Monday, December 31, 2012

FEARLESS PREDICTIONS FOR 2013


Tim Tebow goes off the rails, grows his hair as long as Clay Matthews, loses
his virginity to Favor Hamilton, gets a DUI, signs with the Oakland Raiders
and proclaims that Al Davis is his Lord and Savior.


Lenny Dykstra is released from prison in January and tells the world he's ready
to make a comeback in baseball. The Los Angeles Dodgers sign him to a 3-year,
$60 million contract, pushing their team payroll to $350 million. Minority owner
Magic Johnson says, "It's all about winning. We're showing people we're serious
about buying the World Series trophy." Dykstra never plays a game for the
Dodgers after stealing Magic's NBA championship rings and attempting to sell
them on eBay.

The Los Angles Clippers don't lose another game on their way to the NBA title.

The Charlotte Bobcats don't win another game on their way to the NBA's
worst record. Team owner Michael Jordan remains optimistic, saying, "There
is light at the end of the tunnel." Yeah, except that it's from an oncoming train.

Rex Ryan puts back on the 100 pounds he lost after lap-band surgery. The
coach of the Jets issues a one-line press release stating, "I was a much better
coach when I was really, really fat."


Tiger Woods captures all four majors, romancing waitresses at Denny's,
Perkins, Shoney's, and the Waffle House.

Bobby Petrino, in the midst of a 6-0 start with Western Kentucky, is fired
after an e-mail sent to his former mistress, Jessica Dorrell, is discovered by
university officials. Petrino offered Dorrell a new Bentley to join him at
Western Kentucky as his recruiting coordinator.

Mark Sanchez signs a 3-year deal with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the
CFL. The former New York Jets quarterback says, "I wanted to to get as
far as away from Tim Tebow as I possibly could."


Rick Reilly of ESPN twitters himself to death and breaks it "first on Twitter"
before expiring.

Melky Cabrera fails another drug test and blames it on Lance Armstrong,
whom he says, tainted his meat.

Hope Solo divorces and re-marries Jerramy Stephens three times in six
months, which matches the number of times the former tight end of the
Seattle Seahawks is arrested for assault.


Lolo Jones sells her virginity on eBay for a record $12 million. Patriots
nose tackle Vince Wifork is rumored to be "anonymous" bidder who
won the right to Lolo's virginity.

Bruce Jenner is put on life-support after another round of plastic surgery
goes bad. The former Olympic medalist and member of the Kardashian
clan is released after 34 days in the hospital looking eerily similar to
Chase Bono.

Skip Bayless is jumped in ESPN parking lot and beaten to within inches
of death. Bristol Police has a list of 1,000 suspects appearing to be rich,
athletic, and famous. But they close the case for a lack of evidence.

Alex Rodriquez injures himself the day after returning from hip surgery
and will miss the entire 2013 season.

Ryan Lochte signs on to play Jeff Spicoli in the re-make of "Fast Times
at Ridgemont High", but is fired after failing to remember his lines, "Dude,
that's narly" and "Oh, Mr. Hand, I'm catching some tubular waves".


Miami Marlins win the World Series.

Happy 2013!





Sunday, December 30, 2012

REMEMBERING FRIENDS WHO PASSED AWAY IN 2012


FRED TRUMPLER  April 5
Fred Trumpler died way too young on April 5. He was just 47 when he suffered a
massive heart attack while holding one of his children in his arms. Trumpler 
died as he lived, caring for and loving others. That's the kind of person Fred Trumpler
was.

During his days at New Canaan High School, he wanted to be everybody's best
friend and would not only give you the shirt off his back, but his pants, shoes, and
coat, as well. Trumpler expected nothing in return. His friendship was unconditional. 

Trumpler loved football. Actually, lived for it. He wasn't blessed with extraordinary
talent, but he played with heart and a burning desire to win. Trumpler didn't care
about personal accolades as much as he did of being part of a great team. All he 
wanted in his football career was to say he was part of state championship team. 
Trumpler's dream came true in 1983 when New Canaan High School won it all.

I often wondered if he slept in the state championship letter jacket he received.
Trumpler wore it all the time, even as the calendar turned to late spring and the 
temperature hit the 80's. Trumpler was so proud of it and he always considered it
his greatest accomplishment in football.

Fred Trumpler was a true character in football and in life. He is missed by the 
many teammates and classmates he came across and touched in his own special
way.

ROBERT TROUP  November 12
Robert Troup was a fixture at just about every sporting event the New Canaan
Rams played. Sporting his long, camel-hair coat with a scarf draped around his
neck and often a resting place for his flowing white locks, he stood on the sidelines
and supported every team in town.

Nobody really knew what Troup did for a living and I never really cared. It added
to his character and intrigue. A World War II veteran, Troup appeared as if he
had seen it all, which he probably did. He was friends with movie stars, actors,
politicians, and just about everybody in New Canaan.

But there was nobody in that tony, little New England town quite like him. Nobody.
He was a true original. Our paths would often cross on Main street, at a game, in
church, or the coffee shop. It often started with, "Hey, devils, what's shaking?",
and  quickly progressed to frequent and hearty laughs.

I always left our meetings with a huge smile on my face and feeling better than the
moments before I had seen him. That was one of Troups many gifts: making people
feel better about themselves.


CARL BEANE  May 9
Carl Beane waited his nearly entire life to get his dream job. At the age of 50,
Beane won a competition to be just the fifth public address announcer in the
history of the Boston Red Sox. It's safe to say, there was nobody in the organization
who loved his job more than Beane.

In May, Beane had a heart attacked and died while driving just outside of
Boston. It seemed so wrong and so unfair.

Beane proudly wore his two World Championship rings and seemingly walked
on sunshine to his perch high atop Fenway Park. With great pride and respect
for his job, Beane would announce all the hitters before they strode to the plate.

Beane wasn't blessed physically, but God gave him a powerful voice that he
used to land one of the most coveted jobs in baseball. I'm sure he standing at
the gates of Heaven announcing the beautiful people like himself, when they
come walking through.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

NEWTOWN: FROM UNIMAGINABLE TRAGEDY TO UNSPEAKABLE GREED


There is no joy in Newtown. Christmas decorations are everywhere throughout
the quaint New England community, but nobody's in the holiday spirit. That was
sucked out of it on December 14 when evil showed up at the Sandy Hook Elementary 
School and changed the town forever. 20 innocent children and six selfless adults
were killed by a deranged gunman who valued the lives of others, even less than 
his own.

Two weeks after that unspeakable tragedy, parents of the victims are still in mind
numbing shock as they try to cope with the unbearable pain that comes with the loss
of a child. At a time when the entire community was about to celebrate the birth
of Jesus Christ, they had to mourn the loss of 20 children.

Just days after the last child was laid to rest, Newtown felt an aftershock that is
almost as unimaginable as the tragedy that took place in the elementary school.
Irv Pansky, a New Haven-based attorney filed a $100 million lawsuit against the
state of Connecticut on behalf of the parents of one of the children who survived
the shooting.

How sad, how so very sad. Newtown is soaking in unbearable pain. Innocent
children, with their whole lives ahead of them, killed for no good reason, and
greed rears its ugly head in the worst possible way. From an unspeakable tragedy
comes an unconscionable act. Dirt covering the smallest of graves is still fresh
as parents who didn't have to grieve the death of a child, are tossing salt on
the biggest and most painful of wounds.

Seriously, what is wrong with people?

According to the Hartford Courant, Pinsky said the damage the child suffered
from the shooters actions was immeasurable. Really? What about the damage
done to the parents who actually lost children in the massacre?

Pinsky claimed the school didn't do enough to protect the children and that
the person who turned on the P.A. system to warn everybody in the building
of impending doom, was responsible for trauma to the child he is representing.

"She was in her classroom, and over the loudspeaker," Pinsky said. "Came the
horrific confrontation between the fellow who shot everybody and the other
people. Her friends were killed. That's pretty traumatic." Yes, and so is actually
losing a child.

The floodgates are now open. Other parents seeing the potential payday are
probably lining up at the nearest law office. I'm sure they're saying, "Hey, if that
kid was traumatized, so was mine. I should be compensated, too."

Unfortunately, this despicable act of callousness and greed which comes just
two weeks after the massacre, might just cause the entire town to come apart
completely. 20 sets of parents are still shedding tears and having sleepless nights
as one couple who didn't have to experience the gut-wrenching pain of losing a
child, has dollar signs in their eyes as they sue the state with hopes of becoming
set for life. That is sure to cause anger, bitterness, animosity, and even hate.

Newtown is an incredibly small town where everyone knows each other. How
can the parents of a child who survived, look into the eyes of the parents who
lost a child? How can anyone in Newtown feel good about this or think that's
it's right. It's despicable and downright deplorable.

I never thought the Newtown tragedy could get any worse. Unfortunately, it
just did. Instead of counting their blessings. the parents of a child who survived,
want to count the ways they can become instant millionaires.


Friday, December 28, 2012

GENERAL SCHWARZKOPF COULD'VE BEEN A GREAT COACH


Norman Schwarzkopf was a general straight out of central casting. Big, sturdy,
and intimidating, he was what a leader of the military was supposed to look like.
Even his nickname, "Stormin' Norman" given to him by his aides and subordinates
for his fiery temper and in-your-face style, was perfect.

When he came out for his first press briefing on the Gulf War in 1991, I said to
myself, "With a general like that, this war is going to be over quickly. He was
part John Wayne, part George Patton.  I looked at the guy and said, "This guy means
business. He's going to kick ass and take no prisoners."

Schwarzkopf gave every American the confidence and feeling that Operation Desert
Storm would be well-planned and decisive. It was. The coalition forces drove Iraq
out of Kuwait in just 44 days.


Schwarzkopf was reportedly irate that President Bush ended the mission before
capturing Saddam Hussein and finishing the job. Americans agreed with the general,
and we loved him for it.

Norman Schwarzkopf died of on Thursday due to complications of pneumonia. He
was an American hero and a man who gave a good chunk of his life helping to protect
this country. There was nobody in the history of our military quite like him. He was
a true patriot and a tough, brilliant soldier who was a masterful strategist.


I often felt that Schwarzkopf would've made for a great coach in sports along the
lines of Vince Lombardi, Bear Bryant, and Bobby Knight. He had a temper like
Mike Ditka and the ability to game plan like Bill Belichick. He would've commanded
respect in a sports world that had gone soft and filled with prima donna's and divas
like T.O., Ochocinco, and Randy Moss. Schwarzkopf would've put those guys in
their places quicker than he did the Iraqis.

Scharzkopf would have been a dream for NFL Films with their boom and wireless
microphones. You could imagine how entertaining"Stormin' Norman" would've been
on the sidelines:

"Prime Time, what the hell are you dancing for after making a tackle?"
Cut the crap and play like a man, not like your auditioning for a spot
with Danny Tarrio and the Solid Gold dancers. Good, grief, Deion."

"Hey, T.O., get your candy ass back on the field. If you don't agree
with the program, then get the hell out of here."

"I'm tired of all this 'Manny being Manny' nonsense. We pay the guy
to hit home runs, not to be a freak show in the circus."


If he was doing an interview with Stephen A. Smith, I could've envisioned the general
interrupting the mile-a-minute mouth of the ESPN criticizer and asking, "Now, what
exactly does the 'A' in Stephen A. Smith stand for? Does it stand for what I think it
stands for?"

Man, it would've been fun to see Schwarzkopf as a head coach. But it sure was
comforting to see him in the role of  commander of our military. He was big, brash,
and bold.  We felt safe and secure with General Norman Schawarzkopf out in front.
He protected  all of us and the entire country.

Thank you, General Schwarzkopf, we are very grateful for your service
to the United States.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

MERRIL HOGE IS A TEBOW HATER AND PHONY


Merril Hoge hates anything Tim Tebow. The ESPN analyst doesn't like his
throwing motion, ability to read defenses or run a pro-style offense. In a word,
Hoge feels that Tebow stinks. That's fine, a lot of people who aren't paid to
analyze and dissect football would probably think the same thing. To each his
own.

However, Hoge has now made it personal by stating on ESPN last week that
Tebow is "as phony as a three-dollar bill." This wasn't about football, but rather
Tebow's character, which few people have ever questioned.

Hoge doesn't know Tebow and hasn't been around him for more than probably
15 minutes, tops. Is he really that educated on the life of Tebow to make that
absurd statement? Hoge should look at himself before slinging mud at the former
Mile High Messiah.

Hoge has his very own web site where he shows off his pictures, highlights
of his playing career, and pimps his own book, "Find A Way." He has pictures
of cancer patients on his site battling to beat a horrific disease, the same one
that Hoge managed to overcome almost 10 years ago. Should we say that
Hoge is exploiting those kids for his benefit? Should we call Hoge a phony and
a self-promoter? A lot of people who don't really know Hoge probably would.

Perhaps, Hoge has been infected with the hate disease courtesy of Stephen A.
Smith and Skip Bayless. They all work together in Bristol, so there's a good
chance Hoge was afflicted with the malady by hanging around those two clowns.
Bayless insinuates that Derek Jeter might be using PED's, Screamin' A. hates
everybody and anything not named LeBron or Terrell Owens, and now Hoge
has his whipping boy in Tebow.


Let's face it, Tebow has been an easy target as a card-carrying member of the
God squad. He is a Christian through and through and has never wavered in his faith.
He thanks his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ for nearly everything and his
elbow-on-knee pose called "Tebowing", gave more ammunition for his detractors.

However, for Hoge to question the character of Tebow is going way out of bounds.
In the three-ring circus that is the New York Jets, nobody knows for sure if Tebow
asked out of of that brilliant Wildcat package that offensive coordinator Tony
Sparano put together. So what if he did? The Jets seemed to acquired Tebow to
sell more  jerseys, tickets, and corral some of the attention that was going to the
Giants.

When the Jets passed over Tebow to give the immortal Greg McElroy the starting
job, Tebow had the right to be miffed. He kept his mouth shut, worked hard, and
waited for his opportunity, and then was passed over for a guy who was a seventh-
round draft pick and wasn't even active for most of the games. He felt used and
abused, and rightfully so.You'd be upset too if somebody with less talent, dedication,
and commitment got a promotion over you at work

Hoge can criticize Tebow's skills all he wants, and as a former NFL player, he
has the credentials to do it. But he can't take away what Tebow has accomplished
and the person that he is. Heisman Trophy winner, two-time national champion at
Florida and a first-round draft pick as a quarterback.



Off the field, Tebow has been giving his time to those who are less fortunate since
his high school days in Florida. He doesn't call the media for photo ops and doesn't
say, "Hey, look at me, aren't I great?" He's been a class guy all the way and has shown
remarkable poise and polish in the face of criticism and adversity. When "anonymous"
teammates ripped him in the New York papers, Tebow just turned the other cheek
and didn't make a big deal of it.

And Tebow did go 7-4 in Denver and won a playoff game last year for the Broncos.
The experts always tell us that quarterbacks are measured by wins and little else,
yet, when Tebow wins, they say, well, he didn't even complete 50 percent of his
passes. Make up your mind.

Tebow should have at least been given the opportunity with the Jets when Sanchez
played like the worst quarterback ever born. He didn't get it and made his thoughts
known to Rex Ryan. So what, good for him.

If he turned the other cheek and told the Jets to kiss his ass, good for him. He should
tell Hoge to do the same thing.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

OCHOCINCO SEX TAPE? OOOOH, NOOOO!


I've experienced some pretty bad losing streaks in my life, but they pale
in comparison to the one Chad Johnson is riding. In the last six months,
the football player formerly known as Ochocinco, has seen his life turn
into a train wreck.

Last August, while trying to earn a spot with the Miami Dolphins, Johnson
got into an argument with his wife over the receipt for condoms that was
left in his glove compartment. In the heat of the exchange, Johnson head
butted his wife, causing a gash on her forehead. He was arrested, then
on the HBO's series, "Hard Knocks", the entire world got to see him
get fired from his job. But wait, there's more.


Zico, the company that makes coconut water, which had signed Johnson
to a deal to endorse its product on July 25, dropped him like he was hot.
VH1 canceled his reality series before a single episode had aired, and his \
wife of just 41 days, filed for divorce. 41 days? That made the Kim Kardashian-Kris
Humphries 72 day union seem like an eternity.

With his legal issues hanging over him, Johnson couldn't find a team to
take a chance on him, even as many offenses were desperate for help
at wide receiver. That's what you call a bad streak.

On Wednesday, things got worse for Johnson.....I think. Johnson admitted
that a sex tape he recorded three years ago has been leaked. No way!!! This
has NEVER happened before! A leaked tape? Who on earth would do that
besides the friends of Kardashian,  Paris Hilton, Hulk Hogan, and a few dozen
others? Johnson was so crestfallen, he called the FBI, just as Hogan did, to
find out who could \possibly release his sex tape. Hogan is still waiting on
his answer. Seriously, don't you think the FBI has better things to do than
search for the guy who leaked the tape of Ochocinco's Johnson?


OK. Let's think about this. Johnson loves attention like Lindsay Lohan does,
times a 1,000. He has an ego, not to mention a large Twitter following, that
needs to be fed. Johnson is addicted to the attention. It fuels him, drives him,
and has made him to do some really stupid things...like record a sexual encounter
with two woman at the same time.

Who makes sex tapes? People who want to be discovered or those who don't
want the attention to fade away, that's who. Nobody knew Kardashian before
she did her tape that was just somehow released. Hulk Hogan? Good, Lord.
But they both got the attention they wanted. Kardashian became a household
name and Hogan got to be an Internet sensation for another 48 hours. And it
just so happens that Hogan is opening a new restaurant, "Hogan's Beach" on
New Year's Eve. Perhaps, he wanted a some advanced attention. Aren't
all these sex tapes "leaked" in advance of something? Sure seems that way.

Now, we have Ochocinco, a man so thoroughly addicted to the attention,
he will do just about anything to get it, including the "leakage" of a sex
tape. Anybody who doesn't want anybody to see a sex tape of them either
burns or drowns it. They do whatever they have to do to make sure it's
never viewed by anybody, anywhere.


Those who need attention wouldn't do that. Ever. A sex tape with a celebrity,
even in this day and age where nothing is surprising anymore, gets about 48
hours in the news cycle before it's rinsed away. That's 48 hours more than
Johnson got yesterday, which was zero.

With no team, no endorsements, and no job, a sex tape is about the only
thing that will keep Johnson relevant for another 48 hours. After that, it's
just a life relegated to Twitter and trying to keep from going to prison for
head butting his wife of 41 days.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

REMEMBERING NEWTOWN ON CHRISTMAS DAY


There are few things more heartwarming than seeing a child rip open presents on
Christmas Day. The pure, unbridled joy that washes over their faces is enough
to put a smile on your face for an entire year.

There are very few smiles in Newtown, Connecticut on a morning that we
celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The people in that small and quaint New
England town are still grieving heavily and mourning the loss of 20 beautiful
and innocent children who didn't make it to this wonderful and glorious day.

There are presents still wrapped and hidden in closets, the ones that were going to
make Jesse Lewis, Noah Posner, Daniel Barden, Dylan Hockley, and Chase
Kowalski flash their megawatt smiles and melt the hearts of their parents who had
planned so carefully for Christmas Day.


Boxes with bows and wrapped with love, containing dolls, pink dresses, and
stuffed animals won't be opened for Charlotte Bacon, Josephine Gay, Ana
Maruez-Greeene, Madeline Hsu, and Catherine Hubbard, all very special little
girls who were in the right place at the right time, except that evil showed up
and took their lives away for no good reason.

Like the others, Jack Pinto had his whole life ahead of him. He was a six-year
bundle of energy who excelled in wrestling and football. Pinto dreamed of
being the next Victor Cruz, the New York Giants receiver whom he honored
by wearing his number 80 jersey.


Today, as we celebrate Christmas, be sure to honor Pinto, Olivia Engel,
James Mattioli, Grace McDonnell, and Emilie Parker. Remember to include
Caroline Previdi, Jessica Rekos, Avielle Richma, Benjamin Wheeler, and
Jessica Rekos and Alison Wyatt in your thoughts and prayers.

Keep the parents of all these wonderful wonderful children close to your hearts.
Think of the six adults who taught, served, and tried to protect the children
from harm and sacrificed their lives trying to do so. A deranged gunman snuffed
their lives out and sucked the happiness out of a village, a town, and a good part
of our nation.

On Christmas Day, be happy, be thankful, and feel that you are blessed. But
remember there is little joy or happiness in Newtown and Sandy Hook today.
Presents won't be opened and a nightmare is far from closing.

Take five minutes to say a prayer or think about all the beautiful and innocent
children who are now angels in heaven, looking down on all of us as we smile,
laugh, and celebrate Christmas Day.



Monday, December 24, 2012

CHUCK PAGANO IS HOME FOR CHRISTMAS


The Christmas spirit seemed to be sucked out of the holiday season by the
tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. It's hard to think about celebrating the birth
of Jesus Christ when we are mourning the loss of 20 innocent children
and six caring adults.

But on the eve of Christmas, a little joy was pumped into a sports nation that
is still wiping away the tears from the pain caused by a senseless massacre
in a small New England town. Chuck Pagano returned to work for the Indianapolis
Colts, driving into the team's facility early Monday morning. The first-year head
coach spent the last three months battling leukemia, undergoing grueling rounds
of chemotherapy.

Pagano lost weight and his hair, but not his team, which provided the love and
support rarely seen in professional sports. Most them shaved their heads in a show
of solidarity for their head coach. Two cheerleaders did the same to raise money
for cancer research and show their love for a man who had worked and waited
nearly 30 years to get an opportunity to lead a team.


Chemotherapy treatments started for Pagano on September 26. In his absence,
the Colts played inspired football on their way to clinching a playoff berth, an
amazing accomplishment considering they not only lost their head coach, but
also because they had won just two games the season before. Bruce Arians
stepped in for Pagano and carried the torch  and team to the playoffs. On Monday,
the torch was passed back to Pagano, who has been cleared by doctors to
resume his coaching duties.

Understandably, Pagano was very emotional at Monday's press conference
announcing his return to the Colts. His eyes watered, his lips quivered, and
there were times when the lump in his throat kept him from talking. Pagano
thanked his wife, family, and the entire Colts organization for standing by
and giving him their love and support.


This wasn't about football, but real life. Cancer doesn't lose very often and if
it does, the scars, both physical and emotional, don't go away quickly. With
his comeback, Pagano is now an inspiration to other cancer patients around
the world. He is an inspiration to his team, giving them a lesson in perseverance
and iron will.

His appearance alone gave many the reason to smile again and help ease
the pain for millions who've been affected by the tragedy of Newtown. Pagano
smiled brightly at his press conference, knowing that he beat cancer, while
getting the chance to return to his second home and family, the Indianapolis
Colts.

TIM TEBOW GOES OFF HIS RIGHTEOUS RAILS


Few athletes are as poised and unflappable as Tim Tebow. In the face of criticism,
questions about his faith, and controversy, Tebow has always stood tall and
never flinched. He usually begins every response with a "Yes, sir" and finishes
it with a "Thank you," no matter how invasive or insulting a question is.

Teammates ripped him anonymously in the newspapers saying he was
"terrible" and can't play, but Tebow always took the high road and refused to
throw anybody under the bus even when he had plenty of opportunities
to do so. That wasn't his style or part of his Christian DNA.


Many of his answers include the phrase, "whatever is best for the team" and
the Jets quarterback has lived up to it wherever he's been from the University
of Florida, Denver Broncos, to the freak show in the New York Jets' circus.

He came to New York last year after being dumped by Denver, who found
a new Mile High Messiah who could launch missiles from his arm with pinpoint
accuracy. Tebow said all the right things on the way out of the Rockies because
after all, God had closed one door, only to open another one.

But behind the door that was painted green and white, Tebow found a
dsyfunctional team of epic proportions. Rex Ryan was the ringmaster with
big bravado and an even bigger boiler. The owner named Johnson had a Woody
for an icon like Tebow and dollar signs in his eyes when he the Jets acquired
the apostle named Tim. To Johnson, it was all about selling seats, jerseys,
and advertising for the stadium. They promised Tebow he'd be a big part of the
suped up version of the Wildcat.


Tebow was all in. But with two games left in the season, Tebow decided to go
all out. After being bypassed for the starting quarterback job in favor of the
immortal Greg McElroy, Tebow went off the rails. His attitude no longer carried
the whole, "whatever is good for the team" mantra.

According to reports, Tebow told Rex Ryan during preparations for San Diego,
he no longer wanted to be part of the brilliant Wildcat package and when the team
called for it against the Chargers, Tebow was on the sidelines looking at the chart
of plays on his wristband that was probably replaced by a note to himself that read,
"Get me the hell out of here."

If Tebow did in fact ask out of the Wildcast package, this reveals two things. One,
Tebow's words about doing "whatever is best for the team," was a bag of baloney.
And two, it underscores the softness of Ryan. Most coaches would tell Tebow to
either get out his checkbook and pay a hefty fine or just flat out suspend him
for "conduct detrimental to the team."


What do you think would happen if Wes Welker told Belichick he didn't want to
be part of a certain package? He would've been kicked off the field quicker than
you can say, "Spygate." It would never happen.

But in New York with Ryan, it does. He's more concerned about the players'
feelings that winning football games. It really is very revealing.

Did Tebow get lied to about the role he'd play with the Jets when trying to decide
between New York and Jacksonville? Probably, but that happens everywhere from
the NFL to Nabisco. Companies often say the right thing and make promises they
never keep just to get a prospective employee to sign on. Woody Johnson wanted
Tebow badly and the front-office offered Tebow a deal they couldn't keep. That's
life, that's too bad.

Did Tebow go off his sometimes righteous rails? Probably. Apparently, he had
all he could take and was miffed about a former 7th-round pick getting the nod
over him at starting quarterback. Perhaps, he finally realized he was nothing more
than a pawn in Woody's financial chess game.

Good for Tim Tebow. Good for him snubbing the ringmaster of the biggest
circus in sports. Being a good Christian doesn't mean you have to turn the other
cheek all the time.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

ACCORDING TO SOURCES...

As soon as Mark Sanchez was benched by the Jets and Tim Tebow got passed
over by Greg McElroy to be the new starter, it officially became the silly season
for the New York media.


With countless newspapers, radio and television stations, in addition to those
who earn their living on the Internet, competition is fierce in the New York-
Metropolitan area. Reporters must find a way to stand out, be relevant, and keep
their bosses happy. To do that, they create some kind of story with sizzle,
dig up some kind of dirt and use what has become the biggest crutch in the
business: according to sources.

So, of course, a New York City tabloid "broke" a story that the Jets, "according
to sources", were going to try to trade Sanchez and release Tebow after this
season, which has been an unmitigated disaster for the Jets. First of all, any
football fan with a pulse knows Sanchez is finished in New York and the
Tebow experiment had about as much success as the Bobby Valentine one
in Boston. It was a debacle of epic proportions. Both are as good as gone
"according to sources."

Trust me, there are no "sources" on this one. None are needed because this
is pin the tail on the donkey, or Rex Ryan if you will, without the blindfold. It's
like saying, according to my sources, the New York Mets are going to really
suck next year. Duh. Hello? It's a no-brainer.


This is much like the situation in Kansas City. The Chiefs are pathetic. They
can't score, can't win, and can't draw fans anymore. To the ones who care,
GM Scott Pioli is considered the anti-Christ and Romeo Crennel is a nice guy
who can't coach a lick. Their "Patriots Way" led the storied franchise into
the gutter.

Last week, some reporter "broke" the story Pioli and Crennel have been
informed "according to sources" that they won't be back next season.  Not
exactly going out on a limb, but it created a buzz even though the story didn't
have one quote attributed to anybody within the Chiefs organization. Even
more comical were the NFL and Chiefs beat reporters who shot down the
report, saying it wasn't true, 'according to sources."

If the reporter is wrong with the story, they can just blame it on his sources
being wrong, not him. And, of course, a good reporter never reveals his sources,
which 90 percent of the time, really don't even exist. But that's how journalists
protect themselves and their credibility.


The New York City tabloid didn't care about credibility with the Sanchez-Tebow
story because it was used to create a buzz, sell more papers, get more hits
on-line, and hopefully, trend on Twitter. Nothing feeds the frenzy to Jet
fans that the words, Sanchez and Tebow. Both have long been lightning
rods and any story about them, especially ones that include, "according
to sources", is going to have some juice.

This whole, "according to sources" thing,  is just media-driven hogwash
that gives some sort of credence to the story. Without it, the story wouldn't
be worth the paper it's printed on. Can you imagine if all these "insiders"
like Chris Mortenson, Adam Schefter, and Peter King weren't allowed to
use the phrase, "according to league sources"? Good grief, they wouldn't
have any stories or be able to tweet themselves to death.


Newspaper editors have always known this country is full of people who believe
just about everything it reads and the football fans, especially those in New York,
bought this hook, line, and sinker.

It's almost laughable that anybody would give the Sanchez story any credibility,
but if you listened to sports talk radio the following day and heard Vinny from
Staten Island celebrating the possibility that number six would be 86-ed out of
town, than you know it had an impact.


On Saturday, ESPN, who worships Tebow at the altar, reported that it's a "virtual
certainty" that Tebow will be in Jacksonville next year because, after all, they
got their information from "league sources", which is just a juiced up "source"
and attempt to give the story more power than if it just had the usual "according
to sources."

And really, what does it matter if "league sources" say Tebow is going to Jacksonville
when those "league sources" have absolutely nothing to do with the decision making
process for the Jaguars? It doesn't.

ESPN isn't exactly going out on a limb with the Tebow to Jacksonville story
and realize this one is like shooting fish in a barrel. Tebow is from the Jacksonville
area, the Jaguars stink, draw no fans, don't have a quarterback who can play,
and no other team wants the former Florida Gator. They don't need "league
sources" to tell them that Tebow is nothing more than the freak show at
the circus. Jacksonville is the ONLY possible landing spot for Tebow, other
than say, Toronto or Saskatchewan of the CFL.


And of course, ESPN pimped the story during the Atlanta Falcons-Detroit Lions
contest for "SportsCenter" after the game. Tebow to Jacksonville? Really, who
gives two cents? He played only a few more snaps than I did for the Jets and there
isn't a general manager in the league who thinks he can run a pro-style offense.

But hey, if "league sources" say it's going to happen, then by golly, the fans in
Jacksonville and Tebow worshippers should be at the ticket office bright and
early tomorrow morning.

According to my sources, Urban Meyer will be there to buy season tickets and
go watch his former quarterback after coaching Ohio State on Saturdays. But
according to my sources, "league sources" say that won't be any kind of NCAA
violation or anything.

ACTS OF KINDNESS AND GREAT ACTS

With the Newtown tragedy, there has been a push for random acts of kindness to
honor the 26 victims who lost their lives on December 14, 2012. In a way, it's
unfortunate that it takes an unspeakable event like the one that occurred at the Sandy
Hook Elementary School to promote acts of kindness. It's really something that
should be been ingrained in all of us.. Acts of kindness really should be part of our
daily routine like brushing our teeth and washing our hair.  It's that simple.

Here are some acts of kindness and great acts that were done by people in the sports
world in 2012


CHEERLEADERS SHAVE HEADS TO HONOR CHUCK PAGANO
To help raise money for cancer research and support Chuck Pagano, the head
coach of the Indianapolis Colts who was diagnosed with leukemia in September,
two cheerleaders of the team shaved their heads. Crystal B. and Megan M. (They
didn't want their last names revealed) sat down in a chair between the third and
fourth quarter of a game and had their long, flowing hair shaved off. Yep, just
like Demi Moore in, "G.I. Jane." The women raised $22,000 for cancer research
and showed Pagano that everybody is supporting him during his battle with the
disease.

TIM TEBOW MAKES HER DAY
A lot has been written about the play of Tim Tebow recently, but not much has
been said about his acts of kindness, which are part of his daily life. The Jets
quarterback often invites children afflicted by some terrible disease to football
games and meets with them and their entire family after to give them a smile and
words of inspiration. Last January, while he was with the Denver Broncos, Tebow
invited 16-year old Bailey Knaub, who has a rare disease that affects all her vital
organs,  to attend the playoff game against the Steelers with her entire family. Through
last  March, Knaub had endured 74 operations. 74. Think about that. Tebow certainly
has and is doing everything he can to support Knaub and make her life a little better.


JACK MCGRAW HITS PAYDIRT
Jack McGraw is a 13-year old boy with cerebral palsy. His life is spent in a wheelchair.
This past October, he was a member of the football team at the Haines Middle School
in Illinois. McGraw can't play, but showed up for every practice and every game to
cheer his friends on. In the final game of the season, with his team on the 7-yard line,
McGraw went onto the field with his motorized wheelchair. He was given the ball
and the opponents allowed him to score a touchdown.  Players from both teams mobbed
McGraw in the end zone, making for a moment he'll never forget.


VICTOR CRUZ HONORS JACK PINTO
Jack Pinto loved Giants receiver Victor Cruz. He wore number 80 like his idol
and pretended to be him during football games in the backyard. Pinto was killed
during the Newtown shootings last Friday. After hearing he was Pinto's favorite
player, Cruz honored him by writing his name on his shoes during a game against
the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday. But Cruz did more than that. On his off-day, he
went to Newtown, CT. to visit and pay respects to the entire Pinto family. Without
telling the media or posting pictures on Twitter, Cruz did a little something to
comfort a family that lost a child. Great move, Victor.


DEREK JETER MAKES A CALL
Derek Jeter has been a class act during his entire career with the New York Yankees,
but the captain made one call that elevated his stature with the people in Newtown.
Jeter took time out to call the mother of Victoria Soto, the 27-year old teacher who
was killed at the Sandy Hook Elementary. He offered his condolences to the entire
family and brightened an otherwise painful and gloomy day as they continue to
morn the death of Victoria. It was a small thing that touched their lives in a big way.


JIM JOYCE MAKES THE PERFECT CALL
Up until August 21, 2012, the career of Jim Joyce had been defined by the blown
call he made two years earlier. Joyce was at first base and incorrectly called a runner
safe, botching what would've been a perfect game for Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando
Galaragga. It haunted him. But in late August, Joyce made the best call of his life.
A longtime employee of the Arizona Diamondbacks had suffered a seizure under
the stadium before a game. Joyce calmly sprang into action. He gave the woman,
who had stopped breathing, CPR, and restarted her heart. She was saved from
dying. It was the greatest moment of Joyce's life and one that should be remembered
for rather than his blown call in Detroit. 

MY FRIENDS WHO DONATED TO CANCER RIDE
Last July, I rode 100 miles in the Connecticut Challenge which benefitted
cancer survivors and research. Through the generous donations of several friends,
I raised more than $1,100. Thank you all for your act of kindness.

Fredi Gonzalez
Dinn Mann
Noah Coslov
Tom Bova
Kara Devlin
Chad Yonker
Dee Jaykus
Kathy Mawn
Kerry Nagle
Michael Rohrlack
Laura McMaster Danforth
Dee Jaykus
Charlene Devlin
Tim Janosik
Laura Decarlo 
Kim McMahon 

Friday, December 21, 2012

MIKE ERUZIONE TO SELL OLYMPIC JERSEY: SHAMELESS OR SELFLESS


Next weelk, Mike Eruzione is going to feel like he won the lottery. The captain of the 1980
Olympic hockey team is auctioning off the jersey he wore when he scored the game-winning goal over the Soviets. Auction experts say the white, number 21 sweater could fetch more than
one million dollars. One million dollars for a piece of history. Wow.

Eruzione will also put up nearly everything he used on the way to hockey immortality, including
his stick, gloves, warm-up suit, cowboy hat, and the jersey he donned when Team USA clinched the gold-medal against Finland.


The question is, why would Eruzione, after nearly 32 years, put these items up for auction. Aren't these prized possessions that should be kept forever?

Eruzione says he's not broke and doesn't need the money. He says he wants the financial windfall
for his kids and grandchildren, which is admirable.


Don Larson, who auctioned off the New York Yankees uniform he wore when he pitched the only perfect game in World Series history in 1956, said he wanted to give the $716,000 he received
for it, to his grandchildren, as well.

Many people in society look at these legends and wonder how they could cash in on their pieces
of history? We wonder why it always has to be about money. I say, why not?

Eruzione's equipment had been pretty much collecting dust in a basement for the last three
decades. To him, it could be just that, equipment. As an athlete, his ultimate goal was to win an Olympic medal, which he did, and is not going to sell for any price.


However, if his jerseys, sticks, and gloves, are just that to him, why not get money from a
person who thinks they are important and part of history. I've never really understood people
who pay millions of dollars for a game-worn jersey, but to each his own. Isn't it just laundry
with a name stitched across it?

Ozzie Smith, the Hall of Fame shortstop, recently auctioned off the 13 gold gloves he won
during his career. Some guy paid $519,000 for them. Smith doesn't need some gold-plated
gloves on a stand to validate his stature as on the best defensive players at his position in
the history of the game. After all, he has a plaque in Cooperstown that tells everybody that.


Perhaps, Smith got tired of seeing his 13 gold gloves lined up in his trophy room and just
wanted to get rid of them. If they're around long enough, don't they become like furniture or
paintings on the wall that you don't even notice anymore?

If athletes hawk their goods for the money, so what? Larson is 83-years old and didn't make
more that $150, 000 during his entire 15-year career. If he's going to get three-quarters of a
million dollars for a uniform he no longer wears, what is the big deal? It's his life, his choice.


I can tell you this, athletes are not as sentimental about their momentous as most of us are. They
don't play for a uniform, bat, stick, or glove. They use those items to take them where they want
to go and achieve their goals. Most of these medals, awards, and trophies just end up in a box somewhere collecting dust.

I think if athletes want to sell their memorabilia, so be it. It's their life, their choices. And if
there is some fool out there who wants to give them a million dollars for a jersey or uniform
they no longer wear, good for them.

They have something that can't be bought and that's their memories of everything that went
into winning a trophy, medal, or other award, which in most cases, means a lot more than
piece of hardware.