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Friday, December 14, 2007

College Playoff System

The best argument against a College Football Playoff system i've seen yet is over at KSK. Check it out. At check out some of the other blogs i have links to on the right. And leave some comments. Oh, and have a good weekend.

George Foreman Endorses: Mike Vick (And His Line Of Grills...)

Since his sentencing earlier this week, details have come out about a letter Mike Vick sent to the judge prior to the sentencing asking for leniency. The substance and point of this letter I couldn't care less about. Of course he wrote it, of course he tried to pawn off blame on other people, and of course the judge really didn't take it into consideration during the sentencing. Whatever.

George Foreman and Hank Aaron also both wrote letters to the judge in support of Vick, presumably asking for leniency. That doesn't interest me either. Typically well-known people who get in trouble get support from other well-known people. Whatever.

What interests me is what Foreman wrote in his letter. Or, more accurately, how Foreman opened his letter to Vick's judge. Here it is, thanks to Fanhouse:

Dear Judge Hudson:
I'm a fulltime minister at the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ in Houston, Texas, former two-time Heavyweight Champion of the world, and known all over the world as the king of the grills because of the George Foreman Lean Mean Fat Reducing Grilling Machine.

(Sigh...) Really? I mean, seriously? That was necessary? At this point, the rest of the letter becomes irrelevant. He couldn't just start with 'I'm George Foreman'? Or stop after the 'two-time heavyweight Champion of the world' line? He had to put a plug in for his grills? This is helping Mike Vick how?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Mitchell Report Fallout: Thoughts...

Wheeeeeeee! It's like Christmas morning! Does everyone else find this as hilarious as i do?!?

More on this later, but a couple things i wanted to point out:

What the hell were the Astros thinking trading for Miguel Tejada yesterday? Seriously, you don't think the fact that he might be in this report didn't come up once during trade talks? Either the Astros are freaking retarded, or they just don't care. As sad as it is, i'm inclined to think it's the latter...

The MLB Players Association sent out a letter to players during the investigation basically telling them not to cooperate. Lovely.

It was amazing to me how many of the players paid for these steroids with a CHECK. Hello, paper trail?! Are you stupid? Let's see, i'm buying something illegal and i don't want anyone to know about it. Instead of paying him the $1,100 to $3,200 (average payment) in cash i'm sure most of these guys carry, they pay with a personal check. The guy they were buying them from, Kirk Radomski, kept copies of all the checks players had given him. You think he wasn't covering his ass just in case?

Players mentioned in the report who have links to the Dbacks are:
- Jason Grimsley (We already knew that)
- Matt Williams (Same)
- Alex Cabrera
- Jack Cust
- Chris Donnels
- Stephen Randolph
- Mike Bell
- Matt Herges
- Troy Glaus
- Jose Guillen
- Darren Holmes
- Multiple Members of the Dbacks farm team the El Paso Diablos (Who reportedly repeatedly crossed the border into Mexico to purchase steroids.? Players on that team include the aforementioned Cabrera, Cust, and Williams, as well as notable names such as Alex Cintron, Travis Lee, Lyle Overbay, Robby Hammock, and Junior Spivey. Not for nothing, but Cintron, Cabrera, and Cust led the team in pretty much every offensive category. I'm just saying...

More on this later as more comes out and i delve deeper into the Report...

The Mitchell Report: Preview

Alright kids! 10 minutes til we get names! And i could not be more excited. This day is going to ROCK.
Lots of rumors going around, but two names already leaked and mostly confirmed: Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte. Color me not shocked. More updates as this thing rolls along!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Honest Mistake or Criminal Intent?

This tale bears just a little telling this evening. And i like Mike Ditka, he was a hell of a player, a hell of a coach, and i think he's a decent studio guy. But this doesn't look good.

Ditka has been one of the loudest proponents for assistance for ex-NFL'ers in need, going so far as to starting his own charity with the idea of helping out those who are in dire straits. He has been seen and heard many times trumpeting the injustices done to former players, and three years decided to do something about it.

According to a report by USA Today last week, Ditka's charity has raised $1.3 million since it was formed. A decent sum of money for three years for a new charity. The problem? According to the same report, precisely $57,000 was actually given to former players in need. I'm not mathematician, but that's roughly 4%. Not exactly a staggering figure. To be fair, Ditka claimed they had actually paid out $159,000, but really, that's splitting hairs.

So where has the other $1.24 million gone? According to some reports, Ditka spent $750,000 on three golf tournaments, with some people speculating a lot of that went to paying people to show up. If this is the case, well... that's kinda sad. He's Mike Ditka. If he calls you up and says 'come to my golf tournament', i for one am going.

While Ditka is getting killed by some in the media, i'm inclined to believe it's less of him intentionally not paying former players and more of him a) not knowing what's going on with his charity, and b) overall poor management. Ditka has been a very vocal proponent of helping ex-players, i doubt he was intentionally whittling funds.

Either way. as a result of the fallout from the report, Ditka has decided to close the fund, which might be the best result. The fund currently has a balance of about $600,000, which will be split evenly between the the Gridiron Greats Fund, basically the same as Ditka's fund, and a residential facility for disabled youth. While admirable, the facility for disabled youth is a curious choice, as it has nothing to do with the original intent of Ditka's charity. It is most likely a PR move, and hard to argue against, but still a curious choice.

In a press conference this afternoon, appearing with several former and current players, Ditka pledged $25,000 of his money to the Gridiron Greats, and said he would focus his efforts on that group. Realistically, this was a small stain on Ditka and his reputation, but not one that will hurt him too much in the long run. I do hope that, even without his own fund, he continues his trumpeting for the plight of ex-NFL'ers in need.

NFL Picks Review

Again, apologies for the delay, but i was in Mexico, what do you want? 3-4 last week, but the Cleveland game shouldn't count owing to the terrible 'judgment' call at the end of the game. And if you think the close win by New England is going to stop me from banging them against the Jets this week, you are sorely mistaken. 37-25-5 on the year, three weeks to go.

Week 15 picks post coming most likely tonight, possibly tomorrow.

College Football Picks Review

Sorry for the delay in getting this out to the masses (All 18 of you). Another crappy week (1-2-1) puts the overall regular season record at 39-34-2. That's good enough for a winning percentage of roughly 53%, short of the 55% you need to finish even (due to the juice). I hope none of you listened to my advice this year...

This column will return in full force in about a week, where i will pick the winners of all the bowl games. I think i can do better than 53% for bowl season...

Fred Smoot: Company Schill Man

I just, i mean, i don't even know what to say. Some things in life write posts for you...

This is Awesome with a capital A. You have to read the 'ad campaign'. It's two paragraphs long, yet there's only three sentences!

The Mitchell Report

I really haven't posted much about this at all, except for a few random Barry Bond's posts, because i've been waiting to see what happens. Well, that time has come.

Tomorrow, Thursday, at 2pm Eastern, George Mitchell will hold a press conference in Manhattan announcing the results of his 20-month investigation of steroids in baseball. MLB officials reviewed the report yesterday, and commissioner Bud Selig will hold his own press conference at 4:30pm Eastern Time to discuss the findings. The report will be posted on shortly after Mitchell's press conference.

With as many as 60 current and former players expected to be named in the report, it could be an interesting day. Big names already linked to the report include Bonds, Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco, and Juan Gonzalez, among others. Expect more names to follow, but not necessarily big names. What i will be curious to hear are the names of lesser-known players, such as pitchers trying to crack the big leagues, or the outfielder with small power numbers. I think this will be the jewel of the report, to see how many 'regular' players have tried steroids in an effort to gain an advantage and get to the Majors.

Either way, expect tomorrow to be a fun ride, and expect radios and televisions to run with this story constantly over the next few days...

Liar in Disguise

I really have no rooting interest in any of this, mostly because i couldn't care less about the Atlanta Falcons, Louisville Cardinals, or Arkansas Razorbacks (though i do think Houston Nutt got shafted there), but this whole Bobby Petrino thing is pretty shady.

There is a great article here about all of his recent transgressions, including a graph showing all the different places he's been in the last 24 years. His longest stay was his four years at Louisville, in which he flirted with other head coaching jobs every single year he was there. The worst may have been his clandestine meeting with Auburn officials about replacing Tommy Tuberville, a man who had given him a job just one year prior.

In the rich (poor) tradition of Nick Saban, Petrino is just another coach who is looking out for just himself, all the while wooing fan bases and convincing school officials. Arkansas may be a great fit for him, but don't be surprised when he starts looking around for other jobs in a year or two...