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Newz Forum: OTHER: The Sports Curmudgeon on Rick Neuheisel, Gary Sheffield, Roger Maris plus more...

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posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 05:35 PM
Make no mistake about it; I am not a Rick Neuheisel fan. For reasons known only to the University of Washington, they decided to settle the lawsuit brought against them by Neuheisel for wrongful termination and Neuheisel will get a $4.7M settlement.

The university evidently had loaned Neuheisel $1.6M and it will not seek to collect on that debt. Why he got a loan of that amount from the university was not disclosed, but that's part of the deal. In addition, the university will pay him $600K in cash money. The co-respondent in the lawsuit was the NCAA and to settle their part of the action, the NCAA will cough up $2.5M. Neuheisel was charged by the NCAA with gambling - from the NCAA's perspective a scourge so bad that one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse should bring it - and the NCAA's head man in the gambling department testified against Neuheisel. Now, before the case could go to the jurors, the NCAA folded its hand and coughed up a huge wad of benjamins.

Aside: My ever so politically correct spell checking and syntax program highlighted the word "horseman" in the preceding paragraph and suggested that I replace it with "equestrian". I don't think so.

Not only are the NCAA rules and regulations about gambling naive and ostrich-like, they aren't ones that the NCAA thinks would be seen as realistic and enforceable when taken to a jury of ordinary folks [Translation: not a group of 12 "true believers" who have gone through the NCAA's thought control programs]. The other aspect of the case that was interesting is that the NCAA investigation by the gambling police was done in such a way that their investigation violated some other NCAA rule. These folks make the Keystone Kops look efficient and effective.

I will not fall into the trap of thinking that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. I still don't like Rick Neuheisel very much, but I'm glad he toasted the NCAA's buns in court. I hope he goes to Las Vegas with a TV camera crew in tow and takes some of that money and steps to a window to make some March Madness wagers - all perfectly legal - and mails them to the NCAA offices.

Of course, we had to have our lives interrupted to hear about a study that showed that obesity reigns in the NFL and 56% of the players are overweight. Anyone with a TV set with a screen larger than 5-inches and eyesight better than 20/200 recognizes that a large percentage of NFL players are way beyond overweight; they are just plain fat. But we had a study to come to this conclusion using something called the Body Mass Index. I have no idea who concocted that matrix, but I did check on the height and weight of Donovan McNabb and according to the charts, he is overweight. Sorry, I'm not buying into the Body Mass Concept as an invariant Law of the Universe. Now, maybe the people who did this study can move on to their next challenge and see if they can determine that NBA basketball players are taller on average than the normal human population - taller even than the normal penguin population...

Another survey/study determined people's favorite female athlete using some kind of online poll. Mia Hamm came out on top, and Anna Kournikova was in the top ten even though she hardly qualifies as an athlete for the past couple of years. What I found amazing is that Chris Evert and Mary Lou Retton were in the top ten. I don't mean in any way to demean their accomplishments but it would never occur to me to think of Babe Didrikson Zaharias in this context.

A while back, I mentioned that PAX-TV will air an upcoming program series that purports to ferret out the truth on various matters by having people take lie detector tests on TV. That will be as interesting as watching Jell-O set. Unfortunately, that does not seem to be a programming aberration for PAX-TV because I recently read that they are going to televise "Real Pro Wrestling" which will be teams of wrestlers competing in collegiate/Olympic style wrestling. Evidently, such a league is being organized and PAX-TV will be the media partner that got in on the ground floor.

Memo to Self: Do not waste any time finding where PAX-TV is on the cable menu.
I see where MLB has reached a contract agreement with the umpires calling for a 5% wage increase. That's not so awful for the umpires because senior MLB umps made $340K last year. Maybe that's chump change for some of the players, but it isn't something that will doom one to a life of poverty.

Speaking of baseball players and big salaries, Gary Sheffield is reportedly unhappy with his contract. If you hear any more on this story, please remember that Gary Sheffield has been unhappy with his contract at just about every stop of his career. So, unless he does something outrageous - like taking a hostage and climbing onto the Empire State Building to demand a raise - pay this story no attention at all.

Five years ago, the baseball Hall of Fame changed the Veterans' Committee and their voting procedures because there was a feeling that the Veterans' Committee had become too lax in it standards for voting people into the Hall of Fame. It appeared to be rife with cronyism. Now the voting is done by all the living members of the Hall of Fame and they vote every other year. In their last two "elections", the Veterans' Committee has elected no one. The Gil Hodges and Ron Santo acolytes out there are horrified. I'm less horrified. Here's one nominee who ought to be given serious consideration. Roger Maris. Not only did he have his 61 HR season - a record that stood longer than Babe Ruth's single season HR record - he was also the AL MVP two years in a row and only a handful of players can say that.

I noticed the Oklahoma Sooners have a forward on their basketball team named Longar Longar. I can't wait until he gets to the NBA level so he can go up against Reuben Boumtje-Boumtje. By the way, what ever happened to Duany Duany (from Wisconsin, right?) and Ya-Ya Dia from Georgetown? I can't come up with a fifth starter on my "All-Echo Team" at the moment, but the coach would have to be Boutros Boutros Galli.

Finally, a commentary from Greg Cote in the Miami Herald about Maurice Clarett's showing at the NFL combine:

"Defrocked Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett saw his pro prospects dim when he ran a 4.8 40 at the NFL combine. Mideast peace talks move faster."

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

Copyright The Sports Curmudgeon


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