I’ll Take Chris Evert For $103M, Alex…

When Greg Norman inserted himself back into the news of sports with his first three rounds of the British Open a couple of weeks ago, it renewed attention to his messy divorce and his dalliance with Chris Evert that was a part of that divorce. Frankly, I had paid just about no attention to these matters in the past but recent reports did catch my eye. According to one report I read, Greg Norman paid his ex-wife $103M to settle the divorce action. My first thought on reading that was that he must have wanted to get away from her awfully badly and that she might just be a world-class harpy. However, then I read that he and Chris Everett began their “torrid courtship” while both of them were still married and so now there are two possibilities here:

    1. The ex-Mrs. Norman really is a shrew and it was worth $103M just to be in some other zip code away from her.

    2. Elliot Spitzer got a bargain with his extra-marital dalliance because all he paid was $4K an hour.

NFL training camps are in full swing. I will refrain from commenting on which unsigned free agent has “made an impression” on coaches at whatever camp or on what player entering his contract year showed up in camp in “the best shape of his life”. I really do want to refrain from any more comment on the Brett Favre/Green Bay Packers saga – - but there is a nagging feeling that I need to express.

I really do not think Brett Favre is – in his heart – a malevolent idiot. Neither do I think that his agent is stupid. At the same time, the Green Bay Packers are not stumblebums when it comes to organization. So, the thing I don’t understand is this:

    How did this matter reach “FUBAR” stage?

There is something missing in the story as it has been reported so far and it would certainly seem as the vector for the reporting on the story will not go back and pick it up. Why could adults not have reached some accommodation in this matter long before it came to this? Here is a hypothesis – - based on no inside info or off the record communications:

    Might there be a real, palpable and mutual dislike between Brett Favre and Packers’ GM Ted Thompson, which has “stayed under the radar” until now?

    Other hypotheses?

I ran across a stat for the 2007 Seattle Seahawks that amazed me. For the season, the Seahawks’ offense faced 3rd-and-1 on 28 occasions. I do not have any league-wide stats on this situation, but my sense is that teams convert 3rd-and-1 about 80% of the time. The Seahawks only converted 12 of their 28 tries or 43%. Even if my 80% estimate is high, I am sure that the league-wide average is well above 43%.

I also read that the Steelers put DT, Casey Hampton, on the Physically Unable to Perform List when he showed up in training camp and could not complete a series of wind sprints. The Steelers’ website says Hampton weighs 325 lbs; that’s his playing weight. Some reports said that he showed up in training camp in the 375 – 390 lb range. If so, Casey Hampton can probably make a few extra bucks in the heat of training camp by selling shade to some of his teammates.

Former referee, Tim Donaghy, received a 15-month sentence from a judge this week for his involvement with gambling on NBA games. He could have been sentenced to 33 months; his cooperation with prosecutors probably got some time shaved off his sentence. After the sentencing hearing, I heard Donaghy’s lawyer say that he and his client were pleased with the leniency shown by the court. My thought was:

    Donaghy probably took the UNDER on a 20 month sentence.

There were reports that Donaghy and his lawyer sought probation as his sentence partly on the claim that Donaghy was addicted to gambling. What was the point of that argument? That he would not be able to gamble as easily in prison and would therefore suffer withdrawal in the Graybar Plaza?

And speaking of something I simply do not understand, the Detroit Pistons signed Kwame Brown to a two-year deal – it is Brown’s option to extend it to the second year not the team’s – for $4M a season. I understand that Kwame Brown is almost seven feet tall and that it is not possible to teach a player to be tall. I also understand that Kwame Brown has shown in all of his previous stations in the NBA that he cannot play effectively at the NBA level. Granted, $4M a year is almost “chump-change” in the NBA salary spectrum, but still I have a question that keeps going through my mind:

    WHY?

The NCAA super-sleuths are at it again. They have found wrongdoing by some ne’er-do-wells at yet another small school. Note how they never seem to be able to find it at any “powerhouse” schools”. This time the miscreants are the folks at Texas A&M – Corpus Christi. The NCAA says they used ineligible players, committed recruiting violations and – here is the really bad news – lacked institutional control. The lack of control allegation has at its core that the Athletic Director knew about two ineligible players at the school and did not report that to the NCAA and that he actually submitted a false report to the NCAA regarding one of those players. This means that the AD did not comport himself in accordance with the NCAA’s “high standards of honesty and sportsmanship.”

The NCAA can actually say those kinds of things with a straight face. I suspect one of the things that an applicant for a job there has to do is to say that kind of stuff a half-dozen times without giggling. Oh, did I mention that the ineligible athletes were a volleyball player and a tennis player. Still waiting for the NCAA to discover on its own some kind of wrongdoing in the football program at a perennial top 20 school…

Finally, given the stories surrounding the Reggie Bush matter and the OJ Mayo affair, would it be completely unreasonable to suggest that USC might stand for Unscrupulous Sports Cheating? Just asking…

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

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