I want to start today with some observations about news in the world of football. Marcus Vick will not return to the Va Tech football team and will
leave school; he will be in the NFL Draft in April after his latest demonstration of a lack of self-control. As the story unfolded over the weekend,
there were reports of a meeting between head coach, Frank Beamer and the president of Va Tech and then with Vick and his mother and his lawyer and...
Excuse me, all of that had to happen just to get someone tossed off the football team? Then we had Vick's mother issuing a statement to the effect
that Marcus was going to show people that he's not the person everyone thinks he is. Well, if people thought he was something other than a
slime-ball, she would never have felt the need to waste her breath with such a statement, right?
Here's the deal. If Marcus Vick were someone else - Marcus Whomever - and his older brother was the maitre d' at the local Olive Garden Restaurant
instead of an NFL quarterback, everyone would refer to Marcus Whomever in a simple and accurate way.
They'd call him a thug.
If you happened to watch the Panthers dismantle the Giants over the weekend, you probably saw Plaxico Burress come up very small in a playoff game.
If the Pittsburgh papers are even half-right, that is one of the main reasons that the Steelers chose to let Plaxico ply his trade elsewhere. Burress
complains when he doesn't get the ball and sulks on plays, but he doesn't deliver when it matters. He may not be as big a pain in the posterior as
Randy Moss or Terrell Owens, but he doesn't deliver even half as much as those guys in big games.
There are a bunch of stories swirling around concerning all the details behind Herm Edwards' move from the Jets to the Chiefs. One story has it that
Jets' owner, Woody Johnson, wanted Edwards out of there under any circumstances. There are lots of references to people 'close to Woody Johnson'. I
know that lots of PR folks and media analysts like to 'skew young', but maybe this is a bit too much. I have to believe that every time Woody
Johnson's name is mentioned on radio or TV, it attracts a lot of attention - and giggles - from the 10-year old male demographic.
Bode Miller told 60 Minutes that sometimes he has been skiing while drunk. Is there such a thing as SUI? Whatever. 60 Minutes treated this
revelation as if it were important; it isn't. Folks, this is skiing; the most important thing related to skiing is - - trivial.
And speaking of trivial in the world of sports, here's a note from the world of ice-skating. Jamie Sale and David Pelletier were married just before
New Year's Day in Banff. I wasn't invited to the wedding obviously and would not have gone had I been invited, so the following comment is pure
conjecture on my part:
I doubt that a certain French figure skating judge was part of the wedding party.
Speaking of figure skating, I read somewhere that the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan 'incident' will serve as the basis for an opera that will have its
premiere at Tufts University in the Spring of 2006. The title of this oeuvre will be Nancy and Tonya: The Opera. All I can say is that I hope there
is a lot more creativity put into the show itself than seems to be evident in the title.
There was a small brouhaha in the world of ice-skating recently over a Japanese skater who will not be allowed to compete in the Olympics next month
because she is too young. There is a rule about how old one must be to enter the Olympics; but evidently, that rule did not preclude her from
competing in and winning some major skating event. Don't try to apply logic to any of this; all of this stuff is governed by the International
Skating Union; these folks still haven't figured out that the proper sequence is not ready, fire, aim...
I will not have a lot to say about the Winter Olympics other than it will definitely be on TV far too much for my liking. All of the events are about
the same thing. All of the events rely on the fact that it is physically possible to reduce the friction between a surface of frozen water and an
object on top of that surface. That allows for skis, sleds, luges, skates and the like to be employed to do things that are marginally interesting.
I don't care about the Winter Olympics; I don't care about where the torch is or who has carried it or who will be carrying it or who will light the
torch at the Opening Ceremonies. It doesn't matter! I don't care about the hockey competition since most of the squads will have NHL players in some
rearranged set of rosters. And as for those cutesy little Olympic mascots, there is almost nothing that could happen to the people who foist them on
us that would be too cruel.
I know I'll get snarky notes about how figure skating on TV draws good ratings and that I am out of touch with how athletic these folks are and how
difficult it is to do what they do. So, before you send along those notes, the answer is, 'You are correct.' But none of that means that I have to
think that what the do is a sport - it is an athletic exhibition, that's all - nor do I have to buy into the hype that it is really important to
sports fans. Here's a test. Stop ten folks at random this morning and ask them to name any three of the ten skaters ranked in the top ten going into
Since I'm off into the realm of minor sports today, here's a note I ran across last month and have had on my clipboard for a while. In Newtown, Wales
4,600 runners all dressed as Santa Claus ran 4.5 miles while yo-yoing. That's bizarre by itself, but then the report continued on to say that the
folks at the Guinness Book of World Records were checking to see if this actually a record to be included in a future issue. That made me wonder what
it takes to qualify as a record. For example if I organized 4,600 people to dress as Elvis and had them run 4.5 miles with yo-yos, would that be a
different record? Or suppose they dressed as Santa but ran while tooting on a kazoo? Imagine 4,600 men dressed only in shoes and jockstraps running
backwards for 4.5 miles and as they crossed the finish line it would be a record for the most Parker House Rolls ever to compete in a race at the same
time. Give me a break!
Finally, a comment from Greg Cote in the Miami Herald:
'Fiji's cash-strapped national boxing team cannot afford to buy gloves or set up a ring, leading some to wonder why in the hell Fiji has a national
But don't get me wrong, I love sports... ... ...