Friday, March 30, 2012

TOP 10 THINGS I'LL DO WITH $500 MILLION LOTTERY


10. GET A SIX-PACK. I will undergo the world's first abdominal transplant. Liposuck will
rinse the excess fat away and I'll get abs of steel like Floyd Merriweather or "The Situation".
Beach season is just around the corner, so I have to do it fast. If Bill Parcells is interested,
I'll pay for his, too. But he may need an entire torso transplant.


9. KILL BILL'S WARDROBE. OK, Belichick's hoodie was cool for awhile but so was
the slinky, pop rocks, and the Rubix cube. The Patriots head coach needs a new wardrobe
and I'll buy it. Liven it up with some festive colors by Vineyard Vines or even Garanimals.


8. SILENCE THE SCREAMERS. Pay ESPN whatever it takes to get Stephen A. Smith
and Skip Bayless off the air. The screamer and the shouter, gone. Don't kid yourselves, you
were thinking the the same thing.


7. THROW A BASH FOR THE BUSTED. I'm going to invite Dennis Rodman, Antonie
Walker, Terrell Owens, and  Allen Iverson, who collectively, blew $500 million to my
mansion, spread all my money out on the ground and say, "Boys, this is what you lost."

6. PURCHASE TRASH, THEN BURN IT. I will buy out all of the books written by John
Rocker, Ryan Leaf, Hank Haney and all the Kardashians and then burn them in the a huge
bonfire on the beaches of Hawaii, with Kate Upton at my side, of course.


5. SPEAKING OF TRASH....I'll also go to every network and make a deal to ban all
reality shows, from "Jersey Shore" to "Housewives From Everywhere". The world has
enough pollution without those mindless television shows.


4. GO ON SPORTING EVENTS TOUR. With nine of my best friends, including my
favorite photographers from NESN, I'm going to plan the  biggest sports party tour in the
world. No fur buses, though. Super Bowl, Final Four, Masters, Kentucky  Derby, U.S Open
(Tennis), Ohio State-Michigan, World Series, Tostitos National Championship. Private jet,
Madden Cruiser, and Tiger's old yacht, "Privacy". It's all good.

3. BE TOM BRADY FOR A DAY. Bribe the Patriots quarterback to have his life for
a day, all the benefits included. :)


2. PURCHASE A TENT....and then put it over the New York Jets 3-three ring circus.


1. GIVE THE REST OF IT AWAY. After I complete 10-2, I'm going to give the rest of it
to homeless shelters around the country and children's hospitals everywhere.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

DENNIS RODMAN IS BROKE


Dennis Rodman is broke and owes more than $800,000 in child support. The worm can't be
liking them apples. It's more shocking than Geraldo Rivera finding nothing in Al Capone's
vault in front of a national television audience. Rodman's agent pointed out that the former
NBA star is "extremely sick." Add your own comment to that one.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

TEBOW TIME IN NY: MOTHER OF ALL PHENOMS


New York City is addicted to superstars like most of us are to Facebook. They want to discover
them, cultivate them, and usher them down Broadway for the entire world to see. And when
the Big Apple gets something new, they are consumed with it much like everyone is with the
mother  of all social media networks. New York fell in love with Jeremy Lin but after NBA
teams discovered the Knicks guard had trouble going to his left, "Linsanity" became like
MySpace, boring and not worth our time anymore. There have been many other "phenoms"
in the Big Apple before who started out like MySpace and fizzled like it, as well. Kevin Maas
and Shane Spencer of the New York Yankees come to mind.

On Monday at noon, the biggest phenomenon New York has ever seen will be introduced by
the Jets. The organization is expecting such a huge turnout for Tim Tebow,  they've moved
the press conference to the team's indoor practice facility to accommodate everyone. Former Jet Damien Woody and ESPN analyst questioned why all the pomp and circumstance for a
"back-up quarterback." I'm not sure if Woody is on the list of former players suing the NFL
for head injuries, but he should get his cranium checked out.


Tebow is not a back-up quarterback. He is a rock star and a cult hero. He is a brand and one
of the powerful, if not polarizing figures the sports world has ever seen. Heisman Trophy
winner, two-time national champion, first-round draft pick, humanitarian, virgin, and a man
of God,  New York City has NEVER seen anything like him. Tebow was huge before he
arrived in the Big Apple, now he's sure to become one of the most recognizable figures in the
world, right up there with Ali, Jordan, and Woods. Don't laugh. The media, public relation
agencies, and marketing companies will take Tebow to a place where no athlete has ever
gone  before. Tebow is a dream for the New York Post, who creates headlines better than any
publication on the planet. This will be pure entertainment. He is God's gift to Madison Avenue,
which will make his rich beyond his dreams. Who cares if he can't hit the broad side of a
barn with a pass. Tim Tebow is a magnet. He draws people from all walks of life in all parts
of the world. You think he's big now? Just wait.

The New York Jets ownership and front-office have been bashed for trading for Tebow, saying
it will crush the confidence of Mark Sanchez and create a circus atmosphere in the locker room.
Both may be true, but so what? This is Woody Johnson's hobby. The Jets owner won the
lottery when he was born into the Johnson & Johnson family. He inherited a company that is
worth 10 times the value of the Jets.  This is fun for him. He, like Steinbrenner and Donald
Trump, know that if you want to make money, you have to invest money, and you also have
to create a buzz, especially when you're a franchise like the Jets, who have always played
second fiddle to the Giants.

Johnson really should think about changing the team's name to the "New York Kardashians",
the franchise has become all style and no substance. They've managed to get a lot attention
and  recognition despite having very little or no talent at all. Johnson loves his stars, we saw
that with his desire for Brett Favre, Mark Sanchez, and now Tim Tebow. Tebow is a
merchandising God who will sell more jerseys, t-shirts, and anything with a Jets logo on it,
in the history of the franchise. He may not be able to complete 45 percent of his passes, but
Tebow's bigger than "The Hunger Games" or "Harry Potter" and he belongs to the New York
Jets. Cha-Ching!

The Jets will use him to sell tickets, luxury suites, and PSL's. They had to pay an extra $2.5
million to acquire Tebow, but they got that back in the first day with all the merchandise they
sold. The Jets can't beat the Giants on the field and Johnson figured he had to do something to
keep them relevant and on the back pages. Tebow was it and it was a stroke of genius. Everybody
is talking about the Jets and Tebow. It's feeding the monster, which is Johnson's ego. He can
worry about what Tebow does on the field and how it's going to impact the fragile psyche of
Sanchez later. The Giants won the Super Bowl and nobody is talking about them in the Big
Apple. All Vinny from the Bronx and Rico from Staten Island want to do is call up WFAN
in New York and wax poetic about Tebow and the Jets. Woody Johnson is loving it. It's about
the buzz and the Benjamins.


Forget about Jeter, A-Rod, or Jeremy Lin, Tebow is the biggest star in New York right now.
He's the squeaky clean quarterback who visits dying kids in the hospital. He wears his faith
on his sleeve and always has his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, close to his heart. The paparazzi
will swarm Tebow wherever he goes and every female model, actress, and diva in the Big Apple
will try to win his attention. They know that if you're with Tim Tebow, the ridiculous attention
will follow. This should be interesting. New York City has NEVER seen anything like Tim
Tebow before, and Tebow has never experienced anything like the Big Apple in his lifetime.

As Giants defensive back Terrell Thomas tweeted, "Good thing Tebow is a man of God. New
York is tough. He's going to need it." I'm not sure if Tebow can walk on water, but I do think
he's capable of pitching a tent. The Jets may have him to do that for the 3-three circus that's going
to start on Monday. My oh, my. This could be the greatest show on earth.


Friday, March 23, 2012

NFL PRO DAY: BIGGEST WASTE OF TIME SINCE NASCAR


The headline on SI.com read, "Robert Griffin III's NFL Pro Day Very Impressive". ESPN
sent a crew head to Palo Alto, California to show everybody that Andrew Luck was awesome
in his Pro Day. Ron Jaworski, the ex-NFL quarterback said that Griffin III was "spectacular"
because he completed 52 of 56 passes. 52 of 56 passes! That would be an NFL record or
something. Too bad it was compiled in the comforts of Baylor's indoor facility, with RG3 in
shorts and a t-shirt, and no 325lb defensive ends trying to rip the dreadlocks off RG3.

These NFL Pro days where scouts, general managers, and head coaches travel thousands
of miles to watch these workouts that are carefully scripted by the players and their "advisors".
Only two teams really have a chance at Luck and RG3, so what the heck are the others doing
there on the companies dime? Oh, right, they're going to pull off some huge trade. The
Washington Redskins just mortgaged the farm to move up four spots to get the number two
pick in the NFL draft. The Colts have the first, both teams need quarterbacks. You do the math.


In this Pro Days, Quarterbacks throw pass patterns to the receivers they connected with
in college--against no defense. In shorts and no helmet. If anyone can tell me the last time
the NFL played shirts and skins, I'll stop right now. Pass patterns against no defense? Heck,
even Tim Tebow could complete 52 of 56 passes. If he prayed to his Lord and Savior, Jesus
Christ real hard beforehand, he could probably complete them all

I will give Luck for getting creative. He had someone chase him around the field with
a broom. A friggin' broom! I've never seen Vince Wilfork chase a quarterback around the
field with a broom, maybe a giant-sized drumstick, but never a broom. What a joke.
Throwing passes against an invisible defense. What is that supposed to expose?


Here's my suggestion. During these pro days, tell Luck and RG3 that Troy Palumalu is
going to come on a safety blitz and he's going to plant his helmet right between your solar
plexus. Ok, let's see how you're going to react, on two, ready break. Or how bout this drill.
Tell those future millionaires that their center and guard busted their assignments and Ray
Lewis and Terrell Suggs have an open lane to ending your life, what are you going to do,
on two, ready break.


Scouts, general managers, and other personnel that get paid to watch college players
for at least three years, break down film, do background checks, and attend everyone of
their games and many practices, so why do they need these show-and-tell nothings on
warm, sunny days, with no defenses invited. They are such a joke and a waste of time.
It's like going to a NASCAR event and watching these souped up cars going around in
circles.

When the NFL starts playing 7-on-7 in no helmets and no pads, these pro days will
have some importance. Somebody asked RG3 if he was nervous before his pro day, he
responded, "Nervous? Nervous about what? There's no defense over 100,000 people in
the stands. I was just throwing passes."


All you really need to know about Pro Day comes courtesy of Todd McShay of ESPN.
The NFL scouting guru said the best performance in an NFL Pro Day was turned in
by JaMarcus Russell. That says it all. Enough said.







Wednesday, March 21, 2012

TOP 10 REASONS JETS WANT TIM TEBOW



10. With back-up QB and Bible thumper Mark Brunnell gone, the Jets needed someone to
      handle team chapel on Sundays. They requested the Pope, but he's too busy trying to figure
      how to tweet from the Vactican and Jesus Christ is booked for the next 10 years with Albert
      Pujols.

 9. Wanted Tebow to preach to Antonio Cromartie the power of abstinence, or at least explain
     to the Jets defensive back, who has nine children by four different women, what it means.

 8. Needed someone for the scout team who could assimilate Patriots tight end Rob Gronkonski.
     Tebow's got the size, speed, and strength down, not sure he can dance like the "Gronk",
     especially after Super Bowl losses.

 7. Woody Johnson was jealous the Giants owners have "The girl with the dragon tattoo", so
     they traded for "the boy who gets tattooed for wearing his faith on his sleeve."

 6. Knowing that Tebow can walk on water, they want to acquire him to see if he can make
     all those corpses buried in the Meadowlands rise from the dead, thus taking the stink that
     permeates New Jersey, with them.

 5. Needed someone to restrain Rex Ryan from using bad language and doing all those weird
     things he does with his wife's feet.

 4. Realizing that Bill Belichick has a man-crush on Tebow, they want to acquire the former
     Heisman Trophy winner just to piss the Hoodie off.

 3. Rex Ryan's wife demanded the Jets trade for Tebow because she wants someone else rubbing
     her feet besides Rex or some strange dudes on the Internet.

 2.  Jets owner got caught up in "Linsanity" like a 7th-grader or half the New York-Metro area
     population, and wanted his own phenomenon and merchandise god.

 1. Want to see Mark Sanchez suffer a nervous breakdown so they don't have to cut him, pay
     him  millions of dollars, or watch him throw interceptions any longer. And the bounty on
     him didn't work.

JERRY YORK: THE GREATEST COACH YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF

You won't see a clip of him on "SportsCenter" in a rant and telling the media "that you play to
win the game!" You'll never see video of him anywhere on ESPN coming out of a courthouse
after seeing the judge about a DUI, spousal abuse, or even a parking ticket, for that matter. The
only time you Jerry York on the World-Wide Leader is when he's hoisting a trophy, and that's
become more and more frequent as his Boston College hockey team continues to steamroll
everybody in it's path.


Jerry York is a true coaching legend. He's won more than 900 games, captured national championships with two different schools (Bowling Green, Boston College (3) and he was so
good as a player, Boston College retired his number. On a sports landscape dominated by the NFL, overpaid petulant athletes, and coaches who feel the fans pay to see them, York can get
lost in the shuffle. But he is everything good and everything right about college and professional sports today. There is no ego with York, nor is there any tantrums or outlandish motivational
tactics. He doesn't fall in love with every camera or microphone he meets (see Bobby Valentine)
and his biggest fault is that he my be TOO nice. Think Mr. Rogers on skates. Imagine the Pope
with a hockey stick, and see Tim Tebow with a whistle.


York is courteous, respectful, and the most humble man in college or professional sports.
People talked about Tebow being a breath of fresh air in a sports world that had turned into
a cess pool thanks to Tiger, steroids, Michael Vick,  and every other athlete who got arrested for beating up theirs wives or busted for cocaine, well, then York is the heavy-duty cleanser who
could get out even the toughest dirt stains.

In his 18th year as head coach and 40th overall, York has built a powerhouse program the
right way. "The right way", can be an overused statement, and it's been used before in the same sentence with  Jim Tressel, Bruce Pearl, and Butch Davis, but with York, it's real. He doesn't
have to do anything illegal (not that he'd ever think about it) because he's built a program where
kids would pay HIM to play for Boston College. If a star recruit doesn't have the grades to get
into the beautiful school in Chestnut Hill, he just takes the next great player who's standing in line.


Several years ago, BC's rivals ,who are just a few quick stops down the Green Line on the "T",
built the Taj Majal to hockey. Boston University's hockey facilities were glorious and the made
the ones at Boston College look like a glorified high school hockey rink. Many people thought
this would give the Terriers a huge advantage over the Eagles when it came to recruiting. It did
not. Not even close. In fact, the gulf between Boston College and Boston University got bigger, with the Eagles rolling to more national titles, Beanpot Championships, and Hockey East titles than Boston University. BU Coach Jack Parker may get more attention than York because he can
give a better soundbite or smile just right for the cameras, but York sits way higher on the
mantle of great hockey coaches. Nobody rests above him.


York is loyal to his players and his coaches. Mike Cavanaugh, Greg Brown, and Jim Logue have
been with York longer than peanut butter has been with jelly. York trusts them, respects them,
and  gives them a long leash on teaching and instructing players, as well as in recruiting, which
as the numbers of championships the Eagles have, demonstrates just how good they are.

This weekend, BC is the number one seed in the NCAA tournament. They are the best team in hockey right now and are a good bet to win the national championship. When you see York on
"SportsCenter" hoisting the trophy, remember that he's a far better man, than he is a hockey coach
and York is the best one in the country.

Monday, March 12, 2012

PENN STATE TRUSTEES THROW DEAD MAN UNDER BUS


The trustees at Penn State are truly, truly sad. On Monday, they threw a dead man, Joe
Paterno, under the bus, again. And just to make sure everybody in the country knows who
to blame for the alleged child-abuse scandal at Penn State, they backed it up, and rolled
over the legendary football coach again.

The trustees, who have been criticized by alumni and fans of Penn State for the way in
which they handled the mess created by former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, and
the subsequent firing of Paterno, who turned Penn State into a cash cow from a cow
school, issued a statement saying that Paterno was terminated on Nov. 9, 2011 because of
a "failure of leadership."

Although, Paterno "fulfilled a legal obligation to relay an employee's accusation of
witnessing alleged abuse, Paterno should've done more," the trustees said. Oh, sure, Paterno
gave the trustees an easy out and a sacrificial lamb when he stated after he was fired that he regretted that he didn't do more, putting the entire blame on himself, even
though, the dumbest man on the planet knew that wasn't the truth. And of course, why not
throw more blame on a person who is not around to defend themselves. But that's just
become the American way, hasn't it?

It's amazing how Paterno took his share of the blame but nobody else at Penn State did.
Not the president, athletic director, or a single trustee stood up and said, "we all screwed up."
Not one. Even though a local paper said months before he was arrested that Sandusky was
being investigated on all these charges, everyone at Penn State seemed shocked when
Sandusky got fingerprinted and his mugshot taken. Pa-lease! These trustees and
administrators will tell you they are greatly educated men, yet they never saw any of this
coming. Right.

The trustees needed a bona fide scapegoat and Paterno was surely it. The man who built the
Penn State empire would be the one to take the fall. It still shocks me the trustees and administration treated JoPa as if it were he that committed the crimes that Sandusky
is being accused of.

Once it came out in the grand jury report that Paterno went to his bosses and told them
about the alleged allegations that happened in the shower in 2002, all of a sudden Paterno "should've done more."  Why the hell isn't anybody asking why the administration didn't do
more? Why have they gotten a free pass? And why the heck does everybody think that the
grand jury report is 100 percent the truth? If everything that's in the grand jury report is
the truth, why the heck do we waste time and money with a trial? Just throw those suckers
in jail! It's like Mark Zuckerberg's character famously said in "The Social Network", 'Oh, I
guess it's the first time somebody under oath never lied'.

This is another embarrassment to Penn State. And it's getting easier to see how this scandal
was allowed to happen in the first place and grow to epic proportions. The administrators
and trustees  in Happy Valley have no clue, no spine, and no guts.

Sure, keep blaming it on the dead guy when he's six feet under. "Failure of leadership?"
Where is your leadership? Why don't you quit pointing the finger at someone who's not
around to defend himself? Paterno took the bullet for a lot of people and covered the
backside of many  whom he made rich at fat at Penn State.

"Failure of leadership?" How sad is that? Just when you thought the whole story at Penn
 State couldn't get any sadder, it does. The blame game is alive and well in America. It's
 part of our culture, why should any of us be surprised?


THE EYES ARE THE FIRST THING TO GO

I had been in denial for a long time. I'd go out to a restaurant and when the menu turned into
hieroglyphics that I could not read, I just blamed it on dirty contact lenses or the dim lighting.
When the bill came and I couldn't tell what the damage was, I'd just give my girlfriend the
credit card, tell her I had to go to the men's room in the worst way, and have her sign the
check. It was easier that way, and sure as heck, less painful.

When I'd start to read a book in bed at night, I'd get the, "WTF's????! The words were all blurry
and fuzzy. I'd stretch the book out at arms length and they'd become clear. Then I'd bring them
back into reading position and the words would go out of focus. I could blame the wicked crows
feet around my eyes to more than 40 years of laughter and sun damage, but when the eye sight
starts to go, it's a tell-tale sign that you're making the turn and playing on the first hole of the
back nine of life. You're probably closer to wearing Depends than Diesel jeans and when you
have to break down and buy "reading glasses", well, the Grape Nuts and Metamucil are close to
being part of your menu.


I had put going off to the drugstore to buy a pair of cheap ones for  quite some time. I had
always made fun of my parents when they broke out their funny-looking glasses while we were
out at a restaurant and swore that I'd never wear those things. They were just not cool Well, it happened to me. Last week, just as God told Albert Pujols to take the $300 million and be an
Angel, He suggested I go to CVS to get a pair. I had to go there anyway and fill-in up on the
alcohol-laden, liver damaging cold & flu products to give me some relief from some kind of nasty thing that was penetrating my immune system. As I was strolling the aisles of CVS, I walked into
the shrine for those with bad sight. There was the rack of reading glasses, a tower  that was neat
and tight, filled with specs for those with bad sight.

Like a 17-year old buying condoms for the first time, I looked both ways to make sure nobody
would come down my lane to see me trying them on. That would be truly embarrassing. No, not
the condoms, but the reading glasses. Get your mind out of the gutter. First thing I noticed, was the
price. My late father said they'd be a couple of bucks at the drugstore, but I thought he was
kidding. They had reading glasses for 1.50, 2.00, 2.50, 3.00. I was like 'wow', that is cheap
and in this economy, that's a helluva deal. I didn't worry too much about the style, as long as
didn't pick out red-rimmed glasses that would've made me look like Sally Jessy Rafael. I found
a pair with pretty think frames that were black. Think Martin Scorsese. I was into a different
look, something that made me appear more artsy than intelligent. Does that happen in a mid-life crisis?


I got the pair I wanted and walked sheepishly went to the counter as if I was going to hand
over two boxes of Preparation H to the pharmacist. Don't you ever wonder how much those
guys are laughing when they see the items that people bring to the counter? Depends,
Preparation H, Tampons, Super Magnum condoms, Enemas,  good lord. I guess we all get
used to the pain and temporary embarrassment. We can always give them that look that says,
"Oh, it's not for me,' and then make a a bee-line to you your car as fast as Usain Bolt runs the 100-meter dash. It's all good.


As I was paying for my glasses, a sense of accomplishment came over me. I had actually
bought a pair of reading glasses. Wow.  A big step. When the cashier said, "That will be $22.14,"
I became flustered, "Whaaa? The glasses are marked, 2.50." Then the cashier looked at me
like one of my old teachers who was about to inform me that I failed the class. "Um, no, these
glasses are $21.00 plus taxes. The 2.50 is for the strength of the glasses." D'OH!

I could do nothing but laugh my ass off to mask the embarrassment. "Yeah, I knew that" I said
to myself even I though I clearly didn't. That's funny. I thought the glasses were $2.50.  Does
anything you put on your body cost $2.50 these days. Well, as I walked out of CVS I knew
that I had purchased the "Cadillac" of reading glasses. As I looked at my paper thin plastic bag,
I noticed a speck of light bouncing up and down. As I reached in, I was surprised to discover
that the glasses had lights installed on both sides of the frames. How cool was that? Who got
the bargain?! Man, I couldn't wait to get home and try those puppies on in the dark with a book
in hand. How cool was I? I bet none of my friends had reading glasses like this. I might just
 start wearing them to church to make a statement and let the cougars know that they don't have
to drop down that far in age classes knowing that I have these cool reading glasses.


Then it hit me. There's a reason you only take the glasses out to read the menu before quickly
putting them back in. There's a reason, you use them to read when you're in the comfort and
privacy of your own home. Reading glasses don't look cool on a man. (Beautiful woman is
another story.) They don't look cool even if they have lights installed on both sides of the frame.
Oh, well, at least I can see clearly again.


Friday, March 9, 2012

'D' IN DWIGHT HOWARD STANDS FOR DIVA




Dwight Howard wants to be traded from the Orlando Magic. Depending on the day, he
wants to be shipped to Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, or New Jersey. He wants to be "the guy"
on the team, the guy who gets the last shot and the one reporters talk to first after every game.
Dwight Howard wants it all, and like Veruca Salt, he wants it now, or at least by March 15,
which is the NBA's trade deadline.

Haven't we gone through this before? Didn't Lebron James create this kind of ridiculous situation? How'd that turn out for King James? He went from being a player that many of us admired for
his jaw-dropping skills and likable personality to one of the most hated athletes in the sports
world today. We liked him because he was born and raised in Ohio and was helping the Cavaliers, who before he got there, were a downtrodden franchise, as pathetic as the Cleveland Browns.
But he didn't care about finishing what he started like Michael Jordan did in Chicago. It became all about "me, me, and more me".


Dwight Howard has the "disease of me" now.  His owners have already made him a gazillionaire
many times over and they are getting the LeBron James treatment from Howard. Every town the Orlando Magic go to, Howard's teammates have to answer questions about the Howard trade talk being a distraction.

Howard doesn't care because he's addicted to attention and he's getting his fix morning,
noon, and night. There's no question that Howard is a Hall of Fame talent and he'll get another
$150 million dollars as a free-agent if that happens this summer. Now, the Magic have to figure
out if they want to trade him next week or lose him for nothing like the Cavs did when they didn't unload LeBron when the they had the chance, then watched him embarrass the city on national television with "The Decision," which turned out to be the dumbest decision LeBron ever made.


The owners of the Magic should learn from the hierarchy of the Cavaliers. Trade him now and end
the ridiculousness and charade.  Don't get embarrassed in front of millions like the Cavs did almost
two years ago. And Howard should learn from James. He should see how LeBron got everything
hewanted but respect. He should see how LeBron was voted as one the most hated athletes in
sports. He should see that LeBron can never go home again without hearing the hate. Dwight, learn from LeBron or you will suffer the same fate as "the Chosen One."

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

PEYTON MANNING AND ONE HELLUVA NIGHT

 
Ten years ago, I was working as a sports anchor/reporter for NESN in Boston. I was the beat
reporter for the New England Patriots and covered them every day for two years. To this day,
it remains one of the best jobs I've had in the business. To watch how that franchise operated
up close and personal was pretty special. It didn't hurt that they went 34-4 over two years
and captured a Super Bowl. Covering the NFL is a passion for me.

In May of 2006, I got a call from MasterCard to see if I was available to host a business outing
where Peyton Manning was going to be the featured speaker. I was like "Hell, yeah! I'll do it",
while soiling my shorts at the same time. It's one thing to be in front of the camera, it's quite
another to be in front of 800 business suits talking on stage. I had a bad experience when I was
13 years-old and public speaking has frightened me ever since.

Now, I was going to be hosting a business outing with Peyton Manning on stage in Boston.
And he was not only in the Patriots backyard, but the hotel where the business meeting was being held, was a stone's throw from Tom Brady's bachelor pad on Commonwealth Avenue. If you're in Boston as the enemy of the Patriots, chances are you're not going to be well-received,  especially if you're Peyton Manning.

I met with Manning's representatives at the hotel and they took me to meet with Manning
as if they were secret service agents for the president of the United States, the only thing missing
were the sunglassess and ear piece.When we arrived in the business room where Manning was,
I noticed that he was studying intently, as if he were breaking down a scouting report on the
Patriots defense. He had five index cards laid out in front of him on the table. The reigning NFL
MVP was preparing for his speech as if he was getting ready to play for the Super Bowl.

His managers interrupted him politely to introduce me to him. After the pleasantries, he said,
"Man, I know you from somewhere, you look really familiar." I was incredulous that he had
recognized me from anyplace, considering I had never covered the Colts or the University of
Tennessee.

Manning is from Louisiana and I used to work there and I also did a college football
recruiting show for Fox Sports Net that was seen in the Pelican State. I mentioned that and he
said, "Nah, I don't think that's it. It will come to me, but I just know I've seen you before."
Manning then snapped his fingers and said, "I got it! It was 'Bull Durham'! You were in Bull
Durham and I saw you hit that home run."


I smiled and looked at his representatives from MasterCard who burst out laughing. I had
been had. Tom Murphy, Manning's rep and a person I had known for a while, had set me
up and told Manning to ask me about that. It was a pretty funny moment.

One of the things that surprised me about Manning, though, was his size. I'm 6'3" 225lbs and
he dwarfed me. Made me look like Muggsy Bogues standing next to Manute Bol. When he
stood up, he towered over me. He's listed at 6'5" but he's closer to 6'7" and around 260lbs and
he made me feel real, real, small.

After I cleaned the egg off my face, Manning and I worked our way down to the stage where
I had to introduce him and ask him 10 questions for the audience. Manning was funny, focused,
and it was obvious that he was preparing for a television life after football. Talking on stage
with Manning was a serious adrenaline rush and I needed a cold one to wind down after the
event. I was talking to Manning's reps about going out on Newbury Street for some drinks.
They were like, "No, he's too tired."

Then Manning sauntered up to me and said with his southern drawl, "Paul, Brady said I should
go to Son-see's. Do you know where that is?" Did I know where Sonsie's was? It was practically
my front porch of where I lived and one of the best bars in Boston. We were on our way.
Manning was fired up to go out and mingle with the Boston public.

When Manning walked into the bar, jaws dropped and cellphone cameras lit up like Christmas
trees. People were texting their friends and taking pictures of Manning like he was the second
coming of Jesus Christ. And he heard from the Boston fans, who are never shy about insulting
anybody. "This is Brady's town!", "Belichick owns you." "Brady's got three Super Bowl rings,
how many do you's got?!" Manning was a good sport and took it all in. He mingled with the
crowd, told a lot of funny jokes, and acted like he was no different than anyone else. He bought
people drinks and picked up the entire tab for our party, which was well over $200. A lot of
stars think they should get a free ride, a free-meal, and get away scott-free without paying for
anything. Not Manning. He was more than happy to pay the tab---in cash.

We left Sonsie's and walked down Newbury Street to another drinking establishment. To see
the looks on the faces of people who had noticed Manning was priceless. It' was like OMG-WTF?
Yeah, WTF, for sure. It's not everyday you see Manning walking down the streets of Boston
in a suit. We closed down the next bar at 2 a.m. and once again Manning was mingling with the
fans and taking their insults along with the compliments. He was a funny, courteous guy, who
was just trying to be like everyone else. It was one helluva night.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

HANK HANEY GIVES TIGER WOODS THE WHOLE FIST


                                        

Hank Haney was a well-respected golf coach before 2004. He had schools, clinics, and according
to his biography, worked with more than 200 professional golfers. But when Tiger Woods asked Haney, who never won a tournament of any significance anytime or anywhere,  to help
reconstruct his swing, Haney became part of golf royalty.

During the six-year period (2004-10)  that he kept telling Tiger, "you da man", and "finish with
your hands high", Woods won six major championships and 29 tournaments. Haney became
popular, rich, and gained the credibility he never would have if he was coaching say, Duffy
Waldorf. He never made a 5-foot under pressure or hooked a 3-wood around a tight dog-leg
onto a green the size of a postage stamp to win a tournament. That was all Tiger. Just as in
baseball, there are hitting coaches, but none in the hall of fame. It's all the about the player.
Did you ever hear Albert Pujols credit a batting coach for his success? Exactly. Same with
golf and Tiger.                           

                                            

Like a lot of relationships, the one between Tiger and Haney fell apart. After feeling like he
was left twisting in the wind by Tiger, Haney submitted his resignation via text. And it was
over. Kind of.

In his own little way to get back at Tiger and let the world know everything about one of
most magnetic and polarizing figures on the planet, Haney has penned a book called, "The Big
Miss", which is set to be released on March 27, the week before the Masters, a tournament
that draws the biggest ratings and will provide Haney a great platform to unveil his dirt,
private moments, and the imperfections of Tiger. It's akin to a doctor releasing the
medical report of one his patients on the Internet. You trust a friend with private information
and he runs and tells the world you have everything but erectile dysfunction.

In a run-up to the Masters, Haney has released some excerpts from the book to create
some attention. In other words, he's lubing up and ready to give Tiger the whole fist. Think
Chevy Chase bending over the table in the movie, "Fletch."

                                                       

Concerning Tigers' quest to break Jack Nicklaus' record on 18 major championships, Haney
said, "There was more urgency and less fun. He never mentioned Nicklaus' record, but it
started to weigh more heavily at every major. And Tiger's actions indicated he believed he
had less time to do it than everyone thought."

Now, the majority of golf analysts and everyone else for that matter, will take that excerpt
and run with it and say Tiger was scared of the pressure. What a joke. Tiger never said those
words about 'more urgency and less fun'. That was all Haney, who of course has to make
it gossipy and juicy or like most books on sports, there will be no interest meaning no book
sales, and that's what it's all about these days, isn't it? Forget about loyalty, class, confidentially,
and respect. Dammit, if there is money to be made and a way to bring more attention to
myself, I'm going to do it. Screw Tiger and screw everyone else.

Haney also said something about Tiger wanting to be a Navy SEAL in the prime of his
golfing career. Aren't the SEALS, after killing bin Laden and rescuing two Americans in Somalia,
more popular that ever? Nice touch, Hank. All to sell a book. Is is worth it? After the smut,
smear, and sleaze, is it ever really worth it?
                                  
                                                

In January, Tiger made it clear that he wasn't happy with the forthcoming book and the
way in which Haney sold him out. "I think it's unprofessional and very disappointing, especially because it's someone I worked with and trusted as a friend. I think people understand that this
book is about money. I'm not going to waste my time reading it.

Tiger made a mistake that many of us do when it comes to friends and business. We think
think there is trust, respect, and honor. But when it comes down to the nitty gritty, most of
the people you think are your friends, are just enemies in disguise, willing to lie, exaggerate,
and speculate just to make themselves look better.

                                              

I understand that it's easy for everyone to pile on Tiger right now. The sex scandal is still
lingering and he hasn't won anything of importance in years. Reporters are challenging him,
other players are mocking him. Now we have a swing coach, a dang swing coach, ready to air
Tiger's dirty laundry. I guess stabbing others in the back is still the American way, but doesn't
this stuff get old?

"The Big Miss". The title is catchy but it's really hard to tell if that title is more about Tiger
or Hank Haney.