Since the upcoming weekend is my annual autumnal pilgrimage to Las Vegas with a group of friends, let me spend today cleaning up items on my clipboard. First, recall that I have said repeatedly that THE most important thing that a member of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee could “bring to the table” was the time and the commitment to watch lots of games played by the top 10 or 12 teams in the country. “Time” is the most precious commodity here. The naming of the current Athletic Director at Arkansas as the Chairman of this Committee demonstrates that the members need not worry about whatever time commitment the job may require. Unless being the AD at Arkansas is a 20-hour-a-week job, there is no way on this planet that he can watch the amount of football that he would need to watch to be fully knowledgeable come “Selection Time”.
The College Football Playoff will be an improvement over the BCS, but it will still – to some degree – be a beauty contest because the Selection Committee members will not have seen enough of the play of the contending teams to make an informed and objective set of selections.
Here is an item from Dwight Perry in the Seattle Times:
“Go to a hockey game, get sent to the box.
“Some lucky fan will win two free burial plots when the minor-league Bakersfield (Calif.) Condors hold Cemetery Plot Giveaway Night on Jan. 21.
“ ‘We do have a dark side,’ Condors president Matthew Riley told Yahoo! Sports. ‘Hopefully whoever wins it won’t need to (use it) for a while.’ “
That is bizarre enough but consider that the Bakersfield Condors – and their opponent that night, the Utah Grizzlies – are members of the East Coast Hockey League. Someone needs to explain to me how the words “East” and/or “Coast” apply to Bakersfield and/or Utah.
Speaking of “Utah”, reports say that two rookies on the Utah Jazz – Rudy Gobert and Ian Clark – were made to paint their fingernails and toenails “sparkly pink” as part of the team’s rookie hazing process. I have two comments on that:
1. I think that the chronological adults that comprise the majority of the Utah Jazz roster should have been able to come up with something a bit more “creatively degrading” than sparkly pink nails for their rookies.
2. The NBA has evolved indeed from the days of Dennis Rodman – who might have shown up as a veteran presence for a team on the opening day of training camp where sparkly pink nails would have been the subtle and unnoticed portion of his grand entrance.
According to a report on CBSSports.com, Allen Iverson will make it official and retire from the NBA at the end of the month in Philly when the Sixers open their season by hosting the Miami Heat. Iverson’s last appearance in the NBA was in the 2009/2010 season and that probably explains why some people were surprised by this announcement; they thought he had been retired for a while now…
Here is the paragraph that caught my eye in the report on this matter:
“In addition, sources indicate that the organization may be discussing some kind of post-playing position for Iverson. Though he wouldn’t be expected to have input with the current coaching staff, Iverson could travel with the team on occasional road trips.”
Based on other reporting, Iverson needs the money from some kind of ongoing employment now that his playing days are over. Nevertheless, if he is not “expected to have input with the current coaching staff”, what might be his “duties” and responsibilities” with the organization such that he might be traveling with the team on occasional road trips?
In his playing days, Iverson’s nickname was “The Answer”. I wish the Sixers’ organization would provide an answer to the question regarding what The Answer is going to be doing for the team…
FIFA has taken a far firmer stance than the NCAA ever has with regard to a match-fixing scandal in El Salvador. A week or so ago, FIFA banned 14 current and former members of the El Salvadoran National Team for life. Two other players got six-month bans in this matter. The Salvadoran Federation had already banned most of these players from ever representing El Salvador in any international competition; FIFA took it one-step further and said that none of these 14 players can ever again compete in any FIFA event anywhere in the world.
The match-fixing charges involve games in 2010 and 201 including an “international friendly” between El Salvador and the US and a game against a Mexican team in the CONCAF Gold Cup tournament where El Salvador lost 5-0.
If the NCAA were to apply these kinds of sanctions to players and coaches who violate rules, there might actually be a small incentive for coaches and players to obey the NCAA rules. I shall not hold my breath until that situation obtains.
Last weekend, I was strolling through the “sports channels” on my cable system and ran across the West Ham/Manchester City game. I stopped to watch for a few moments and saw a screen graphic for a West Ham defenseman with a great name:
If there were a top-shelf US football player with that name, think of the marketing possibilities starting with stuffed animals…
Finally, here is an insightful observation from Conan O’Brien:
“The NBA is considering introducing jerseys with players’ nicknames rather than their last names. Players like the nickname jersey because it’s easier for fans to relate to them and harder for women looking for child support to find them.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………