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Newz Forum: OTHER: The Sports Curmudgeon on Donovan NcNabb, the NBA, FOXSports plus more...

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posted on Feb, 12 2005 @ 04:04 PM
The story of the moment is that Donovan McNabb was too sick to call plays in the huddle at the end of the Super Bowl on Sunday and was having the dry heaves. Commentators and analysts will now parse all the comments and look at the game tapes from various angles and dog McNabb and Andy Reid with questions to get to the bottom of all this.

In the end, the score of the game will not change and so the pursuit of ultimate and irrefutable truth in this matter is somewhat futile. However, there is a small circle of people who really do care about whether or not Donovan McNabb was sick to his stomach after this game.

Those people sit in the executive suites at Campbell Soup Company. For the past couple of years, Donovan McNabb has been the spokesperson for Campbell's Chunky Soup and his mother is the "team mom" who makes sure that he and all his teammates eat right and get their nutrition with Chunky Soup. I promise you that having the spokesperson get the dry heaves in the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl was not part of the client presentation by the ad agency that came up with this concept.

Over in the NBA, the league suspended Warrior's center/forward Cliff Robinson for five games for a violation of the league's drug policy. Under the terms of the league suspension, Robinson cannot practice with the team or travel with the team and may not attend games with the team. As of this morning, the Warriors are 14-35 and they trail the division leading Phoenix Suns by 24.5 games. Maybe it would be a more significant deterrent if Robinson were required to attend all of those Warriors' games he will miss so he can see what a mess that team actually is?

The NBA has lost a whole lot of coaching expertise in the last year. At the end of last season, Phil Jackson, Lenny Wilkens and Hubie Brown were coaching NBA teams. Rudy Tomjanovich returned at the beginning of this season. Now in February, all four are gone. Those four gentlemen represent about a century of experience and expertise on the bench. Maybe that doesn't matter since a huge fraction of the players in the league today seem not to care even a little bit about taking instruction or direction from a coach?

Tony Kornheiser often makes fun of those people who lament about the use of steroids in baseball and performance enhancing substances in all sports by wailing about how this might hurt "the kids". He's right to point out that many of these annoying "Chicken Littles" latch onto that argument because they can't express a better one for themselves and feel that they need to be on the emoting stage about that issue. At the same time, there is some reason to worry about the spread of these drugs beyond the professional games - where after all the athletes are legal and chronological adults. Last week, the Dallas Morning News had a story about nine students at Colleyville Heritage High School who have admitted using illegal steroids. One user was quoted as saying that no one was worried about getting caught because the school couldn't afford a testing program. An investigation is underway and law enforcement folks have been given a lead as to the source of the drugs.

I read a note that FOXSports is going to cancel I-Max sometime soon and that Best Damn Sports Show Period might be on its last legs. I-Max has the potential to be informative and entertaining; Best Damn Sports Show Period has been silly from the start and has lost the single "co-host" who bright any substance and intelligence to the party. The nation will not mourn for the loss of either program by any yardstick, but the cancellation of "BDSSP" might turn out to be a minor step forward for Western Civilization - as we know it. When/if ESPN cancels Cold Pizza, it could signal a return of the world to the Age of Enlightenment.

The NFL is officially on record as being appalled at the fact that people gamble on sporting events and they decry such activities by actually telling official boards and panels that such gambling reduces their athletes to the status of playing cards and dice. And they do that with a straight face no less. Mention the idea that the NFL might put a team in Las Vegas and the league will use that occasion to dance very gently around the subject. However, the NFL is a major owner of/investor in the Arena League. And the Arena League has just settled on a permanent site for its championship game called the Arena Bowl. You guessed it; that game will be located in Las Vegas. And if the marketers of the Arena League games can find a way to put a leash on the "entertainment producers" at the game venues so that the sporting event itself can share top billing with the fireworks and the music and the pinball arcade atmosphere, the Arena Bowl might grow in popularity. If that happens, it will not be a hard sell to get people to come to Las Vegas for the game and any pomp/circumstance that might accompany that game. There are already about 700,000 visitors per week who come to Las Vegas so any prospective visitor should not have difficulty finding a friend who has been there before to get a recommendation why he/she might want to go for the Arena Bowl game.

Here are two small items related to the NHL work stoppage that caught my attention:

Charlie Walters reported in the St. Paul Pioneer-Press that NHL "insiders" say there is still time for the league to stage a 25-game season with 26 of the 30 NHL teams making the playoffs. Excuse me! The thought that 26 out of 30 teams would make the playoffs is patently insulting to any sports fan.

Bill Lankhoff reported in the Toronto Sun that the Maple Leafs have not had a single season ticket cancelled as a result of the work stoppage. Lankhoff said, "If there were anything dumber than a Leafs season-ticket holder, you'd have to stick it in a pot and water it."

Finally, an observation from Scott Ostler regarding the possible silliness one might see during a Super Bowl telecast:

"As the Goodyear Blimp floats above the stadium, Fox's celeb-cam zeroes in on Pistons' star Richard Hamilton who, honest-to-God, is paid to endorse Goodyear Tires by wearing his hair in cornrows in the tread pattern of the Assurance TripleTread tire. It is believed to be the first simultaneous sighting of the Goodyear Blimp and the Goodyear Pimp."

But don't get me wrong, I love sports...

Copyright The Sports Curmudgeon


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