Saturday, December 20, 2008

NFL Fan Code of Conduct = Big Brother Is Watching

Michael McCarthy of the USA Today recently authored up an excellent article that details the NFL's new Fan Code of Conduct policy.

After answering a survey, I was fortunate enough to be selected to offer up a few opinions for the piece. After reading the story, I tried to envision how this is going down, in the perfect world of the NFL.
I'm picturing NFL commish Roger Goodell RG) in an underground bunker with a bank of TV's and telephones with a direct line to each stadium.
Lots of crowd shots on the monitors as the fans in each location enjoy their Sunday afternoons, complete with newly installed "Applause" signs above each scoreboard so fans know when the league allows them to cheer for their team..
My guess is the conversations go something like this:
RG: Ummm, Buffalo, we have a problem. In Section 7, row 4, seats 5-9, there are five grotesque looking, 300-pound men with their shirts off. Let's see if we can get that covered up, shall we?
Buffalo Security: Mr. Commish, I'm not sure we can do that..
RG: Doesn't matter, I'm horrified! I dropped nacho cheese on my new Armani suit when I saw the gearth. Tell them they can cheer when the Bills score, maybe sometime in '09. At the least, make them paint an NFL logo on their chests, I'd hate to pass up an advertising opp.
Buffalo Security: Sir, are you sure you want to......????

RG: Hold on Buffalo, we have a bigger problem......Eli Manning just got sacked and his left sock is 1/8th of an inch below league code!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! New York, you there?

Giants Stadium Security: Yes, Mr. Goodell, we'll force a TV timeout, no problem. We have a bigger issue here.......your buddies Pacman and Plaxman both made the news last night. I'm sure you heard about it, Its in all the papers. How should we handle it?

RG: No biggie, I'll fine the players 1/100th of their salary, they'll learn the lesson once they are hit in the wallet. That'll teach 'em........Now, GET THOSE SOCKS UP TO CODE! I won't be able to sleep tonight.

RG: Hey Cleveland.....are those dawg bones that I see being eaten the ones endorsed by the league? If not, confiscate them. I'll lock them up in the vault with the Spygate evidence.

RG: Hey.....where is that Jets//Steeler matchup? My screen is blank. Better get Heinz Field on the horn. Heinz Field, you there?

Heinz Field: Yes sir, the game is going on. Pittsburgh is up 17-3 in the 2nd.

RG: Why do I not have it? I'm sure we paid the cable bill.

Heinz Field: Ummmm, sir? The game is on NFL Network. Are you with the vast majority of the country that doesn't get that channel?

RG: D'oh!!!!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My Christmas Wish List

Dear Santa,

I've been reasonably good, as far as you know, this year.

I have so few needs and wants in life, this list should be pretty easy to accomodate so let's focus on me for a bit.

What I want for Christmas:

- Some pride in Oakland Raider football. Being the first team in history to lose 11 games (or more) in six straight seasons hurts more than the time I got kicked in the cookies during a pickup basketball game in my late-teens and had to go to the doctor with a bruised left testicle.

.Sadly, that is a true story.

.- A Stanley Cup championship for the Boston Bruins. We can put this one on lay-a-way until June, 2009, I'm good with that. This hasn't happened since before I knew about hockey so in my view, it hasn't happened. Cheering home Raymond Bourque in the 2001 final with the Avs was okay, but not quite the real thing.

- A national championship for Tyler Hansbrough. The dude deserves it.
-A 7-0 mark for the Big 12 in the college bowl season, it'll validate my talk thru the year that the Big 12 was far and away the best conference in college football this season.
- More radio guys like ESPN's Colin Cowherd. The best on the radio, this guy has game. Mixing brutal honesty with great humor, his show is a can't-miss to the point where it makes you want to sit in your car on your lunch hour and listen in, which I do.
- Spoiled athletes to respect their jobs and the opportunity afforded to them.
- Someone to explain to me how the Yankees could sign CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett and still have the intestinal fortitude to ask for increased public funds to build their version of the Taj Mahal.

- A Brett Favre Super Bowl berth - Hey Packer brass...........I told you so!

Besides, and it pains me to say this, the long-suffering J-E-T-S, Jets! Jets! Jets! fans deserve it. When a 9-7 season gives you joy, even the Jets fans should enjoy the spotlight not seen since Joe Willie White Shoes guaranteed Super Bowl III.
-The Dallas Cowboys to miss the playoffs.
- Terrell Owens to keep talking. It'll help with the above point and continue to make Jerry Jones look like a tool for enabling self-egrandising stars who put themselves over their teams.

- A BCS Playoff. It help rid the world of whiners like Texas coach Mack Brown, who seems to think he can still politic his way into the BCS title game.
Dude.....stop pointing to the head-to-head issue with Oklahoma. Texas Tech has the same record, in the same division, as you and the Sooners. That is what is called a 3-way tie and the Red Raiders beat you. 'Nuff said. Now, get ready for Ohio State as I'm taking the Longhorns high on my list in my college footbal bowl pool.
-Finally.......the obligatory peace on earth and goodwill to most of mankind and all that stuff.

There you go Santa......not toooooo unreasonable, don't ya think? Let's see if we can get to work and make these things happen.
After all, I deserve it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Colt McCoy For Heisman

I don't get a vote, but I do have an opinion.

I'd annoited McCoy the leading contender back in October and cannot come off of it. With all due respect to Sam Bradford and Tim Tebow, McCoy is the man this year.
McCoy was clearly the Most Valuable Player to his team throughout the season and had the Heisman all but wrapped up until the Longhorns lost 39-37 at Texas Tech.
His effort that night should not take away the Heisman.

McCoy, a junior, completed an astounding 77.6% of his passes this season in leading the Longhorns to an 11-1 record. McCoy tossed 32 touchdown passes with just seven picks during his spectacular season.

The stat that separates McCoy from Bradford and Tebow this season is that McCoy led the Longhorns in rushing yards.

Opposing defenses keyed on McCoy this season, and could not stop him. Without McCoy, Texas would have been a 9-3 or 8-4 team this season.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Thanks for the Memories, Mad Dog

Growing up, Jim "Catfish" Hunter was my favorite pitcher to watch as his Hall of Fame career unfolded for the Oakland Athletics and then the New York Yankees.

I was in the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum (I was nine) when Catfish returned to Oakland in 1975 with the Yankees and twirled a two-hit shutout against my A's.

The memories of Hunter's postseason success always stuck with me. As I've gotten older and now in my 40's, only one other pitcher has ever gained my appreciation to that level.

That pitcher is Greg Maddux.

In an age of high-powered offense and steroids, Maddux was a true artist on the mound. Never overpowering, the soft-spoken righthander was a master of location, movement, and changing speeds.

With respect to other greats of his generation, Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez, Maddux is the top pitcher of this era and a certain first-ballot Hall of Famer.

His 1995 season of 19-2, 1.63 ERA, 0.81 WHIP with 181 K's for a finesse pitcher for the World Champion Braves was the best season by a pitcher that I've ever seen.

Greg Maddux is reportedly going to announce his retirement on Monday.

There will never be another like him.

Pond Scum

I hate to tarnish this column with the dregs of society, the news is the news and this cannot be ignored.

There is so many good things about sports and its impact on society.

Sports brought O.J. Simpson into the eye of society in the 1960's.

Now convicted, his criminal behavior will take him out of society of a number of years.

You had it all, Orenthal James Simpson, and you gave it all back.

Goodbye and good riddance....... now go away.

Upset Alert

Offense sells tickets but defense wins championships.

With or without Percy Harvin, I'd be picking Alabama in today's SEC title game.

Tim Tebow is great, but 'Bama wins games the old fashioned way. On the ground and in the trenches.

The unbeaten Crimson Tide gets in done today over the Gators.

Alabama 30, Florida 28

Chalk One Up to Tradition

Back in the day, when both USC and UCLA played their home games in the LA Coliseum, each team wore the home uniforms for the annual Battle of Los Angeles.
Kudos to Pete Caroll today for restoring that tradition when the Trojans take the field in their home uniforms.
It'll cost Coach Carroll a few timeouts as a penalty, I hope those timeouts do not come back to haunt his team in their efforts to clinch the Pac 10 title today.