When I was in grad school, the Viet Nam War was going on. One of the many signs that protesters carried then was:
What if they staged a war and no one showed up?
There is something intellectually interesting contained in that question. However, it is much less interesting if you change one noun:
What if they staged a football workout and no one showed up?
Terrell Owens and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, staged a workout in Los Angeles to showcase Owens’ recovery from knee surgery several months ago. The idea is to get teams interested enough in his physical talents that they will overlook his personality “quirks” and offer him a contract for the balance of this season. No scouts from any of the 32 NFL teams showed up. Obviously, all of the interested parties were scrambling to call Rosenhaus on his cell phone and wanted their contacts with him to be sub rosa.
Me? I would only sign Owens if I had a legit shot to go deep in the playoffs and it was in the middle of December when I lost a wide receiver to a season-ending injury. I would take a chance that he could manage a level of social civility that would not tear a team apart in 6 weeks. Other than that, I would wish him well on the rest of his life…
The data are in; the attendance at Wembley Stadium in London for the Bears/Bucs game was 76,981. It was a Bucs home game, the Bucs have trouble filling Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, and the capacity there is well below that number. The next time you ask yourself why any team would want to play in the “London Game” remember this number. Do not be surprised if Jax raises its hand to have one of its home games there next year.
Relative to the “London Game” this year, Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times had this observation:
“Browns 6, Seahawks 3?
“They played an NFL game in London — and Wimbledon broke out in Cleveland.”
Back in 2006 when Kyle Shanahan was a mere offensive assistant, he was assigned to scout the QBs in the draft for the spring of 2007. He told the Washington Post that he had John Beck rated then as the best QB in the draft and he lobbied to use a first round pick to take him. Beck went in the second round. Now Kyle Shanahan is the offensive coordinator in Washington and Beck is his QB. Even though Beck’s career to date encompasses 5 starts and 5 losses, it is conceivable that he might be the best QB from that draft. Consider the QBs taken in the NFL Draft in the spring of 2007:
JaMarcus Russell: What more needs to be said here?
Brady Quinn: Has not exactly “lit it up” yet.
Kevin Kolb: Better than the two guys above but not great by any means.
Drew Stanton: Not really working out very well.
Trent Edwards: In the UFL last I saw.
Isaiah Stanback: Not playing QB these days.
Jeff Rowe: Jeff Who?
Troy Smith: In the UFL I think – - or is it the CFL?
Jordan Palmer: Has not seen the field very often.
Tyler Thigpen: Bills are his fourth team since entering NFL in 2007.
Speaking of the UFL and some of its QBs, the league held its championship last week and the Virginia Destroyers playing in Virginia Beach defeated the Las Vegas Locomotives (the league champions in the first two years of the UFL’s existence) by a score of 17-3. The crowd was a sell-out at 14,172. Marty Schottenheimer got a championship before the San Diego Chargers got one after the Chargers fired Schottenheimer for losing in the playoffs after a 14-2 regular season. Congratulations to Coach Schottenheimer.
Regarding Game 5 of the World Series and the mixed up phone message, let me see if I have this right:
Tony LaRussa calls the bullpen to warm up Jason Motte but instead the bullpen warms up Marc Rzepczynski and Lance Lynn.
The “explanation” is that it was too noisy for the bullpen coach to hear what LaRussa said. And of course, the genius bullpen coach did not have the good sense to say something along the lines of:
“Hey boss, it’s noisy as Hell out here. Did you say Lynn and Rzepczynski? That is what I heard. Say “yes” or “no” REAL loud…”
I have no idea what actually happened, but that explanation just does not ring right to me.
The other strange event of the night was when Albert Pujols was at bat with Allen Craig on first base. Supposedly, the players put on the hit-and-run themselves and then Pujols took the pitch and Craig managed to be safe at second base. That opened a base and the Rangers walked Pujols. Shouldn’t the smartest manager in the game have an “Override Signal”? After all, Pujols was hitting against Alexi Ogando who has not exactly been imitating Nolan Ryan in the Series…
Finally, here is another line from Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times regarding the divorce settlement reached between Frank and Jamie McCourt:
“Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and his estranged wife Jamie have finally agreed to a settlement in their highly contentious divorce case, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“He keeps the team; she gets $130 million and a chauffeur to be named later.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………