Saturday, March 31, 2012

Jacob Pullen isn't happy about Kansas State hiring Bruce Weber

You can call former Kansas State guard Jacob Pullen a bitter man if you want. He just stated how he felt about Kansas State's hiring of former Illinois coach Bruce Weber.

The hiring was a surprise, considering that no one knew who Kansas State had on their radar and how quiet their search was after Frank Martin bolted for South Carolina.

Pullen. who is the school's all time scoring leader took to Twitter to rip Weber's hiring and his recruiting. Remember that Pullen is a Chicago guy and Weber didn't take full advantage of the fertile recruiting area.

"I support kstate for life no matter what but I'm not a Bruce Webber fan and I think Kstate can do a lot better," Pullen tweeted early Saturday. "Bruce Webber didn't think I was good enough to play at Illinois and I don't think he is good enough to coach at Kansas State."

Pullen may come off as bitter but there could be some truth to what he said. He's also saying what many Kansas State fans are thinking right now.


Charles Rogers is a wanted man

Every time the name Charles Rogers is brought up, it's usually associated with bad news. The former first round bust and Michigan State and Detroit Lions receiver constantly found himself in trouble. He should be the poster boy for wasted talent, even though Ryan Leaf might have something to say about that.

The latest news on Rogers is that he's wanted by Saginaw police on two separate warrants.

Former Lions and Michigan State receiver Charles Rogers has yet to turn himself in on two warrants seeking his arrest in Saginaw, WJRT-TV reported.

Rogers, 30, is charged with five misdemeanors in two unrelated incidents.

Rogers is charged with making a malicious phone call and conspiring to commit a crime in March, and possessing marijuana, an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle, and driving on a suspended license in December.

The marijuana charge carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail, while the phone call charge carries a six-month maximum sentence.

Rogers has turned out to be a fine member of society. I say that in jest. I know there are Michigan football fans that will use Rogers as fuel for Michigan State jokes. This isn't a Michigan vs. Michigan State issue. It's about someone who wasted a gift, squandered money, and hasn't been a functional member of society. Anyone aspiring to be a pro athlete should use Rogers as a cautionary tale of what not to do when it comes to  off field decisions.    

Friday, March 30, 2012

SMU interviews Bruce Weber

The Final Four has been known as a place where coaches try to land their next job. SMU is trying to land their next coach, but they were rebuffed by Marquette's Buzz Williams.

The Mustangs reportedly have interviewed former Illinois coach Bruce Weber.

According to the Dallas Morning News' Kate Hairopoulos, Weber fits the profile of the kind of coach athletic director Steve Orsini is seeking.

 But Weber certainly fits the pattern Orsini has used in previous coaching hires: a name coach, ties to a big-time program, program-building experience, looking for a new start. (See football coach George O'Leary at Central Florida and Doherty and football coach June Jones, a NFL coach before building up Hawaii, at SMU.)

Weber could be a good fit at SMU, but I see him as more of a midwestern guy than a Dallas city slicker. I'm sure the Mustangs will do what they can to ensure they find the right coach, but I don't think they'll land the big name they want.

Jason Terry says he could be an asset to the Heat

Going to Miami seems to be the popular thing to do for many nowdays. Ever since the Heat landed the big three, many prospective veteran free agents have put the Heat on their personal radar.

Earlier this week it was reported that Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash said he wouldn't mind joining the Heat next season if the Suns can't make him a suitable offer. Add Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Terry to the ever growing list of veterans trying to latch on with the Heat.

"Miami is definitely a title contender. For sure," Terry told FOX Sports Florida before Dallas' 106-85 loss at AmericanAirlines Arena about his interest. "(Team president) Pat Riley is a great guy and what he's done with the organization is tremendous.

"No question, they need a veteran shooter, a guy who can score besides LeBron (James) and (Dwyane Wade), and they know they can count on. I'm a guy that's been in this league 13 years, (averaging) 15 points a night, easy. Off the bench or the starting lineup, it doesn't matter. So I think I'd be an asset to them."

Terry's words ring true. He could definitely be a help off the bench and he's a winning player. He doesn't care how much he plays, if he starts or comes off the bench, or how many shots he gets. He'd be perfect for the second unit.

My question is how many more veterans who want a crack at a ring are willing to gravy train their way to a championship. Because that's what it's amounting to right now.

Florida's Erving Walker charged with stealing taco

In a pretty strange crime to hit the blotter, Florida guard Erving Walker has been charged with stealing a taco and running from police.

Walker, a senior who ranks first in school history in assists, was arrested and given a notice to appear in court early Friday. He was charged with petty theft and resisting an officer without violence, both misdemeanors. He was not taken to jail.

Gainesville Police say Walker ordered a $3 taco from a street vendor, got the food and ran away without paying. When a police officer caught up with him and told him stop, Walker kept going, according to the police report.

When officers finally caught Walker with help from “several marked patrol cars,” he told them he was “just playing around,” the report said.

Walker is scheduled to appear in court April 19.

You steal a taco and elude police and you were just playing? I don't think so. I do think it's funny that Walker couldn't afford to pay for $3 taco. I know that he has to be getting hooked up by some boosters down in Gainesville. So you know he could've paid for it. He must've really been hungry to evade the cops over it.

Maybe if Walker would've spent more time "playing" against Louisville in the Gators Elite Eight loss, they'd be in New Orleans playing in the Final Four.

Chicago shooting victim is Wade's nephew

In a violent six hour stretch in Chicago, two people were killed and 11 were left wounded. One of the victims injured is reported to be Dwayne Wade's nephew.

One of the people wounded in a Gresham convenience store shooting that left one man dead and five others hurt is the nephew of Miami Heat basketball star Dwyane Wade, according to a statement by the Chicago native.

The shooting happened at about 6 p.m. Thursday at the Bishop Golden store on the 1400 block of West 79th Street when two men jumped out of an SUV, walked into the small store and opened fire, according to police. One of the people used a TEC-9 type gun.

“I don’t have all of the details at this time,” Wade said in a written statement released early Friday evening. “My thoughts and prayers are with all involved, including my nephew and sister. Having grown up in the inner-city, I am aware of the difficult realities that exist on the streets. One of the goals of my foundation, the Wade’s World Foundation, is to continue to spread the message that the violence needs to stop.”

This comes one week after Wade and his Miami Heat teammates spoke out on the highly publicized Trayvon Martin case.

Personally my prayers not only go out to his nephew, but to all victims of senseless violent crimes that have been plaguing the inner city youth for decades. Hopefully Wade can use his celebrity to make a difference.

Is Ricky Williams unretiring for the Chargers?

After finishing his final NFL season with the Baltimore Ravens, Ricky Williams decided to retire and call it a career.

After an interview on 103.1 FM, a radio station in Austin, Texas, Williams indicated that he would be willing to come back to play for the San Diego Chargers.

Williams ran for 444 yards on 108 carries last season and will be turning 35 in a few months. You know what that means by NFL standards. He's done.

Even though Williams hasn't had the normal wear and tear of the average NFL running back, I really don't think he would be able to carry the load if Ryan Mathews were to be hurt for an extended period of time.

It would be kind of heartwarming to see Williams come home to San Diego, but it probably won't happen. The Chargers are better off looking for younger, cheaper options.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

McNabb says that RG III won't fit in Washington

Donovan McNabb still hasn't found an NFL home. His time with the Washington Redskins ended up in a crash and burn scenario, that McNabb has yet to recover from. It also sounds like he has sour grapes from his experience with Mike Shanahan and the Redskins.

McNabb was asked whether Robert Griffin III would be able to excel with the Skins and McNabb sounded as if Shanahan ruined his career.

 Asked on ESPN First Take if Griffin is a good fit with the offense the Shanahans run in Washington, McNabb answered, “No.

“Here’s a guy coming out who’s very talented, mobile, strong arm, we’ve already heard he’s intelligent, football mind,” McNabb said of Griffin. “Are you going to cater the offense around his talent, and what he’s able to do, or are you going to bring the Houston offense with Matt Schaub over to him and have him kind of be embedded in that?”

What McNabb fails to realize is that his career was on the downside before he got to Washington. You think Andy Reid would've traded him if he knew McNabb could still be productive? Exactly. He is right in some regards about Shanahan in how he hasn't won jack since John Elway rode off into the sunset.

“We talk so much about Mike Shanahan and the things he was able to do in Denver,” McNabb said. “Well, I have a couple of names for you that Mike Shanahan — quarterbacks he’s coached — and the lack of success that he’s had.”

“We had John Beck, who was 0-4,” McNabb said. “Rex Grossman: 6-11. Jay Cutler, who was his prize possession: 17-20. Jake Plummer, a guy who had success, led them to the AFC Championship against Pittsburgh, as we know, and then benched him the next year, because he wouldn’t do what he wanted him to do. Brian Griese, who was supposed to be the heir apparent to John Elway, hasn’t had a lot of success.”

“I don’t think it’s a good fit,” McNabb said. “If this doesn’t work this year, if we don’t see a splash like a Cam Newton splash, this could be it. . . . How long does he have with RG3? The seat is hot right now.”

“I was misused,” McNabb said. “Absolutely, I was misused.”

Somewhere the truth lies in the middle. Shanahan isn't the genius many make him out to be and McNabb was pretty much toast by the time he got to Washington.

In a weird way it'll be up to Robert Griffin III to prove that McNabb was right about Shanahan and his offense or that McNabb was just living off past glory and washed up.

To me, Shanahan never adjusted his scheme to fit McNabb's talent and McNabb probably never read the playbook or bothered to learn the offense.

Bobby Valentine has some unflattering things to say about the Red Sox

When the Boston Red Sox hired Bobby Valentine to be their manager they envisioned that he would lead them back to World Series glory and overtake the New York Yankees. There would be no epic collapses like last year. Good times would be back in Beantown.

The way Valentine talks though is as if the Red Sox are headed for a last place finish.

"I have great expectations with this group,'' said Valentine Thursday. "(We're) not the 'best team ever assembled' this year. I don't know if that's good or bad. I know that, over history, that's been good for some and bad some for some.

"It's just what it is.'' 

I can't translate this one. But here's what I take out of that statement. I have expectations just like the fans. I want to make the playoffs, but don't be surprised if we don't.

Valentine has set up a cushion for himself in case of failure.Valentine should just shut up and manage.

Tulloch and Vanden Bosch say there wasn't a bounty program in Tennessee

With the NFL focusing on bountygate, it seems that everyone is trying to find a connection from the past. Any coach or player that played for Gregg Williams has had their credentials questioned.

Detroit Lions head coach, Jim Schwartz, coached under Williams in Tennessee while both were with the Titans. During the week, Schwartz did say they ran an awards system in Tennessee for big hits. Not a cash bounty system like the New Orleans Saints were busted for earlier this month.

Current Lions players, linebacker Stephen Tulloch and defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch deny any bounty system was being ran in Tennessee.

"I've never been a part of that in my career," Tulloch said. "I think it's unreal, man, to go out and have in your mind you want to take somebody's career out. You have to look at it like people are trying to feed their family. To go out with the mindset of taking them out is not right."

Cornerback Reynaldo Hill, who played for Schwartz from 2005-08, told The Tennessean, "There was never any talking about hurting another team's quarterback.

"That's a lie. I never heard anything like that. There never was a bounty; that is crazy."  

Schwartz said they gave out boxing gloves or a lacquered and engraved baseball bat to the weekly winner, but if they were penalized for the hit they couldn't win the award.

If you ask former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy if the Titans ran a system similar to the Saints, he'll tell you otherwise.

It's a case of he said/he said and I'm sure that Roger Goodell will have his boys investigating any possible bounty system.

Bengals cheerleader accused of having sex with a student

Pro sports cheerleaders actually do hold regular jobs. To some it's hard to believe the jobs outside of cheerleading aren't in the sex industry. Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader, Sarah Jones, was a teacher, which means she was actually pretty bright and had a good head on her shoulders. To some that may be a shocker.

Jones, the team captain of the Ben-Gals, has found herself in a bit of trouble stemming from her days as a teacher. Jones was indicted Thursday for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a student when she was a teacher at Dixie Heights High School.

Her mother Cheryl Jones was indicted on a charge of tampering with physical evidence in her daughter’s case. Cheryl Jones, the principal at Twenhofel Middle School in Independence, expressed surprise when informed by a reporter of her indictment. She referred all questions to her lawyer. The tampering charge is also a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

Keeping it all in the family. Remember, all of this is alleged.

A Kenton County grand jury indicted Sarah Jones on first-degree sexual abuse. She was also indicted on a charge unlawful use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sexual or other prohibited acts. The charges are felonies that are each punishable by up to five years in prison. 

I wonder how all this came to light. I know the kid had to think he had it going on. Doing "it" with a teacher and NFL cheerleader. Man, talk about a daily double.

The lawyer, Charles T. Lester Jr., confirmed he was representing Cheryl Jones, in addition to her daughter, but declined to comment. In a written statement released later, Lester said both women will be pleading not guilty.

“Sarah has maintained her innocence. The indictment of her mother is completely baseless,” the statement noted.

Both women were booked into Kenton County jail on Thursday. Cash bonds were set at $50,000 for Sarah Jones and $30,000 for Cheryl Jones. The daughter and mother are scheduled to be arraigned April 2 before Kenton Circuit Judge Patricia Summe.  

Sarah Jones resigned from her teaching job on November 30 for "personal reasons". No one knew of an investigation of Jones until her resignation.

Bengals’ spokesman Jack Brennan said “the club is aware of the situation, and it’s an ongoing process to collect the information that can guide appropriate actions as warranted. At this time, we are guided by our general policy that it’s not appropriate to comment on legal matters yet to be resolved.”

I don't condone the behavior of either party in this case, but I know dad had to be giving his son a high five after hearing who he was taking to bed.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fake Luck jerseys for sale

Andrew Luck hasn't even been drafted, but it hasn't stopped a website for putting up images of an Indianapolis Colts jersey bearing Luck's name and college number 12. has the jersey, but you have to figure it's a fake since Luck hasn't even been assigned a team or number.

 “I can tell you it’s not authorized by the Colts,” said Chuck O’Hara, the club’s senior director of marketing. 

Said league spokesman Brian McCarthy: “Our legal department is aware and looking into it.”

I'm pretty sure someone has gotten paid from the sales of the "fake" Luck jersey, but there will be some trouble on the horizon when the league decides it wants to investigate a little deeper into the matter.

Couple charged in million dollar scheme against Dwight Freeney

It's nothing new to hear a professional athlete being taken for millions of dollars. Either a shady financial adviser or bad investments.

Indianapolis Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney should consider himself lucky that his victimizers were caught before his situation was made worse than it was.

A financial adviser for Indianapolis Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney and the adviser's lover have been arrested on federal wire fraud charges that allege they swindled about $2.2 million from the lineman.

Eva Weinberg, 48, of Los Angeles, and Michael Stern, 51, of Miami, were arrested last week by FBI agents who believe the couple were trying to flee the United States.

From what was in the article, Freeney wasn't named directly in the case but Stern's attorney, Henry Bell confirmed the victim was indeed Freeney.

Athletes and entertainers make tons of money but squander lots of it and make bad financial decisions. It's made worse when the people that you trust with your money are stealing it from you. More players need to be aware of who they are trusting.

Danny Manning to be named coach at Tulsa

Kansas head coach, Bill Self is having a tough time keeping his staff intact. Yesterday, assistant Barry Hinson was announced as the new head coach at Southern Illinois. There are reports surfacing that Danny Manning has agreed to take the coaching job at Tulsa.

Manning has been an assistant at Kansas since 2007.

Could the pending departures propel Kansas to the national championship? That remains to be seen.

I'm sure there are some people in Norman that are still bitter about Manning.

Larry Brown has interest in the SMU job

SMU hasn't had much success in college basketball since the days of Jon Koncak. There isn't much news surrounding the program, so it was a surprise to me a few days ago when I finally found out that SMU fired Matt Doherty.

The Mustangs will be joining the Big East soon, more of a football move than a basketball one, so the hiring of a new coach is critical for the program.

The Mustangs have targeted Marquette's Buzz Williams, but he isn't going anywhere, so the Mustangs will have to scout on a new route. One name that hasn't been mentioned, but reportedly reached out to SMU is the retired Larry Brown.

Brown has said that he wanted to coach again at the college level, but at SMU? Brown must be incredibly bored with the millions he's taken in buyouts to want to coach at SMU. I'm not saying that it's a bad job, I just don't think he'll fit, but stranger things have happened. Brown could be the one to lead SMU back to respectability since he is a teacher and his name and track record would lend credibility to the program. I just don't see him going there.

SMU might not have a choice but to hire Brown unless they hire a low major coach, because no one from a good mid major or big program will take the job. Even with the departures of Syracuse and Pittsburgh, the Mustangs will need someone to shepherd them through the Big East landscape.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Odom is bothered by fans' booing

This has been a trying season for Lamar Odom. There was the trade to the Dallas Mavericks and numerous off court issues, including his public marriage to Khloe Kardashian. There were reports that Odom approached Mark Cuban about a buyout.

Odom seems to be the most sensitive player in the NBA if you ask me. He's sulked his way through most of this season and some of it I understand. But I believe when he was traded from the Los Angeles Lakers hurt him the most. Personally he should get over it. I do have a little sympathy for him, but it's hard to sympathize with someone that gets paid millions to play basketball.

Odom has said that the fans' booing has bothered him and he finds it confusing.

"I've never been booed in my life," he said. "So if it's to the point where I'm playing a basketball game at home and I'm getting booed, I would say _ no disrespect _but maybe I think people took things the wrong way.

"I admitted that I was out of shape for different reasons when I came into camp. I admitted what I've been through. I was honest about how my summer went, how I almost left the game and everything I went through. And I think people just took it the wrong way, like if I had a reason not to be here _ or I didn't want to be here.

"I think people took that the wrong way. Next thing I know, I'm trying to come out of a slump and I check into the game and I'm getting booed. I'm not really used to that."

"It's part of the game," he said. "I understand, but it usually happens on the road. I've always had a lot of pride to play for the name on the back of my jersey. I've always been more prideful to play for the name that's on the front of my jersey _ whether it be USA or whether it be the Mavericks or the other team I came from. I always had a lot of pride.

"So it was a little confusing and a little hurtful, but it's the sport world. I understand. We're in a business that it's all about what have you done lately, or the last game or the next game?"

"I would say confused. I wouldn't say angry, because there are a lot of sides to Lamar Odom, know what I mean? Sportsman is one of them. I'm a father, a husband, someone's son, someone's cousin. So there's a lot of roles that I have to play in life. Basketball is just one of them. So I can't let it get me angry because I have a lot of other roles to fulfill."  

Odom needs to just man up and play ball. He has the ability but it always seems like his head has never been in the right place. Maybe a move back to Miami or Los Angeles might be in store for Odom in order to get his groove back.

Bar ordered to stop selling 'Leyland smoking' t-shirts

Jim Leyland's style and personality seems to fit the city of Detroit quite well. Some people love Leyland for bringing the Detroit Tigers from the abyss into one of the top teams in the American League.

The Dirty Trick bar in Detroit also thinks so highly of Leyland that they've started selling a t-shirt of Leyland's mug with a cigarette dangling out the side of his mouth. A creative idea for sure, except that the Tigers don't think so.

The shirts were being sold for $22 at the bar Sunday night, but owner Louis Colombo said Monday he might halt sales because of a legal dilemma with the team. Colombo, 42, said a member of the Tigers legal counsel called him Monday afternoon and said the bar is expected to receive a cease-and-desist order this week.

Tigers officials appear to have a problem with the Old English D logo being used because it resembles their trademarked team logo, as well as the image the shirt portrays, Colombo said.

Colombo, however, claims the shirt is intended to honor Leyland's colorful personality and his success as manager of this gritty, sports-crazed town.

"There's nothing negative about it," said Colombo, a married father of seven children from Grosse Pointe Park. "I think Jim Leyland is amazing, that's why I did it. Besides Sparky Anderson, he's my favorite Tigers manager. I just thought that if I were to do a Tigers shirt, I would have to put Jim Leyland's face on it." 

Colombo has offered to tweak the Old English D so that he can continue selling the shirt. I would hope that the Tigers would let this pass and let Colombo continue selling the shirts at the bar. Or at least they could come together and give all profits to charity.

That would be a good idea.

Jason Richardson gets a new ring

Jason Richardson was a member Michigan State's 2000 national championship winning team. So even in college you still get a championship ring.

However, Richardson realized his ring was missing and found it being sold by a memorabilia dealer for $7,500. But there is a silver lining in this story as the Michigan State athletics office had the ring remade.

"I see the ring, and I thought, 'Oh, wow, they have a complete picture and replica of my ring,'" Richardson recently told "Then I see one side of the ring says, 'Richardson, 23.' I thought, 'Oh, wow, they even have my name on it.' And then I scrolled down further and it says you can have this ring for $7,500! I was like, 'How the hell they get my ring?'"

According to ESPN, Richardson hadn't seen his ring much since winning the title more than a decade ago. Because he's now in the NBA and on the road, he had his uncle watching the ring.

But when he recently installed a new trophy case at his home, he called his uncle for the ring back.

The uncle, though, didn't know where it was. According to ESPN, he hadn't seen it since sending it back to Michigan State for repairs years ago. The Michigan State athletics office hadn't seen it, either.

"I call the guy up and say I'm checking in on the Jason Richardson championship ring, and he said they've received a few calls on that," Richardson told ESPN. "So I say, 'Uh, yeah, this is Jason Richardson. And that's my ring. That ring was stolen.'"

The sports memorabilia dealer reportedly wouldn't tell Richardson how he got his hands on the ring. This is quite certain: Having made more than $85 million in the pros, Richardson had no reason to sell it himself. He said no matter what, he'd never sell it.

Now if you ask me, it sounds like someone making his trophy case lifted the ring from his home. I know Richardson did some investigating but he should be calling the company that installed his trophy case. And it sounds like the memorabilia dealer was in cahoots with the thief of the ring.

All of it is moot now, because the ring has zero value since Michigan State remade the ring for Richardson. I bet J-Rich keeps a closer eye on it more than ever now.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

VCU, George Mason, and Butler thinking of joining the Atlantic 10

In the latest news of conference realignment, Butler, George Mason, and VCU are having discussions about joining the Atlantic 10 for the 2013-2014 school year.

For this to happen the schools would need to get permission from their respective school boards and would have to negotiate some kind of exit fee from their conference.

The three schools would help replace schools that are leaving the A-10. Temple is headed to the Big East and sources told that Charlotte has received an “informal invitation” to the Sun Belt. The 49ers are starting up a football program in 2013 at the FCS level, but couldn't make a move to the FBS until 2015.

Creighton's names has also been thrown around, but the Atlantic 10 isn't a geographical fit for the school but there have been some strange alignments before and it wouldn't shock me if a invite were given to the Blue Jays that they would say no.

Butler, VCU, and George Mason reside in one bid basketball leagues right now, although the quality of play in the CAA (Colonial Athletic Association) has improved in recent years. If the three schools mentioned join the Atlantic 10 the league would improve greatly.

I'm not predicting future Final Four berths for the conference, but with Xavier, St. Louis, and Dayton already there it would make the Atlantic 10 more competitive.

Dodgers' Ethier buying uniforms for Phoenix high school team

Positive sports stories hardly ever make news. No one ever reports the good that professional athletes do on their own time. Except for the televised charity work.

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder, Andre Ethier, has done a big favor for a Phoenix area high school. Ethier's buying new uniforms for the baseball team at Camelback High School. Ethier attended St. Mary’s High in Phoenix.

“I’ve been pretty excited and choked up about this,” Camelback Coach Todd Goertzen said.

Camelback reached the state finals in 1985, but the baseball program declined as the surrounding neighborhood changed. Most of the players are sons of Mexican immigrants who didn’t play baseball before high school because of the high cost of equipment. Many players come from single-parent households. Until recently, the team had one bat for the entire team.

The Spartans have won one game in each of the last two seasons; they are winless this season and lost one of their games by a 38-0 margin.

I can imagine being excited for new uniforms, especially being supplied by a major league player. A local product in this case making for a classic hometown hero story.

New Balance, which recently signed Ethier to an endorsement deal, will provide the team with shoes.

Hopefully Ethier's contributions will spark a new interest in the baseball program at Camelback.

Oswalt to the Angels?

Just when you thought Roy Oswalt would be a mid-season addition, here comes news that he could be had by the start of the regular season.

ESPN's Jim Bowden tweeted that the Los Angeles Angels are the front runners to land Oswalt.

 Bowden added that the Boston Red Sox “remain in the picture” while the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals are fading. 

I still think Oswalt will take his time making a decision rather than being a late pickup in spring training. I still think he's taking a Brett Favre like approach in his decision. Maybe he just wants to make sure he's in peak condition before stepping on the mound.

FOX might look to hire Sean Payton

Even though New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton is suspended for this year, it won't stop others looking to employ him.

A report in the New York Times says that the FOX network is exploring the option of hiring Payton. Het a guy has to make a living right?  

Payton will lose at least $6 million in salary from the Saints and could seek work elsewhere, perhaps in television. On Friday, representatives for ESPN, NBC and CBS indicated that they had no plans to hire him. But Fox Sports, which carries N.F.C. games during the season, is open to the possibility. “Our feeling about Sean is that he’s bright, articulate and obviously contemporary,” said Lou D’Ermilio, Fox’s senior vice president for communications. “Any network with N.F.L. rights would have to consider it.”

The league responded in a statement: “He is suspended from the N.F.L. for the season. His involvement in any non-N.F.L. employment or business matters is not our decision.”

Even though I do think the Saints should've been punished, it was a bit harsh. But maybe if Payton or Gregg Williams would've told (commissioner) Roger Goodell the truth they might've got off with a lighter penalty. But who knows. They were only doing what most in their position probably would've done and that is cover their ass.


Suh puts in a good word for incoming Nebraska basketball coach

The Nebraska Cornhuskers ended their search for a basketball coach when they hired Tim Miles from Colorado State. Miles led the Rams to their first NCAA tournament since 1998 and would've been considered a favorite for the Mountain West title next season.

Miles will now head up a rebuilding job in Lincoln. Athletic director Tom Osborne was impressed by the way Miles has built programs at his previous stops. But it helps when you have former players of the football program  helping you get the job.

Detroit Lions defensive tackle, Ndamukong Suh reportedly was one of three Nebraska supporters that recommended Miles for the job.

Miles said he and Suh have a mutual friend who put them contact this week.

Osborne joked (we think) that he wasn't about to ignore the Detroit Lions defensive tackle's recommendation.

"When Ndamukong calls, I always listen. And if I don't listen," Osborne told the Omaha World Herald, "he'll break my neck."

I guess when you donate $2.6 million back to your alma mater, that your opinions on who gets hired around there matters.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Lem Barney wishes he never played football

For all the success Hall of Fame NFL player Lem Barney had, he wishes he never played football. Those are strong words from someone who excelled at every level of the sport.

Barney still is in relatively good health for his age (66), but says that if he had been presented with a different choice he never would've played football.

"I call it blessed," Barney said. "It's that type of game. It's a lethal game. Again, as I tell people, 'Do you miss the game, Lem?' And sincerely, I don't miss the game."

"If I look at the game now and I look back on it retrospectively, if I had another choice I'd never played the game, at all, in my life," he said. "Never. Never. From all-city, all-state, all-conference, all-American, seven times All-Pro, I'm in eight Hall of Fames, it wouldn't be. It would be golf or tennis. I'm serious. Very serious."

His reasoning behind that. Concussions. Back when he played the league or doctors didn't diagnose concussions like they do now. Barney never knew how many he had until he went to visit a doctor when his playing days were over.

"(He) told me that he saw where I had at least seven or eight concussions," Barney said. "One (spot) was as large as a silver dollar, and he said, 'You were out for a long time.' And there was about 30 minutes that I was out -- down at Tiger Stadium playing against the Bengals. It was just amazing.

"And then the other ones that he saw -- I can remember them. The ones I remember fondly was big Rufus Mayes from Ohio State, 6-9, 290, and he put his right knee right in the right temple when I came up to cut him down on a sweep. Next thing I know, it's like la-la land. Was out for a long time.   

If you were knocked around back then, you cleared the cobwebs and went back to playing.

"I related concussions to boxers," he said. "I didn't put one and two together. You get KO'd on the football (field) like getting KO'd in the damn ring, it's a concussion. I didn't put that together because, again, no doctors from middle school through high school through college through the league called them concussions. They all called them dingers and stingers." 

He does have some advice for current Lions running back Jahvid Best.

"If he wants to play again, God bless him, but if he can come back and still be comprehensible and still be able to understand things and still live a real good life," Barney said. "I would tell him, if he's going to play, they've got to get some kind of special helmet for him because it's not going to take much longer if he keeps getting those dinger, stinger and bell-ringers as the boxers used to call them, or even the concussions, that he's going to be around here.

"I would tell him to maybe look at doing something else rather than coming back again after having those back-to-(back) concussions. It's a dangerous game. Like I said, I don't have anything against it, I just don't have anything for it now."

For fans that thought Barry Sanders quit on the Lions now you can see why. The man wanted to walk away with his health.

Jim Buss wants Kobe to be a Laker for life

While the Los Angeles Lakers made some deadline day moves to compete for another championship, Lakers exec,Jim Buss says he wants Kobe Bryant to be a Laker for life. That's a shocker. Who in the Lakers front office wouldn't want Kobe to remain with the team until he calls it quits?

The problem is placating Kobe and putting a competitive team around him. I guess Buss has it all figured out.

"I think about a lot of things to improve this team, to figure out how to manage the finances of it," said Lakers executive vice president of player personnel, Jim Buss, as a guest on the "Mason & Ireland Show" on 710 ESPN on Friday. "One thing I haven't thought of is Kobe being somewhere else. I don't know why that question has ever come up and I'd like to squish that one."

While it's hard to imagine Bryant in another uniform, it's had to say that Bryant will be able to compete at an elite level for the duration of his career. A caller on the show Buss appeared on went as far as saying that Bryant and the Lakers had a short window of opportunity to win a sixth championship. Buss thinks that Bryant has a lot left to give and won't sell him short.

"I might disagree with you that Kobe only has three or four years left, but we'll see," Buss said. "As you see, we make trades and our whole focus isn't to win a sixth (championship). I'm not sure I would stop there for Kobe; I would go to seven or eight if we can. ... I think Kobe is going to be a Laker for life and I'm pretty sure he's not going to hang them up after two years."    

The only way Kobe leaves Los Angeles is if the Lakers are in so much disrepair that he doesn't want to stick around for a rebuilding job. His competitive juices will keep him in the game for as long as he desires.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Joakim Soria undergoing Tommy John surgery

The Kansas City Royals bullpen took a big hit, because closer Joakim Soria opted to have Tommy John surgery. This won't be his first time under the knife as he had the surgery back in 2003 while he was in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.      

Soria sought the opinion of three doctors before finally deciding that surgery was his best option.

Plans call for Dr. Lewis Yocum to perform the surgery April 3 in Los Angeles. The typical recovery period ranges from 10-14 months. 

Soria definitely will miss this season and will possibly miss the early part of the 2013 season.

Soria, 27, was one of baseball's best closers from 2008-10, but he had a down year last season. He closed 28 games in 35 chances with a 4.03 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 60 strikeouts in 60 1/3 innings. He looked like a good bounce-back candidate heading into this season. Instead, he'll have to hope for a good second half in 2013 before he hits free agency at the conclusion of that season.

This will hurt the back end of the Royals bullpen as Jonathan Broxton, Greg Holland, and Aaron Crow will have their roles shuffled with Soria out.  

Marion Barber calls it a career

The writing must've been on the wall for Chicago Bears running back Marion Barber after the Bears signed Michael Bush to be the backup to Matt Forte.

After a few subpar seasons Barber has decided to retire. There was no reason given and at age 28 it's pretty mysterious since he probably could've still been a productive short yardage/goal line back. But with his hard running style maybe his body took more of a pounding than any other back at that age.

He finished last season with 422 yards on 114 carries with six touchdowns.

"I want to thank everyone who gave me the opportunity to play, and I’m very thankful to have had the chance to suit up for two of the NFL’s most storied organizations,” Barber told

"I want to thank everyone who helped me become a better player,” Barber said. “I owe a lot to a lot of coaches, and am also very grateful to the owners and organizations I played for. Last but not least, I want to thank the fans for the support and inspiration they gave me.”

For some reason I don't think this is the end for Barber. Injuries do happen and teams will be looking for a proven running back at some point. I'm sure his phone will be on during the season.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

St. Paul Saints to have a bounty promotion

Minor league baseball teams are always cooking up some kind of comical gimmick and the St. Paul Saints are no stranger to it.

Their latest brainstorming session has resulted in the Saints coming up with a "bounties for big hits" promotion for their Sept. 1 game against the Wichita Wingnuts. It's clearly a shot at the New Orleans Saints and the "bountygate" scandal, but it's all in the name of charity so I do see some humor in it.

On Saturday, September 1, the one year anniversary of Minnesota’s youth concussion law going into effect, the St. Paul Saints will be gunning for the opposition and plan to PAY a TON of money for a worthy cause. For each bone crunching hit the Saints will collect a bounty and the bigger the hit, the larger the sum: a single is worth $100, a double $200, a triple $300 and a home run is worth $400. For every pitcher the Saints “knock-out” another $50 will be collected. Each time a Saints pitcher “punches out” an opposing hitter, $10 will be donated. At the end of the night all the money collected from the bounty system will be placed in a LOOMIS armored truck and taken to Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota and donated to their new concussion research program.

The first 1,500 fans entering the game that night will receive a football helmet piggy bank with the Saints logo on one side (the S will be in the shape of a $) and the Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota logo on the other. It should be a BREEZE for fans to fill it up with their own bounty and they can take the piggy bank to the Children’s (either the Minneapolis or St. Paul hospital locations) to donate the money to concussion research.

Since this is in the Twin Cities, the locals will have a good time with this one, since it might've been some of the Saints' (New Orleans) dirty play that made Brett Favre a bit gimpy and possibly ruined their shot a t a Super Bowl.

Mike Leach wants a 64 team college football playoff

Inevitably college football will be heading toward a playoff. All the talking heads have to agree upon is how many teams will in the derby. If it were up to Washington State coach Mike Leach he would have it just like the NCAA tournament and have 64 teams in a playoff.

"The minimum should be 16 teams,’’ he said. “I think 32 is better than 16, but I think 64 would be ideal," he started to explain to me, without taking a breath.

"You could cut the regular season down to 10 games, but guarantee everybody 12 games. In the end, the champion would play 16 games."

Don't bring up school workload to him as an argument. "That's a bunch of foolishness," he chided, in a nice, polite tone.

"Basketball players go to school, volleyball players go to school, baseball players go to school and they play a lot more games than football [players do]."

Although I do support a playoff, this is a little insane, but Leach always seemed to be in his own world anyway. I'm with him about the "school" part. The talking heads believe that it would take too much class time away from the "student-athelete". Everyone knows that's a load of bull.  

Drew Stanton wants out of New York

When former Detroit Lions quarterback Drew Stanton signed with the New York Jets, he signed there with the knowledge that he would be the number two quarterback behind starter Mark Sanchez. But the Jets went out and traded for Tim Tebow and now his backup status is in doubt and Stanton wants out of New York.

Stanton passed over other teams and more money to sign with the Jets and now he feels screwed. The Jets are trying to accommodate Stanton by seeking out a trade for the disgruntled third stringer.

"When we signed Drew, obviously this (trading for Tebow) was not contemplated in that decision," Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum told the newspaper on Wednesday. "When you get an unexpected opportunity to add a player like Tim, you have to take advantage of that."  

If I'm Stanton I'd just wait on getting released. Not that he is a bad player, it's just that there is hardly a trade market for him. But hey we said the same thing about Tebow.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Prince Fielder's mom has a book in the works

The tension in the Fielder family might get a little worse by the end of spring. Father and son already don't get along and now mother, Stacey August, is getting in the act. She has a book in the works and it could be out by next month.

The book will be title "Stealing Home On A Fielder's Choice" and is due to be available online and in stores this spring, maybe by next month.

August said the nine-chapter, 300-page, self-published book subtitled "A Revelation of a Ravished Rose," details the triumphs and adversity the Fielder family experienced throughout Cecil's professional baseball career and Prince's childhood before his rise to big league stardom.

August says the book won't be focused on the Prince-Cecil relationship although it will talk about how it changed over the years.

"I hope it gives other families a sense of hope that, at the end of the day, love may not conquer all, but it does cover all," August said. "It's a story of grace and mercy."

"It's a spiritual memoir that really talks about the core issues," she said. "It goes a little deeper for the underlying issues. It will address the situation that has happened to the two of them."

August says that both Cecil and Prince know about the book and don't have any problems with it. We'll have to see how long either of them will hold out on saying they don't like the book.

Jerry Tarkanian has a mild heart attack

The battle Jerry Tarkanian has now is bigger than any with the NCAA.

The former longtime UNLV basketball coach has been hospitalized by a mild heart attack.

"It was a mild heart attack," son Danny Tarkanian said. "He said he feels pretty good, but he was scared."

"He was very alert, and he sounded good. Hopefully he's going to be OK for a while," Danny Tarkanian said. "As a family, we feel pretty relieved at this point.

Tarkanian was one of the best college coaches of all time, however his long time battle with the NCAA overshadowed his sideline accomplishments. Here's to a timely recovery by Tark the Shark.

Cromartie doesn't want Tebow with the Jets

With Peyton Manning signing with the Denver Broncos, everyone figures Tim Tebow will be useless. So everyone is in a haste to trade Tebow. I wouldn't but I'll save that for later. The frontrunners in the Tebow derby are the New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars. I'm sure new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano could develop a package of plays for Tebow and the Jaguars probably could sell more tickets and jerseys.

There is one Jet that doesn't want Tebow with the Jets. The outspoken Antonio Cromartie. Cromartie says the Jets don't need Tebow and they should let him go elsewhere.

"We don't need Tebow," Cromartie wrote on his Twitter account. "We sell out every home game, let him go to Jacksonville, Tampa or Miami. Out wildcat offensve can (be) run by (Jeremy) Kerley or Joe McKnight. We straight."

At least Cromartie is showing support for other teammates. But he's not in the front office and they are the ones that call the shots. Also if I'm the Broncos I might be in no hurry to trade Tebow. I know he's not the greatest quarterback, but maybe, just maybe he could watch and learn under Manning and be a better player because of it. Also, what if Manning gets hurt because his neck isn't right? Then you're back to ground zero. Unless John Elway already has a plan for the draft and free agency for a backup.   

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Southern Miss revokes scholarships over racist chants

That didn't take long. The that I'm referring to is the University of Southern Mississippi administration taking away the scholarships of those who participated in the "Where's Your Green Card?" chant directed at Kansas State point guard Angel Rodriguez.

The five members of the pep band lost their scholarships, were removed from the band, and ordered to complete a two-hour cultural sensitivity training course this week.

USM issued an apology last week to Kansas State point guard Angel Rodriguez after he was the target of chants of "Where's your green card?" during the Wildcats' 70-64 second-round victory in the NCAA tournament. Rodriguez had 13 points and four assists in the game. 

"The students have been forthcoming, cooperative, contrite and sincerely remorseful. They acted rashly and inappropriately, and now see the gravity of their words and actions," Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Joe Paul said in a statement. "This is a teachable moment, not only for these students but for our entire student body and those who work with them."

Rodriguez has taken all of this in stride and to his credit hasn't made much of a stir about it.

Rodriguez said last week he accepted the apology because "there's ignorant people and I know that's not how they want to represent their university.

Besides, Rodriguez is from Puerto Rico which is a U.S. commonwealth and don't need green cards to come over to the great 48. Next time they might want to get their facts straight.

Zeigler leaving Central Michigan

Trey Zeigler and Ray McCallum Jr. were decorated, four star recruits coming out of high school. Both decdied against high major offers to play for their fathers at Central Michigan (Ernie Zeigler) and Detroit (Ray McCallum Sr.) respectively.

Zeigler reportedly will be leaving Central Michigan after his dad was fired from his head coaching position.

 Central Michigan star Trey Zeigler, whose father, Ernie, was fired as CMU's head coach last week, has been granted his release from school, according to, and will transfer.

Zeigler will visit Duke this weekend, and also has heard from UCLA, Pittsburgh, Michigan and Michigan State, according to a tweet from All Eyes on U Hoops, which covers Midwest basketball recruiting. The Recruit Scoop tweeted that Zeigler will choose from MSU, Duke, UCLA and Detroit Mercy. 

I think he might wind up with UCLA as they were one of his finalists coming out of high school. With Michigan State signing Gary Harris in next year's class and Michigan's class full I don't think he'll land at either one of those schools. I don't know about situations elsewhere, but the darkhorse in this derby would be Detroit, as McCallum and Zeigler are reportedly pretty good friends.

Berkman feels Selig extorted the Astros

Lance Berkman may find himself in a meeting with the commissioner for some rather opinionated statements he had regarding the sale and impending move of the Houston Astros to the American League.

Berkman was a long time Astro and still a popular figure in the Houston area, even though he plays for the division rival St. Louis Cardinals. He didn't bite his tongue on his feelings about how Bud Selig handled the sale of the Astros and says he would tell him if he was given the chance.

"I hate it. I feel like, basically, the commissioner extorted Jim Crane into moving the Astros," Berkman said of Houston's new owner during a conversation with two reporters.   

"If he (Selig) called me, I would tell him," Berkman said. 

Berkman also said he would have no problem telling Selig he extorted the Astros.

"Yeah, because I think that's exactly what it was: "We're going to hold the sale of the team up until you guys agree to switch'," Berkman said. "And it just so happens that the Astros were being sold right at the optimal time for that to happen."

Furthermore Berkman doesn't like the Astros' move to American League and doesn't care for their style of baseball. He says it makes no sense for the Astros to go to the American League and if anyone should go it should be the Milwaukee Brewers.

"It makes a heck of a lot more sense for the Brewers to go back to the American League from a historical standpoint," Berkman said. "Maybe not geographically, but it makes limited sense for the Astros to move from a geographic standpoint because they have the Rangers but then most of their away games are going to be starting at 9:30 p.m. Houston time.

"I just think when you have a franchise that has 50 years as a National League entity, and then you switch over to the American League, I just don't like it. I'm not in favor of it. I don't like the AL style of baseball to begin with. That plus the history element of it makes it ... I don't like it." 

I do agree that Milwaukee should make the switch back to the American League since they have a team built for that style of play. But from a competitive standpoint, I don't think the Brewers can win consistently with the likes of the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Angels and Rangers around.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Vladimir Guerrero may be thinking of heading to Japan

Surprisingly no one has given any thought of signing Vladimir Guerrero. He can still swing it, even though he has to cheat on fastballs, but he can no longer play in the field.

That almost spells it out for anyone. I guess no one has room for a one trick pony on their roster, if your name isn't Manny Ramirez. Guerrero does plan on playing somewhere though. He just doesn't know where. According to his agent, one of his options may be playing in Japan.

Fernando Cuza indicated to Jon Heyman of that Guerrero will wait around for the phone to ring until the end of spring training, but considering he has no business playing the outfield at this point and so few teams aren’t already set with designated hitter options the market for Guerrero seems unlikely to heat up. 

Guerrero, who had a reputation of being a notorious bad ball hitter, was one of my favorites because of that aforementioned trait. I wouldn't like to see him end his career in Japan, but you have to do what you have to do. I wouldn't want to see him flailing away helplessly and being overmatched against major league pitching.

I would bet on someone throwing him a bone before the season starts.      

20 questions

1. Shouldn't Vlad Guerrero be signed already?

2. Why doesn't Pete Gillen have job?

3. Is this the official end of Tebowmania?

4. Did the Lakers make the best trade deadline moves and are they in prime position to challenge the Thunder?

5. Have the Wizards finally rid themselves of their headcases?

6. Will Gilbert Arenas have an impact on the Grizzlies?

7. Can Peyton Manning get the Broncos multiple Super Bowl trophies?

8. Don't you think if Florida State had an offense like the old Pat Kennedy days they'd be advancing?

9. Wouldn't Shaka Smart be wise to stay at VCU?

10. Isn't it good to see N.C. State on the national stage?

11. Who is impressed with how Royce White played this season?

12. When will there be another great American heavyweight?

13. Is this the year everyone stops knocking LeBron?

14. What will it take for Pacquiao and Mayweather to step into the ring?

15. Does Michigan really have a chance against Alabama in college football's opener?

16. Why do women's basketball produce so many blowouts?

17. Is Perry Jones III really a lottery pick?

18. Will the Phillies dominate the NL East again?

19. Wouldn't it be nice to see UNLV return to their renegade winning ways?

20. Will Tiger Woods ever win another major?  

Sunday, March 18, 2012

UNC's Kendall Marshall breaks his wrist

Just when North Carolina got John Henson back from a wrist injury, another Tar Heel goes down with a wrist injury. This one might be the most important.

Point guard Kendall Marshall fractured his wrist late in a third round win over Creighton. Now an already thin guard corps gets even thinner with the seldom used Stillman White as the only healthy ballhandler on the team. This could be a big blow to North Carolina's national championship hopes.

Marshall was probably the best point guard in the nation, as he knew how to set up his talented teammates and put them in prime position to score. He also started to find his scoring rhythm as the season went on. Even though the Tar Heels boast four future pros on the team Marshall was the conductor on the Carolina freight train.

The Heels will still be dangerous, but whether they'll be championship good without Marshall remains to be seen.    

Stay in school alert: Texas guard J'Covan Brown

With the first weekend of the NCAA tournament coming to a close. There will be plenty of speculation of who will be staying in school and who will take the option of entering the NBA Draft.

One such player is Texas guard J'Covan Brown. Brown was the leading scorer on this year's Longhorns squad, which featured six freshman in the playing rotation. That made him the team's unquestioned leader. On previous more talent laden Longhorns teams Brown was overlooked during his freshman and sophomore years. This year Brown stepped it up more out of necessity since the Longhorns had to have someone take the big shot or generate any offense.

Brown now has his eyes on the NBA. He does have the skills to run the point but with Myck Kabongo starting alongside him, Brown had to play off the ball a lot more this year. He won't do that in the NBA. At 6-1 he would be overmatched by bigger 2 guards. He can play point but he never had to do it on a full time basis. If you look at his stats, he needs to work on his shot.

After the tournament loss to Cincinnati, Brown didn't give a straight answer as to whether he'd come back or not.

"At the end of the day, I have family to take care of " Brown said. He does have a 1 year old daughter and I can see why he might be tempted by future earnings. But I think he may be going overseas to make a living. I'm no scout so I could be wrong but I know there are some that might agree with me.  

Heat staff still not convinced Curry can help

Eddy Curry was signed to provide the Miami Heat with some bench depth and front line help. So far he hasn't given them much and it looks like it'll remain that way.

Barry Jackson from the Miami Herald reported that even though Curry has lost weight and is under 300 pounds the staff isn't convinced he deserves more time on the court.

Eddy Curry has dropped below 300 pounds for the first time in a while, and coaches rave about his work ethic. Udonis Haslem said his defense in practice has improved immensely. But the staff still isn’t convinced he can offer as much than Dexter Pittman (especially defensively) in limited minutes. And Spoelstra has barely used Pittman the past three games

Man. From being a lottery pick to being on par with Dexter Pittman. They'll both do more than me with a basketball than I'll do my entire life, but when you (Curry) were supposed to be a building block and a mainstay in the league and bomb that just says you got by in high school on pure talent. And now you're barely beating out Dexter Pittman for limited minutes. Remember when Curry and Tyson Chandler were supposed to be the foundation for a young Chicago Bulls team?  

That seems like it was 20 years ago now.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

N.C. State players happy about Duke's loss

Time after time, players from rival schools always snicker and cheer when one of them loses. So when Duke lost to Lehigh in a second round tournament shocker there were a few North Carolina State players who enjoyed the moment, even though they were trying to downplay the moment.

“I was very happy,” Richard Howell said.

“I’m with Rich,” C.J. Leslie said.

Given the fact that N.C. State has always been looked down upon by Duke and North Carolina I can understand your joy. On the other hand Wolfpack players and fans alike should worry about elevating their program before taking joy in others' misery.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Philip Rivers wants Peyton Manning in Denver

You can't fault Philip Rivers' competitive nature, even as the team around him looks like it's falling apart. The San Diego Chargers missed the playoffs last season and conceded the AFC West crown to the Tim Tebow led Denver Broncos. Now Rivers would love to see the Broncos bring Peyton Manning aboard. Not because he has a personal vendetta against the guy. It's because he says it's good for the division to stop being looked at as the weak sisters of the NFL. And he loves the thought of battling Manning twice a year.

“It would make it that much tougher to win the West,” Rivers said on San Diego’s XX 1090 radio, via the Denver Post. “All the sudden, at least from a media’s perspective, it would become a division that’s not lost in the shuffle like it’s been in years past. I kind of hope that that’s the case just because it’s always fun to play a Peyton Manning-led football team. To play him twice a year that would be a battle like crazy to win the division. I hope it happens. One thing you know about him, he’s going to be thorough and make the best decision for him that gives him the best chance to go win. And if that ends up being Denver then it will be exciting.” 

And another hurdle for your slow starting team to overcome. If I'm Rivers I'm begging John Elway to leave Manning alone and let him go elsewhere. How about concentrating on how the Chargers can avoid a slow start or midseason swoon that ruins their season.

Vikings sign former college point guard

I don't keep up with the Minnesota Vikings a whole lot, so I'm not really in the know about their team needs this offseason. I suppose the Vikes do need help in the secondary so their really trying to get some bodies in there. So instead of hunkering down for the draft or looking for the best free agent fit they make the puzzling move of signing Nicholas Taylor.

Who? you might ask. I'll give a quick description of Mr. Taylor.

Taylor played collegiately at Florida International for the basketball team and has been playing defensive back in a low level arena league.

Taylor spent time last season in a minor arena football league and worked out on Wednesday at FIU's pro day, where he was clocked at 4.34 and 4.27 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

The Vikings apparently thought enough of him to bring him to Minneapolis for a private workout on Friday and signed him shortly thereafter. Taylor said team officials told him his long-shot bid to make the roster will include a look at cornerback, punt returner and perhaps receiver, too. 

It's a long shot that he makes the team, but there is a the matter of a three year contract that is a reserves/futures contract, so there is a three year committment.

This could turn out to be a heartwarming story or a move of high stupidity. I'm rooting for the guy to make it but figure the odds on this one.

Rumeal Robinson losing part of his NBA pension

After being convicted in 2010 for wire fraud among other crimes, former NBA player and Michigan Wolverine star, Rumeal Robinson, stands to lose nearly $369,000 from his NBA pension fund to cover restitution for some shady business dealings.

The Des Moines Register reports federal prosecutors had filed papers to tap Robinson's NBA pension account and were granted permission this week.

The former University of Michigan player was convicted in September 2010 of participating in a scheme along with a bank officer to defraud the Community State Bank in Ankeny of more than $1.1 million.

Robinson's serving a 78-month sentence for wire fraud and other crimes.

Court documents say Robinson will have enough left in his pension account to fund a monthly annuity estimated amount at $140.

I can't say I feel sorry for the guy since he had an opportunity to do something that most of us never will do and that's get paid a handsome amount of money to play NBA basketball. Even if it didn't work out too well for him he still had a Michigan education to fall back on. To use that knowledge for criminal activities is unspeakable. I really have no words for it. I really hope he doesn't go broke, but you can't say it wasn't well deserved.  

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sanchez calls 'unnamed teammates' gutless

After the New York Jets failed to match expectations they brought upon themselves, there were many that pointed fingers at quarterback Mark Sanchez.

There was a report about unnamed teammates being very critical of Sanchez and now Sanchez has finally spoke up for himself.

Sanchez called the "unnamed teammates" gutless since they couldn't put their name to the comments.  

"It is a gutless thing to do," he said. If you're not going to put your name on something, why waste anybody's time? Obviously, they had strong opinions about it, but not strong enough to say who they were." 

That's kind of like the "unnamed sources" when breaking news comes out.

Sanchez did own up to some of the blame, but all of the Jets should look in the mirror, because all of them underperformed this year. Sure, the quarterback most of the time is the face of the franchise, but that doesn't mean he should shoulder all the blame when things go wrong. If Sanchez passes for 500 yards and 5 touchdowns a game and you lose I'm sure it wouldn't be his fault.

Rex Ryan has let the genie out of the bottle and needs to get this locker room back under control.

Pistons might want to follow Oden's progress

Would it be wise for a team to take a flier on Greg Oden? Only at a minimal cost.

After years of seeing the ghost of Sam Bowie, the Portland Trail Blazers finally ended the Oden era. It was something that had to be done after having Oden face surgery after surgery. The Blazers also decided to throw in the towel on the season and rebuild on the fly, but that's another story.

My question is, do you give Oden a shot if he gets healthy? Maybe. If I'm in the Detroit Pistons front office it's something I would keep an eye on. Hear me out before you call me stupid.

Oden will never be completely healthy, but he could still be healthy enough to be a servicable NBA player. Not the dominant force many thought he would be when he was made the number one pick out of Ohio State. I would keep an eye on his progress and if I deemed him to be healthy enough, then sign him to the veteran's minimum. That way if he's no good to you, get rid of him, eat his contract and it doesn't set your franchise back.

Joe Dumars should take a look and see how Oden has progressed after his third microfracture surgery. It couldn't hurt the Pistons and Oden is still young enough to be a decent NBA player. He is only 24 so I'm sure he'd be willing to give it another try before calling it a career. I'm not saying go out and sign him now. Just see how he progresses and take a shot on his damaged upside.

There is this disclaimer. Oden shouldn't rush to get back on the court like he has in years past. It always seemed like he was trying to justify his status as the number one pick due to the success of Kevin Durant. If Oden can fully concentrate on rehab, then he might be worth the risk even if he hasn't played extensively in three years.

It remains to be seen whether Oden, because of his modest salary, is claimed on waivers even though he isn't expected to be ready to try to resume his career until well into the 2012-13 season.

Southern Miss band have a racist chant for K-State's Angel Rodriguez

What a few members of the Southern Miss band directed towards Kansas State guard Angel Rodriguez was uncalled for. It has no place in the world of sports and those who did it should be dealt with accordingly.

When Rodriguez was shooting free throws a few members of the Southern Miss band started a chant of "Where's your green card?".

Here's the video of the ridiculous chant.

Good thing that didn't last long.

Marbury rips D'Antoni

I guess Mike D'Antoni didn't win many over in his time as head coach of the New York Knicks. That's why coaches get fired, add in the fact that he wasn't winning enough made him more cannon fodder for the critics. But I bet D'Antoni didn't count on Stephon Marbury jumping on the rip D'Antoni bandwagon. Remember Marbury played for D'Antoni while the two were in Phoenix and New York.

Now Marbury is the last person to rip anyone considering he wasn't necessarily a winning player while he was in the NBA.  

Marbury went on Twitter to call D'Antoni a coward.

"Coward's Step down men knock walls down that men like him post up. I told you'll about that dude but you'll didn't listen. #DANPHONY"  

Mighty bold words from someone who once ate Vaseline. Just because D'Antoni couldn't make things work with Carmelo Anthony and tried to trade him for Deron Williams and failed doesn't make him a coward. I just call it a failed power play. And just because Marbury could never see eye to eye with D'Antoni doesn't make him a coward. It's called a clash of egos.

David Garrard has interest in the Detroit Lions

Last season was pretty rough for former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback David Garrard. Garrard was released from Jacksonville to make room for then rookie Blaine Gabbert close to the end of training camp. After that Garrard elected to have back surgery. Garrard still had teams making offers for his services including the Oakland Raiders, even though he elected to take the season off.

After a year off Garrard has put the surgery behind him and his agent says that he has been medically cleared to play. Garrard has planned to visit some NFL teams and with the way quarterbacking is these days he shouldn't have a hard time finding a job. One of the teams he has interest in is the Detroit Lions.

"If the Lions are interested in David's services, we will listen," said Al Irby, Garrard's agent. "Because of the chain reaction Peyton (Manning) will cause, teams that inquired about David before, may change their mind when certain quarterbacks become available. It is my opinion that David is the next-best quarterback now on the market. Once Peyton makes a decision, based on recent activity, David will be a hot quarterback.

"David informed me not to turn down any team's inquiry. He wants to examine every situation. He is open to compete for a starting job, assume the starting job, or backup the current starter. He believes that the best player will ultimately play. He is very confident in his ability to do any job for the right team. All he wants is a chance to win." 

With the Lions potentially losing backups Shaun Hill and Drew Stanton in free agency, the Lions could be an intriguing option, for the right price.

Garrard has 76 career starts in 86 games since 2002. He led Jacksonville to the playoffs in 2007 and was a Pro Bowl selection in 2010. 

Garrard should be one of the top backup options in free agency. If he's willing to sign for the right price he could be worth a flier. If the Lions lose Hill and Stanton to free agency quarterback would become another priority for the team in the draft and free agency.