Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Hair Length Rule? It Really Could Become The No Fun League

I have no idea why the Kansas City Chiefs care about this issue, but for some reason they do. Apparently, someone in the organization is concerned enough with the hair length of NFL players that they've proposed a rule requiring them to tuck it up inside their helmet.

Troy Polamalu might not have to worry about getting tackled again by his hair. At their meetings in Palm Beach, Fla., next week, NFL owners will consider a proposal to ban players from having hair flow from their helmets below their names on the back of their jerseys.

That might affect Polamalu's image, but help him on the field. Two seasons ago, the Pittsburgh safety with the long ponytail had his hair grabbed by Kansas City's Larry Johnson and was thrown to the turf after an interception against the Chiefs.

The rule banning long hair on the field was proposed by Kansas City. It does not require players to get haircuts, but does "require them to tuck it up inside their helmets," said Atlanta president Rich McKay, chairman of the league's competition committee.

Seriously? What the hell? It's not like having long hair gives the player an advantage. In fact, it puts them at a disadvantage because it gives their opponent one more thing to tackle them by. Personally, I don't see a problem with Polamalu or Mike McKenzie having hair sticking out of their helmet. It just adds to their personality on the field, and provides a little more entertainment for the fans. Someone might want to tell the Chiefs to lighten up a bit.

Golf, An Unlikely Victim Of The Economy

For the most part, when you think about how the present state of the economy affects you you focus mostly on gas prices, insurance costs and taxes. You've probably cut back some of your spending, especially with regard to entertainment. However, if you never played golf with any sort of regularity, then you probably wouldn't think that it's a sport really feeling the effects of the current economy.

Greens fees at many courses have increased throughout the years, but at the time the economy was thriving so an extra $5 or $10 wasn't that big of a deal. Now, the economy is in a downslide, and golfers are cutting back on the rounds they play and the equipment they buy.

Golfing buddies Bob Ballard and Ray Koppmann were getting in some morning practice on the putting green at Daytona Beach Golf Club.

Both Port Orange men, who are in their early 80s, leisurely tapped balls across the rolling manicured grass. But neither had plans to play a round of golf on this day.

"I've cut back a bit," said Ballard, blaming the worsening economy. "I used to play three or four times a week. Now, it's once, maybe twice at the most."

And forget about buying new clubs to replace his 20-year-old set.

"That's not happening," he said with a grin.

For many golfers these days, the old political catch phrase holds: "It's the economy, stupid."

And it's not just the older generation that could be living on a fixed income. The National Golf Foundation has reported that "the estimated number of people playing golf nationwide has fallen from 30 million in 2000 to 26 million, with the annual rounds of play plummeting by a third".

That's a huge number of people not hitting the links with the frequency that they used to. The NGF also reports that gated communities are suffering the most because of the real estate crunch. Less people buying homes in those communities means that less golf memberships are being purchased.

For the immediate future, it doesn't appear that there's an answer to golf's problem. It will probably be one of those "ride it out" situations that takes an upturn in the economy to get things back on track. Not even Tiger can help with this unless he unveils an incredible economic stimulus program on the 18th hole of Augusta National.

Friday, March 14, 2008

It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere - Eagles of Death Metal Edition

Since it's Friday, and the end of the workweek for most people, we think that you should be provided with a post that takes the edge off so to speak. Because it's going to be random and hopefully humorous, that means that it won't always be sports related. It will also pop up at any time on Friday.

Hot on the heels of last week's mustache driven "It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere" post, comes this week's post about the kickass band the "Eagles of Death Metal". Apparently, I resemble Jesse Hughes, though I definitely need a gold cape and a boombox for the full effect. In any case, check 'em out. It will make your Friday that much more enjoyable.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Not So Fast Arlen

Senator Arlen Specter has been pretty vocal about the NFL's investigation into spying by the New England Patriots. Though, since he's a senator from Pennsylvania it's understandable because the Eagles lost in the Super Bowl, and the Steelers were defeated by the Pats in two AFC Championship games. He's sticking up for the home teams, and covering all the bases. However, maybe he should have been a little bit more lowkey regarding possible lawsuits.

Goodell has also met with Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., who asked pointed questions about taping of both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles. The Patriots beat the Eagles in the 2005 Super Bowl and the Steelers in two AFC championship games.

"As commissioner Goodell has repeatedly emphasized, `Nobody wants to hear from Matt Walsh more than the National Football League,' NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Sunday night.

In addition to the negotiations over Walsh's testimony, Willie Gary, who played in that game for the Rams, filed suit in New Orleans last month accusing the Patriots of fraud, unfair trade practices and engaging in a "pattern of racketeering." Three fans joined in the suit.

Specter subsequently said that his interest might be covered by that suit.

"I think now that the lawsuits have been started, that I got the ball rolling, and the plaintiffs' lawyers are picking it up," he said.

Oh, they are Arlen?
Lawyers for a former St. Louis Rams player and three fans plan to withdraw a lawsuit that accuses the New England Patriots of cheating in the 2002 Super Bowl.

In court papers filed Monday, the plaintiffs' attorneys say they sued last month in an attempt to secure sworn testimony from former Patriots employee Matt Walsh, who allegedly taped a walkthrough practice by the Rams before New England's Super Bowl win.

But the lawyers for former Rams player Willie Gary call it an "exercise in futility" because they suspect Walsh would exercise his constitutional right against self-incrimination if he is ordered to submit to a deposition.

On Monday, they asked a federal judge in New Orleans to dismiss the case. The case was filed in New Orleans because the Louisiana Superdome hosted the 2002 Super Bowl, which the Patriots won 20-17.

They do reserve the right to refile it if they wish to do so, but at this time it appears that their lawsuit is going to make much headway. Though, I don't think that many people other than Senator Specter thought that it would. However, I do give him kudos for playing the politician role perfectly.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Hello Olympics, Bye Bye Kittehs!

Obviously, when you're hosting a party you want your place to be relatively clean. Dishes washed, dirty clothes in the hamper, pizza boxes in the trash, porno mags tucked safely under the mattress. And when you're hosting a party the size of the Olympics you have even more to worry about. Like dangerous cats.

Though, the solution is easy. Just cage them up and transport them to death camps on the oustkirts of the city.

Thousands of pet cats in Beijing are being abandoned by their owners and sent to die in secretive government pounds as China mounts an aggressive drive to clean up the capital in preparation for the Olympic Games.

Hundreds of cats a day are being rounded and crammed into cages so small they cannot even turn around.

Then they are trucked to what animal welfare groups describe as death camps on the edges of the city.

The cull comes in the wake of a government campaign warning of the diseases cats carry and ordering residents to help clear the streets of them.

Yeah. That's not good.

I'm willing to bet that not every cat killed is disease ridden. Though, the government seems to have done a good job at scaring the citizens into believing that all cats must die. Even their pets that spend their days indoors, and are perfectly healthy. Hopefully, the rest of the cats don't band together and overrun the Olympic Village.

Friday, March 07, 2008

It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere - Mustache Edition

Since it's Friday, and the end of the workweek for most people, we think that you should be provided with a post that takes the edge off so to speak. Because it's going to be random and hopefully humorous, that means that it won't always be sports related. It will also pop up at any time on Friday.

This week's post is focused squarely on the awesomeness that replaced my beard last night. I put together a decent beard over the past two months, but last night I decided that it was time for it to go. However, I didn't want all of my hard work to go to waste, so I carved it into something totally ridiculous, yet incredibly incredible. I'm pretty sure that I've never posted a pic of myself on this blog before, but this is just too good to pass up. Hopefully it brings some humor to your Friday afternoon, and helps you kick off your weekend.

Yes, the Ray-Bans do make me look Super Troopers-esque. And yes, this clip has already come to mind.

Who wants a mustache ride?

Happy Friday!

Comcast Gets Asked To Quit Being Athols

A Massachusetts town, offended by a Comcast SportsNet advertisement, aksed the network to quit running the ad, and Comcast has agreed to do so.

A cable sports network says it no longer will make Athol the butt of its jokes.

Comcast SportsNet said Thursday it would pull a newspaper ad that leaders of the small central Massachusetts town called insulting and offensive.

The ad featured two side-by-side signs that together read: "We can pronounce Worcester ... without sounding like an Athol."

A network spokesman said it apologized Thursday to the town and Selectman Wayne Miller, who raised the issue this week after residents complained that the ad ridiculed Athol by linking its name to a similarly sounding vulgarity.

Town selectmen voted Tuesday to have the town attorney write a letter of protest to the company, and Miller also urged residents to boycott papers if they ran the ads.

It seems like a decently funny ad campaign, though I can understand why the town might be a bit upset. Actually I think Mr. Miller addressed the issue the best.
"There's always been this, shall we say, 'humorous' pronunciation," Miller said Thursday. "If one person is doing it, that's nothing to worry about. But you have to draw the line when a major company uses it to make money."

It seems that everyone is aware of the play on words, and that most of them enjoy the humor. However, they don't appreciate a huge media conglomerate making jokes at their expense. It's sort of the whole "we can make fun of ourselves over it, but you can't" situation. At least Comcast has done the right thing by pulling the ads.

At Least He's Not Collecting Social Security

At a time when you've got two head coaches at prestigious universities who are way past 62, and battling it out to see who retires first, tt's nice to see that there's youth out there that wants to be involved. Though, it would probably help if he had already gone through puberty and could actually drive himself to the stadium. However, that didn't stop 12-year-old Joshua Irizarry from throwing his name into the proverbial hat when West Virginia was looking for a replacement for Rich Rodriguez.

He's only 12, he doesn't have a car and he lives nearly 500 miles from campus. But Joshua Irizarry's heartfelt plea and willingness to work around obstacles got him a brief consideration for the gig as head football coach at West Virginia University.

Insisting it was "a completely serious offer," the Connecticut boy outlined his skills in a letter to WVU President Mike Garrison when the job opened up in December. They included "making up new plays to fool defenses in local sandlot games."

And he showed a knack for public relations: "Consider the publicity your campus would receive," he wrote. "I understand this would be a move more suited for a team like Temple, but I am just asking for your consideration.

"Don't think of this as hiring a 12-year-old kid from a nowhere town, but think of this as hiring a dedicated football mind trying to help a team," he pleaded. "I would work for any conditions you would wish to provide."

Any work conditions? Ah, to be young and naive again. With statements like that he'll be handing out water cups and washing jock straps for a cellar dwelling division 3 team in no time! Though, it is pretty humorous that even a 12-year-old understands just how bad Temple sucks. It's funny 'cause it's true!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The AAFL Needs Some Cash!

To run a successful sports league there are two very important items. The first is the staff. You know, players, coaches, referees, etc. The second is cash. The All-American Football League has had no problem with the first one, as was evident during their inaugural draft. However, they seem to be having a slight problem with that second part.

The new All American Football League will have to postpone its 2008 season unless it finds additional financial backing.

The announcement Thursday came less than a week before camps were to open for the six-team league.

Now, I know that there are a lot of football fans out there with deep pockets, but I just can't see too many of them putting up thousands of dollars to keep the AAFL afloat. Though, maybe someone should let Ben Bernake of this dire situation because apparently the problems are tied directly to the subprime mortgage crisis.
In an attempt to secure kickoff of its inaugural season as well as its long-term future and success, the All American Football League® has begun discussions to explore multiple financing options.

Since inception, the League's finances have been indirectly tied to the $300 billion federally guaranteed student loan asset backed securities market. In August, the sub prime mortgage crisis began spreading into other sectors such as municipal bonds and federally guaranteed student loans. The situation, which was considered to be temporary at the time, has continued to worsen.

Despite the fact that the Federal Reserve has repeatedly lowered interest rates during this financial crisis, their efforts have not yet restored liquidity in many asset backed markets, including municipal bonds and student loans.

The League held its inaugural draft in January, and the team rosters and staffs are all in place. All teams are scheduled to open training camp Wednesday if liquidity can be immediately restored.

Every effort is being made to insure that the '08 season will be played as planned, but this depends upon a locating new majority owner with the needed liquidity, which in turn depends upon the League being able to finalize a TV deal. Otherwise, the inaugural season will be postponed to '09.

In all seriousness, I've dealt with the AAFL, and I've never had any problems with the people that I interacted with. They all wanted to put together a competitive football league where players could continue their careers, and fans could enjoy watching some quality games. Hopefully they can get this financial situation worked out, and I wish them nothing but the best.

Brett Favre Did It The Right Way

Brett Favre's stats speak for themselves. Based on those alone he's a Hall of Fame caliber quarterback no matter what his attitude while on the field was. However, the fact that he always appeared to be having the most fun possible, and that he seemed to be eternally grateful to be playing professional football just adds to his legacy.

Sure, he could have hung it up before the start of last season when critics were coming out of the woodwork calling for his retirement. But his competitive spirit wouldn't let him end his career after a disappointing season. Instead, he came back for one more try to see what he could do.

Many people thought that he would get hammered all season long with what looked to be a mediocre team, and that we would see Brett ride off into the sunset bruised and battered. However, something happened during the offseason, and through the first few weeks of the season. Whether his teammates wanted to send him off in proper fashion, or whether his skill just elevated their play(or both) I'm not sure. But the team exceeded what many "experts" had predicted, and gave Brett the opportunity to make the playoffs one more time and almost get into another Super Bowl. Brett's last game wasn't necessarily his best, but he showed all the naysayers that he still had "it". And his recently announced retirement lets him ride off as a great competitor that always gave 100%, and knew when it was time to get on his horse.