I know there shall be a virtual tsunami of columns and commentaries about the new NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement over the next several days.
Here's my very brief analysis of what it all came down to. No one got everything that he wanted. At the end, the owners finally brought themselves
to the point where they realized that they could not maximize their pleasure in all this and they moved to the point where they sought to minimize
their regret. And that's how the deal got done.
While on the subject of the NFL, let me pose a question here. Is anyone truly shocked to learn that Ricky Williams ran afoul of the substance abuse
policy? The word is that he did not get caught with marijuana in his system and that he did not get caught with some 'recreational street drug' in
his system, but he did flunk a test. So, is anyone shocked? Frankly, I'm not. On the 'Surprise-O-Meter' that ranks right next to news that Terrell
Owens got into a spat with another teammate and/or that a group of British soccer fans showed up for a match in a state of inebriation...
Talking about things that are of no great surprise, Lawrence Phillips is being held on $350,000 bail and has been ordered to stand trial in
California. You may recall that Phillips got into a sandlot football game in LA a while back and became 'miffed' at some of the youths in the game.
So he allegedly left and returned in a Honda and ran over about three of the kids. In ordering Phillips bound over for trial, the judge said what
needed to be said about Lawrence Phillips:
'His conduct displayed a certain stupidity and what he did was clearly an assault on these young boys. The salient part of the evidence was that the
defendant was in a snit when he left the field.'
Given Phillips' past, it seems that he has 'been in a snit' many times before and that he reacts to 'being in a snit' with violence. He once dragged
his girlfriend down a flight of stairs by the hair if you recall. Maybe Tom Osborne - now a distinguished member of Congress - could explain how his
guidance and handling of Phillips' outbursts were so effective in curtailing such behaviors? It should be a very short speech from Congressthing
According to the Philadelphia Daily News, the Philadelphia 76ers - in cooperation with the police department - are offering a pair of tickets to a
Sixers game to anyone who turns in a handgun to the police. They did something like this before several years ago offering Sixers jerseys and
warm-ups for guns that were turned in. I think the current offer makes a lot more economic sense for the team. They are playing to less than 65%
capacity in the Wachovia Center so those tickets are essentially of no value to the team. This program will give them some positive publicity and put
a few extra fannies in the seats at no marginal cost. However, the NBA seems to be trying mightily to distance itself from any kind of 'gangsta
image'. Somehow, if a thousand guns actually get turned in for tix, I have a feeling that at least a few of them will come from folks with unsavory
backgrounds. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out...
I have to admit that the first thing I thought of when I read about this 'tickets for guns exchange' was less than charitable. I was a bit surprised
to read it because I was pretty sure that players routinely received comp tickets for the games...
A while back, the Blazers fined Sebastian Telfair for bringing a loaded handgun onto the team’s charter flight. Telfair claims he accidentally
picked up his girlfriend's bag instead of his own and that's why he didn't know there was a gun inside. I'm willing to believe that statement but it
does make you feel very sorry for his girlfriend. After all, he put her in a situation where she had to go about her daily business totally unarmed.
Imagine the horror...
The New York Knicks have not exactly set the league on fire now that they have Steve Francis and Stephon Marbury as their guard tandem. At one point
Larry Brown opined that Francis and Marbury might be the 'next coming of Frazier and Monroe' for the Knicks. Actually, I think that Knick fans would
settle now for them being the next coming of Donnis Butcher and Wataru Misaka...
The folks who run the LPGA and the PGA have forever forfeited any claim they may have had that they are custodians of the grand traditions of golf.
They are mercenaries and nothing else. The LPGA found a way to install Michele Wie as the #3 women's golfer in the world - ignoring the minor fact
that she hadn't actually won any professional golf event at the time. She may indeed be the third best women's golfer in the world - maybe even the
best - but if you have a ranking system it has to be based on performance and not potential. And especially it can't be based on 'marketing
potential'. At the moment, Michele Wie leads the LPGA in things like 'attractive smiling' and 'publicity getting'. Of course she's smiling all the
time; after all, she gets to play in men's PGA events by invitation while everyone else is forced to qualify for the events.
The Indy Racing League is about to begin its season with a race in Homestead Florida. For those of you searching your memory banks, the IRL is the
racing organization with Danica Patrick as one of the drivers. Stop 100 people on the street today and ask them to name one other driver in the IRL
and you'll be fortunate to find five people who can. Danica Patrick and Michelle Wie are in the same boat; they get all the hype and all the
publicity in their sports but they haven't won anything yet. I'll be shocked if Danica Patrick doesn't win a race this year even if the IRL folks
have to disqualify drivers ahead of her for failure to signal while changing lanes in order to make that happen.
Remember when Martha Stewart was on trial and sent to jail for a couple of months for not being fully frank and candid with investigators about some
possible securities transgressions? Now think about what has been reported about Barry Bonds and his behaviors with regards to steroid use and match
that up with his purported testimony under oath that all he did was take pills he thought were flaxseed oil and rub on some skin cream. Either Bonds'
testimony is perjury or all the other stuff that has come to light is totally false; the two sets of 'facts' cannot both be true. So, how come Bonds
hasn't been called to account for this discrepancy yet? If you say the reason is that the allegations made in the upcoming book, Game of Shadows, are
all bogus, then tell me why Barry Bonds has not already filed a libel suit against the authors and the publisher and Sports Illustrated for putting
all those lies out there. Hmmm... ..
Finally, a note from Brad Rock in the Deseret Morning News:
'Barry Bonds said over the weekend that he might retire after this season. Then he said he might not.
'He said he wasn't proud to be a ballplayer right now, then told MLB.com he felt as though he could play another five or 10 years.
'I'm tired of all this crap going on. I want to play out this year, hopefully win, and once the season is over, go home and be with my family,' he
told USA Today. 'Maybe then, everybody can just forget about me.'
'That should be easier than he thinks.'
But don't get me wrong, I love sports... ... ...
[Edited on 12/3/06 by TRD]