I've been thinking about a few things in the sports world, and here are a few quick hits, if I may.
NFL Rule Changes
The NFL is considering extending its regular season to 17 or 18 games. Two words: Please don't. Why don’t you ask David Stern how the extended format for the NBA playoffs is working out?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m one of last 12 NBA fans in the universe. But there is nothing I hate more than seeing Kobe drop 48 on Denver on Monday, and then waiting for Friday to see the encore...in the same city.
But we need to keep our players safe from injury, Stern would say. Hello! The Finals take three months, as opposed to five months of the regular season, and they play a quarter of the games. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing.
Vince McMahon bought all his competition and what happened to his wrestling empire? It came crumbling down. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell shouldn't get greedy for the ad revenue, because fans still have to pay for his overpriced tickets.
As for the new safety rules protecting players, I’ll agree with Tony Kornheiser on this one that the only ones that care are the ex-players that are bitter they played a more brutal style of play back in the day. Look, guys are freaks now. When you have ends running as fast as backs and guys that are 260 lbs. of muscle lunging at the opponent's head, things need to be done.
The guys from the old days are dying off from the toll their bodies took, the owners are trying to protect their investment, and all this is is a marketing move. Shortening the preseason to two games and expanding the regular season isn't in the best interest of the players or fans. It only works for the executives who, at the end of the day, only see dollar signs in those jerseys.
Anyone else sick of hearing about T.O.? For once, I’ll side with him. If the coach, owner, and quarterback have all gone on public record saying they don’t mind he missed the “voluntary” workouts, then why is this still all over the television?
It's 'cause ESPN knows drama better than TNT…and drama sells, my friends. For once, give the guy a break. He’ll put his foot in his own mouth soon enough. Don’t do it for him.
This coming from a network that refuses to report on anything other than T.O., Brett Favre, Michael Vick, LeBron James, Blake Griffin, and any kind of rumors that Mort can come up with. Whatever happened to Julius Peppers going to the Pats? Or Jay Cutler going to Detroit? All were “confirmed” by Mort.
Do me a favor, put your ego in check and start reporting on things that people wanna see. How about the NHL? I’m not personally a fan, but don’t you think it would help the league if you gave it some play? I know there is beef there, but honestly, you’re not a “news” station until you report to everyone’s needs.
For once, it seems like it’s a wide open field. My Final Four picks from the start? Memphis, 'Nova, The Ville, and 'Cuse (with 'Cuse beating Memphis in the final). So what if I’m a homer? You have to admit that Flynn looks damn impressive.
Many analysts are calling him the best point guard in the country right now. I wouldn’t put him above Ty Lawson (messed up toe or not), but he’s good. Louisville isn’t impressing anyone right now, so that’s where I went to coaching. Something has to be said for the jobs Rick Pitino keeps putting out.
Which is another reason I don’t like Uconn. Many of these same analysts were saying the six-overtime thriller would take too much out of the Orange. Does anyone remember that the Huskies lost that game? And even though Calhoun has two national titles to his credit, I just don’t buy his coaching skills in the big game without a stud player like Okefor, Gordan, Hamilton, Butler, or Allen.
The only complaint I have about the tourney is, just like everything else, it’s scheduled around when it will get the best ratings. Remember calling in sick for school or work so you could watch all the games all day? Not anymore.
A Few Parting Shots
A quick thanks to boys in “tres afe” for giving me the inspiration to do this again. —Man-Ram is as advertised.
—Kobe vs. Michael is still no contest (even though I drink the Kobe Kool-aid).
—Somebody give McNabb and Reid a break; they’re the NFC team of the decade, whether you like it or not.
—I don’t think Mathew Stafford is any good for the pro game.
—I think the WBC is good but we shouldn’t be in it (all our best MLB players are from other countries).
—I still believe baseball is a beautiful game.
—Popovich and the caveman beard are entertaining as hell; he should be mandated to keep it during the season.
—Phil Jackson needs facial hair.
—And last of all, I believe in what Mike Singletary is selling, and I have no idea why so many teams past up on one of the greatest of all time…the man knows the game. Period.
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