridge is rightfully going to his first all-star game this weekend. Starting last year, Aldridge took his game to a whole new level and could conceivably be in MVP talks at the end of the year if the Blazers put together a strong run to finish the regular season.
3. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
If the criteria for the list were just awesome dunks and hilarious Kia commercials, Griffin would win hands down. But judging by actual NBA production, the incredibly talented Griffin still leaves a little to be desired. He is an efficient scorer and a very good rebounder, but he isn’t a great defender and is shooting just 53 percent from the free throw line this year. The Clippers have some deserved hype surrounding them this year and could make a run at a NBA Finals appearance, but Griffin needs to improve as a free throw shooter so that his team can count on him during crunch time of playoff games.
2. Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves
Kevin Love totally surprised me as an NBA player. I remember watching him at UCLA and thinking that he was too chubby and too slow to be an effective NBA player. But here he is in his fourth season in great shape and leading all power forwards in both scoring and rebounding by a wide margin. He has a three point game that can stretch the floor for your team but can also scrap for rebounds inside. He is also a very effective face-stomper.
1. Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks
Nowitzki isn’t having a great year this year, but it’s hard to deny him the top spot on this list after the run he had in last year’s playoffs. If he can get back to anything even resembling the guy he was in last year’s finals, the Mavericks will once again be a force to be reckoned with in this year’s playoffs.