Sunday, January 29, 2012


Every once in awhile there is a sporting event that makes you go, "wow, holy cow, that
was unbelievable. If you're as old as me, you might've said that the night the U.S beat
the Soviets in hockey during the 1980 Winter Olympics. I was at Game 6 of the 1986
World Series when Bill Buckner did his thing as the Mets pulled off an amazing
comeback. Or it could've  been a game like Super Bowl XXXXII where the Giants
upset the Patriots to ruin New England's perfect season that had you breathless.

Saturday/Sunday's epic final between Novak Djokovic and Rafeal Nadal earned, "Oh, my
god, are you kidding me" status. The match lasted 5 hours and 53 minutes, the longest
Grand Slam final in tennis history. Imagine running back and forth, side-to-side, stopping
and starting, serving and volleying for six hours? That was insane. Almost six hours of
tennis. It got me thinking to the things I could've done during the tennis match.

Half-Ironman triathlon. In September, I did an event that consisted of a 1.2 mile swim,
56 miles bike, and a 13.1 mile run. I'm considered a Clydesdale (slow, white guys over 200lbs)
and I finished in 6:02:15, which means I could've started just as the match opened and finished
just as Djokivic was hoisting the trophy in his sweat-stained attire.

Driven from New Canaan, CT to Washington D.C. When I used to drive from home to college
in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I used to mark the nation's capital as my half-way point. Roughly
300 miles. I used to make it D.C, with traffic, tolls, and potty-breaks in 5 hours plus. With a stop
off for McDonald's for a Big Mac and Dairy Queen for a blizzard, it would come out to six hours.

NHL All-Star Game-Red Sox/Yankees (rewind)
I could've watched the NHL all-star game, booed Tim Thomas, then watched a replay of any
Yankees/Red Sox game (pick one, they always take about 4 hours to play.)

Watched "60 Minutes" six times in a row.  Give me the best of Andy Rooney for that long and
I'd be happy guy.

Flown from New York's LaGuardia to Atlanta...and back. It would've given me the perfect
opportunity to fly to my old home in the ATL, check on my condo, say hello to the tenants,
fix their microwave oven and fly back home. And Nadal STILL would've been trying to beat
 Watched the re-run of NFL championship Sunday. The Patriots/Ravens AFC game took
three hours. The Giants/49ers went just a bit longer, but I didn't need to see Lawrence Tynes'
chip shot field goal. It was a gimme. Ooops, that's what Ravens fans were saying about Billy
Cundiff's attempt.

Read the transcripts of Tiger's text messages to all his women. I didn't see Tiger choke in
his first tournament because I was sleeping and it was somewhere in Abi Dhabi, something or
other. But I did find some piece of fine literature in the book store about all his text messages.
It said the average reading time would be 5:53 minutes. Right on the button!

Could've watched the re-run of the Kim Kardashian-Kris Humprhies made for television 
wedding. That piece of garbage was four hours, so in reality, you could've watched that entire
show then checked out the "Bachelor" and "Bachelorette", had time to throw up, then seen
the ending to the greatest tennis match in history. There is a rumor that Kim texted Nadal
after the match and asked him on a date. He said, "nada".

Gone to church and confession. One hour praising the lord, then the rest of the time in
the sin bin asking for forgiveness. It's been a long time, I'd take a knee and grab a snickers.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Boycott Tim Thomas, Boycott All-Star Game

I'm not really sure if many people know it, or even care, but the NHL All-Star game will
be played on Sunday in Ottawa. NBC will get a blip in the ratings book because after the
Winter Classic, nobody really cares about hockey until the post-season, if at all. Any chance
of me tuning in vanished after Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins boycotted the defending
Stanley Cup champions' trip to the White House. I'm boycotting anything that Thomas is
playing in.

Thomas' snub of the White House because the "government has grown out of control" has been
well-documented and heavily criticized. Perhaps, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick summed
in up best when he said the snub further illustrates that the country, as a whole, is losing
'basic courtesy and grace.' Patrick admitted that he wasn't enamored with President Bush putting
'two wars on a credit card', but still stood when he walked into the room, shook his hand,
and called him Mr. President.

Why is that athletes feel they have to make some kind of stand? Do they feel the need to the be
the lead story on "SportsCenter", the top story that trends on Twitter, and fuel for the talk shows?
Why can't they just keep their mouths shut, especially when it comes to politics? President Obama
would run circles around Thomas and then tap dance on his head during a debate. Thomas talks
about a government getting out of control, but I never heard him complain about the NHL getting
too big and charging ridiculous ticket prices that most families would have to save for a month to
pay for. Why? Because those high ticket prices pay his $3 million salary.

Now, after Thomas has been heavily criticized, the Bruins goalie is saying that it's 'media driven'.
That is comical. What did he expect? You boycott the president because you don't like something
and you expect to get praised for having the courage to take a stand? Courage is the what the
Navy SEALS had when they double-tapped Bin Laden and rescued two hostages in Somalia.
Blame it on the media. Just shut up, Thomas.

When Thomas takes the ice in Ottawa on Sunday, I hope the Canadian fans boo Thomas. I
don't really think they're going to care that much because he's not a native and he didn't show
up the prime minister of their country, but for the sake of 'grace and respect' as Patrick said,
I hope they shower Thomas with boos. And the 34 people that are going to watch the game
on television, I hope they turn it off until Thomas leaves the ice. Boycott Thomas, stand up for
grace and respect.

Friday, January 27, 2012


A child-sex abuse case is something that nobody wants any part of. It's arguably the most
despicable of all crimes in our society. If you're involved in one, or even mentioned in one,
you'll get a stain that can never be removed. Perhaps, that is why very few people came to
the defense of Joe Paterno.  Can you name a coach in  the country that came to his defense?
Nick Saban? Les Miles?  Urban Meyer? Certainly, not Bobby Bowden. The former coach
of Florida State and clearly a rival of Paterno, took every chance he could to take a shot at
the legendary coach. It was  so glaring and ominous that nobody really came to the the
defense of Paterno. Oh, sure, a lot of his players did, and many of the critics said they were
just  being loyal to a fault. However, no power broker, or man of significant influence came
out and backed Paterno--until Thursday.

Phil Knight, founder and CEO of Nike, was asked to speak at the memorial for Paterno on
the campus of Penn State. Knight has always done things his way in cultivating an image
for Nike that turned the company into one of most powerful brands in the world. He
stuck by Tiger Woods when just about every other company he endorsed ran away from
him after the golfer dominated the presses with details of his salacious extramarital affairs
with  porn stars,strippers, prostitutes, waitresses, and very young next door neighbors. Knight
has always been bold, but never more than in his words for Paterno. He addressed the
12,000 people who attended the service, including the universities board of trustees by

"This much is clear to me: If there is a villain in this tragedy, it lies in that investigation
and not in Joe Paterno's response," Knight said. And with that, 12,000 people rose to their
feet and thanked Knight for having the stones to say what many wanted to say, but never
did because they didn't want to be perceived as defending a man who allegedly defended
a known child molestor.

Paterno wasn't perfect, we know that. He had his faults and perhaps, even his demons just
like many of us. We know that Paterno did go to his superiors to report what had been
told to him by Mike McQueary. He did what he was supposed to do as outlined by the
Penn State administration. They had the information, but sat on it, covered it up, and hoped
to dear god, it would go away. The athletic director and president were accused of lying
to the grand jury about it and sent on their merry way. But Paterno became the fall guy.
He became more of a villian because he was silent for so long and didn't show much
effort in trying to defend himself.

When the scandal broke, Paterno urged everyone to let the legal process play out, but
in this country, it seems that we're all guilty until proven innocent, especially in the
court of public opionion. We get excerpts from a grand jury report and abided by it like
it's the gospel. If everything in a grand jury report is the truth, why the hell do we even
bother with a trial? People lie all the time, and get this, they even do it under oath?

What nobody ever seems to point out was the fact, that the allegations against Sandusky had
been reported in a local paper a full three months before Sandusky was arrested. Are you
telling me that the administration and trustees never heard about it? That's a joke. They were
just hoping nothing would ever come of it. Boy, were they ever wrong. When the bombshell dropped, the administration and trustees ran for cover and protected their asses as if their lives depended on it. Which in many cases, it did.

They said Paterno had a "moral obligation" to go to the police. What a crock of chicken
salad. Why didn't THEY go to the police? Why didn't THEY do more? And seriously, how
many executives and managers do their "moral obligation" in business and running companies?
Most of them do the right thing when it's the right thing for themselves. Rarely, do they
put their neck on line when they know their head could be cut off. There are companies
everywhere that cover up things in the work place to protect themselves. It happens EVERY

The administration and trustees at Penn State made Paterno the scapegoat because it was
so easy to. Paterno said that he "wished he could've done more", words that carried so
much weight and were ones that the media put in three-inch headlines around the country.
The trustees and administration ran with that because it got them off the hook. Paterno
deflected the criticism from them, and place it solely on himself.  Anyone with a half
a brain, and clearly Phil Knight has a lot more than that, knows that the administration and
the trustees covered up the scandal and made Paterno the fall guy.It's just too bad that no
one had the guts that Knight showed to make everyone see hear the truth.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


We haven't heard much from Terrell Owens since his bizarre ESPN interview where
he positioned three family members behind him, who may as well have been cigar
store Indians they were so stiff. He then, with a tear in his eye, told Screamin A. Smith,
that he was retiring. Then he pretty much said, "My bad, just kidding", I'm ready to
come back from a knee injury. He made his family, Smith (if that's possible) and
himself, look like fools.

T.O. had an open workout for NFL teams a few days later. There was T.O. half-naked,
shredded toabout 4% body fat and not a single person showed up and had their popcorn
or stopwatches ready. Not even Adam Schefter, Chris Mortenson, or Mel Kiper, Jr.
showed up to get their scouting or scoop fix. It was crickets, nothing but crickets for
T.O. Several teams were in a need of a big-play receiver, not one of the them, in a
league where talent rules, picked up the phone to get T.O. in an NFL uniform. Not
really shocking,  after all, he'd worn out his welcome with San Francisco, Baltimore,
Philadelphia, Dallas, Buffalo, and Cincinnati quicker than the Kardashian-Humphries marriage.

"With T.O., no matter how brilliant he can be on the field, the dark side is always lurking.
You don't know which T.O. you're going to get, and no one is comfortable risking that," an unidentified NFL team executive told GQ.

T.O's theatrics over his career in the NFL have been well-documented. The feud with
Donavan McNabb, the reported suicide attempt in Dallas, the list is longer than the one
for Tiger's extramarital affairs. Then there was that weird, uncomfortable interview on
ESPN. To teams in the NFL, T.O. just wasn't worth the headaches. He is finished in
the NFL, that's for sure. Apparently, so is the gravy train.

In a feature in the February issue of GQ, T.O. says he's just about out of cash. Paying
nearly $44,000 month to four women for child support can make quite a dent in one's
bank account. He never married any of the women he got pregnant saying one of them
was a "one-night stand" and the other were "repeat offenders" Nice, real, nice. And
apparently, when T.O. was doing those sit-ups for the media in front of his house in
Philadelphia, getting the popcorn ready in Dallas, and co-starring in Cincinnati with
Ochocinco in a reality show, his financial "advisers" were stealing his money. Haven't
we heard this before?

T.O. didn't read the story about Mark Brunell, who didn't see the story about Antoine
Walker, who didn't see the story about Mike Tyson. Collectively, these professional
athletes blew about $800 million dollars. T.O's. $80 million was just a smidgen of the
total bust. At least, he's still got his six-pack.

Outside of Jerry Rice, T.O. has caught more balls and scored more touchdowns than
any receiver on the planet. He doesn't have any Super Bowl rings, but he is carrying a
world of animosity on his shoulders.

"I will tell you this, and you will never be able to convince me otherwise, if another
player who had performed as well as I have on the field had done those same things, they
would shake their little heads and say, 'You gotta admire his enthusiasm,' or, 'Just look
at how much he loves the game!' He'd be a hero," he said.

Not surprisingly, T.O. isn't on the Christmas card list of many of the people he played
with or allowed to play with his money, "I don't have no friends. I don't want no friends.
That's how I feel," he said. T.O suffers from an affliction that destroys many athletes.
It's called the "Disease of Me." Everything has always been about T.O. He had to get
his money, his catches, and all the attention he could possibly get. Now, what
does he have? No money and no friends.

T.O., who's incredible shape, obviously needs the money. He might have to go the
way of Jose Canseco and turn into more of freak show than he already is. I'm sure
there will be appearances on "Joe's vs. Pro's" with John Rocker. And he'll try his hand
at Ultimate Fighting. It's sad. Almost as sad as T.O. thinking someone will still call him
from the NFL to play on their team.

"I'm ready," he says. "They may not be ready for me, but me, I'm ready."

Sorry, T.O. Nobody is ready for your popcorn. It's burnt and has a taste that makes people
can no longer stand.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


The Pope is on Twitter?! That's right, he's been tweeting from the Vatican since June 1.
He wants to be better connected with Tim Tebow and the rest of the world. Do you
think he's got the LOL and OMG lingo down yet? A few weeks ago, The Pope announced
he would send out one tweet a day during Lent, which for those of you scoring at home,
lasts for 40 days.

Here are some of the Pope's tweets from the Vatican since the beginning of Lent.

@PopeXVI   "Elway is going to hell for trading Tebow."

@PopeXVI   "The Saints are Satan in disguise, or at least Buddy Ryan."  

@PopeXVI   "Does everybody hate Bobby Valentine or is just me?"

@PopeXVI   "Did you see the Daytona 500? That's Y I can't stand NASCAR."

@PopeXVI   "I don't like Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith.Ooops, forgiv me, father."

@PopeXVI   "Been told I look like Leslie Nielson."

@PopeXVI   "Tiger finally won. I will NOONAN him at the Masters."

@PopeXVI   "My NCAA brackets got busted. I'm out 25 large"

@PopeXVI   "I ordered my Tebow jersey. Hope it gets here by Easter."

@PopeXVI   "God doesnt like when Tebow points at him."

@PopeXVI   "Those Baylor uniforms are God-awful."

@PopeXVI   "John Calipari reminds me of a serpent. Pitino a lizard"

@PopeXVI   "Whatever happened to Hazel Mae."

@PopeXVI   "Why do soccer players act like they just got shot by a sniper?"

@PopeXVI    "Hey Dwight Howard. Just shut up an play."

@PopeXVI    "Is Maria Menounos on Twitter?"

@PopeXVI    "Dennis Rodman is broke and owes $800k in child support. Shocking"

@PopeXVI     "Good night. Going 2 watch the re-run of "Mad Men" season premiere.
                         Did you see that dance?"


Tim Thomas remained at home when the Boston Bruins were honored by President Obama at the White House on Monday. The red-carpet treatment for championship teams has been a tradition on Pennsylvania Avenue, but a few athletes over the years, have used to the photo op to make some kind of statement against the president or the policies of the country. Thomas tried to by not showing up. In a press release, the Bruins goalie pointed out the following:

"I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties,   and Property of the People. This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government. Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL." TT

Good thing he signed it TT. First of all, outside of New England, people don't know Tim
Thomas from Tiny Tim. If he walked down  Fifth Avenue in New York City and passed 1,000
people, maybe one person would recognize him, and that would probably be his brother. I can
tell you that when Obama's advisor informed him that Thomas wasn't coming to the event,
there's a good chance Obama responded by saying, "Who's Tim Thomas?" Obama might've been saying to himself, "The guy stops hockey pucks for a living and he's talking about the government growing out of control?" Then he probably texted LOL to his two girls.

Thomas, who is a staunch conservative, has the right, given to him by his Founding Fathers, of free speech and to express his opinion. But really, why the hell is Thomas complaining about anything? He gets paid millions of dollars to play hockey, he lives in one of the greatest cities in the world where fans actually care about the sport. And who the hell cares what Tim Thomas thinks?
Outside of his family, absolutely no one.

He is the only American on the team and for that reason alone, he should've stepped up, shut
up, and respected the country where he's been made a  millionaire many times over. Thomas
made the Bruins visit to the White House about Tim Thomas. It wasn't about the organization
or city getting honored, it became about Tim Thomas. His teammates will all say the right
thing about Thomas having the right to express his opinion, but deep down, they'll be thinking
that he's a selfish, self-absorbed athlete who made the day about him.

Thomas wasn't the first athlete to boycott the White House and he won't be the last. A trip
to the White House is an honor and all about respecting the president and the country that is
the best  in the world. We hear it all the time in sports: Athletes may not like certain people,
but they respect them. Thomas should've have done the same when it came to the president
and the country.

Monday, January 23, 2012


Sterling Moore. Unless you are part of Sterling Moore's family or happen to be Mel Kiper, Jr. in disguise., you probably never heard of him until Sunday. In the final minute of the AFC championship when New England's paper thin defense was getting carved up by the immortal Joe Flacco, Moore made the biggest play of the season for the Pats. Sterling Moore, a guy few had ever heard of, coming through to help the Brady Bunch get back to the Super Bowl. Unreal.

To appreciate what Moore did, one has to understand where he came from and the road he took just to get into a Patriots uniform, much less star in the AFC title game. Moore didn't play football until he was a senior in high school. He went on to play at SMU, not exactly Alabama, in terms of a football school (It was when they were paying guys like Eric Dickerson to go there), and wasn't drafted out of college. The Raiders took a flyer on him, but they cut him in September, then signed him the next day to the practice squad. Then they cut him from the practice squad, which is like being released from the kick-ball team during recess in middle school The Patriots, in need of a warm body for a defense backfield that was porous at best, signed him to their practice squad. They promoted him to the big team, but cut-him a few weeks later. Bill Belichick was so desperate, he had guys like receiver Julian Edelman, who had NEVER played defensive back, covering guys big-play receivers, he brought Moore back again. This time he stuck.

With under a minute to go in the game and trailing by three, Lee Evans, an established and experienced receiver, beat the rookie misfit and cast-off in the end zone. Moore was about to be posterized like the weak and feeble ones who used to gawk at Michael Jordan as he finished off a dunk. Moore was about to become a "Buckner" in the New England. He was clearly beaten, clearly toast. But he didn't quit. He didn't give up on the play, didn't 'quit the ship' like the captain of the Costa Concordia. Moore didn't quit until the referee signaled touchdown. He never would. Moore hacked Evans like NBA thugs used to molest Shaq to send him to the line to make him earn his points. Moore slashed Evans with one desperate attempt to save his job and save the Patriots season. He struck the pigskin flush, and the ball came out and  hit the ground before the two feet of Evans could touch the ground. Incomplete.

However, the game wasn't over. The Ravens went right back at Moore and he deflected another pass to force Baltimore into attempting a game-tying field goal. It was attempted and not made. Patriots are in the Super Bowl, thanks to a player who refused to give up, or refused to pack it in.

The New York Giants are going back to the Super Bowl because a quarterback believed in himself when others didn't. Before the season started, Eli Manning, who already has a Super Bowl ring on his finger, felt that he was in the same class as Tom Brady. Many people thought that was absurd, like Rex Ryan predicting a Super Bowl victory for a third straight year. Even the so-called experts thought their was a big gulf between Brady and Eli Manning. Who is laughing now?

Manning believed it and he's now going to his second Super Bowl, the same number as his older and gifted brother who many thought was ahead of Brady before this season. Eli didn't say he WAS Tom Brady, just that he was in the same class as him. It's funny how we're all taught to BELIEVE in ourselves, yet when somebody else actually does, we laugh or criticize them. We all want to believe in ourselves, don't we? Sometimes it's not a  bad thing to try to trick our minds. All the great ones believe in themselves and because Manning did and came through in big game after big game, the doubters and critics are silent, and that is a great thing.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


On November 5, 2011,  Joe Paterno's world and legend began to unravel. On that day, his former
trusted assisant, Jerry Sandusky, was arrested on 40 counts in connection with a child-abuse scandal
that eventually brought down the kingdom that Paterno had built at Penn State. Over the next 78 days,  Paterno saw his character assassinated, his job terminated with a phone call,  a cancer diagnosis, chemotherapy, a broken pelvis, and what was sure to be a broken spirit, heart, and will to live. The stress, anxiety,the physical and mental pain he suffered was too much to bear. On January 22, 2012,
his time had come and he died with his family and friends by his side.

The tributes running on ESPN were poignant, yet uncomfortable. There didn't seem to be a way of praising Paterno for his contributions to college football and Penn State, without condemning him for basically turning a blind-eye to a scandal that may have ruined many people for the rest of their lives.
There is nothing sadder and sicker than a child-abuse scandal and Paterno will be tied to it forever,
no matter how many of his ex-players and coaches say that Paterno molded them into the men they
are today.

Up until this year, Paterno was college football royalty, and he was most definitely the face of Penn State. He helped build a school from what was known as a "Cow College", into a world-class university. He constructed a football program from the ground up and turned into a national powerhouse. He generated more money for a school than anyone in the  history of college football. He was all things great about the game. A man who won with character, integrity, and class. If there was anything bad about his character, nobody dared say anything about Paterno because that would be career suicide, whether you were a player, coach, or member of the media. He was JoePa. Statues were erected of him long before he died, his name canvasses the library on campus. He was a legend. A legend who was beyond reproach until November 5, 2011.

The scandal ignited by Sandusky was thrust upon Paterno. Admittedly, Paterno wished he could have done more to stop an alleged child-molester from using the football facilities tocarry out his sickness.
We all thought he should of done more, after all, it was a moral responsibility of his to do so. These were little kids losing their innocence to a man Paterno had known for more than 30 years. "Why didn't Paterno do more?". People will be asking that question until the trial of Sandusky starts and the facts come out. Paterno was deified for not only being a great football coach, but also for being a man of great principle, character, and integrity. But that perception of Paterno was blown to smithereens when he passed off the Sandusky incident in the showers to his superiors like relatives pass off the garbage after a Christmas dinner. Here, you take it, it smells, I don't want to see it, and I won't care about it once it's in the trash. Just take care of it.

In his last interview just a few weeks ago, Paterno admitted he didn't know how to handle the smelly trash at Penn State. After all, getting too close to it, would stink up the supposedly squeaky-clean program he had built. The program was his baby, his legacy, and he certainly didn't want a child sex abuse scandal turning his kingdom into a cess pool. Unfortunately, that's how it was perceived by just about everyone in the  country not named Franco Harris, Todd Blackledge, LaVar Arrington, or the 800 people who played for Paterno. Programs can overcome recruiting and cheating scandals, but a child-sex abuse scandal is a sin that is not forgiven easily  I don't know exactly what happened at Penn State and neither did you. We weren't there Those facts will come out soon enough. But some things DID happen to young children, and nobody can ever look past that.

Joe Paterno was a great coach and a great man who made a mistake. He is like the rest of us with our faults and demons. He is no different, except the fact that he was probably better at his job, than we are at ours. But we are all human, no matter if we coach football or clean up garbage on the streets. It is really sad to say that if Paterno had done a better job of picking up the smell on-campus, he wouldn't have suffered through the final 78 days of what had been a truly incredible life.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


If you played for the Cleveland Indians, you'd probably want to change your identity
like Fausto Carmona did. But the veteran pitcher may have gone a little too far.
He was arrested in the Dominican last February while trying to get his visa to come
to the United States in time for spring training.

Authorities said that Carmona's real name is Roberto Hernandez Heredia and that
he's 31-years old, not 28, as the Indians media guide states. A Dominican or
Venezuelan fudging his age? No, way! That NEVER happens. (Wink, wink. See
Miquel Tejada and about 100 other players.)

I will give Roberto Hernandez Heredia credit for being creative. You just can't pull
the name Fausto Carmona out of a hat. It takes a real imagination to come up with
a name like that.

This could be the biggest identity theft since Michael Vick used the name, Ron Mexico,
to pick up his order of medication for herpes.

I'll never forget the sight of people walking around Atlanta with number 7 Falcon jerseys
with the name, "Mexico"on the back. Classic. How did Vick come up with the name, Ron

If I could steal ten names for one day, here are the ones I'd pick:

10. BUSTER CRABBE. Former Olympic gold medalist
      in swimming, who was also an actor. Played the original
      Flash Gordon.
  9. DINN MANN. Editor-in-Chief and brains of
      Great guy with a name that has perfect balance. Four letters
      and two n's in each name.

  8. I.M. HIPP. Played running back at Nebraska when they
      were dominant. He was also big on the local bar scene,
      telling the ladies, "I.M. HIPP". He was also money.

  7. FRENCHY FUQUA. Former defensive back on the great
      Steelers teams in the '70's. He was so cool, he used to
      wear clear elevator shoes with live goldfish in them.


  6.  JOHN "BLUE MOON" ODOM.  Former pitcher
       with the Oakland A's in 70's.

  5.  WAVE RYDER. Defensive back for Navy. His
       parents must have been surfers in Cali, dropping
       some serious acid to come up with this name. Or
       have the stones to, anyway.

  4.  BRONCO NAGURSKI. This names oooozes with
       toughness. What else would he be besides a hall
       of fame football player.

  3.  COCO CRISP.  Well, it'd be great at parties and
       for a good laugh.

  2.  JARVIS REDWINE. He came after I.M. Hipp
       at Nebraska and also played running back.

  1.  FABIAN ASSMAN. Soccer player in Europe and
       burden with two bad names that somehow come
       together. "Hi, I'm Fabian Assman". Excuse me?
       You're Mr. Assman?


Wednesday, January 18, 2012


10. VINCE YOUNG. In November of 2010, Vince Young was
      quarterback of the Tennesse Titans. After an overtime loss against
      the Redskins where he was booed off the field and threw his
      shoulder pads into the stands, VY, now the unofficial captain of
      the "Dream Team" in Philadelphia, got into a verbal tiff with then
      head coach, Jeff Fisher. Fisher told Young not to quit on the team,
      Young responded by saying, "I'm not running out on the team, I'm
      running out on you." Young never played for the Titans again.

 9. JOHN DALY. He's picked up his ball in so many tournaments,
     I don't have an official number on the times Daly has packed his
     Marlboro's, Diet Cokes, ugly pants, and gone home. He usually
     leaves his bag on the course. One time, he pulled the Roy McIvoy
     and hit everyone of his Pro-V1's into the drink before calling it
     a tournament.

 8. LEBRON JAMES. Remember the playoffs against the Celtics
     in 2010? Hello? Lebron? Are you here tonight? The King pulled
     a vanishing act in the biggest game of the season. His heart wasn't
     in the game and he was clearly tanking it. Perhaps, he had just found
     out that teammate Delonte West was sleeping with his mother. Which
     come to think of it, would put a lot of players in a funk.

 7. MANNY RAMIREZ. After failing his second test for a female
     fertility drug and finding out he wasn't pregnant, the enigmatic
     baseball superstar, took his bat and went home for good. Rather
     than takes his 100-game suspension, Ramirez quit on the Tampa
     Bay Rays and went home to retire. Manny being Manny now wants
     to return to the game and says he'll be a role model. LOL.
 6. SCOTTIE PIPPEN. In the 1994 NBA playoffs, Phil Jackson drew
     up a play for the final shot. Michael Jordan was retired at the time
     and Pippen thought he was "the man" for the Chicago Bulls. The
     Zen Master was feeling it for Tony Kucoc and called his number.
     Pippen went all diva and said he wasn't going on the floor. No
     biggie, Kucoc sank the game winning-shot and the Bulls went home
     happy as Pippen was crying.

  5. RICKY WILLIAMS. The Zen Master of South Beach quit on
      the Miami Dolphins just a few days before the start of the 2004
      season. He totally sold out the Dolphins organization and his
      teammates. I think that was the year, Williams went to see the
      Dhali Lama or was it Cheech and Chong? I forget. Doesn't really
      matter. Talent rules in the NFL an the Dolphins welcomed him
      back to the team a couple of years later.

  4. JORGE POSADA. Last spring, the Yankees catcher was hitting
      the weight of one of my ex-girlfriends (.167) and manager Joe
      Girardi dropped him to 9th in the batting order for a Sunday Night
      game on ESPN against the Red Sox. How dare Girardi do that?
      I'm Jorge Posada! Hip-hip Hor-Hay! Posada got his panties in
      a bunch and said he needed to "clear his head". Oh, boy. That was
      the only nick on Posada's career, but it was unnecessary.

  3. INDIANPOLIS COLTS (2009) Peyton Manning and the Colts
      had a 14-0 record and chasing history. Playing the New York Jets
      with a lead, head coach Jim Caldwell took out Manning and the
      starters. The crowd booed and Peyton pleaded to go back in.
      No dice. Caldwell had his orders from President Bill Polian, The
      Colts laid down and the Jets won to end the dream season. They
      didn't win the Super Bowl. Polian got fired a few weeks ago,
      Caldwell got the ax today.
   2. JEFF TARANGO. WHO? Nobody really knew of Tarango
       in the tennis world until 1995. That was the year the 3-time
       all-american from Stanford quit his third round match against
       Alexaner Mrunz or something like that. Not important. Tarango,
       channeling his inner John McEnroe, who also played at Stanford,
       cried about every call. He said the umpire was "corrupt" and
       quit. Just walked off the court. That's something no player had
       done in the Open era. No more breakfast at Wimbledon for
       Tarango. Good tennis name, though.

   1. ROBERTO DURAN. In his welterweight match for the WBC
       championship against Sugar Ray Leonard, Duran uttered the two
       words that will haunt him forever: "No Mas". In the 8th round of
       his match against Leonard, Duran was tired of chasing Leonard
       around the ring and getting suckered by his antics. Duran, who
       was one of the great boxers of all-time, just threw up his hands
       and said, "No Mas". So every time somebody quits, it's "No, Mas".

Monday, January 16, 2012


As I watched ESPN's tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.,
"Content of Character" on Friday,  I wondered what he would've
thought of the state of college sports today. Would he see it as
an opportunity for young people to better themselves or
a cess pool where student-athletes got exploited by coaches
and leaders who only seem to do the right thing when it's right
for themselves?

What would he think about the leaders, coaches, and educators
whose real jobs are to guide young people and teach them about
making right decisions with honesty and integrity yet can't seem
to do it the way they themselves preach it?

2011 was a year unlike anything ever seen in the the world of
college sports. It wasn't because of what happened on the field,
but rather, what happened off it. The alleged child-abuse scandals
at Penn State and Syracuse put a slimy exclamation point on
a year filled with characters whose contents were clearly
sour and spoiled.

Jim Tressel built a holier-than-thou image with his sweater
vest and meticulous preparation. He looked like a U.S Senator,
unfortunately, he acted like many politicians do. He demanded
that his players be open and honest, yet, when he was faced
with questions about what he knew about NCAA violations
committed by his players, he lied. He lied to save the image
that he had carefully built. If he hold told the truth, as he
urged his players to do, Ohio State would've have taken
their medicine like USC did before them and eventually
recovered. Instead, Tressel lied and it cost him his job.
Bruce Pearl of Tennessee did the same thing. He lied and
it cost him his job of reputation. The contents of those
two characters, no matter the color of their skin, is clearly
not good.

The administration at Penn State looked the other way
during the most heinous scandal in NCAA history. Forget
about the truth and protecting innocent victims. The president,
athletic director, and Joe Paterno said, "We have a $50 million
dollar a year cash cow and have a motto of 'Success with
Honor'. That will be destroyed so we must shove it under
the rug." Great lesson in Happy Valley. Tremendous example
for the student body. The contents of the character of the
Nittany Lions weren't as strong as their roar on Saturdays.

Todd Graham got his big break last year, when the
University of Pittsburgh hired him to be their football
coach. This came shortly after the "new coach" before
him, Mike Haywood, had been fired after just three
weeks on the job, for domestic abuse. Graham called
it his "dream job." After going a spectacular 6-6 in
his first year, Graham got a call from Arizona State
about their head coaching job and then asked the
man who hired him at Pitt, Steve Pederson, permission
to interview for the job. Pederson, the athletic director,
said no. Graham went anyway. He got the job, then,
rather than meeting with his players face-to-face, he
texted them in the middle of the night to say good-bye.
Loyalty? Honesty? Integrity? The contents of Graham's
character don't pass the MLK test, that's for sure.

Players weren't exempt from being judged on the
contents of their character. In August, four LSU football
players were involved in a bar brawl, including the
Tigers starting QB Jordan Jefferson. One person
in the melee suffered a broken jaw. The players were
suspended. Players at UNC, Auburn, and Miami
were accused of taking money and other gifts from
agents, a violation of NCAA standards. They knew
they were doing the wrong thing, but chose to do
the thing that benefited THEM, the most.

That's what college sports has become: How can it
benefit ME the most. Coaches are jumping from job
to job after one year, leaving their players and an
entire university, holding the bag. University presidents
and athletic directors are jumping to different conferences
hoping to get bigger pay days. Can you blame the players
for leaving, as well? Forget about the education, show me
the money! That has become the theme of the NCAA,
coaches, athletic directors, presidents, and players throughout
college sports. SHOW ME THE MONEY!

The BCS paid out $174 million dollars to its participants
in 2011. It will be much bigger next year. The SEC is
in the midst of a 2.2 BILLION dollar package with CBS.
The conference has won six straight national titles, can
you imagine what it's going to be the next time around.
The money in college football is obscene. As Cyndi Lauper
once sang, "Money changes everything", and it can
certainly change the contents of the characters in college

Friday, January 13, 2012


Tim Tebow is the most talked about, and perhaps, the most polarizing
figure in the sports world. He's been called the "Mile High Messiah"
for bringing the Denver Broncos back to life with his magical play
at quarterback. Tebow has also been mocked openly by other NFL
players and criticized by many for his religious beliefs.

"Everybody seems to be looking for some kind of deep meaning in
what he does," said Father Robert Crofut of the St. Thomas the
Apostle Parish  in Norwalk. "I believe that Tebow is just expressing
thanks for who he is and the gifts that he is blessed with."

Those who criticize Tebow for pointing to the sky after completing
 a touchdown pass or taking a knee to pray before a potential
game-winning field goal, feel he should keep his gestures private.
Others say that Tebow is just being himself and staying true to
his faith.

"He can't separate what he believes in just to make others happy,"
said Father Michael J. Bachman of Saint Ladislaus Parish. "I respect
what he does even though it might not be a popular stance."

After helping the Broncos win their sixth consecutive game earlier
this season against the Chicago Bears, Tebow, who won the Heisman
Trophy while at the University, made sure to let everyone know
who came first in his life.

"I want to thank my Lord and savior, Jesus Christ," Tebow said
to Fox NFL reporter Tony Siragusa. "He seems to be really a
sincere man and he's demonstrating an act of thanks," said Crofut.
"I don't think he's imposing his religion on anybody and believe
his gestures are really genuine."

In a sports world that has been riddled with scandal, Tebow has
 been like an air freshener that covers up a bad odor. He accepts
being a role model and is bothered if some people are turned off
by actions when it comes to religion on the field.

"I think he's outstanding," said Joe Madaffari, athletic director
at Brien McMahon who played quarterback at Norwalk High School
in 1975. "What he's doing is unbelievable. He's unstoppable.
 But if he's trying to push his religion on people, I'm against that."

Stephen Tulloch of the Detroit Lions was apparently against
Tebow and what he had been doing. In a game against the Broncos
 last month, the linebacker stepped in front of Denver's star after
an incomplete pass and did the act of "Tebowing", the one-knee
prayer celebration authored by the second-year quarterback.
However, with Tebow's success and convictions, there are
some who hope this will encourage others to express their
beliefs more openly.

"He believes in what he's doing and that is admirable," said
Father Michael Boccaccio of Saint Philip Parish. "I think that
 no matter what religion people are they should feel free to
express themselves spritually whether it's crossing themselves
or wearing a yarmulke."

Tebow might not be God's quarterback, but he's wearing his
faith on his sleeve and has turned many doubters into believers.
The Broncos are a different team with Tebow who might just
be on his way to authoring a "Mile High Miracle."