Walter Bush is the Chairman of USA Hockey and vice president of the International Hockey Federation meaning he is involved with the selection and
certification of whatever team the US sends to the Winter Olympics to play ice hockey. In case you had forgotten - as I had until I read about Mr.
Bush - there will be Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy in about 9 months.
I guess that's about right; I really have to scan my memory banks to recall any of the nonsense of the crooked French judge from the last Winter
Olympics and so it must be about time to do it all over again. Anyhow, Mr. Bush was quoted as saying that the time may have already passed for the NHL
to participate in the next Olympic Games. He is not predicting here that the work stoppage can not or will not be resolved by then; he bases his
judgment on the fact that February is an important time in the NHL season and given the difficulties that the league will certainly have with the fan
base and the public relations aspects of any return to the ice, he doubts that the league will want to stop play for almost 3 weeks in February in the
middle of their season.
My reaction to all of this is: Wake me when it's over. Thank you.
Speaking of February 2006, I think I have a way to measure the motivational skill level of NFL head coaches. It is the first day of training camp in
July 2005; the temperature is in the 90s; the humidity is high enough that the players are considering growing gills. The coach calls the team to the
center of the practice field, tells them to take a knee, and goes into his stem-winder introductory speech for the season. He tells them about the
camaraderie of a team; he talks about supporting your brothers in arms; he talks about the need to sacrifice; he talks about pain; he talks about the
need to work hard each and every day of the season.
And then he brings this to a crescendo with something like:
"And if we do all these things and never once take a day off or give less than 100% effort no matter what the pain, our reward - the Super Bowl - is
there for the taking. Our goal for the season is to spend the first week of February 2006 in Detroit..."
If less than 25% of the team walks out and less than 50% of the remaining players aren't muttering obscenities under their breath at that point, this
man is a motivational genius!
With MNF leaving ABC after this season, there needs to be some kind of pomp and circumstance associated with the end of this run. Leaving all of that
up to the creative geniuses in TV land is not a safe bet; if you think they are a lead-pipe cinch to end a long running show appropriately and with
some class, may I refer you to the final episode of Seinfeld. Now that you have stopped shuddering, let me offer an idea.
When the final gun sounds in the last game and Michaels and Madden have done a short commentary on the game and how much fun the season has been, they
roll a tape of Dandy Don Meredith in the booth singing:
"Turn out the lights; the party's over.
They say that all good things must end.
Just call it a night; the party's over,
And tomorrow starts the same old thing again."
[Fade to black]
That may not produce a television moment comparable to John Kennedy as a toddler saluting as his father's casket as it rolls by in the funeral
procession, but it's classier than the Seinfeld swan song.
According to an AP report, Ricky Williams settled a paternity suit. He agreed to pay the mother's legal fees and to set up a $300K trust fund for the
child and to pay the mother $4200 a month in child support. Let's review the bidding here. Ricky Williams owes the Miami Dolphins $8M. He now has to
cough up $300K to establish a trust fund. He has to pay his lawyer and the other lawyer here and my guess is that those bills will be something more
than "three easy payments of only $39.95". He has to set up a way to fork over about $50K per year in child support on some kind of scheduled basis.
On top of all this, Ricky Williams is - - unemployed. Other than his journeys to find himself in Asia and Australia, what he's been doing lately is
studying to be an Ayurvedic Healer. I hope that he is able to establish a lucrative practice in that field, because he owes a lot of people a lot of
The NFL season will begin on Thursday, 8 September this year with a game between the Oakland Raiders and the New England Patriots in Foxboro. Believe
it or not, you can find a line on that game - and all the games that first weekend - already on the Internet books. The line at the moment is New
England minus 7. Remember that the only intervening events that might have an effect on this game would be the NFL Draft, the moves made around 1 June
to accommodate salary cap issues and training camp with its associated injuries. So the message here is that if you make such a bet online, the sports
book ought to make note of your identity and continue to send you wagering offers because you are the customer they dream about!
Finally, since today marks the first day in the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI, let me close with a comment from Greg Cote in the Miami Herald:
"I heard somebody say the 84 Cardinals are going to elect the next Pope. What do Ozzie Smith and Bruce Sutter know about Catholicism?"
But don't get me wrong, I love sports...
Copyright The Sports Curmudgeon