Important news came across the wires late last week. Mel Kiper Jr. and ESPN reached an agreement in their contract negotiations that will bring Kiper
back for more appearances on the NFL Draft and the 2,967 pre-draft segments run by ESPN.
Football fans should be happy to get this news because it assures detailed information on hundreds of college football players that no one has ever
heard of and - far more importantly - it assures that someone on the ESPN telecast of the NFL draft will have a hairline that looks like Eddie
With the Presidential election looming, the candidates have been focusing their efforts in the "battleground states" - one of which is Pennsylvania.
Les Moss is the coach of an Arena2 League football team in Scranton-Wilkes Barre; he was leaving his office in the arena as it was being secured for a
Presidential campaign event and was "detained and questioned" by the Secret Service detail. Obviously, these folks quickly concluded that the coach of
an Arena League football team was not a threat to the President - although Arena Football may indeed be a menace to society but that is a whole other
issue - and Moss went on his merry way.
My question here is this:
What is Les Moss doing coaching a football team?
Why isn't someone with that name writing for Rolling Stone magazine?
After my less than fully charitable remarks about Val Ackerman's list of accomplishments as WNBA commissioner last week, a reader sent along a note
taking me to task for what he thought were very unfair remarks. His thesis was that Ackerman was dealt a marginal hand to begin with and that she
worked long and hard and made the best she could of a meager situation. I have no real problem with that characterization; I do have a problem with
ever so politically correct writers around the country portraying her as a success and as a pioneer whose contributions to women's sports are
incalculable. They are not.
The reader also was upset that I mentioned how the WNBA champion Seattle Storm players are now dispersed around the world playing in foreign leagues
to ear more money. He said that is a cheap-shot and that it is directly due to the abnormally low salary cap imposed on the WNBA when was not properly
augmented in the last labor negotiations. He says that a team salary cap limit of $660K forces players to go overseas to play year-round to earn what
they deserve. ' Note: I'm assuming that his figures are correct because it's not worth the effort to go and look up what the WNBA salary cap is '. Now
there is where I get off the train. First of all, the lowest paid WNBA player makes more than the average American worker for playing basketball in a
4-month season. I'm not about to wail about the outrageous oppression here. And my comments were about Val Ackerman and the reader's argument about a
$660K salary cap makes my point. She was the commissioner of a league for 8 years with a really modest salary cap in place for all the teams AND STILL
the league never broke even. Do not tell me she was a visionary and a genius and pioneer. The league was born poor; it has remained poor under her
tutelage and will continue to be poor under her successor.
Marvin Harrison has caught 798 passes in his career, which has spanned 130 games to date. On the assumption that he will catch two balls next weekend
against Minnesota, that would give him 800 catches in his 131st game. Previously, the record for catching 800 passes in the fewest number of games
belonged to Jerry Rice who did it in 154 games. Harrison will eclipse that mark with almost a season and a half to spare. That's mighty impressive. By
154 games, Harrison might be beyond 900 catches.
Going into last weekend, the leading rushers in the NFL were Priest Holmes and Curtis Martin. Both of them are 31 years old, which is old for a
running back. Even more importantly, no one over the age of 30 has ever led the NFL in rushing. The oldest NFL rushing leader was 30 years old when he
did it. That was Marion Motley of the Cleveland Browns back in 1950 - which was the year that the Browns joined the NFL from the rival football league
of that time.
When the Steelers broke the Patriots' 21-game winning streak yesterday, they reduced the Pats' offense to a single dimension. Granted Corey Dillon was
injured and granted that the Pats' fell behind early and had to play catch-up, but if you check the stats you will see that the Pats ran the ball only
6 times in the game and gained a total of 5 yards. The only word for that kind of defense is "dominating".
The Broncos managed to amass 567 yards of offense and lose to the Falcons by 13 points. Ladies and gentlemen, that is not an easy thing to do even
when the Broncos defense was giving up 467 yards to the Falcons. This game had 1,034 yards of total offense, which is about what an offensive team can
accumulate in a practice session with no defense on the field. But that was not the worst defensive "no-show" of the day. In the Chiefs/Colts game,
the two teams managed to move the ball a total of 1,095 yards and both teams went over the 500-yard mark in total offense. Do the defensive players on
the Chiefs and Colts actually get paychecks or are they fielding suit manikins from bankrupt men's' clothing stores?
San Diego smacked the Raiders yesterday. In that game, the Raiders ran the ball eleven times and gained a total of 22 yards. That just won't get it
done. Meanwhile, the Chargers shredded the Raiders defense for 175 yards on the ground in 38 carries. I was interested to note these statistics
because there is video coverage of Warren Sapp in an "animated exchange" with head coach Norv Turner during the game. No matter what Sapp thought may
or may not have been done less than perfectly from a coaching perspective, the Raiders' defense gave up far too much yardage rushing and the team
committed 10 penalties during the game. None of that is really attributable to the coaches on the sidelines; those things are done by people with
numbers on the front and back of their jerseys. And the last time I checked, Sapp was on that defensive unit...
Finally, a good line from Scott Ostler in the San Francisco Chronicle:
"Will Vince Carter, sued by his ex-agent for breach of contract, plead not guilty by reason of Vinsanity?"
But don't get me wrong, I love sports...
Copyright The Sports Curmudgeon
[Edited on 11/1/04 by SportzWriter]