I have never pretended to be a journalist of any kind. I do have friends who are and have been in that business for a long time so I know from being around them that “getting scooped” is not fun. But there is something even worse than “getting scooped” and it happened to me last night.
Yesterday afternoon, a report hit CBSSports.com about Danny Boy Snyder establishing a foundation to assist Native Americans – the Original Americans Foundation – and he sent a letter out to Skins’ fans and season ticket holders explaining his actions. Within minutes, I had 5 notes on my clipboard demonstrating what a bit of nonsense this all is. Here are my notes:
Desperate attempt to quiet criticism of team name.
Funds to start foundation – drop in the bucket
Danny Boy made billions in the “communication” industry?
Letter to fans worse than smarmy – need to wash out eyes after reading
Who thought “OAF” was a good acronym for this foundation?
That was going to be the basis of the first 50-70% of this morning’s rant. Then I tuned into Keith Olbermann’s program on ESPN2 last night. He led with the same story – so, I “got scooped”. Here is what is worse. His takedown of Danny Boy Snyder and the letter to his fanbase and the whole ambience surrounding OAF is so much better than anything I might have come up with. If you missed Olbermann last night, please take 5 minutes and 25 seconds to watch the opening segment of that program. I wish I could have made his points nearly as well.
The NFL owners – including “The Washington Oaf” – are at their Spring Meeting in Orlando, FL this week. A member of their ranks is missing. Ralph Wilson, owner of the Buffalo Bills since the team began back in the old AFL, died yesterday. He was 95 years old. Back in 1960, Ralph Wilson coughed up $25K to get his AFL franchise; he has been the sole owner of the team since then. In the early 60s, he provided a loan of about $500K to the Oakland Raiders franchise to keep that team afloat. That may not seem like a big deal today, but recall that the old AFL had already seen one of its original franchises, the NY Titans, go belly-up.
Ralph Wilson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last year. He said it was the biggest honor of his life. Fortunately, the folks who man the turnstiles at the Hall of Fame got him in there so he could experience the biggest honor of his life.
Rest in peace, Ralph Wilson.
I suspect that Jim Irsay, owner and majordomo of the Colts, is not at the Spring Meeting in Orlando this week. I also suspect that Roger Goodell will be meeting very privately with owners – not team executives – who are in Orlando this week on the subject of Jim Irsay. That situation could become extremely delicate for the Commish.
If Irsay – once he and the district attorney in Carmel, Indiana resolve the multiple felony counts against Irsay resulting from a DUI stop and the discovery of controlled substances in his vehicle – gets nothing more than a finger-wagging lecture from the NFL, the NFLPA is likely to scream “double standard”. They would be correct of course; a player who found himself in the same situation would surely get more than a tongue-lashing. Goodell has to navigate some tricky waters here,
The Colts did not help Irsay’s cause in the court of public opinion just after the arrest when they issued the standard “expression of concern.” Here is part of that prepared statement:
“Yesterday, Jim Irsay took the first step toward regaining good health. He voluntarily checked into a highly respected health care facility and is committed to undergoing the treatment and care necessary to help him meet his challenges head-on.”
Folks, he was arrested for DUI and reportedly failed a variety of “roadside field sobriety tests”. Remember that as you read the prepared statement and the words, “head-on”.
Memo to Author of Colts’ statement: Next time try thesaurus.com …
Is the author of the Colts’ statement the same person who thought “OAF” was a great acronym for Danny Boy Snyder’s foundation? That might explain a few things…
One might ask if anything of monumental importance has emerged from the Spring Meeting. The short answer to that is the same as the expansive answer to that question:
Here are two rule changes that have been announced:
On replays, the game officials may be in contact with the NFL Officiating department. That means there may be other voices in the referee’s headset. This is not a bad change; it is not a big deal either.
There is a new rule that expands the definition of a roll-back block and penalizes players for using that technique. If that helps to minimize leg injuries as the proponents claim, then it is a good thing.
The other change announced is not a rule change per se but it represents a change in a “grandfather clause”. In the league’s move to curb/restrict end zone celebrations, the NFL adopted a rule penalizing any use of the ball as a prop for end zone celebrations. Several actions were “grandfathered” at that time because they had some ”longstanding tradition” associated with them to include the Lambeau Leap, spiking the football and dunking the football over the goalposts. Dunking the football over the goal posts has been “un-grandfathered”; it will be penalized with a fine starting this year. The explanation is that twice last season the impact of the player on the goal post caused the posts to deviate from vertical and required stoppage of the game to adjust the goalposts.
Since I never thought of the “goalpost dunk” as an essential element to my enjoyment of a game, I really do not care if it “grandfathered” or “un-grandfathered”. Let us hope that this does not become a cause célèbre.
Finally, here is some blunt talk from Scott Ostler of the SF Chronicle with regard to Richie Incognito seeking work with the Raiders:
“The Raiders must be flattered. Richie Incognito says he’d love to play for them because he knows the coaches and because ‘the Raiders have that aura.’ Talk about desperate sucking up. The Raiders are a lackluster football organization with an interesting past and questionable future. Aura? Ghostbusters couldn’t locate the Raiders’ aura.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………