I have to start today with three baseball notes. The first has to do with the tiff that seems to have evolved between A-Rod and Scott Boras. Wow! Coming on the heels of the news that Pamela Anderson and her “hubby-of-the-moment” are also splitsville after only three months of marital bliss, is there anything left for me to believe in? Can’t everyone just get along?
The second item relates to the Washington Nats. A couple of weeks ago, they traded for Elijah Dukes and I pointed out here that Dukes had some troubling character issues in his past regarding domestic violence and anger management. As they say, the past is prologue… Dukes now has a restraining order against him from a new girlfriend who claims domestic violence by Dukes.
Memo to Washington Nats: This is NOT what is meant by “Designated Hitter”.
The third item worthy of mention is that the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association is reconsidering its invitation to Roger Clemens to address its annual convention. The issue causing that reconsideration is the content of the Mitchell Report linking Clemens to steroid use/abuse. Reportedly, the arrangements to have Clemens there as a speaker were made more than six months ago and he was supposed to speak on what he did on a daily basis to maintain his condition and his top-shelf abilities. Hence the “reconsideration” on the part of these folks who also have to pretend to be educators and leaders of tomorrow’s citizenry…
UCLA is seeking a new football coach. The LA Times says that they are interviewing Rick Neuheisel for the job. That can only mean that UCLA was unsuccessful in resurrecting Amos Alonzo Stagg to take the job because among actual living and breathing football-coaching candidates, you’d think Neuheisel would be the 350,627,449th option for a major Division 1-A school. As I recall, Colorado suffered NCAA sanctions for a number of violations of rules just as Neuheisel left town there – - and I think the number of violations was north of fifty…
In NFL happenings, I wonder if there is a Terrell Owens meltdown coming in the next few weeks. If you’ve seen Cowboys games in the past two weeks, you’ve seen TO sulking alone on the bench and you’ve seen him animated and berating folks on the sidelines. If you’ve watched the NFL for a few years, you’ll see a similarity between these recent TV images and those you saw before in Owens’ incarnations in SF and Philly. Owens’ latest target is Tony Romo’s girlfriend, Jessica Simpson. Here are two comments by T.O. guaranteed to make the Cowboys’ locker room a friendlier environment:
“She was hot on my list until last week. I’ve got a message for her when we make the playoffs. Just stay tuned.”
“Right now, Jessica Simpson is not a fan favorite in this locker room or in Texas Stadium. With everything that has happened and the way Tony played and the comparison between her and Carrie Underwood, I think a lot of people feel like she has taken his focus away.”
Oh yeah, this has the potential to become more than interesting. I wonder if T.O. can find a way to paint Tony Romo as a homosexual while Romo is reportedly dating Simpson. That could be way more than interesting…
The Redskins/Vikings game this weekend may be the best game on the slate. If Washington wins, they put themselves squarely in the wild card picture and they set up their final game of the year (at home against the Cowboys) as a really meaningful game. If the Vikings win, they are pretty much in the driver’s seat with regard to the playoffs. Both teams will probably rely on defense and the running game here because the starting QBs – Todd Collins and Tarvaris Jackson – will not present opposing defensive coordinators with sleepless nights or the need to place orders for dozens of cases of Rolaids…
The Chicago Bears are now mathematically eliminated from the playoff picture in the NFC. They were dead ducks a few weeks ago in terms of reality; now it is official. How did this Super Bowl team from ten months ago implode so badly? I’m sure Chicago fans can give you a dozen reasons; let me give you four:
1. Their defense suffered mightily when the Bears cut DT Tank Johnson for “character issues”, allowed two other DTs to go to other teams via free agency, and then suffered injury after injury to folks who tried to be DTs this year.
2. They traded their best offensive player – and reportedly a good clubhouse presence – in Thomas Jones for not much more than a sack of stale cookies.
3. They fired their defensive coordinator and defensive line coaches in the off-season. The new defensive coordinator has never been an NFL coordinator before.
4. Their quarterback play has been awful at best. After an injury to Grossman and demonstrated mediocrity by Griese, the Bears turned to Kyle Orton last week. Elliot Harris of the Chicago Sun-Times summed up the Orton incumbency very well:
“Orton is not the answer — unless the question is: ”What is the name of the Bears quarterback who went to the same college as Brian Griese’s father?”
Finally, here’s an item from Dwight Perry in the Seattle Times:
“With ex-Falcons QB Michael Vick reaching the one-month mark in prison, penal experts say, this is when monotony starts to set in.
“Or in his case, the dog days of slammer.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…