Rise of Bode Miller Again?


Bode Miller is an olympic alpine skier.

The story of redemption is as old as sports itself. It’s always fascinating to see the enthralling rise, crushing fall, then the skyrocketing ascension of an athlete as they enter back into the other wordly status they once enjoyed. The one figure who may fit this description better than a spandex ski suit is none other than American Bode Miller, who’s considered a favorite.

It’s still way too early in the Sochi Olympics to predict how Miller’s long, winding journey will ultimately end considering he completely missed out on the men’s downhill to Austria’s Mattias Mayer. Given how well his practice runs went beforehand, it was actually a shock he didn’t win a medal in this event, but he still will compete in the super-G, slalom, giant slalom, and the super combined. You could say that Miller’s redemption actually came four years earlier in Vancouver, when he won three medals including a gold. At the time, he wasn’t that far removed from comments he made about skiing drunk and how too much emphasis was put on winning, but Miller knows that this is it for him. One final Olympics, then he’s done. It’s over.

At 36 years-old and coming off microfracture knee surgery that forced him to miss an entire season, Sochi presents an opportunity for Miller to round out his career and shape his legacy on the world’s grandest stage. He can do it by medaling in the remaining events, thus making the redemption whole and complete.

To learn more about the Olympic athletes and particularly the alpine ski team, check out the US ski team page. Here you can learn about the US ski team and its skiers like Bode Miller for instance. Recently married to Morgan Miller (a professional beach volleyball player), Bode lives in California with his family.

National Signing Day Thoughts

I always had a peripheral interest in National Signing Day, mainly because my alma mater, Arizona State, rarely had a recruiting cycle that was enough to heighten my curiosity. That changed over the last couple of years thanks to a much improved product on the field which generated 18 wins over the last two seasons. In the months leading up to this year’s National Signing Day, I found myself reading House of Sparky, ASUDevils.com and other websites to learn more about potential targets and their respective backgrounds.


How will national signing day affect college Arizona State and other college teams?

It was like a day trader keeping track of stocks or witnessing a high-roller at a lively craps table in Las Vegas. You’re literally riding the highs and lows of the mere prospect that a 4-star athlete will land at your school, in this case Tempe, Arizona. I can only imagine what it’s like for passionate fans in other parts of the country, where every decision feels dire to the fortunes of their programs. Some would say certain adults take the exuberance too far when it is, after all, 17 and 18 year-olds that we’re talking about, right?

It’s OK for them to be excited and even act goofy. They’re kids, but for the grown ups, it can get borderline creepy. Once again, the SEC proved to be the conference many recruits gravitated to this year topped off, of course by Alabama. This maybe Nick Saban’s best class yet and that’s saying something considering how they finished the season. Tennessee did well for itself, building quite a collection of talent in Knoxville. Heck, Kentucky’s work in the state of Ohio paid off. LSU showed that it could close strong under Les Miles. Out West, Steve Sarkisian was able to snag three top-notch players. Given his time frame and the way he did it by having them turn away UCLA, USC fans must be ecstatic. Oregon’s class underwhelmed, while Stanford reloaded with another strong crop of 4-stars.

As for ASU, a top 20 finish is all you can ask for given it’s lack of consistency in recent years. Todd Graham clearly has people buying into his plan. He has to. In this day in age, it’s not enough to just be bowl-eligible. You have to strive for a conference and national championship. That’s what makes National Signing Day a true reality show that’s impossible to turn off.

Last Word on Sherman

There’s already been way too much time spent on the Seahawks’ cornerback Richard Sherman’s actions, and you know there’s only going to be more space dedicated to either celebrating or condemning him in the days leading up to the Super Bowl. Whether you are a 49ers or Seahawks fan, believe he’s a classless punk or colorful character, this much was undeniable in the immediate aftermath of Seattle’s win in the NFC Championship game. Richard Sherman is about Richard Sherman.


Will Selva discusses Richard Sherman and the Seahawks.

The proof was in his rant when he referred to himself FIRST, then mentioned Michael Crabtree SECOND. He did not mention his teammates nor did he talk about one of the biggest victories in franchise history. He talked about numero uno. The only thing that mattered at that precise moment: Himself. You can chalk it up to the overflowing emotion from an intense battle, but he knew exactly what he was doing. I’m all for athletes letting their personality shine rather than spouting the same trite cliche.

In fact, I encourage it. As someone who has interviewed countless athletes, it certainly makes things way more interesting. However, he’s smart enough to know that he had a spotlight and an opportunity to perhaps further make a name for himself or even build up a brand. Who knows the actual motivating factor. Guys may claim that when they score a touchdown, they just spontaneously come up with a celebration. Yeah, right. It’s choreographed and well thought out ahead of time. Same thing in this situation. I’m actually shocked Sherman didn’t have an email composed in his draft folder and just fired a mass message to a bunch of reporters declaring his greatness.

Keep the focus on the team. Ya know, the reason why you’re even in this position in the first place. Too often this postseason, we saw players yapping after catches and first downs, or they draw attention to themselves by mocking the opposing players’ celebration. Just watch a replay of the Panthers – 49ers game. Again, all for the emotion, but its a TEAM sport. Sherman actually apologized for taking attention away from his teammates and rightfully so.

He explained himself more in Peter King’s MMQB by saying that he’s not a villain. Too late. He just converted a wide swath of the country into major Broncos fans. He said he did the choke sign because he wondered why the 49ers would throw to his side. He’s partially right. The 49ers shouldn’t have thrown his way. Hell, they shouldn’t have even thrown the deep ball in that situation. They were driving down the field with timeouts at their disposal, but you simply can’t explain away the choke sign. No reason for it. No place for it. I was positive a throat slash was going to follow. Go ahead and show all the emotion you want. Just remember you have teammates and while you’re at it, mix in a little sportsmanship.

A-Rod Still Delusional

The Alex Rodriguez situation reminds me a lot of the old Seinfeld episode where the strong whiff of body odor is embedded in Jerry’s car. He tries everything he can to eradicate it, only to find that the smell is still there. As much as everyone wants him to go away, A-Rod refuses to leave the public consciousness quietly.


A-Rod won’t give up on baseball.

He insists that he’ll play baseball in 2015 as a member of the Yankees. He’s now officially beyond delusional. The Yankees don’t want him. Somehow, he forgets that he sued the team doctor alleging malpractice for misdiagnosing his hip injury, not to mention other incidents that are too numerous to recount.

Yes, by all means A-Rod, they want the circus tent and jugglers that accompany you. He’s even said he would plan to go to spring training, even though he’s suspended for the entire season and postseason. He just doesn’t get it and he says it’s all in the pursuit of preserving what little is left of his dignity.

From a financial standpoint, A-Rod frees up money for the team to ink pitcher Masahiro Tanaka this offseason which could still happen and if the Yankees have the gumption to release him, they’ll eat the $61 million left on his deal. If the latter scenario plays out, does he really think another team will want him? All he has to do is look no further than Barry Bonds. He couldn’t find any takers and he was much more productive at his later stage. At least the Seinfeld episode had a funny ending. This is just a plain sad one. That’s of course, if there’s ever a finality.


Broncos-Chargers Thoughts

It’s been suggested that this incarnation of the Chargers is a team of destiny. I think that might be a reach, but I am becoming more of a believer in the mystical power that has become the “Bolo Mojo.” Their demeanor exudes a carefree mentality that’s been noticeably present during this 5 game magic carpet ride.

It’s reason enough for Broncos fans to be a tad leery on Sunday. Never mind the fact that the Chargers went to Denver last month and won only adds to the angst felt in the Mile High City. The Broncos defense has clearly showed that it has problems stopping the run, but they may get a boost from the news that Chargers running back Ryan Mathews could miss Sunday’s contest with a bum ankle.

will selva football field

Will Selva gives his thoughts on the Broncos and the Chargers.

Phillip Rivers, who’s the highest rated QB in NFL history (96.0) not to have advanced to the Super Bowl, has not made any back-breaking mistakes during their winning streak. Still, the Broncos can counteract with a prolific offense that can strike quickly and often, putting more pressure on the Chargers corners. Peyton Manning will also be armed with his full compliment of weapons, namely Wes Welker, who’s recovered fully from his concussion.

However, Manning must now do what he hasn’t done before in the playoffs in two tries: Beat the Bolts. The other stat that haunts Manning at this time of the year is this: He’s had the most one and dones than any quarterback in NFL history. It’s hard to pick against him, but the Chargers are ripe for the upset. What can you say? They’ve got that Bolo Mojo workin’ right now.

Where Did The Beatles Play Their Final Concert?

As the 49ers prepare for what is expected to be the final game at Candlestick Park Monday night against the Falcons, there’s a strong waft of nostalgia around the outdated stadium that has housed baseball, football and even pop culture history. It’s always the answer to the music trivia question: Where did the Beatles play their final concert? willselvacandlestickpark

The perception to Bay Area outsiders is that the ‘Stick fan-base mostly eats brie and sips Pinot, but if you’ve ever spent any time in the bleachers like me, you know it’s all about the insults and suds. Case in point in the early 90’s when Reds reliever Rob Dibble was warming up in the bullpen. As he was getting verbally pounded, he stopped, looked directly at our section and shook his head in disgust.

The cascading boos clearly got to him because a minute later, Dibble flashed us half the peace sign! I also vividly remember fans in the bleachers during Game 4 of the 1989 World Series serenading the Chemical Brothers, er Bash Brothers Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire with chants of “STER-OIDS!” We were a rowdy bunch fiercely protecting our turf on Jamestown Avenue, but that shared sentiment is now likely faded away with an updated, shimmering new home south of San Francisco. Gonna miss that big ‘ole monolithic lug.

The Raiders A Tranquil Beacon Of Stability?

The Redskins have successfully made the Raiders, yes the Raiders, the tranquil beacons of stability in the NFL. Think about that for a second. Washington is now a powder keg with head coach Mike Shanahan holding the matches, ready to light the fuse. In perhaps his final combustible decision, Shanahan has shut down his franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III for the rest of the season.

His reasoning is that RG3 has been sacked 24 times in five games and wanted him healthy for the off season. That may very well be true, but that reasoning sounds awfully flimsy. If he was really concerned about his health, then why did he have Griffin playing in the snow last Sunday against the Chiefs? Lions running back Reggie Bush got hurt just in WARM-UPS prior to the snow bowl with the Eagles. Why didn’t he shut him down then? Makes no sense.

I spoke with former GM Charlie Casserly when the news came down and he said the sack total is a bit of a misnomer if you watch game tape of Washington and KC. RG3 is running out of bounds and not necessarily absorbing vicious blows time after time. The other point Casserly made to me is that Griffin’s mechanics are now off. He’s not throwing the football like he did prior to his knee injury and that needs to be corrected. Shanahan claims that he spoke with owner Dan Snyder last week to discuss the future of the young signal caller, but it’s painfully clear, this is a power play by the head coach.


Will Selva discusses the Raider’s current performance in the NFL.

Shanahan did not like the fact that RG3 had a cozy relationship with Snyder if reports are to be believed. It’s as if Shanahan is daring Snyder to fire him over this move. Besides, Shanahan wants to get paid the remaining 7 million of his contract. For Kirk Cousins, this is now a 3 game audition. The Redskins are rooting hard that he does well, while the Rams want him to badly flame out. Remember, the Rams hold the Redskins top pick from the mammoth RG3 trade.  Cousins could significantly increase his trade value with solid play over the final 3 regular season games.

Meanwhile, Snyder has stayed above the fray and not said a word through all of this. Good move too, he doesn’t want to be hit from all the stray debris that’s about to be strewn all over Redskins Park.