sportshaiku


Leave a comment

A Change for New…Wasted – Name

A chance to build a
Community, a Family
Instead, a Repeat

Oh man. I really thought the Minnesota Timberwolves could have some fun with buying a minor league (G-League) team when they bought the Iowa Energy. The Energy are familiar with change. They just changed their color scheme from purple and orange to light blue, dark, blue, and yellow when Memphis purchased the club last year.

So Des Moines, trade your yellow for neon green. Keep the blues while you “#BackThePack.”

Speaking of “Pack”, I was really hoping the Timberwolves wouldn’t duplicate their names with their minor league team. Other NBA teams have done it and I think it’s a wasted opportunity. Why double-up on the name? The Windy City Bulls? Lame. South Bay Lakers? Really? I’m sure someone will argue it’s marketing, but why not have names related, not duplicated? Have some fun!

So as the new name was about to be dropped, I really didn’t want the Iowa Timberwolves. I really hoped for the Iowa Pack or Iowa Wolfpack. It’s related, not duplicated.

The coolest part of the minor leagues of baseball is the fun names, the fun logos. Some teams have variant logos. The Cardinals are pretty good at that with the Redbirds. Great idea.

How fun is Albuquerque’s team? The Isotopes? Fun. The Albuquerque Rockies? Not-so-fun.

I heard someone joke about the Iowa Timberpups. At first, it might be funny, but I think over time it could gain traction. After all, Chicago has Bears and Cubs, right? I heard the Cubs grew up last year. Maybe Timberpups or just Pups could work.

But probably not. So Pack was my choice.

I’m a big fan of the WNBA. When the W was formed, the coolest thing about the NBA affiliation was the names and logos. Though Minnesota joined the W later, the Lynx are a perfect compliment to Timberwolves. Strong mascots and both Minnesota animals.

The other W nicknames were fun, too. Look at these sister/brother names: Charlotte Sting/Hornets, Houston Comets/Rockets, Phoenix Mercury/Suns, Sacramento Monarchs/Kings, and Utah Starzz/Jazz (yes, the cute ZZ might’ve been too much).

Three original teams strayed. For Cleveland and New York, the Cavaliers and Knickerbockers were tough to match so we got Rockers and Liberty. Both tributes to the cities they play in. Los Angeles brought us Sparks which makes as much sense as Lakers. At least the logos had good symmetry. (Logos from Google.com)
LosAngelesBasketball-logosThe related names are fun. Timberwolves to Wolves doesn’t rank as fun for me. Sorry, Minnesota, you missed a chance.


Leave a comment

A Change for New…Wasted – Color

There was a chance to
Make Fans Happy, But No Luck
Say No to Neon

The Timberwolves have a new logo, new minor league team, and lots of new opportunity. With so much promise, it makes me a little sad to see the chance go by.

Let’s talk color.

For the logo, a new color was added and it’s neon green. Watch out, Seattle, Minnesota also wants neon green to compliment their blue. My take is it is chasing a trend. I don’t get it. The polls showed fans wanted retro and they sort of got it. Green is back, but it’s really back to the neon green future.

Before I say more, kudos to the Timberwolves for staying with blue and green over the years. At least the ‘Wolves have a color scheme. Think about the Milwaukee Bucks and their color wheel (image from Sporting News via Google search):

Yep, the Bucks went for purple, then red, and now cream. Quite the variety.

For the Wolves, I get building a new identity, based on the past. But in today’s sports world, what is your identity with throwback nights, Sunday-only alternate jerseys, and lately pinkouts for Mom, powder blue for men supporting prostrate cancer, and camo-night for the military?

In fact, this weekend, Major League Baseball went green, olive green. For Memorial Day, teams wore green hats had camo brims and the jerseys with muted olive green jerseys. I thought it was pretty cool, but clearly it’s also perceived as a monetary maneuver.

MemorialDay-2017-BrandonMcCarthy

If other leagues follow suit, you, too, can support any cause they choose to get your Wolves swag. Yes, the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Iowa Wolves share a color scheme, but if you’re not into the neon green, just wait and buy your alternate jersey of choice. Don’t worry. It’ll happen.


Leave a comment

New Era? Maybe Makeover

New era? Maybe

Really mirror makeover!

Flip it and neon

When the Minnesota Timberwolves announced a new era, a new look. It had a hashtag of #NewEraNewLook and a design company with intriguing name – Rare Design.

The question was how new was new going to be? I’m not so sure new and rare are words I’d use to describe a new look.

When the Minnesota Timberwolves purchased the Iowa Energy, it wasn’t long before they, too, would get a new name & logo.

New? True! New name…kinda. The timber is gone down south, but the North Star remains. The new G-League team is the Iowa Wolves.

The logo is also Timberwolves-esque. If you know Old Shep, the original Minnesota Timberwolves logo, you’ll recognize the makeover version. Was this a rejected new logo design by the Target Center tenant?

I gotta wonder. The retro revival continues. Is this a new era? Maybe better called a makeover.


Leave a comment

London Home Game

 

Well, this Sunday before many are awake the Rams will kick off versus the New York Giants. This is LA’s “home” game in London.

Home away from home
Opportunity to grow
Now it’s time to shine

The Rams have been bad #HomeOpener and good #CardinalsVictory. Their record of 3-3 could be good and bad news depending on your expectations. Most of the Rams’ opponents have also have mixed seasons with good and bad losses. It’s really hard to know what the Rams are capable of doing this season. Can they contend for a wild card?

But all that is moot in London. The point of the NFL playing in Europe is to grow the game. If the bad Rams show up, it won’t help in London or at ‘home’ in LA.

The NFL hasn’t given their best games to the world. The best matchup is saved for late Sunday or Sunday night. I’ve wondered about that. Why give the world a mediocre matchup. Should “meh” be what Europe says? Seriously Rams vs Giants? Who’s excited?

Back “home” it’s not great either. The game kicks off at 6:30 AM local time. By brunch, the game is most likely over. Will fans miss anything?

If the good Rams show up, London gets the show they deserve. These fans are paying good money to the see the NFL and I hope they get it.

Time to shine, Rams!


Leave a comment

Vikings Say Sam Bradford is the Piece

The Arm and the Brain
Just need one piece for glory
Here comes Sam Bradford

Minnesota sent a clear message today when they traded 2017’s first rounder and 2018’s second rounder. They said from what we see available, Sam Bradford is the answer to the question of “What do we need for this year?”

FYI, the Eagles also sent a message which is no matter his status now, Carson Wentz is our future and the future is now. Sam Bradford is the past.

The Vikings clearly said that they feel they are still contenders if they can fill Teddy’s two gloves. They also told their fans that they will not settle with a new stadium.

They also said, they don’t believe Bradford’s injuries are a concern today. Overall, they said a lot!


Leave a comment

Sam Deserved Better

Fired before the season ended. He couldn’t even enjoy the win without the vultures circling. Sam was wronged.

Sports Haiku:
He filled in as asked.
He leads this young squad to wins.
Why punish him so?

Look, I’m no fool. I get it. Sam Mitchell was a caretaker; He took over when a death in the family changed everything. Flip announced he was fighting cancer and has to focus on that.

So the organization asked Sam to step in. In September, he was labeled “interim” head coach and stayed “interim” for the entire season. Yes, the entire season. So it was clear there was no long-term promise.

So Sam stayed interim until the last game of the season. Oddly enough, the team was informed before the final game. #TooSoon?

So what did Sam do? He kept the team going. He led a team to 29 wins (one less than the final opponent, New Orleans). With so much youth, they overachieved to me. Sam was the ‘interim’ for too long. In short, he did his part. He earned a proper thank you.

Instead, he’s told to walk away and the players are told as well.

This is a young squad. These are kids playing a man’s game. And yes, these kids are becoming solid men. They are learning the Association and the Minnesota Timberwolves are trying to create a solid foundation for the future. #DontMessWithThem

So before these young players go home – many of whom liked Sam – why would you put a bad taste in their mouth by firing Sam before the season is even over? Is that how you treat someone who worked for you? For me, it’s too soon for a team that competed on many nights. Compare the Wolves to other building teams and you can clearly see the Wolves are indeed on the rise.

Let me be clear – I’m not saying the Wolves needed to keep Sam. I’m saying the timing was poor. It feels rushed and disrespects everyone involved. The move disrespects Sam who did his job. I’m more worried that it sets a horrible example for the future head coach and sends the players a clear message. Thanks, but “buh-bye” is not a message to tell a twenty-one-year-old player. #IsThatHowYouTreatGuysYouLike?

Look, I completely understand it’s “business”, but since everyone is in the “business”, there has to be something that makes your franchise special & attractive. Firing your interim coach before the final game is not classy. Having it leak pre-game also makes me wonder. And when the owner doesn’t attend the game, I have to wonder how much the organization cares. Don’t you think the players wonder the same thing?

I pay careful attention and I believe the Wolves need to be attractive to free agent players and coaches. The Wolves are smaller market, but a great place to live. We have a winter people fear so we often overpay for free agents. I think you can balance the negatives with good ownership & good culture #YeahImNaive

The Wolves’ head coaching position has to be appealing. I know Sam is well compensated for his trouble, but as an incoming Coach, do I wonder if I, too, will be getting the same Sam treatment? If I have a choice of positions, why sign up for the Sam treatment? #ClassyIsGoodRecruiting

But what I see is a jerk move & I expect more from Flip’s team. I expect more than people that spend all year wearing “WE” shirts. “WE” means “WE” finish the season. “WE” finish what we started and “WE” talk afterward. #WeExpectBetter

I’d be fine if we enjoyed the 144 points and the victory. Then, today (the day after the season), the Wolves can meet, talk to Sam about the future changing, and everything can happen today. You ask the players to stay in town one more day (if they didn’t already) and you talk about wanting a new coach for the future.

Since no one was hired today. I would say the Wolves gained nothing by “pre-firing” Sam. In fact, I noticed George Karl was let go today. One day after their final game. It can be done.

Yes, the building blocks are in place, but to build something special, you have to do it right.


Leave a comment

Time Expiring…The All-Star Shoots…And Misses

It’s Staples arena. Time is expiring. The All-Star Has the Ball. He Shoots…And Misses

Five four three two miss
Horn sounds. Fans cheer. Overtime!
Dwyane Wade doesn’t win.

No, Kobe didn’t have the ball. He didn’t get a chance. While Kobe sat out with shoulder soreness, Dwyane Wade did not. Wade said publicly that if Kobe’s in, I’m in! Well, Kobe started, but his shoulder finished him off. Wade played on.

And Wade played well! He scored 26 points and collected 10 rebounds. But he was undone by 17 turnovers (thx NBA.com). Despite 17 turnovers (and I believe I heard 30 point by LA off those turnovers), the Heat still had a chance to win.

The game is tied. All-Star and future Hall of Famer Wade has the ball. The clock is ticking. Wade measures the time. He rises and strokes a shot. He misses. Overtime!

The OT was classic. After misses by each team, the man in the news – D’Angelo Russell makes a deep three bringing the fans to their feet cheering. Lakers score first in OT. Miami responds and later takes the lead. All Kobe can do is watch…and cheer.

Back and forth, then forth and back. The game ends up tied again. Then, the pretty-much-rookie Julius Randle spins and scores to take the lead. The youngster gives the Lakers the lead.

Again, a veteran has the ball. Joe Johnson, another All-Star, gets the inbounds pass and is behind the three-point line. He takes the deep three for the win…and misses. It’s the future’s night. Lakers win.

Kobe watches and cheers. Wade has to say goodbye to Kobe and walk away with a loss. A loss that hurts the Heat’s playoff seeding. (It’s tight in the East!)

Meanwhile time is expiring….. (Thx to NBA TV for broadcasting this game! I love it!)