Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Fade into the sunset Favre, fade into ...

His act has long ago worn on people's nerves.


The waiting: the months and months of waiting.

The wondering: What will Brett Favre do now?

Favre's answer came quickly, if you can call it an answer. Favre, the feckless star with the golden arm who serves more waffles than IHOP, said he's "highly unlikely" to return next season.

And we're all supposed to believe him, right?

Maybe those who haven't followed Favre closely might find credibility in things he says. The rest of us, well ... we should know better. For Favre is a man who can't make up his mind, and his indecisiveness has ruined the chemistry on teams he's played for.

At some point, NFL coaches have to believe they've squeezed everything they can get out of Favre's arm, and he's given them and the NFL everything he has to give. He's set more records than any player who has ever lined up under center. He's won games everywhere he's gone, playing so well that no one can argue he's not destined for the NFL Hall of Fame -- first ballot, too.

Read more ...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Under the radar: Colts coach fine being there

I see Colts coach Jim Caldwell as the Rodney Dangerfield of the NFL coaching fraternity, but the slights that Caldwell has had to endure almost make the late comic seem LeBron James-like in the acclaim his work got.

Caldwell should be as fortunate. For it's hard to find a Super Bowl coach who has had a lower profile than his.

Under the radar?

Caldwell is like a stealth bomber; he doesn't make a blip on the radar. When his profile does show up on the screen, it will be the first time it does.

Get respect?

Caldwell was probably the person Aretha Franklin, the "Queen of Soul," had in mind when singing her signature hit about "R-E-S-P-E-C-T."

Read more ...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

LeBron's decision: Slam door on dunk contest

It was a thought too luscious to consider. It was something you had longed for -- dreamed about, really -- hoping it was more than words floating in the air like the aroma of fresh peach cobbler.

You wanted to believe more than disbelieve, and LeBron James had left much for basketball fans to discuss: In or out, who could say for sure?

He had dropped hints that he might be "in." Yes, LeBron had weighed putting his name into the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, an All-Star Game sideshow that used to be cooler than the game itself.

But its cool factor has taken a beating in recent seasons. The contest is akin now to pay phones in an IPhone era. For gone are the days when Dominique Wilkins, Larry Nance, Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter and Air Jordan himself - the highest of the high flyers -- signed up for the slam-fest.

The contest needed a big name to revive interest in it, and no name in the NBA is bigger these days than LeBron's. Of course, having Kobe back would have heightened interest in the contest as well, but Kobe had done his turn. He won the contest in '97 when it was played in Cleveland, LeBron's town.

Read more ...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Reclusive McGwire should stay in hiding

The invisible man has reappeared. He's back in baseball, back where he always belonged, back where he had made a name for himself - a name tarnished now, though.

His return was preordained -- really. Few men with high profiles walk away from the game and leave it in their rearview mirror. And Mark McGwire was hardly different. He was a star, after all; stars can't live without the attention and the adulation that stardom brings.

And not many athletes were as famous as Mark McGwire. Not many men are as infamous as Mark McGwire either.

What fame he had has long since eroded, washed away in a flood of allegations about his use of steroids.

His assault on Roger Maris' record for homers during the summer of 1998 riveted the sports world. He and Sammy Sosa, a partner in the chase, were nightly fixtures on sports shows.

Read more ...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

U.S. vs. Japan: Can Bud make this idea work?

Even the empty-headed can sometimes find the smarts to take ownership of a good idea now and then, and that applies to the most know-nothing executive in the history of team sports. For Bud Selig is to intelligent leadership what Tiger Woods is to fidelity or what Bernie Madoff is to wise investing.

But the baseball tsar -- His Royal Budness -- has hit a home run with his interest in taking the sport to global heights it hasn't reached before. Selig has held talks with Ryozo Kato, commissioner of the Nippon Professional League, about a real World Series: the best team in the United States against the best team in Japan.

Not that the idea was Selig's. How could a fresh idea come from a mind that hasn't had one since the turn of the 1600s? Yet Selig deserves a tip of the ballcap for recognizing a good idea when he sees it.

And this is a good idea whose time has come: the Major Leagues vs. the Japanese League for a"world" championship.

Read more ...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Dawson a curious choice for Hall of Fame

My friend Nick's question was simple: "What do you think of this year's HOF vote?"

I'm guessing that Nick figured I had a thought or two about the announcement today that Andre Dawson had been selected for induction into baseball's holiest shrine. Nick was right, too; I did have thoughts.

Here's what I wrote Nick:

"Stunned, actually. I never looked at Andre Dawson as a Hall of Famer. He had great seasons, no doubt about that. But the Hall of Fame isn't the Hall of Good, and Dawson doesn't measure up to the other great outfielders who are in Cooperstown.

"The fact that he made it over Roberto Alomar is stunning, which shows how quirky the Hall of Fame voters are. He's a lifetime .279 hitter with only 438 homers, a number that should have been a lot higher for someone who played 21 seasons.

Read more ...

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Redemption for OSU: Pryor plays like a QB

He mentioned his teammates first. In his postgame interview Friday night, he took pains to recognize the big men who blocked in front of him. He thanked them; he praised them. He gave those big men their due.


"It's crazy how well they did," Terrelle Pryor said in the afterglow of the Rose Bowl.

Sharing the praise, Pryor?

Maybe, at last, the manchild has grown up. He can now see success as not just about him, even though most people's eyes and the media attention still tend to focus solely on him.

But such notoriety comes with the territory.

Read more ...