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Newz Forum: OTHER: Danica Patrick, Michael Irvin, Marcus Vick, Paul Tagliabue, the NFL plus more...

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posted on May, 29 2006 @ 12:10 PM
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ESPN's motto - particularly when it comes to showing the NFL Draft ' seems to be 'Nothing exceeds like excess.' And so, I was pleasantly surprised on Saturday when Michael Irvin seemed to have turned down his volume about 30 decibels. Mind you, he was not shy or reticent; it's just that he did not shriek at me for all of the day. Irvin reportedly signed a new contract - or maybe a contract extension - with ESPN for something north of $1M. Maybe one of the incentive clauses in there calls for Irvin to keep the volume of his speech below that of a jackhammer. We can only hope.
 

I've looked through the draft list twice and I have not seen Marcus Vick's name in there anywhere. So much for his bravado and his pronouncement that he would just take his game to the NFL after he got tossed out of Va Tech for thuggery above and beyond the tolerance level. I wonder how his posse will like spending weekends in Winnipeg and Regina.

For all the folks out there who thrive on criticizing Chris Berman, he did a nice and cozy exit interview with Paul Tagliabue after the Commish finished announcing the picks in the first round on Saturday. That should be Tagliabue's last NFL Draft appearance, assuming that the search committee for his replacement does its job. People have said that the only stain on Tagliabue's career is that two NFL teams abandoned Los Angles on his watch and there is still no team back in that market. Last week, Tagliabue said that the next few weeks would be critical in deciding whether or not LA gets another team. Three venues are under consideration for stadiums at the moment; the Rose Bowl, the LA Coliseum, and a new stadium to arise in Anaheim on what is currently the parking lot for Angels Stadium. I'm rooting for the Anaheim locale just because it would force another confrontation between the city leaders in Los Angeles and Anaheim with Arte Moreno and that could be fun to watch.

People have also been speculating about which NFL team might move to LA. Tagliabue said last week that expansion was a possibility and that he favored expansion because 'you are setting the terms and conditions of the transaction yourself' and that means you can pick the person who will own the team and the venue and the timing and every other detail. The only problem might be that there would be a need to expand by at least two teams and that would mean finding another lucrative venue sometime soon. That might not be as easy as you would think.

Frankly, I don't understand why the NFL needs to have a team in LA. They haven't had one there for about a decade now and they are doing just fine from everything I see and hear and read. What have been the horrendous consequences to them as a result of their absence from LA? And if you are an NFL fan in LA, think about how a local team could diminish your NFL experience. As things stand now, fans in LA get to see three games each and every Sunday afternoon. If there is a home team and it sells out, they will get to see only two games on many of the Sundays when the team is playing in LA. If there aren't sellouts, then they will only see one game on Sunday afternoon. I'm not saying that a home team to root for is a detriment to local fans, but all is not positive for the local fan when a team comes to town.

And think about this from the NFL perspective. At the moment, people shriek that the NFL is not represented in the second largest market in the country. I think the shriekers miss the point. Every Sunday afternoon, the NFL is on TV three times in the LA market. With a team in LA, the NFL will be on the air - in the second largest market - only twice on eight Sunday afternoons with sellouts and only once if there are blackouts. So a local team exposes the NFL product to this huge TV market less than it is being exposed now without a local team. Maybe that’s why the NFL is doing so well without being in LA?

May is National Moving Month for those of you keeping track and so we need to keep an eye out for which coach gets fired this month so we can name him the national symbol for National Moving Month. At the same time, May starts the folderol leading up to the Indy 500. And by the strangest of coincidences, the beginning of all that folderol also coincides with the release of an autobiography by Danica Patrick. No, I'm not going to do anything with the fact that it was an 'auto' biography. But I am going to ask very pointedly:

'What has this 23 year-old woman, who races cars but doesn't win any important races, accomplished that makes her autobiography worth printing let alone reading?'

Evidently, someone must have asked Patrick something along those lines because she said:

'I'm imagining that people think it's quite funny that I have a book out about my life that was finished when I was 23.'

Memo to Danica: It's not funny at all. It is, however, pretentious, presumptuous and preposterous.

'I was involved in every little bit; I think it's very important for me, especially for me having a book about my life. I want it to be correct and accurate. I've read every word in the book a few times. That's important.'

Memo to Danica: If you wanted to be 'involved' and assure accuracy, you might have tried to write your autobiography yourself instead of having it ghosted. That's important too.

Thinking about Danica Patrick and the Indy 500 just brought to mind one of the great lines from the late Jim Murray. His opening line for a column about the Indy 500 once was:

'Gentlemen, start your coffins.'

Finally, here's a good line from Norman Chad in his syndicated column, Couch Slouch:

'I just read in the Los Angeles Times that former Dodgers great Steve Garvey owes countless creditors yet still lives a luxurious lifestyle and gives motivational speeches about integrity. Tell me this guy doesn't have 'United States Senator' written all over him.'

But don't get me wrong, I love sports... ... ...

Curmudgeon




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