Every-Thing Sports

Not all athletes are divas

Not all athletes are divas
lancemccullersjrfoundation.org

Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr.

In today's information age, the news cycle is almost 24 hours. Sometimes, it can be a matter of minutes depending on what news drops, when it drops, who drops it, and how it's dropped. Houston was a prime example of this in early November 2017. The Astros had just clinched the World Series title in a thriller of a game seven from the Dodgers in Los Angeles. The hearts of Houston sports fans fell as the next day they learned Texans' star rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson was to miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL. I could hear a collective "Damn! Damn! Damn!" across the city and surrounding areas.

Most of the time, we hear about all bad stuff. Murders. Fires. Horrible accidents. Civil unrest. Athletes and the sports world are no different. Often times, you'll hear about injuries and run-ins with the law or other ill-timed/ill-fated incidents. The Antonio Browns of the sporting world will garner the most attention with their diva-esque antics and attitudes. However, there are other athletes out there that are doing some good that should be celebrated. Let's take a look at some of the ones who should be celebrated:

Lance McCullers Jr.

I'm not a pet person. Working my full time job for 16 years in the cleaning industry, I've seen what pets can do and how much they can cost you. However, I have a serious soft spot for my wife and kids. So when they wanted to adopt a dog say no to Max. He's a Chiweenie with a great personality and a penchant for FRAP-ing (Frequent Random Activity Period). McCullers has a heart for animals, especially dogs. Through his foundation, he helps match pets and families for adoption. McCullers has kept up his fight throughout his recovery from Tommy John surgery this season. He also walks the walk by being the owner of several dogs himself. He's the headline pic for this article if you didn't know.

Steph Curry

Steph Curry vs. James Harden. Getty Images.

I know how much grief Curry has caused Houston Rocket fans over the years and I get it. But with the recent story of him sponsoring the Howard University men's and women's golf program for the next six years is worthy of some praise. To put this in perspective: the golf program has been absent from the school for about 40 years. With his support, it has the chance to be the first Division I athletic program at the school's history. Not many athletes commit such a huge financial undertaking for a school they didn't attend. It took a chance meeting with a student who chose to forgo golf to attend the school to spark Curry's interest. He may be a Rocket killer, be he's a community builder.

LeBron James

Lakers LeBron JamesPhoto by Harry How/Getty Images

LeBron James is a polarizing figure in the world of sports. Some see the NBA great as a glory hog, others see him as a challenger to the GOAT crown in basketball. No matter which side of the argument you fall, you can't question his philanthropy. Whether it's the "I Promise" school he helped start, or the kids he's given college scholarships to, LeBron has made sure to give back to the community he grew up in Northeast Ohio. People can say what they want about him, but his philanthropy can never be questioned.

Chris Long

Getty Images

Talk about putting your money where your mouth is. Chris Long exemplifies that statement. For the 2017 season, Long donated his remaining game checks that season to helping kids in each of the cities he's played for in St. Luois, Boston, and Philly. He's been very outspoken on social justice issues and has won the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, as well as ESPN's Humanitarian Award earlier this year.

There's a ton of other athletes out there who should be lsited here as well. Alas, I don't have the time to name them all. If there are other athletes who you feel are anti-dumbass, anti-diva, and/or anti-foolishness who actually use their platform to help and/or support positive causes, please highlight them instead of giving some of the less-deserving thwe attention they so desperatley do not need. The Antonio Browns of thw world don't need anymore attention. Let's spotlight the positives instead of thwe tomfoolery.

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Alex Bregman and the Astros are running out of time. Composite Getty Image.

There’s a sign outside of McDonald’s that keeps track of the millions and millions of hamburgers they’ve sold.

There could be a sign outside Minute Maid Park that keeps track of the millions and millions of dollars Alex Bregman is losing by having the worst season of his career in his contract year.

Maybe instead of appearing in H-E-B commercials he could sign an endorsement deal with Rice Krispies and be part of Snap, Crackle and Pop Out.

Tuesday night, Bregman went 0-4 against the Yankees and his batting average dropped below .200 into Martin Maldonado territory.

Bregman entered this season claiming to be in the best shape of his life and promising big things for 2024.

“My body feels in incredible shape,” Bregman said at the start of spring training. “Swing feels better than ever. And looking forward to a great, healthy season. And I expect to have the best season I’ve ever had.”

And remember when Astros general manager Dana Brown assured fans, don’t worry, we’re going to offer Bregman a contract to stay with the Astros?

“Look, we love Alex, we’d love to have him here. As far as a timeline, we just don’t have it, but we will at some point make him an offer. We know how good he is and how good he’s been for this franchise. It would be tough to look out at third base and not see that elite defense. And so at some point we’ll circle back and have those conversations,” Brown said.

Godot will show up before the Astros put a contract on the table for Bregman. (For those who didn’t read Waiting for Godot in English Lit 101 … Godot never appears in the book.)

With the season nearly a quarter over, Bregman is batting .195. He’s been hitting at the top of the order the entire year, either in the No. 2 spot or cleanup. His power outage would make the Texas grid system look good: 6 runs, 11 RBI and one home run.

Stop saying “Bregman always has a slow start.” Start ended a couple of weeks ago. And stop saying “He will snap out of it.” In his last 10 games, Bregman’s average has dwindled from .216 to .195.

Bregman’s hitting woes actually are part of a five-year trend. In 2019 he had his best season, hitting .296 and smacking 41 home runs.

Since then:

2020: .242 and 6 home runs (Covid season).

2021: .270 and 12 home runs.

2022: .259 and 23 home runs.

2023: .262 and 25 home runs.

If Bregman’s struggles continue, this will be his fifth below-average season in a row. Back in spring training, there was talk of him getting a super long-term deal worth $200 million-plus when he hits free agency at the end of this season.

Chances of that happening: none. As things stand now, Bregman has a better chance of becoming Jerry Seinfeld’s latex salesman.

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