The NFL is investigating whether or not Mike Tice was involved in scalping Super Bowl tickets. Depending on which source you read - and which ones you
are predisposed to believe - he either did this when he as an assistant coach but stopped when he became a head coach or he used the opportunity of
being the head coach to expand his purview by organizing everyone on the team who wanted to scalp their tickets into some kind of co-operative
I wasn't there; I don't know. Since this is NFL Security doing the investigation and not the NCAA clowns, there is a very good chance that they'll get
to the bottom of what happened here. We may never know all the details, but we can look at what happens to Mike Tice and have a pretty good clue as to
Interestingly, Tice was the lowest paid coach in the NFL again last year even though he was in the 3rd year of his contract. He made just under $1M,
which is chump change for NFL coaches. According to the St. Paul Pioneer-Press, Lovie Smith is the second lowest paid head coach at $1.35M and then
comes Jack Del Rio at $1.5M and Dom Capers at $1.8M. I remember reading that Jim Haslett made $2.5M last year and is scheduled for a raise next year;
that is one important reason that Tom Benson did not fire Haslett in New Orleans. This is not to justify in any way ticket scalping on Tice's part if
indeed he did that. I just find this interesting.
Speaking of scalping and price gouging, the New England Patriots have come across a new revenue stream that is outrageously macabre. In fact, it is so
outrageous that I would not be surprised to learn that Danny Boy Snyder is scheduling himself to be flogged and flayed for not thinking of it first.
Imagine you own season tix to the Pats' games and you go on to meet your Maker. You have planned for your demise and have left your tickets to a loved
one in your will; no probate judge will decide who gets those prime seats. Well, that may be true except for the matter that the Pats now want a piece
of your estate. Under their new program, upon the death of any season ticket holder, the tickets revert back to the Pats and now they will offer your
heir the opportunity to keep those tickets for a one-time payment of between $2,000 and 5,000 – depending on how good the seats are. That does NOT
cover the cost of the tickets; that is the moral equivalent of a Personal Seat License for your heir to continue to buy those tickets from the Pats.
Then to make it worse, the Pats' marketing folks have come up with a cutesy little name for this program that might send some grieving heir up a water
tower with a rifle some day. They call it the "Pass It On Program". I say this is coming to an NFL team in your area soon...
I made a passing reference to the incompetence and the uselessness of the NCAA and its investigators above. Lest you think that I am the only person
who thinks these people are about as useful as Ozzy Osbourne teaching ESL, here is something from Ron Rapaport in yesterday's Chicago Sun-Times
dealing with the settlement of the Rick Neuheisel lawsuit where the NCAA paid $2.5M to keep the case from going to the jury:
"Quite amazingly, Neuheisel's suit for wrongful termination for betting in a high-stakes NCAA basketball pool exposed college sports' national
governing body as so witless, it didn't even know its own rules. When NCAA investigators questioned Neuheisel about his gambling, they violated their
own due-process standards, which recently had been changed. Soon, afterward, the NCAA and the university folded their cards and reached for their
" 'It's a story of an organization that is often accused of being hyper-technical in its rules getting caught not knowing what rule is in effect,'
Mark Conrad, an associate professor of legal and ethical studies at Fordham told the Los Angeles Times. 'I think there will be a lot of people
chuckling at that.' "
Chuckling my left foot! I'm guffawing at this and can't wait for someone to ask Dr. Myles Brand what he did to the people in charge at the Inspector
Clouseau Division of the NCAA that pulled off this brilliant tactic.
The Chris Webber trade to the Sixers isn't working nearly as swimmingly as many had thought. The honeymoon is already over; it didn't last as long as
Brittney Spears' first honeymoon. Already, Webber has complained to coach Jim O'Brien about his playing time and about his role in the offense.
O'Brien has said he is concerned about Webber's knee and his ability to play lots of minutes especially in back-to-back games. Webber's numbers have
plummeted and not all may be as rosy as one might have thought between Webber and Allen Iverson despite their initial kissy-face commentary at the
time of the trade. It might all work out for the better in the end, but I'm really skeptical. Webber is a soft player who plays defense only
sporadically; O'Brien does not like that. Webber needs/wants the ball and the offense to run through him allowing him to score and to pass - both of
which he does well; Iverson won't let that happen. At least two of the three actors in this drama will have to change their ways and lose a little
face if this is going to work. That's why I say that I'm very skeptical.
That little vignette calls to mind a story from the Boston Globe after the Timberwolves - with Kevin McHale at the helm - beat the Celtics. Evidently,
a Boston writer told McHale that this victory left McHale a mere 933 wins behind Red Auerbach. McHale's response was:
"You won't see me doing this long enough to get anything like that. The only reason I did this was because some of these guys needed a foot up their
Memo to Sixers Coaches and Management: Now hear this. Some of these guys need a foot up their ass.
I received an e-mail from Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times yesterday with some more info on an All-Echo team. He told me that the Washington State
Cougars used to have a QB named Samoa Samoa and that he was ambidextrous. Wow! And of course, if the All-Echo team ever needed a home, it would have
to be Walla Walla Washington. He closed his note by saying:
"Hope this helps. Hope this helps."
Finally, let me close with something from Dwight Perry's Sideline Chatter column in the Seattle Times:
"Former Sonic Vernon Maxwell, originally jailed for owing $39,000 in back child support, is back in custody for violating conditions of his release by
leaving his mother's house and taking an unauthorized trip to Atlanta."
"Who says NBA players never get called for traveling?"
Memo to Self: See if you can find a prop bet on why Mad Max went to Atlanta. Take all the action you can that the reason wasn't to see a Hawks' game.
But don't get me wrong, I love sports...
Copyright The Sports Curmudgeon