The fifteen nominees for the pro football Hall of Fame were announced; only three to six will be enshrined. I looked at the list and I must confess
that I do not know Benny Friedman, who was put on the list by the veterans' committee; he could be Benny Goodman's second cousin for all I know.
So I'll stipulate that the veterans' committee knows what they are doing and that he is a worthy candidate. With that stipulation, no one on the list
is a shock - as happens on the baseball Hall of Fame ballot where any player who participated in the major leagues for 10 years gets on the ballot as
soon as his five years of retirement has elapsed. If I had to pick the top six - in order because only three might be inducted - here's my list:
1. Dan Marino
2. Steve Young
3. Derrick Thomas
4. Richard Dent
5. Claude Humphrey
6. Bob Kuechenberg
I really try to keep political stuff out of these rants but when it was announced on Monday that CBS had fired four staff members over the now
infamous Dan Rather/60 Minutes report about President Bush's National Guard service, CBS said that the staffers pursued the story with "myopic zeal".
That is the first time I had ever heard anyone use the words "myopic zeal" in sequence and the first thought that crossed my mind was that "myopic
zeal" perfectly describes the football-related decisions of Danny Boy Snyder since the day he bought the Washington Redskins.
Jim Haslett will be back with the Saints next year after the team won its final four games of the year - instead of going into their typical December
Swoon - to finish at 8-8. Haslett was a wunderkind in his first year when the Saints made the playoffs and won the only playoff game in the history of
the franchise; but his five-year record coming off that introductory season is a mediocre 42-38. He still has two years to go on his contract, which
had to be a factor in his retention since Saints' owner Tom Benson tosses dollar bills around the way I toss pianos around with my left hand. The way
I look at it, the Saints had their swoon earlier in the season this year and finished with a rush instead of the other way around. The results are the
same; the team can get an early start on its draft board for April...
I'll say this again because I really don't want anyone to get on the wrong bus here. The Tennessee Titans were not a good football team this year and
they are not going to be a good football team next year either. Yes, they had injuries this year but they are also $23M over the salary cap for next
year and will have to do some major shuffling of personnel in order to put a team on the field. They will have to redo Steve McNair's contract; and in
addition, they stand a good chance of losing Kevin Carter, Samari Rolle, Derrick Mason and one of their two starting DTs. So, when the Titans struggle
next year, do not point the finger at Jeff Fisher and blame him. This team will have to spend a season or two in Purgatory.
Speaking of teams who could lose important components during the off-season, the Seattle Seahawks will deal with the free agency of Matt Hasselbeck,
Shaun Alexander and Walter Jones in the next couple of months. Who knows, maybe that's the good news? The bad news might be that none of their
butterfingered wide receiver corps shows up on the free agency list.
I remember a rock song from about 25 years ago with lyrics that went, "It never rains in California..." Well, I could have sworn that the Jets and
Chargers were playing in conditions where liquid water was descending from the sky under the influence of gravity. But I don't have HDTV, so maybe I
Dick Vermeil announced that he will be back in KC for one more season and then call it quits. He told his assistant coaches that they could look for
other jobs if they wanted a situation with a bit more long term stability but I haven't read about any stampede in KC for coaches to get to Staples in
order to make copies of their resumes. I wonder if the departure of Vermeil from the Chiefs might also engender the retirement of Carl Peterson as the
GM/Personnel Guru/Front Office Maven/Whatever?
Going into next NFL season, one of the open questions was whether or not the Cowboys' OL would be able to protect Vinny Testaverde and keep him
upright for all or most of the season. Remember, they axed Quincy Carter and no one was comfortable with their backup QB situation. Well the offensive
line achieved its goal and the Cowboys still took a tumble. I doubt that was widely forecast in Big D.
I read a note that said that sales of NHL merchandise are down 85% this year. One reason for such a huge drop is that some retailers have taken all
NHL merchandise off the shelves. I've proven to you time and time again that I am not very savvy about the business world, but even I understand that
if you don't put product out there for people to buy, sales will be miniscule. The cash registers are generally not going to be humming in an empty
Mark your calendars so you don't miss this next event - or set your VCRs to record this one because I cannot believe that there will be a sequel. On
February 17th, NASCAR will team up with the cable network, Animal Planet, and put on a one-hour special about NASCAR drivers and their family pets.
You know that has to be true because no one could make that up. I'd rather watch the NCAA Snoring Tournament!
Finally, John York just canned Terry Donahue as the 49ers' GM after a really miserable 2-14 season. However here is what Dr. York had to say about
Donahue just 4 months ago when he gave Donahue a contract extension:
"He's put a plan together to give us an opportunity to win, and to win year after year."
But don't get me wrong, I love sports...
Copyright The Sports Curmudgeon