No Love For November, Sports' Drama-Free Month

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There's an awful lot of games played in November –– even with the NBA locked out –– but it's really just an in-between month in sports... and life. There are no May-and-November romances, no good November songs. It's sort of a semi-final of a month.

Why are they still playing tennis in November? Let the boys and girls rest up for the summer so they're not all hurt when it matters.

Likewise, golf. Many purists say Tiger Woods shouldn't have been picked for the Presidents Cup team. Of course he should have. Otherwise, nobody would even be talking about the Presidents Cup, like I am now –– even though I don't have the foggiest idea what it is. But it's played in November, somewhere. Go, Tiger.

Let me be the first to say that 2011 is surely the worst year in history for American athletes on the world stage. Has there ever been a year when foreigners were heavyweight champion, fastest man in the world, and No. 1 in both men's and women's golf and tennis? Whatever happened to the lone Yank, taking on the world? There are no John Waynes left in American sport.

The NCAA has come up with a new grading schedule in which it promises to keep big-time teams out of its championships if the so-called student athletes don't have a high enough grade-point average. Here's what my friend, The Sports Curmudgeon, has to say about that: [gruff voice] "Garbage in, garbage out. All those colleges are experts at getting academically-unqualified athletes into school and keeping them eligible, and the NCAA can't catch anybody. You don't think now if their players have to have higher grades they can find a way to cheat at that, too?" Thank you, Sports Curmudgeon.

I'm going to look into what the Presidents Cup is and get back to you on that.

Every time I hear something new about the country of Turkey playing a larger role in the world, I double down my bet that Instanbul will be chosen as the city for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

When players and owners have labor disputes, like in the NBA now, the ones I side with are the small-market teams. I care more about them than I do the big-market teams or the players and agents. Small market is the entity that needs the most help today, in whatever sport. Once the small-market owners are happy with a deal, then I'm satisfied that it must be a fair enough settlement.

There's a stupid movie out now claiming William Shakespeare didn't write Shakespeare. Well, after listening, time and again, to how singers butcher both our National Anthem and our national hymn at ball games, if I were Francis Scott Key and Irving Berlin I would want a movie claiming that I didn't write The Star-Spangled Banner and God Bless America.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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