Thursday, October 30, 2014


The city of Boston lost a big part of its soul on Thursday. Thomas Menino, who
stayed in the mayor's chair longer than anyone in the storied political history of the
Old Towne, passed away after a bout with cancer.

When word spread of his not-so-sudden, but still suprising death, reaction across
the region was pretty much the same: "Awe, I loved mayor Menino, he was a great
man and was one of us." Menino loved Boston as much as it loved him.

With a lisp and a man who talked as if  he had hot marbles in his mouth, Menino
was perfectly imperfect. He was like the favorite uncle who didn't have to bring
presents to put a smile on your face. He laughed at himself just as easily as others
laughed at Menino's long and comical history of malapropism's. The former mayor
once described the shortage of parking in city, "an  Alcatraz around my neck." Menino
called former mayor John Collins "a man of great statue" instead of stature.

If any other politician had been the master of the malopropism's like Menino was,
Boston would've run him out of town quicker than you can say, "No-maaaaah," or
certainly never would've let him last as long as Menino did.

Boston is a tough, tough town, one  not interested in small talk or phoniness. It is
smart and sophisticated but also a shot-and-beer (or three) type of town that doesn't
take to outsiders too kindly and isn't impressed with button-upped politicians who
smile for all the cameras and say one thing, but do quite another.

Boston will see right through you and your agenda. What it saw in Menino
was a man who appeared to be a nice guy on the outside, but on the inside was tough
as nails. He fought for, and protected his city. He withstood the poisonous arrows
from his political opponents and lasted a mind-boggling five terms.. When he had
to get down and dirty, Menino did. He rolled up his sleeves and didn't always do
what was right for him, but most certainly right for the city.

But most of all, we loved Menino because he tried so hard to be a great fan of
Boston sports. That comes natural to pretty much everybody in the region who
seems to know every stat of every player whose ever put on a uniform of the Red Sox,
Celtics, Bruins, and Patriots. Most think they can coach better than Belichick, contsruct
a team more efficiently than Ainge, and preside over a franchise more impressively than

They wanted desperately for him to be this type of sports fan, the one who puts
everything on hold for its beloved teams and can't go to bed until they know
the final score and how many passes Tom Brady completed. They wanted him
to live and die with every win or every loss and Menino tried hard, oh, so very
hard to do that and they noticed.

Menino knew Boston sports, he just didn't know everything about them. But
he tried. He tried to pronounce the names of many of the stars of Boston, but
he just couldn't. He once mentioned Varitek when it should've been Vinitieri
and  blurted out Hondo when he was talking about Rondo. My gosh, he called
Wilfork, "Wilcock" and even botched the name of the Patriots tight end whom
everybody calls "Gronk". He once hoped the Red Sox would "win the World Cup."


But he tried. Menino tried really, really hard and Boston loved him for it.

All Boston could do was laugh at his malapropisms and love Menino even more. No,
he wasn't really one of them when it came to sports, but when it came to running the city,
he was a great mayor. And when it came to the game of life, Menino was a great man.

Rest in peace, Tom Menino. You were truly loved.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


We are a long ways off from April 1 but the biggest fool in the history of major league
baseball did something that produced headlines around the country that made us wonder
if April Fool's Day had come early.

Early Tuesday morning,  Jose Canseco channeled his inner Plaxico Burress and accidentally
shot himself. Yep, the Steroid King was cleaning his gun at 2:30 p.m. which is always just
a great time to pipe and polish a weapon, when suddenly the gun went off, a bullet tearing
through his finger. I bet that kind of hurt, even for man who's probably still jacked up on
the juice.

I think I'm going to petition the Las Vegas Police Department for the 9-1-1 tape because I
have a feeling it contains some unbridled comedy:

Operator: 9-1-1 what is your emergency?

Canseco: Yeah, this is Jose Canseco and I accidentally shot myself.

Operator: You mean, Jose Canseco, that fool who had a ball bounce off his head for a home run?

Canseco: Yeah, but I looked good doing it, though. I was cleaning my gun and it went off.

Operator: So, let me get this straight. You're Jose Canseco and you accidentally shot yourself?

Canseco: That's right, can you get someone here quick? I may bleed to death.

Operator: OK, hold on a second Mr. Canseco. (Operator turns to her co-workers and starts
laughing out loud. "Jose Canseco is on the line and he shot his friggin' finger off!" Huge
laughs could be heard in the background.

Operator: (still laughing) Mr. Canseco, can you tell me which piggly-wiggly it is?
Is it the little piggly that went to the market? The little piggly who had roast beef
or the little piggly who had none? (laughing out loud)

Canseco was taken to the hospital and his fiance', believed to be his fifth one, tweeted to
the world and asked for prayers as if he accidentally shot himself in the head.
(Because that's what everybody does these days, right? They tweet about the
weather, what they're eating, and how they're passing gas, so tweeting about a fiance'
blowing off his finger is good stuff, especially when it's Jose Canseco.)

I don't know, it  must be a great coincidence that Canseco 'accidentally' shot himself
before Game 6 and the biggest one of the World Series. I mean, really, could we put it
past a guy who craves attention as much as Kim Kardashian, to do something really
stupid just to get a few headlines and be relevant again, albeit for the 24-hour news cycle?

BREAKING NEWS: Canseco's fiancรฉ has just delivered a tweet:

"finally safe and sound with my love bug . So glad he's ok."

Jose Canseco, the 'Love Bug' is ok. Now we can go back to our regularly scheduled
program! Good, grief.

This is a former player with 462 career home runs who was blackballed in baseball for
outing a lot of players in a book about steroids. This is a guy who once rammed his
Ferrarri into his ex-wife's Ferrari. (Don't know which ex-wife it was).

He also hung out with Madonna, got his ass kicked in mixed-martial arts with a 7-foot
Chinese guy, fought Vai Sikahema (got his ass kicked by him, too) and was supposed to
fight Lenny Dykstra, who would've also given him a beat down. But Canseco wasn't
winless as a fighter, after all, he did beat former Partridge Family legend Danny Bonaduce
in a thriller.

Canseco also had his twin brother, Ozzie, pose as him and get in the ring with another
opponent, which didn't go over too well. And yes, he was on that award-winning show,
"Joe's vs the Pro's". Shall I keep going?

Jose Canseco is his own three-ring circus, tent included. He seems to have a serious
case of A.D.D. No, I'm not talking about the one you're thinking about that you or
your kid probably have. (I have it, too, and so does the entire country, so don't be offended.)

Canseco's problem is that he's so addicted to attention that when he's deprived of it,
he becomes like a junkie that has to get his fix---and maybe even at the cost of his finger.
(wink,wink). He is probably upset the baseball world has gone on without him and
nobody had even mentioned his name during the post-season. He was probably shocked that
Joe Buck didn't say anything about his tape-measure blast against Toronto in the
playoffs many moons ago.

Perhaps, ESPN will get the exclusive and have Canseco on for the "Sunday Conversation".
Don't think Jose didn't have those thoughts going through his head.

Canseco would be a perfect fit for the Kardashian's reality show. Come to think of it, he
should have his own with the title: "Train Wreck"

Go away, Jose, just go away.

Monday, October 27, 2014


I'm a graduate of UNC and as a former sportscaster with a blog that has taken shots at
athletes and institutions over the past few years, a lot of people wanted my opinion
about the school and athletic program which was recently outed for steering
'student-athletes' into bogus classes to remain eligible.

I don't care.

UNC and the athletic program have now become fodder for the late night talk shows,
sports talk radio, internet chat rooms, and columnists across the country. They are
being lampooned and criticized much the same way Rutgers was after the Mike
Rice basketball throwing scandal and the cover-up that ensued. UNC is now getting a
healthy dose of it from this college sports-obsessed world.

It doesn't bother me.

As part of the school and athletic program back in the 1980's, UNC had a squeaky-clean
reputation. Scandal was as foreign to everyone in Chapel Hill as those African-American
classes were to more than 3,000 'student-athletes' over an 18-year period. The face of
UNC at the time was Dean Smith, a man of impeccable integrity and a basketball legend
who would have an arena named after him while he was still coaching. Talk about respect
and honor. He was UNC's shield, a saint on the sideline who protected the school's
reputation and deflected the poisonous arrows from anyone who wanted to criticize it.

Did things go on at UNC that weren't always on the up-an-up when I went to school
there? Absolutely.We often saw football players from low socio-economic backgrounds
driving around campus in shiny BMW's. These guys were dressed like Bart Simpson but
drove stylish cars better fit for James Bond. I heard of cheating scandals within certain
athletic programs but nothing ever really came of it. I just always felt that UNC
did a better job of hiding things 'under the rug' or were just too smart to get caught
by the NCAA or anyone else.

The perception of the school in the bucolic town of Chapel  Hill sure changed last week
with the scathing report about bogus classes. UNC had suddenly become one of them, you
know, the USC's, Oklahoma's, Georgia's, Miami's, Michigan's, Florida State's, and all
those other programs who were caught doing things they shouldn't be doing.

Was I surprised? Not one bit. The money in NCAA sports has gotten so outrageous
everybody wants to stick their hands deep in the pot of gold. They get greedy and they
cheat. And anybody whose had a pulse on the sports world has long known that cheating
is part of the big game. It happened in recruiting long before the NCAA was up and
running. Lack of institutional control among programs across the nation became as
popular of a term as "selfie's" and a nation seemingly obsessed with them.

UNC really sold its soul when it hired Butch Davis nearly a decade ago. Davis was an
accomplished football coach, but one who seemed to have a little black cloud trailing
behind from his days running the  program at 'The U', also known as the University of
Miami. And when Davis brought  along John Blake, an assistant coach and recruiter who
had done some shady things at Oklahoma, I knew the school and program were headed
down the wrong road and was hardly surprised when UNC football landed on probation.

I knew about the reputation of Davis and Blake from afar and it's just mind-boggling
to me that administrators who made the decisions didn't know about them or just
chose to look past just for the sake of a few more wins a season. The color of money
can blind a lot of people and the folks with the power at UNC sure could've used guide
dogs during those times.

Do I care about the scandal at UNC? Not really. After seeing the child sex abuse scandal
play out at Penn State, I feel college sports went as low as it could possibly go. There will
never, ever be any scandal in college sports that will surpass the one that took down
Joe Paterno. It not only smeared the squeaky-clean image of the program, but smashed
the logo it lived by: "win with honor."

The president and entire athletic administration at Penn State put the reputation of the
school and football program ahead of the welfare of a lot of innocent children, allowing
them to be violated on and off-campus by a sexual predator named Jerry Sandusky.
Even more shocking, they all tried to cover it up. It cost them all their jobs and put a
stain on Penn State that will never go away, no matter how hard anyone on campus tries
to scrub it.

There seems to be controversy so often in college sports that I've become immune to
the reaction to them. Jameis Winston of Florida State has ignited more than scandals
than I can count and they seemingly came on the heels of all those involving
Johnny Manziel. In 2012, Harvard, yes, Harvard, had a cheating scandal involving
nearly half the students in a government course. The basketball team captain was
allegedly involved and sat out an entire season.

I am not a UNC cheerleader. I don't live and die with every win or loss and can't
remember the last time I watched a football and basketball game on television. Maybe
it's because I'm almost 30 years removed from graduating or life's hardships have
just put things in proper perspective.

It was a privilege and an honor to play baseball at UNC and wear Carolina blue.
I met phenomenal people and nearly all my teammates were of great character. I value
my degree from there and love it when people ask me where I went and the "Oh, man,
that's a great school" response after I tell them.  I have terrific memories and will
always, no matter what, be proud that I  went to Carolina. It is a great school. Always
has been, always will be. This too shall pass.

UNC and Chapel Hill are very special places on the outside, but inside the athletic
program they are just like a lot of other schools around the country. The big money
in college sports has changed things for a lot of people. Money usually does that.
People get greedy, they forget about their moral compass, and try to push the envelope.
It happened at UNC, just as it's happened at many other big name schools across
the country.

UNC got caught and now they have to pay the price however steep it may be.

Saturday, October 25, 2014


I've often said the only thing more dangerous than Plaxico Burress with a loaded gun
in his waistband, is a sports figure with a Twitter account. Many of them tend to stray
far from their expertise and intellectual level and try to be funny in 140 characters or
less, often shooting themselves in the foot.

Who can forget Charlie Villaneuva, NBA player and aspiring rocket scientist sending
his thoughts out during halftime of game?

"In da locker room, snuck to post my twitt. We're playing the Celtics, tie ball game
at da half. Coach wants more toughness. I gotta step up."

Yeah, step it up, Charlie, and remember that every tweet you make usually gets back
to the organization you're playing for. Might be just a hunch, but I think it happens.
Villanueva's tweet ended up hitting him hard in the wallet and causing the NBA to
ban tweets before and during games. Imagine that?

(For other dumb tweets see Antonio Cromartie, LeBron James, Larry Johnson, and
Cappie Pondexter who tweeted that Japan deserved what they had coming with
the tsunami a few years back)

Ted Bishop wasn't as fortunate as Villanueva, as the president of the PGA of America
suffered a "death by tweet." He lost his job after failing to control an urge to criticize
European golfer Ian Poulter who had recently slammed Tom Watson and Nick Faldo
in a recent book.

Bishop tweeted,  "Faldo's record stands by itself. Six majors and all-time RC points.
Yours vs. His? Lil Girl.''

"Lil Girl" turned out to be the seven deadliest characters in the history of Bishop's tweets,
costing him a presitigous and a highly-coveted job in the golf world. He was
impeached by his contemporaries, forcing him to give up his title, paycheck, and into
years of embarrassment. He spends more than six decades building a sterling reputation
and it all goes Ka-boom in a flash.

All because of a tweet.

Oh, I understand. If Paul Devlin tweets that Ian Poulter is a "Lil Girl", nobody blinks
or even notices. But when you're a public figure in this politically correct world, tweeting
something derogatory is sure to offend some group whether it be women, gays, minorities,
religious affiliations, and those with disabilities. Trouble is, all these sports figures
and other celebrities, never seem to learn or figure that out.

Honestly, I haven't figured out the irresistible need that people have to tweet their thoughts.
Most of them are really juvenile and worthless, anyway. I don't care where you're eating,
what the weather is like, or what you think about the Obama Administration. It doesn't

Some people like Bishop and many athletes, seem to use Twitter as a platform to test out
their comedic material, which in most cases, isn't very comedic at all. They should just stick
to what they are good at.

I often feel that most people tweet because they crave the almighty 'like' or 'retweet'. Or
perhaps, they just want to see it up show up on 'SportsCenter'. (ESPN seems to be more
obsessed with tweets than they were with their incessant coverage of Tim Tebow when
he was relevant.

Full disclosure: I have a Twitter account for my blog. I use it to promote it but rarely
chime in with my thoughts about current events because frankly, they do not matter.
Athletes and other public figures should think about taking that route when they are
using Twitter. Your thoughts really don't matter all that much until you tweet something
really stupid. Then the politically correct world with a hatchet pounces on you quicker
than you can tweet, "ur fired!"

Many of them found that out, few have ever really learned.

Ted Bishop didn't, that's for sure and it cost him dearly. Lil Girl.

Friday, October 24, 2014


Somewhere in San Diego, Manti' Te'o must be smiling---and laughing his butt off.

The former Notre Dame star who was ridiculed mercilessly for carrying on a relationship
with girl who didn't really exist, now gets to watch another player from under the
golden dome get raked over the coals for his dalliance with a porn star---and there are
pictures to prove it.

A selfie of Fighting Irish wide receiver Justin Brent between the sheets with porn star
Lisa Ann was posted on the Internet Monday night. Brent is 18-years old, Lisa Ann, 42.
It's not the kind of score that has Touchdown Jesus celebrating on the campus of South

Good, grief. This is embarrassing for Brent, Notre Dame, and the football program. The
most presitigous Catholic school in the county has a 'student-athlete' pictured in bed with
a high-profile porn star. Can you imagine the looks, laughs, and stares Brent is going to
get when he returns to practice? Can you imagine what all the priests on campus are
thinking and saying? Lord, help us might be a popular theme on Friday.

Pictures of Brent and Lisa Ann on a 'date' in New York City attending a Knicks
game are also circulating the web. I'm sure the Notre Dame football coaches and entire
administration are wondering what the heck Brent was doing in the Big Apple (besides
the obvious) on a school night.

Youth was most definitely served, but it is also downright stupid. There is Brent in all
his glory, proudly pictured with a porn star on his arm. Hello, Justin? It's no great
accomplishment to be photographed with a person who has been filmed doing some pretty
nasty things with just about everyone in the porn industry. I mean, are you going to
bring her home to mom and introduce her to the family at Thanksgiving? Are you going
to walk hand-in- hand with her on campus and let her wear your letterman's jacket if you
ever get one?

Give Lisa Ann some credit, she is turning into the Kim Kardashian of the porn industry.
With only one true talent, she has managed to gain a boatload of publicity. I can only
imagine the number of clicks and 'views' Lisa Ann has gotten on her web site already.
I'm sure by noon on Friday, she will be 'trending' on Twitter. Smart woman, I guess.

A few weeks ago, Lisa Ann was pictured with a tight end from Ohio State in a Columbus
bar. He was a nobody on the team just like Brent. The big difference? Brent plays at
Notre Dame, the most high-profile school in the country. Lisa Ann figured it out pretty
quickly that she needed a big boat and she got it after hauling in publicity that nobody
in her industry could buy. Lisa Ann is a big name in the news cycle into she gets spit out
in a few days, but her Q-rating in the porn industry has increased 100-fold and the dollars
are sure to follow.

As for Brent, well, let's just say, pretty much the entire sports world knows about him
now, but for all the wrong reasons. Pictured in bed with a porn star? I think NBC is going
to stay away from this one during their coverage of Notre Dame's next game. A sudden
case of amnesia should do the trick, so to speak.

And forget about Manti' Te'o, even Jameis Winston is laughing now.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


After acquiring Percy Harvin from Seattle, New York Jets general John Idzik proclaimed
it to be a 'coup' for the franchise. He and Rex Ryan beamed from ear-to-ear and
proclaimed the mercurial receiver to be a 'good fit' for the team's chemistry in the
locker room.

Right. That's why Seattle traded him to the Jets for a conditional sixth-round draft pick
which is only slightly more valuable than a dozen pair of used Nike cleats. Harvey became
so toxic in the locker room, brawling with teammates and nursing injuries, they shipped
a player whom they once traded a king's ransom for, across the country, far, far away
from the Emerald City. I don't think any team in NFL history was happier about receiving
a sixth-round pick than the Seahawks are.

Perhaps, the Jets brass figure a change of scenery would help change the stripes of
Harvey and turn him into Tim Tebow with talent. The mercurial wide-receiver has a
ton of that but also has enough baggage to proclaim him to be Samsonite with sprinter's
speed. The Jets can afford to take the gamble since they are on the edge of being irrelevant
and have more than enough cap space to do it. If Harvin strays off the straight and narrow,
the Jets can release him and don't have to pay him a dime next year.

But there's a better than good chance, the smile Harvin showed off in his first meeting
with the New York media, will be gone pretty quickly. After all, he did come out of
the University of Florida, the same school that has given the NFL the likes of Aaron
Hernandez, Brandon Spikes, and Riley Cooper. They turned out to be really good for
their respective locker rooms, didn't they?

Florida is the same program that had 31 of its players arrested during the Urban Meyer
era (2005-2010) and another 15 booked and finger-printed during Wil Muschamp's
glorious reign in Gainesville. It's frightening, really.

I understand some programs go through tough times with their 'student-athletes'
(wink,wink). Oklahoma, Colorado, Miami, and Florida State are just few of the major
ones who've seen a good number of their players get in trouble with the law. Let's face
it, these athletes aren't coming out of elite prep schools in the Northeast. Most of them
are from inner-city schools, broken homes, and low-income areas.

But nobody should really be surprised about Harvin and the toxic tag he's wearing
now. He was one of those extremely gifted athletes who have been pampered and
catered too since he was in Pop Warner football. I'm sure when things didn't go
his way, everyone bowed down to his greatness and pacified him after deifying him.
It happens and unfortunately, it seems to happen a lot with players at the University
of Florida.

For anyone to say they were surprised to see all this coming, would be really foolish.
NFL teams will tolerate tempermental talent until it doesn't produce or becomes too
much of a burden. If Harvin had been lighting it up this year, you can bet the Seahawks
would've looked the other way when it came to his attitude, but he wasn't.

Now, he's the burden of the New York Jets. Good luck with that Rex and company.

Monday, October 20, 2014


Peyton Manning has another NFL record and the sports world is celebrating his greatness
once again. By the time the quarterback of the Denver Broncos calls it quits, he's likely
to hold every individual passing mark in the record books.

I guess that's great and it'll make for one heckuva plaque under his bust in the Hall of
Fame, but for all those records, Manning has just one Super Bowl ring. Same goes for
Brett Favre, whom he just surpassed for the most touchdown passes in a career Sunday

For all their touchdown passes, completions, and yardage, Manning and Favre
have just two Super Bowl victories combined--or one fewer than Tom Brady has in his
career. For all their individual records  Manning and Favre can't come close to Brady
in the only thing that really matters when it's all said and done and that's winning.
And that is the only "record" that Brady is sure to retire with.

Brady's .773 winning percentage as a starting quarterback tops the lists of all those
who have played the position in NFL history. He has never been showered with the
offensive gifts that Manning or Favre had at their disposal and in many years, he's
had to throw to has been's, never heard of's, or never will be's. Despite having to work
with less, Brady has done more than Manning and Favre. His winning percentage
is far better that Favre's (.642) and Manning's (.699).

Bill Belichick has pretty much said, "here's what you have, now go make it work."
Brady has done that every year since 2001 when he became the team's starting
quarterback. For 11 straight years, the Patriots quarterback has led the team to 10 or
more wins. The team has been to five Super Bowls or the same number Manning
and Favre have teamed up to go to over a combined 38 seasons. Brady's done it in 13.

Brady holds the NFL record for quarterbacks with most playoff wins (18) while
Manning stands alone with the most losses in the playoffs with 12. Favre is just one
behind Manning with 11 playoff losses. Brady has two Super Bowl MVP's, or one
 more than Manning, Favre, and Dan Marino have combined. While Favre and Manning
have struggled in the big game, Brady has raised his game to another level when
it's mattered the most. He has nine touchdown passes to just two interceptions with
a QB rating of 92.2 while Manning has just three TD passes to four INT's and a passer
rating of 80.0

The sports world will shower Manning with praise all week, and rightfully so, he's
a tremendous quarterback who set a prestigious record. However, it's long been stated that
quarterbacks are measured by wins and Super Bowl victories. If that's the case, Manning
is just good, but not great. Brady fits in that category, well-ahead of the legends of
Manning and Favre.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


After dealing with the scandals of Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, and Greg Hardy
over the last few months, I imagine that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell could only
shake his head when this story came across his desk:

Dallas Cowboys running back Joe Randle arrested for stealing a tester bottle of cologne
and a two-pack of Polo underwear.

Not exactly the kind of thing that's going to cause the NFL to lose its Annheiser-Busch
sponsorship, but it probably made Goodell say to himself, "Are you kidding me?"

Yep, Randle, a back-up running back thought he could elude security at a Dillard's store
in Dallas after pulling the 'ole five-finger discount. Randle went big, really big. He swiped
a tester bottle of cologne ($84) and a two-pack of black polo underwear. That's a big haul,
for sure.

Randle thought he hit paydirt after getting out of the store without the alarms
going off. I'm sure he kind of felt the exhilaration of former Bengals running back Icky
Woods in that Geico commercial after learning he was next up to get his cold cuts.

Trouble was, the security team captured Randle's 'score' on camera. He didn't exactly
wave and say, 'hi mom', as he scooted out the door, but the security team did introduce
themselves to Randle in the parking lot before he was handcuffed and taken away by

Randle didn't end up on the commissioner's exempt list like Rice, Peterson, Hardy, and
Dwyer did, but he became the poster boy for pure stupidity. The former fifth-round pick
out of Oklahoma State makes $495,000 a year. That's chump change to some of the NFL's
big hitters, but it's certainly more than enough to pay for a god-dang two-pack of underwear
and a tester bottle of cologne and still have something left over to get the latest version of
Madden NFL Live.

Good, lord, are people really this dumb?

Randle said it was the "biggest mistake of (my) life." I'm sure this wasn't the first time
he stole something, (just a hunch) because few people making a half-a-million dollars
just all of a sudden get the urge to swipe something. Randle's biggest mistake was obviously
getting caught.

The Cowboys fined their back-up running back $29,000, the equivalent of a game check.
$29,000! Do you know how many pairs of underwear and cologne Randle could purchase
with that kind of money and not have to get a mug shot? A lot.

The irony of all of this, the cologne Randle decided to swipe was called, "Guilty." Some
things you just can't make up.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Yep, a task force. That's going to end the misery of the United States in the Ryder Cup.

After the U.S recently got embarrassed for the sixth time in the last seven Ryder Cups and
Phil Mickelson whined like a petulant 5-year-old child in Toys R Us that didn't get a new
Transformer set, an 11-member task force has been set up to try to end the futility of the
United States in the Ryder Cup.

Mickelson and Tiger Woods are on the task force, so are three previous Ryder Cup captains.
Yep, this is going to do it. The Europeans are going to lay down now. (Actually, they are
rolling over with laughter and mocking the U.S. for setting up the task force)

That's what we do in this country. We react and then overreact. Mickelson cries because
captain Tom Watson didn't have little 'pods' set up like Paul Azinger did in 2008 when the
U.S. actually beat the Europeans. That's it! The U.S. didn't have their wittle, wittle pods
set up so all the players could play patty-cake, patty-cake in them. That's why they got
crushed by the Europeans this year. They didn't have their 'pods'.

Set up that task force and get it going NOW!

Good, grief. Is this 11-team task force going to bring in Anthony Robbins to awaken
the giants within these golfers who suddenly shrink when the bright lights of the Ryder
Cup are thrust upon them.

Perhaps, the task force will require the Ryder Cup team to take up CrossFit in the week
leading up to the big event. They can use some toughening up, that's for sure. Hey,
Navy SEAL training might be even better because right now, the United States players
have the mental toughness of a marshmallow.

Maybe they can name Hope Solo as the captain. The team needs someone to step
up and kick ass. Solo surely fits the bill. Is Arnold Schwarzenegger available?

A task force? This is almost comical.

Perhaps, the Ryder Cup means more to the Europeans than it does to the United States.
They always seem to play like it's a college football game. They are passionate, play
with great energy, and always go for the jugular.  The U.S. players often seem
like they are too cool to get excited like that. They seem to be playing for their next
endorsement deal and what it can do for their personal legacy.

Perhaps, the Europeans just know how to play as a team as opposed to the U.S. who
just appear to be 12 individuals masquerading as a team. It sure seems to be that way
with Tiger Woods, who has an awful overall record in the Ryder Cup (13-17-3) and
can't play with a partner, but is decent in singles. (4-1-2)

Perhaps, the Europeans are just better than the Americans in the Ryder Cup format.
Maybe, they're just better period. It happens.They had four of the top five players
in the  world according to the rankings. Perhaps, Mickelson, Furyk, and Woods, have
grown too old and too rich to really invest all they have in this event. Maybe it's
just the Europeans' time to dominate the Ryder Cup, it happens. Things tend to
be cyclical.

Maybe...perhaps,...but it's doubtful that a task force is going to solve the problems
of the United States Ryder Cup team. Nobody needs to overanalyze this because it's
simple really. Play better. That's it, that's all.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


The world of sports has long been dripping with scandal, so it's hard to be shocked by
anything that arises from the athletic abyss these days. We thought the sexual abuse
scandal at Penn State scraped the bottom of its floor when a longtime assistant coach
was sent to prison for being a pedophile, scarring dozens of children for life while
bringing down a coaching legend.

We believed Joe Paterno was a man of impeccable character and integrity, but he
allegedly didn't do the right thing when it mattered the most. The school and football
program are tarnished forever and the most powerful cleanser is never going to
change that.

Now, in a state where Penn State often looks to find blue-chip recruits, a powerhouse
high school football program has found its way into the sports cess pool. Seven football
players were arrested Friday on array of charges from sexual assault to restraint and
harassment. The players allegedly held down freshmen players and inserted their fingers
up the rear end of their teammates and allegedly forced them to taste it.

On the sickness scale, this incredibly brutal act doesn't even register. It's foul, disgusting,
and one of the most heinous acts I've ever heard of. What kind of warped, psychopathic
individual thinks of doing something like that and thinks it's OK? What kind of dirt bags
hold down a kid against their will and thinks it's funny to rape them?

The administration at Sayrerville War Memorial High School in the small township of
New Jersey cancelled the rest of the season for the football team. There was outrage from
other parents and players who weren't involved in the scandal who don't think it's fair
to punish the entire team when "only" seven players were involved. Nearly every parent
thinks their kid is worthy of a scholarship and this hinders their chances of getting one,
a few of them said.

Sorry, the psychological scars of the victims will never go away. It's much bigger than
football. How can anyone be whole again after something like this happens? How
would you feel if your kid was abused like that? It's not something that you just shower
off,  like dirt from a practice. These are stains that can never be rinsed away.

Lives of a lot of people have not only been altered, but ruined. This kind of thing can
follow those involved around forever. Penn State has moved on, yes, but they will
never be, no matter how hard they scrub, the squeaky clean program they once were.
Same goes for Sayerville War Memorial High School. This is a tag, a stain, and a
scandal that follows its name forever.

Law enforcement authorities quickly investigated the allegations and seven players have
been arrested.  How the heck can stuff like this happen? With the child sex abuse scandal
at Penn State and the hazing one with the Miami Dolphins recently, how can any coach
not lay down the law and abolish any form of hazing traditions and rituals?

How can any administration, seeing the financial penalties and lawsuits Penn State
endured, not tell all their coaches, there are to be no hazing rituals on campus, no
matter what?

When it's all said and done, coaches and administrators will be fired from their jobs.
There is always scapegoats and collateral damage in these cases. You don't have to
look very far to see what happened at Penn State.

The names of the players arrested haven't been released because they are minors. Police
and investigators were at the house of star running back Myles Hartsfield on Friday
evening. There's no confirmation on whether Hartsfield has been charged, but it would
be sadly ironic if he were because Hartsfield has verbally committed to play football for,
who else? Yeah, Penn State.

Thursday, October 9, 2014



If Buck Showalter has been a tortured soul, it's certainly easy to understand why. He led
the New York Yankees into the playoffs in 1995, but was fired after losing to the Seattle
Mariners. Joe Torre took over the next season and promptly led the Yankees to four World
Series titles in the next five years.

Showalter was then hired to build the Arizona Diamondbacks from scratch. But after the
2000 season, Showalter was asked to walk away from the organization he had invested
countless hours caring for and raising from birth. The very next year, the Diamondbacks
beat the Yankees, Showalter's former team, to capture the World Series title. Ouch.

I'm sure the pain of watching not one, but two franchises win a total of five World Series
titles without him, was unbearable for Showalter. If you had invested as much time and
been as successful as Showalter had been with the Yankees and Diamondbacks and then
watched them reach the pinnacle of the sport without you, I'm sure there would have a
lot of sleepless nights and trips to the liquor cabinet.

It easily could've been Showalter, and not Joe Torre, who could've guided the Yankees
to all those World Series titles. If George Steinbrenner had not had his usually itchy
finger and pulled the trigger on firing his manager, Torre never would've made the
Hall of Fame nor had his number retired by the Yankees. We could very easily be
talking about Showalter in the same breath that people do with Torre. But it didn't
happen. I'm sure Buck has thought about that more than a million times.

Showalter had another stop in Texas, but that didn't work out so well, either. The
Rangers got to the World Series twice after he was fired, but they didn't win it.

Now, Showalter is on the brink of going to the World Series with his team, the Baltimore
Orioles. He has guided them to the ALCS with the same baseball acumen and drive he
showed with the Yankees, Diamondbacks, and Rangers, but now he's getting the chance
to finish the job. And that's a great thing.

Showalter has long been considered one of the best baseball minds in the game. He
is a great game strategist, knows how to handle a pitching staff, and motivate players.
His downfall in Arizona was that he was a taskmaster, a stickler for players wearing
their uniforms the right way, and playing the game the way it's supposed to be played.

However, the millionaire players in Arizona didn't want to be bothered with all that
and tuned Showalter out like a bad song in the clubhouse. It's much easier to fire 25
highly-paid ballplayers and owner Jerry Colangelo ushered Showalter out the door.

That didn't happen with Baltimore where Showalter got the chance to guide a solid
group of young players who had not yet reached superstar status. He had a team that
would listen instead of tuning them out. However, Showalter also listened to what he
heard from the players he had in Arizona and loosed the reigns a bit and wasn't the
taskmaster so much on the little things and gave the players a chance to be themselves.

After so many near misses and the pain of watching the Yankees and Diamondbacks
put rings on everybody's fingers but his, Showalter is getting the chance to finish the
job in Baltimore and be on top of the baseball world.

I'm not a fan of any team, but it would be a great story if Buck Showalter captured the
World Series title with the Baltimore Orioles doing it his way and to cover-up the bad
stench still lingering in the city still reeling from the Ray Rice scandal.

Go Buck.