The NHL owners and players will resume negotiations this week. The union says it has a new proposal to put on the table and they say it will bring an
end to the strike. Of course, every offer made by either side at every point in the negotiation will achieve that end, but that's a detail.
Later this week, the two sides will actually meet for the first time in three months. To give you a perspective on their estrangement, the last time
they had a face-to-face meeting was just before the first game of the NFL season. In another hockey related story, Sports Illustrated said that
someone paid just under $600 for a 45-year-old set of Bobby Hull's false teeth. That is bizarre all by itself, but Hull added to the strangeness by
telling SI that these teeth were "lost in the sheets during a bedroom romp in a Geneva hotel."
Memo to Bobby Hull:
I have three words for you here:
Too ... Much ... Information!
Gerry Fraley noted in a recent column in the Dallas Morning News that a high school football playoff game at Texas Stadium drew a crowd of 34,678
fans. That is a measure of how important high school football is in Texas. It also provides a yardstick for this next item. Major League Soccer just
announced that they are going to add 2 more regular season games to their schedule. This is a league that drew 25,000 people - counting generously -
to their final championship game just a month or so ago.
Here is a college football factoid not worth remembering. The University of Wyoming will play UCLA in the Las Vegas Bowl on 23 December. (No, you will
not get extra credit if you can tell me where the Las Vegas Bowl happens to occur.) In that game, Wyoming will try to win its first bowl game in 38
years. The Cowboys' last bowl victory came in 1966 when they beat Florida State in the Sun Bowl.
Sticking with college football for a moment, the next time you hear someone on sports radio yammer on about the BCS and how dumb it is, call him up
and ask him the following question. Since you know that the BCS is bad and feel compelled to keep telling everyone how bad it is and since you know
that there will NOT be a football playoff this year, can you please tell me how YOU would find a way to crown an undisputed national champion this
year with three major undefeated teams? Remember, there isn't going to be a playoff so tell me what magic you would work if you were in charge. The
fact is that the BCS deflects a lot of the outcry and moaning away from the writers - and the coaches too - because their polls would match USC and
Oklahoma in the championship game and leave Auburn hanging out to dry. When the BCS does that it is an abomination; but the writers/coaches offer no
solution to the problem that is viable.
It doesn't seem as if Notre Dame is quite the draw that it once was. There is a story going around that Urban Meyer found the university
representatives arrogant and inflexible so he decided to go elsewhere. Twenty years ago, I doubt that any coach in the country at a school of the ilk
of Utah would have turned down a Notre Dame overture to come and coach the football team. In fact, coaches at schools like that would have paid their
own way to go to South Bend for interviews. Not any more. Notre Dame tried to "keep the job in the family" with Bob Davie and the alums/boosters were
dissatisfied. They hired Ty Willingham from the outside - albeit not as their first choice - and he did not satisfy the alums/boosters. They went back
to "the family" to court Urban Meyer who told them - ever so politely, I'm sure - to go take a dump in a flat hat. So now where do they turn? Here is
an indicator that they are really in trouble finding a coach. If you hear that someone from the athletic department is traveling to New Jersey to meet
with Richie Kotite...
The day that Urban Meyer signed on with Florida, a Gator alum bought the rights to the website FireUrbanMeyer.com. No, this is not a repeat of what
some Florida fans did to Ron Zook; in fact, it is just the opposite. Florida grad, Andy Judah said that he was not happy about the way that the
FireRonZook.com website was used to undermine the former Florida coach and so he bought the rights to this website to prevent someone from trying to
subject Urban Meyer to the same kind of humiliation.
In NFL news, Ron Rappaport said in the Chicago Sun-Times that the Cleveland Browns had given up 100 points in a 99-minute stretch in their past two
games. Dallas, KC, Oakland, SF and New Orleans have all given up more points than Cleveland this year, but it won't take many more performances like
that for the Browns to take the lead in that race toward ignominy and disaster. In the same column, Rappaport also points out that the New Orleans
Saints have been outscored in the first quarter of games this year by a cumulative score of 97-10. Talk about a team having to learn to play from
Tom Powers in the Saint Paul Pioneer-Press is unimpressed with the Vikings defense this year. Last week he wrote the following:
"If this week's defensive game plan were any simpler, the play book would be entitled 'See Spot Run.' If the Vikings coaches dumb down any more on
defense, they'll have to pass out drool buckets. These fellows are dumber than a box of rocks."
Earlier this season, it appeared as if the Cowboys decision to pass on drafting a RB in the first round to get Buffalo's first round pick this year
was a great deal. The Bills started off the year with four straight losses; and after six games, the Bills were averaging all of 13 points a game. It
looked as if the Cowboys might have a top five pick; but at the moment, the Bills are 6-6 and have momentum. I said yesterday they could win out for
the year and go 10-6; even if they go 9-7 and don't make the playoffs, their draft position will probably be somewhere in the 20s. At the moment with
a 6-6 record, the Bills would be drafting 18th.
If I told you there was an NFL team that has scored 232 points in its 12 games this year and has given up 242 points in those same 12 games, you would
probably think the team had won somewhere between 5 and 7 games. Well, you'd be wrong! That would be the Atlanta Falcons and they are 9-3 even though
they have been outscored for the year. In two of the three Falcons' losses, the games were blowouts; at Kansas City, they lost 56-10 and at Tampa,
they lost 27-0.
Finally, here is an observation from Scott Ostler in the San Francisco Chronicle:
"Ron Artest, whose record label is Tru Warier, will be needing a tru loyer."
But don't get me wrong, I love sports...
Copyright The Sports Curmudgeon
[Edited on 12/9/04 by SportzWriter]