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It Happens Every Spring

Posted by Ryne E. Hancock on July 23, 2007

As a Cardinals fan, I have forgiven Don Denkinger for blowing a call on a close play in Game 6 of the 1985 World Series against the Royals, although I was only a year old and didn’t understand the true meaning of being a Cardinals fan.

But for Suns fans, the impending investigation surrounding NBA referee Tim Donaghy about alleged betting has brought something that every man, child, or woman in Phoenix knew since Bruce Bowen tried to do his best Jackie Chan imitation to Steve Nash in Game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals, that the Spurs-Suns series was without question, a botched one.

And the sad part about this is the fact that Donaghy was indeed one of the officials working the game that fateful night in San Antonio, which all leads us in the blogosphere and media to have second thoughts about the Western Conference playoffs that was held this past year.

To me, it’s under a cloud of suspicion that in a way, the Western Conference’s half in the 2007 playoffs were in one way or another, fixed.

You have a team that is owned by a vocal critic of David Stern (Mark Cuban), a team that was all but picked to win the NBA title (Phoenix), and Mr. Stern’s favorite team (Spurs) in the same playoff bracket.

And when you have a mob-led ref doing some games in each of the four series, then there’s some reason for concern.

But as long as you’re Mr. Stern, you can disregard it and sweep it away from public view, only to realize that sooner or later, it’s all going to come out.

And when it comes out, the floodgates will open and then you’ll be left with egg on your face as the laughingstock.

No matter how much you try to make the game more corporate, the gig as a league trying to improve its image is up, Mr. Stern.

Now take your punishment as a man.

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