Friday, September 04, 2009

I Digress

I might as well make myself perfectly clear from the get-go: Roger Goodell is a jerk. The guy who essentially absolved league darling Bill Belichek for spying on opposing teams and allowed the evidence against him to be destroyed has handed down a decision regarding Michael Vick that can be charitably described as vindictive.

The matter of Vick's reinstatement and redemption is not my concern here; rather, I am addressing the commissioner's handling of the case post facto, i.e., after Vick had served his sentence, been released from prison and signed by the Eagles. It is appalling that Goodell would first allow Vick to resume his NFL career, endorse the Eagles' signing of him, then dilly-dally about how long his banishment from full reinstatement would last and finally rule he had to sit out the first two weeks of the regular season after playing in the preseason. What are those two weeks going to prove to anyone, least of all Goodell? Will Vick be a better man for those additional 14 days of NFL probation? Goodell is a classic holier-than-thou type who professes charity as long as he isn't required to practice it.

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An Oregon running back participated in a pre-game handshake at midfield with his opponents from Boise State, played on the losing side and proceeded to sucker punch an opposing player who at worst tapped him on the shoulder and said something less than sportsmanlike (unsubstantiated) to him afterwards. What should the punishment be? Ban him for the season. Send a real message for a change. Now, let's see just how sportsmanlike team and league officials really are.

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Much has been said about the relative lack of buzz about the U.S. Open if not professional tennis in general these days and most seasoned observers think it is not so much a lack of quality among the top players as a lack of charisma among them, especially of the controversial kind. It's hard to argue with those who say tennis misses the petulance of a John McEnroe or the fiery demeanor of a Jimmy Connors. I never cared for McEnroe's antics but I'm sure those people who like car wrecks and fights at hockey games paid the price of admission just to wait for an outburst. For my inexperienced and inexpert part, I don't much care for booming serves playing a much greater role in the outcome of matches on both the mens' and womens' sides.

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Tiger Woods is showing his mortal side lately, blowing a final round lead in the PGA Championship then missing a putt that would have tied him for the lead in regulation in a recent tourney. On top of that, a piece on NPR was far from flattering about his demeanor and language on the course, away from the TV cameras for the most part. The lords of the networks are hardly going to show the Golden Goose acting more like an Ass, but that's how he came across in the article. How disillusioning!!

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Shane Victorino is remembered by a lot of fans around the nation for pointing to his ribs not his noggin' after nearly being deliberately beaned last season in the playoffs against LA, so it isn't surprising he was the first Phillie to try the new batting helmet. Player response to the far more protective device has been extremely negative when it hasn't been outright derisive. The Mets David Wright, who was beaned recently and suffered a serious concussion, tried the helmet, too, but gave up on it after a few days because he didn't like being the brunt of his teammates' jokes and barbs. If anyone should be literally interested in a tougher skin it is Wright. Bad move, David.

1 comment:

Doc | said...

I agree Tom. I'm no fan of Vick being on the Eagles, but at this point, what the hell does two games matter?