If you missed the USC/Oklahoma game the other night and only saw the final score, you might be tempted to conclude that USC manhandled Oklahoma.
That's not the half of it. That game is what you would have to call a butt-stomping beat down of cosmic proportion. And after seeing that game and
juxtaposing the USC performance with the Auburn and Utah performances earlier in the bowl season, anyone who votes for anyone other than USC as the
national champion should have their voting privileges rescinded.
I have no problem with voting Wade Boggs and/or Ryne Sandberg into the Hall of Fame. I understand the ballot eligibility rules (ten years in the big
leagues and retired for five) make it such that people like Terry Steinbach and Tony Phillips and Tom Candiotti need to make an appearance on the
ballot at least one time. I also understand that some of these guys get a vote or three from writers because the players had been cooperative and
helpful during their playing days. I also understand that if they don't get 5% of the vote, their torch is extinguished and they don't get another
chance for their names to go up in lights next year. Let me say a couple of things about guys who did not come close to being elected this time and
probably will never be elected:
Dave Concepcion: I can think of two shortstops already in the Hall of Fame who were not nearly as good as Concepcion was. But they get bonus points
for playing in New York; their names are Peewee Reese and Phil Rizzuto.
Jack Morris: In the 1980s, he was the best "big game pitcher" in baseball.
Dale Murphy: He won the MVP award in consecutive years and less than a dozen people in the history of the game can make that claim. I believe that all
of the others are already in the Hall of Fame - or will be once Barry Bonds retires.
The sexual assault scandal involving the LaSalle basketball team took another step toward the surreal this week. One of the players was ordered to
stand trial based on the testimony of a woman that the player had sex with her while she was asleep. Of course, the player's lawyer claims the woman
was wide-awake and the sex was consensual and a jury will make the final determination here. What I found strange was that an Assistant District
Attorney in Philadelphia told reporters it was against the law to have sex with a sleeping person. Can that actually be written specifically into the
law? What legislator thought that was a sufficiently important thing to codify in law?
The negotiations for who will get Monday Night Football continue. The NFL got an increase of just over 25% from FOX and CBS for the Sunday games
through 2011 and the league is probably thinking that a similar increase from ABC for MNF would be appropriate. Here's the rub. ABC is losing money on
MNF and the question that the network bean counters need to resolve is: What is the promotional value of MNF for the other programs in the ABC
line-up? Estimates for the ABC losses on MNF range from $100 - 150M at the current cost to ABC of $550M annually. So a 25% increase in rights fees
would put their costs up in the $700M a year neighborhood and that won't help the corporate bottom line at Disney Corp. The Sunday night package on
ESPN is also up for bids and Disney owns ESPN too. Supposedly both FOX and CBS are interested in MNF, but that may just be something released by the
league to gain negotiating leverage.
Here is something to look for. If the NFL finds a way to put a small number of its games onto the fledgling NFL Network and discovers that it can get
ratings there, which are comparable to ESPNs numbers look for the NFL Network to, get more games once the deals with everyone expire in 2011.
I'm not a big fan of genealogy but let me see if I can trace the family tree of a baseball team here. First, we had the Los Angeles Angels; then they
were the California Angels; then they were the Anaheim Angels; now they will be the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. So what happened to "California"?
How come that locale got left out of the fusion here? Why not the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim California?
The city of Anaheim will file a lawsuit claiming that the name change violates a stadium lease agreement. I can't wait for this one to go to the US
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been sold to the guy who founded Quicken Loans - the largest online mortgage lender. It seems that he has an arrest on
his record involving illegal sports gambling; this could get very interesting. But do not allow yourself to buy into any "gambling is evil" nonsense
from David Stern and his band of merry men. When they needed a venue for one of their WNBA teams that might make one of the franchises a borderline
break even financial entity, they created the Mohegan Sun and had them play in the arena that is conjoined with the gambling casino of the same name.
By the way, assuming the sale goes through, maybe the Cavaliers should be renamed the Cava-loans? And as soon as they trade away a draft choice for
some old guy, you can be sure that the new owner will be accused of mortgaging the future of the team.
Two weeks ago, the San Francisco 49ers lost a home game to the Buffalo Bills by a score of 41-7. That day in San Francisco was designated as Fan
Appreciation Day. Maybe the team appreciated the fans, but I doubt that a single 49er fan appreciated the team on that day - or about any other day of
Finally, here is another of my marketing ideas to prove once and for all that I have no skills in this area. When the KC Chiefs send out a call for
cheerleading tryouts, they may not get a huge response because it can get mighty cold in KC for December/January games. So they need to put some
"pizzazz" in their cheerleading squad - maybe give them a name that will become a buzzword around town. I suggest they call them the MissChiefs...
But don't get me wrong, I love sports...
Copyright The Sports Curmudgeon