Sunday, February 13, 2011

AZ's Slant on Sunday - Star Power!

(Written for the fact that the Cavs broke their 26-game losing streak this past Friday against the Clippers. Way to go, failboat captains!)

What makes a team? Is it the star power or is it the overall skill and talent of the team? Can one name lead a team and franchise to glory?
Don't try to answer it. It's rhetorical, and there's no way you're going to get a definite 'yes' or 'no' from it.
Many arguments may go into consideration when it comes to thinking that it may be one man or a few men that make a team.

Have you ever seen the movie Kicking and Screaming? It's one of those Will Ferrell sports/slapstick movies. Anyway, in the middle of the movie, all the little guys had to do was pass the ball to "the Italian kids" and they'd score and win the game.

In another childish example, the characters from the cartoon Arthur had Francine Frensky...

and the characters from Doug had Patti Mayonnaise.

[...How ironic that in the last two characters that I've mentioned, both females were depicted as athletes.... could that be another post? I don't know yet.]
These following characters epitomize the stigma that one person unifies the team and makes the team better as a whole, and this particular leader "shines" and is set apart as the best player of the group.

To bring up my point of writing this post, let's take a look at the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team.

Looking at their roster as a whole, the team has zero big-name players. And being perfectly honest, none of the players on the team average over 20 points a game. The team has zero momentum, has only won nine of 54 games, and...LeBron James dropped them like a bad habit and flew to South Beach to play with the Miami Heat.

Speaking of this dude, let's now look at the Miami Heat.

Miami is 39-14. They also have LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh. They're tops in the conference too. Whenever one thing tweaks this holy trinity of b-ball players, it makes top news on ESPN. They're the talk of the league, and people are expecting the NBA Championship to come to this town in the near future. But is it because of these three guys, or is it the team as a whole?

Everyone at some point will call a team with this kind of star power and recognition "America's team." Teams such as the Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees have been given this recognition over the years for having the most legendary players to ever step foot in the sport. Many of the men who have experienced the big show itself have won several titles and have played with other up-and-coming players that would soon join them in the greatness of the Hall of Fame. However, some people who have won these titles and weren't considered the "star" have been overshadowed.

Here's an example of that. Let's go back in time to the 2001 World Series. The country just experienced 9/11 and we were getting our first taste of November baseball. It was the New York Yankees dueling against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Arizona came away with the emotional Game 7 victory, and the leadership of Luis Gonzales, Randy Johnson, and Curt Schilling led them through it. Wait, who were those other guys? Point made. You have the stars and the memorable names, but without them, who are those other guys? I guess you can say this now since they've lived in the cellar on and off since then. I think they've only made two or three playoff appearances since then (and I'm not looking at these stats right now, they're guesses, so sue me).

However, there are several cases where there is a lack of definite star power, but they all work together as a unit and unify the city while winning the sports title. Dare I say we look at the Green Bay Packers?
Sure, people were paying attention to who Aaron Rodgers was because he's the quarterback. Other than that, who did he really have? The bigger linemen on the offense and defense were being lost to injury, and that meant that the other guys had to step up and bring the Lombardi trophy back home to Titletown. Lo and behold, they did just that. Now we all know who James Starks, Jordy Nelson, and Clay Matthews is.

Speaking of Clay Matthews, he did something goofy this past week. Fast forward the video to about 2 minutes and you'll see what went down in Green Bay.

I guess big things like the Super Bowl can make you do other big things in other lands, right?

A topic like this can bring out many opinions and many answers as to what makes a team. I guess you can say that it works in a cycle. Those who win become legends and stars, and the rest have to beat the best to be the best. Everyone will start off small at one point, regardless of how well their college career treated them. To become the star, one must be set apart.
If you want what I think, no man is an island. It takes more than one guy to achieve greatness.

In the case of the Cleveland Cavaliers...they need new management. That's all.