Fallout From July 4th…

Jason Pierre-Paul injured his hand – the extent of the injury is unknown at the moment – in a July 4th accident involving fireworks. He has a franchise tag offer from the Giants on the table worth a guaranteed $14.2M this year but has yet to sign it saying that what he wants is a long-term deal. In actuality, what he really wants is a “long-term deal with more than $14.2M of that deal guaranteed”. But let’s not quibble…

Talking heads on sports radio and ESPN pondered the situation and wondered if the Giants might pull their franchise tag offer – but that would make JP-P a free agent. Some wondered if the hand injury would inhibit his ability to sign the proffered contract prior to the deadline for such a signature. CBSSports.com reports that the Giants’ offer of a $60M long-term deal has been taken off the table for the moment. Jason Whitlock and Michael Wilbon on PTI wondered aloud what kind of poor judgment it would take for an unsigned football star to take a chance playing with fireworks when the contract is still unsigned. All of that is well and good, but let us put this in perspective:

    What Jason Pierre-Paul did was careless, reckless and thoughtless.

    He has an “injury” but not the loss of a limb or a hand.

    Compare his degree of stupidity with the guy described in this link. By comparison, Jason Pierre-Paul looks like a Nobel Laureate.

A former colleague chastised me in an e-mail yesterday afternoon for failure to heap sufficient praise on the US Women’s National Team for winning the World Cup tournament. She said that I would have been “rhapsodic” (her word) had it been the men’s team that won the World Cup. She is right on both counts:

    1. The men’s team winning the World Cup would be such an unexpected outcome that I and many other sports chroniclers around the world would be scanning the thesaurus for words to describe what had happened. The US women on the other hand were short odds to win it all before the tournament even began.

    2. The US women’s Team dominated the Japanese with their offensive attack and dominated other opponents with a smothering defense that did not allow a goal for about 540 consecutive minutes of World Cup play. They did not win the World Cup on penalty kicks; they won it by dominating their opponents.

Ergo, in order to try to close the “rhapsodic gap” suggested by my former colleague, allow me to try to give the US Women’s Team an honorific name. Perhaps we should refer to them as:

    The Girls of Summer.

While I am in the arena of rhetoric and rhapsody, allow me to pose a rhetorical question for NY Knick fans. The Knicks thus far have come up rather dry in the NBA free agency dance and that made me think about the Knicks of the past. So…

    Who was the worse Knicks big-man signing in free agency?

    Eddy Curry or Jerome James?

Last week, David Blatt (titular coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers) was visiting Israel and spoke to a group of businessmen. He obviously got caught up in the moment and guaranteed his audience there that the Cavaliers would win the NBA Championship next year and he likened LeBron James to Moses leading the team to the Promised Land. Look, I am no Biblical scholar and am not about to try to pass myself off as one, but my recollection is that this metaphor is contradictory.

    If LeBron is Moses, then the Cavaliers are doomed to 40 years of wandering in the desert and are not going to get to the Promised Land so long as Moses – er, LeBron – is around.

I think there is a much more fundamental question on the table here:

    Even if it comes to pass that the Cavaliers win the NBA title next year, will David Blatt be the coach of the team when that happens?

Reports last night said that the FIFA Ethics Committee (an oxymorn to be sure) had banned Harold Mayne-Nicholls – the former major domo for Chilean soccer – from any soccer involvement for 7 years. Mayne-Nicholls was the guy who was supposed to “inspect” the bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments that were awarded to Russia and to Qatar. FIFA gave no specific reasons for the ban but we do know that Mayne-Nicholls led FIFA delegations to all of the countries who were bidding for the 2018 tournament and the 2022 tournament. His “technical report” on all of the bids supposedly questioned the sanity of putting the games in Qatar due to the climate problems in the summertime and the logistical problems of holding all of the events in a single city.

From that limited information, perhaps he was banned from any national or international involvement with soccer for 7 years because he was too candid?

Finally, here is an item from Brad Dickson in the Omaha World-Herald:

“Denver Bronco Von Miller reveals he’s been fined for breaking wind at team meetings. He tried to claim Tom Brady let the air out of him.”

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