According to news reports this week, FOX will discontinue Best Damned Sports Show after almost eight years on the air. The final new show has been taped and the network will put on re-runs through mid-August. I must say that its absence from the airwaves will not bring a wave of sadness into my life. I have said for quite a while now that I do not understand how the title of that show gets past the “truth in advertising laws”.
A few legacies of this program remain on television such as Michael Irvin, John Kruk and Rob Dibble. And of course, Tom Arnold pops up from time to time in a variety of places for no discernable reason. None of these folks is doing much to prove Newton Minnow wrong. Other alums include John Salley and Stephen A. Smith, Deacon Jones. I suspect that TV is not their best avenue to fame.
There is one player in the National League who – when he comes to your town or somewhere close enough to your town for you to make a visit – you should consider going out to the park to see him. He is enough of a reason to go to a ball game making the rivalry and the standings and things like that secondary. For me, that player would be Albert Pujols. Just looking at recent history, in the single month of June 2009, Pujols hit 14 HRs and drove in 35 runs. Do that every month of the baseball season and you would have 84 HRs for the year and 210 RBIs.
For me, the one player in the American League who fits that bill would be Ichiro. However, I will tell you now that the tandem of Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau has a very strong attraction for me too…
Watching the Confederations Cup games over the past couple of weeks made me wonder if US men’s soccer coach, Bob Bradley, and Buffalo Bills head coach, Dick Jauron, were separated at birth. Google images will let you decide for yourself…
I am glad that the NBA free agency season has produced as many surprising moves of big name players as it has. That is not because I think there is some cosmic importance contained in those movements; it is because it gets a small but vocal group of nit-picking nitwits to focus their attention elsewhere. The nitwits I am talking about had free rein after the Lakers won the NBA Championship; they were out there “merely pointing out” that Kobe Bryant has never won a championship without Phil Jackson.
In the modern vernacular, that is called “hating”. In my parlance, it is called “irrelevant”. While factually correct, it really adds nothing to the knowledge base. It is also true that:
Michael Jordan never won a championship without Scottie Pippen.
Michael Jordan never won a championship without Phil Jackson.
Red Auerbach never won a championship without Bill Russell.
Those three facts do not diminish the accomplishments of Michael Jordan or Red Auerbach except in the minds of people who are spring-loaded to seek out ways to diminish their accomplishments. And, the fact that Kobe Bryant has always had Phil Jackson as his coach when he won his four championships does not diminish his accomplishments in any way either.
The St. Louis Rams are up for sale; according to reports, the asking price for the team is somewhere north of $900M. Damn! If my IRA had not tanked in the last 9 months, I might have considered making a bid… One of the rumored interested parties in this deal is Rush Limbaugh. I have no idea if the reports of his interest are correct or not but here is something that I would love to have. I want a transcript of the first private conversation between NFL owners, Rush Limbaugh and Al Davis. I have a feeling that would be akin to the transcript of a conversation among Noam Chomsky, Salvador Dali and Immanuel Kant.
Interestingly, there has not been a huge outpouring of stories about someone buying the Rams and moving them back to LA. Recall, there is a gentleman out in the LA area who has the approval to build his own stadium in the City of Industry pursuant to a commitment from an NFL team to move there. And, therein lies the rub…
The proposed stadium would cost about $800M to build. Purchasing the Rams with the intention to commit to moving them to LA would cost $950M (to pick a figure north of $900M). The NFL would probably impose a relocation fee on the new owner; I have no idea what that fee might be, but it will not be pocket change. In any event, the total cost of the deal – for one buyer if it is the same guy building the stadium in LA or two people assuming one builds the stadium and the other buys the team and pays the relocation fee – starts to get into the neighborhood of $2B.
Granted, interest rates are pretty low right now. Nonetheless, this is a huge risk in the current economy. Adding to the financial risk is the fact that if someone bought the Rams and targeted them for a move to LA in 2012 – it would take that long to get the new stadium built – think about how the team will be supported in St. Louis in the interim. At the moment, the Rams play in a taxpayer funded dome with – what is reported to be – a sweetheart lease. The first option for the team to get out of the lease is not until 2014 so add some cost to the total for the deal here to pay St. Louis to break the current lease.
Maybe such a buy-and-move deal might have made sense five years ago; I do not think it makes financial sense in 2009.
Finally, here is an item from Dwight Perry in today’s Seattle Times:
“The quote, ‘He wanted relief from an embedded ball,’ was uttered by:
“a) A PGA Tour official, at last week’s U.S. Open, after Phil Mickelson encountered trouble on the 13th hole.
“b) The Braves’ team trainer, in 1968, after Hank Aaron tried to dig in against Bob Gibson.”
[Close call here. It could have been either one.]
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…