Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Sports Quick Hits - Turds in the Punch Bowl
My schedule was thrown off a bit this week with work, so I'll get back to my NFL Draft Grades tomorrow, and hopefully by this weekend I'll have my Top 10 College Football Games article posted. So, that aside, here's Sports Quick Hits, a day late, but not a dollar short.
To quote the late, great Harry Caray, "Hoooolllllyyy Cow!" That was some performance by Rory McIlroy this weekend en route to winning the US Open. I mean, that was pretty brilliant. In the midst of round 2 of my fantasy golf run, and having missed the first round of the Open, I noticed two of my players, Y.E. Yang and Graeme McDowell were both in or near the top 10 heading into Saturday. Unfortunately for me, Rory McIlroy tallied a scorching 16 under par finish to take the title, and a cool $1.44M for the win. And good for him, after that terrible collapse at Augusta. Personally, I find it hard not to root for someone who goes out to see "Hangover Part II" in between rounds. You've also got to be very impressed by amateur Patrick Cantlay, who finished at even par. All in all, it was a great tournament to watch, and I'm sure Chizzy will have even more detail on this in the near future.
I thought I'd have better news regarding the lockout today given that the owners are in an informational meeting regarding the state of the lockout and a new proposed CBA. Lawyer Bob Batterman is confident the owners meetings won't stretch into Wednesday, as once thought late last week, as there will NOT be a vote on the new CBA.
Word leaked to media outlets that a potential owners meeting last week could "blow up" and halt negotiations with the players all together. ESPN ran a story this weekend stating that owners of two AFC teams were against the the proposed CBA that would end the lockout. In order for a new CBA to be enacted, 75% or 24 of the 32 league owners must vote in favor of the proposal. You may remember in 2006, when the late Gene Upshaw and former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue basically saved football, the CBA that expired March 1st this year was voted in favor by a count of 30-2.
The two owners who voted against it are interestingly enough in charge of AFC teams, and could perhaps be the same two owners, though I'll concede I think a separate owner could be part of that twosome this time around, who voted no last time around. They were Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson, the oldest in the league at 92, who openly admitted he didn't understand what the terms of the 2006 CBA meant. I'll give him a pass for his age and the fact he did so much for the AFL and merging it with the NFL in 1970. The other was Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown whose team finished dead least in ESPN's franchise rankings. Just look to him to figure out why; the man is, and alway has been a turd, and as former University of Dayton Quarterback Rob Florian once told me, "You can't polish a turd." Al Davis could theoretically be the other based on the fact the Raiders may be heading back to Los Angeles. Again.
Giants C Shaun O'Hara reportedly told teammates to prepare for camp on July 27th, which is typically around the time camps start anyway. Stay tuned.
***Wednesday Update: After a labor-heavy intensive meeting yesterday, the NFL's owners committee and Rodger Goodell will meet with NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith in suburban Boston today and tomorrow in another "sectret" negotiating session. The major compromise appears to be in terms of free agents. Those players who have accrued 4, 5, or 6 seasons will now be unrestricted free agents. In the past, a player had to wait 5 years to become a UFA. There's a rumor that the proposed CBA will include something similar to the NBA's max contract stipulation, which would prohibit any one player from making 10-12% of a team's total salary. Those already doing so, for example, Tom Brady, will still have their contracts honored, but it means that Peyton Manning is a UFA, and the Colts probably won't be able to sign him to a monster $20M per year deal as they've done in the past, which I think is a good thing league wide. The NFL is also stipulating that teams must operate with a salary cap floor, meaning they have to be "X" amount of dollars away from whatever the cap is, and they can't go lower. If your team is competing for a free agent with Tampa Bay, sorry, but you'll lose at least in terms of money available. Here's to hoping they actually get something done that allows trainging camp to open near it's traditional July 22nd start date. I'll leave you with a tweet from Colts owner/pseudo wannabe rocker Jim Irsay. Here it is:
"I'm just so f-ing excited...but I don't know why!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" For more details of the meetings scheduled in Boston for today and tomorrow, click here.***
NFL Odds and Ends
Outcast Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor will enter the NFL Supplemental Draft, which will be held and conducted via e-mail, as it's typically done, sometime in July. Pryor, right now, is the only major name that will enter as former Florida CB Janoris Jenkins, who was kicked out of school for repeated marijuana arrests, will transfer to Divison II North Alabama. Ironically, the North Alabama program is now being headed by Terry Bowden, and his brother, Jeff, is the associate head coach.
AEG has partnered with Farmers to form a potential plan to build an NFL stadium between the Staples Center and L.A. Convention Center as part of L.A. Live to attract a potential franchise to move to America's second largest market. Personally, I don't think there's any way the Vikings or Bills are moving, so I think it comes down to the Chargers, Rams, Jaguars, and possibly the Raiders. Of those four, I think the Chargers are the best fit as they started their franchise in the city of angels.
Chizzy's St. Louis Cardinals have taken the top spot in the N.L. Central again, but will lose Albert Pujols for 4-6 weeks with a sprained wrist. If Milwaukee and Cincinnati are for real, now's the time of them to make a move.
Florida Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez resigned over the weekend giving way to 80 year old Jack McKeon. The Marlins started off 30-20 and were just a few games back of the Phillies. Something went terribly wrong as the Marlins have gone just 2-21 since that time. McKeon, who led the Marlins to an improbably World Series victory in 2003, said that, "I've managed since I was 14, and I'll probably manage until I'm 95." What team was he in charge of at age 14?
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig rejected the television proposal between the Dodgers and Fox Sports a day after Frank and Jamie McCourt agreed on a divorce settlement. In the TV contract, Frank McCourt was to receive $385M of a $3B total up front, allowing the Dodgers to make the June 30th payroll deadline. Now, they're in a state of limbo. If McCourt fails to make that deadline, Major League Baseball could seize full control of the Dodgers and put the team up for sale. Here's MLB's statement on the matter:
"This decision was reached after a full and careful consideration of the terms of the proposed transaction and the club's current circumstances," commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. "It is my conclusion that this proposed transaction with FOX would not be in the best interests of the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise, the game of Baseball and the millions of loyal fans of this historic club."
Here's the rest of the story, including Frank McCourt's comments on Bud Selig's ruling.
The Dallas Mavericks shocked just about everybody and finished off the Miami Heat 4-2 to win the franchises first NBA Title. Perhaps even more embarrasing than Cleveland Cavaliers fans calling themselves Dallas Cavericks fans, is that Macy's mistakenly ran an ad in the Miami Herald the day after the Heat lost, congratulating them on winning the NBA Championship. Oops.
It's unfortunate that for so much of the LeBron hating, and some of it deservedly so as he choked about as hard in the fourth quarter of each game as the New England Patriots did against the Giants in Super Bowl XLII. Let's face it, LeBron's never, ever, going to be Michael Jordan. He's not as consistent as Magic Johnson even. LeBron is LeBron, and he always will be.
That said, it's unfortunate that stars like Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd won't be remembered as much for winning an NBA Title as the Heat will be for losing one. However, one rumor that I've heard that's quite interesting, is that if Jason Kidd does retire, Dallas would make a move to bring back Steve Nash. Wouldn't that be something if Dirk Nowitzki, once labeled soft and un-clutch, though not quite to LeBron standards, could win titles with Jason Kidd and Steve Nash?
As for those Dallas Cavericks fans, shouldn't you be more worried about the upcoming NBA Draft and how you're going to have to take Kyrie Irving and Enes Kanter? Yikes.
More turds in the punch bowl in the Stanley Cup Finals as the city of Vancouver's collective cheese slid completely off the cracker. Congrats to the Boston Bruins for winning game 7, and goalie Tim Thomas for setting a record of allowing only 8 goals in 7 games. That said, for a city known for its beauty, splendor, and based on the last Winter Olympics, the people, what the hell happened? I mean, it's not Rodney King redux, and it's not quite on par with the Cincinnati Police Riots, the only close rioting I've ever encountered, but's nonetheless very disturbing. I know Canadiens love their hockey intensly. I'm guessing it's about on par with how the British love soccer, I don't know, I've never been to a hockey game in Canada or on the pitch in the UK, but it has to be close. I mean, you didnt' see this in the city of Pittsburgh after the Steelers lost the Super Bowl.
Well, as you can see, it's been quite an interesting past few weeks in the sports world. Hopefully next week's installment of Quick Hits will have some more happy news.