A Sinking Feeling In My Stomach

As soon as I saw Aaron Rodgers step on the field last night, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. No, I didn’t have any money on the Packers. No, I didn’t think that the game would turn into such a blowout that I would not be able to watch the second half. What flashed through my mind was that we would be in for at least one week – and maybe a full six weeks – of stories about how Brett Favre’s iron man streak may be coming to an end. Lo and behold, CBS Sportsline’s website this morning has the link to a story where the tease is “streak being jeopardized”.

Folks, I have no animosity toward Brett Favre; I wish him no misfortune of any kind. At the same time, I do not have a man-crush on him nor do I think that his consecutive game streak in the NFL is a thing of such importance that when – not if but when – it ends the world will be a diminished place. It will have to end some day; if that day arrives next week, so be it. This is not a reason to inundate every sports fan with columns describing the portent of doom nor will it be reason to pen elegies about its passing when it happens.

During the time-outs and commercials in the Packers/Cowboys game last night, I flipped over to TNT to see the Celtics/Knicks game. At one point midway in the 4th quarter, the score was 89-43. The Knicks are one of the cornerstone franchises of the NBA and the people who built that franchise up from nothing have to have a large measure of disgust in their gut at the moment – whether they be in the Celestial Skybox looking down or somewhere on the planet we all inhabit. The Knicks are irrelevant now. And if even half of the stories about the bizarre actions of management of that team off the court are true, then it would seem that the only “quick fix” for the franchise would be for David Stern to prove that he really is the smartest man in the world by finding a means by which the league can exercise “eminent domain” over the franchise and usurp ownership.

For those who say that the Knicks are merely going over a “rough spot”, my response is:

      Yes, and Britney Spears has had an “unfortunate year” behind the wheel and with issues regarding the custody of her children.

Here is a quote from Stephon Marbury regarding the hostility of the Knicks fans toward the team in Madison Square Garden. After you read it, try to imagine how much Thorazine they would have to pump into you to get you in a similar state of confusion:

“If people feel like they need to come here and do that, then that’s what they’re going to do. I don’t even think they know why they’re booing.”

I am absolutely certain the Knicks’ fans know why they are booing. Moreover, if that debacle against the Celtics last night had been in Madison Square Garden, the boos might have been audible even out to the planet where Stephon Marbury resides.

Since I mentioned David Stern above, an item in the Chicago Sun-Times quoted Stern on a Chicago radio program. He was asked about putting an NBA franchise in Las Vegas and if gambling was the obstacle. Stern said:

”I must tell you that my view on that is I’m not afraid of gambling per se; I’m afraid of criminals.”

That’s a great sound bite that has no actual – you know – meaning. Las Vegas and its legal gambling do not mean there is a higher percentage of criminals there than there are in places where the gambling is done illegally. Since I mentioned the Knicks above, is it a mystery to anyone that there is gambling – on sports and NBA games specifically – that goes on in New York City? Is it also a revelation to anyone that there are criminals in NYC? Of course, these things are there just as they are in every city in the US whether or not there is an NBA franchise there. If David Stern is really “afraid of criminals” and thinks it best to keep NBA franchises away from cities where there are criminals, then NBA fans in NY, Boston, Philly, Washington DC, Detroit, Chicago and etc. should start to worry.

I ran across a statement attributed to Michael Strahan about the NFL random drug testing procedures. Strahan said, “Sometimes it’s kind of uncomfortable when you have to drop your drawers in front of a grown man and use the bathroom.” Maybe I’m parsing and deconstructing his statement too much here but the first time I read it I wondered if he would mind as much if the “other person in the room” were other than a “grown man” – - say a “teenage boy” or a “grown woman.” I know; I need to up my level of medication…

With the rumors that Raiders’ coach Lane Kiffen might be a candidate to become the head coach at Arkansas next year, here’s something he might think about in terms of changes from the pro game to the college game. The Raiders won last weekend to bring their record to 3-8. They have five games to play. He can tell the Raiders that if they go 3-2 in their final games this year, then the Raiders will be bowl eligible.

For those of you who look for karma in the world consider this:

    The college football season began with Appalachian State beating Michigan.

    Appalachian State’s nickname is “The Mountaineers”.

    West Virginia may play for the BCS National Championship in the final game of the season.

    West Virginia’s nickname is “The Mountaineers”.

    Coincidence – - or destiny?

I think it is more than a bit unseemly for Michigan to ask for permission to talk to LSU coach Les Miles about changing jobs when Miles still has two more games to coach at LSU this season. There is not much anyone can do to prevent such impropriety but that does not make it right. If Miles is really interested in the Michigan job and wants to prepare himself to take over there, then he can lose whatever bowl game LSU gets into this year. After all, that’s what tends to happen to Michigan football teams…

Here is an item from Dwight Perry in the Seattle Times:

“Security at Giants Stadium will be beefed up at Jets games, Newsday reported, after complaints that male fans gather on a concourse near Gate D at halftime and shout at women to show their breasts.

“Police won’t reveal their plans, but it’s reportedly a cover-2 scheme.”

If that is a version of the cover-2 scheme, would it be appropriate to say that Janet Jackson’s performance at halftime of the Super Bowl was a cover-1 scheme? Just asking…

Finally, here is another item by Dwight Perry:

“With the Writers Guild of America out on strike for the first time since 1988, pundits warn, it won’t be easy finding any contemporary jokes on television.

“With the obvious exception of the Rams and Dolphins.”

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

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