Tiger’s Training Regimen?

Yesterday, I read that Tiger Woods training regimen included a 7-mile run every time he worked out. There’s nothing wrong with long distance running but when you juxtapose that concept with the fact that he had a knee injury, which required surgery right after the Masters, you have to wonder what kind of training advice Tiger Woods was getting. You would think that he could afford to have the best. I cannot imagine how running 7 miles on an injured/damaged knee would make it better…

Believe it or not, Isiah Thomas was not the first NBA coach to lose his job this season. The Milwaukee Bucks fired Larry Krystkowiak while there are only reports that Thomas will not continue on as the Knicks’ head coach. The Knicks’ new basketball honcho, Donnie Walsh has said that he wanted to take some time to evaluate the situation in NY before taking any major actions in his new position. It would be hard to find fault with that. However, he also said regarding Thomas, “I think he’s got the skills to help this franchise.”

Excuse me, but if Isiah Thomas is not the head coach of the Knicks’ team, I cannot imagine any other part of the organization where his skills might help. Can he stay on as the GM? I don’t think so; he’s already signed a roster full of shooting guards and power forwards to humongous contracts and then he has to play people out of position because he overloaded the roster with shooting guards and power forwards. Can he be the “face of the franchise” in the community outreach department? I don’t think so; Josef Mengle and Isiah Thomas are about equally popular in NYC at the moment.

There is an AP report that several members of the US House of Representatives will introduce a resolution calling on the Justice Department to investigate whether or not the college football BCS series violates federal antitrust laws. The idea is that only the largest schools get to compete in these most lucrative games and therefore this is an illegal restraint of trade. I am of two minds on this one.

First of all, I think the Congress of the United States has much bigger fish to fry than the potential inequities of the BCS. I really wish that the people who have been elected to the Congress would find the time, energy and intellect to address some of the major problems in a constructive way. Such actions might require a small measure of altruism on their part and altruism is a commodity in very, very short supply in Washington DC. To make my point about altruism, the Representatives who will introduce this resolution are from Hawaii and Idaho (states where undefeated teams were not allowed to compete in the BCS Championship Game) and Georgia (state where its football team was “passed over” for a slot in the Championship Game last year).

On the other hand, making the BCS – - and by extension the NCAA – - face up to the antitrust laws in their activities is probably a good thing. The NCAA and the BCS rule by fiat and basically answer to no higher authority. Their decisions cannot be appealed; they are manifest as “take it or leave it” propositions for the sports fans. There was already one antitrust suit brought against the NCAA by the previous owners of the NIT and the NCAA thought it was better to settle that case out of court than it was to let a judge hear the case. So maybe a DoJ investigation wouldn’t hurt…

I have to give the NCAA a smidgen of credit here – - albeit grudgingly. At least the NCAA will not allow a team with a losing record to play in a bowl game. True, some can come out of a bowl game with a losing record, but no one will have one going in. Would that the same were the case in the NBA and/or the NHL.

Since I was talking about college football, there is another story out there to consider. Students at the University of Tennessee have always gotten free tickets to UT football games as part of their “student activity fee” or whatever it’s called in Knoxville. Next year, students will have to pay that same fee and then pay an additional $15 per game to get football tickets. As you might imagine, the students are not universally pleased with this new circumstance. And the student body president had to make his thoughts known on the matter:

“We’re simply baffled that there can be that large of an increase in such a short amount of time … It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever to make such a dramatic decision without consulting the people who are directly affected.”

OK, let us analyze these statements. First, the increase in the cost of the ticket is infinite because they were free. That would be the same increase if the price of the ticket were ten-cents or fifteen dollars. Every increase that could be made would be the same percentage increase. So, the magnitude of the increase is less of a big deal than the student leader would make it out to be.

Secondly, if you want to talk about something that doesn’t make any sense whatsoever, think about this proposition from the point of view of the athletic department or the football team. If they took this “proposal” to the students and presented it honestly, they would say:

    Ever since there has been a football team at Tennessee, we’ve given students free tickets but now we need more money and so we are going to charge you $15 per ticket. What do you think about that?

Is there any doubt what kind of “feedback” the athletic department would get in those circumstances? So why should they go through the hassle of presenting it to the students who will complain about the “proposal” and then complain that they were not listened to after the ticket price increase is put in force? I will give the student body president credit for not threatening a boycott of football games in Knoxville; that would have been an empty threat at best.

Finally, Greg Cote had this comment in the Miami Herald several months ago regarding attendance at college football games:

“FIU [Florida International University] has completed its new 45,000-seat campus stadium. Based on what I’ve seen of Golden Panthers crowds, there will be about 8,000 fans who will rank No. 1 in the NCAA in elbow room.”

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

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