While I am thinking about the World Series, I have to say that the people doing the promotional work for MLB and FOX and ESPN have come up with some
really dumb slogans that they feel compelled to repeat over and over and over again. All during September, baseball games had to be introduced and
interrupted with the slogan that this was "The Hunt For October".
Put that one out to pasture because I have a message for all those marketing gurus:
I found October. It was on my calendar just under September all the time.
I have a few comments about college football today and let me start with the BCS. I know that all of this is contractually dictated, but can anyone
provide a rationale why the Big East should retain its automatic BCS Bowl Game bid. The top ranked Big East team is West Virginia and they are really
And speaking of rankings and polls, the de-emphasis of the computers from the polling was supposed to make things better. After all, the writers and
the coaches know what they are doing - right? So how come Florida State is still around #5 in those polls? FSU just beat Syracuse - a mediocre team on
its best days - and then struggled to get a late score to beat Wake Forest last week. In case you haven't noticed, Wake Forest isn't any great shakes
either. Close wins over marginal teams doesn't cost FSU anything in the polls. Now imagine what happens to #13 Boise State if they struggle to beat
mediocre Hawaii this weekend and need a field goal in the final minute to pull off a win. I'll bet they drop to at least #20 with a performance like
that - if indeed they stay in the Top 25. But Florida State just sits there at #5...
The other undefeated darling of the moment is Utah. The Utes have an early season win over Texas A&M by 20 points; and at the moment, Texas A&M is
getting a lot of attention particularly after beating up on Oklahoma State. So why not have a match-up of Boise State and Utah in the Fiesta Bowl? Out
west, that game might draw a huge crowd from both schools...
I have to tell you that I don't understand the reason behind the firing of Ron Zook and his staff at Florida. They will all stay on and coach the team
for the rest of the year in lame duck status. And just how is that likely make the team a lot better? In addition, just think of the great recruiting
edge this will give Florida. I am not going to try to convince anyone with an IQ over a normal thermostat setting that Ron Zook was/is a great coach;
he's not. But this move by the AD seems awfully dumb to me unless the successor is already signed, sealed and delivered. Obviously, the Gator program
has slipped a couple of notches recently because losing to Mississippi State - even in Starkeville - is just unacceptable. As a yardstick, Mississippi
State beat Division 1-AA Maine in Starkeville this year by a score of 9-7 and the Bulldogs lost to Vandy this year by 18 points. They are not a team
that an elite program can lose to and especially not in a game where you allow them to score 38 points! Mississippi State was ranked dead last of all
Division 1-A football teams in points per game until last weekend. What a sheet soiling that was for Florida...
The Chicago Bears are a pretty miserable team now that they are reduced to playing Craig Krenzel and Jonathan Quinn at QB. However, a big time
receiver should be able to make some plays and help out these competency-challenged inexperienced QBs. But David Terrell isn't exactly doing that.
Last week, Terrell caught zero passes obviously for zero yards and he was called for a holding penalty on a play that actually went for a TD. That is
not how the "lead receiver" should step-up his game to assist the substitute QBs.
It was only about three weeks ago when the Atlanta Falcons had the #1 defense in the NFL against the rush. Wow, what happened there? Were some of the
starters deported? Sunday, the Falcons gave up 271 yards rushing and 8 rushing touchdowns in a 56-10 loss to the Chiefs. Just to show that they could
be equally inept at pass defense, they also gave up 269 yards passing.
We need a quick ruling by Paul Tagliabue that no team from the NFC West will be in the playoffs. The Rams and Seahawks seem bound and determined to
give the division championship away to each other. The Rams got torched by the Dolphins last week by 17 points; the Dolphins had been averaging only 8
points a game going in. The Seahawks lost their third straight game last Sunday to the Arizona Cardinals. And those two teams are the class of the
division by a lot.
Overseas in the Vatican they have a radio station and somehow it has become an extension of that great American institution, sports radio. For reasons
that are not crystal clear to me, Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church are going on the radio to talk about soccer. The show is called Not Only
Sports and it is intended to reach out to a younger listening audience. Who knew that the Disney execs and the ESPN programming gurus had such
influence? Here's the Vatican venturing into sports radio and it is trying to skew younger. Wow! The first guest on this program was an 88-year-old
Cardinal who decried the commercialism involved in the naming of the Italian National Team. The plan is to have a different Cardinal visit each week
and talk about soccer. I wonder how long it will be until someone gets the idea to have people call in to talk to the guests... And I wonder if the
Pope might ever drop in for a chat.
The Chinese Olympic gold medalist in the hurdles has just signed a product endorsement deal in China. That alone should be big news to anyone over the
age of 30; endorsement deals and the Chinese social/political/economic system were antonyms just a couple of decades ago. However, this deal is
strange beyond that historical aspect because Liu Xiang will be endorsing cigarettes. Yes, a track and field medalist is going to be pitching smokes.
There's just not a lot you can say about that one...
This is the time of year when NBA teams begin to pare down their rosters because they no longer need as many bodies in camp to get practices to
function efficiently and effectively. Recently, the Lakers waived Neil Yanke and Jerry Dupree; and on the same day, the Kings waived Liu Wei, Anwar
Ferguson and Tony Bland. Today the cut list consists of Earnest Brown, Tang Hamilton, Alex Scales, Andre Barrett, Mengke Bateer and Kirk Haston.
Honestly, I don't know any of these guys; they could be the starting five for a recreation league team as easily as NBA aspirants for all I know. In
fact, they might be baristas at my local Starbucks and I would not know. Other than friends and family members, I doubt that many folks could identify
these five guys on the street.
Finally, here is a great observation from Scott Ostler in the San Francisco Chronicle:
"Yet another sport with a tougher anti-doping program than that of Major League Baseball: England's Royal Pigeon Racing Society tests bird poop for
"So what's the difference between Victor Conte and a cheating bird? One can be brought down by a stool pigeon and the other by a pigeon stool."
But don't get me wrong, I love sports...
Copyright The Sports Curmudgeon
[Edited on 10/29/04 by SportzWriter]