Wednesday, May 27, 2009


By Sarah Tucker

I have absolutely no doubt that I was a hellish child. My mother jokingly threatened to run away many times. I’m also sure my parents did not get a full night of sleep until I left for college, and with three other sisters still at home my mother, most likely, is not sleeping soundly.

While I know my mom is very proud of her daughters, she understands how tough and sometimes unrewarding it is to raise and support a family. Today many young adults do not realize how rocky the road can be to creating a stable home life and they are blinded by the glamorized, unrealistic idea of parenthood.

In high school most of us were forced to take Home Economics, a class that taught us how to cook, clean and take care of children. Thrilling. No disrespect to all of the Home Economics teachers reading this article, but not many students would have taken that class had it not been part of the core curriculum. Either way we have been exposed and taught about the aggravations of home life since we were young.

Having stated that my question is: Why are so many young adults choosing to get married or have children (or both) at alarmingly high rates? Why is there such a rush to grow up and why are marriage and child bearing not treated with the respect they deserve?

It is hard not to step on anyone’s toes while discussing this issue; nevertheless I find my opinions inflexible when this topic arises. After reviewing lengthy censuses’ and Marriage/Divorce statistics my views are only reverberated by facts. In the year 2000 alone, there were more than 9 Million single mothers in America. Of those almost 2 million were living with relatives, and over 3 Million were divorced. Those statistics should scare the nuptials right out of you.

I, like many of you, know plenty of soon-to-be mothers. Sadly, most of them are unmarried and not older than 21. I even know two young ladies who have each had their second child before their 22nd birthday.

These old friends of mine, instead of enjoying the headaches and hassles of college life and young adult hood, are now at home or at work trying tirelessly to raise a family. I do not want to sound ignorant or judgmental but I do not understand why this lifestyle is chosen and seems to be preferred by young women.

Didn’t our grandmothers and great-grandmothers fight so that their daughters could be able to attend college? Why are so many of us willingly allowing our education and dreams to take a back seat to parenthood?

A lot young mothers tend to drop out of school to better care for their child and many never return to finish their higher education. Isn’t that ironic! If they had only waited until after graduating with a degree they would be much more financially stable and most likely able to better provide for their families.
While my opinion may be slightly biased because I do not want children, I can understand the perks of parenthood. Who doesn’t want a walking, talking, pooping, burping, screaming, crying ball of fun clinging to them day in and day out? However, the lack of respect that child bearing and marriage are shown today reflects poorly on those who choose to do so irresponsibly and prematurely.

I feel like Peter Pan and the Lost Boys had it right when they said they never wanted to grow up. You have the rest of your life to be old and act mature so before you jump into marriage or leap into parenthood let’s all take a few seconds (or more…much more) and think about the choices that not only affect your lives but the lives of the people around you and the people you create.

Monday, May 25, 2009


For the past six months, maybe even longer, the highest anticipated marquee match-up in sports has not only been exaggerated, but maybe even uncalled for. Who is better? Kobe or LeBron? Who is the MVP? Kobe or LeBron? Who will win the championship WHEN they face each other in the NBA Finals? Not the Lakers or the Cavs... But Kobe or LeBron?

These questions have been answered in the first three games of the respected Conference Finals whether we would like to admit it or not. Hardly a coincidence, Kobe's Lakers own a 2-1 lead in a gritty series that has 7 games written all over it. While LeBron's Cavs face a must win road game in a building where they haven't had much success, now trailing the series 2-1. It doesn't help that their opponent in the Orlando Magic is a significantly better team.

Which may lead us to believe that all the previous success was more so bark than bite. While LeBron maybe slightly more media friendly than Kobe, I don't see LeBron's success this season working as any sort of leverage in the debate in who is better. His MVP award was certainly deserving, but his free throw inefficiency gives me second thoughts on how ready he is for the big stage (and I'm not talking about commercials for Vitamin Water).

FYI: The best record in the league means nothing if you don't make it to the Finals. The Cavs risk letting down the city of Cleveland yet again, while hometown phenom LeBron James has been exploited as a continued work in progress.

We've watched him soar for tomahawk slams just as we have seen him coin the new term "run down" by chasing opponents for emphatic rejections in the open court. Recently we have seen him miss critical free throws in games with much heavier stakes than the regular season bouts in which he averaged 78 percent. He is averaging 74 percent from the foul line in the Conference Finals. Kobe's free throw percentage has remained in the 80s throughout his career never making him a liability at the end of a game in that regard.

True enough, basketball has never seen a guy quite like LeBron James. That makes him the easy pick considering Kobe's entire persona resembles that of Michael Jordan all the way to the tongue waging and gum chewing.

Still, the King of this league is evident. The title is not earned with a nickname given by marketers and league promoters who are star struck when they see LeBron James (as we all should be). But let's respect the guy who has willed his team to victories when everyone else questioned the toughness of his personnel. Kobe Bryant's competitive spirit is ingenuous and that in itself is enough to get his teammates lifted to beat the Nuggets.

The excuses for LeBron James are ironic because he isn't the type of guy to make excuses. Ask the MVP if he doesn't believe in his teammates. He may not acknowledge that while his performances are legendary statistically and in terms of flair, they lack validity with every critical free throw he strong arms or airballs. But he will always trust is supporting cast. At least we think so.

Let it be clear. Kobe Bryant, with 3 Championships under his belt and an MVP trophy of his own IS the greatest player in the game. Until his physical body no longer allows him to compete at the level that his natural killer instinct demands of him, that is when we can crown LeBron as King James (assuming by then he is practicing free throws more than trick shots at shootarounds). As for the NBA Finals, let's hope LeBron is everything we have all said he is. Because if the Magic advance, it would come as no shock to me if Dwight Howard, Hedo Turkgolu and Rashard Lewis stole the Kobe vs. LeBron show along with the Larry O'Brien Trophy. That's just another FYI.

These playoffs are the most battle testing match-ups we can ask for. And that isn't even the best part. In a couple of weeks, they will unveil the greatest player in the game today... in case you didn't know who he was.

Monday, May 18, 2009


The biggest surprise in this division would have to be the Arizona D-Backs. They would be considered a division favorite with a Mannyless Dodgers team before the season, but the play on the field has negated any of those speculations. They sit at the bottom of their division with the least amount of runs scored in the National League (tied with the Chicago White Sox with the least amount of runs scored in the entire league). Not going to get it done.

The Dodgers are in front in large part due to their dynamic hitting. They jumped out to a great start this year, picking up right where they left off after acquiring Manny Ramirez last season. Then the bomb dropped. Manny won't be back until July but Hudson, Ethier, Martin, Loney and Kemp are more than enough to pick up the slack. Not to mention the rest of this division is just flat out BORING!

The Giants will be in the contention because of their pitching. No longer do they have a Barry Bonds type of hitter but Bengie Molina has begun the season to lead his team with 8 HRs and 30 RBIs. Young third-baseman Pablo Sandoval has done a great job swinging the bat in the 3 and 4 spots.

San Diego is a beautiful city and a Padres game would be an awesome family event, but they are going nowhere. They've lost 6 straight twice this season and haven't been able to elevate themselves into contention just yet. I'm not an expert, but I don't see it happening.

The Colorado Rocky Mountains would be the only Rockies worth mentioning. The baseball team fell to my Houston Astros in 2 out of 3 meetings last week which I'm sorry to say is not a good sign (Go Stros). They're ahead of the D-Backs right now but at not even midway through the season, they could easily fall. On the other hand they could rise by chance... But that's a very very small chance.

This division is supposed to belong to the Cubs and in a perfect world it probably would. In this imperfect world and unpredictable division the MILWAUKEE BREWERS have won 6 straight and are two games ahead of the Cubs for 1st place in the Central. Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun has hit the ball well for them with solid production across the board.

Look for the Cardinals to be the best whenever they are healthy. The Cubs will be in town for the next few day and that should be a lot of fun. St. Louis is a baseball city and they will love this kind of competition.

The Reds and the Pirates don't seem to have enough to mix it up with the Cubs, Brewers, or Cardinals. And I'm loathing my next sentence. They don't look as bad as my Astros.

Stros take on the Brewers in Minute Maid Park. They should play well.

The National League East is by far the most competitive division in the National League. Their worst team has a 3rd baseman in Ryan Zimmerman who has caused a huge buzz around the league with his 30 consecutive games with a hit. Not to mention Adam Dunn. It won't be enough to make any noise.

The Marlins have cooled off after a blazing start. Looks like the Phillies and the Mets are gonna duke it out a few months from now but don't sleep on the Atlanta Braves. Chipper Jones is being his Hall of Fame self and the starting pitching is doing a serviceable job. They won't win the division but they have enough to run on the heels of whoever fights for a Wild Card position in the end. That's just an FYI.

I've never been more proud of the Texas Rangers. Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News and regular panelist on ESPN's Around the Horn made a premature victory speech for the Rangers a couple of weeks ago. They may not have deserved it then, but they continue to play well day in and day out. They've won 7 straight and are dominating the division. The Rangers opened the season sweeping the series against Cleveland only to lose 5 straight after that. I hope to see them continue to beat the odds as they've answered the pitching questions that have always surfaced the ball club.

I would like to say that the Angels are going to live up to the expectations before the start of the season and the tragic death of Nick Adenhart. But I just wouldn't be being honest.

I would like to pretend that a know the slightest bit about the Oakland As, but I don't. Wonder why.

I would also like to see every home run Griffey hits this year as the DH. But that is the biggest headline with the Mariners. They started off strong but will come up short this year... Surprise, surprise, surprise.

The Kansas City Royals have a stud young pitcher in Grienke, surrounded with a really improved young team. This is a shaky division so anything could happen, but we have to love what the Royals are doing. This is a great story for baseball.

The Tigers are on top of the division and they will host the red hot Texas Rangers rolling on a 3 game winning streak of their own. Dontrelle Willis will get the first start as they hope to get him familiarized with the strike zone.

The Minnesota Twins are always a quiet contender. They were just swept by the Yankees and gave up 6 runs in the first inning, but I don't see panic or despair on any of the faces in that dugout.

The White Sox are a good team, just not a great team. They won't be a favorite for anything. They have lost 5 straight and will host the division rival Minnesota Twins this week.

The Cleveland Indians don't have a lot of fire power either. You have to respect that organization but underachieving is what they are good at. It shows in the standing. Though the Indians have scored the most runs in their division, they sit as the dead last loser. I know... My blogs are full of surprises.

And finally, last but certainly not least... It's that diving and thriving American League East:
Yankee fans can celebrate the 6 straight victories and the sweep over the Twins... Texeira's two home runs Monday night... A-Rod's homer Monday night. We haven't forgotten the inside the park home run Brett Gardner, or the 3 consecutive walk off homers to win the game.

Nor have we forgotten that the Toronto Blue Jays are in control of the division and could possibly leave the Yankees and Red Sox in their dust within months. Their ace Roy Halladay is off to a remarkable 8-1 start. The Blue Jay are also batting near .300 as a team.

I know a little something about the Boston Red Sox. Jason Bay has 40 ribbies and FYI: Dustin Pedroia is hitting like an MVP. Papelbon broke the Rays down last week. John Lester and Tim Wakefield are carrying the load and the ace is Josh Beckett. You think they're worried?

I just want to say that I personally like the Baltimore Orioles. They are in the wrong division. They will always play hard though.

I've been caught saying the Rays are better than the Yankees. Let me be clear, the talent on the Yankees roster is overwhelming against any team in any sport. But the Rays, from my understanding, are the defending American League Champions. The Yankees are not so much. Who is going to play well at the right time? And will it matter if the Blue Jays continue to dominate, and if the Red Sox are as great as I think they are? It's just May right?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Reports have surface that the NFL would like to extend their international popularity and move more games to the United Kingdom. The New Orleans Saints defeated the San Diego Chargers 37-32 at London's Wembley Stadium in a regular season game in 2008. Each season over the next four years, NFL coaches have agreed to play as many as two games outside of the country. This is blasphemy. Nobody even plays football outside of America. More importantly, the economic strain that has been placed on this country has made it tough enough for NFL fans to make it to games in their own fair cities. Most people can understand the decision to move games from a business approach. There is a lot of money in London. Season ticket holders can buy plane tickets in this recession, for a football game that used to be held locally. Where are the American NFL fans? No one is concerned about the father who worked overtime to get a ticket for his son, or even the middle-class family of four. Most people understand that the NFL is less about the fans and more about the money, in such economic times as these.

In 2009, the Patriots will face the Buccaneers in London. reports that owners would have to be convinced that the league is showing true financial growth globally in order to continue giving their support to playing games out of the country. Of course they will continue to give their support, but are they willing to risk alienating their fans? Some experts feel within the next 8 years, we could see a Super Bowl Champion crowned overseas. The same Super Bowl that belongs to American fans. Has the country run out of great places to host it? I doubt it. The past three Bowls have been in either Florida or Arizona. The 2005 Super Bowl was held in Florida as well. Why not give it to a city like New Orleans? This is a wonderful place that seems to always need a lift (no pun intended). Why not place the most celebrated event in America, in America? It is unclear when the economy will improve. I would hope for it to better within the next 8 years. Still, nothing can sway the idea that this is not only wrong, but a little insulting to the fans that appreciate this game the most.