The Daily Rant

Yesterday we learned that San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow was able to open his eyes in the hospital. You'll recall from Chizzy's earlier Daily Rant that Stow was attacked by two L.A. Dodger fans outside the stadium on opening day. Former Cincinnati Reds executive John Allen, recently assigned to help run the daily operations of the Dodgers, said that of this weeks Giants v. Dodgers series, "You won't be able to turn around in your seat without bumping into security personnel." Is that what baseball rivalries have come to? Well, yes, in some cases.

The rivalries that trump most of the baseball world are typically as follows:

1) Yankees v. Red Sox
2) Giants v. Dodgers
3) Cardinals v. Cubs
4) White Sox v. Cubs - a more recent one due to interleague play.

Well, add one more to that list. And this one is probably the best one going in baseball: The St. Louis Cardinals v. the Cincinnati Reds. Essentially, it's Chizzy v. KD when it comes down to it. Read the rest here.

It's been a pretty crazy past few days. The Royal Wedding was Friday. The NFL Draft lasted all weekend. Osama Bin Laden was killed Sunday night. While stories 1 and 3 don't have anything to do with sports, the Draft did. I remember hearing Goodell get booed and the New York City fans chanting "We Want Football!" - kudos to whoever added the bubbles - brilliant work. I think that about sums up my sentiment. I want football, and while Goodell is technically a middle party in the Owners vs. Players saga, he and his lawyers side with the NFL, of which the owners are a part of. The players are represented by the NFLPA. It appears that the temporary stay will last at least until June 3rd when the players go back in front of the court. The players, while losing round 2 of the litigation saga, I think have new ammunition to support their case.

I myself only played football for 5 years, starting in 8th grade and playing through my senior year of high school. I broke 4 fingers, dislocated a kneecap, and tore my labrum in my left shoulder. I still wake up and have to pop some joints to get to feeling normal before I start the day. I worked for Hall of Fame tackle Anthony Munoz, and I once asked him what the pain is like. He said that you simply get used to it, but you hurt everywhere. Anthony's got many broken fingers, including his pinky, had several operations on shoulders, knees, and arms, but is still in great shape - physically and mentally.

Ann Killion of Sports Illustrated, wrote an article on Tuesday detailing some of the research done on Dave Duerson's brain. Duerson, a former Chicago Bears safety, recently committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest. His suicide note asked that his brain be donated to and studied by the brain bank at Boston University. As Killion wrote:

"Dr. Ann McKee, a co-director at the Center for Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at BU's School of Medicine, said Monday the results were "indisputable." Duerson, 50, was found to have "moderately advanced" signs of a degenerative brain disease associated with blows to the head.

The NFL gets credit for helping to fund the brain bank and for its recent steps toward a more comprehensive concussion and brain injury program. But the league has a long history of denial; Duerson himself was part of that culture of denial. As a member of the NFLPA board for player benefits, he testified in front of Congress, questioning the impact his sport could have on brain disease. That was in 2007, light years ago in the timeline of brain research.

Four years later, Duerson has become a powerful symbol. His suicide and Monday's findings come in the midst of this nasty battle between owners and players, a dispute over how to cut up a multibillion dollar pie.

Duerson serves as a stark reminder of what the players have at stake: not only their livelihoods but their lives.

Yet the owners continue to push for an 18-game season, a money grab that the players reject, the fans didn't request and a push that renders hollow every word of concern the league offers about health and safety. If the owners think the public doesn't see the hypocrisy, they're woefully misled.

The NFL is indisputably America's favorite sport, but that doesn't mean it is Teflon-coated. And right now the owners are treading in dangerous territory.

The tragic findings in the Duerson case are just the latest blow to the league, which has had months of public relations disasters: from Super Bowl tickets without seats to Goodell's absurd Chicken Little rendering of Judge Susan Nelson's ruling against the league in an Op-Ed in The Wall Street Journal last week." You can read her full article here.

I think Killion sums it up nicely. The owners want to play 2 additional games, something most fans are against, and didn't even vote for. The NFL institutes all these rules about player safety, and still wants to add to more chances for players to sustain injuries. They want an additional $1 billion, yes billion with a "B" off the top from shared revenues, but don't want to show the players what it's going towards or why they need it.

Paul Allen, owner of the Seattle Seahawks, and co-founder of Microsoft, surely needs additional revenue from the NFL to cover...well, probably yacht expenses. Yes, that is his yacht, complete with a helicopter, two submarines, an indoor pool, indoor basketball court, and a recording studio. What?! That thing's the size of a World War II aircraft carrier. Please tell me he doesn't need more money.

When all's said and done, in the end, fans just want football. They players want to play, and the owners want, well, they want bigger boats. Bite me.

If anything the tragedy of Dave Duerson's suicide should help the players cause, and hopefully the 8th Circuit Court in St. Louis sees it that way as well. The faster the lockout is over, the sooner players get back on the field, free agency and trades will start, and the owners can go back to collecting their doughstacks.

I just hope they're all not too stupid to realize what happened to baseball when they went on strike. It used to be America's favorite game. I'm afraid to see what sport becomes America's Next Game. Chess-boxing anyone?

As promised, albeit it very late, here's the rant on Todd McShay.

McShay, often paired opposite the "King of the Coif" (Mel Kiper), has been covering the NFL Draft for ESPN for the past few years since becoming head of Scouts Inc. in 1998. McShay typically covers more college ball than the NFL, and he's pretty good at tht. Where he struggles and tends to get ripped on, by seemingly every draftnik and casual NFL fan is in his draft coverage.

Strengths: McShay is not very strong at creating mocks - he's not even in Kiper's neighborhood in that regard. He's also not good at prognosticating how players will do once they get into the NFL, though his claim to fame is calling Vernon Gholston a bust - and he rubs this in Mel's face every chance he gets, which isn't very often. Read the rest here.

I hope everyone had a good Easter. Chizzy will have the "Quick Hits" coming up today. I feel like there's going to be a jab in there about his Cardinals taking 2 of 3 from the Reds. Since we're both fans of Ohio State Football we'll keep you posted on the breaking news. Needless to say, it sounds like they're about to be royally screwed thanks to Jim Tressel. Let me go on record right now and say that I personally think he's the most overrated coach in college football. That's my opinion, I'll stick to it. I love Ohio State for the tradition and the game day experiences I've been to since my grandpa took me to my first game when I was 8 (a 52-0 shutout of Houston). But Tressel can't coach his way out of a wet paper bag when Ohio State's down by more than 7 points after the 1st quarter...seriously, someone show me where he's done this. Ever. But I digress. It sounds like his cover-up of Terrelle Pryor et al is going to be his undoing as it's being reported they're going to face the "strictest penalties from the NCAA". Hope that doesn't mean they get the SMU treatment...stay tuned.

Now, for the Daily Rant. You've seen them both if you've watched Sports Center any time in the last 3 months. They hate each other, and you know you hate watching them. Mel Kiper Jr, and Todd McShay. Aside from Mel Kiper's hair, he's usually pretty solid. Todd "fake tan" McShay is horrible. I figured in honor of Draft Week, let's face it, the Draft is like Christmas in April for me, I'd give you a run down of both Kiper and McShay, what I think about them, and what you should be wary of if you're just a casual "draftnik". Let's start witht he living legend himself, Mel Kiper today. Read the rest here.

Last year on my way to work I received a text message from a friend, JM, saying congratulations on the trade. Just the night before I had been talking to another friend saying that the Broncos were going to trade troubled WR Brandon Marshall, most likely to Seattle, and potentially, my own Miami Dolphins. I texted my friend back asking what trade, and he told me that my Dolphins had acquired Brandon Marshall for two 2nd round picks. This was their biggest trade since they gave up two 1st round picks for Ricky Williams in 2002.

Despite Dan Henning's archaic offense and atrocious playcalling, and missing two games due to a hamstring injury, Marshall turned in a 1,000+ season. I've got a feeling he'll better those numbers in 2011, barring serious injury.

Well, things almost got serious Friday night as Marshall, who had played good soldier since coming to Miami, was stabbed by his wife in a domestic dispute. Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that Marshall's wife was arrested for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

As much as I've liked the addition of Brandon Marshall - he's the first legitimate receiving threat in Miami since well, O.J. McDuffie in the twilight of Dan Marino's career, this isn't the first time he's been involved in an off-field incident. Miami knew what they were getting into.
Read the rest here.

THE DAILY RANT 4/22: CAUGHT RED-HANDED? ADMIT IT BY CHIZZYSo in case you all don't know, 23 year old Cincinnati Reds pitcher Mike Leake was arrested Monday afternoon for theft. In the downtown Cincinnati Macy's in Fountain Square, Leake took the price tags off six "American Rag" shirts that had a total value of $59.88. Leake makes $400,000 this year, and when he signed as a first-round draft pick last year, he received a $2.3 MILLION signing bonus. From this fact pattern, a few questions immediately need to be asked. First, who in god's name is wearing American Rag t-shirts? With these buttons? Is this a barcode? Yes, yes it is. I'm pretty sure only dj's and Jersey Shore characters should be wearing these shirts. Second, why did you have a credit card and $250 in cash but STILL attempt to steal shirts worth less than $10 a pop? You definitely have the money. Third, since when did the Reds play in "Reds Stadium," as you said to the arresting officer, and not "Great American Ballpark." But the point of the article is not to question why people steal, the point is to just wonder why Leake has attempted to rationalize his actions by coming up with a horrible excuse.

Leake came up with the following, which in my mind makes him look even worse. He claims to have purchased the shirts at an earlier date. But he didn't like the shirts, so he returned to Macy's to exchange them. On his own. Without an associate's help. Without going to the checkout counter. Now, we've all returned things to a store before. You go to the counter, say "Hey nice salesperson, I'd like to exchange this for something else." Then you go get your item, return to the desk, and exchange it. There may be some minor variations to this procedure, but it's basically the same. Leake isn't a homeless person, isn't broke, and has the money to pay for the damn shirts and legal fees. He's not even an NCAA athlete that "allegedly" doesn't get paid to play. So rather than attempt to save face by giving a crappy excuse, just say this: I screwed up, it was an error of judgment, I'm sorry. Then everybody moves on. Read the rest here.

THE DAILY RANT 4/20: WILL WE EVER SEE (PHYSICAL) DOMINANCE AGAIN? BY KDLast night while I was watching the Magic vs. Hawks game, Dwight Howard put on another show with 33 points and 19 rebounds and threw down some thunderous dunks. Say what you want about Howard's abilities or how much/little improvement he's shown in his offensive game, I think there's one thing we can all agree on. He's the most dominant center the NBA has seen since Shaquille O'Neal's glory days.

Whith O'Neal on the mend in Boston, I started to wonder if we've seen the last of Shaq. While his roles as Kazaam and Neon Boudreaux (Kazaam and Blue Chips) weren't dominant, his play in the paint for Orlando, Los Angeles, and Miami were. He still showed flashes in Phoenix and Cleveland, and for a time this year, Boston.

My question is, will we ever see someone as physically dominant again? Read the rest here.

THE DAILY RANT 4/19: ARMCHAIR WHISTLEBLOWERS NEED TO GET A LIFE BY CHIZZYOn Masters Thursday last week, the USGA and R&A (golf’s governing bodies) snuck a rule change by the golf world that was long overdue. Golf considers itself a “gentleperson's" game, and the individual players are tasked with the ethical duty (my law school friends are vomiting right now) to call penalties on themselves or other players in the group. Golf can teach many lessons about life. I learned one in my first ever school match, when in a fit of rage I swung my 9-iron at a walnut in a sandtrap. Some little prick had the audacity to tell me that I had to add two strokes to the nine I had taken on the hole. At the time I was furious at the kid, but he was right, and eventually I just realized I was mad at myself for losing my cool.

But often times golfers, professionals and amateurs alike, break the Rules of Golf. It may be for something as little a ball moving after you start your swing, or it may something as blatant as hitting the wrong ball. But since the invention of the television, your regular average Joe sitting on his bean bag naked eating Cheetos can watch a PGA Tour event, see a player violate a rule, and call in a penalty on a professional golfer. Often times, this has disastrous results, and I say that these people need to get a life.  Read the rest here.

THE DAILY RANT 4/15: DON'T $INK YOUR TEAM BY KDDespite all of the courtroom drama surrounding the NFL and the NFL Players Association regarding the lockout, there's one thing they seem to be in agreement upon: a rookie wage scale. When the last CBA was negotiated in 2006, there was talk of instituting a rookie wage scale similar to what the NBA has done with slotting a salary for each pick. Then commissioner Paul Tagliabue and Roger Goodell, then the chief negotiator, and the owners (Woody Johnson, Jerry Jones, and Robert Kraft) whose draft of the new document was essentially taken, didn't install that rookie wage scale.

In 2007 JaMarcus Russell was drafted by the Raiders and signed a $61M contract with $32M guaranteed. Russell, now 25, is out of the NFL. In fact, and I can't believe I'm revealing this, but the last time Russell was seen was last December when he worked out for the Miami Dolphins (yes, they're that desperate).

But Russell wasn't the only 1st overall pick to have a big contract. Jake Long, a left tackle, signed a $60M contract with $30M guaranteed...and here's the kicker, it was only over 5 years, as opposed to 6. This past year saw Sam Bradford get an $86M contract with $50M guaranteed. If all goes as expected, Auburn's Cam Newton should get a deal in the same neighborhood. Say what you want about Cam Newton, but if I were a GM, I'd have a hard time giving that much money to a player that only played one year of Division I football. Read the rest here.

THE DAILY RANT 4/14: HE AIN'T GOING ANYWHERE... YET.I’m a St. Louis Cardinals fan. All of my friends know this. I have been since the day my favorite player, Mark McGwire got traded to them in 1997. The next year Big Mac broke Roger Maris’ age old HR record. In 2001, a third baseman with a bright future made his debut with the Redbirds in McGwire’s last season: Albert Pujols. As we all know, since 2001 Pujols has undeniably become the best player in baseball. Even Cubs fans admit that (at least they’re right on something).

Last offseason, the Cardinals failed to sign Albert Pujols to a contract extension. And since the day spring training started, all I’ve heard from all of my friends is how next year Pujols is going to be wearing Yankees pinstripes, Dodger Blue, or god forbid, a Cubs uniform. Or that the Cardinals are going to trade him to a contender this season. I’ve got news for you haters. He’s not going anywhere. Yet. So until this season is over, let’s stop talking about where Albert Pujols is going to be next year.  Read the rest here.

THE DAILY RANT 4/12: HINDSIGHT ISN'T ALWAYS 20/20Keeping up with Chizzy's Daily Rant on the NFL Draft yesterday, I've got a bone to pick with seemingly every TV Draftnik out there. Former Dolphins football czar Bill Parcells (who was Vice President and Director of Football Operations for the Dolphins from December 2007 to some point in 2010; I think he cleaned out during the bye, which was week 5 and is now officially gone) is doing an NFL Draft special with ESPN's Mike Tirico.

The Miami Herald's Armando Salguero took a look at Parcell's status having departed from Miami. (Please keep in mind that I lotahe Armando Salguero as he's stolen people's work, generally discredits the Dolphins, is known for the infamous "High Five Gate", and is generally subpar in his writing, but this piece is good for him).

For all Parcells and GM Jeff Ireland (who actually had pick authority unless overidden by Parcells) have done, the Parcells era can be considered pretty good. Jake Long is unbiasedly the best left tackle in the NFL; they've turned the 32nd ranked run defense under Cam Cameron in 2007 into a top 7 unit, and they have incredible depth there. They unearthed CFL transfer Cameron Wake (14 sacks last year); drafted to starting CBs (Vontae Davis & Sean Smith); and managed to bring in a bunch of talent defensively. They also added Brandon Marshall - the best offensive weapon they've had since Ricky Williams circa 2002. The one issue that remains unsolved is quarterback...

And pretty much everybody says they should've drafted Matt Ryan 1st overall in 2008.

Enough of this. Read the rest here.

In honor of KD’s Mock Draft 1.0, I want to talk a little bit about an issue that’s been talked about relating to the NFL Draft. About a month ago, the NFLPA encouraged incoming rookies from attending the NFL Draft. The reasoning behind that request was to make a statement to the NFL that even the incoming rookies were in support for the NFLPA’s position in the lockout negotiations.

As of now, there will be a significant number of rookies attending the Draft. But apparently there will be a long-lasting grudge from the veterans once teams return to the locker room, whenever that may be. ESPN analyst Tedy Bruschi recently said that “I would hate to be a rookie walking into a locker room if the last image veterans have of him is his shaking hands with the very man who canceled the health insurance for veterans’ families.” Personally, I believe this is an overstepping of both the NFLPA’s and the veterans’ perceived power, and that the players should have every right to go to the NFL Draft and shake Commissioner Goodell’s hand and have no repercussions from their teams when they set foot on the field come fall (or whenever the lockout ends). Read the rest here.

So, we've got about eight baseball games in the books. There's been a lot of talk amongst my friends so far about how the Cleveland Indians and Baltimore Orioles are 6-2. Or how the perennial last place Pittsburgh Pirates are in second place in the NL Central. And how the World Series favorite Boston Red Sox are 1-7. Just yesterday I saw a poll on ESPN that already something like 85% of America believes the Red Sox won't make the playoffs.

I got news for you readers. Don't get your panties in a bunch about the standings yet, because 8 out of 162 is not that much. In fact, it's 4.9%. Not too big of a sample size. Which means there's still 95% of the baseball season left. That's a lot of games. We had a close knit group of friends in high school. One of them, Curry (be thankful I didn't use your actual nickname), is a huge Reds fan. Every year he would get really jacked up because the Reds were holding on at or near the top of the division. JShy (a huge Sox fan) and I would laugh, because every year around June 1st the Reds would begin their descent into the depths of the NL Central standings. JShy would win the $5 bet they make every year about who has the better record, and my Cardinals would take the Central division; EVERYBODY WINS! If only that was the case now, as the Reds seem primed for a long stay near the top of the division. Hold on a second as I grab a tissue to wipe away the tears over the death of the Cardinals dynasty. Read the rest here.


Prior to this offseason's lockout Miami Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall said he'd like to try out for the Miami Heat if the regular season is cancelled. We saw Chad Ochocino make a reserve MLS team in Kansas City. Ravens S Tom Zbikowski is 3-0 in his professional boxing career. Though it may not seem like it now, the NBA is headed towards a lockout is well, and despite the child-like arguing we've seen between Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith (whose hat collection is atrocious) the NBA's situation is worse.

Out the other night, I overheard someone say, "LeBron James will just play football and dominate in the NFL". I hope this was a delusional Cavs/Browns fan, let's face it they're one in the same, hoping he'd play back in Cleveland. Lord knows I'd hate it if he were in a Dolphins uniform. Which brings me to my rant, LeBron James would be an absolute failure in the NFL. Read the rest here.

I don’t know how many have followed this story, but it’s something that needs more attention. On March 31, San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow, father of two, attended Opening Night with two friends at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. During the game between two heated rivals, Stow texted his family that he was scared and that he felt nervous being at the game in Giants gear. After the game, a Giants victory, two Dodgers fans attacked Stow, punching him in the back of the head. Stow was knocked to the ground, hitting his head on the concrete. He went unconscious.

Fast forward to today, where Stow is laying in a hospital bed with permanent brain damage. Doctors have removed part of his skull to reduce the swelling in his brain, but he will probably never recover to become his former self. His children will never have the same father. All because a couple of no good thug fans decided that a person wearing an opposing jersey deserved to have the crap beat out of him for wearing Black and Orange. Meanwhile, Stow’s two assailants are free, and will probably never be found even though a $100,000 reward has been offered for information leading to an arrest. Read the rest here.


South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia was suspended indefinitely by the university for being "disruptive and disorderly" during a leadership seminar on campus. Garcia was kicked out of the seminar and was received his punishment after a meeting with the university president, the athletic director, and the Old Ball Coach himself.

Garcia is reported to have later met with Steve Spurrier and told him that he had been drinking prior to the event. While Garcia, 23, is of legal age, that's not what you want to see from a 5th year senior quarterback. This will most definitely hurt the Gamecocks' chances in what figures to be a pretty open SEC race next fall. Read the Rest Here.