Whilst I was traveling about last week, I came across a copy of the San Jose Mercury News and a sports columnist that I had not known about until
then. Bud Geracie had a couple of lines in this column that I thought were very good:
"To keep Warren Sapp from getting in his face, Norv Turner should dress up as the opposing quarterback."
"You have to wonder what Jim Leyland said to make the Phillies pick Charlie Manuel over him."
Speaking of columnists around the country, Scott Ostler wrote a column in the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday that is a must read. Here are some
things to whet your appetite; he made a list headed by the phrase, "Just once I'd like to see..."
"Ohio State's football program gets the death penalty", "Maurice Clarett goes undrafted and is forced to get a job as a gardener."
"Wilma McNabb, the Philadelphia Eagles' team mother, demands an extension of her contract. "I've got a team to feed," she says. "I need a chunkier
By the way, after Gerard Warren got all that publicity last week about how he needed to whup Ben Roethlisberger upside his head and that would be all
that it took for the Browns to beat the Steelers, you might want to look at the game stats for Warren. He got one tackle and zero sacks. Need we hear
from him again this season? I doubt it.
Fans everywhere are so enamored with their on-field heroes that they often put a disproportionate amount of blame on coaches and demand that they be
fired. I am not about to try to convince you that Dave Wannstedt was/is/will be a great head coach; certainly his record in Chicago coupled with the
Dolphins' melt-down this year would argue for some other descriptive adjective. However, the players on the field in Miami - not the infamous player
off in Tibet hitting a bong instead of the hole between right guard and right tackle - did some outrageously stupid things to nudge the Dolphins
toward their embarrassingly bad record. In the loss to the Arizona Cardinals, Miami led by two points in the 4th quarter and had just intercepted a
Cardinals' pass near midfield. However, Patrick Surtain roughed the passer on the play and when the ruling came down Zack Thomas kicked the ball off
the mark. That created two separate 15-yard penalties that gave the ball back to the Cards on the Miami 15 yard-line. Eventually, Miami lost 24-23 and
Wannstedt resigned. Hmmm...
Speaking of the Arizona Cardinals, you do realize that they are 4-5 at the moment and are exactly one game behind the Rams and Seahawks in the NFC
West division race, right?
In college football, lots of media people are rushing to point out the lack of quality in the Utah schedule now that the number of undefeated teams is
down to five. This is a pre-emptive move on the part of many to assure that they don't get ranked too high just in case there is a shocking weekend
ahead of us somewhere. I happen to agree completely that strength of schedule is an important component of how highly a team should be ranked and that
is why I was less than enamored with the BCS decision to put extra emphasis on the "human polls" this year. And here is a perfect example. The same
folks who are complaining about Utah's schedule were the same ones who had fallen in love with Wisconsin just two weeks ago. Wisconsin does not have
to play Michigan this year and has not yet played Iowa in the Big-10. They beat Purdue back in October before Purdue was exposed as an over-rated
fraud. And the Wisconsin out-of-conference schedule was UNLV, Central Florida and Arizona. Wisconsin was a media darling when they were undefeated
after playing nobody; Utah is a leper trying to sneak into the village now that it is undefeated after playing nobody. A lot of the people voting in
the human polls are not very competent but they make up for it with a healthy dose of hypocrisy.
Are there any new ideas out there any more? I read where TNT is considering a "special programming event" involving a made-for-TV movie called Funny
Cide. It will be the story of a gelding and its trainer who was of little renown and its ownership group that was not part of the long-established
"horsey set". Nonetheless, the horse overcomes all of this and becomes a champion. Does that plot line sound familiar to you? Here's an idea for them
to consider; why not get Tobey Maguire to play Funny Cide's jockey? Why not? I'm sure he can learn to speak English with an Hispanic accent...
Sometimes someone does have a new idea; but in the pursuit of that idea, someone demonstrates the condition of "just too much time on their hands". I
read that someone named Dirk Giron has become the first person to skateboard across Australia. Take a moment and let that sink in. He used a
kite-drawn skateboard and the trip took him 17 days. In terms of accomplishment and some kind of contribution to something on a large scale, I'd have
to say that this activity significantly moved up the time of the entropy death of the universe.
Charlie Sifford was the first black golfer on the PGA Tour and has just been inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. When he played in a PGA Tour
event in Greensboro, NC in the early 1960s, he was concerned that there might be a sniper in the trees somewhere; those were not the most enlightened
of times. Nonetheless, he competed without any significant incidents or complaints. Interestingly, when Eldrick Woods plays in Greensboro today, he
doesn't have to worry about snipers and so he can focus all of his attention and energy on worrying about someone with a Nikon SLR and a noisy
shutter. I hope that, very privately, Charlie Sifford tells Eldrick to just shut up and play.
Finally, let me leave you with another good line from Scott Ostler in the San Francisco Chronicle:
"Ron Artest's record label is named Tru Warier. Apparently, Slackin' Skwah was already taken. And Ron if I'm not too late to suggest a title for your
new CD: Kluliz.
"Full disclosure: Artest's label is a competitor to my own record label, Gud Spelur."
But don't get me wrong, I love sports...
Copyright The Sports Curmudgeon