There are 15 finalists (as players) for the Pro Football Hall of Fame who will be presented to the Selection Committee just before this year’s Super Bowl game. The HoF bylaws limit induction classes to between four and eight. Here is the entire list; the ones in Bold are the ones I would vote for:
- Jared Allen – – Defensive end
- Ronde Barber – – Cornerback/safety
- Tony Boselli – – Offensive tackle
- LeRoy Butler – – Safety
- Alan Faneca – – Offensive guard
- Tory Holt – – Wide receiver
- Calvin Johnson – – Wide receiver
- John Lynch – – Safety
- Peyton Manning – – QB
- Clay Matthews, Jr. – – Linebacker
- Sam Mills – – Linebacker
- Richard Seymour – – Defensive tackle/end
- Zach Thomas – – Linebacker
- Reggie Wayne – – Wide receiver
- Charles Woodson – – Cornerback/safety
Another NFL related item floating around in the world ether recently is that the league is seriously considering expanding to a 17-game regular season next year. Evidently, that possibility came about the last time the league and the NFLPA negotiated over the existing CBA; I must admit that I missed that point at the time – – or maybe my memory is approaching advanced age. In any event, the motivation for such a move is transparent; the owners did not make a lot of money in 2020 thanks to COVID-19. I doubt that any of the owners will be qualifying for food stamps any time soon, but the reduced revenues combined with expanded costs likely put some teams in the red for 2020; adding a regular season game adds another weekend of television programming which will immediately increase revenue. I doubt that anyone is “playing a long game” here; I think this is purely about revenue.
At the same time – – and probably as a tip of the cap to player health and safety – – the story is that the NFL would cut the Exhibition Season from four games to two games. While this might decrease revenues a tad, the TV revenue from a 17th regular season game would surely offset that reduction several times over. Fans must applaud that “trade off”; an extra game that means something in exchange for two meaningless games.
The other schedule adjustment for next year might be shifting the Super Bowl from the first Sunday in February to the second Sunday in February. There could be a social problem with that move.
- When February begins on a Saturday – as it happens to do this year – the second Sunday of February would be February 14th.
- Super Bowl Sunday will coincide with Valentine’s Day.
- My long-suffering wife and I have been married for almost 55 years. Valentine’s Day is not nearly as big a deal for us now as compared to 55 years ago.
- Such may not be the case for more than a few younger folks where such an overlap of “important days” might cause significant relationship strain.
In the world of MLB, the White Sox new manager, Tony LaRussa pleaded down his DUI arrest to a charge of reckless driving. He served 1-day of house arrest, paid a fine of $1400 and will do 20 hours of community service as punishment for the incident. Once the case was resolved, LaRussa’s lawyer said that his client “did not have a drinking problem.” I am not qualified to diagnose people who “have a drinking problem” but I would note that this is LaRussa’s second DUI arrest over a period of more than 10 years. Some folks may think that is an “issue”; others may think that is “problem”; tomato; tomahto.
Another baseball happenstance involving “blood analysis” is that Mets’ infielder, Robinson Cano will be suspended for the entire 2021 season for testing positive for a PED (stanozolol). This is Cano’s second positive test; the first was in 2018. The fact of a second positive test is the reason behind the full-season suspension – and his forfeiture of his $24M salary for 2021. [Aside: I do not know if his suspension is for a season or for 162 games. That issue might be important if the 2021 MLB season is truncated somewhere below the normal 162 games.]
Cano’s contract runs through the end of the 2023 season at $24M per year. At some point, he will return to the Mets and create a decision for them to make. Assuming that Spring Training for the 2022 season begins at the normal time in 2022, Cano will report to the team at age 39. He has been with the Mets for 2 seasons – – 2020 was a truncated season – – and his combined stats for those two years covers 156 games for him. That is awfully close to a single season of participation. His combined stats for those 156 games with the Mets, Cano had a batting average of .275 and an OBP of .321. He hit 23 home runs, scored 69 runs and drove in 69 runs. Those stats covered years when he was 36 and 37 years old…
By the way, if those are the stats that came along with PED use, Cano might consider asking his pharmacist for a rebate…
Finally, having mentioned Tony LaRussa’s interactions with alcohol above, let me close with this comment from poet, Dylan Thomas:
“An alcoholic is someone you don’t like who drinks as much as you do.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………