The Stack is here on this Tuesday with a couple of things to talk about. No finals games last night. Game four between the OKC Thunder and Miami Heat is tonight at 9:00 PM ET on ABC. Should be a good game. Perhaps a must win for the Thunder? We'll be talking all about it tomorrow, but for now, let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Tuesday, June 19:
1. Roger Clemens acquitted of all charges
After months of denial, Roger Clemens was finally pronounced innocent Monday when the jury found Clemens not guilty of all charges regarding allegations that Clemens lied to Congress. It is rather amazing that Clemens was acquitted of all charges, but give credit to his defense team led by Rusty Hardin. They killed Brian McNamee, the government's top witness. As it turned out McNamee proved to not be a very credible guy, but at the same time, the government failed to prepare McNamee for the cross-examination that Clemens' defense team was going to come at home with. Clemens is a free man.
But does this exonerate Clemens completely in the court of public opinion and make him a sure-fire first ballot hall-of-famer? I think that the public is split. There are some people who will always wonder if Clemens took steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs and never fully trust him again after these last five years. Then there are those who have been in Clemens' court for a while and who will continue to be, saying he was finally vindicated and that his career speaks for itself. Most likely, the writers will agree as well and not hold this saga against Clemens. Is it right? Tough to say. I can see both sides and agree points both sides can make. What do you think? What's your opinion of Clemens?
Finally, is this the final straw for the government getting involved with steriods in sports? They failed miserable with Barry Bonds and this is even worse. They did a terrible job preparing to win this case (what else is new? the government failing. that's a shock). So they look terrible in the Bonds and Clemens case and aren't going after Lance Armstrong. It's time for the government to get back to fixing the country's big problems and let the leagues worrry about their issues and stuff like steroids and performance-enhancing drugs.
2. Saints bounty appeals heard
New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, defensive end Will Smith, Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita and Green Bay Packers Anthony Hargrove had their appeals heard yesterday by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Let's just say they weren't impressed by the NFL's case against them. The NFL presented evidence to a group of reporters showing their case in suspending the four players. But the players like Fujita feel that the NFL has been reckless in the accusations and that the evidence against the players doesn't fully implicate them. Supposedly upwards of twenty players participated in the scandal and yet only four were suspended and that is frustrating the four that were suspended. Said Vilma, "Roger Goodell has taken three months to tear down what I built over eight years."
The NFL is walking a very slippery slope here. The players are livid with them. They don't trust Goodell. Why would the NFL not show the same evidence or stronger evidence to all involved if they were so certain? Seems like they're trying to hide something and were a little over zealous in trying to take people down. There's no question in my mind that there was a bounty system and the NFL has every right to suspend Gregg Williams and several other coaches and players including head coach Sean Payton for their roles in the scandal. But at least show it so that there is no uncertainty whatsoever that the right people were punished in this scandal.
3. Euro Cup update
Group C had much to be determined. Three of the four teams, Spain, Croatia and Italy, all had realistic chances of advancing out of group play. Croatia and Spain were leading the group, but unfortunately were going against one another. And boy was it a great match. Scoreless late in the match, Spain made a push and it paid off when Jesus Navas put one in the back of the net to give Spain a 1-0 lead. Unfortunately for Croatia, there wasn't enough time to put together an attack and they lost 1-0. Croatia's only hope was that Italy would lose to Ireland.
That wasn't going to happen. Italy defeated Ireland 2-0 and with the win, advances out of group C along with Spain, the winners of the group with seven points. Italy with the win earned five points and Croatia is left wondering what might have been.
Group D is the last group to determine who makes it out of group play. Sweden battles France while England battles the Ukraine. Unfortunately for Sweden, they have no chance of advancing out of group play, but the other three countries do. A lot of people are hoping England makes it. But co-host country Ukraine will have something to say about that. It will be an interesting day on the pitch. Both matches begin at 2:45 PM ET on ESPN and ESPN2.
4. San Diego Chargers 2012-13 NFL schedule highlights
Has the window of opportunity on the San Diego Chargers closed? Perhaps. The division is certainly much more difficult than it has been in recent years with all four teams have a shot at winning the division. The Chargers have a good shot because of Philip Rivers. They're hoping Ryan Matthews has a breakout year. But the Chargers can't get off to slow starts. The Chargers full schedule can be found here. And now here are some interesting notes on the Chargers upcoming schedule:
- The Chargers open the season on Monday night against the Raiders in the double header of MNF. It seems like these two play every other year in the nightcap of opening week of MNF.
- The Chargers have a three week stretch where they just play AFC north teams. (Week 12 vs. Baltimore, week 13 vs. Cincinnati, week 14 @ Pittsburgh).
- The Chargers are ready for primetime with five nationally televised games this year (week 1 @ Oakland, week 5 @ New Orleans 8:20 PM ET NBC, week 6 vs. Denver 8:30 PM ET ESPN, week 9 vs. Kansas City 8:20 PM ET NFL Network and week 16 @ New York Jets 8:20 PM ET NBC).
- The Chargers only have four early starts this year, still difficult for a west coast team.
Wednesday's team: San Francisco 49ers
Coming up Wednesday: NBA Finals game 3 reaction plus other top stories in sports from Tuesday.
Comments and suggestions on what to write about are always welcomed and appreciated.