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Where the 15 Minutes of Fame Never End
In about 15 minutes, an announcement is going to be made that the Atlanta Thrashers will be sold off, and moved to
Winnepeg. Here are some things to consider about this now-imminent move:
-Atlanta might be the worst sports city in North America. They’re the only city in the history of the continent to have a major sporting franchise leave their city in favor of greener pastures…in Canada. Except now it’s happening for the second time. The first was the loss of the Flames to Calgary in 1980. Whose idea was it to give those schmucks in Atlanta another chance at an NHL franchise?
-A team that plays in a league that, by all recent accounts, is more popular than the NBA, is moving. So I went to CBS Sportsline, SI, and the Worldwide Leader, to see what appears on their headlines this morning. Not a single headline mentions the sale and/or relocation of the Thrashers. Some headlines that DO appear on these sites:
So Thrashers Fan(s), please take a moment, or even 15 minutes if you want, to reflect on the years of complete futility and overall embarrassment that your franchise has brought to the NHL, and the complete waste of time, money, energy, natural resources, and space, that your team has represented over the past 13 years, and take a deep breath knowing that it’s all gonna end in mere minutes. And one of the worst markets in sports history–Atlanta, will only be burdened with three bottom-feeding franchises.
Unless you’re one of our many, many Japanese fans, our next Obscure Spotlight will be a guy whose name you haven’t heard in quite some time. The Nippon league’s single-season hit leader, with 214, is not Ichiro, as you may expect, but instead that record belongs to American Obscure Athlete Matt Murton.
Murton was picked 32nd overall by the Red Sox in 2003. His time in the Boston organization was brief, however, as in 2004 Murton was involved in the trade that sent Nomar Garciaparra to the Cubs. He made his Major League debut for the Cubs on July 8, 2005, two years to the date after signing his first pro deal with Boston.
Murton spent the ’06 season starting in the Cubs’ outfield. He became a fan favorite and enjoyed a successful campaign, hitting .297 with 13 homers and 62 RBI. Cubs’ GM Jim Hendry, ever the masterful evaluator of baseball talent, however, decided during that ’06 offseason that the team could do better in left field. So he brought in one of the true unsung kings of the Steroid Era, Cliff Floyd. Murton played in only 94 games in 2007 as a result.
Murton was never the same after being platooned with Floyd. In July of ’08 he was moved along with the truly obscure Eric Patterson and Sean Gallagher to the Athletics for Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin. He would play in just 38 more games in his Major League career, spending time with the A’s and then the Rockies in ’09.
Matt Murton’s greatest source of notoriety instead comes from his time in the Japanese Nippon Professional Baseball League, where ‘s become one of the premiere hitters in the country. Perhaps one day the 29-year-old pro veteran will make a return to the Majors. For now we’ll have to settle for watching him from the other side of the world, tearing it up with the Hanshin Tigers. Not the Detroit ones.
Herm Edwards was just on ESPN, yelling at Chad OchoCinco for his continued Twitter-Antics, and telling him
to “Strap the helmet on and just play football!” (Follow @obscureathletes on twitter) Aside from how absurdly hypocritical this helmet-wielding rant from Edwards is, considering the fact that he’s employed by a network that actively promotes Twitter and actually has fucking segments during SportsCenter to talk about tweets from athletes, has anyone else had just about enough of this clown?
Given his ‘Pep talk’ rants and other outlandish NFL commentary, I ask you this, Obscure Readers. If you didn’t know Herm was a failed NFL head coach and successful ESPN pundit, wouldn’t you think he was a crack addict struggling mightily to get clean? I know I would. It must be way more difficult to brandish your “Fired Coaches Association” membership card over in Bristol, when unlike your counterpart Jon Gruden, you never won a goddamn thing as a pro coach. Even if Gruden basically stole Tony Dungy’s second ring.
I woke up around 8:50 this morning, and I seemed to have lost the remote. The channel was 35 (ESPN2) when I went to bed, and the sporting gods did have a hearty laugh at my expense, because like everyday Monday through Friday between 6-10AM, Mike and Mike on ESPN Radio was being simulcast on The Deuce. My hatred of Mike and Mike is well-documented, so rather than go on a rant about why I hate them so much, I’ve taken the time to make a short list of things that rank SLIGHTLY higher on my to-watch list.
Whatever crap is on the Golf Channel
That show Pat Robertson has
Yes, Dear reruns
Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS
Like my colleague Mr. Boss eloquently stated, I hope all of the readers we’ve been lucky enough to have gathered over the past six months or so, have had a happy and safe holiday. We’re back next week, the last of 2010, with an Obscure Year in Review as well as a few all-new Obscure Spotlights.
PS- good to see Mike Singletary on the sidelines with his religious icons in plain view, but c’mon, man! No just God would let any team win the NFC West.
Brad Childress must have hit up Brett Favre for tickets to last night’s Vikings game. And why wouldn’t he? It was Minnesota football history being made at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium. Wouldn’t wanna miss that, would ya Brad? The Vikings, in case you missed it, turned in a Vikings-like performance, getting blown out by the Bears at home, and losing Favre for, once again, an indeterminable amount of time.
One day, you’re going to be in a position to answer a trivia question, for either a bunch of
money or a pair of tickets to your next local sporting event, or something of that nature. Maybe it’s on Jeopardy. Alex Trebeck is going to look you in the face and say “Call him both an early and late bloomer, because he holds the NFL record for most time in between 1000-yard rushing seasons.” And because of Obscure Athletes, you’ll correctly answer the question. Maybe it’s a Final Jeopardy question, who knows? And if it is, you’ll answer “Mike Anderson” and smile. Hopefully you wagered all your money and weren’t that guy who sees the Final Jeopardy category and bets $0. Isn’t it really lame when that guy wins?
Anyway, today we’re talking Mike Anderson– the pride of Winnsboro, South Carolina and a former sixth round pick out of the University of Utah. Anderson served in the Marines after high school and was 26 by the time he was drafted in 2000 by the Broncos. Anderson was thrust into the starting role after Olandis Gary went down early in the season, and did not disappoint. On his way to NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, Mike Anderson rushed for 1487 yards on 297 carries and an impressive 15 touchdowns.
Anderson’s carries were cut in half both of the next two seasons, and his production diminished. Finally in 2004, Anderson suffered a season-ending injury during the preseason, and the already improbable run of Mike Anderson all the way to the ranks of the NFL looked to finally be ending.
Going into the ’05 season, Anderson was determined to prove he had one more good NFL season in him, and behind a stellar Broncos offensive line, Mike Anderson once again broached the 1000-yard plateau. In fifteen games Anderson rushed for 1,014 yards and 12 touchdowns, and added another three in two playoff games for Denver.
After that 2005 season, Anderson was a salary cap casualty for the Broncos, after which he signed on with Baltimore, for whom he played only one season. That year saw him carry the ball only 39 times from a backup role with the Ravens. Mike Anderson’s NFL career came to a close when he was suspended for a full season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, after which no team was willing to take a chance on the running back. He finished his career with 919 carries, and a 4.4 yards per carry average. Anderson ran with a chip on his shoulder, making sure to always fall forward. And his fifteen minutes of fame will remain well-preserved here at Obscure Athletes.
The continuing saga of Broncos’ 1000-yard rushers gets even more obscure next week, think you can guess who we’ll be looking at?
I’m here today to call everyone in the Obscure Athletes-reading community
together. We must unite to make the sporting community, and our society as a whole, a better place, and to me the obvious place to start is at the epicenter of mediocre, rehashed, thoughtless garbage: the Mike and Mike Morning Show, broadcast every morning on ESPN Radio and simulcast as part of the “What the fuck else are we gonna show?” morning block on ESPN2.
Thanks, Worldwide Leader, for giving us something we’ve never, ever seen before in a morning program: The duo featuring the fat, marginally talented former player whose “Down-home” personality and overt lack of sophistication make him the perfect anti-intellectual counterpart to the uptight, straight-laced, salmon-eating douchebag whose agoraphobic tendencies and overall twitchiness ensured that he never got laid in his younger days. Yeah, I’ve never seen that before, save perhaps for not only every morning sports show, but every movie Chris Farley and David Spade have ever been in.
Mike and Mike are the sports version of Two and a Half Men– recycled, contrived drivel, that uses every shitty old trick in the comedy book, garnering a giant audience and cheap laughter at every turn. Do the sports world a favor, and don’t watch Mike and Mike in the Morning. Not only that, tell your friends to make sure they never see or listen to it. In fact, I go on a personal media blackout from 6-10 every morning just to make sure I don’t accidentally stumble upon it while surfing the channels.
Join the cause, and spread the word. The betterment of western society is at stake here. The more people who don’t watch that garbage, the more the Worldwide Leader will have to consider using that four hours of daily airtime differently. At the very least, it’ll allow them to talk about Brett Favre some more.
By now, I bet you’ve been wondering what happened to Mr. Boss’ contributions to Obscure Athletes. In fact, given that most of our readers are fairly new, I would guess most have no idea who I’m talking about. In fact, Michael J. Boss is the cofounder of Obscure Athletes. He was last seen in late June. I’m here to let everyone know, that Mr. Boss is indeed alive and well after being in a terrible accident that caused him to be secluded in a cave since then. During that time he has, in addition to growing a terrific beard, developed the format for his new couple-times-a-week segment here on Obscure Athletes.
Just like the Hess Truck, Mr. Boss is back and better than ever.