The buzz of the day has to originate in San Francisco where the San Francisco Chronicle has reported that Jason and Jeremy Giambi testified to a
Federal grand jury that they administered to themselves steroids supplied by Greg Anderson who is best known as Barry Bonds' personal trainer.
In addition, Jason Giambi said that he had taken used some other substances before he ever met Greg Anderson and some stuff he got from a different
source. The Chronicle bases its story on transcripts of that testimony that it says it has reviewed. This story is just not going to go away and all
the actors in this soap opera are kidding themselves if they think it will.
Some people will see this as a major turning point in the BALCO mess because Giambi has maintained publicly that he never took any steroids. Other
people will see this as mere confirmation of that they "knew all along". Some in the media are saying that baseball will not be able to punish Giambi
for anything he did prior to last season because there was no agreement on banishing those substances. That's interesting because somehow this whole
matter is being pursued as a violation of Federal law and so their argument would seem to be that baseball may not sanction any player who might be a
Federal felon. Only a collective bargaining agreement could conjure up something that Byzantine.
What bothers me is that I always thought that grand jury testimony was supposed to be "sealed" and "privileged". So how did the Chronicle get to
review transcripts of the testimony of the Giambis? And isn't it interesting that they get to do this review just days before 60 Minutes is going to
do its interview of BALCO honcho, Victor Conte? This seems so orchestrated to me that I would not be surprised to learn that any trial that comes from
this investigation will be held in Salem, Massachusetts.
There is also a report that Notre Dame has had informal contact with Urban Meyer at Utah and could announce his hiring as the next Notre Dame football
coach as early as tomorrow. Notre Dame has already jettisoned much of the lofty idealistic aura that it has tried to wrap around itself over the years
as a football school that does things far more morally and righteously than any of the other football schools. If they hire away the coach of Utah
before he can coach the first team from a non-BCS conference ever to make it into a BCS bowl game, they will have proven they are not only on no
higher ground than anyone else but that they are as deep in the slime bog as anyone else.
Elliot Harris of the Chicago Sun-Times had a good line yesterday about the firing of Ty Willingham at Notre Dame:
"He will find employment. There has to be an athletic director somewhere who remembers the old (is there any other kind?) adage: If at first you don't
succeed, try Ty again."
Gerry DiNardo was fired as the football coach at Indiana yesterday. I have not heard any subtle suggestions anywhere in the national media about a
not-so-subtle bias against Italian-American coaches in Division 1-A football.
There aren't a lot of them, you know...
Memo to Me: Be sure to call webmaster and find out how to turn off the sarcasm font here...
After the New Orleans Saints had lost at home to the Denver Broncos, owner Tom Benson said that this was the worst performance he had seen by a Saints
team since he had bought the team back in the 1980s. He compared them to a high-school team, which ought to be insulting to an assemblage of NFL
players under any circumstances. Coming from Tom Benson, that ought to be doubly insulting because he seems to be careening down the path in terms of
owner competency toward the territory reserved for Bill Bidwell and Mike Brown and Danny Boy Snyder. Remember, this is the guy who wants the taxpayers
of Louisiana and/or New Orleans to pony up about $150 - 200M for upgrades to the Superdome and to continue to subsidize his team (which performs like
high school players!) or else he'll threaten to move to Los Angeles.
In the week after that dispiriting loss, Benson took action to put the ship on the right course with two decisive decisions that he made:
He canceled the Saints organization Holiday Party which had been scheduled to happen on 17 December.
He put an end to the cafeteria privileges at lunchtime for all the "non-football personnel" in the Saints' organization.
I may not be the most insightful person ever to inhabit the planet, but I can't see how cutting back on lunches for employees and canceling a Holiday
Party is going to make this a better franchise. And the last thing I would want would be for someone to ask Tom Benson that question because then he
might feel compelled to try to answer it. If you are ever in the airport in New Orleans, keep your ears open for this announcement because you never
know when you might hear it:
"Paging Mr. Benson. Mr. Tom Benson. Please pick up the white courtesy clue phone to get one."
Ananova.com is a website with a lot of offbeat stories about sports and some other things. I check it out about once a week to see if there is
something goofy there that I can use in these rants. Recently, the website reported on a protest in Budapest, Hungary. It seems that there was a
demonstration in front of the Hungarian Parliament by some women who had a petition for the legislators bearing more than 100,000 signatures. I
thought this would have to be about an issue of some import so I read on. It seems that these women and their petition were demanding equal protection
under Hungarian anti-discrimination laws for blonde-haired women because blondes are the target of "dumb blonde jokes". Even if I spoke Hungarian, I
wonder if I could explain to these women the concept of a "self-fulfilling prophecy" in anything less than a decade...
Finally, the University of Cincinnati announced recently that center Mike Pilgrim would leave the basketball team and transfer from the school. I
thought that Mike Pilgrim would be a natural to go to the Plymouth State College Panthers in Plymouth, NH - if for no other reason that I can't find a
Mayflower University anywhere. But I don't see him listed on the roster of their basketball team...
But don't get me wrong, I love sports...
Copyright The Sports Curmudgeon