The NFL Lockout
NBA Trade Deadline
The Mets Money Woes
Correction: So I completely misspoke. Justin Morneau has been out with a concussion not Joe Mauer.
Today’s show topics include:
Jim Gray acting like a fool
Miguel Cabrera getting drunk
The Basketball Hall of Fame finalists
Dave Duerson’s suicide and the ramifications for the NFL
In Episode two: Super Bowl recap, Phil Simms goes after Desmond Howard and a little NBA.
The first episode of my attempt at a sports podcast. I discuss the upcoming Super Bowl, a little general NFL and the disastrous Cleveland Cavaliers.
In case you have been living under a rock Brett Favre has found himself caught up in a pretty serious scandal, to say the least. If you have not seen this story I would suggest going to Deadspin to get the gist of what is going on. Here are links to a few of the posts about it (note: post 1 contains adult material) : post1 post 2 . There have been statements that the NFL is looking to the allegations of sexual harassment and that the Jets are cooperating. Brett Favre should be seriously concerned, because if he thought his legacy was damaged by flip flopping on retirement, that isn’t even close to what will happen if these stories are true. Also he has to be very concerned about civil lawsuits especially if the photos are of him and unsolicited.
The NFL does not have the greatest reputation when it comes to domestic issues and or sexual misconduct issues, and I am sure the NFL higher ups are sensitive to this. If these allegations are true, Roger Goodell will have no choice but to end Favre’s season and essentially his career. If Rothliberger was suspended six games (reduced to four), for what he did which was possibly rape, even though there wasn’t strong enough evidence for a legal case. After the Ines Sainz incident, which also involved the Jets, Goodell is going to have a hard time sweeping this under the rug even if ESPN and other major networks are ignoring the story.
At this point I don’t expect any real reporting out of ESPN other than trade rumors and things like that. They are a major business partner of several of the sports leagues and Favre has been a cash cow for them over the past few years. Not to mention that ESPN has had its own sexual misconduct issues amongst its employees. Reporters like Peter King and Rachel Nichols who have slobbered over Favre would never dare ask him a question about this. I’m anxious to see how it is handled Monday night and even on the NFL shows on Sunday. I doubt it will get more than a mention.
As for the people who are defending Favre by tearing down the possible victim, stop. You look like a fool when you go to the “she asked for it” card because of how the woman dresses or carries herself. It DOES NOT MATTER how a woman dresses if she says “no” to advances or innuendo then you stop and leave her alone. I do not care if she is hot or sexy or has a large chest, none of that excuses sending pictures of your cock to a woman, especially a fellow employee. And that is the other thing Favre is an employee as well as the female in question. While Favre may be the quarterback, in the end that doesn’t mean anything in the eyes of the law. Sexual harassment laws and policy are pretty clear cut and if this story is true it goes far beyond basic sexual harassment and Favre’s media standing will mean nothing.
I hope the media will treat this Favre story in a professional manner without going soft on him. This is going to be very difficult for some outlets (ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC Sports), while others will feel free to over-speculate. I’m sure the NFL hopes this takes until after the season so that they don’t have to take out a major figure during the season. In reality the league will be fine even if Favre has to take a fall for this. There will be another “good ol’ boy who just loves to play” to take his place in the hearts of NFL commentators and Favre will eventually fade into history. Whatever happens I hope this reinforces the point that these are just athletes and nothing more. Just because someone rides a tractor and plays with high school kids doesn’t make them a good guy or a humble guy. Self entitled pricks are self entitled pricks no matter what job they do or how much money they make.
For many years the belligerent drunks of the world dominated live sporting events. While they were a minority of the crowd they certainly made the experience of going to the game completely unbearable. Over the past decade or so, since the stadium boom, teams have slowly pushed the vociferous losers who start fights and berate normal people.
I used to go to quite a few games in my teens and early twenties but quickly grew tired of scumbags wanting to fight and running off a constant stream of expletives while annoying most of the people around them. Recently the games I’ve attended there has been a drastic reduction in the crazy behavior and it is much more family and sane human being friendly. My assumption is that the investment teams and cities (mostly cities) have made into new facilities has forced them to charge more and cater to a better client base. By better I do not mean wealthier, I simply mean families and businesses.
Corporate clients are not going to give away tickets to a customer only to risk them being berated and assaulted. There is no room for that in the current sports world. As and example, I was at a Phillies game a couple weeks ago (Jamie Moyer’s 2 hitter) and was sitting behind the visitor dugout. about two rows in front of me was a “gentleman” who from the second he sat down was yelling borderline material at the Braves. In his mind he was funny and entertaining, I assure you he was not. Eventual he figured out that a woman a few more rows up was the sister of the braves pitcher, so of course he begins to harass and bother her. This lasted about an inning before she contacted security. He was rightfully moved not kicked out and the incident was done. If this was ten years ago he would have been held up as a hero and cheered but mostly people just looked away from him as he left and there was a security presence the rest of the game to make sure none of his boys pulled the same thing.
The crackdown on idiocy is a great thing in my eyes. I now look forward to going to games and will be looking at plans for two teams next year. The pro sports leagues have gained a new customer in me by creating a much safer and cleaner atmosphere to enjoy the game I hope the trend continues well into the future.
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.