04 June 2010

No. 88

As the OTA season s now upon us, I thought it would be a good time to talk about legacy.

There has been much uproar over the past few months about Dallas' first round selection in the April draft, WR Dez Bryant. Hailed as a top-10 talent and blasted for having a 5 cent head, Bryant spent the last 9 games of his junior season at Oklahoma St. suspended. What did he do? Well, he had dinner with NFL great Deion Sanders, then lied about it to NCAA investigators. Why lie? Well, the NCAA are douche-bags who ignore major violations by prominent coaches (I'm looking at you, Pete Carroll and Tim Floyd) and programs (cough, cough USC, cough) so they can squash little programs for minor infractions. They also follow the rules to the letter if and when they want to, but by no means all the time. So this 20 year old son of a single mother worried that his having eaten dinner with an former professional player would constitute "receiving payment" (unlike Reggie Bush or OJ Mayo, who actually DID receive payment) and would lose his eligibility. So he lied to investigators, and they suspended him for 12 months. Not the rest of the season- 12 months. By the way, Oregon RB LeGarrette Blount sucker-punched an opposing player, then charged into the stands to fight fans and got 5 games.

So Bryant fell in the draft due to "character concerns." Great. Made me happy. Anytime you can get a top 10 talent at #24, you are relieved. Of course, this being the Cowboys, nothing can be quiet. Reports surfaced that during one of the many inane interviews given during the NFL's Combine, a GM asked Bryant if his mother was a prostitute. To top it off, Jerry gave Bryant the number 88 jersey.

For those of you unaware, #88 was the jersey worn by Cowboy greats Michael Irvin and Drew Pearson (and Antonio Bryant, who threw his sweaty jersey in Bill Parcells' face- but we'll try to forget that). I liked the move- honor your past, challenge your future. But while you're honoring hte past...

Why hasn't Drew Pearson been added to the Ring of Honor?Drew Pearson became Hall eligible in 1988. Since then Fred Biletnikoff, Charlie Joiner, Lynn Swann, John Stallworth, and Bob Hayes have all made it to Canton.

Drew Pearson averaged more catches and yards per season than all of these current Hall of Fame wide receivers of his same era, and was in the middle of this pack when it comes to touchdowns and yards per catch.

Pearson played in three Super Bowls, helping the Cowboys to their second championship in Super Bowl XII over Denver. He was named to the NFL's All Decade Team for the '70s, went to three Pro Bowls, and three times was a First Team All Pro selection.

Drew Pearson finished his 11 year Cowboy career with 489 catches for 7,822 yards and 48 touchdowns.

Jerry, if you want to push your draft pick to succeed, put Pearson in the Ring.

05 May 2010

Sports Czar, part 2

It seems as though expansion is the theme of 2010 in sports. The NCAA Tournament has added 3 teams, the Pac-10 and Big Ten (and the SEC and ACC- the Big 12 could be eviscerated) are exploring adding teams, and the NFL is debating whether or not to add 2 regular season games. If I were Sports Czar, these are the additions I would make...

NCAA Tournament:Now that the tournament is 68 teams, I would make the 4 opening round games between power conferences, with a 12 or 13 seed on the line. After one year of that, I would expand the tournament to 128 teams. Add a weekend of games, making the tourney a month-long affair, and coaches can then rest easier about a mediocre season ("but we made the tournament...")

Conference Expansion: The Big Ten is easy- add Notre Dame. The Irish play most of their schedule against Big Ten teams already, the Big Ten has its own network, and it just makes geographical sense. The Big Ten has 11 teams (with the addition of Penn St in 1990), so adding ND gives them 12 - the magic number for having a Conference Championship game in football.

The Pac-10 is a little different. There are no "natural" additions to be made since the schools are already paired as rivals (USC-UCLA, Arizona-Arizona St., Oregon-Oregon St., Washington-Washington St., Stanford-Cal). That means that bringing in 2 teams that are natural rivals. San Diego St.-San Diego doesn't work- too weak, too close. New Mexico-New Mexico St. doesn't have the gravitas of the other schools.

For basketball, Gonzaga makes sense- successful mid-major program, geographically close- but no football program. So they're out. I would love to add Boise St., but Idaho is their natural rival, and the Vandals suck. So they're out. Utah-BYU makes some sense, as Utah and BYU have good programs in football and basketball, but Utah isn't exactly on the Pacific, is it? Neither is Nevada, who could contribute UNLV-Nevada Reno.

After all that, however, I would add BYU and Utah to the Pac-10.

NFL Schedule: Commissioner Roger Goodell has thrown around the idea of adding two more regular season games, bringing the total to 18. I like this idea (more football=better), but think the NFL could really help the nature of the game by instituting a "rivalry" week as part of this schedule expansion.

I would make it so that each team would play a team in the opposite conference every year that they could generate a rivalry with. It would give fans another team to hate (sports hate is good), and make things interesting. These games would be played in Week 9- halfway there- and be locked in, home-and-home series.

Here's what I came up with:
DAL - HOU = Texas Bowl
NYG - NYJ = Battle for New York (or Jersey, where they actually play, or Swamp Bowl)
PHI - PIT = Battle of Pennsylvania
WAS - BAL = Crab Bowl
DET - CLE = Blue-Collar Bowl (could be ugly, but one of these teams has to get better, right? This also pits 2 pre-merger NFL teams against each other. Gotta love the history.
CHI - IND = Illinois vs Indiana (I know mid-westerners could get pumped for this)
STL - KC = Missouri Bowl
SF - OAK = Bay Bowl
GB - BUF = Small Frozen Bowl
TB - MIA = Sunshine Bowl
CAR - CIN = Feline Bowl
NO - TEN = Jazz vs Blues Bowl
ATL - JAX = The 2nd Largest Cocktail Party (behind the annual UGA-UF game, of course)
SEA - SD = Battle of Opposing Climates
ARI - DEN = Heat vs Altitude Bowl
MIN - NE = Large Frozen Bowl (Admittedly this is the weakest match-up. But it makes sense on some organic level, right? Minneapolis vs Boston, Dome vs Grass...No? Dammit.

I also toyed with MIN-BUF (4-Time SB Loser Bowl) and GB-NE (Cheeseheads vs Massholes), but I think I like the other match-ups better. Thoughts?

02 August 2009


Training camps are now in full swing, and I will be updating much more frequently now that football season has begun (Woo-Hoo!).

I want ot start by talking about how awesome 4th and Long was. Nevermind the former Cowboy greats, watching Joe Avezzano (bizzarro Christopher Lloyd), and countless slow, backlit shots of Irvin dressed in black. All of those things were exciting, but the insight into each of the players vying for a shot on Dallas' 80 man roster was phenomenal. I won't recap everything here, but the show was every bit as good as Hard Knocks. Jesse Holley was my favorite from the get go, and I was very pleased that he won. I think he could actually make the 53 man roster.

What? I'm crazy? Think about it- Isaiah Stanback is a converted QB (to WR) and can't stay healthy. Sam Hurd can't stay healthy. Kevin Ogletree, Manuel Johnson, and Julian Hawkins are rookies. Holley is big (6'2"), strong (215lbs), and has the fire you want to see in players. He can help on special teams and in the red zone. After watching him go through grueling drill after grueling drill and never giving up or slacking off (EVER), this is a guy I want on my team.

In other news, Dallas' 3rd round pick, Robert Brewster, was injured and will likely miss the year. Why in the world am I talking about a 3rd round pick? For two reasons. The first is that he was Dallas' highest draft pick, and the second is that OL depth is an issue for this team. When your top pick goes down, it is not a good thing. If for no other reason than to push everyone else, I wanted to see what he could do. Guess I'll wait til next year (shit- have I become a secret Cubs fan?).

As camp progresses, I will comment further. I can't wait til they start hitting other teams!

01 May 2009

Long Time Gone

With all that has been happening in my life, I found that keeping up with this blog is very low on my priority list. I'm not going to make promises because I know I won't keep them. But I do have a rant...

Ok, I am sick of this Swine flu shit. I mean, really. 1 child (and I don't mean to be insensitive, because the loss of every person is sad) dies in Texas and the whole world goes ballistic. Schools shut down, sporting events cancelled, Vice Presidents make stupid statements (ok- so you knew that was inevitable), and the country is whipped into a flu-fearing frenzy. It's on every news show, every radio broadcast, hell- I got 2 emails at work reminding me to wash my hands!

Give me a break. There are 300 million people in the US, and under 100 reported cases. Further, the death rate for Influenza is .6 per 100,000 in the US. IT'S A FUCKING COLD!!!

I would much rather the media spend their time telling me how 800 billion dollars is unaccounted for than to ramble on about a disease that has killed 7 people. 7. Give me a fucking break. Ingrown toenails have killed more people (suggestion not backed in fact).

After Bowling for Columbine came out, I read a book called the Culture of Fear which chronicled the many instances of media fear mongering and how that was unhelpful to actual living Americans. This is just the latest example of how the media love to distort small things into a frenzy, which panics the population and ultimately hurts the economy. Damn the media.

28 January 2009

As the Gary Turns

So yesterday I finally gave up on Gary. Today, the Baltimore Sun reports that Gary and the MD Athletic Department are publicly sparring over the two recruits MD lost over the summer. It's bad enough that the Terps can't compete on the court, but know they have to fight off it?

Understand that Gary tried to pull rank here, citing his 20 years as head coach and his title, then insulted the deputy AD. Why would the deputy AD be addressing Gary publicly you ask? Becasue the AD, Debbie Yow, is mourning the loss of her sister, NC State coach Kay Yow, to breast cancer over the weekend. Read that last sentence again. I'll wait. Gary insulted the deputy AD, who is filling in for a grieving sister. How low class can you get?

To top it off, MD announced today that Jin Soo Kim, the first Korean to play Division I basketball, ineligible for the spring semester. So not only can Gary not keep his players competitive ON the court, he can't keep them eligible to play at all. Coming on the heels of Chris McCray not being enrolled in the minimum number of classes (that would be 1), we have a major problem here.

While Gary restored honor to a school that had lost plenty after Bob Wade took over from Lefty, he is now returning the Terps to that Wade level- uncompetitive and academically fraudulent.

27 January 2009


I think the saying goes something like" if it happens twice it's a coincidence. If it happens three times it's a pattern", or some such thing. Well, after tuning in to the second half of the Mayland game tonight vs. Boston College (against my better judgement- I watched the first half of the Duke debacle on Saturday), I have come to this conclusion: Maryland sucks. How the Terps fell from National Champions in 2002 to NIT first round elimination locks in 2009 is beyond me.

But I do know this: If Maryland is up by double digits at halftime, they will lose. Maryland has now blown that big of a lead 4 times in the last 5 games (the 5th game being vs Duke, when they almost didn't SCORE double digits.) Miami, Florida State, Virginia, and now BC. While they rallied to beat UVA, they squandered huge leads in the other games. This is unacceptable. I can deal with MD not having the horses to keep up with the UNC's and Duke's of the world, losing to basketball also-rans after blowing huge leads is the final straw.

Gary must go.

20 January 2009

Inauguration Day

Finally, we have a president who doesn't mangle the English language! While Chief Justice Roberts tried his best to flub the one sentence oath of office, President Obama (the oath started at 4 minutes past noon, making him the president already, as per the Constitution) stood there and smiled at the gaffe. He seemed genuine, a figure of respect- a sharp contrast to the ill-timed smirks and defensive posture of his predecessor. It made me very happy.

I hope that the next four years bring to this country all of the things Obama has to offer, including a dialogue on race. I will never call Obama the country's first black president, mostly because he's not black. He is our first mixed race president that looks like a minority. Symbolically, that means a lot, but I hope that the discussion of how we define race is what comes of it. I know I've ranted on this before, but I feel we close ourselves in by trying to place into one box or another citizens of this country that come from all backgrounds.

A place to start is the Census. Taken every ten years, the census measures the country on many things (number of TV's, household income, mismatched socks) and race is one of those boxes. There is no box for mixed race (my wife says "potpourri," I say mullatto). This needs to change.

The United States is unique among countries in that there is no "native" population (mostly because it was the policy of the Government to exterminate them.) But what of children of mixed race marriages? Which box are they to choose? Why limit them with four choices?

Race is a social construct. The amount of melanin in a human's skin should have no bearng on their place in society. I realize that this sounds ridiculously naive, but if we are not learning from the mistakes and tragedies of the past, then we have failed as a nation.

The founding documents that Obama so eloquently referred to in his Inaugural Address make no mention of race. Shouldn't we adopt their blindness?