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 9, 2012


"For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall
 much be required." -- Luke 12:48

God must've looked down on Tom Brady one day and said,
"Son, I have blessed you with size, smarts, athletic talent, and
movie star good-looks, but if you want to be my quarterback,
you must earn it." The Patriots quarterback has done his part,
using a legendary work ethic and a fire that burns deep from
within to become arguably the best player in the game.

The Lord and Savior of Tim Tebow blessed his child with
size, speed, toughness, but a weak throwing arm and said,
"Junior, if you want to make it as a quarterback in the NFL, you
must believe in me and believe in yourself because with that
chicken wing, you're never going to be Tom Brady."

Brady and Tebow will meet on Saturday night in what will
be the most watched playoff game in NFL history. This divisional
game is not so much about the New England Patriots and the
Denver Broncos as it is about Brady, the perfect quarterback,
and Tebow, the quarterback who is far from it, but has
seemingly willed his team to victories.

Saturday's game will be one in which NFL fans will not
be able to take their eyes of because of Brady and Tebow.
They are very much the same, but also very much different.
Both are squeaky clean who always seem to say and
do the right thing. Oh, sure, there are people who get on
Tebow because he publicly thanks his Lord and Savior,
Jesus Christ, every time he breathes, but as Bill Belichick
likes to say, "It is what it is." I'd rather hear that than read
one of Chad Ochocinco's stupid tweets.

Brady came out of college as an afterthought, a player that
was passed over in the NFL draft by 31 teams at least five
times. He was the 200th player pick in the draft. If he didn't
make the Patriots roster, nobody would've even noticed.

Tebow came out of college as one of the most decorated players
in NCAA history. All-American, Heisman Trophy winner,
2-time national champion and had a cult-like following. Despite
having a weak arm, Tebow was drafted in the first round by the
Broncos. If he didn't make the team out of training camp, echoes
of "I told you so" would have rung out in NFL offices
throughout the league.

Tebow and Brady were given little chance of being elite players
in the NFL. Everybody but Jesus was criticizing Tebow because
he couldn't hit the broadside of a barn at Churchill Downs. Brady
was considered too slow and too weak to be more than Drew
Bledsoe's back-up in New England.

But Brady and Tebow had an ironclad belief in themselves,
a last-to-leave the weight room work ethic, and a competitive
fire that burned like a raging inferno. Critics said they would
never make it, their stone-cold confidence said they would.

Brady got his shot when Mo Lewis of the Jets almost put
Drew Bledsoe six feet under with a bone-crushing hit. He
never looked back, winning Super Bowls and MVP's as if
he owned them.

Tebow got his shot when Kyle Orton and the Broncos
sputtered to a 1-4 start. The former Florida QB hasn't looked
back, but he sure as hell has been criticized by everyone
from Merril Hoge to Meryl Streep. At times, he has played
real ugly, looking like the worst passer in NFL history and
Ryan Leaf played in the league at one time. But he has
provided some magic that has made a lot of us believe and
in some cases, cheer for him.

As Brady is in New England, Tebow is a God in Denver.
God blessed each with a lot of gifts and has seemingly
expected much in return. Brady has delivered, while Tebow,
for all his football faults, just might be on his way.

Friday, January 6, 2012


Up until he challenged Tom Brady in a sideline shouting match in early
December, very few people ever heard of Bill O'Brien. On Friday,
for better or for worse, the Patriots offensive coordinator was the
lead story on "SportsCenter",  sports talk radio, and Googled by

O'Brien is set to become the next head coach at Penn State and the
first one other than Joe Paterno in the last half-century. He's walking
into a Nittany Lions den that is one big mess, thanks to the biggest
scandal in college sports history. Jerry Sandusky and his alleged
child-sex abuse followed by a cover-up of epic proportions has left
the school and football program with a stain that might take a while
to get out, a long while to rinse away. And Bill O'Brien is Mr. Clean?
Is he the best Penn State could do? Really? I realize many coaches
would rather date the OctoMom than try to clean-up the Exxon
Valdez of college football, but it's still Penn State.

Fans in Happy Valley are anything but thrilled with the choice of O'Brien
to succeed Paterno. O'Brien is not big name, has zero head coaching
experience, and no ties to Pennsylvania, a hot bed for recruiting.
Ex-players are upset, as are trustees and the fans. Bill O'Brien? Huh?

Oh, sure, he was the offensive coordinator for the Patriots high-octane
offense and had the stones to stand-up to Tom Brady. But being a
visible assistant with the Pats hardly guarantees success as a head
coach anywhere. Charlie Weis? Failure at Notre Dame. Josh McDaniels?
Not good in Denver or as an assistant in St. Louis. Romeo Crennel?
Oh, Romeo, oh, Romeo, you were not good in Cleveland and you
definitely didn't look cool in brown. Eric Mangini? Good grief. They
all failed. This is a testament to Belichick and his genius. It's all Belichick.
The assistants ride his coat tails and reputation and then sink on their own.

Penn State did little right in handling the scandal, making dumb decisions
and PR blunders. Nobody looks good at the center of a child-sex
abuse scandal, but they dumped a tanker filled with gasoline on the
blaze, making it like a California wildfire: Lengthy and out of control.

O'Brien is not the first guy not to be wanted. Joe Torre was called
"Dumb" Joe after being named Yankees manager in the mid-90's.
He had been fired by three teams already, including the Mets. He
rode the wave of some great talent to win four World Series titles,
earning a ticket to Cooperstown in the process.

However, the cupboard is bare at Penn State. Recruiting are
de-committing or not even bothering to show up for their visits.
Times are going to be lean in State College for awhile. I don't what
Penn State was thinking in hiring O'Brien and I really don't know if
Penn State was thinking, either.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


When an athlete passes a milestone or breaks a record, it's easy to
wax poetic about them and it becomes fashionable to engage in the
"hero worshipping" of them. Lord knows, ESPN has buttered their
bread with it over the years. (Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, Brett Favre,
Derek Jeter, you get the picture)

Media outlets around the country are doing the same with Drew
Brees today. Last night, he broke Dan Marino's single-season
record for passing yards in a season, a mark that stood since
1984. There are few records that really mean anything in football,
that was one of them. In the coming week, we'll see Brees on
SportsCenter, "PTI", "Good Morning America, and even the
Ellen DeGeneres show where he has made several appearances.
Everyone will want the "hottest" star and story of the week
because it will give them broadcast cred and perhaps a bump
in the ratings.

The record is nice and Brees is a bona-fide superstar, but all
the glitzy highlight reels, features, and accolades by the networks
will never be enough to illustrate just how much one man has
meant to a city. It's not just because Brees is a great athlete, but
more importantly, a  person of great strength and character. He
has help change the face and perception of a Saints organization
that had been inept, insecure, and in need of savior. Brees helped
energize New Orleans and aided in it's recovery from Hurricane
Katrina. No athlete in the history of sports has been more important
to its city than Dree Bress. That includes Michael Jordan, Magic
Johnson, and Derek Jeter. Those athletes played in stronger-than-
Atlas cities, ones that already had an identity and resources to
withstand catastrophe.

After Hurricane Katrina, he didn't flee New Orleans, he embraced
it. He didn't bolt to a ritzy suburb, he stayed in the heart of the
city and helped it rebuild. Many of us thought the Big Easy would
never recover, but Brees made sure it not only recovered, but
 flourish. He helped lead the Saints to a place where they had
never gone before, beating hometown hero Peyton Manning of
the Colts in the Super Bowl. He became the king of the Mardis
Gras parade and a person that parents wanted their kids to emulate.

It's not about the record with Brees. It's about the person.
In a sports world that has been riddled with scandal,
sarcasm, and superstars without a moral compass, Dress Brees
is everything right about sports. Thank you, number 9.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


In a college football world where every coach always seems to
be looking out for number one, it was refreshing to hear Mark
Richt looking out for others. The Georgia Bulldogs head football
coach was cited by the NCAA for "impermissible" payments.
Richt apparently paid some of his assistant coaches more than
$60,000 from his own pocket over the course of a three-year

The veteran coach of the Bulldogs didn't think a few members
of his loyal staff were being compensated fairly by the university,
so he supplemented their incomes. How cool is that?

In a day and age where coaches like Lane Kiffin and Todd Graham put
blinders on and chase the almighty dollar, it's nice to see a guy
taking care of the guys who take care of him. Loyalty and dedication
was rewarded by Richt, who some say put his job on the line with these
"transgressions". (The NCAA has so many silly rules that
it's nauseating). Not by a long shot. Richt enhanced his reputation
as a coach and person who is grounded and of high-moral
fiber. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Richt
helped out in a number of ways.

• To former recruiting assistant Charlie Cantor, $10,842 over an
11-month period through March 2011.
• To former linebackers coach John Jancek, $10,000 in 2009 after the
previous university administration declined to give Jancek a raise when
he turned down a coaching opportunity elsewhere.
• To director of player development John Eason, $6,150 in 2010 when his
new administrative position called for a salary reduction after he
stepped down from an assistant coaching position on Richt's staff.

Richt also paid a total of $15,227 when the school -- citing "difficult
economic conditions being experienced by the University" -- refused
bowl bonuses to 10 non-coach staff members: director of sports medicine
Ron Courson, video coordinator Joe Tereshinski, strength coaches Keith
Gray and Clay Walker, football operations manager Josh Brooks, high
school liaison Ray Lamb and four administrative assistants.

He also paid a five-year longevity bonus of $15,337.50 due to tight
ends coach Dave Johnson when he took a job at West Virginia in 2008
just short of his fifth anniversary coaching at UGA and $6,000 to fired
defensive ends coach Jon Fabris in 2010 when Fabris was unable to find
a job after his UGA severance package expired.

 As we've seen over the past few months, there are a lot of quality coaches
in college sports, but not a lot of quality people. The University of Georgia
has a great coach and person in Mark Richt. Paying more $60,000 from
his own pocket for his assistants? How cool is that?