I watched only a small portion of the Pro Bowl yesterday. I saw two things that made it clear that the Pro Bowl is not a serious competition any more than the WWE Royal Rumble (also held last Sunday) is a serious competition.
I saw a pass directed toward JJ Watt who had lined up as a wide receiver. [He did not make the catch.] Get back to me the next time the Houston Texans try that play in the first quarter of a game that means something.
I heard Ed Hochuli say while explaining a penalty flag, “Yes, there are penalties in the Pro Bowl.” Hochuli is famous for his detailed explanations of penalty flags but I never recall him having to justify to the fans why there was a penalty flag thrown in the first place.
The final score of the game was 62-35. That would indicate to me that the level of effort exhibited by the players on offense was just a tad higher than the level of effort exhibited by the players on defense.
If the camera shots of the stands are any indication, the stands were only about half-full meaning that the local folks in Hawaii do not take the game any more seriously than the players do.
Greg Cote offered this perspective on the Pro Bowl in his column yesterday in the Miami Herald:
“The Pro Bowl, on Sunday in Hawaii, is the kickoff to Super Bowl Week. The Pro Bowl is the all-star game the NFL might discontinue because so many players drop out or don’t care. The Pro Bowl as an appetizer to the Super Bowl is a like a bowl of dog poo as an appetizer to filet mignon.”
Gregg Drinnan’s column, Keeping Score in the Kamloops Daily News had this headline last Saturday:
“Could Te’o, T.O. and Tebow be part of Jets’ three-ring circus?”
All I can say about that proposition is that if the Jets really want to dominate the back pages of the NYC tabloids, that would be the roster move of the decade. Even if the Giants won their first 14 games in a row, the Jets would be the sole focus of the tabloid reporting. Now, if the Jets are more interested in winning actual NFL games instead of winning the “back page battle in NYC”, they might consider a different set of roster moves…
Since I mentioned last week’s Keeping Score column, here is an announcement that Gregg Drinnan had in there:
“I regret to inform the NHL that, as the commissioner of my home, I have locked out owners and players. . . . No negotiations will be held until after the Super Bowl. “
While obliquely on the subject of NHL hockey, Wayne Gretzky has put his house in California up for sale. The modest abode is in Thousand Oaks, CA and has a modest 10,800 square feet of living space to include six bathrooms. If you have any interest in living where “The Great One” used to live, the place can be yours for $14,995,000.
In case you are worried that you might be buying the most expensive house in the area, rest easy. There is a listing in Thousand Oaks for an estate that covers 452 acres of land where the asking price is $48M. Neither is this house the largest in the area; another house is listed there for just a tad under $20M and it has 7 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms and 16,177 feet of living space on just over 20 acres of land. I can hear the realtor now telling you to make your decision now because Gretzky’s property should move quickly…
David Whitley had an interesting perspective on the entire Manti Te’o fake girlfriend hoax in a column for Sportingnews.com last week:
“Remember when men were men and fake girlfriends weren’t? Imagine Illinois linebacker Dick Butkus going on a daytime chat show and Heywood Hale Broun asking him if he were gay. This brouhaha has shined more light on society’s evolution than Te’o’s dating habits. Humans have always loved sordid, gossipy mysteries. But now media traffics in shock, social media goes wild and a nation gathers around its flat-screens to gauge whether phone footsie will make a player slide on Mel Kiper Jr.’s Big Board.”
If Professor Whitley’s scenario had occurred as written there, Dick Butkus may have never become a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame because he probably would have strangled Heywood Hale Broun to death on live television and served a life sentence in a state penitentiary somewhere.
The Senate of the United States likes to think of itself as the greatest deliberative body on Earth. Well, those great deliberators are scheduled to begin hearings on the confirmation of Senator John Kerry as the new Secretary of State sometime this week. The climate forecast for Washington DC therefore is for heavy pettifoggery followed by clearance of the nominee. However, Ron Judd had a good quip in the Seattle Times regarding the upcoming hearings:
“Oldie But Goodie: First confirmation hearing for next U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry: ‘Senator, why the long face?’ “
BaDa Bing! BaDa Boom!!!
Finally, here is another line from Greg Cote looking forward to the upcoming World Cup and Olympic Games in Rio:
“Brazilian prostitutes are being given English lessons in advance of hosting soccer’s 2014 World Cup. Hmm. Isn’t their profession sort of a universal language? A man pays money, then after a little while he shouts, ‘Gooooaaaaalllll!’ “
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………