World Series Game One Was – - – BORING

Well, Game One of the World Series was certainly a nail-biter, wasn’t it? The Rockies were certainly well rested; they also looked to be “well rusted”. I believe the Red Sox have scored 43 runs in their last four games. With that kind of offensive output, it doesn’t matter if they have an ace on the mound or an ass.

FOX did not disappoint those fans who really wanted to see dugout close-ups or images of fans “representing” the home team. If every viewer were charged two cents for each of those camera shots, the government could retire a healthy part of the national debt.

One other note about the telecast… Tim McCarver attracts criticism – lots of it and lots of venomous criticism too – about his loquaciousness and his focus on minutiae within the game. Sure, he does all that and it can be annoying at times; I’ve sometimes thought he was filibustering the telecast. But think about John Madden for a moment and what Madden does. He may not chatter and talk as much as McCarver, but John Madden focuses on LOTS of minor stuff and often bludgeons it to death during a telecast. Yet, Madden is generally considered to be a top-shelf analyst and an avuncular figure; McCarver usually draws the same loveable attention as a case of poison ivy. Too bad for Tim, I guess…

Will someone please explain to me the logic behind putting a Super Bowl game in London? Reportedly, that is a topic under consideration by the NFL and its Commish. Now, I admit that my name has never come before the Nobel Committee for any reason and that my experience at running a $10B business is nil, but think about it this way. Why has there not been a clamor for the English to stage the Finals of the FA Cup in New York City? Why aren’t World Championship Tests for Cricket played in Chicago? The reasons are that soccer and cricket are games of great interest abroad and minimal interest here; the same goes for NFL football. The Super Bowl is a huge event here; it is a novelty overseas.

I can see only one good economic reason for the NFL to put a game in London – or Tokyo or Kuala Lumpur or Melbourne some year in the near future. Putting the game there will discourage ordinary folks who happen to be real football fans from attending the game because the cost and the logistics of such a trip may be beyond their means. Did someone ask why that is a good idea? Well, that would allow the NFL to allocate ALL of the tickets for the Super Bowl to corporate partners, fat cats and FOTCs [Friends Of The Commish]. At the moment, only about 75% of the tickets are targeted that way; there may actually be 10,000 real football fans at the game who didn’t arrive in a chauffeured Bentley or in a limo that picked them up at the airport when they flew in on their leased executive jet. The NFL might really want to get those plebeians out of the way of their corporate partners… Those plebeians might have cooties, you know.

There may be a changing of the guard in the NFL. The Cincinnati Bengals have not been in the headlines regarding player arrests all that much this year. I haven’t had the opportunity in a while to point out that the Bengals’ solid orange jerseys look ominously like prison overalls. The Bengals are on good behavior at the moment. But quietly – and without a lot of fanfare – the Denver Broncos may be in position to take over for the Bengals here. Maybe it goes back to the day when the Broncos wasted a first day draft pick on Maurice Clarett and allowed his brand of character and social responsibility to enter their organization? Whatever. Here are a couple of recent Broncos’ PR nightmares:

    They trade for Travis Henry who must have had previous run-ins with the NFL substance abuse policy because now that he has a positive urine test for something-or-other he faces a 1-year suspension. That only happens with the fourth transgression of that policy.

    Oh, by the way, Henry also wound up in court for being a “deadbeat dad” in terms of some child support payments leading to the revelation that he fathered nine children with nine different women in four different states. This man knows “family values” and is deeply involved in “family matters”.

    Then, Brandon Marshall celebrates a last second win over the Steelers on MNF such that he gets arrested for DUI the morning after the game.

If you’ve read any of these rants in the past, you know that I believe the Vikes’ Tarvaris Jackson is a looong way from being an effective NFL QB. In the event that the Vikings’ braintrust reaches a similar conclusion later this year, there is an interesting question for them to ponder. There are four college QBs who could be eligible for the draft this year and who seem to have the makings of a better-than average NFL QB. In alphabetical order they are Colt Brennan (Hawaii), Brian Brohm (Louisville), Matt Ryan (BC) and Andre Woodson (Kentucky). So here’s the question:

    Will the Vikes finish poorly enough to be sure to have a shot at one of these guys in the draft next spring without having to trade up for one of them thereby losing other draft picks?

Speaking of NFL QBs, you have to be impressed with what Jeff Garcia has done so far this season. Given the injury situation to the RB position in Tampa, their running game wouldn’t scare an NFL Europe defense – - if there were still an NFL Europe. Yet the Bucs have a winning record because Garcia is playing so efficiently. In seven games so far, he has yet to throw an INT and it’s not because he isn’t throwing the ball; in the last two games he’s attempted 76 passes.

You have to have seen the commercial where Peyton Manning is in a hotel corridor trying to pass and he’s opening various doors to find a way to avoid an onrushing defensive lineman. [Is that Jason Taylor?]. The ad is for a phone company. So, I need your help here.

    What is all of that supposed to symbolize – particularly the zombie-like kid in the background?

    How is this supposed to make me think positively about the capabilities and the reliability of whatever phone company paid for this?

    If Peyton Manning actually saw Marvin Harrison drowning, wouldn’t he stop what he was doing to try to rescue him?

The Falcons cut Grady Jackson this week. Jackson and the team were involved in some legal action earlier this year that seemed to be settled before the season began but now it may find its way back into the headlines. Part of that action alleged that the Falcons spread word around the league about Jackson’s athletic condition and other matters in an effort to keep the price tag on his free agency down. Maybe they did that; I don’t know; they never called me. But I do have to say that it would not take me a whole lot of film study to conclude that Grady Jackson was an extremely heavy human being. This man probably qualifies for group health insurance all by himself.

Finally, since the Mets aren’t in the World Series thanks to their dismal performance in September, here’s a line from David Letterman:

“It’s not all bad news for the Mets. After they rolled over and played dead, Leona Helmsley left them $12M.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…

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