There were a lot of rumblings about the story in the NY Daily News that Roger Clemens had a longstanding “relationship with a country music singer. If/when the entirety of this story becomes known, I will be happy to take a position on its importance. For the moment, I have only a couple of simple comments:
1. How this can be used by the defense in Clemens’ suit against Brian McNamee for defamation is not obvious to me. McNamee’s alleged defamation related to Clemens’ alleged use of steroids/HGH not about his marital fidelity.
2. If this relationship were actually sexual in nature, the important part of that would be the age of the young woman when the relationship was “consummated” in the Biblical sense. She would have been 15 when they met; he would have been 28 when they met; a sexual relationship at that time would have been more than inappropriate.
3. If there are specific allegations of a sexual liaison between Clemens and this young woman, might he offer as a defense that all he ever injected her with was Vitamin B-12? [Sorry, I couldn’t resist that one cheap shot…]
Similar numbers of rumblings occurred around the story of Caleb Campbell (S, Army) being drafted by the Detroit Lions meaning that he can indeed play NFL football if he makes the team and can fulfill his Army tour of duty obligations by working in recruiting and community outreach positions. I have heard all the arguments for and against the rule that will allow him to do that. But that is the rule that was extant when he signed on to go to West Point and play football. All he is doing is abiding by that rule which he did not instigate or implement. For those who have a gripe here, your gripe is with the Army/DoD and not with Caleb Campbell.
I have read speculation in several places that the rapidity of the first round of the NFL Draft on Saturday (it took 3 hours and 31 minutes) could lead to holding just the first round of the draft on Friday night next year in prime time from 7:00 to 11:00 PM EDT. I can see that happening for one very simple reason. NFL Network – wholly owned by the NFL – needs programming and during the off-season, they just do not have a whole lot of original programming to offer up. A move like this can help NFL Network so I do not think it will have a lot of trouble being approved.
When the NFL schedule is analyzed and parsed to levels of detail that don’t make all that much sense, you often hear about teams that the league has been unkind to with regard to travel burdens. Well, for the 2008 season, the travel burden fell pretty unkindly on the New England Patriots. In October the Pats play consecutive West Coast games against San Diego and SF; then, in December the Pats go to Seattle and Oakland on consecutive weekends.
When the Raiders drafted Darren McFadden with the fourth overall pick on Saturday, they created a logjam at tailback. Obviously, the Raiders will sign McFadden eventually and he will be in camp and on the team. Already on the roster were – in alphabetical order – Michael Bush, Adimchinobi Eschemandu, Justin Fargas, Lamont Jordan and Dominic Rhodes. That logjam got a little less congested yesterday when the Raiders released Dominic Rhodes.
Two seasons ago, Rhodes played a big part in the Indy Colts’ win in the Super Bowl over the Chicago Bears. He cashed in with a lucrative deal in Oakland despite a DUI incident proximal to that signing. The NFL suspended Rhodes for four games; he then became part of the Raiders’ backfield and now he is gone. It will be interesting to see where/if he signs on next…
There is yet another idea afloat to put an NFL team in Los Angeles. The NFL has made it abundantly clear that this is not going to happen absent a new spiffy stadium in LA and that the city fathers can continue to try to come up with ideas to make the LA Coliseum into something less awful than it currently is but that will be insufficient. Now comes forward billionaire developer, Ed Roski. He has a plan to build a stadium in the City of Industry, which is about 35 miles east of LA and where the funding for the city comes almost entirely from sales tax. The City of Industry is zoned 92% Industrial and 8% commercial; there are only a handful of permanent residents but there is good transportation to the city and it is near LA.
This plan is different from most of the other “plans” that have been proffered in the recent past. The key element here is that Roski already controls the land needed for the stadium and he claims to have in hand all the environmental impact statements needed to move forward with a stadium. There is some tug-of-war ongoing with the State legislature in California over use of a portion of this sales tax revenue for the stadium; I don’t pretend to understand all of that but if that were the single stumbling block to getting a stadium and an NFL team back in LA, I think the votes could be rounded up to make that happen.
Another factor in favor of this new proposal is the longstanding relationship between Ed Roski and Roger Goodell. The commish says that he has known Roski for a long time and that Roski is a “credible man”. That cannot hurt…
The whole story on this – at least the whole story from Mr. Roski’s position – can be found at www.losangelesfootballstadium.com. If you go there be sure to click on the options so you can see the design for the stadium itself. It is a unique design concept…
Finally, Mike Bianchi summed up much of a current sporting situation with this single line in the Orlando Sentinel recently:
“New motto for The Players Championship now that Tiger Woods will skip it while rehabbing after knee surgery: ‘We buried our ratings at wounded knee.’ ”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…