In 1993 Jim Valvano gave one of the most incredible heartfelt moving speeches I have ever heard. Please go to http://www.jimmyv.org
Support cancer research and watch The Coaches vs Cancer tourney this week and remember to cherish everyday.
The Bengals have apparently signed Larry Johnson to a one year deal, as a back up, for now. Already LGBT groups in Ohio were coming out against the signing, but I don’t think it will have much effect. In my opinion LJ is a low class homophobe but that alone should not preclude him from working. He’s not making policy in DC, he’s a running back, nothing more. If I were the Bengals I wouldn’t have touched him with a ten foot pole. He is a destructive force who has no concept of team. Haven’t the Bengals had enough issues that past few years without adding another egomaniacal troublemaker? They have finally righted their ship and now they may be dropping a cannonball right through the hull. LJ has had a problem with every coach and every GM he has played under, so why will this be any different? He doesn’t seem to be capable of self reflection or humility and I doubt the Bengals are going to keep him under control. We will see how it plays out but injuries or not I think the Bengals have made a mistake.
So the evil Yankees are back in the World Series and the debate about large market dominance in baseball has fired up again. Living between NY and Philly I have seen both sides of the issue. Until the last 5 – 7 years, the Phillies pretended to be a small market franchise and of course the Yankees are the bully many people love to hate. Personally, I think this is one of the best, most competetive eras of baseball and that a salary cap would ruin the game like it has ruined the NBA and NHL. I would also argue that the NFL is not better because of the cap but the popularity of the sport itself overruns any detriment the cap may cause. In the NFL the only players that really matter are the QB’s, everyone else is expendable. Baseball is much more player driven and thrives on the accomplishments of superstar teams and superstars.
MLB has a revenue sharing agreement and while it is not as extensive as the NFL it does help to balance the playing field. Now, what small market teams decide to do with the money they receive from the teams that generate massive revenues is truly the problem. Some teams, like the Pirates this year, chose to dump payroll and just collect that fat check from MLB. Others like the Rockies and Twins have invested in their farm systems and a few key midrange free agents. Plenty of small and medium sized markets have won over the years, it’s the team that don’t compete on a consitent basis that cause any percieved disparity. MLB is far more competitively balanced than the NFL or NBA right now.
There are a few MLB teams that just need to be moved or folded. The towns they are in do not support them, even when they win. Also just because a market was viable 90 years ago does not mean it is now. The Pirates, for example, even with a new stadium do not draw enough fans to support a higher payroll. Even in the early 1990′s when they were a playoff team, the Pirates were only in the middle of the pack attendance wise. Why should any larger revenue teams continue to support a franchise that had a stadium half paid for by the public, still draws very small crowds and hasn’t had a winning season since 1992? The Rays are another example of a team to be contracted. They were in the World Series last year and couldn’t draw then or now. They have built a solid team that had a down year. If the city were going to support them they would’ve shown up last year or the beginning of this season, but that didn’t happen.
As far as competitive balance, the NFL is more imbalanced than ever. Half the games each week are match-ups between the hapless and the excellent. The bad teams may pop up and have a good year here and there but generally the same teams are at the top year after year. In the NBA it is almost impossible to get good unless you gut your team and hope for a great draft pick or dump salaries and sign one huge free agent. In baseball, however, even a team that dumps a salary at midseason can benefit with minor league talent. Also an MLB team can take a risk on a free agent without it hurting them five years down the road because of the cap. Is the MLB system perfect, no, but it is the best system for baseball.
There have been 10 different World Series Champions since 1995, 11 different Super Bowl champs in that time and only 7 different NBA champions. Clearly a cap is not all it is cracked up to be. Helping smaller teams through revenue sharing is important to keep leagues viable but a cap does nothing to increase competitive balance and possibly even hurts it. So stop crying about the Yanks and Sox and just be thankful that they support your teams by generating revenue and interest, because without them there would be no Pirates, Rays or Padres.
Apparently the Raiders got the message. They have been whipped and stoned, deservingly, in the media by current players, former players and commentators and it seems to have hit a nerve. Jamarcus Russell looks like he may have worked and studied this week and played like a pro. All of this may come crashing down, if Tom Cable is arrested, but until then maybe they can be competitive. As for the Eagles, they are in trouble. You cannot lose to that team. I know you traveled cross country and all that, but you just can’t lose the game. The Eagles upcoming schedule gets much tougher for the rest of the season and it will be a battle to make the playoffs. Fortunately for them the Redskins are a train wreck, but they are a division opponent which makes it a tough game.
Wow, there were some lopsided games this week and a surprise or two. Denver proved that they are for real. Brady may not be all the way back but McDaniels shut up his critics by taking down his old boss. I don’t think the Pats should be written off but their fans should be concerned. Dallas once again proved how mediocre they are by battling a pathetic Chiefs team to the bitter end. Yeah Romo pulled it out but he also helped put them in the hole to begin with. Miami just manhandling that Jet defense was a bit surprising as well. The Dolphins are the best at the wildcat and with two terrific runners they could actually make a run for the playoffs. If Henne can bring a deep threat they could be very dangerous. Also the Bengals winning their fourth straight was shocking, maybe that crew has grown up. Oh and Jim Zorn might want to get that resume together immediately.
Let me be clear I am for anyone with the money buying whatever they want but there are some obvious conundrums in the Limbaugh deal for both the NFL and Rush himself. First why would Rush join a league run like a socialist society? Shouldn’t each team compete in a free market place? Isn’t forcibly keeping the the contracted salaries down against his free market ideals? No one limits what Rush makes off of his show, nor should they. What I don’t get is how this reconciles with his political ideals. The NFL is anti free market, from the time it squashed, with the help of a ridiculous court decision, the USFL, to the way it shares revenue and caps salaries is anything but free. Also how does Rush feel about all of the public tax dollars that have been WASTED on building and helping to build business facilities (stadium) for a private company? There is nothing in the NFL business model that speaks to conservative values but all that said I assume he sees it as a money making opportunity and doesn’t mind leaving his values behind to make a buck.
As for the NFL and Roger Goodell, who has been on a personal conduct rampage, how will they handle every racist, sexist, or inflammatory remark Limbaugh makes? If a player had said “Look, let me put it to you this way: the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it.” how much and how quickly would Roger have fined them? There are way too many of these comments to go through but I think that illustrates the dilemma for the NFL. No good can come of this for the league, but for Rush it is a win win. First he doesn’t care what people think, secondly if he is denied he will use it to pump up his victimhood, and finally if he is accepted it will garner him an incredible amount of publicity. I can’t wait to see how this turns out and how the mostly black players in the NFL handle having a vocal racist as an owner instead of a closeted one.
The MLB playoffs began last night and things pretty much went as expected. The Phillies acquisition of Cliff Lee may have been the best in season move this year. His complete game saved Manuel from having to roll the dice with his bullpen. There is no way you can trust Brad Lidge this post season, the man has lost it. I don’t know how they can win it all without a viable closer. You can’t have Lee and Hamels go nine every time out, it’s just not likely.
As for the Yankees Twins series, I have heard some complaining about the Twins being unfairly punished by having to play less than 24 hours later. Too friggin bad, don’t put yourself in a position to extend the regular season and/or win the game in regulation and this would be a lot less of a concern. The best record should be rewarded with some advantage, and if I’m not mistaken the Rockies went 15 innings in game 163 two years ago and went on to sweep the Phillies. There are no excuses in the playoffs get over it.
How ’bout them…. nevermind. Can we finally get to the point when people stop expecting Tony Romo to be more than the average QB that he is. This guy cannot handle any pressure, cannot lead his team and cannot win a big game. There is no excuse for continually fumbling game after game. The next home game at Ego Field should be interesting. I’m guessing Jerry “The Face” Jones will have the heat turned up on Wade and we will see once again if Jessica’ ex-boyfriend can handle it.
I really don’t have a concern about the Patriots. This is how they have traditionally won games. Other than two years ago when they blew out everyone, except for the Giants, the Pats have built a legacy on winning tough hard fought games. Also Joe Flacco was really impressive, even in losing yesterday.
How the Broncos are 4 – 0, I have no idea. Whatever Josh McDaniel is doing seems to be working so far. Could he be the man that breaks The Hoodie coaching curse? Lets hope so.
Overnight the story broke that David Letterman was being extorted for having sex with several members of his staff. For the record I haven’t seen The Late Show in quite a few years since it is on so late and I usually could care less what a celebrity does, as long as it is legal, in their personal life but Letterman has made a living torching people for ridiculous and unseemly behavior. I do applaud him for addressing it on his show but how can you even put yourself in that situation? Looking back at how he lambasted John McCain for lying to him about his travel plan, I can’t imagine Letterman could possibly show the same outrage about being lied to now. I don’t think it will hurt his ratings but it could change the way he conducts certain interviews. How can you call a person on the carpet for lying when you have now publicly admitted to doing the same thing yourself? I guess we will find out.
Oh no! Chicago has been snubbed by one of the most notoriously corrupt committees on the planet, the IOC. The Olympic Games have their pros and cons but no one should be surprised that Rio was picked since South America has never had an Olympics. Yes it would have been nice to have the games in the US and maybe it could have helped, although that is debatable, the Chicago economy but the IOC did the right thing by recognizing that South America actually exists. I can’t wait to see the lunatics blaming Obama for failure after complaining he went to Copenhagen for a day. Hmmm l don’t recall the Foxists complaining about Bush spending months at a time on his ranch picking up twigs during two wars and a faltering economy, and the left has no room to say anything either since they constantly whined about Bush’s vacations. I like that President Obama tried to do something for his hometown and for the country but wooing the IOC takes a lot more than a President it takes millions of dead Presidents.