Earlier, I told you that the Tampa Bay Devil Rays had raised their ticket prices for the upcoming season. Frankly, I still don't get that move. But
whatever logic rests behind that decision must have found its way west because I read yesterday that the Arizona Diamondbacks have also raised their
ticket prices for next season.
Let's see here; the D-Rays stink and they raise ticket prices; the D-Backs stink and they raise ticket prices. Hmmm. Could it have something to do
with the letter "D"? Maybe the folks making the decision there are delirious or possibly delusional -- or maybe they are just simply dumb...
Don King is suing ESPN for $2.5 billion; that is not a typographical error. He claims that he was defamed by ESPN in their "Sports Century" story on
him and he denies several aspects of the ESPN program. His lawyer/spokesperson said that King has been a target of malicious rumors and innuendos for
years and that King has decided that he has to take a stand now and put an end to all of this. I did not watch the ESPN story - and I doubt that it
will be aired again while this litigation is in motion - so I have no basis for drawing a conclusion one way or the other regarding the facts of this
matter. However, I have to wonder how any person on the planet can think that their reputation might be damaged to the tune of $2.5 billion.
In the wake of their ouster from the playoffs by the Vikings, the people in charge of the Green Bay Packers are considering some changes and one of
them is rumored to be a change for Mike Sherman. Currently, Sherman is the coach and the GM; team president, Bob Harlan, supposedly thinks that these
two jobs are too much for one person and might be looking for a GM. If he thinks the two jobs are too much, what must he think about Sherman taking
over the play calling for the second half of the season and adding that responsibility on top of everything else? Never having done that kind of work,
I can only judge the burden by looking at the results and it certainly seems as if this degree of responsibility is overwhelming for the majority of
people who try to take it on.
Since I am a solution-oriented kind of person, I would like to offer a smidgen of help - at no charge of course - to Mike Sherman and his Green Bay
coaching staff as they start the process of evaluating what needs to be changed for next season:
Check your defensive personnel and your defensive coaching. Randy Moss had a sprained ankle and a tender hamstring last weekend and he still managed
to run free and torch your defensive unit.
Charlie Walters had an item in a recent column in the St. Paul Pioneer-Press about Latrell Spreewell. It seems as if last year on "non-travel days",
Spreewell had lunch catered for the team. This year he is not doing that. I don't find this so strange given that Spreewell didn't get his contract
extension and has to worry about feeding his family. Of course, his family has to have a higher priority than the other players on the team who are
also making millions of dollars a year.
Elsewhere in the NBA, Steve Francis reacted just a bit over-dramatically to the trading of his friend and teammate Cuttino Mobley. Said Francis, "Him
not being here is going to be tough for me. I don't know what I'm going to wake up for."
Memo to Steve Francis:
1. Get over yourself.
2. Here's what you are going to wake up for -- playing basketball.
3. Lots of people who have dead-end jobs that are no fun at all - think trash collector here – wake up every day and get their butts to work and
function as contributing members of society. They don't get to make tens of millions of dollars to play basketball. And when a friend of theirs moves
away or goes to jail or whatever, they don't whine to a reporter that they don't know what they are going to wake up for tomorrow.
Last spring the Nashville team in the American Basketball Association hired a woman to be the first female coach of a men's pro team. Ashley
McElhiney's team in Nashville has won 12 of its first 15 games so far this year so that seems to be working out just fine. Now, the ABA team in Los
Angeles has fired its coach and hired WNBA player, DeLisha Milton-Jones as its coach. She may not be the first female coach of a men's team, but she
has to be the first woman to coach a team on which her husband, Roland Jones, is a player.
According to the Toronto Sun, a deal is imminent which would put the All-Star game and the championship game of the National Lacrosse League on NBC
television. Lacrosse is a sport with regional interest not national interest at the moment so I have to assume that the deal with NBC is similar to
the one that was offered to the NHL - should that league ever decide to play games again. In the eastern part of the US and up through eastern Canada,
lacrosse has a small but very intense fan base - not unlike the NHL. But I wonder if there are more than a handful of folks in places like Alabama or
Wyoming or Texas who could watch lacrosse on TV and distinguish that game from jai-alai. This could be interesting...
Finally, since I made reference to Latrell Spreewell earlier, here is a comment by Jim Armstrong in the Denver Post:
"The Timberwolves are 17-16 and fading fast, but the news isn't all bad out of Minnesota. Thanks to generous donations from the community, each of
Latrell Spreewell's children received a Christmas present."
But don't get me wrong, I love sports...
Copyright The Sports Curmudgeon