Tuesday, May 28, 2013

JEFF BAUMAN & CARLOS ARREDONDO DELIVER A FEEL-GOOD MOMENT

 


Let's face it, our country has been drowning in tragedy and scandal. We've been shaken
to the core by senseless deaths and destruction. Since mid-December there has been Newton,
Lance Armstrong, Benghazi cover-up, Boston bombings, Cleveland abduction case, and
the Oklahoma twister. Throw in Manti' Teo, Rutgers, and the trial of Jodie Arias and
you have a lot of Americans who feel so dirty, they are in need of a good lather, rinse and
repeat.

On Tuesday night, there was a moment that put a stick of deodorant on the United States
and made it feel fresh again. Jeff Bauman and Carlos Arredondo, who are forever linked
because of the Boston Marathon bombings, threw out the first pitch at Fenway Park before
the Red Sox-Phillies game.


This was a spine-tingling, raise every goose bump on your body moment. It gave me chills,
and I'm not afraid to admit, a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye. Bauman, who lost both
his legs in the bombings, delivered a fastball to Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and triumphantly yelled out, "that was a strike", with a mile-wide grin on his face. It was more than
a Kodak moment. This rinsed a lot of the ugliness that we've seen and felt over the last five
months. The pure joy on Bauman's face made a lot of our pain and problems disappear, albeit
temporarily.
 
 
Here was a man in the prime of his life, missing his legs, acting as if he's the happiest guy in
the world. And Bauman probably was. Throwing the first pitch in the cathedral of baseball in
front of 38,000 fans and a regional television audience that absolutely adores you, could be
the highlight of his young life.

Bauman is a symbol of courage, perseverance, hope, and happiness. Yes, happiness. The guy
had his legs blown off and he has the strength to forge ahead with a laugh and a big smile on
his face. How great was that pitch? How great was that moment?


The man who saved Bauman's life, was also honored by the Red Sox and all of New England.
Arredondo, the man in the cowboy hat, who like Bauman,  also lost two of something very
precious to him:  his two boys. One was killed fighting in Iraq,  the other took his own life
because he couldn't deal with the pain of losing his brother.

Arredondo was at the marathon watching a few runners who were honoring his sons. He had
a smile on his face, but the pain, must still have been unbearable for Arredondo to endure.
When the bombs went off, it would have been easy for him to scramble for safety like thousands
of others did. Nobody  can blame anybody for a decision they make during sheer panic and
terror. While many people were thinking when the next bomb would go off, Arredondo was thinking about whose life he could help save.


After running down and removing some fencing from a section near the finish line, Arredondo found Bauman with his legs almost completely shredded. If you've seen the pictures, you
know just how gruesome it was. Rick Pitino and the Louisville basketball team turned away
from the compound fracture of the leg of Kevin Ware suffered during the NCAA tournament.
They didn't rush to the aid of a fallen teammate, instead, they waited for someone else to help
him when he was writhing in mind-numbing pain.

Arredondo must have been beyond horrified when he saw the carnage on Boyleston street.
We all could understand if he froze, backed off, or even just ran away. That scene was gruesome.
With death and terror in the air,  Arredondo calmly applied tourniquets to what was left of Bauman's legs to help stop the bleeding.


He then put Bauman in a wheelchair and rushed him to the first aid tent. A photographer
snapped what has become an iconic picture, capturing both the fear and courage of two men
who didn't know if they were even going to live to see it. There was Arredondo holding the  femoral artery in his hand and pinching it so Bauman wouldn't bleed out. Think about that. He
had a long artery in his hand while rushing Bauman to safety. The man is the definition of a hero.

As I've said many times before, the city of Boston should erect a statue depicting that scene
with Bauman and Arredondo next April before the 2014 Boston Marathon. It should be
placed right in the precise spot where the first bomb went off. Arredondo wheeling Bauman
with the artery in his hand is the defining moment of the Boston Marathon after the bombs
went off. It symbolizes everything that is right in our country: caring for others without worry
about what happens to yourself.

Tuesday's first pitch was just a small reward for Arrendando who should never have to buy
a meal or drink in Boston. He should become a cult hero as he defines what Boston Strong
is all about. Same goes for Bauman, because after all, the two are linked forever.

This was a great moment for me and it's something I won't soon forget. With all the negative
news suffocating our world, I had forgotten what a feel-good could do for the soul. Thank
you Jeff Bauman. Thank you Carlos Arredondo.
 
 
 
 

Monday, May 27, 2013

WHEN IS THE PAST REALLY IN THE PAST?



When does the past really become the past?

Should the bad things Julie Hermann allegedly did 16 years ago destroy her future?

Why do people find skeletons in one person's closet while looking away from the ones
in another persons?

We're often told to live in the present and bury the past. But how can anyone do that
in a social media world where those who want to tear you down, air your dirty laundry
for everybody to see, even if it got cleaned up during the past decade?

There aren't any rules about dealing with past transgressions and how it can affect your
future. It all seems to depend on who you are. Rick Pitino had a big dirt stain on his reputation
thanks to allegedly getting a woman, not his wife, pregnant. But Pitino won a lot of basketball
games, so that stain pretty much disappeared.


Mike Price pretty much vanished in 2003 after an one alcohol-fueled mistake cost him his
job as the head football coach at Alabama without ever coaching a game..He took a stripper
back to his hotel and she took  him for about $1500 worth of charges on his credit card. He
spent the next nine years in  relative oblivion, coaching at UTEP, never to be mentioned again
for a job opening at a national powerhouse.

Price has to live with that for the rest of his life. He'll always wonder how his life would've
been different if he didn't get out-of-his mind drunk. Should Hermann have to live with a mistake
that she made 16 long years ago, too?

That could've been Pitino if his employers cared more about character and setting an example
for young people than winning and the almighty dollar. When the incident happened, people wondered how Pitino  could go into a recruit and deliver his message to his players? How
could he talk about character and doing  the right thing when he cheated on his wife and
embarrassed the school. Because Pitino is a basketball genius, that's why. Maybe Tiger Woods
was right, when he said, "Winning takes care of everything.
"

Hermann might be on the road to ruins if Governor Chris Christie throws his weight around
and puts pressure on RutgersTHE state university of New Jersey to fire Hermann. She has
been accused of abusing her volleyball team at Tennessee 16 years ago. If Hermann had fudged
an expense report, that would be one thing, but she allegedly abused players just as Mike Rice
did at Rutgers, which cost him his job and created a mess of biblical proportions.

A reporter from the Star-Ledger went digging and found some major dirt on Hermann in
the form of a letter that was allegedly signed and written by 15 of the players Hermann coached.
But when players have  the freedom to write a letter without fear of repercussion or challenge,
they can be as bold and creative as they like. Every prosecution team in the country would be undefeated if the defense wasn't allowed to challenge its argument, wouldn't they?

The fact is, 80 percent of college athletes hate their head coach. I played at UNC in the early
80's and our coach waged mental warfare on us every single day. He stole a significant part
of our college experience and many of us ended up hating the game we had loved so much.
He tried to control every aspect of our lives and held the fact that he was the one who determined
whether or not your scholarship was renewed, over our heads. You either deal with it or move
on. Nobody thought of writing a letter to get the coach removed, as the players under Hermann
did when she coached volleyball at Tennessee.

But Hermann sure has plenty of support from her former employers at Louisville and Tennessee.
Hermann has admitted she made some mistakes early in her career. (Haven't we all?) If she
cleaned up her act and became great in her job as an administrator instead of a coach, should
she have to pay the price 16 years later? Would any of us like to lose our dream job because
of something that happened more than a decade ago? 16 years is a helluva long time, don't you
think?

Blood has been drawn and the sharks are circling. A few state officials are calling for the head
of not just Hermann, but Rutgers president Robert Barchi, as well. Apparently, they don't
want Hermann's past, smearing the school's future. This isn't missing out on the fact that new basketball coach Eddie Jordan never graduated from Rutgers. This is failing to vet the past of a person hired to clean up the athletic program.

Hermann, unlike Pitino, isn't the best at what she does and can't win a national championship
which would sweeten the bank account at Rutgers. Her past is not really in the past and it
appears that it might be costly to her future. It's not fair, but we all know by now, that life is
not fair.

Why is it that everybody seems to 'misremember' that Andy Petitte was named in the Mitchell
Report along with Roger Clemens as a PED user. But since Petitte is a Christian and seemingly
a nice guy who always says the right thing, rarely does anybody bring up his past as PED user.
They mention him as a possible Hall of Famer, too. Yet, everybody remembers the past of
Clemens and as an accused user and think of him as a bully who always got his way. They say
the chances of him ever getting enshrined in Cooperstown are slim and none.

I guess when it comes to the past and 'misremembering' it, it really just really depends on who
you are.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

ROBBIE ROGERS IS THE REAL PIONEER, NOT JASON COLLINS


When Jason Collins, a little-known, little-used NBA player announced he was gay on March
6, the media pretty much fell  all over themselves in celebrating Collins as the first active athlete
to come out in one of the four major professional sports. This was big, they said, as if a stampede
of gay athletes would come rushing out of the closet after Collins' announcement.

Much like the case with Manti' Te'o, if the mainstream media had done a little homework, it
would have discovered what there was to be discovered. Lenay Kakua didn't exist and a gay
athlete in one of the four major pro sports already did. Glenn Burke came out of the closet
during the late 70's with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Inside Sports, the now-defunct magazine,
produced an in-depth feature in 1982 on Burke being gay and the impact it had on the Dodgers.
Ooops.

Plus, there was some question of just how 'active' Collins really was. His season was already over
when he made the announcement and he was a free-agent. In addition, he only played in 39 games
of an 80-game season, and didn't even average a point a game. Collins was far more invisible than
truly 'active'. Because Collins is a 34-year old journeyman with 13 years of experience, there's a
chance that he might never be 'active' in the NBA again.

On Sunday night, Robbie Rogers of the LA Galaxy is going to be an 'active' gay professional
athlete when he takes the field. The New York Times, in an article about Rogers this morning,
wrote that Rogers is "poised to become the first openly gay male athlete in North America to
compete in a professional sport." I guess it missed the Glenn Burke story. Perhaps, they, like
so many others in the media, don't think it counts because it never appeared on Twitter,
Facebook, or the Fox News Channel, all of which didn't exist back then.


Burke was gay and he was open to his teammates about it. In the Inside Sports, Dodgers GM
Al Capanis, concerned about the team's pristine image, offered Burke to pay for his wedding
if he got married  Burke responded, "You mean to a woman?"

Rogers, who was playing for Leeds United in Europe, annnounced in his blog last February
that he was gay then abruptly retired. He received tremendous support from players and fans
around the world. Rogers is only 25-years old, and unlike Collins, still has a lot of tread on his tire and is good enough to have a future in the game.


That's what Rogers wanted, so he's taking the field just a few months after announcing he's gay.
Collins can enjoy the off-season with his celebrity as the first 'active' male athlete to come out
in one of the four major professional sports, even though he wasn't 'active' when he made the
announcement.

Collins may never have to face what Rogers will on Sunday night and beyond. Rogers said
he is prepared for the heckling, etc. He also admitted that he feared fear itself in the New York
Times articles.

"I don't know what I was so afraid of," Rogers said. "It's been such a positive experience for me.
The one thing I've learned from all of this is being gay is not that big of a deal to people. ..."


I think he's right, especially in this day and age where people have there own things to worry
about like their next paycheck, the economy, and taking care of their families. I ran in the
Brooklyn Marathon last Saturday with 21,000 people. I looked around and asked myself, "Do
you think  anyone of these people care about Jason Collins being gay?" Not a chance.

Is everyone OK with being gay in our society? Hardly. There have been more than 25
hate crimes against gays in New York City this year. There are always going to be racists, bigots,
and haters no matter what. That's never going to change. We all know people who are. But
it's a small percentage of our population.

Rogers will become the first active openly gay player in the MLS and it will be a great moment
for him and other gays. He appears to be young, strong, and mentally tough to handle what
some people in the media think will follow him.


Rogers is the one who is showing great courage by coming out of retirement to be do what he
loves to do and make a statement. Collins could be going into retirement shortly and may never
have to face any kind of abuse from becoming the first 'active' male in a professional sport to
come out as gay.

The only one who is active now is Robbie Rogers and he is a true pioneer. He's the first openly
gay player in the MLS. Soccer might not be one of the four major professional sports in our
country, but it's pretty darn popular across the globe.

Congratulations to Robbie Rogers. He is setting an example and he'll be truly 'active' when
he does it.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

CRAIG SAGER CAN'T HANG WITH DON CHERRY


On Friday night, Craig Sager broke out another not-made-for-TV ensemble from his closet.
The TNT sideline reporter must have dressed in the dark while nursing a hangover which
is something, thanks to the Internet, we've seen before. There was a collage of pinks, reds,
and rasberries, encased by vertical and horizontal stripes, making for a, "what the...." hell
moment.

This is Sager's schtick. I can't ever remember his breaking a story or telling the viewers of
anything of significance, unless you consider Dwayne Wade going to a high school prom with
a local teenager, big news. Sager, who entered the national picture in 1974 when he was
a cub reporterand just about greeted Hank Aaron at the plate when the Hammer set the all-time
home run record, has put the "color" in his colorful wardrobe.


I don't know who designs his  outfits, nor do I care. They are intended to do one thing: get
Sager attention and make him  standout from the two million sideline reporters who say
nothing, ask nothing, and are basically good for nothing. Television is a copycat business,
where people steal ideas, fads, and styles. Sager's style is a flat-out rip off  from Don Cherry,
the NHL commentator and legend for the CBC and "Hockey Night in Canada".


When it comes to wild and wacky outfits, Cherry has been on top for a long, long time. He
is often imitated by Sager, but never duplicated. The former player and coach set the standard
years ago, and no matter how hard Sager tries, he'll never displace Cherry as the best/worst
dresser on television.



Cherry, a crusty, sturdy, and distinguished looking man, can get away with wearing outrageous
outfits. When it comes to hockey, he is old-school, a commentator who thinks bare-knuckle fighting
is part of the game, and excessive celebrations are not. And besides, he just looks a lot cooler
than Sager in his outfits. Cherry is more likely to be in the middle of an alley-fight, while Sager
looks like an 8th-year senior still trying to make it into a college fraternity.

AJ CLEMENTE: TOP 10 THINGS HE SAYS TO FORMER CO-WORKERS ON LETTERMAN


          10. Thanks for putting my meltdown on YouTube so quickly. Without your help I
           never would've met Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Kelly Ripa, Michael Strahan,
           Tom Brokaw, and David Letterman on the same day. Wow! This is awesome!
 

  9.  The New York Jets are going to let me try-out for quarterback tomorrow. Mark Sanchez
  is out.
 

                                 8.  I'm really going to miss those winters in North Dakota.


     7.  I left a bunch of coupons to Sonny's BBQ in the top drawer of my old desk. Help yourself.


                        6. Just a heads up. I un-friended you on Facebook. No hard feelings
.
 
 5.  My producer just cued me and my microphone is hot. But this is big time, the show is
  on seven second delay. If I drop an F-bomb, they can beep it out. Listen up, and listen up
  good. Go F-beeeeeeeeeeep yourself.
 
 
  4. This is unreal. I couldn't use the community earpiece at the station that night. There was
  too much ear wax on it after it was used by five other people. Letterman gave me my own
  earpiece so I  can actually hear the producers right now screaming that I have 10 seconds to
  wrap this segment up.

  3. I'm meeting with my reps from the William Morris agency and I'll be a little busy. Don't
  call me, I'll call you.


                                        2. Happiness is Biscmarck in my rearview mirror.


                 1. You were right. Things do happen for a reason. How do you like me now?
 

JOE SOLIMINE: KING OF PELHAM DIGS IN AGAINST CANCER

 
In an "all about me world", Joe Solimine has always been about helping others. For more than
40 years he has been the pillar of Pelham, New York, giving his time, money, and giant-sized
heart to support a close-knit community that's just a Ruthian shot away from the Big Apple.

Solimine is the Babe Ruth of Pelham, a man who seems bigger than life with his 6'3' frame,
booming voice, and magnetic personality. He's the kind of person you meet once, and remember forever. Solimine is the former town supervisor and has been on the board and nearly every committee with Pelham's name of it. He is a remarkably unselfish man who gives, gives, and
gives some more to ensure  that everyone in his town is  happy and taken care of.


Now, the people of Pelham are trying to take care of the man who has given them so much. In
February, Solimine was diagnosed with leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant. The town
has organized bone marrow drives to help find the match that Solimine and others need. There
is an 80 percent chance of finding a bone marrow match for Solimine. The percentages of ethnic minorities are significantly smaller.  Being the selfless man that he is, Solimine has started a fundraising drive to help those who have been affected by the disease. He has produced  teamsnooks.com, a web site that supports those in need of bone marrow transplants.


Solimine was a legend long before he arrived in Pelham. Playing high school baseball in the
shadows of Yankee Stadium, he was a lot like Babe Ruth, a big left-handed hitter who could belt
tape-measure shots with a flick of his powerful wrists. He signed a professional contract with
the Pittburgh Pirates at just 17-years old. and reached AAA before retiring at the age of 26.
Solimine brought his love of baseball to Pelham where he was the general manager and coach
of the Pelham Mets. He often suited up in his 50's and still wielded a dangerous bat.

Today, Solimine is stepping up to the plate and digging in against a dangerous disease. Knowing
Solimine as I do, I have little doubt that he will once again hit a home run and beat leukemia,
while helping others.

For more on Solimine and his fundraising efforts, please check out teamsnooks.com.


Friday, May 24, 2013

CRAIG SAGER, WTF IS THAT?


Seriously?

I was having dinner with a friend at the Rye Bar & Grill in New York when I saw something that
almost made me cough up my black linguini with shrimp. Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals
was on TNT and the cameras cut to Craig Sager, the longtime sideline reporter known for his wild
and wacky blazers.

As I looked up to see the ensemble Sager was sporting, the linguini spilled out of my mouth,
leaving me enough space to scream out "WTF?! Sager pulled the most god-awful blazer
out of his closet and frightened viewers everywhere. It was a red, black, pink, and striped
concoction that made Jodie Arias look normal. Even for Sager, this ensemble was flat-out crazy
looking.

It kind of looked like one of those cinnamon sticks that you see around Christmas time, except
this thing had a real funkiness to it. Stripes were going north, south, east, and west. Throw in a
an off-pink shirt with white piping and a raspberry tie and you have an outfit that would make
the boys from "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" go crooked.


I give Sager points for at least trying to be creative and original, but his outfit is just a train wreck.
I don't how see how his wife, mother, producer, or director thought it would be a good idea to go on
the air like that. Oh, sure, I get the whole social media, Twitter and trending thing, but...but...but
this is a bigger eye sore than the Big Dig that plagued Boston for many years. At least, viewers
only had to put up with Sager's swizzle for a few minutes during the course of a three hour game.

Maybe Sager is just trying to wrestle the title away of most outrageous outfits from NHL
analyst Don Cherry. Cherry is the original when it comes to spectacular blazers and ensembles.


But I think Sager has a ways to go before he overtakes Cherry and, shall I say, his hideous blazers.

BRIAN BILL IS STILL MY HERO


Nearly five years after his death, Brian Bill is still very much my hero. Bill was one of 30
SEAL's riding in a helicopter on a mission in Afghanistan in 2011 when the Taliban brought
it down with a rocket-propelled grenade. Everyone on board died.

Bill grew up in Stamford, CT, which bordered my hometown of New Canaan. I never met
him but I was fascinated by his story and the type of person his friends said he was.
Triathlete, mountaineer, pilot, engineering degree, Navy SEAL---Bill squeezed more out of
his 31-years on the planet than most people do during their entire lives.


Bill had a megawatt smile and was a magnet to his friends. Everyone loved Brian Bill and wanted
to be his best friend. Heck, I never even met him and I wish he could have been my BFF. He just
looked so cool. Hollywood cool.

Since his death on August 6, 2011, the people who were touched by Brian Bill have done a great
job  helping to keep his legacy and memory alive. Athletic events have been named in his honor,
a Facebook page has been created for him, and there are plans in place to have a statue constructed
for him in Stamford, CT. In September of 2011, I dedicated the Toughman Triathlon to one of
the toughest guys I never knew. I competed with his name and the date of his passing on
my shirt.

Before and after the race, I was asked about Brian Bill and was more than happy to tell his story.
He fought for our country knowing the percentages were extremely high that he would pay the
ultimate price. Bill was a Navy SEAL who performed the most dangerous of missions, trying to
vaporize terrorists on their home soil. He would often make the impossible become possible,
rescuing U.S. soldiers behind enemy lines where assault rifles, IED's, and rocket-propelled
grenades were the weapons that could send a SEAL to a painful and gruesome death.

It was an honor for me to tell his story and explain the type of person he was. I know, I never
met him. But you didn't have to meet Brian Bill in person to know about his character. It jumped
off the page of his pictures. Look at the ones of Bill with his family and friends and you can
tell he was the life and most popular person at the party.


Most of all, Bill was a SEAL, the toughest and most courageous of all military trained soldiers.
He knew he'd never be on the cover of magazines, get featured on CNN, or get a ticket-taper
parade for his accomplishments. That's the drill when you're a SEAL. Every great accomplishment
is expected and never made known to the public.

Bill did so many great things for our country that we don't even know about. Most of it is classified
and will stay that way. Bill liked it that way. He didn't get into the service for medals or the glory.
Bill just wanted to defend its honor and help protect it while most everyone back in the United
States was sleeping comfortably in their own beds.


I wrote a few articles after his death and I was touched by the response I received from his
friends and members of his family. When I was competing in a swim meet a few summers
ago, Brian's aunt was in attendance and introduced herself. It was a great moment for me
as I got to learn even more about the person Brian Bill was. Brian Bill is still very much an
inspiration to me.

I realize that he is just one of the more than 4,000 troops killed in the Iraq/Afghanistan wars.
Every one of them who fought and died for our country deserves the highest of honors and
universal respect and admiration. On this Memorial Day, I hope people take the time to
remember and thank them properly. They made the ultimate sacrifice fighting for our freedom
and protection.

Memorial Day has become far more important to me because of Bill's death. His sacrifice
really brought out the appreciation I have for him and all the soldiers who have been killed
in action over the years. They are a symbol of courage, bravery, commitment, and dedication
to our country.

On Memorial Day, please remember Brian Bill and all the fallen soldiers who made the ultimate
sacrifice for our country.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

SIAFA LEWIS: NOW, THE COOLEST MAN IN CLOTHING.



                                  He's the only man who can make a pink scarf look manly.

                      When he tucks a handkerchief in his breast pocket it says, "thank you."

                       As he walks into his closet, his wardrobe screams, "we are not worthy!"

                          He's been blessed with so many talents, there is a sign on his back
                                                    that reads, "Standing room only."

                                His picture in the dictionary falls under "Jack of All Trades".
                            However, Webster's has updated it to read: "master of them all."


                        Siafa Lewis is not the most interesting man in the world, but he was
                               the most versatile and fascinating one in local television.
 
 
         But life happens and things change. Lewis was laid off from his job with NBC nearly
         10 months ago. He has a beautiful wife and two gorgeous kids, payments to make,  

         and suddenly, he's out of a job. That's just life in television where people come and our
         let go as if  they are just meat on the hoof, like NFL players. Executives are ruthless,
         co-workers even harsher. It's a dog-eat-dog world and Lewis knew that going in.
 
         As of Wednesday, Lewis is out of that world, and perhaps, for good. He landed a job
         with ISAIA, a high-end clothing company. This is a match made in heaven, a better than
         perfect fit. A clothing horse selling the type of clothes that intoxicates him. This, of course,
         means that Lewis will no longer be spending 23 and-a-half hours of the day on Facebook
         giving us him opinions about the Phillies, Eagles, and Obama.
        
 
         Lewis will be like a kid in a candy store at ISAIA. I just hope that Lewis, as an
         account executive, realizes his job is to sell the clothing instead of perusing it and
         taking advantage of his 50 percent discount to purchase half the inventory.
        
         If you're a friend of Siafa, you can't help but feel a sense of joy for him. He is a great
         man,  husband, and father. He is very real. I'm extremely happy that he has found a
         career that he can be just as passionate about as his last one. What doesn't kill you,
         makes you stronger, right Siafa?

         And remember, you can't spell ISAIA without Siafa. Best of luck, buddy.

         You are the man!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

FOOD FOR THOUGHT....


If Sergio Garcia got 'distracted' in The Players Championship by a little noise from Tiger's
entourages 50-yards away,  I can't wait to see how he reacts in the U.S. Open outside of
Philadelphia next month. The whining Spaniard won't get any brotherly love in that area, especially after making the 'fried chicken' joke about Tiger on Tuesday.

After watching Phil Jackson grab a lot of headlines this week, I'm starting to believe in that whole,  six degrees of separation thing. When the Zen Master was with the Lakers, he coached Lamar
Odom who is married to Khloe Kardashian, who is the sister of Kim, the biggest attention seeking
Kardashian on the planet.


Jackson is showing that he's addicted to the spotlight, too. He was all over the media-sphere
pimping his new book and creating drama that put the spotlight squarely on him. In the span of
three days, Jackson said Michael Jordan was better than Kobe (shocker), the Nets made him the
best offer to be their head coach, and if Seattle wrestled the Kings away from Sacramento, he
was going to be their head coach, too. Phil, you're a great coach, but make up your mind or better
yet, just go away. He's not only morphing into a Kardashian, but the Brett Favre of coaches, too.

Speaking of celebrities addicted to attention, Jose Canseco, the disgraced steroid slugger who
will never go away, is being investigated for sexual assault in Vegas. Of course, Canseco used
the twitter-sphere to proclaim his innocence. I'm sure he'll be on a reality show with Jodie
Arias in the near future.


Why  can't all athletes be like Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder. After seeing Moore,
Oklahoma decimated by a tornado, the NBA All-Star donated $1 million to the relief effort. Durant
is one athlete who really gets it, realizing the impact he can make by just being nice. Most of the
players make more than they can ever spend, and helping out those in desperate need of it, is
a great gesture.

Dwight Howard doesn't get it. The Lakers soon-to-be free-agent could be the biggest diva in
sports. The guy whines and complains twice as much as Sergio Garcia and throws more people
under the bus than Brad Steinke, the award-winning coward from Fox Sports Arizona. This week
word somehow got out that Howard said he felt "marginalized" by Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni.
Marginalized? I'm not sure Howard even knows what "marginalized" means.


The New York media reported that Mark Sanchez had three interceptions in practice this week.
In the words of Allen Iverson, "We're talking about practice, man. Not a game, but practice."
Since when did anybody care about a quarterback throwing picks in May.  And in the case of
Jets maligned quarterback, that's an improvement. Sanchez was responsible for more than 50
turnovers in the last two years.

On his radio show Tuesday, Dan Patrick interviewed Michelle Beadle on her perceived
"rivalry" with Erin Andrews? Really? Isn't the spat between Tiger and Sergio in the sand box
enough for the sports world to handle?


RGIII made his wedding registry open to the public and his fans actually sent him gifts, which
has to be a first. What do you think I should send him? Flak-jacket? Knee braces? How bout a recording that tells coach Mike Shanahan, "No way am I going back into the game with my
knee shredded up like spaghetti."



I'm wondering what Tim Tebow is doing right about now.

Still hard to believe the billion-dollar cash cow that is ESPN is going to be laying off up to
400 workers and Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless won't be among those who will get the
pick slip.

Is it me or has Albert Pujols aged about 10 years in the last two? He looks older, slower, and
hardly the "machine" that saw him put up video-type numbers in his first 10 years in the league
with the Cardinals. Give management with St. Louis credit for not locking up Pujols to a long-
term deal north of $250 million. The Angels are still on the hook with Pujols for 8 years and
$180 million. When it's all said and done, the worst contract in baseball history could belong
to Pujols, not A-Rod.


Terrell Owens has been quiet for an awful long time. I'm sure he'll back in the news soon
with something stupid and outrageous. Perhaps, he's going to hook up with Stephen A. Smith
for a new show on ESPN.