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Newz Forum: OTHER: The Sports Curmudgeon on Jerry Rice, Antoine Walker, Gary Payton, Barry Bonds plu

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posted on Mar, 6 2005 @ 06:42 PM
Last week, I talked about the Randy Moss trade to the Raiders. Upon reflection over the weekend, I think there are two more things to consider about that event:

Given that at least two of the veterans on the Vikings said that trading Randy Moss might be a good idea, was this decision really made after the season was over? I know that it was the final game of the season when he walked off the field with time on the clock, but that one event - if painted on a pure background - is not likely to have caused such a reaction with Duante Culpepper or Matt Birk. So, was this trade - or the germ of the idea for this trade - something that had been around for a while? My opinion, this has been simmering for a while.

Kerry Collins just got better. For all of Collins' problems, he has a strong arm and likes to throw downfield. Now with Jerry Porter and Randy Moss, he has two receivers who not only can get deep but also a pair of receivers who will go and get the ball when covered. If the Raiders can't execute the "vertical game" with this lineup, they ought to cut everyone on the offensive side of the ball and start over. Oh by the way, if Collins gets hurt, his back-up just got better as a QB too.

The Seahawks released Jerry Rice last week and he is still looking to catch on with another team for one more season. To say that his skills have diminished is to say that Wayne Newton is never likely to make it with the Metropolitan Opera Company. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for him. He should sign a deal with the 49ers. If he doesn't make the team - or if he chooses not to play next year - he can then retire as a 49er. However, looking at the SF roster, I'm not positive that a "symbolic retirement contract" wouldn't turn into a regular playing gig.

I also mentioned the Chris Webber trade last week. Since I was driving in a car for about 8 hours over the weekend, I had time for reflection and came up with a few "thoughtlets" there too:

Chris Webber is famous for his flame-outs in "final games" but I had not realized until some sports-radio yakker said that in addition to the "phantom time-out game" against UNC, Webber's Kings had lost the seventh game of a playoff series three years in a row. If he does that again this year in Philly, somebody might give him a new nickname, Hairball.
Sixers' coach, Jim O'Brien, demands that his players play defense. The fact that Glen "Big Dog" Robinson would not play any defense got him relegated to the end of the Sixers' bench such that he has not played a single minute this season - and no one has missed him for even a single minute. Now Chris Webber arrives in town. While Webber will play a lot more defense than Robinson, he will not play it all the time and he will not play defense well.
This could get interesting.

Chris Webber will make about $3M per year more than Allen Iverson for the next few years. I don't think that's gonna work out well at all.

In another NBA trade deadline deal, the Celtics got Antoine Walker back and sent Gary Payton to the Hawks as part of the deal.

Three observations:

Walker's new nickname in Boston should be "Yo-yo".

Payton didn't want to play for the Celtics because he wanted to play for a winner. How's that gonna work out for him in Atlanta?

The hardcore fan base for the Hawks - all 34 of them - just jumped off whatever passes for a Hawks' bandwagon.

In the infamous Barry Bonds' interview/confrontation with the press last week, he was asked if he thought that a player who took steroids was actually cheating. Bonds said that he doesn't know what cheating is. At first, I thought that was merely a brush-off response to change the subject; but upon further review, there is some chance that Bonds was reflecting back to something we all learned back in the 1990s. Maybe he was not confused about the concept of "cheating"; maybe he was confused about what the questioner meant by the word "is". Hey, that worked before...

Memo to Barry Bonds: Maybe you don't know what cheating means; that's possible; I'll stipulate that for the moment. But, I think you should understand that I do know what cheating means and so do most baseball fans.

Here's a news item that has a disturbing undertone. PAX-TV is putting on a new series called Lie Detector and the producer of that series has invited Jose Canseco to come on the show to demonstrate the veracity of the claims in his book. The producer also said that they would get others such as McGwire to come on the show too so that the truth will come out. At least this isn't a pay-per-view event but here is what is disturbing. Somebody who makes decisions at PAX-TV thinks that this is a programming idea that will be interesting for more than about 90 seconds. What does that decision maker do for a wild weekend?
Rearrange his sock drawer?

When I read that the Boston Red Sox would charge $44 a seat for their top spring training tickets this year, I rationalized that they would have a lot of the fanatic Red Sox Faithful coming to see the new World Series Champions prepare for the season. So, in a supply/demand sense, I could see how a team might think that charging this outrageous sum for a meaningless exhibition game might be sorta OK. Obviously, this is the highest spring training ticket in baseball. However, then I read that the second highest spring training tickets will be $25 each and these will be for the Phillies. Now, if someone can explain to me why the Phillies in spring training are even interesting - let alone a must see squad - I'm prepared to be enlightened...

Finally, here's an item from Jim Armstrong in the Denver Post:

"Amazing, isn't it, how history repeats itself? The 1919 NHL season was canceled because of a flu epidemic. The 2004-05 season was canceled because of a fool epidemic."

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

Copyright The Sports Curmudgeon

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