Saturday, August 31, 2013


Tim Tebow has been cut by the New England Patriots so now the United States roster of
haters can rejoice. They said he couldn't throw, run a pro-style offense, and doesn't belong
in the NFL. Yep, they told us so. And all those haters may be right that Tebow will never
play again, because after all, they say he's, in the words of Charles Barkley: tuuuuuuur-a-ble.

I'm just amazed at all the venom spewed about Tebow. Judging by all the comments on the
Internet and sports talk radio, there are millions of people who just can't stand the guy. They
seemed obsessed with proving how much he sucks and can't play. They seem to revel in his
failure, which in this world isn't all that surprising considering the majority of it seems to
gloat in the failure of others. I've been a part of some companies where some people get all
giddy when a co-worker gets fired. It's sad, really.

And it's kind of sad how much people hate a guy like Tim Tebow. Is it because he wears his
religion on his sleeve? There have been plenty of people before Tebow who've pointed to the
sky to praise God or gotten a knee to give thanks and nobody says a word. But when Tebow
does it, haters everywhere roll their eyes and say, "Lord help us." People mocked the former
Florida Gator with "Tebowing", which became a hit on the Internet, gaining laughs at the
expense of Tebow.

Since he was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the first round a few years back, it's been
open season on the left-handed, bible-thumping quarterback. ESPN analyst Merril Hoge
called Tebow "as phony as  three-dollar bill." Teammates in New York hid behind the old "anonymous sources" thing and said he was "terrible." Did Tebow get upset? Nope, he just
turned the other cheek and tried to get better as a quarterback.

Did the Broncos make a mistake drafting Tebow in the first round? Absolutely. But the line
of teams picking players in the first round who've turned out to be total busts is 10-miles
long. Jamarcus Russell, anyone? Ryan Leaf? Tim Couch? Akili Smith, hello? Mark Sanchez,
how uuuuuuuuu doing? Yes, it happens.

Tebow may never make it in the NFL and the haters will tell us they told us so and feel good
about themselves. They hate from their couches, sitting in front of their big screen TV's with
a beer and a bucket of popcorn in their lap. And, by golly, they can play quarterback better
than Tebow because they sacrificed so much and handled all the critics with class and dignity.

Do you know what Tebow was? A Heisman Trophy-winner, 2-time national champion,
All-American, first-round NFL draft pick, and playoff-winning quarterback.

Do you know what Tebow is?  A person of great character, who doesn't swear, smoke, or
have sex. He has never wavered in his faith, nor blinked in the face of criticism from the
media or his teammates. He's never talked bad about anybody, thrown anyone under the bus,
or been arrested. He has taken the time to work, give, and raise money for the less fortunate
Is that so bad? We've had to deal with the likes of Michael Vick, Lance Armstrong,
Ryan Braun, Tiger Woods, and a host of other athletes whose contents of character are made
up of less than savory ingredients and people want to trash Tebow? Please.

Do you know what Tebow will be? Probably anything he wants besides and NFL quarterback
and that might not be so bad. Prior to training camp, Forbes magazine named Tebow the most
influential athlete in sports. That's right, ahead of Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Derek Jeter,
and Tiger Woods. Why do you think that is? Because Tebow has "it". He can lead and influence
the masses with a speech or just by his work in the community. If he wants to go on the
speaking circuit, Tebow can be a millionaire ten times over.

People will say that Tebow failed as an NFL quarterback, and so what? He was the one who
got in the arena and tried to succeed. He's the one who got the snot beat out of him by 320-lb
lineman and 250-lb heat-seeking linebackers. Tebow tried and got cut. He didn't succeed, but
he has already accomplished more in 26-years that most people will do in their entire lives.

Don't be a Tebow hater. Respect what he has done and the person he is. So what if he couldn't
be an NFL quarterback? I have a feeling when it's all said and done, Tim Tebow is going to
much, much more than just a guy who can read a defense and sling a football.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Brian Wilson of the Los Angeles has arguably the greatest beard in the history of professional
sports. It's often imitated, but never duplicated. It is long, full, and thanks to a squirt of "Just
for Men", it is really, really dark. Lord  knows what the heck has been buried in that beard for
the last five years. Chicken wings, sandpaper, a small child, A-Rod's PED's, and Lindsay
Lohan's phone number are some of the things that could be uncovered.

If gets their way and comes up with enough cash for Wilson, we soon might
find out exactly what hidden treasures are in the beard. The razor company has reportedly
offered Wilson $1 million to shave his beard. A great stunt for sure, and one that could get

them a heckuva lot of free publicity by Friday morning, thanks to Twitter, Facebook, sports
radio, and television. Brilliant idea. Not sure $1 million is going to make Wilson change his
entire identity. We'll see. Here's a few other athletes, current and former, who razor, clipper,
and scissor companies would like to get a hold of.

I love this guy. Troy Polamalu is one of the best safeties in NFL history who is a heat-seeking
missile. The Steelers All-Pro never has to worry about concussions because he's got the most
well-protected head in the league. Just add water and it grows and grows and grows. Great cushioning prevents really hard hits to the dome.

It's 2013, but the Hall of Fame pitcher and NESN analyst has a head of hair that stuck in the
80's. He refuses to call it a mullet and won't let anyone else call it one, either. The "Eck",
who is one of the best analysts in the game and an even better guy, has tried to trim it up
from time to time, but he's just not feeling it. The long locks are just part of his identity. He
is one really cool dude. You could offer him $5 million and I don't think he'd shave it off.

The all-star from the Houston Rockets has a beard that has a lot of Brian Wilson in it. He
can't match the uniqueness Wilson's bush, but he undoubtedly has the best beard in the history
of the NBA. He definitely has to keep it away from Christmas candles and the gas grill.

I'm afraid if somebody cut of the famous dreads of Jackson, the Atlanta Falcons running
back would lose all his strength and speed. Check that, if he shaved off that mop, he'd knock
two-tenths of a second off his time in the 40-yard dash.

I would love to shave the "Birdman's" hair off and then watch him cry. The super freak
of the Miami Heat has some serious ink and a hair doooooooo that makes him a player
that you just can't take your eyes off of. I think he'd take the million to shave his hair, though.
The kid isn't afraid to make a statement, but I don't know what kind of statement he's
trying to make with the "rockabilly" style. It makes him look like one of those possessed
dudes in the "Hills Have Eyes" scary movie.
Harper's older brother, Bryan, has some style as well. The minor-league in the Washington
Nationals minor-league system is the modern day Rollie Fingers what this handle
bars mustache. It's kind of weird seeing a kid that young sporting that type of mustache.
Maybe could do a package deal with the Harper's and Fingers.

I realize somebody may have already taken a weed whacker to the head of Coco Crisp,
but if the veteran outfielder decides to grow his fro' out again, I'd pay to see somebody
shear it off.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


When I saw a picture of Walt Weiss and Mike Jedziniak posted on Facebook recently, a
flood of memories washed over me like a tsunami. The manager of the Colorado Rockies and
the lawyer from New Jersey re-united in Baltimore nearly 30 years after forming the best
double-play combination in UNC history.

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to play with both and watch their brilliance
in turning two. Nobody did it better before they arrived on campus in 1982, and no shortstop-
second basemen combo has surpassed their skill-set since they graduated from the program
in the mid-80's. As someone who is passionate about the game and the intricacies of it, I
admired what Weiss, forever known as the "Peanut Man", and Jedz did as defensive wizards
in Boshamer Stadium. Quite frankly, it was a beautiful thing to watch.

Weiss was a silky-smooth shortstop from Suffern, NY. He possessed a cannon of an arm
along the lines of Shawon Dunston and the feet of Fred Astaire. He made everything look
so remarkably easy. Jedziniak was a scrap-iron second baseman from Toms River, New
Jersey who played with a chip on his shoulder the size of Gibraltar. He also played with a
glove the size of a tic-tac and hands that were lightning quick.

As teammates, Weiss and Jedz were pretty much inseparable. They idolized Bruce Springsteen,
loved anything that was denim, and spoke their own language. And believe me when I say this, it
was their "own" language. They often spoke in code, inside humor, and in sentences consisting
of three words or less. If an outsider heard what they were saying, they'd no doubt respond with
a "WTF?"

Weiss and Jedz took that friendship and chemistry onto the field to form a great double-play
combination that was pure magic. You could blindfold them and they'd know where each
other were on the field. They didn't have to say, "this is where I want to be fed the ball," they
just knew. It was uncanny, it was brilliant, and it was a helluva lot of fun to watch.

They were a pitcher's best friend even if they couldn't relate to the Deabenderfer's, 
Kopcynksi's, and Powell's of the program. A ground ball to second base or shortstop was
automatic as was an inning-ending double-play.

For those who played with Weiss and Jedz, you know what I'm talking about. For those
who didn't, I'm sorry, you missed something truly special. Turning a double-play in
college is not all that hard, but the way in which Weiss and Jedz did it was scintillating
to watch. They did it with such confidence and flair, you could do nothing but appreciate

Most of all, I admire the friendship that was quite evident in their picture together in
Baltimore. They were more than just a great double-play combination, they are forever
friends. No matter how far apart their lives are now, they are as close as they were around
the second base bag. And that will never change.

Monday, August 19, 2013


It's sadly ironic that 42, a movie about Jackie Robinson and the hardships he dealt with in
breaking Major League Baseball's color barrier, was released at the beginning of a season
that's turned out to be as ugly as the abuse Robinson took during his rise to stardom.

In 2013, Major League Baseball is dripping in scandal. It should be celebrating the extraordinary
accomplishments of Clayton Kershaw and Miguel Cabrera, instead, it's being dragged down by
the liars, cheaters, and the Biogenesis cesspool. Where have you gone, Jackie Robinson?

Robinson was a man of such splendid talent and great character, MLB retired his number.
Today, the league wants Alex Rodriguez, a player blessed with incredible skills,
but little else, to just leave the game for good.

Robinson, as we saw in 42, was a man of strong moral fiber, who, in the face of racial taunts,
turned the other cheek and just walked away. As we've seen in the Ryan Braun's mini-series,
he can't tell the truth or walk away without pointing the finger at somebody else to camouflage
his shame.

On April 15 of every year, every major league player gets the chance to wear 42. It marks
the day Robinson made his debut in the league. I'm not sure very many of today's players

even know what that number and what the man who wore it, represents. They seem all giddy
to wear it, as if it will make great photo to tweet or post on Facebook, but I don't think many
of them truly understand what Robinson meant to the game or even our country.

Robinson was a man and a player who did things the right way. He played hard, he played
clean, and he respected the game. Most of today's players are dirty, self-absorbed, and make
sure to style during their highlight on ESPN.  They will smile to your face while sticking a
needle in their ass.

Nothing seems pure about the game anymore. It lost its innocence a long time ago, somehow
morphing into evil brought on by the steroid era. The players are driven by greed, ego, and
the desire to get noticed. The modesty and humbleness of Robinson has been replaced by the
mantra, "Look at me! Aren't I great?"

I didn't get to see Robinson play in person, but I can tell a lot by the video of his games. He
played with the joy and enthusiasm of a Little Leaguer playing in his very first game. There
was no posing at the plate, showing opponents up, or pointing to the sky after hitting a home

Why can't baseball be like that once again? Why can't players be more like Jackie Robinson
and less like Ryan Braun? What happened to playing for the love of the game?

Perhaps, it's still there, but you'd probably have to tune into the Little League World Series
to find it.


Pam Oliver must've been a hockey player. She's that tough.

During Sunday's telecast of the Indianapolis Colts-New York Giants, Oliver, a longtime
sideline reporter at Fox Sports, was doing what she does better than most. She was preparing
for her gig when Chandler Harnish, a back-up quarterback whom you will never hear of
again after this piece, air-mailed his receiver during pre-game and drilled Oliver right in
the face. Hard. It was a fastball, as baseball analyst, Dennis Eckersley likes to say, " that
had some hair on it."

Oliver barely blinked. Oh, yeah, her hair got messed up a bit, but she took it like Rocky did
in just about every one of his movies. A thunderbolt by Apollo Creed? No problem. A hammer
from Clubber Lang? Is that all you got? A haymaker from Ivan Drago? Yooooo, Adrian!

Oliver hung tough and was ready for her report with a smile on her face and just a little more
hairspray on her dome. No ice, no EMS, no call for sympathy from the guys back in the studio.
Oliver is a pro's pro. A true gamer. She went down and went down hard, but Oliver got off the
canvas, well, um, turf and kept on going like nothing ever happened.

It reminded me of the days when we worked together at Fox Sports Net in Atlanta. She
often acted like nothing happened when the world around her was falling apart. And many
days in that studio, things fell apart early and often. Fox hired a production team that was
basically out of college. No experience. Shows would come up eight minutes short,
which in television is an eternity, and many times, the anchors would be left hanging without
shot sheets or correct scores. But Oliver carried on.

Watching Oliver get drilled by an errant pass, reminded me of  when we were working
together on the nightly sports program. I had gone to the refrigerator to get a grapefruit,
because, of course, I was on the grapefruit diet. I was walking back to the office from the
break room when a large slice of grapefruit got caught in my throat. My face was turning
blue, my eyes were watering, and even the best interpreter from the United Nations couldn't
figure out what the hell I was saying.

I walked into the office and my co-anchor sat in a chair to the left and Oliver was on
the far right. Matt Morrison immediately popped up and gave me the Heimlich maneuver.
That piece of grapefruit came out of my throat like it was shot out of a cannon. That sucker
whizzed past the head of Oliver and hit the back wall of her desk. Yep, it was something
out of sit-com, but really happened.

Oliver turned, gave me a dirty look, and just carried on as if nothing happened. That is
Pam Oliver. A pro's pro who was always channels her inner hockey player. She's that tough.

Friday, August 9, 2013


About eight months ago, I was preparing for an interview for a job interview. Resumes?
Check. Suit cleaned? Check. Shoe shined? Check. Prepared answers that I'm a team player,
hard worker, and enthusiastic. Check, check, and check.

I was buttoned up and going to be dressed to the nines. That was until I passed a mirror and
saw that my hair looked like Nick Nolte's in that famous mugshot. "Oh, my God,"
I said to myself.  "I can't go to the interview with this head of hair. It's all over the place."

Panic didn't set in, initially, the interview was near the end of the day so I had plenty of time.
However, after my regular stylist said she couldn't get me in, I got a little jumpy. Now, I had
to scramble to find a place to get a hair cut and most likely get it from a person I didn't know.
I figured, just as long as it didn't look like I got it cut at a pet shop, I'd be all right.

I drove down the main strip near the town I live in and noticed a Supercuts franchise pretty
quickly. I said, "Oh, what the hell. A hair cut for anybody trained is like making scrambled
eggs: pretty hard to screw up."

Unfortunately, when I arrived the place was pretty jammed up with the people waiting to
get a SuperCut. I went to the counter and asked how long it would be and a woman replied,
"Well, Marvin is going to be available next, Do you want to get a hair cut with Marvin? And
at that point, the entire place stopped dead in their tracks. Silence.

It was so quiet, you could hear a pin drop, so the sound of my cell phone hitting the floor
must've sounded like an M-80. Everybody was looking at me as I looked at Marvin who was
in all his glory. He was  wearing purple from head-to-toe. Purple jeans, purple t-shirt, and a
purple Yankees hat to the side just like CC Sabathia. Marvin had a big smile on his face and
bore a striking resemblance to former NFL running back Jerome Bettis.

"Sir, do you want to get a hair cut from Marvin?," the woman repeated."

Talk about pressure. How could I say no? That would've been so embarrassing for him
to be rejected in front of those people, especially since my mouth was still wide open from
the thought of getting a hair cut from a dude dressed in all purple. He looked more like a guy
spinning DVD's as a dee jay than a hairstylist, that's for sure.

"Um, OK.", I answered hesitantly.

When I strode over to the chair, I asked Marvin, jokingly, if he had ever done this before.
He responded just as jokingly, "a few times."

Shortly, after I sat down in the chair, Marvin wrapped the bib so tightly around my neck and
with such force, I got light-headed.

"Marvin, lighten up, will you?" I told him. "I don't want you giving me CPR after I pass out."

Marvin just continued on with the big grin on his face as if he just won the lottery. He started
whacking the comb on my head of hair as if it were a head of lettuce.

"Marvin, if you keep doing it like that, I'm calling the police and having you arrested for assault,"
I told him half-kiddingly.

"Sorry," Marvin said sheepishly, but with that big grin on his face. I wasn't sure if Marvin was
a real stylist or just lost a bet with a co-worker where he had to change places with him for
a day.

I cringed, shut my eyes, and threw caution to the wind, as well as a few expletives under my
breath. I just hoped for the best when it was all over. Or just that I didn't look like Anthony
Somehow, someway, Marvin's art work came out good. Honestly, I was amazed that I didn't
just have to shave it all off and start over. It was actually the best hair cut I've gotten in
a long time, at least that's what woman between the ages of 58 and 75 tell me.

Marvin did the job. And the best part about it all was when he said, "that'll be $15.95".

$15.95! What a deal. In this day and age, that's a deal!

I keep going back to Marvin and will as long as I live around here. I go just as much for
the entertainment as the hair cut. Marvin is one funny dude. Always happy, always with
that big, cat-ate-the-canary grin on his way.

Supercuts. As hip as I want to be. Oh, I didn't get the job, but I did find a place to get
a good, cheap hair cut with a lot of entertainment.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


As Bill Belichick was reading the comments made about him by Wes Welker (and make no
mistake about it, the Patriots head coach sees and hears everything said about him by former
players), I'm sure that trademark smirk washed across his face.

Belichick knows that he's gotten in the head of Welker. He knows that Welker is already in
a mind game that he cannot win. He knows that when Welker comes to Foxborough with the
Denver Broncos on November 24, Welker might try too hard, be a little too tense, and be ripe
to make a mistake at the wrong time.

Belichick still owns Welker even though he's with another team nearly 2,500 miles away.

In a cover story on Welker and the Denver Broncos in Sports Illustrated, Welker took a
few digs at his former coach, saying, “It was just kind of hard,” Welker said. “One of
those deals where you have to  endure him, put up with him . . . But he does it to everybody,
it’s the way he is.”

Let's get one thing straight: Bill Belichick is responsible for making Welker the player that
he is. Belichick saw the potential in the diminutive wide receiver and traded for him when
every other team could've had him for a song with the Miami Dolphins. Welker was an average
player with the Dolphins, a team that was clearly in disarray at the time, recording a career-
high 67 passes the year before he arrived in New England.

In his first season with the Patriots, playing in the offense designed by Belichick, not Charlie
Weiss or Josh McDaniels, Welker caught a mind-boggling 112 passes. Belichick knew how
to employ Welker in his system and create match-ups that would leave Welker wide open
most of the time.  Playing with Tom Brady, who played as big a part as Belichick in Welker's
development, he became a star. To his credit, Welker was tough, durable, and a gamer. He
averaged more than 100 catches during his six years with the Patriots. But he never would've
put up those numbers in Miami, or anywhere else, for that matter.

Belichick made Welker who he is, not the other way around. From rescuing him from the
black hole that was Miami, to utilizing him in the Patriots sophisticated offense where Brady
could zip passes to a receiver who was usually wide-open, Belichick was the genius who
made it happen.

Now, Welker says he's free to be wide open in Denver where he can be himself,
which is what many players often say when they get out of an environment where they
think they've been controlled by a dictator.We've seen it before with athletes, and we'll
see it again. They always think the grass is greener on the other side, then when they
realize it isn't. they often say, "Man, I didn't know how good I had it there."

Nobody gets better after they leave the Patriots, not Drew Bledsoe, Lawyer Milloy, Ty
Law, David Givens, Richard Seymour or even Randy Moss. Welker is bound to put up some
big numbers while playing with Peyton Manning, but he might just do it with the Hoodie
very much in his head.

“When I’m answering questions from the Denver media, I’m not worried about what the
Broncos’ people are going to think,” Welker told Sports Illustrated . “I’m worried about
what Belichick will think. Isn’t that crazy?”

Not really, Wes. That's the beauty of Belichick. He still owns you.

Thursday, August 1, 2013


The decaying of our society began a long, long time ago, but with the advent of social media,
its taken the fast lane straight into the gutter. Facebook, Twitter, and camera phones,
have turned the world into a junior high school cafeteria on steroids---filled with gossip, jealousy,
and hate. He said this, she did that, OMG, I think I'm going to post this for the entire world
to see and comment about. Yeah, I'm SMH.

On Wednesday, someone at a restaurant in the San Diego-area where Drew Brees orders
take-out, posted a picture on the Internet of the receipt showing the quarterback of the New
Orleans Saints leaving a $3 tip on a $74 bill. By Thursday morning, the story was "trending"
everywhere. Matt Lauer talked about it on the "Today" show and ESPN pontificated about
the tip with a panel of experts. Good, grief. The stories and all the talk painted Brees as "cheap".

How sad is it that this even made the news? What does it say about our society? Trivial?
Childish? Resentful? No, forget about the sleaze ball who took a picture of the receipt and
then posted it on the Internet like a child, people want to try to take some of the shine off
a Super Bowl winning quarterback. That's what our world has become today.

Nobody is criticizing the guy who wanted the entire world to think a $100 million quarterback
stiffed the staff,  but instead, they're slamming one of the really good guys in the NFL.

Brees has done so much for the city of New Orleans with his charity and personal donations
that for this to even come up in conversation, much less for the entire world to see, is truly
ridiculous. Brees is part of the fabric of the Big Easy, not only for bringing it a championship,
but for his commitment to the city. For him to receive any criticism for something as petty
as the supposed small tip, is absolutely mind-boggling. Riley Cooper is dropping the N-word
and Aaron Hernandez is sitting in prison on a murder charge and people are criticizing Brees?
What's wrong people? What's wrong with this picture?

Most people don't leave a tip on a take-out order. Few people even know it's an option. Brees
left $3. How much was he supposed to leave? 25, 50, 100 dollars? It's really nobody's business
how much he leaves. And why should anybody judge Brees on how much he left on take-out?

Perhaps, the media needed a break from Anthony's Weiner and his sexting scandal. Maybe
Simon Cowell's affair with a friend's wife just wasn't juicy enough. I don't know, but in
the words of Allan Iverson, we're talking about the tip on take-out, not a sit-down fancy
meal, but take-out. Not a gathering with a lot of food, but one person picking up take-out.
For real?