Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I really thought today would be the day that changed my life forever. I had visions of appearances
on Letterman, Access Hollywood, and the Today show. But when I woke up this morning and
scanned the Internet, I realized that I had become like Bill Murray's character in "Groundhog Day."
No matter how hard I try, not matter what I do, I get the same result. For years, I've been trying
to get chosen as Sports Illustrated's Cover Model for the swimsuit issue. And every year, I get
rejected like the two guys who ring your doorbell while toting a bible and outfitted in a black tie
and white short-sleeved shirt. They always say something about being Saints fans back in the day.

After a month of hard core training and dieting on nothing but Krispy Kreme donuts, I thought
I was in prime shape to make my dream come true. I was shredded like Terrell Owens' mother
and studied with the Dali Lama to ensure that I was poised and of a clear mind to produce
a remarkable photo shoot. The award-winning photographer, Elizabeth G., suggested the
banks of the Croton-on-the-Hudson just outside of New York City as our location. She wanted
to use the chocolate-colored river to bring out the true contrast of my frightening white body
(Think Larry Bird or the population of Maine whose flesh doesn't see the sun until mid-August).

We decided to expand our portfolio with body painting. I knew this had become popular with
the people of Sports Illustrated and fans of the issue. Elrod Neiman, the son of world-renowned
painter, Leroy Neiman, was chosen to turn my pasty-white body into a cover of deep black with
blue striping. I thought it worked well, and with the variety of my portfolio, I certainly thought
it would give me a better chance at making it onto the pages of Sports Illustrated.

The latex-based paint from Sherman Williams made the hair in my arm pits a little crunchy,
but other than that, and the eight hours it took to canvass my 240 pounds of meat, it was
a good experience. After a healthy dosing of air-brushing and glossing, I was confident that
I'd finally become a household name after my appearance in SI. This would surely be the day
that my dream would come true.

My agent got a call in mid-December from Sports Illustrated saying they were going to
produce an "Over 40 and fat issue" and wanted to know if I was interested in that one, which
comes out in August. "No chance," I said. "It was all or nothing. You can play in the big
leagues in Tampa or you can do it on the big stage of New York." I wanted the February
issue or nothing at all. I got nothing. Not a crumb, not a scrap, not an insert for Viagra on page

That's ok. There's always next year. If Randy Moss and Manny Ramirez can make a
comeback well past their prime, then so can I.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


In sevent starts with the New York Knicks, Jeremy Lin is averaging more than 20 points a game
while running the offense like Bob Cousy. He has single-handily saved the Knicks season and
perhaps, even the NBA, whose games were about as watchable as an 8-year trying to play Mozart
on the piano.

Lin has become a bona-fide sensation and the talk of New York, the country, and all of Asia. His
story is nothing short of amazing. Undrafted out of Harvard, like just about everyone else who has
played basketball at the Ivy League school,  cut by two NBA teams, and buried on the bench of a
third. Lin only got playing time because the Knicks needed warm bodies on the floor. Now, he's
playing like Steve Nash in his prime.

Anyone who has watched Lin play realizes that he is a something special. He is an unselfish,
team oriented player with incredible skills. The big question is, in a sport where scouts and
executives can spot players thousands of miles of away (Ricky Rubio, Dirk Nowitzki,
Pau Gasol, among many others), how did they miss on a special player like Lin, who was
playing in their own backyard? How could the Knicks, who were so bad before the installation
of Lin, bury a player of such talent on the bench. Mike D'Antoni and his staff watched him
every day in practice and they didn't know he was this good?

Lin is further proof there are no 'experts' in sports, or in most businesses for that matter.
It used to sicken me when the media outlets would bring on "anti-terrorism" experts after
the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, 9/11, Anthrax, and the Times Square bomber.
If you were such an "expert" why didn't you help prevent the things you're providing
"expert" analysis on?

In the world of sports, the "experts" make colossal blunders all the time. Tom Brady was
a  sixth-round draft pick, which means every NFL team passed him over not once, but
five times. Are you kidding me? Those same NFL experts thought JaMarcus Russell, Ryan
Leaf, Tony Mandarich, and Vernon Gholston were first-round picks and impact players.
How'd they turn out. The list goes on and on and on, of players who were busts. The ones
who were scouted and praised by the likes of Mel Kiper, Jr.

These same experts give ridiculous contracts to players like Carl Crawford, Carlos
Zambrano, Jayson Werth, J.D Drew, and Adam Dunn. These GM's and executives have
become like weather "experts" on television. You're considered a success if you're right
about 30 percent of the time. Ooops, I missed on that huge storm?! Oh, that's ok,
as long as I smile and dress nice, I'll keep my job. It's gotten to be the same way with
the so-called "forecasters" and "predictors" in sports.

There are no "experts" in sports, especially baseball. There is no schooling or education
they get that makes them smarter than anyone else. Some like Jerry West, one of the
greatest players in NBA have a feel and an eye for talent and know about chemistry.
Others like Michael Jordan have absolutely no clue on how to evaluate talent and put
together a team. He, like many other GM's in sports are no better than people putting
together a fantasy sports team, who are "experts" just like everyone else.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Few people are as obsessed with "legacies" as those in the sports media. After someone
retires, makes a clutch play, or self-destructs on the field or in life, the talking heads and
computer geeks with a press pass always seem to want to pose the question, "How will
they be remembered?" Or, "How will this effect his legacy?"

This was never more apparent than during Super Bowl week when many were asking
how  a loss by the Patriots would change the legacy of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick,
who were  3-1 in Super Bowls before last Sunday. If it wasn't Belichick/Brady, it was
how a win would effect the legacies of  Eli Manning/Tom Coughlin. If they get their
second Super Bowl victory, would they be considered Hall of Famers?

I have one big question. S-E-R-I-O-U-S-L-Y? This legacy stuff while athletes and
coaches are still competing is ridiculous. I mean, who really cares and what does it matter?
What was Tiger Woods' legacy after he won his 12th major and what was it after he slept
with half the woman in the free world?

It just doesn't happen with sports figures, either. What if we etched George Bush's legacy
in stone after he landed  on an aircraft carrier on May 1, 2003 and proclaimed that it
was "Mission Accomplished" concerning the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Those two
wars ended eight years later. When Bush touched down on the USS Abraham Lincoln,
American casualties stood at 139 killed and 542 wounded. That was over 4,000 US fatalities

Chris Matthews on MSNBC called Bush a “hero” and enthusiastically stated, “He won
the war. He was an effective commander. Everybody recognizes that, I believe, except
a few critics.” I wonder what Matthews would say if he re-evaluated things today.

There is a start and finish to every athlete, coach, and even politician's career. Why do
people waste time trying to write it long before they are over? Should the sports world
have set John Elway's career in stone after he was on the losing end of his first three Super
Bowls? He won his last two, so what's his "legacy?" Does it really matter?  Who does it
really matter to that Dan Marino never won a Super Bowl? Is he less of quarterback than
Elway because the Bronco legend won two of them?

Don Shula, considered one of the greatest coaches of all-time, had a record of 2-4 in Super
Bowls. Did that really effect his legacy? Hell, no. He's in the Hall of Fame and considered
one of the best ever leaders of a football team. Belichick and Brady won their first three
Super Bowl appearances, but have lost their last two. Will that effect their entry into the
Hall of Fame? Doubt it.

I get it. I realize that because of PTI, SportsCenter, Talk Radio, Twitter, and Facebook, there
are platforms to debate, rage, and vent. It drives the numbers and moves the needle. I get it.
But this "legacy" stuff long before a career ends, is somewhat laughable.

Perhaps, Lou Holtz, the former college football coach and current ESPN analyst summed it
up best when he said, "Who cares about legacy? People forget about you five minutes after
your buried."

Saturday, February 4, 2012


When Tyler Hamilton, a cyclist, who failed numerous drug tests and surrendered
an Olympic Gold medal because of them, appeared on "60 Minutes" back in May
accusing Lance Armstrong of using performance-enhancing drugs, the court of
public opinion damned the 7-time Tour de France winner and cancer survivor as
a "fraud", "cheat", and "liar." They said he must be guilty if Hamilton testified
under oath that he saw Armstrong with his own two eyes, get injected with PED's.

On Friday, Federal prosecutors announced they were ending their two-year
investigation of Armstrong for not only PED's, but fraud. Armstrong had been
accused of misusing funds given to the team he was riding on by its sponsor, the
U.S. Postal Service. The government spent two whole years and millions
of dollars trying to take down Armstrong and what'd they get? Nothing.

Super agent Jeff Novitzky tried to do the same thing to Barry Bonds and Roger
Clemens, and just like in the case of Armstrong, he got nothing. Oh, sure, Bonds was
sentenced to 30 days of house arrest and Clemens has another trial coming up, but
for all the testimony of snitches like Hamilton, (a convicted liar and cheat) and Floyd
Landis, (a convicted liar and cheat), and a massive witch hunt, they got nothing.

Through all of this, we learned three things. One, Lance Armstrong and Bonds are
bullet proof. Two, the government and their "experts" are inept. And three, people
should stop giving any credibility to liars and cheats like Hamilton and Landis. The
latter doesn't really shock me because in our society, people have a penchant for
believing everything they read and hear. It all goes back to the gossip groups in the
high school cafeterias, people believe the rumors without finding out for themselves or
asking what kind of agenda the accuser has.

In the case of Armstrong, the agenda of Hamilton and Landis was as clear as the
amount of synthetic testosterone showed up in their urine samples. These cyclists failed
tests, were stripped of titles and had their reputations smeared forever. They felt if
they were going to be embarrassed and ruined by being outed forusing PED's, then
Armstrong should suffer the same fate. It didn't matter thatArmstrong was the most
tested person in cycling and never failed a test. The gossip hounds and "believers"
will say that Armstrong was just better as masking his PED's. Perhaps so, but unless
there is a failed test, all those people can cry and moan all they want to, but Armstrong
will never suffer the same fate as Hamilton, Landis, or even Alberto Contador, who
did fail tests.

Plus, Armstrong has done more to raise money for cancer research than anyone in
the history of sports. People like him. They don't like squealers like Hamilton and
Landis. Did I think Armstrong used PED's to dominate a sport filled with liars and
cheats. Perhaps. But why did the most tested athlete in his sport never fail a single
test? Was he a chemist? Did he know when to get off PED "cycles" better?

There isn't a smoking gun anywhere. A two-year investigation by the government
would've turned up something. All that baloney that he failed tests in Europe but
they got contaminated, is pure garbage. Oh, the haters will be on hating Armstrong
and the rumors will follow him, but there is a big difference between failing a test
and being rumored to have flunked one. Just ask Landis. Just ask Hamilton. Armstrong
has won his last race and there is no one who will ever catch him, ever.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


The first Wednesday in February is one of the biggest days in college football, even though
nobody is putting on the pads or throwing a pass. It's National Signing Day, a time when
high school studs across the country put pen to paper and make their college choice official.
After months and years of the recruiting process which included thousands upon thousands
of letters, calls, e-mails, texts, tweets, and probably some under the table cash, the next wave
of  stars put their signature on a letter-of-intent.

How big has this day become? Check out the cover pages of ESPN.com, CNNSI.com and
manypapers throughout the country. There will be television shows across many sports
networks dedicated to telling college football fans which 5-star players are going to their
favorite school or alma mater.

The man behind these shows is now a professional sports agent, but a long time ago, Scott Alexander put together a program that became the model for which all others followed. You
know when the players put a number of hats, each representing a school that was heavily
recruiting their services, in front of them and then carefully and dramatically picks one out
to the cheers of family, friends, not to mention fans and college coaches?  That was all
Alexander's creation. So are the live talk backs with college coaches and recruiting "experts".

Everything you see on these recruiting shows were the ideas of Alexander who was the
producer of "Countdown To Signing Day" on Fox Sports Net South, which began running
the show in the late 90's, long before ESPN, Comcast SportsNet, and CSTV, now CBS
Sports Network, even thought about producing one.

"Countdown To Signing Day" was the signature program of Fox Sports Net South for
many years, an Emmy-award winning program  the network hung its hat on. But they didn't
just do it on National Signing Day, they did it every week for the four months leading up
to the climax of the recruiting process. Alexander was the main cog in the machine. He was
a mini Mel Kiper, Jr., who knew every stat, every time in the 40-yard dash, every pound
of a recruits bench-press, and every school in the country that was recruiting him. Alexander
was way before his time when it came to knowing how to make a recruiting show purr.

Alexander would get video on every important player in the country, which meant calling
television stations in cities you've never heard of, much less can pronounce. With a shoe-string budget, he had to use the power of persuasion to get these sports directors and photographers
to not only shoot the video, but package it up and send it as well. And on their dime. That's
no easy feat in the world of television.

The LSU grad had every big-time coach in the country on speed-dial and he'd get them
on the show. Nick Saban, Lou Holtz, Bobby Bowden, if they were big in college football, Alexander would get them to appear on his program. "Countdown to Signing Day" was
shown weekly  in the the south, the hot bed of college football and recruiting.

People in that rabid college football state wanted any type of information on players who
could possibly be signing with their school, and Alexander would always give it to them
every Saturday during the season, and in a 2-hour special on recruiting day. But he not
only did it for football, but basketball, as well. And he'd get high school phenoms like
Lebron James and J.J. Reddick to come on the show live and talk about where they
were being recruiting.

Alexander coaxed LeBron to fly down to Atlanta from Akron with nothing but a plane
ticket. King James complained that his tickets weren't first class, but "Scotty A" just laughed
and said, "You won't have to worry about that next year." Alexander had a way with players, coaches, and parents. He could get anyone on the show. Didn't matter how big they were
or how far they'd have to travel, they'd come to Atlanta just to be on "Countdown To Signing Day."

For some reason, Fox Sports Net South dropped the program five years ago. They cancelled
a show that many in the south were simply addicted to. Just as every other network in the
country was following the model that Alexander had established, Fox Sports Net South dropped
the show like it was piping hot. And it was. It's akin to Mark Zuckerberg investing hours
upon hours on Facebook and then saying, "Eh, I'm done. Too much work."

Alexander has moved on to being a successful professional sports agent, but when you see all
the recruiting shows on television today, remember who  made them what they