April 21, 2009



Norman Chad commented about Yankee Stadium: “We are now 230-odd years into the American experiment and one thing is clear – like the Roman Empire before us, we love our games!(Fact: When Nero fiddled, he was in a luxury box at the Colosseum.)                                                                    New York, the most sophisticated sports town in Sports Nation, brings us two spectacularly expensive new stadiums this month – rent-free and property tax-free for the Mets and the Yankees – largely subsidized by public money on city-owned land.Amazingly, in a city faced with myriad budget problems, the Mets and the Yankees not only successfully solicited public financing, both clubs came back with their hand out a second time – and got more money.                                                                                                 Schools? No money.                                                                                                             Subway? No money.                                                                                                             Stadiums? How much do you need? Thank you sir, may I have another.                                                                                                    During the seventh-inning stretch at the new Yankee Stadium, they shouldn’t sing ‘Take Me Out of the Ballgame,’ they should sing, ‘Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?’           Once again, we are front-row witnesses to public money gone mad. I don’t say this as a backseat driver in the wake of a brutal economy; I would say this if money were growing on trees. For when you spend public dollars on play things rather than real needs, when your priorities put entertainment dollars ahead of education dollars, you are destined for doom.                                                                                                                                The priciest ticket – it’s called a “premium seat” – is $2,625. Granted, it is a very good seat, but for $2,625, you should be able to fill out the lineup card, ride in the bullpen car and take A-Rod       home.                                                                                                    Repeat: It’s $2,625 for a single ticket. For a family of four, that’s $10,500, plus parking.


Bob Molinaro of feels that his DC Nats are there for comic relief. “If not for the unintended humor provided by the Washington Natinals, there would be no reason for them to exist.                                                                          Yes, I misspelled the name of the team. But I’m not the first. When Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn took the field Friday night in Washington, written across the front of their uniforms in big block letters was N-A-T-I-N-A-L-S.                                                                                The stuff that appears on the Internet.                                                                                There’s been no explanation that I can find for the missing “o.” An honest mistake, no doubt. And in less than 24 hours, the uniform gaffe was eclipsed by an even more absurd incident that added to the perception of the Nationals as a farcical franchise.                                   On Saturday, outfielder Elijah Dukes was benched, fined $500 and threatened with demotion to the minors after he showed up five minutes late to the stadium.                   Not five minutes late for the game. Five minutes after the team’s usual reporting time.                                      And that’s not the best part. Dukes, who is enjoying a good start with the bat, came to the park from an appearance at a local Little League function.                                                         He was tardy – by five minutes! – because he was signing autographs for kids.                                 “He was late for work, he broke a team rule, and we are going to change the culture here – regardless of how well a guy is playing,” Nats manager Manny Acta said.                     Given the usual state of political affairs, how much gloomier a place would Washington be without Major League Baseball’s best new comedy club?

Jerry Crowe wrote about Deacon Jones, “Pro football may never have seen a more ferocious pass rusher than David “Deacon” Jones, a 14th-round pick who turned out to be one of the greatest steals in NFL draft history.
Relying on footwork, speed and a devastating set of flying hands — his 1996 biography, “Headslap,” was named after his since-banned signature move — Jones struck fear in the hearts of opposing quarterbacks for 14 seasons with the Rams, San Diego Chargers and Washington Redskins from 1961 to 1974. An eight-time Pro Bowl selection and five-time first-team All-Pro, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980.
“Unstoppable as a flood, as elusive as a fly in a hot room,” Jim Murray wrote of Jones, who nicknamed himself Deacon after a chance meeting with a Disney executive convinced him that he needed a more distinctive moniker to stand out in a crowd.
Said Merlin Olsen of his former teammate: “There has never been a better football player than Deacon Jones.”
Jones doesn’t argue.
“I came as close to perfection,” the former “Secretary of Defense” says, “as you can possibly get.”
Except he never won a ring.
“I did it all but one thing in my football career,” he says, “and that was, win that damn championship. Everything else, I double-timed; it wasn’t even close, OK? But within that structure didn’t come a championship, and I live with that every day. I’ve been in the Hall of Fame [nearly] 30 years, and I still can’t dump it.”
A larger-than-life figure during his playing days in Los Angeles, Jones fronted a band that performed at the Cocoanut Grove and says he sang onstage with Ray Charles. He never seriously pursued a singing career but has worn a variety of other hats since leaving football: actor, businessman, commentator, benefactor, sports and pop culture memorabilia collector.
“I’ve dabbled in a lot of everything,” says Jones, who still makes public appearances at charitable events such as “Evening With the Stars II,” Thursday’s fundraiser at Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes. “When I hit 65, I lied to myself like most people do and said, ‘I’m retired, I ain’t doing nothing else.’
“Well, when I looked at the things I was doing, it wasn’t like a job. It was all [an extension of] my football career.”
And football, of course, is still his favorite subject.                                                                                           Of his signature move, Jones says, “The headslap was not my invention, but Rembrandt, of course, did not invent painting.”
Jones, in other words, turned it into a concussive art form.

The Sports Curmudgeon forwarded some notes about the upcoming draft and these are some that were of importance to me.                                             QB

Matthew Stafford- “My notes say nothing akin to that.  My notes say throws a lot of wobblers, floats the ball on out patterns and plays against top defenses but hardly dominates them. In fact, Stafford did not lead Georgia to any level of glory in the SEC last year so I wonder how he is supposed to dominate NFL defensive opponents.                              Mark Sanchez My notes on Sanchez say, ‘looks great on a team where every position on offense dominates the position across the line from it’.  Come to think of it, the QB for Montana Tech – whoever that might have been – would look probably have looked good under those same circumstances…                                                                                   Wide receivers                                                                                                               NFL GMs probably wish that someone would invent the “Diva-Meter” so they might predict which of the current crop of collegiate WRs might turn into the next iteration of T.O. or Chad Ocho Cinco or Plaxico Burress                                                            Darrius Heyward-Bey                                                                                                    Here is what I have written down ‘dropped two passes that hit him on BOTH hands’ and ‘does not block downfield effectively’.  I would not take him until the second day of the draft…

Percy Harvin

My notes say that a team taking him in the first round might regret that pick.  Here is what I have written down ‘dropped two passes that hit him on BOTH hands’ and ‘does not block downfield effectively’  I would not take him until the second day of the draft…

Derrick Williams

is not the fastest WR in the draft this year but he is ‘football smart’ and an effective blocker on DBs and on LBs Taking him late in the second round or in the third round would make sense.

Offensive Linemen

when I saw Michael Oher and Jason Smith and Andre Smith, I was very impressed by all three of these players.  They all should go in the first round of the draft and it would not surprise me if all of them were gone in the first 15 picks.

Defensive Tackle

Earl Heyman

is probably too short to be a high round draft pick even though he plays hard every play and gets good penetration inside on the QB”.


Again these are just notes to give you some ideas. Greg Cote wrote about having an idea, “Mel Kiper Jr. is now projecting the 223rd pick in the draft will be Farqhuar long-snapper Ned Nebbish, up from an initial projection of 229th based on a recent 4.33 40 while eluding police.”











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