A weekly collection of random thoughts and observations for you to consider.
- So, of what consequence is Mark McGwire's acknowledgement that he used steroids? This seemed pretty apparent for years, especially considering his effective "no comment" in front of Congress several years ago. As it relates to the Hall of Fame voting, the bottom line is that his stats were jacked up by the juice even though he is using the old line that he took steroids "only for medicinal purposes."
- I'm still trying to digest Bobby Knight's absurd comments comparing steroids to Gatorade. I wonder if he similarly rationalized his recruiting practices, such as "what's the difference between a scholarship and a scholarship with a Corvette?"
- What's all the fuss about Lane Kiffin going to USC? Has he won anywhere in his career, even with Coordinator Extraordinaire Dad in tow?
- His future is unclear, but it still seems clear that the Eagles failure to put the ball in Brian Westbrook's hands was one of many mistakes made in the team's swan song on Saturday night. One year earlier, the Eagles offense struggled to get anything going against the Vikings until Westbrook exploded for a long touchdown on a screen play. And, he looked like the same guy on his 27-yard sprint on the only ball that came his way Saturday.
- Although many are minimizing its importance because Andy Reid has final say on personnel matters, losing Tom Heckert to the Browns is a blow to the Eagles. Reid devotes the lion's share of his time to coaching the football team, so having a strong, seasoned football guy behind the scenes handling GM duties (like leading talent evaluation) has been instrumental to the team's success during his tenure.
- After being out of the spot light for the first round of the playoffs, Brett Favre must be feeling re-invigorated as a key center of attention this week. There is likely a faction of football fans out there rooting for the Vikings to win simply to delay the annual "Will Favre come back?" Ego-Stroke-Fest that everyone will have to endure for months.
- Speaking of Favre, it makes me wonder when he truly does retire, will he need to relocate from the deep south LA to the left coast LA where he can stay within the Paparazzi line of sight?
- Congratulations to Leonard Weaver, Trent Cole, DeSean Jackson, Asante Samuel, David Akers and Brian Dawkins on being named to the 2010 NFL All-Pro team. Unfortunately, Dawkins was not in midnight green this year and most assuredly voters did not consider anyone at his position who did wear that color.
- The Colts Jim Caldwell was making looking replacing a coaching legend easy until he made the fateful decision to pull Peyton Manning and others in Week 16. My gut tells me that this will serve to be an unfavorable turning point and the season will end in disappointment before the Super Bowl.
- Like Juan Castro, it's hard to get too excited about the Phillies signing of relief pitcher Danys Baez. Reports indicate that he has electric stuff, but has had a tendency to get rattled and has never had more than mediocre results. If Chan Ho Park or John Smoltz are out of the question, what the Phillies really need is for Scott Mathieson to emerge as the next Ryan Madson.
- The Atlanta Braves have quietly been having a productive offseason and appear poised to provide some stiff competition in the NL East. The additions of Troy Glaus, Billy Wagner and Takashi Saito, along with a full season from Nate McClouth and their starting rotation, make them a legitimate contender.
- Brett Myers' reaction to the Phillies disinterest in resigning him are probably indicative of exactly why Ruben Amaro chose to go that route.
- Trading away young talent to acquire Tracy McGrady would be a panic move and destine the Sixers to a run of losing seasons. And, if clearing salary cap space is the catalyst, getting rid of your best player (Andre Iguodala) is not the way to do it. Philadelphia only has one NBA team, so the city can't afford to house "Clippers east."
- Watching DeJuan Blair, the 37th pick of last year's NBA draft, rack up 28 points and 21 rebounds for the Spurs last night reinforces how professional teams place too much emphasis on projected performance over how players actually performed in college.