RIP Larry Allen & T. J. Simers

After focusing entirely on the future of college sports since last weekend, I need to catch up here with two sports obits. Cowboys’ and Niners; OL, Larry Allen, died recently at the too-young age of 52 while he was on a family vacation in Mexico.   Allen was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013.  Fans debate if Larry Allen or John Hannah is the best offensive guard ever; rather than take part in that sort of thing, let us just recall Larry Allen as a truly great OL.  He made the Pro Bowl 11 times in 14 seasons and was named as an All-Pro 7 times.

Rest in peace, Larry Allen.

TJ Simers also died within the last week; Simers was a longtime reporter and columnist for newspapers in Denver, San Diego and LA.  To say that he had a “confrontational style” would be like saying Hemmingway could spin an interesting tale.  On the day that Around the Horn debuted on ESPN, TJ Simers was one of the five participants:

  1. Max Kellerman was the “host”
  2. Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe represented the East Coast
  3. Jay Mariotti of the Chicago Sun-Times represented the Midwest
  4. Woody Paige of the Denver Post represented the Mountain Time Zone
  5. TJ Simers of the LA Times represented the West Coast.

The reported cause of death was brain cancer …

Rest in peace, TJ Simers.

Moving on …  I mentioned last week that the Texas sporting authorities had sanctioned the fight between Mike Tyson and Jake Paul.  Now it seems as if that fight will need to be postponed for at least a while due to “recent health issues” suffered by Tyson who is 57 years old.  Evidently, Tyson has an ulcer in his digestive tract, and he has been advised to stop training for a fight while that condition is in an active flare-up.  One physician who has treated athletes with active ulcer conditions says that he recommends a minimum of three weeks without any athletic training activity to allow the ulcer to “heal” or at least to go back to an inactive state.

I am not going to pretend that I have any medical training or any insight into gastroenterology, but it seems to me that if one’s stomach or intestines are actively bleeding internally, it would not be a good idea to set oneself up to participate in an event where repeated punches to the midsection could expand the ulcer and turn it into a full-blown perforation of the alimentary canal.  I said before that this was not a serious sporting undertaking; now, with this new information, saner heads should prevail and find a way for these two gladiators to move on to other things in their lives.

Next up …  MLB has banned Padres’ infielder, Tucupita Marcano, for life for betting on baseball.  You can read about his betting activities here; not only was he an unsuccessful bettor, but he also made the boneheaded choice of betting on the team he was playing for in MLB more than once.

Four other minor league players have been suspended for 1 year also for betting on baseball albeit not on their own team.  Here is an interesting thing about baseball and gambling.  This year’s Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will have a sponsorship attached to it.  You guessed it, a sports betting entity – – FanDuel – – is the presenting sponsor.  Talk about a conflicted message…

Switching gears … Recall last week that I mentioned the accusations leveled against former Jags kicker Brandon McManus by two flight attendants on the Jags’ charter flight to London last season.  McManus had been signed by the Commanders for the 2024 season, but the team released him earlier this week after taking about a week to “gather information”.

Remember, the difference between a cynic and a realist depends on whether or not you agree with him.  I have no idea about the merits or the bases of these allegations but as I said last week, this is a case where there should be plenty of witnesses to be deposed under oath to help resolve guilt and innocence.  Having said that, I am not even mildly surprised at McManus’ release here.  He is a journeyman kicker not an “impact player” or even a starter on offense or defense.  If the situation had involved a starter for the team, I am certain that the team officials would still be “gathering information” with the intention of finding some way to retain his services with the team. But in the case of a peripatetic kicker … cut bait and move on.

Finally, I’ll close with one of TJ Simers’ observations about sports fans in general”

“The three most important things in the lives of most normal people are their spouse, their children and the NFL draft – not, of course, in that order.”

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

 

 

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