Thursday, January 15, 2009

Million dollar gamble

Would you be willing to gamble tens of millions of dollars, when there isn't anything to gain for doing it? Would you pass up the chance for tens of millions of dollars to pursue a Bachelor's degree in a field you will never work in?

Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford is apparently willing to risk everything for one more year of college football.

A college education is great, and these days, a Bachelor's degree is standard; almost everyone has one. I'm certainly a proponent of higher education (as if anyone isn't?), but not if you're a near lock to be the number one overall pick in the NFL draft.

Some say that Bradford isn't quite ready for the NFL, that he hasn't faced enough pressure on the field at OU to see how he'll handle a pass rush, or a need to quickly find receivers that aren't wide open. There's a chance that his game won't quite translate to the NFL, but it's certain that teams would fight for the chance to take that risk.

What does Bradford have to gain by going back to college? His stock can't get any higher, and it won't result in any more money than he already had coming to him. What if he gets hurt? What if he misses most of the year, or worse, suffers a career ending injury? What if Texas's Colt McCoy has a better year and teams would rather draft him instead? Could Bradford suffer the same fate as former USC quarterback Matt Leinart and plummet down the ranks on draft day?

Take the money, kid. Millions upon millions of dollars in your checking account will make that last year of college tuition easy to pay for should you ever feel the urge to complete your undergraduate education.

How can you trust Bradford's decision making skills on the field when he can't make a good one off of it?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Sign and we'll sue

Pretend for a second that you own an NBA team. Now pretend you're lacking depth at the small forward position. One final hypothetical: you see a healthy, serviceable Darius Miles on the waiver wire and sign him as a body down the home stretch of the season.

Now imagine a massive lawsuit filed against you on behalf of the Portland Trailblazers.

If - by chance - you do own an NBA team, there's nothing to imagine. If you sign Darius Miles, you're getting sued. Long story short: if Miles plays two more games this season, 18 million dollars will count against the Trailblazers' salary cap, forcing them to pay the league's luxury tax.

The memo sent to all 29 NBA teams from the Trailblazers upon Miles' clearance of waivers read as follows:

The Portland Trail Blazers are aware that certain teams may be contemplating signing Darius Miles to a contract for the purpose of adversely impacting the Portland Trail Blazers Salary Cap and tax positions. Such conduct from a team would violate its fiduciary duty as an NBA joint venturer. In addition, persons or entities involved in such conduct may be individually liable to the Portland Trail Blazers for tortuously interfering with the Portland Trail Blazers' contract rights and perspective economic opportunities.

Please be aware that if a team engages in such conduct, the Portland Trail Blazers will take all necessary steps to safeguard its rights, including, without limitation, litigation.

I doubt that'd even hold up in court, but signing Miles would be a heck of a practical joke to play on the Blazers.

If I owned, say, the Clippers, and had a couple hundred grand burning a hole in my pocket, I'd definitely do it.

If only I owned an NBA team...

To whistle, or not to whistle

It's always amusing (though wrong - I don't condone it!) when someone in the stands blows a whistle and affects the action on the field. It happened late in last night's college football National Championship game between Oklahoma and Florida, resulting in an incomplete pass from living legend - or so you'd think by the way the media portrays him - Tim Tebow.

Apparently, it also happened in Monday night's NBA game between the Warriors and Jazz. Since that's the incident I have video of, well, I'll post it. Check it out!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Game Over

This is a sad day, my friends… So sad, I can almost hear the refrain of a melancholy dirge in the background as I sit to write this commentary. My favorite target (and that of many a mainstream sportswriter), Adam “Don’t Call Me Pacman” Jones, has been released by the Cowboys amid further confirmation (as if we needed any more) that he is a dirt bag. And with the mounting release of recent evidence of more off-the-field evilness, Jones appears to have played his last NFL football game.

The latest allegations against Jones stem from an incident at a strip club (go figure!) in Atlanta, a mere two months (June 2007) after his NFL suspension handed down by Commissioner Roger Goodell for previous off-the-field incidents (precipitated chiefly by his involvement in a previous strip club incident in Las Vegas). Jones allegedly got into a scuffle with three men inside the Atlanta club. Eh, it happens… (I mean, not to me… or you, probably… but to “people,” I guess) But what makes this scuffle remarkable (apart from the fact that he was just suspended for similar behavior) was that Jones agreed to pay another man in the club (who was previously charged with murder in a different case) to shoot at the three men as they left the strip club that night. Jones role in the shooting went unnoticed until police received a tip from an informant, and the story broke this week.

This next bit is a story in and of itself… ESPN contacted the Cowboys and informed them they would be running a story on the incident on Sunday’s episode of Outside the Lines (which is really a pretty good show if you’ve never seen it; its like 60 Minutes for sports). Less than 48 hours later, the ‘Boys cut Pacman… Coincidence? I think not! However, the Cowboys cited only Jones’ poor play in his limited tenure with the club as justification for his release. This is clearly a manifestation of Cowboy Owner Jerry Jones’ ego, and nothing more. He refuses to admit that the house of cards he built in Dallas with ne’erdowells and instigators came tumbling down this year because of the team’s general lack of discipline, facilitated by HIS hubris and ostrich-like view of the NFL’s player personnel. But I digress…

As I have said in this forum once before when referencing Pacman, “I could tell a long drawn out parable here about a frog and a scorpion and how people don’t change their natures, but I will spare you” (Oct 9, 2008 post “Hat trick”). This guy is done… If he EVER sees another snap in the NFL, Goodell and the owner that gives him a shot should both be immediately removed from their positions for gross negligence and outright stupidity. Some may say I’m a hater… that I’m just jealous of pro athletes. Well, that is 100% true. I am jealous that they get treated differently than everyone else; that they get chance after chance at making millions of dollars when they exhibit behavior that would get you and me locked up for 2-10. And I hate that this is what major sports media is forced to talk about in the midst of a great playoff season!

I am certainly sad that my favorite opportunity to “hate the playa not the game” is getting his final boot out the door. But the Football Gods have (hopefully) finally woken up and realized what people like Jones are doing to my beloved League.