Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sam Bradford's Unproven Riches Asinine: NFL Needs to Implement System

In the sense that our society is engaged in money and earning a decent amount, we are shortsighted by committing fraud, armed robberies, extorting the system, and handing unproven athletes ridiculous paychecks.

As you probably know by now, Sam Bradford, the highly-regarded No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft, finally agreed to terms on a rookie contract with the St. Louis Rams.

But $50 million in guaranteed money isn’t only a risk, but preposterous for an unproven quarterback who hasn’t even taken his first snap or engineered the substandard Rams to meaningful accomplishments. So now he’s the main attraction, not an ordinary student who adored the campus lifestyle and declared an effulgent image at Oklahoma during an astonishing regime as the Sooners starting quarterback, when scouts were able to evaluate a talented gunslinger.

He is possibly the best rookie quarterback with stellar mechanics and precision, yet it’s very dubious to assume he’s worth a six-year, $78 million deal, uncertain his shaky health status and inabilities are harmful within a lackluster franchise and whether he’s ready to withstand tremendous pressure. By assuming that he’s not a bust waiting to materialize in the first season or even close to becoming the next Ryan Leaf, Tim Couch, David Carr, Joey Harrington or the pathetic JaMarcus Russell, he may excel under all expectations and prove worthy of a well-deserving salary.

In reality, the consensus selection in grabbing Bradford with the No. 1 pick in the draft was worth a gamble and the most courageous, smartest move in building a winning franchise and uplifting a rebirth in football. It’s always dangerous for a team to outrageously give a massive deal to an unidentified player, but in this situation, Bradford is the centerpiece of rebuilding a productive foundation.

The perspective of paying a rookie millions makes absolutely no sense, when he hasn’t suited up or played in one regular season game, let alone the history of injuries that can mitigate many capabilities at exposing his strengths and weaknesses. This allows the Rams to diagnose all the struggles, which normally inhibits sturdiness and consistency for an inexperienced quarterback.

But the entire concept in the league, more than the maturity and improvement of a rookie enriching a dormant franchise, is rectifying an insulting and disoriented system by installing a rookie salary-cap. The transformational difference recently is unbearable and affects the financial balance in the upcoming seasons. And we thought the NCAA was screwed up, with all the fraud as well as infractions ruining the integrity of collegiate sports, smearing the trustworthiness of an unscrupulous system for its deceptiveness and insensitivity of erasing sanctions and infringements at universities.

In some ways, professional football has similarities with hypocrisy in a greedy enterprise concerned about magnifying revenue. Rather fascinating, is that the NFL isn’t even more concerned to adopt a rookie salary-cap, brainwashing the minds of young and indecisive athletes and limiting franchises of spending massively on veteran players.

Something is wrong with the NFL, an unbalanced business that refuses to prioritize and regulate a strategy by stemming nepotism and corruption for awarding overexposed rookies with excessive riches.

But the everlasting debates to why the development of a rookie salary-cap scale regarding draft picks, suddenly becomes the hottest take oddly enough with the perception of the NFL establishing itself as a charity league, donating enormous wages to first-year rookies.

But this is definitely turning into a crisis, hearing the near-painful labor issues, potential lockouts and now the purgatory because of nonsensical salaries in football, a league bearing controversy and financial complications.

Where the league stands is ultimately a guess, as the highest-paid players are unproven and sustain injuries before showcasing their talents in the season-openers.

But as it stood long ago, players weren’t nearly earning a wealthy share in profit and worked second jobs in the off season for another source of income nevertheless of course, rookies are hitting the jackpot without needing to produce in a fruitful contest. In fact, back then, free agency was non-existing and teammates built a social bond together within the same organization.

This time, though, we live in a modern era of sports when players are enabled to accept mega deals and sign elsewhere once contracts expires with their former franchises, or even hijack television in an one-hour special to announce the toughest decision ever. If all this seems overly dramatic and egotistic, it’s because LeBron James took over airwaves to reveal that he was taken his talents to South Beach.

The timing of the NFL salary-cap disputes couldn’t have been worse, considering that veterans are imploring for long-term, massive contracts as Matthew Stafford, a No. 1 pick of the Detroit Lions in the NFL Draft a year ago, agreed to a deal that included a 6-year, $41.7 million guaranteed.

If any player were to fail, he would ruin and waste the franchise’s payroll for his poor performance, especially when a team has available money under the salary cap to presumably spend wisely.

The long-awaited pledge of implementing a rookie salary cup is envisioned in the future, but perhaps the NFL is lagging in the process of essentially actualizing a palatable system, equivalent to the system currently employed by the NBA.

It has become a causal league for travesty and absurdity, ranking and worshipping rookies as if they are climbing above expectations with a superior impact on an undermined franchise.

How can we believe the NFL wants a proposal to institute an NBA-type system? Expect it to happen, but not anytime soon. Expect rookies to become less wealthy, and veterans to become richer in a league filled with derision, until it launches a formula where players are paid a fixed amount, depending upon their draft selection.

But considering that the league tries greatly to sugarcoat a national blowup, it’s really amazing that awful salary-caps has created a ruckus in sports and tarnished integrity in recent memory.

In theory, the unfortunate standpoint is that rookies make too much damn money, seemingly without even proving to be worthy. All that matters is that an unproven player cannot vindicate the pedigree of exaltation and promise before trotting from the tunnels in the season-opener and contributing in a legitimate regular-season game. No, preseason doesn’t count.

If any player is worth millions, then he’s the paradigm of a well-rounded and talented player. Meanwhile, the NFLPA was hopeful of the brilliant idea at the beginning of the 2010 NFL draft, but with the current labor disputes, it delayed the approval of the deal after labor deals weren’t extended in exchange.

But as long as the league advances without a useful system, a hellish story of inability to cut back on spending or reprehensible stumbles in saving money, it will always be endangered of a potential lockout and mired in financial dysfunction.

Each season, it seems as if the huge paychecks are slightly contemptible, a current issue the union is facing. No one knows if Bradford will be the franchise bust. But everyone, that is, knows that Jacksonville Jaguars handing David Garrard $60 million after one season was a poor signing, or the Cleveland Browns giving an incompetent Derek Anderson an outrageous deal.

It was shocking that Oakland’s overrated quarterback Russell was giving a massive deal, but was labeled as a lazy, apathetic bust and failed miserably.

And now, Bradford is worth more than Drew Brees and Tom Brady. If he hasn’t even played a single game, how is he worth more than two high-profile quarterbacks with Super Bowl success?

That’s a good question.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Amaro Delivers Again For Phillies with Oswalt Deal

It must have been agonizing coming to work and taking the mound every five days as the notable ace on a formidable roster in Houston and realizing misery reducing the reliance and excitement. They are a perfect landing spot for the disgruntled Roy Oswalt, a veteran right-hander who needed a change of scenery and a chance to contend for a championship.

It was bound to happen as the non-waiver trade deadline loomed ever so closer, but the Philadelphia Phillies weren’t the frontrunners in grabbing a stud pitcher to strengthen a depleted and wobbly rotation. It’s a town that can use a pitching tandem to solidify the starting rotation and take pressure off Roy Halladay, a dominant strikeout specialist who easily can reach a historic milestone and shatter the 3,000 strikeout plateau.

At the moment, the Phillies benefits at the trade deadline, acquiring the necessary and impressive prize in retooling an essential department during a tight, tense pennant race. And as we all know now, Phillies fans are thrilled and fortunate to witness the shrewd skills of Philies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr., who has a knack for stealing the biggest prizes on the market.

The brand of the Phillies is remodeling in the midsummer, a time when rumors run rampant, but it's also a time Amaro revitalizes the pitching department. His blockbuster trades have become a habit each summer. He brought in Cliff Lee a year ago but later foolishly traded the former Cy Young winner to Seattle.

And months later, the Phillies were gusty buyers after landing Roy Halladay in the Cliff Lee-to-Seattle exchange. Amaro, Jr., has proven to be the smartest executive in a draining, complex business in positioning the Phillies as the favorite for a third straight World Series appearance in October.

Land an elite thrower and he’s referred as Mr. October, nothing more than an executive erecting prosperity to enrich the Phillies’ capacity and amass postseason supremacy. In the past year, no team has had much success as the Phillies. In the past year, no team has pulled off the inconceivable moves like the Phillies.

All the busy days were a boon, when the Phillies were aggressive and intrigued an unhappy pitcher after he pleaded for a new home with postseason implications. He carefully weighed options and waived his no-trade clause Thursday to be dealt for left-handed starter J.A. Happ and two prospects, outfielder Anthony Gose and shortstop Jonathan Villar.

“I’m glad it worked out for both of us. I wanted to go to a contender, and Houston gets some good prospects in return who will hopefully allow them to build a winning team,” Oswalt said. “The hardest part about it is cleaning out my locker. I’ve been in the same place for 10 years and having to say goodbye and clean out the locker is the toughest part."

The acquisition of Oswalt gives the Phillies an additional ace arm needed for a successful chase for the pennant.

“We’re trying to do what we can to get back to the World Series and win it,” Amaro said whose usual trend as general manager is reforming a much-improved club into World Series champs.

“He’s pretty excited about coming here,” Amaro said.

In the end, apparently, the Phillies benefit in a convenient deal, collecting sizable cash and a three-time All-Star who has a 143-82 record in nearly 10 seasons with Houston, where he arrived after being selected in the 23rd round of the 1996 amateur draft.

“I’m at a point in my career where I just want a chance to get back to the World Series like I did in ’05 with Houston,” he told “I’m excited to be going to Philly. I love watching Roy Halladay pitch, and I think with him and (Cole) Hamels, the three of us can feed off each other.”

By trading for Oswalt, the Phillies, who currently trail the Atlanta Braves by 3.5 games, instantly rise into contention and can easily make an appearance at its third consecutive World Series.

If the Phillies revitalize and return to championship form with good health and consistency, they could very well be a tough out in the postseason. But right now, the Phillies are anything but cohesive and healthy. They're missing second baseman Chase Utley and outfielder Shane Victorino, two essential ingredients necessary for their postseason run.

In Halladay, Oswalt, and Hamels, the Phillies now have arguably the best 1-2-3 pitching combo in baseball. That means the expectations are higher than ever, and now they hope to reclaim sole possession of first place in the NL East. Come on, it seems logical. When a team has an intimidating pitching staff, especially when there are two strikeout experts, that team—in this case, the Phillies—should be favored. Baseball is a game built around sturdy pitching staffs and durable bullpens.

Haven’t you noticed five pitchers have thrown no-hitters this season, including the hard-throwing Halladay? Of course, he’s now relieved with the reinforcement of Hamels and Oswalt. It’s almost surprising but amazing how Amaro has built a winning franchise.

The Phillies get to experience the excitement and jubilation of postseason success almost every fall because of management's desire and hunger to make the necessary moves to stay in the pennant race. Isn’t that how it’s supposed to be, a team willing to win year after year after year?

In Philly, a franchise residing in the community is suddenly becoming buyers and taking notice of the Yankees traits in purchasing a primary slugger or pitcher at the deadline. That’s exactly how the Phillies are conducting themselves—as a high-marketed franchise with a dauntless psyche in dealing unheard-of prospects for ultimate players to win. In other words, the Phillies have grabbed brilliant ideas from the Yankees.

It’s just a thought.

It’s entirely a no-brainer that Philly is on an earnest pursuit. Still, a significant portion of players are signed to long-term deals, at least through 2011. Maybe that explains why Ryan Howard was given a contract extension, but rather surprisingly, his teammate and longtime shortstop Jimmy Rollins never was offered an extension. Oh, trust me he’ll be given an eventual extension.

By committing a silly blunder for dealing Lee, Amaro learned to appreciate the value and players’ contributions within the franchise. It’s unlikely that he’ll ever make such a clumsy mistake, one that had the Phillies fans gagging each time they’d bite into a Philly cheesesteak sandwich. But really soon, the fans will be enjoying those cheesesteaks while watching three top-tier pitchers dissect the strike zone.

Mark my words.

The Phillies can win it all this year, I wouldn’t doubt it.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Latest Reality Show: Terrell Owens Drama Airing in Cincinnati

The latest reality show called T.O. Drama hijacks the airwaves in Cincinnati. Under these circumstances, Terrell Owens is known for dividing a team, as a bonding core plunges mightily at the earliest of September and becomes the epicenter of arguably the biggest tragicomedy in sports.

It’s risky and the most perilous experiment in football, assembling together diva-like receivers with cancerous symptoms that could dismantle a franchise’s morale and chemistry. As the most despised NFL star, Owens is the most controversial receiver with an egomaniacal behavior, demanding the football and crying when he doesn't get enough touches.

It’s baffling that the Cincinnati Bengals are getting the popcorn ready, to witness the most dangerous reality show, to witness a temperamental receiver cause confrontation and isolate a franchise with his self-centered attitude. In the meantime, Owens and Chad Ochocinco’s relationship is unconditional love, of course, as neither have played their first game together, but evidently are close friends and have an amiable bond.

At some point, realizing that Terrible Owens is a curiosity in football whether he’s unemployed or emerging as the famous nuisance on reality shows, we can revisit the previous teams that corroded because of Owens’ dysfunction and development as a saboteur. It’s a marriage of controversy, a relationship expected to weaken early in the regular season as mood swings and infighting chaos loom ever so quickly.

For all the abuse San Francisco, Philadelphia, Dallas, and somewhat Buffalo took, fans in any other town than Cincinnati are laughing at the clowns of the league for gambling on a dangerous and worthless S.O.B. Once, he was allowed numerous chances to enrich his psyche and polish as the most talented wideout, gifted at running routes and physically bringing in an astonishing catch. But he’s a declining receiver with a knack to launch reality shows on VH1 and be represented as a celebrity bust, rather than a football bust.

So now, it’s simple to discern that bringing in Terrible Owens are signs of trouble, and it was the most horrific blunder by reaching an agreement with a mischief-maker. If you don’t think Owens agreeing to a one-year, $2 million contract with a potential $2 million more in incentives is crazy, well, you obviously haven’t seen him yelling at teammates, or throwing hissy fits with coaches on the sideline, or haven’t seen him generating tirades and blaming all his foolish stunts on the media.

When it comes to Terrible Owens, the arrival of an uncivilized star spells trouble. When it comes to Terrible Owens, reaching a deal is a warning sign of a hazard and the demise of one troubled superstar, engulfed by madness, drama and baggage to reduce a team’s assurance. By now, we are burnt out on Owens’ me-myself-and-I practices, irritating our consciousness and the way we perceive a petulant veteran who usually at times conduct himself as an inexperienced rookie, as if he’s still finding his way in the league.

As usual, Owens will drain the executives, coaching staff, and teammates in the Bengals organization, particularly if the team doesn’t compromise with his stingy and greedy demands. Why is he worth the hassle? By entering his 15th NFL season, he has accomplished unforeseen feats, an explosive receiver with inconceivable agility and crafty footwork, ranking third in career receiving yards and touchdowns and sixth in receptions.

The best-case scenario is that he provides veteran leadership and performs at the highest level alongside teammate Ochocinco to form a receiver tandem in limbo. But the worst-case scenario is that he tears down chemistry and spirit by initiating rampages and havoc inside the locker room because of jealousy and insecurity of his peers and teammates for accumulating more touches and regards.

“It’s really, really interesting we can be on the same team and work together,” Ochocinco said Tuesday on ESPN’s SportsCenter.

To refresh everyone’s memory, he lasted two seasons in Philadelphia and always had heated feuds with quarterback Donovan McNabb by verbally attacking his teammates and throwing tantrums on the sidelines. Remember, he cried and created a ruckus in Dallas, initiating tiring feuds that were advertised publicly when he feuded with quarterback Tony Romo, irritated because he wasn’t getting enough touches or participating in a high-powered offense.

Remember, his disturbing antics forced loyal owner Jerry Jones to release a problematic Owens, whose disruptions were very ravaging and babyish for a franchise. Remember, he spent eight seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, and exploded when he attacked Jeff Garcia and insulted his quarterback by calling him gay.

As a well-known diva, it was a risky move for the Bengals, who advanced to the playoffs last season and had enough talent and problems. It’s bad enough that owner Mike Brown is a dauntless businessman willing to take gambles and lobby for rebellious players. If anything, he’s not concerned on building a depleted franchise with unlawful players, but prefers to win a significant amount of games and advance to the playoffs, having a troubled Larry Johnson and Matt Jones, including a mobile running back Cedric Benson, who benefited on the field while running into unlawful troubles off the field.

Without carefully considering, Brown accepts a mystic Terrible Owens and welcomes the wideout to the Bengals family, based on talent and not a poor reputation. All of which quarterback Carson Palmer, who has worked with Owens and has been “highly impressed,” is the victim of T.O. attacks if Owens loses his mind and self-control.

It figures that Cincinnati is Owens' last franchise before he announces his retirement, with the aging receiver’s style suddenly declining and approaching the late stages of his disillusioned career. It’s a tremendous opportunity for Terrible Owens to mellow as the innocent sports figure and prove to all populace that he’s not such a villain of franchise suicide, garnering a sense that the world doesn't revolve around him.

He must discard all the diva acts, an annoying trend needless for a franchise on a mission, so maybe it’s his last resort for avoiding unemployment and salvaging his job security. And maybe it’s his last resort at thriving with a championship-caliber team in effort to win a title.

Then again, maybe he’ll be the crybaby that will mope over the amount of touches and receptions. Then again, maybe at the end of the season Marvin Lewis, who is responsible for babysitting Terrible Owens, will have to stroll to the nearest Babies “R” Us and stick a pacifier in Owens’ mouth for weeping and bickering.

“Yes, people can make mistakes,” said Brown. “It doesn’t mean that they go on the rest of their lives making mistakes. They can get their ship pointed in the right direction. This is a 36-year-old man. He’s been through a lot. He’s proven as a player and as a person.”

He’s a little baby and cries out loud. It’s common that he’ll excel and blend in well at the beginning, but as time carries on, he could become the attention-seeker and create havoc, especially when the team is performing poorly and losing a critical amount of games.

Oftentimes, he has blamed ESPN for defaming his troubled reputation and exposing erroneous images. Now it’s the worldwide leader in sports fault if he acts like a foolish dimwit, unwilling to accept the truth and blinded by reality. It’s Owens' actions, not a television network or Internet source that he deeply targets and holds accountable.

“The teams I’ve been on, if you ask in that locker room how I’ve been as a teammate and as a person, it’s contradictory to what’s been displayed out there,” Owens said. “I’ve never been in any trouble. I know right from wrong. I try to make the right choices and judgments when I’m out in the public.

“It’s not like I can’t play. There is some type of influence that they’re making in the minds of teams and owners and GMs. I feel like I have enough talent to be a starter on any team. That’s what’s so frustrating.”

At anytime, he could lose his mind, throw a hissy fit, and verbally attack teammates. At anytime, Owens’, Ochocinco’s and Palmer’s egos may helplessly collide. With the poor character of Terrible Owens, anything is possible. You never know.

If you are tuning in to the latest reality show, your regularly scheduled program could be cancelled, allowing Terrible Owens to return to “The T.O. Show,” or Oprah or even Dr. Phil for some advice on how to avoid dysfunction. As we all know, Ochocinco appeared on “Dancing With the Stars” and currently stars in a dating show called “Ochocinco: The Ultimate Catch." It’s easy to postulate that they are obsessed with popularity and attention, but also have mental and personal issues.

There’s a reality show in Cincinnati. It’s called the "Team of Dysfunction."

Oh, Lord…

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lane Kiffin Welcomes in Sins at USC, But Overlooks Red Flags

Here in the origin of Southern California, a prestigious university is tattered in tremendous dysfunction and tainted with all the latest sanctions and scandals at USC. But it turns out Lane Kiffin is back in the news as horrid headlines surfaced of the scrutinized coach, hated for fleeing a program after recruiting nine prospects and committing allegedly six infractions at Tennessee.

If the pedigree at USC is embracing triumph, then the coveted program must regret ever hiring Kiffin, who has committed dreadful sins and selfishly walked out on Tennessee, departing Rocky Top and traveled to Hollywood. By reputation, however, he’s the most despised citizen in football, an outlandish collegiate coach encountering such litigation as the Tennessee Titans filed a lawsuit against a misbehaved buffoon.

If he endures in flirting with coaches and asking kids to skip out on class sessions to enroll at USC, the scandals and poison will stain a corrupted program. But it’s obvious that his frequent pattern of troubles is incurable, with his arrogance and self-indulgence to run a fraudulent business and rise above the law. In this predicament, though, he’s not enabled to avoid legal actions, or escape the bad karma of leaving a program in a maelstrom.

In all likelihood, the recent sins are a red flag of utter ruination among an elite program. As he arrived to USC with an unproven track record, he was hastily justified as the finest recruiter at a premium, but the Trojans desperately brought aboard Kiffin, blinded of his uncivil departure and immoralities.

Fourteen months spent at Tennessee, he failed to enlighten and lead a program in football’s best conference, and led the Volunteers to merely a 7-6 record with several infractions. Then lastly, he bailed out when a job opportunity opened at USC. It was a joke as the players he recruited meant nothing at Tennessee.

But it’s a hiring the Trojans will regret as his alleged infractions were archetypes of doom and torment, sauntering into a school with traditionally modest standards and pure accomplishments. For instance, he forayed into the Tennessee Titans, a franchise furious of his cowardice and arrogance in stealing an employee on the eve of training camp, and wrongly hired running backs coach Kennedy Pola as his offensive coordinator.

“I am very disappointed in Lane Kiffin’s approach to this,” coach Jeff Fisher told the Tennessean Saturday. “Typically speaking, when coaches are interested in hiring or discussing potential employment from coaches on respective staffs, there is a courtesy call made from the head coach or athletic director indicating there is interest in talking to an assistant.

“So I am very disappointed in the lack of professionalism on behalf of Lane, to call me and leave me a voice mail after Kennedy had informed me he had taken the job. It is just a lack of professionalism.”

All you need to know about Kiffin is that he’s a sham who really isn’t a recruiting expertise, but instead a phony and sordid moron. He indeed plays fast and loose with the rules and violates NCAA principles, which are prohibited or unnecessary.

It’s very abnormal that a lawsuit is filed against a coach, unless its Kiffin crucified and ridiculed for a Lane Violation of breaching the law and protocol regularly. This is the beginning of a controversy and the latest dirt at USC. Pathetically, he lied directly in the faces of trustees during his introduction at Heritage Hall and also pledged that he’d never commit immoralities months ago.

Consider it a red flag, folks.

The hyperbole of iniquities is that he cannot be trusted, and the unlawful attitude won’t cease, either. He’s not aiming for prosperity, but thriving as a way to beat the system and has been very unsuccessful. A few days removed from the university ousting all the dreadful sins of poisoning and tarnishing the etiquette of a school as well as the prestige, USC returned its replica of Reggie Bush’s Heisman trophy, getting rid of the images of a former star tailback.

Just recently, low-keyed, stolid athletic director Mike Garrett was dismissed and replaced with stern Pat Haden, who emphasizes spotless and compliant reversal. But as long as Kiffin is inhuman and tries acting intelligent in bamboozling the system, USC will endure a pattern of infamy and rebelliousness.

The oblivion eventually becomes a clearer understanding as to why the good people dislike Kiffin. First of all, the Titans are suing the fool and USC for “maliciously” hiring Pola, who left the Titans for Southern California, “inducement of breach of contract.”

Secondly, in his tenure at Tennessee, he was hired as the head coach of one of the most prestigious programs in collegiate football, but blew his reputation and had two players booted off the roster for an attempted armed robbery. And thirdly, the NCAA is still investigating whether the program used recruiting hostesses.

“We’re going to have a culture of compliance. We’re going to think about it in the morning, think about it before we go to bed,” Haden said. “We’re going to have issues, but we’ll fess up and be better than the way we have been. We have to do better. We don’t have any choices here. We stub our toe, there’s going to be some problems.”

The least proudest is entering president Max Niklas and begins officially on Aug. 3. But he elaborated on the ongoing burlesque in college football.

“USC, which experiences both the opportunities and challenges involved with a high-profile athletics program at a global hub, will seek to excel in the coming years in a manner that is consistent with the highest values of the academy…The Trojan family honors and respects the USC sporting careers of those persons whose actions did not compromise their athletic program or the opportunities of future USC student-athletes.”

When he previously finished 5-15 in the NFL for the Oakland Raiders, he failed miserably but wasn’t given a chance to predicate a proven capacity, and was accused of deceiving a sullied owner Al Davis, who referred to Kiffin as a “flat-out liar.” And months later, he literally finished with an identical track record and left the Vols in favor of USC.

The athletic director of Tennessee Mike Hamilton was unhappy of his departure, and fans were setting fires and vandalizing city property in the state incensed of his abandonment. The caveat of the recent obstacles is traces of a coaching job in uncertainty and would be jeopardized for all the misconducts, if USC evaluates Kiffin’s latest impurity.

“He is my coach, and I love my coach,” Haden said. “I don’t want to say we’re not going to have any issues. We will. We’re going to have guys whispering in our guys’ ears, but we’re going to do our best. I don’t think we’re going to have a problem with compliance with Lane. I think he knows where we’re coming from.”

Not when he’s committing sins, again. He impetuously stole Pola. So, he’s not an excellent recruiter after all, but a sham. When he was first hired by USC, I actually felt he blended in well as the Trojans head coach, but now he’s a regrettable hiring, one the university needs to carefully consider dismissing.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Andre Dawson Obtains Hall Pass On a Day Worthiness Is Answered

On this heartwarming day, as the raindrops fell softly before a beautiful rainbow glowed overhead at the baseball town known as Cooperstown, maybe it was the endearing, informal speech, or maybe it was his posture when he took the podium humbled, hearing his name enshrined into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

There were times, of course, when Andre Dawson wasn’t expected of being acknowledged as a Hall of Famer, omitted by many populace devoted to the game of baseball. It’s a rhetorical understanding that he was always disregarded and had to wait nine elections anxiously for a hallowed moment, a chance to feel the intense gratification of having his name engraved at Cooperstown.

In his playing days, he was an endearing star and stood as an admired icon because of his singular exploits and humility as the finest slugger with the then-Montreal Expos during an accomplished era. In a sense, it worked in his favor, becoming merely the 203rd player in the game’s history inducted into the Hall.

“Thank you for welcoming this rookie to your team” said Dawson, who wore a Montreal uniform for 10 seasons before joining the Chicago Cubs as a free agent. “It’s an honor beyond words. I didn’t play this game with this goal in mind, but I’m living proof that if you love this game, the game will love you back. I am proof that any young person who can hear my voice right now can be standing here as I am.”

The words of inspiration alone tells us he was worthy of an incredible award. So each year, the Baseball Writer's Association ignored the purity and qualifications of Dawson, especially when it’s a game obsessed with numbers and milestones, a trait and symbolic feature recognized all over the baseball society. However, it was a different notion for the man who appeared in the All-Star Game eight times, with 438 homers, 2,774 hits, 1,591 RBIs and 314 stolen bases in a remarkable career, all while serving a 20-year tenure.

Likewise, he acknowledged that the writers have the leverage in votes.

“You don’t hear any negativity about people in the Hall of Fame,” Dawson said. “How voting goes remains to be seen. You (writers) have always been the experts.”

What man gives credit to the writers? Not many players offer appreciation to writers, but more than anything, are critical of a writer’s stance and demeanor. When he arrived as a rookie in 1977, the hippie era including a phase most wore stylish afros, he was marked as a pseudo in the game and left us suspicious whether he was evidently a juicer at threshold of the Steroid Era.

Things have begun to elicit much questioning and skepticism in the caveat of the “dark side,” warning players about the latent repercussions of the usage of performance-enhancing drugs. To this day, he does garner a sense that the game is on the brink of self-destruction and believes the infected era is slowly receding.

“There’s nothing wrong with the game of baseball,” said Dawson. “Baseball will, from time to time like anything else in life, fall victim to the mistakes that people make. It’s not pleasant and it’s not right. Individuals have chosen the wrong road, and they’re choosing that as their legacy. Those mistakes have hurt the game and taken a toll on all of us.

“Others still have a chance to choose theirs. Do not be lured to the dark side. It’s a stain on the game, a stain gradually being removed.”

He slowly sauntered to the podium and microphone, maintaining open forum and absorbed the audience's attention during his length speech, a touching moment that showed the classiness and humbleness of a deeply honored outfielder in his time. But unfortunately, Dawson’s numbers were trivial by the seductive home run surge of Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmerio, and Sammy Sosa, with the juiced era spoiling it for the innocent and spotless players.

For the first time since exiting the game, he was given an opportunity to be honored as a worthy player of the Hall and diluted an ascending legacy, a moment in his lifetime he was able to cherish as the Cubs and Expos fans roared and applauded a well-deserved athlete. On a pleasant afternoon, he was eulogized and cheered loudly by fans, accompanied by former manager Whitey Herzog, umpire Doug Harvey, broadcaster Jon Miller, and sportswriter Bill Madden, who all shared the moment and were inducted into the Hall.

In what was a touching tribute, his mellifluous public speaking went a long way, comprising of strong messages. In what was a sentimental ceremony, his eloquent words may have enlightened us. The cadence of his heartfelt, genuine speech was simply impressive, delivering a 15 to 20 minute acceptance message. With ailing knees, he stood tall and reflected on a painful career in which he endured 12 knee surgeries to mark a remarkable career.

“The initial impact was early as a result of high school football injury,” Dawson said. “The wear and tear over those 11 years, favoring that one particular knee, caused me to wear out the other knee. As it turned, I think I had eight surgeries by the time I was out of Montreal. I got to the point where I was more or less bone on bone.”

It’s never easy playing on a badly damaged knee that nearly forced Dawson to retire prematurely after his fourth season in the big leagues with the Expos before he returned to somehow write an extraordinary chapter and lasted 21 seasons in the majors. There were times, particularly following games, when he spent ample hours bathing and soaking his troubled knees, finding ways to heal career-threatening injuries.

And if there was one player who endured severe injuries, Dawson was a tough-minded outfielder with eight Gold Gloves, Most Valuable Player, and Rookie of the Year awards. Anytime a player has become one of only three players in major-league history to finish with at least 400 home runs and 300 stolen bases, he’s worthy of the Hall of Fame. Lastly, he’s in the company of Barry Bonds and Willie Mays to reach such a plateau.

As for the worthy ones elected in the Class of 2010, John Fogerty told the Hall of Famers. “You guys belong up here.”

Dawson certainly did.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Reggie Bush Void of Heisman Because of Greed: Prestige Dwindles at USC

Somewhere this week, a gifted running back is dropping his head in shame. With all the sanctions tarnishing USC a once-prestigious atmosphere for exquisite athleticism and higher education is now defaced of self-destruction and embarrassment because of arrogance and indulgence.

But with all the turmoil poisoning a regal university, casting gloom over the spacious campus, it’s elementary to believe USC priorities were glitches as the school alleged it had no awareness of the hypocrisy tainting the program.

However, the essential dismantling of collegiate sports is the manipulation of slimy agents and has emerged as the vernacular in the realm of the NCAA, sadly demolishing spirit and placing ignominy within an elite program.

It’s the ugliest fallout ever, a disgraceful and awful terminal, ousting a historic mark and a noteworthy era where the Trojans relentlessly prevailed each weekend and, as a result, won national titles and were advertised as powerhouses.

But now, the crystal ball trophies are profoundly dirty and blemished with the corruption of Reggie Bush, the star tailback whose attainments bolstered the Trojans to two national titles, while winning a bronze, stiff-armed statue for himself.

If ever there were a time to take accountability and cautionary actions, it would have been a long time ago, but the severe punishment was announced that Southern California was returning its replica of the 2005 Heisman Trophy.

The latest sanctions and annihilation, hazed under farce with four-year probation, postseason forfeits, and now the loss of one’s Heisman award, is the parody of stigma at a program that toyed with academics and the standards of education.

But it’s very mind-blowing and preposterous that the trustees aren’t accountable and somehow weren’t aware of Bush accepting $300,000, or his parents moving from an apartment to a wealthier house when sordid agents offered costless housing. All while attending USC as a "student" athlete, not a professional athlete, Bush was young and mindless.

But around the nation, of course, he’s accused as a disgraceful fraud, and he’s responsible for all the harsh sanctions. With all his achievements, nonetheless, he was unaware of what the sleazy businessmen presented and lavished to him, just as predecessor Mike Garrett had no knowledge whatsoever. The arrogance and forbearance of former athletic director stained legitimacy and a symbolic brand of traditional accomplishments.

So, as anticipated, he was booted and Pat Haden was hired to revamp a treacherous program for which rising stars are becoming fallen stars. The new president of USC Max Nikias is demanding strong character and a spotless image, ready to escape the wicked era of NCAA penalties that toppled a storied program.

The ramifications of fraud were clear, but instead Garrett was in denial and failed to take stricter measures by setting barriers for a disoriented atmosphere.

Doing so, he installed further embarrassment and inconvenience for mishandling the burlesque scandals that better defined a tainted program, battered in a national holocaust of committing infractions and making a mockery of academia.

But the successor of Garrett is handed a tougher task by playing the role of an enforcer to avoid compliance and investigations after amplifying deeply in an athletic department, suffocating under the latest sanctions and with the lack of perspicacity.

In fairness, the Heisman Trust must vacate Garrett’s trophy, too. In his tenure as the overseer of USC athletics, he allowed too much immunity and lacked knowledge. The reality of a dreadful ordeal is that he was too damn apathetic and ruined his credibility within a masterful program harmed with asterisks.

Meanwhile, Bush should be showing remorse instead of denying the truth, secretively refusing to utter the honest evidence of wrongdoing.

He’s obviously guilty of taking money and accepting improprieties, but he’s unwilling to release the truth, arrogantly endangering his wondrous legacy and respectability. It’s very unfair that the entire university is punished and liable of someone else’s wrongdoing, suffering severe penalties for a star athlete who no longer attends USC and a careless athletic director who was recently banished in a significant role.

Five years later, Bush is stripped of the Heisman for obviously taking counterfeit money and having a greedy, arrogant, self-absorbed modus. It doesn’t take long before an innocent paragon becomes the evilest enemy at an illustrious university where he represented a high-powered offense, if not only in the Pac-10, in college football, as one of the singular tailbacks in Trojans history.

Maybe it was appropriate to void his Heisman, in many ways, to avoid any nonsense of athletes bonding with manipulative agents or accepting benefits and gifts. At first, when reports surfaced of his relationship and the alleged infractions, he said that he had no involvement and the accusations were false.

He lied.

That was a common perception of Bush refusing to confess in violating the NCAA rule, which prohibits the acceptance of benefits and improprieties. He crippled his description as the best, most explosive running back in USC history, he ruined believability, and lastly, he ravaged the Trojans, who now have to live and suffer with disgrace as winning national titles are out of the equation.

Surely, he was a national attraction and was highly targeted by agents with the exceptional talent he exposed regularly on the field. The hierarchy of the top running back at USC does not exist, and he’s a forgotten Trojan even when he inflated revenue in advertisements, ticket sales, scholarship funding, and team apparel.

Between a defiant Garrett, whose reign ended so miserably and embarrassingly, and Bush’s greed and unbearable stance in a despicable situation, USC badly plunges and attenuates as a relentless program. By the time Haden arrived, it felt like he transformed the culture instantly, as no one miss the incompetence of Garnett, who left a program in bedlam and nearly on life-support until Haden’s presence revived promise.

It’s very unfortunate that Bush’s spectacular season in 2005 is forgotten. In the aftermath of sanctions and infractions, he brought it on himself.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

NCAA Waited Late to Crack Down on Hypocrisy, Conspiracy

If there is any ultimate hypocrisy denting collegiate sports, it’s because of the apathy and recklessness of the NCAA.

The same committee that allowed much to poison the prestigious image of college football wasn’t historically stern enough to investigate a repulsive, ongoing scandal.

Before the recent revelations of wannabe or legit sports agents lavishing student-athletes with a wealthier style of living, the NCAA was deceived and publicly embarrassed when dishonest college stars were duplicitous and extorted the indulgent system.

But suddenly, the NCAA is imposing severe sanctions for any wrongdoings and infractions, tarnishing the reputation of collegiate sports and grasping a sense that athletes have had relationships with corrupted agents.

The brand of the NCAA is scams and shams as numerous schools make a mockery of academia, disrespecting the tenor and significance of education.

By now, trustees and the committees are discerned of the average student-athletes’ wishes, unlike decades ago when education represented higher value, rather than lifting to unimaginable heights at the pro level.

But now that we live in the modern age of athletics and reside in a country where the average kid dreams of blossoming as the next acclaimed superstar, it’s realistic to assume kids aren’t attending school to establish a profession as a doctor, lawyer, or even a sports writer.

As of recently, the dark and gloomy times indeed reduces the aspects of purity and rectitude.

But more than anything, schools aren’t getting involved in the unscrupulous infractions that have created dreaded woes and expunged believability.

Four schools are under investigation for agent-related incidents and apparently, it is only the beginning of an ugly ordeal that maligns the integrity and ignores the magnitude of amateur refinement.

There’s a nightmare brewing in the SEC with the issue of incongruities and hypocrisy as the NCAA is conducting investigations in the Southeastern Conference, aiming to drag down the high-powered and superior conference.

If there are top prospects committing to high-caliber universities and older adults are capable of influencing the minds of college athletes, it’s very unlikely to jettison the scandals.

But the NCAA waited too late in cracking down on sleazy agents and allowed matters to turn worse. The probing of Florida, Alabama, North Carolina, and South Carolina are warning signs of infringement and the epitome of ignorance and unawareness within an association in denial.

Years ago, the NCAA never reacted to agents or addressed the countless violations destroying a school’s pride and respectability.

Years ago, the so-called business advisers approached campuses and athletes, awarding uneducated and unprofessional athletes with unlawful gifts and cash. It’s been a fraudulent industry and rarely were the Infraction Committees proactive in probing misleading agents, labeling collegiate sports as a disingenuous business.

Because agents are the sphere of college sports, as are athletic directors for permitting immunity and having no awareness in what strangers are introducing to their student-athletes, it’s disturbing to know that frauds and lies still exist in college sports, looming as the dirtiest crisis in the NCAA.

Greater than coaches recruiting over the phone, overworking players in practice, or hiring hostesses as a way to coax prospects into committing with the program, the NCAA mismanaged conspiracies and negated the poison of a tattered Tank Black—the former sports agent who donated payments to several Florida players.

But eventually he was charged with federal conspiracy and sentenced to seven years in prison. What’s staggering is that the NCAA refused to investigate Black and had access to public records of his payments.

That year, the Gators won the national title with the deepest and most talented team in the nation, but considering that Black had a meaningful relationship with Florida, ultimately the finest program in the nation wasn’t legit and had tarnished because of the misdeeds.

With all the dismal scandals, the NCAA is finally taking action and helping fortify its own cause for monitoring faulty agents, eroding an industry that profits on high-powered talent, rituals and images.

If ever there were a time to dismiss college football, it would be a good time now, with all the latest destruction at USC.

It used to be the most prestigious university before turning into the most poisonous University for violating NCAA rules, deciding to return its replica of Reggie Bush's Heisman trophy and withdraw from all the achievements of Bush and O.J. Mayo.

It took NCAA investigators three years to probe a malicious scandal at USC, accusing the star running back of unlawful deeds. Bush obtained $300,000 from two wannabe agents during his prosperous career with the Trojans, and his parents were given a $757,000 house.

As a way of punishing Bush for embarrassing the program and violating rules, he will be remembered as a forgotten Trojan.

It’s hardly fair to crack down on two players and insult a pair of prolific stars who aren’t fully accountable for the Trojans infractions.

If the administrators weren’t aware, obviously Bush or Mayo weren’t aware of the scandals becoming a trend and casting facades in college football.

Ravaged by shame, Athletic Director Mike Garrett was dismissed of overseeing the ruptured department at USC on Tuesday.

The mental state of the Trojans is anything but flawless, and punishing Garrett is a severe lesson as Southern California is essentially trying to remove the indulgence and apathy in their program. His cockiness and stubbornness impaired a well-respected program, as did Pete Carroll, who is in denial and arrogantly denies the violations as well as the sanctions.

Maybe he fled Southern California for Seattle because of the sanctions. Above all, they are on four-year probation, losing recruits and stripped of a Heisman. All of this ruins the opportunities of grabbing the top prospects in the country.

But now, the affliction resides allegedly at the Swamp and Alabama. Mostly at SEC Media day, all the talk circulated the muck agents, a nightmarish situation that threatens a program withheld of accusations.

Mike Slive, commissioner of the SEC, vented on the ongoing obstacles and requested for “national strategy” and “education not enforcement.”

If there was one irate coach harshly ripping agents, it was Alabama’s Nick Saban during the press conference on Wednesday, once Marcel Dareus of the Crimson Tide was reportedly announced ineligible after the university compliance officials investigated his involvement with agents.

It certainly doesn’t mean he’s an asterisk or a criminal, until proven guilty. And even if he’s accused of violating rules, then accuse the agent of influencing the minds of young and inexperienced athletes.

There are accusations pending against Maurkice Pouncey, but the ex-Florida star denies ever accepting $100,000 from the representation of a sordid agent at the Southeastern Conference title game and the Sugar Bowl last season.

“I did not accept $100,000, it is an absolutely ridiculous claim. I have completely cooperated with the investigation and answered any and all questions put to me,” Pouncey said in a statement released by his attorney, M. Stephen Stanfield.

Recently, he met with Urban Meyer and Athletic Director Jeremy Foley, and told them he’s innocent and never had a relationship or any connections with agents.

“He never lied to me before,” Meyer said.

Isn’t that what we all want to believe?

As much as the nation admires college football, the investigations involving agent-related inquiries are upsetting and absurd, nauseating our stomachs and disappointing our consciousness as North and South Carolina's programs were announced last week to be part of the NCAA investigation.

This isn’t a coincidence or an illusion, but an omen of corruption—something that should have been discovered and handled a long time ago.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

With Lou Piniella Calling It Quits, The Cubs Need To Clean House

On a warm sunny afternoon at Wrigley Field, one of the finest venues in America, the Cubs are still delayed of success, a wretched franchise, visibly entertaining a bellyaching crowd mainly because of the traditional seventh-inning singing and the expensive taste of beer.

It’s almost overwhelming that much activity hasn’t been seen on Waveland Avenue—oddly enough, becoming a quiet street as a depressed population hasn’t even bothered to catch a home run ball that sometimes drops into the street. These days, however, the Chicago Cubs are hopeless and pathetic and yet downcast fans invest three hours of their afternoons in watching a lousy ball club play at Wrigleyville for a sense of pleasure, unconcerned with the team's inferior track record.

In truth, the Cubs fans are burnt out from the dreadful seasons, known as a haunted curse, which offers a clearer explanation as to why the fans are tortured and belittled. This is a disgrace, especially when a town and the local media sadly scourge the famous Cubbies. This is a real shame, especially when the Cubs are deprived of championships, with a chance in recent years to end the futility.

The perception that the Cubs are cursed appears to be realistic. The worst night for Cubs fans happened when Steve Bartman, Chicago's most hated man, who sat in Aisle 4, Row 8, and Seat 113, infamously interfered with a ball. The last time we saw Bartman, he was being escorted out of the Friendly Confines by security, as his fellow Cubs fans showered him with boos.

Yes, he pathetically may have cost the Cubs a potential World Series bid. But rather than hold grudges and point fingers only at the fellow and disowned supporter who is obviously not allowed to visit Wrigleyville even when he has vanished from the public, fans believe the Cubs are culpable, just as much as Bartman.

The Cubs are mediocre and brings back memories of their three-game postseason sweep, one of the most heartbreaking collapses in sports, a tragic ending in 1969. And even in the modern age, the Cubs have underachieved from lousy postseason runs and miserable 162-game seasons.

Maybe we can blame some of the Cubs letdowns on Sammy Sosa—you know—the lying cheat who confronted the ordeal about his performance-enhancing drug use. As it turned out, he was deceptive and said he only took Flintstones vitamins, but the truth was uncovered when Sosa's name had been linked to the mysterious list of 104 players.

Maybe we can blame some of the headaches on Milton Bradley, the no-good, brainless, psychotic nutcase. Honestly, he was an enigmatic board game no one could ever figured out, spelling out the word "TROUBLE" and blaming his issues on the managerial staff, teammates and fans.

Beyond all, there are worst problems that have unhinged the Cubs, who are viewed as a joke because of dugout altercations and postgame rants. And while the Cubs believe in psychotic athletes, the organization filed bankruptcy as the Tribune Co. had difficulty selling the team to the Ricketts family.

At this time, the Cubs don't care much about their longest drought. We haven’t seen the Cubs win a pennant for decades, let alone a World Series championship, during a century when players are overpaid and underachieve.

It is really embarrassing that the Cubs are doomed in their 102nd consecutive season, blinded by their failures and misfortunes. But even scarier is the much-scrutinized Jim Hendry, a general manager who flirts with the farm system and dismantles a club with his poor decisions and bad trades, giving up valuable talent for uninspired players.

When Lou Piniella was hired for the managerial role three years ago, he walked into the Cubs' clubhouse and accomplished very little in a brief tenure, suddenly deciding to call it quits after this season.

Now that he is older and mentally drained, maybe the managerial role is too much of a burden, maybe he’s stressed out and pressured to try to change the direction for a disappointing franchise and knows he is held accountable for the Cubs failures.

As Piniella is almost in his early 70s, he announced Tuesday that he is retiring as manager at the end of the season. While the Piniella's era isn’t considered a success, he announced his retirement at the worst possible time and hasn’t met the standards, considering that he’s absolutely burnt out from it.

As the years progress, Piniella knows he’s almost 67, and that a tremendous amount of pressure on his shoulders is very stressful. The timing couldn’t be better to escape, as the mediocrity continues to tear down a once-beloved franchise.

“I couldn’t be more appreciative of the Cubs organization for providing me the opportunity to manage this ballclub,” Piniella said in a statement. “I’ve had four wonderful years here that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. I’ve grown to love the city and fans, but at my age it will be time to enter a new phase in my life. It will enable me to spend more valuable time with my family—my wife, my kids and my grandchildren. God has blessed me to have been able to work this many years in the game that I love.”

By using common sense, Piniella wasn’t planning on coming back next season. He apparently had initially planned to retire in the final year of his contract with Chicago, which expires at the end of the season.

Throughout the season, Piniella ranted during postgame press conferences and threw on-the-field tantrums with umpires, after arguing a bad call that forced the longtime skipper to explode. But as of lately, he has stopped charging onto the field and kicking dirt on the umpires. He has mellowed considerably, as he is a manager with experience and wisdom.

Despite the failures, Piniella led the Cincinnati Reds to a miraculous World Series sweep of the Oakland A's and won his only championship, so he is worthy of the Hall of Fame.

Now that he retires as a Cub, he’s departs from the game with a 0-6 drought that could smear his legacy. Because the Cubbies never have postseason success and end miserable World Series droughts, Hendry should be canned for his faulty mistakes, spending wastefully and squandering much of the team’s payroll.

Let’s reflect back on the shoddy investments that backfired in Hendry's face.

For decades, the Cubs have made cartoonish moves, a resemblance of Tom & Jerry, with all the botched maneuvers that exploded in Hendry's face. He lavished an unproven pitcher, Carlos Zambrano, with $91.5 million based on a few performances, but Zambrano has turned out to be bust.

If anything, he has divided a clubhouse by throwing hissy fits and getting involved in verbal and physical altercations with teammates. It’s also worth noting that Hendry spent unwisely when he gave a $136 million deal to an overpaid Alfonso Soriano. If Hendry is running the business, the fans will very likely experience another miserable, long-suffering season.

“Our goal is to win the World Series,” Tom Ricketts said. “Our goal is to put a team on the field that can win a World Series every year. I can’t envision an era without that and still calling it a success, no.”

And now, it is a good time to dismiss Hendry. It’s the only way the Cubs will ever put an end to a ridiculous curse that ruins all the endless possibilities of winning the pennant and World Series. Until then, Hendry will run a franchise with unnecessary baggage and drama.

The troubles aren’t only on the field, but in the front office, and the dumbest move was when Hendry signed Bradley last year. The next time we see Piniella, he may likely call it as he sees it from the broadcasting booth if he decides to accept a job offer as a commentator, while the Ricketts should clean house. It starts by firing Hendry, who has dismantled the Cubbies as teary-eyed, saddened fans painfully witness it.

Honestly, the franchise’s 100-year drought will never end, unless Hendry is run out of town.

Monday, July 19, 2010

If Michael Jordan Rips LeBron James, I'll Rip Jordan

It must be the latest backlash hearing all the crazy, shocking remarks from the legendary Michael Jordan, who directed the Chicago Bulls to six championships and orchestrated one of the most momentous dynasties of all time, recently ripping LeBron James for joining forces with two superstars on the Miami Heat.

It’s possible that James is not the royal King, but a former godlike savior of a depressed sports town, who hijacked television in a nationally televised spectacle and plotted a megalomaniacal stunt to announce that he was callously departing his hometown to form the superteam in Miami.

But perhaps he’s a villain, the meanest traitor, leaving behind an anguish town after he publicly humiliated Cleveland in “The Decision” infomercial.

It’s not easy to watch a superstar, who was utterly adored, walk out on a community after emphasizing the importance of loyalty, but it’s a business and James wants a championship.

You cannot blame a man for wanting to win, right?

The problem remains a national outrage, one week removed from the strangest frenzy in sports history when sports became one berserk reality show, bad enough to make the Kardashians and Terrell Owens gag.

Ever since he fled home, James has been scorned for leaving or either for the insane one-hour extravaganza, which disgusted critics as James' loyalty and likability dwindled hastily.

James is immensely talented and may be the best in the NBA, but still lacks the hardware and has become NBA's most hated athlete.

According to some, the two-time reigning most valuable player is worthless and even a selfish, egomaniacal demon.

Why? What has he done?

He isn’t a bad human.

If anything, he defined bravery and courageousness by taking on a risk, teaming up with two superstars and recklessly eluding Cleveland for the chance of winning multiple championships.

The peeving news is that, almost in one week, one of the uncommon and curious stories turned exhausting and publicized vexation, beginning with LeBron’s reality show, following the angry, disgruntled and teary-eyed fans burning his No. 23 jerseys in the streets of Cleveland when he announced the decision to “take his talents to South Beach.”

In the beginning, the ireful Cavs owner Dan Gilbert issued an implacable and juvenile letter, belittling James for his departure and narcissistic circus, adding tension to the inflamed publicity.

And now, the latest news is Jordan questioning LeBron’s move for joining the most dynamic trio in basketball history, triggering a further quarrel and tired debates. Jordan said in an interview with NBC Sports Sunday that in his prime he wouldn’t have joined a pair of star players of his era.

“There’s no way, in hindsight, I would’ve ever called up Larry (Bird), called up Magic (Johnson) and said, ‘Hey, look, let’s get together and play on one team,’” Jordan said after finishing the American Century Championship golf tournament in Stateline, Nev. “But that’s…things are different. I can’t say that’s a bad thing. It’s an opportunity these kids have today. In all honesty, I was trying to beat those guys.”

Any notion that James verbally announced he will play for the Miami Heat next season, could batter a powerful legacy, adoration and the likelihood of developing into the greatest player of all time.

This is what bravery and adventurous athletes decide, of course, the true athletes.

Either way, James is a true athlete for choosing to sacrifice an impeccable legacy, choosing to subjugate ego and competitive nature in order to win multiple titles.

Either way, he is a fearless superstar willing to relinquish the descriptions of being referred to as the next MJ. When he arrived from high school, James earned the comparisons of Jordan and brought his ambition to a despairing town.

By now, he clearly knows that his presence transforms the landscape in Miami, but also knows he gave up opportunities in Chicago and New York, two high-market teams in which he could have engraved all-time greatness and aimed for championships

So now, the preceding facet of Jordan intruding into the debate is pointless, especially when the world is trying to desperately put an exaggerated narrative to rest.

Yes, he’s entitled to state an opinion about something, but in reality shouldn’t dwell on a lingering, old issue. Never mind that Jordan is a six-time champion with the aid of Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Steve Kerr and Tony Kukoc.

Never mind that he had Phil Jackson, the winningest coach of all time on the sideline who schemed brilliantly and molded his players with a creative formula that guided the Bulls to victory.

Ready to embark on potentially a charming journey next season, the Heat are the most criticized and hated team because of James.

He is a gifted superstar with individual accolades, but has no championships.

After all, it’s more chatter and criticism circulating the Heat after Wade addressed that he made a wrongly comparison and used aimless analogy for Miami's losses and the collapse of the World Trade Center.

Although Wade apologized, the Heat are still catching heat with Jordan's arrogance and rashness from him criticizing James for his cleverest, venturous move in a prosperous seven-year career.

As for Jordan himself, perhaps some of us forget to take a closer glance in the mirror before judging someone else’s choices.

How fascinating it is for Jordan to forget about the other four starters on the Bulls, ridiculously offering no credit to the role players that buoyed arguably the greatest player of all time.

Was it amiss to harshly criticize LeBron?

Yes, because there was clear evidence that he wasn’t surrounded with a substantial supporting cast in Cleveland.

Did Jordan have a supporting cast? Yes.

But he wants us to believe that he attained fulfillment and governed the most intriguing dynasty in sports alone.


As of recently, the retired elders of old school basketball are disappointed in what is the Heat's unprecedented trio and the most captivating team in NBA history.

“Mike and I are in 100 percent agreement on this,” Charles Barkley told the Arizona Republic. “If you’re the two-time defending NBA MVP, you don’t leave anywhere. They come to you. That’s ridiculous. I like LeBron. He’s a great player. But I don’t think in the history of sports you can find a two-time defending MVP leaving to play with other people.”

Maybe he could be the championship MVP in the future with the Heat.

For ages, people garnered a dubious assumption that James wasn’t concerned with winning championships, but becoming the world’s greatest icon, the next billionaire celebrity and global megastar. Come now, he’s shown that he doesn't care about his effulgent legacy as he engulfed it in tremendous doubt and controversy.

More shamelessly and arrogantly, a well-respected legend sounds off frustrated, believing James is taking the easy way out and never will be the greatest of all time if he needs other stars to bolster the chances of winning titles.

So in other words, if he does win, it would be tainted. I don’t think so. But perhaps, someone does.

Out of all people, Jordan, who thrust into the NBA spotlight and became famous around the world, ripped James for making a wise decision in order to win.

In the end, he made a righteous move and must realize that in sports sometimes you hear the harsh and blatant words from former players. In this case, the shoe salesman and the man who stuck out his tongue and one of the greatest competitors in sports.

As for Barkley, he told a Miami radio station that James “will never be Jordan.”

Now, I assume he doesn’t want to follow the footsteps of Jordan.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tiger Woods Needs a Major Win To Be Greatest, Save Tarnished Legacy

It’s not easy brainwashing thousands of spectators to believe in Tiger Woods at the most storied course, a 600-year-old course, classified as the oldest 18-hole course ever in St. Andrews.

But in a timeless four-day honeymoon, greeted by the Scottish spectators sitting charmingly in the galleries, Woods trailed on the leaderboard again, struggled again, relapsed again and lost again. All you need to know about Tiger is that he wore four outfits, flaunting his expensive wardrobe in the final round.

Never before has he been on a drought so agonizing, mired in the strangest position by dropping his last seven majors, and he’s simply delivering mediocrity on the fairways, vastly deteriorating since the disgraceful sex scandal. Wasn’t he the greatest golfer ever? Yes. Wouldn’t he ever win another major?


There’s an indicator that Woods’ time is running short, suddenly staring at retirement faster than he’ll have his name engraved on the claret jug or fit for another green jacket. The warning signs are upon us when he has never dwindled late into a season without a major title, jeopardizing a precious opportunity of surpassing Jack Nicklaus' record-setting 14 major titles.

On the final day of the 139th British Open, Woods slowly unleashed signs of a fading regime and continues to diminish as the harmless, non-threatening golfer. With all the personal burdens, beyond his surgically repaired knee, Woods is disrupted by bedlam and never has been the astonishing winner we once referred to as the greatest athlete on the planet.

Fooled by his hideous transgressions and infidelity, we revered him as the spotless and modest human being, but now are stunned with the shoddy performances in every major. He is ultimately in the midst of a dreadful demise, battered for faltering in reclaiming prominence in a sport he once dominated and engraved happiness.

Rather a surprise, he dropped off the leaderboard and nearly managed a top-20 finish in the Open, on an afternoon when he collapsed and never had the momentum or aplomb. Regardless of having the privilege of playing in the Open at the friendly confines of St. Andrews, where he amazingly won the last two British Opens, Woods wilted, stumbled and suffered mortality eternally.

So much for the Americans relishing the savory of glory at the beautiful scenery, a place American golfers have accomplished much greatness. In fairness, the Americans had won six of the last eight Opens at St. Andrews, but it’s a real possibility that the U.S. could be declining if Woods is suddenly becoming a fallen star, once famous in representing not only the States, but golf in general as the bait of a minority sport.

Consider it an ending to an epic sporting story for which he’s no longer the fierce competitor or beloved athlete adored for masterful feats and enticing an unordinary event. Consider it the last of Eldrick Woods?

Exactly, he’s done…just as a jilted lover is with its prior spouse.

From the love affairs, to the alleged divorce and the ridiculous publicity scene as reporters interrogated a petulant Woods during a press conference earlier last week about his personal business, it’s rational to guess he’s feeling much tension and carefully considering leaving the game of golf without reaching a gigantic milestone.

Its amazing that Louis Oosthuizen, a rising star, is upon us, forging a newborn legacy by winning his first ever major and opening a chapter at the Old Course. Nobody expected to hear a mysterious golfer from South Africa rise atop the leaderboard, and better yet, remain balanced and poised in a gratifying win.

His nickname is “Sherk” because of the gap in his front teeth, but now, his nickname is Louis the Great One, admired for maintaining poise and a competitive nature, until the final round ended happily and brought gratification. In the meantime, Woods switched his famous Scotty Cameron putter for a Nike Method 001 and had two horrible days in the final two rounds, collapsing immensely and wasted a convincing first round.

He apparently assumed that his new putter would have better suited him at St. Andrews, where the greens are slower, or maybe even switched it as a good luck charm. Either way, that is, winning a major is incurable and impossible without hitting masterful strokes.

Either way, that is, Woods, the richest athlete who lost everything he ever possessed such as his family, richest and swagger, will never dominate at St. Andrews.

But without a major, an embattled Woods won’t ever solidify or repair a tarnished legacy unless he wins a major title. And of course, a good time was at the Old Course.

Until then, he’s not the greatest golfer, but the greatest disgrace.

Have we seen the last of Tiger? Who knows? Maybe a regime may end all so badly.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Terrible Terrell Owens Unemployed As No One Cares: It's Come To Backfire | It's Karma

Let us never, ever forget that he’s the most annoying athlete in sports, wastefully discarding his talent by becoming the famous nuisance in sports.

His name is Terrell Owens, a gifted wide receiver who has fully jeopardized a once monumental career before it plunged drastically due to his psychotic behavior.

It’s not very often that we witness a mentally disturbed athlete, especially one with much talent and marveled deeds, unless he created T.O. drama and disrupted an entire team with his frequent outbursts and silliness.

For the first time in a problematic career, he won’t have the popcorn ready, still unemployed and unwanted, as most franchises believe he’s more of a troublemaker and wannabe celebrity than a primary star on turf.

As he tends to spend ample time acting on reality TV, becoming Hollywood’s hilarious celeb bust, he’s a bust on the field as well, a worthless tragicomedy that no team wants to take a risk on signing even a multi-year deal. There were times, of course, when he was an unattractive problem child with a disturbing mood that gradually dragged down morale and divided a cohesive locker room.

Knowingly, he always thought every team he played with disowned or picked on him. Turns out he wasn’t the victim, guilty of staining a spirited franchise and elicited diversity, with all his infantile cries and presumptions that all his former teams pointed the finger at him when the team faltered and faded out of contention.

Owens had a perspective that he was never the chemistry saboteur, but the innocent receiver who convincingly tried to help his team win. He had a viewpoint that he was never the agitator, but the impeccable paragon all of us admired.

The most explosive part of an overexposed story is that he’s a risky addition and older, having the audacity to tell the nation that he’s a misunderstood athlete and despised because of his physical capabilities and talent.

In the aftermath of all his fallouts with former franchises, at least for now, all teams are leery and unsure of his morals and actions. In other words, any team is handling his availability with precautionary measures, not in a hurry to sign a cancerous star.

For raising mischief, his disruptive stance allows general mangers and owners to overlook abilities on what he can deliver as a prolific wideout. But the truth is Owens, once widely regarded as the most talented receiver at his position with incredible size and athleticism, is a renegade because of his personal feuds with teammates and coaching staff, the one rebellious buffoon no one prefers taking a gamble on.

According to several executives, he’s abandoned and ignored for poisoning a dysfunctional unit by selfishly yelling during sideline altercations. Will he ever sign, eventually? Given his history in the past, he is a cancer within any organization, but surely someone is courageous enough to take possession of a player with baggage.

For now, he doesn’t even exist in the league whatsoever, patiently waiting for a phone call from team executives. Until then, he’s foolishly adored to some degree for exposing himself as a publicity clown on television in the new season of his VH1 reality show, a full-blown spectacle that started earlier this week.

Maybe he meant to get the popcorn ready for his reality stunt. It’s appealing, in a way, that he’s suffering bad karma with all the executives rebuffing interest and carefully considering before offering a contract. This isn’t so surprising, especially when Owens has a slew of enemies and lost all trustworthiness for harassing former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb with unbearable feuds on the sidelines.

This isn’t so stunning, as usual, when he indiscreetly prompted troubles as a member of the San Francisco 49ers and called then-quarterback Jeff Garcia gay. This isn’t so overwhelming or jolting as the troubled receiver is jobless until a team is desperately depleted in the receiving corps and badly in need of an explosive wideout to solidify an impoverished department.

He certainly isn’t avoided for competence or toughness, but rejected by the league for insecurities and jealousy in many ways, including outbursts on the sidelines that he generates any time he’s not getting enough touches.

While he’s waiting for his phone to ring, at every level of every organization, each is reflecting and weighing options on whether to engage in negotiations and offer a fittingly short-term contract to a destructive, megalomaniacal jackass.

Throughout his merciless career, he has played with four teams without winning a championship but came very close to fulfilling triumph. In those days, he served as a member of the Eagles and rehabbed religiously to heal quickly from a damaging ankle injury and played in Super Bowl XXXIX for Philadelphia, a team he verbally had callous feuds with and fell short of winning a championship with.

If he vows to ripen as a matured teammate and secure the role of a veteran leader, he could be a potential suitor for the New England Patriots. Very fittingly, the Patriots can groom and influence a rebellious Owens after grabbing obliterating receivers.

It’s still easy to envision T.O. drama harming a revamping franchise and quickly irritating teammates with crybaby antics and outrageous stunts as Owens becomes discontent with not getting enough touches. That is exactly how he reacted in a powerful Dallas offense when Tony Romo failed to toss passes in his direction and instead connected with tight end Jason Witten.

That is exactly how he reacted in Philly when McNabb refused to design routes. That is exactly how he responded in San Francisco when Jeff Garcia discovered other routes and threw it in the favor of Owens’ teammates.

He somewhat learned a valuable lesson, I assume, when he signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills before last season. Pressured by the nonstop shouts and temper flares of Owens, Trent Edwards, a young and unproven quarterback, fortunately wasn’t harassed or verbally insulted.

Everywhere he has been affiliated with, Owens has dragged down unity with a disruptive and destructive psyche, one no team could stomach obviously as he sits and waits. He’s currently playing the sit-and-wait game, a hapless game as no one has interest in the one receiver who sabotages chemistry and divides a dispirited locker room on the possible verge of new heights.

So with Terrible Owens jobless, maybe he has learned an important message. Be careful what you wish for, refrain from the toughest ass attitude, and have gratitude for peers and ownership. Hopefully, Owens understand, he has no I in Terrell Owens and must share the wealth unselfishly.

Portrayed as a pompous demon or, even worse, an invincible ghost, he’s not jobless because of his declining talent, but because of his foolish and unnecessary troubles. He’s a quality player for someone, but it’s his acts that matter. He told the Associated Press that he’s a changed man and he’s not a bad guy, blaming ESPN for labeling him as a demon.

Sorry Owens, but you are a bad guy.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Vikings Ride Usual Voyage With All Uncertainty In Favre Charade

With all the draining drama of "The Decision" saga and parties happening at South Beach, LeBron James left Cleveland in tears as a jilted lover. Shortly after there was the aggravated insanity and stereotypical remarks that sounded out of the mouth of Rev. Jesse Jackson, who went over the top by lashing out about Cavs owner Dan Gilbert’s vindictive comments in a letter, that had to be dealt with and created drama.

But it’s now the mid-summer months, a time when the media circus initiates a ruckus in football as the average fanatic speculates on Brett Favre. The indefinite facet is that nobody knows whether he’s returning next season or not, leery to believe him during his summer episodes and eternal deliberations.

Every summer, his decision-making interrupts our sports society and our airwaves, as we guess whether he will retire or un-retire instead of taking a retirement plan and traveling home to the rural areas of Mississippi. The craziness of Favrecenter finally begins to adopt our consciousness in an agitating frenzy, and it normally lasts eternally.

Instead of making up his damn mind, he annoyingly makes a nuisance out of himself, affecting the decisions of other people. With that said, maybe we suffered headaches because of his epic retiring/un-retiring turbulence, largely impelling exhausting debates and vigilant explosion.

All I know is that each summer of the annual adventure involving Favre I've suffered severe headaches and needed Tylenol to alleviate pain. The caveat of avoiding possible headaches is to ignore the tiring madness, though it’s very difficult whenever the status of his future remains indefinite.

Mired in uncertainty, Favre is overly dramatic and creates publicity hype for such a narcissistic, egomaniacal and self-loving persona, wearing down all of us jaded with his unknown decision. A little more than two years ago, you probably grew weary of his wishy-washiness. The problem is you’ve never stopped adoring the game of a gunslinger, a damn near perfectionist on Sundays, with unbelievable precision and stylish footwork.

Rarely, if ever, has a future Hall of Famer hurled passes this late in terms of his long-tenure as arguably the greatest quarterback of all-time. Few still are curious to know if he’s planning on making a comeback and possibly engineering the Minnesota Vikings back to the top in the NFC North division. But hearing all the time that Favre is uncertain and won’t inform the Vikings of a potential comeback is tiring.

By all accounts, he’s more concerned with appeasing himself than pleasing Brad Childress, the one coach who willingly brought in Favre and allowed the self-centered, aging veteran to inspire a doomed organization of inconsistencies and uselessness in the mournful quarterback department.

Now is a good time for Favre to weigh options but, of course, he won’t give a timetable because his ego is larger than a crusader’s voyager, bigger than the land of 10,000 lakes, and bigger than the population in Minnesota. Most notably, though, he’s obviously resisting the disclosure of his status to return or retire in order to avoid mini camp and training camp.

That is exactly his initial plans, with an attitude that preparations and minor workouts in the offseason aren't mandatory. It’s worth bringing to your attention that explosive running back Adrian Peterson missed mandatory minicamp and traveled home instead of joining teammates. The Vikings give Favre this kind of freedom, without even cringing or raising a fuss, favoring the selfishness of an uncertain veteran demanding for a very patient franchise to wait for a public announcement.

If he decides to return for another season in the league, the Vikings will welcome in the old-timer with a savvy mindset after never compromising and unselfishly informing Childress of his plans next season. If so, it would be an immense boon for an atmosphere truly embracing and adoring Favre, selling tickets and watching television ratings grow.

All the worshippers and cynics are gushing over the diva-like quarterback this summer, wondering if he will ever return or permanently sit on his couch and ride his tractor to mow grass. Ever since he announced his so-called retirement at an emotional press conference, he hasn’t been able to distant himself from the game, even when he claimed he was mentally and physically drained.

It’s apparent he missed the game that brought fame and gratification, with his constant retiring, un-retiring, retiring, un-retiring. The pattern is common, as is our weariness with his wishy-washy psyche, while Favre is seen waffling on his state and turning the charade into a publicity dilemma.

He clearly can return for his 20th season in the NFL, but when the season ended so abruptly after suffering the disappointing loss to the Saints in the NFC Championship Game, he said it was “highly unlikely” that he’ll come back. If anything, he owes this to Childress for hiring him as the starting quarterback and having strong confidence that he can orchestrate heroics and lead the Vikings to a long-awaited title.

When no other team pleaded for Favre, Childress was amiable in giving the legendary quarterback a call, asking him whether the Vikings were precisely a suitor. It was very feasible at first that the Vikings were the potential frontrunners in landing Favre. Especially after allegedly being accused of tampering before his contract had expired in Green Bay.

Within moments, he was labeled as a traitor for joining the Vikings, the Packers divisional foes and most hated rivals. Last season, he was booed badly for such betrayal in his return to Lambeau Field, akin to what is unfolding in a jilted Cleveland.

He denies ever coming back for revenge, but only out of admiration for the game. We may never know. It’s very unlikely that he will retire and call it quits on a franchise in the position of possibly winning a Super Bowl, surrounded with marquee players and dangerous weapons.

Although he could be unhappy with the way Childress chastised him for skipping mandatory meetings, Peterson is an explosive running back and untouchable if he secures the ball and limit fumbles. Among all things, he could rely on a prolific receiving core by flinging passes to Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin, viable elements that carried the Vikings deep into the playoffs.

The common theory from most perspectives is that he ages moderately, with his grayish beard and streaks of gray hair. There’s a real good feeling that he’s returning. He may be worried about his aching bones, aging body or slower recoveries, but he's prepared to suit up and emerge from the tunnels for another season.

Being the oldest papa tossing passes in the NFL, he will likely design the playbook by dictating his own plays and calling audibles. This had an unrelenting Childress losing his mind last year. Eventually resulting in a heated confrontation between him and Favre on the sidelines, when he tried yanking his leader in the third quarter.

This is the moment when his critics have ammunition, while he has the leverage to join the team whenever he’s ready. If he doesn’t return, it won’t be for taking on another job in mowing grass or committing time to a laborious task on the farm, but it will be for his surgically repaired ankle. He said his ankle has limited his physical abilities.

With a debilitated ankle that requires a healthy recovery, which hasn’t allowed him to pivot or scramble efficiently, Favre will probably underperform. Thus he is probably carefully considering retirement. He is already the most accomplished quarterback ever, grabbing record-setting plateaus, collecting two MVP awards, and winning a lone Super Bowl title.

What else is there to accomplish? This would be the time to leave the game on top, but knowing Favre, he’ll be back.