Paul Tagliabue was in Blaine, Minnesota yesterday. While I'm sure there is an official reason for his visit there that differs from my idea why he was
there, you do need to know that Blaine, Minnesota is a prime location for a new Vikings' stadium that the NFL would love to have the city, county and
state leaders pay for.
While he was there, he held a news conference talking about the potential for Reggie Fowler to buy the team from Red McCombs and announced that he
would fine Vikings' coach Mike Tice for Tice's ticket scalping escapades but not suspend him. There was no mention of this in the reports of his visit
and news conference yesterday, but I wonder if he told any of the local politicians they could have another Super Bowl there in Minnesota if there
were a new stadium to play in. Do you think he might have dangled the 2010 Super Bowl? After all, it seems to have worked as a lure in Arlington,
Texas and NYC. If you've ever been fishing and caught a couple of fish on a lure, do you change lures or do you toss it back in the lake?
There has been a lot of giggling about how the first guy caught doing steroids in MLB is a banjo-hitting guy whose career goals ought to include
hitting ten home runs in his career. [So far, Sanchez has 4 HRs in 1,350 at bats so 10 HRs is not necessarily a guarantee for him.] If these people
would just step back for a moment and stifle their innate desire to mock Bud Selig and MLB, they might - remember I said might - recall that sprinters
have been known to "do the juice". Anyone remember Ben Johnson? Have any track and field athletes other than shot-putters and hammer throwers ever
been banned by WADA?
It is now official. John Daly and Hooters have a sponsorship deal between them; why did this take so long? Daly has his souvenir merchandize trailer
parked at a Hooters in Augusta and he will wear the Hooters' "owl logo" during golf tournaments this year. This ought to work just fine - - except
Daly brings a chilling image to mind. In a statement about this sponsorship deal, Daly said:
"[Hooters and I] have been working together at the local store level for a number of years, and it is really a perfect fit for me."
A perfect fit? What do you think of first when I say "Hooters"? Correct. Now think of "Hooters" in that context with John Daly. Got that? Now recall
the Seinfeld episode when George's father and Kramer are discussing marketing a brassiere for men; Mr. Costanza wanted to call it a "mansierre" and
Kramer wanted to call it a "bro". Think about that while you are watching Daly stroll down the fairway with cheeseburger in one hand and a Marlboro in
the other... A perfect fit? Maybe not!
Last year, the Masters seems to have created a ripple in the warp and woof of the universe. Phil Mickelson broke through and won his first major; then
the Red Sox won the World Series; then Roy Williams won his first national championship. What's next? Here are some events that would prove the old
adage that low probability events happen every day:
Tonya Harding wins a legitimate fight
William Hung sings on key.
The Fridge becomes a spokesman for the American Heart Association.
Dick Vitale becomes a mime. [We can only hope!]
According to ESPN and Stephen A. Smith, new Cavs' owner, Dan Gilbert, is about to fire the GM in Cleveland. This comes on the heels of the firing of
the coach out there. This new owner has only been around for the briefest of times - I think he's still working on his second pot of coffee - and he
is firing people left and right while his team is still fighting to stay in the playoff chase. Of course, a new owner wants to bring in his own
people; that's not news. But the way all of this is happening might cause some potential candidates for the basketball jobs in Cleveland to wonder if
Dan Gilbert is a meddlesome owner - sort of like his namesake, Dan Snyder in the NFL. If that becomes his reputation, then he'll need to break out his
checkbook because that will be the only way for him to attract players and coaches and GMs of any quality. And he might learn from that situation that
money may attract people but it won't buy their loyalty in a world of guaranteed contracts.
There are whispers that CBS - and ESPN to a lesser extent - would like the NCAA to expand the men's basketball tournament field from 65 teams to 96
teams. That means more TV revenue of course. And while the NCAA says they are perfectly happy with things the way they are and have no plans to change
March Madness in any way, let me tell you what my long-suffering wife said when I mentioned that this could happen. Remember, she knows nothing about
March Madness and cares even less but she listened, raised her eyebrows and said, "So what, they're whores." Bingo! If the price is right, the NCAA
will do anything...
What this means to people like me is that there would be two consecutive marathon basketball weekends. In the first weekend, there would be 32 games
to cut the field from 96 to 64. The next weekend, there would be 48 games to cut the field from 64 to 16. And that doubles the opportunity for
arranging a spring pilgrimage to Las Vegas. There is a cautionary note here that I feel obligated to point out. What would this do to the NIT and what
prestige would be left for the school/coach/team that won the NIT? Even worse, what would be the fate of a coach whose team lost in the first round of
Two Louisiana Tech football players have been arrested; one is charged with second-degree murder and the other with attempted second-degree murder.
This is not a simple marijuana possession charge, folks. It all started at a nightclub in West Monroe, LA; I know that will be a shock to everyone.
Evidently, the next day the combatants bumped into each other at a Waffle House - where else? - and things heated up again. One man allegedly hit one
of the football players "in the head with a large pipe". The player then pulled a gun and tried to fire it but the gun did not go off. The guy with
the pipe and a friend tried to drive off in a truck when the other player commenced firing and killed the friend of the pipe-wielding assailant. That
seems like a straightforward story, one which will need some jurisprudence to resolve, but there are a couple of questions that might not come out at
the trial so let me pose them here:
After the player was "hit in the head with a large pipe", how was he able to draw a gun and attempt to fire it? Even pro rasslers know enough to "be
out cold" after someone gets upside their head with a pipe.
Does everyone who goes to a Waffle House on any random morning in West Monroe, LA carry a gun?
If so, why didn't the pipe-wielding assailant and his friend draw theirs?
Finally, here is a good line from Steve Rushin in Sports Illustrated:
"What does my driveway have in common with your average Detroit Pistons season-ticket holder?
"Both will get plowed 41 times this winter."
But don't get me wrong, I love sports...
Copyright The Sports Curmudgeon
[Edited on 4/9/05 by SportzWriter]