Not On My Wish List…

Had anyone ever asked me to name something I would never see nor have to comment on, this one would have been right up there near the top of the list:

    Ryan Leaf has a contract with a publisher to write a trilogy on his life and his career.

Yes, that Ryan Leaf…

The first book supposedly will deal with his years at Washington State; the second with his “career” in the NFL (that should be a “quick read”); the third with his struggles battling addiction. All during the year, I create a “wish list” of books that I want for my birthday (which is in mid-December) and for Christmas. By accessing that wish list, folks can always be sure to get me a present that I will use and enjoy; normally, I will get around a dozen books at that time of year and that gives me reading material for the next six months or so. Let me be clear about something:

    I will not be putting the Ryan Leaf Trilogy on my wish list.

The CEO of Crimson Oak Publishing had this to say about this upcoming literary undertaking:

“When his promising NFL career came to a disappointing end after just four seasons, Ryan kept a low profile. In many ways, he put a shell around himself.”

Only time will tell whether or not that shell should have remained intact…

I mentioned previously that the Big 10 Conference was taking more than a small measure of ridicule for naming its two new divisions “Legends: and “Leaders”. Most folks commenting on it focus on the pomposity, presumptuousness and silliness of the names. Me? I just find them confusing. I will have great difficulty remembering if Northwestern athletics are a “Legend” or a “Leader”. The Conference has taken so much grief on this that they are “rethinking” the division names. Meanwhile, Scott Ostler had a great comment on all this in the SF Chronicle – - and suggestions for the Conference honchos as they continue to look for names:

“The Big Ten is reconsidering its new division names (Legends and Leaders). How about stealing from the World Cup, where the toughest group is called Grupo de Muerte (Group of Death)? The Big Ten could have Grupo de Muerte and Grupo de Taxes. Or go educational: Mitosis Division and Long Division.”

The NY Jets continue to maintain that Sal Alosi acted on his own in erecting the Green version of the Berlin Wall on punt plays. None of the other coaches knew anything about it and never realized it was happening. Cue Sgt Schultz… Other folks who are prone to believe conspiracy theories are convinced that higher-ups knew what was going on and that Alosi did not act on his own. What I am waiting for is for someone to link higher-ups in the Jets’ organization with the folks on the grassy knoll in Dallas in 1963…

After the NY Giants’ coughed up a huge hairball against the Eagles on Sunday and lost 38-31, there is video evidence of Giants’ coach Tom Coughlin on the field berating punter Tom Dodge for a Giant braincramp. All Dodge had to do was punt the ball out of bounds so that DeSean Jackson would never touch the ball and the game would almost assuredly have gone to OT. I can understand Coughlin’s irrationality at that moment in time; but really, Dodge was not the villain of the piece on Sunday. In seven and a half minutes, the Giants’ defense surrendered three TDs; the Giants’ kickoff return team gave away an onside kick; the Giants’ offense could not hold the ball – let alone drive the field to produce a field goal – and it was the offense that created the need to have Dodge on the field to punt the ball in the first place. Coaches love to say that they won a game “as a team”; well, the Giants lost on Sunday “as a team”.

The Atlanta Falcons have the best record in the NFC at 12-2. They are undefeated at home. They are also undefeated at any venue outside the Great State of Pennsylvania. Their two losses came on the road this year in Philly and in Pittsburgh. Everywhere else …

There was a report in the LA Times that Kobe Bryant had signed an endorsement deal with Turkish Airlines; the company said he will be a “global brand ambassador” – - whatever that might mean in marketingspeak. Evidently, Turkish Airlines is about to begin non-stop service from LA to Istanbul early next year. Had you merely mentioned this to me, I would have shrugged my shoulders and changed the subject of the conversation; I would not have thought this was a big deal. But it is to some folks of Armenian descent who now threaten to boycott the Lakers and Kobe Bryant unless he pulls out of this deal.

The Armenians want the Turkish government to admit that there was genocide involved in a clash between the Turks and the Armenians about a hundred years ago. The Turkish government rejects that idea. Somehow, Kobe Bryant’s endorsement of Turkish Airlines’ non-stop flights between LA and Istanbul becomes tightly linked to claims of genocide and the rejection of those claims by the Turkish Grand National Assembly. Got that?

Finally, a note from Greg Cote in the Miami Herald:

“The Connecticut’s men’s basketball program admitted guilt in eight major NCAA violations. Guess we can drop that last ‘n’ off UConn.”

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

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  • Rich  On December 23, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Rex Ryan: the thrill of victory, and the agony (and the ecstasy) of de feet.

  • The Sports Curmudgeon  On December 23, 2010 at 11:37 pm


    Pretend you are the color commentator for the Jets game this weekend.

    In the fourth quarter, the Jets have fourth and a foot for a first down and Rex decides to go for it.

    Do you risk your career at that point with a snarky remark – - or do you play it straight?

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