I want to talk about an NBA trade to start with today - and it isn-t the Ron Artest saga. Frankly, while I really appreciate his playing ability,
I've seen and heard more than enough from and about Ron Artest. No, I want to talk about the Celtics/Timberwolves recent trade. The Celtics shipped
out Ricky Davis, Mark Blount and Marcus Banks. Let's say politely that Davis has had some 'attitude situations' in his past and that Blount might be
on the All-League Head Case Team.
I don't really know much about Marcus Banks, but I read where one of the Boston writers considered him 'flighty'; I don't think the writer meant that
he could jump really well. On the other side of the deal, the Wolves said goodbye to a rather prodigious head case in Michael Olowokandi. As far as
I'm concerned, it's a toss-up between Olowokandi and Greg Ostertag as to who is the least productive 7-footer in the league; losing 'the Kandi Man' is
no big deal. But the Wolves also sent Wally Szczerbiak to Boston in the deal and while Wally Wonder hasn't been the 'next Larry Bird' to this point
in his career, he is a competent player. I do not know how the Celtics pulled off this deal or what the Wolves were thinking.
On Feb 26, the Houston Rockets and the Orlando Magic will meet. As of this morning, these teams are a combined 20 games under .500 so you ought to be
asking yourself why this game is interesting. Well, it will be televised on NBA TV and it will have no announcers or color analysts. The only voice
you'll hear is the guy on the public address system. To be sure, some of those jamokes can be hugely annoying as they scream and make noise and make
very lame attempts at humor and plays on words. But if this guy does not seize this as an opportunity to try to ham it up for the TV folks - and
maybe the NBA ought to 'splain it to him beforehand - this could be an interesting experiment. The NFL tried this once about 15 years ago and while
it wasn'’t a howling success, it was better than having to listen to some of the bottom-feeders who are the networks' seventh and eighth string
Now that Marv Levy (graduate of Harvard sometime before the glaciers last receded) is the GM for the Bills and Dick Jauron (graduate of Yale sometime
after the invention of the transistor) is the coach of the Bills, I am prepared to pick the Buffalo Bills as the champions of the Ivy League next
At the other end of the intellectual scale, you may choose to ponder the Detroit Lions and their association with Sesame Street. For the last several
years, the Lions' story has been brought to you by the letter 'M' . Matt Millen is the General Manager and his first mistake was hiring Marty
Mornhinweg to coach that menagerie. After he mangled the job, Matt Millen hired Steve Mariucci who tried to motivate the miserable roster there but
couldn't manage to do so maximally. He was mercifully moved out and the new coach is Rod Marinelli who played the part of a martinet at his
introduction. He'll need a real miracle to avoid looking like a moron just as did his predecessors in that job which is located in Michigan. And
that is the story of the Lions brought to you by the letter 'M' .
Oh by the way, you may have heard that the Super Bowl will be played next Sunday in Detroit. If you hadn't heard, I thought you'd want to know.
There are lots of subtleties regarding the game on Sunday that you may have missed and so I wanted to bring all of you up to speed so you can really
enjoy the game:
Jerome Bettis plays for the Steelers but he grew up in Detroit. Isn't that amazing? Let me say this right now and without any equivocation. If the
Steelers lose the game on Sunday, I do not - I said NOT - want to read any sappy storylines that begin with, 'You can't go home again...' Let's be
clear, this is not the end of April in the year of Our Lord 1929; so don't be lazy; go out and get some other storyline.
The Steelers are the first team to be seeded sixth in the playoffs to make it to the Super Bowl. Now, pay attention and follow this closely. If they
win in Sunday, they will be the first team to be seeded sixth in the playoffs to win the Super Bowl. Did you get that? I thought so. We won't need
to hear more about that in the event of a Steelers' victory.
Only six NFL teams have never played in a Super Bowl - Browns, Cardinals, Jaguars, Lions, Saints and Texans. However, only Cleveland has a team never
to make the Super Bowl AND the city has never hosted a Super Bowl. Do you think someone might think it's 'cute' to bring that up with Paul Tagliabue
at his regal press conference this week? I hope not.
I'm sure that many of you have not been staying on top of the unusual purchasing opportunities that will present themselves to you this week related
to the Super Bowl. So, here are two things I'm sure you'll want to know about because they could affect how you enjoy the game:
Porn star, Jenna Jameson, will host a party in downtown Detroit on Super Bowl weekend. The cost is $500 a ticket and it will be at an establishment
called The Zoo Bar. Ms. Jameson has her own website - and supposedly her own branded line of 'adult products' - and you can purchase tickets thru
that website. The marketing slogan for the party is 'See what we have riding on this game.' I'm absolutely certain that I'd prefer not to see...
The NFL commissioned the Highland Mint to produce the coin that will be tossed for the game. (Presumably, the referees have had a full hour briefing
on what is heads and what is tails so they don't screw that up...) Now here is the real surprise. You can buy a replica of that coin. Will wonders
never cease? And the coin comes in a protective cover to preserve its mint condition and it has a certificate of authenticity and there will only be
7,500 of them cast. You won't pay $500 for this coin; you won't pay even $300: now for a limited time, you can sit this in a corner of your office
and forget about it for only $69.95 plus S&H. Check it out at www.sbflip.com.
Finally, an item from Dwight Perry in the Seattle Times:
'Eat your heart out, Robert Redford. The closest thing to The Natural in baseball these days is the San Francisco Giants' aptly-named team
But don't get me wrong, I love sports... ... ...