It rained again in Fort Worth today. According to the local weather service, the rain gauge is up 33 percent compared to this time last year. Now if gas would only drop 33 percent to compensate we'd be onto something.
I'm an avid reader of Peter King's columns, especially the Monday Morning Quarterback, and get a raucous kick out of reading his 10 Things I Think I Think and also his Non-Football Thoughts of the Week. So it naturally follows that while driving through the cloudburst this afternoon I thought I would flatter him through imitation and cover a wide range of sports topics in a very small space. Not quite so small as the great local sports columnist Blackie Sherrod, who used to begin his columns with the words "Scattershooting while wondering what happened to (insert person, place or thing, usually a very obscure reference)." But nevertheless, these are some of the bigger stories on the hot stove right now.
1. Looks like the San Antonio Spurs will win yet another NBA title. And just like the other three, no one will notice.
2. How can Jason Giambi even hold his head up (same for Barry)? If he doesn't cooperate with the Mitchell probe, Selig needs to follow through on his suspension threat. It looks better than it seems because steroids were illegal in the sport when Giambi claims to have used them, but no minimum penalty was prescribed. If Giambi's lawyers want to go that route, they should be prepared for the possibility that he will lose. After all, what's the use of banning something if there's not a penalty to go with it? At the very least, and I never thought I would side with the owners in anything, it looks like the tide may be turning back from what has become player domination of the sport.
3. The NFL pension fund for retired players is a joke. According to Norm Hitzges, former Green Bay Packer and Hall of Fame defensive back Herb Adderley receives $110 per month in pension benefits from the NFL. Another ex-player in a wheelchair was told that because he could sit up in a wheelchair, he could get a job. Other Hall of Famers from the 1970s and 1980s receive significantly more than Adderley, about $2500-3000 per month, but that's still not saying much, considering players today pay more for a single league fine than most of these retired players make in a year, and they're the ones who made the NFL. You cannot get me to believe that with all the money the NFL rakes in, that it cannot afford to take care of its own.
Gene Upshaw is a coward and a turncoat. He played with some of these players and has said that since they don't pay his salary, he basically has nothing to do with it. And he has the nerve to talk about breaking the neck of Hall of Famer Joe DeLamellieure? Sick, sick, sick.
4. Gerald Poindexter is one of two things: A black racist or a white coward. The lead investigator in the Michael Vick dogfighting case throws up his arms and asks if the Feds' decision to search Vick's residence was racially motivated. This is the same guy who had video footage of another notorious dogfighter plying his trade and chose NOT to prosecute him. Word of wisdom, Gerald. Dogfighting is a crime. Race has nothing to do with it, and if dogs were transported across state lines for dogfighting purposes, then it's a federal issue.
From someone who loves dogs more than most people, I hope I never meet a known dogfighter face to face. We will have problems.
5. Why is Elijah Dukes still a member of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays?
6. Tiger's only three back at Oakmont. Someone better get his trophy ready. He will close the gap.
7. Joe Calzaghe vs. Mikkel Kessler for the undisputed 168-pound title? Could happen later this year.
8. Since when did baseball players become so stingy about signing autographs? I went to see the Rangers and Milwaukee Brewers this past Saturday, and virtually no one from the Brewers (who may not be here again for several years) took the time to sign. Prince Fielder signed maybe 5 autographs (for a line of 30. Kevin Mench had to finish it), Ryan Braun and Tony Gwynn Jr. signed for a couple fans by the dugout, and Rickie Weeks and Chris Capuano signed down left field. Out of all them, only Mench and Capuano signed enough to really matter. This is a disturbing trend for the whole sport, but utility men hitting .235 with 2 homers and maybe 10 Rbi's not signing? On what basis? With numbers like that, you should be glad someone even wants your autograph.
9. I cannot think of another person more deserving of 3,000 hits right now than Craig Biggio. ANd he's almost there. Ditto for Frank Thomas and his 500th home run, and Tom Glavine and his 300th victory. Takes some of the sting out of the home run record chase. This may sound hypocritical, but I'm praying and holding hope for a broken kneecap or some other unfortunate incident to befall the one who "takes care of me." That failing, I wish Pujols everlasting health until he breaks the new record.
10. I see Asante Samuel eventually getting a contract in the neighborhood of 7 yrs/60M, maybe 22-25M upfront. I just don't see that contract coming from the Patriots.
1. I don't watch Grey's Anatomy. The one or two times I did look at it, I thought it grossly inferior to House. That said, network executives' decision not to renew Isaiah Washington's contract is a double standard slap in the face. This man jumps through hoops to make amends for a comment he should never have had to apologize for in the first place (America, remember? Free speech. Just because you don't like it doesn't give you the right to punish someone for it). And the network waits until all of this happens, then lets him go. I'm sorry, but when you go after someone's job because they say something you don't like, that says more about you than about them, and it should make you question just how American you really are (as opposed to merely an inhabitant of America) if you would actually do that.
2. Speaking of controversial comments, I am still waiting for some brave soul to make one and not only not apologize, but let it be known that they have no intention of ever apologizing for speaking their mind. I had hoped Tim Hardaway would be that guy, but alas, the search goes on. Whatever your beliefs on any issue, know this: PC=BS. The First Amendment does not say "freedom of politically correct and non-offensive speech." It says "Freedom of Speech," period. I would argue that many millions of people who would call themselves Americans need to learn that.
3. On a lighter note, I just finished viewing the Season 1 finale of the new BBC version of Robin Hood. For a television show (and British at that), it was highly enjoyable albeit a huge departure from the stories we heard growing up. To be sure, there are several corny elements (a crazy Crusader returning home wearing what looks like U.S. army combat pants) and the requisite modern parallels, but a thrilling ride nonetheless.
4. Major League is still the greatest underdog baseball movie of all time. Now if I can just forget the fact that they made two sequels.
5. Wanna read a deep, thought-provoking book? Go pick up Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. It will really open your eyes to the many abuses that women suffer in male-dominated Islamic society, and blows the doors off the myth that Islam is a peaceful religion.