The Madness of March 2009 – Not Necessarily Basketball

I don’t know what the weather is like where you are, but March is going out like a lamb around here. Nevertheless, I want to begin with a Quick Quiz today relative to the month of March 2009. For this month that will pass soon into history, what was the real March Madness?

    A. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament

    B. The House Financial Services Committee fulminations about bonuses paid to execs in failed/failing financial institutions. The members where shocked to learn this had happened. Yet last September when they passed the original TARP Legislation, they told us that they would provide close oversight to all of these matters. How could they have been surprised?

    250 words or less…

Oh, and that Quick Quiz reminds me that I want to pose a second question today. Which situation is more abhorrent to you?

    A. AIG execs pocketing $5M bonuses despite running the company into the ground.

    B. Stephon Marbury pocketing about $20M to refuse to play for the NY Knicks.

    250 words or less…

There is one piece of very good news from the Louisville Courier-Journal this morning. ESPN has decided to cancel the telecast of the post-position draw for the Kentucky Derby. Presumably, that means ESPN will cancel that practice for every race that it covers and that is good news. If you want to demonstrate to someone the quintessence of a meaningless made-for-TV event that has no information or entertainment value, you can show them a tape of just about any episode of Dancing With the Stars or you can show them a tape of the post-position draw for a horse race.

Charles Rogers was the #2 overall pick in the NFL Draft as a WR – by the Lions of course – in 2003. Clearly, he is a draft bust; his career stats are 36 catches for 440 yards. Charles Rogers is now heading to the hoosegow for 30 days as a result of violating his probation related to a previous domestic violence incident. According to an AP report, Rogers had a chance to stay out of jail by participating in something called “sobriety court” by attending AA meetings and submitting to random drug testing. He asked to be removed from that program and put in jail because:

“The structure was cool, but I had a hard time with the perfection that they stress in the program.”

Rogers also said that his priority now is to “…get out of the court system and try to get in shape for a comeback.” In addition to his lack of on-field productivity and his obvious difficulty with doing things exactly as he is told to do them and his obvious candidacy for the NFL substance abuse program, Rogers also would have to convince a team to sign a guy who lost an arbitration hearing forcing him to refund $8.5M of his signing bonus because the arbitrator agreed with the Lions that Rogers diminished his value to the team by failing drug tests. How would you like to be his agent negotiating a deal with an NFL team for next season?

Back in 2003, the Lions were looking for a WR that might be a difference maker in the NFL. They took Rogers with the second pick in the draft. Guess who was taken as a WR with the third pick in that same draft – - Andre Johnson by the Houston Texans.

While I am in the mode of marveling at an NFL figure doing and saying something silly, I have to react to a quote attributed to Jerry Jones in the Dallas Morning News. Jones said there:

“I wouldn’t trade Tony [Romo] for anybody.”

Jerry Jones is the owner and the GM for the Dallas Cowboys. That statement might explain why the Cowboys – under his sage guidance – have not won a playoff game since 1996.

Meanwhile, the Ravens’ new TE, LJ Smith, said:

“I feel like I’m renewed, that I have a new spirit. I feel like I’m in a place where I can hopefully reach my potential.”

Eagles’ fans might suggest to LJ that he has already taken a positive step toward reaching his potential when he signed the contract with the Ravens and didn’t drop the pen in the process…

According to the St Paul Pioneer-Press, Jeff George is convinced that he would have led the Vikings to a Super Bowl Championship had they kept him around after the 1999 season. He said:

“I guarantee I’d be wearing a ring right now.”

    Memo to Jeff George:

      1. There is nothing stopping you from wearing a ring right now. I am wearing a ring right now – - it doesn’t happen to be a Super Bowl ring but it is a ring.

      2. Are you auditioning to become the poster child for Delusional Disorder/Grandiose Type? If so, you and Charles Rogers are the leaders in the clubhouse at the moment…

Finally, I will close today with an item from Bob Molinaro in the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot:

“There’s a story floating around that Michael Vick began writing a book in prison and is seeking a co-author and publisher. Some would say he’s already written the book on how to sabotage a life and career.”

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

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  • JJC  On March 31, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    QQ # 1 – Without a doubt it is Congress. It’s a manufactured outrage to be certain. It’s mind boggling that they can be so upset about such waste at AIG or GM but have none for what they do with the budget.

    QQ # 2 – AIG did more with less so I’m going with Marbury on this one.

    Jerry Jones lies. That’s all there is to it. He always says that he isn’t going to trade or release a player or that he has full confidence in a coach while working for a deal or cutting a final paycheck. Not that I blame him for this as I would never tell someone that I’ve got an ad in the paper looking for a replacement. Not that I take the word of TO, but TO claims he was in good with JJ right up to the time that he got the boot.

    I can’t wait to hear why he didn’t get a ring in Indy. Or Atlanta. Or Oakland. Or Washington. Or Seattle. Point 3 of the memo – Have you considered you lack of ring is due to the fact you couldn’t go more than 2 years without pissing off your teams and the fans? All the great QBs have but a few teams on their resumes.

    With which team will Jeff George offically retire? Has to be the Raiders.

  • The Sports Curmudgeon  On March 31, 2009 at 12:33 pm


    I too think Congress was this year’s March Madness and Stephon Marbury is as odious to me as AIG execs.

    Jason Whitlock of and the KC Star was a high school teammate of Jeff George and remains to this day one of his boosters/supporters. [There is a fine line here between "supporter" and "enabler" but I won't go there.] Whitlock may be one of only a dozen people on the planet who would immediately agree with Jeff George’s latest pronouniamento.

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