Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Horses Over Humans?

You'll get no glue jokes from me.

I feel bad that Barbaro died and for any suffering he might have endured. I feel sorry for the veterinarians and other caretakers who lost a patient and I hope that other horses will benefit from the things they learned trying to save Barbaro. And I feel sorry for the owners who lost their pet and business investment.

However, I'm annoyed at the amount of coverage the horse has gotten and is receiving upon its death. Furthermore, I am disturbed at attempts to personify Barbaro into some sort of athlete. And not just any athlete. A warrior of pure heart. A champion with values. And that's ridiculous. Barbaro was a horse. A mere horse. I'd take a human over a horse any day in a post game press conference. What is a horse going to say? "Nayyyy, nayyyyy?" I prefer, "CROWN THEIR ASSES!" Barbaro could never give you such excellence.

I know things like Reggie Bush's taunting and Tank Johnson's playing in the Superbowl with an ankle bracelet doesn't sit well with a lot of people, but that doesn't mean that you can substitute human athletes with horses, even though they do act like animals sometimes.

Update: Although I'm not making any glue jokes, I'll admit I'm laughing at some (okay a lot of them). Barbaro's legacy expands to include "comedic muse." Maybe they can put that on his tombstone in the garden at Churchill Downs. James Brown is still unburied and they have a transition plan for a horse...

Jerry Jones, Trendy As Ever

Maybe Jerry Jones has heard the criticism that he wasn't interested in minority coaching candidates. See the Fanhouse and The Big Lead. (I've already criticized the Atlanta Falcons on the same issue. Mike Singletary played the fool for us too.)

Or maybe he just wants the hot new accessory. No not African babies, but Black head coaches! He can beat Angelina to the punch this time.

Jerry Jones is going to interview Mike Singletary for the Dallas Cowboys head coach vacancy.

Clever, Jerry. Yeah, it would be interesting if three of the top NFL franchises (Dallas, Chicago and Pittsburgh) had Black coaches, but it's ultimately about the fame grab. No one loves publicity and attention more than JJ. You could grab yourself some of this Black head coach Superbowl publicity. Who knew they could talk about two guys being Black for, what, 3 weeks straight? Especially since Dungy has been Black for 51 years now. Smith's got 48 years of Black experience under his belt now. I'm sure if Jerry had known you get this much attention for that, he would have gotten himself a Black guy years ago.

Monday, January 29, 2007

NBA Family Court Division. All rise!

The NBA is doing great as a family friendly sports entertainment product. Just great.

Jason Kidd is graciously backpedaling from labeling his wife as extremely cruel, jealous and paranoid in a revised divorce filing.

Latrell Sprewell was slapped with a $200 million palimony suit by the mother of his four children. She alleges physical abuse and I'll go out on a limb and say that Latrell's violent history will undermine his credibility to deny that.

Allen Iverson is potentially facing divorce.

Michael Jordan's mistress has a blog.

Quentin Richardson's ex, Brandy, is potentially facing time in the pokey for misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter.

Kelvin Cato is seeking custody of his 6 year old son after finding him living in a urine soaked apartment with 30 cats.

The NBA's golden couple, Tony and Eva, can only do so much.

What is David Stern going to do about this? Another image problem for him to solve... Dave's dictating work is never done. Instead of inserting morals' clauses, Stern should start recruiting a lothario for his league to distract from all the domestic ugliness. Take some time from dictating to pimp a little bit. It'll be fun! The NBA needs its version of Tom Brady or Derek Jeter. Even someone with the romantic prowess of Sexy Rexy Grossman would be better than this.

Fashion Roundup - Noticing Those Who Dress to be Seen

Sadly, the NFL season is winding down. Admit it. You are going to miss Michael Irvin's crazy suits. Consequently, the fashion round up will appear as frequently as possible, but probably more sporadically. But where there is fashion, I will find it.

What is Bruce Pearl? Like, muscular fat? I realize he's making an effort. (I see the guns, BP!) But was the headband really necessary?

Still, I think the body paint look is better than any sort of outfit involving an orange sportcoat.

I've disagreed with Daryl Johnston's effort to the bring the tie clip back, but he keeps trying... It works better with this look. When you're going to do something bold, everything else has to be basic. By pairing his avant garde tie clip with an conservative look (for him), I can accept the tie clip thing a little bit better.

Pam has worn this scarf before. But I understand... It reminds you of your secret lover, Joe Buck...

(And kudos for rocking the straight hair in the weather.)

Serena has never dressed for her body type, but I appreciate the use of accessories. I like the earrings, the diamond around the neck and, of course, the trophy.

She wore the same outfit the whole tourney (Boooooooo!), but she looks busted out a cute outfit for the winner's photo op.

Go, Gilbert! It's ya birthday! Although, he was clearly saving this outfit for a special occasion, it's a little bit much for my taste. It might have been dope without the scarf. The scarf is just over the top. However, I appreciate the use of the black card as an accessory.

Does Rachel Nichols taunt you or is it just me? She's always flaunting her red-brown hair. I feel like she should be on the cover of a romance novel.

And Scott Pollard's hair taunts me too - just not in a good way.

Jeremy Shockey sacrifices the ultimate accessory - a helmet - to make a play.

Dwight Freeney models the classic huge sloped shoulders with herringbone chain look.

Howie Long continues with his "I'm trying, but I'm not trying too hard" look with a dash of "I'm hella cold". Nice lines on the coat, but the sleeves are a little long.

Joe Buck rocks the turtleneck! And he gives us the scarf and scarf-less look for variety.

Troy Smith has on some sort of weird shoe t-shirt thing at the Senior Bowl.

Lebron nurses his severe big toe injury in velvet. I'm not a fan of blue-black combinations, but whatever...

I never thought a mohawk could make anyone, much less Ron Artest, look more babyfaced.

And, finally, welcome to the USA, Becks! Run a fashion clinic for these fools.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Reward for Being a Company Man?

Today, Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Dhani Jones was on the Dan Patrick radio show. When asked who the best quarterback in the NFL is, Jones replied, "Peyton Manning." Ummm... I thought Terrell Owens taught us that the correct answer to that question for any Philadelphia Eagle is always "Donovan McNabb."

I guess Donovan has good reason to be worried about his future in Philadelphia.

Donovan is not the classy, upstanding, high road taking guy the media makes him out to be. He's not the antithesis of that, but I never perceived him to be any less whiny or hypersensitive than Terrell Owens. Doing nothing is doing something. How could there be a divided Eagles locker room if EVERYONE loved Donovan? It's been clear that everybody in the Eagles locker room does not have a man crush on McNabb. Allegedly, Jeremiah Trotter and Jon Runyan have come out stating their preference for retaining Jeff Garcia over Donovan McNabb.

It feels like I was the only one who noticed that the Eagles seemed to play a lot harder for Jeff Garcia than they were playing for McNabb this season. Before McNabb's injury, the team had mostly eeked out victories. With Garcia, they were suddenly dominating opponents.

McNabb is the starting quarterback next season as long as he is healthy, Coach Reid says. But we already know the nature of McNabb's injury indicates that McNabb will most likely not be healthy until mid-season. Now McNabb is paranoid, thinking the Eagles trainer is sabotaging his rehab. It's not that deep, D. The organization would coldly dump you without playing those kind of games.

The Eagles have a history of coldly casting off players. They don't overpay and they don't reward loyalty. The organization gleefully tanked a season just to spite Terrell Owens, without regard for wins, championships or the fan base. I'm surprised Donovan thought he was favored somehow.

McNabb is rightfully concerned about being out of sight, out of mind. I was definitely concerned when Andy Reid cancelled McNabb's scheduled presser. Now McNabb has been silenced, with Coach Reid bending over backwards to spend his time telling the world how happy McNabb is. Apparently, Donovan can't speak for himself. I don't know... He looks like a grown ass man to me.

So Donovan has transitioned from being the golden boy to being in the midst of a quarterback controversy with Jeff Garcia? Oh, how the mighty have fallen. McNabb is suddenly "injury prone", getting older every day and not scheduled to come back from his injury until after the start of next season. Suddenly, he's expendable and Donovan is the subject of open trade rumors to such glamorous destinations such as Tampa Bay and Oakland.

In my eyes, the piece de resistance of McNabb's "classiness" was his "Black on Black crime" interview that McNabb gave during last year's Superbowl. Not only was comparing his and Owens' relationship to Black on Black crime the stupidest shit I've ever heard, but I thought it was ultra classy of him to distract from the Superbowl by making himself the top story on SportsCenter. The Eagles may have tried to sell you on T.O. as the devil incarnate, but he's gotten to plot his own destiny. Will Donovan choose to the same path or will he continue being a company man?

I predict Donovan will give an encore performance during Superbowl media week.

Hot Chick of the Moment

Even though Tyra Banks is on the cover of People Magazine this week, I figured she could use all the support she can get. She's in the mag this week talking about her fluctuating weight. These are the pics that got everyone's attention.

She's admitting to being about 160 now, but I think she's fudging the numbers a little bit (just like Kirstie Alley). There were definitely times when I thought Tyra was pushing 200. But she's tall, so it's all good. She's not so much fat as she is grown and I'd rather her have a few extra pounds than to have her go all Nicole Richie on us. I've always had a soft spot for Tyra. Another fantastic Black woman who can barely get a Black man to claim her. Fuck you, Chris Webber. Sigh...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Conspiracy to Protect Ron Mexico

First, they told us it would take months to test Michael Vick's secret compartment Aquafina bottle for drug residue. Then, seemingly within hours, it was announced that the bottle had been tested and nothing was found to implicate Vick of anything illegal.

Now, the Atlanta Journal Constitution has requested a copy of the security tape and the Miami police department say the tape has been destroyed. Furthermore, the TSA has a copy of the tape, but they won't release it because of national security concerns.

We love Vick in the A, but I had no idea protecting Mexico was a matter of national security. (Maybe they confused Vick with the country.) What is on that tape? Is Michael Vick some sort of Jack Bauer secret agent? Did he need that special bottle to do his spy work? Was he in Miami with somebody else's baby mama? Who is orchestrating this cover-up? The Falcons? The NFL? Katharine Harris? Gertrude Joseph? I need to know.

Hopefully, the airport tape will turn up on YouTube, but, for now, this will have to do.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Honor in Truth

I can't lie. I'm am an unflappable Terrell Owens apologist, but I am constantly shocked at his inability to edit his conversation. I often feel he should play nice, win friends, influence people. It would make things easier for him. But would it make him a better person?

Terrell didn't suppress the urge to tell the truth when he was asked about Bill Parcells' retirement as Dallas Cowboys coach. Owens said Parcells' coaching style "hurt us."

I am just hoping his retirement brings promise to what the team has to offer. This past year was a big letdown. Hopefully, the owner will hire a coach to take the team to the next level.

I still think he is a great guy, but he is like my grandmother. You love the person, but they are stuck in their old school ways.

I was underutilized in the offense. A new coach can be good for the Cowboys. It's not just me. But my teammates know I could have done more. I wasn't used as a No. 1 receiver. You don't know who is doing what. You don't know who is calling plays. That is why our offense was up and down. You saw that at the end of the year. It filtered off. We as a team felt the frustration. I felt the frustration. But Bill is Bill.

And Owens is absolutely right. Parcells was barely .500 as the Cowboys coach. The Tuna is a Hall of Fame coach and he's earned a pass. And he deserves a pass. But the record doesn't lie. And I thought the last year was deplorable. I thought Parcells deserved more criticism for underutilizing his entire offense. He started Drew Bledsoe for too long (Lovie Smith was able to make the same situation work, but I guess Parcells is no Lovie Smith.) The 'Boys had the best receiving corps in the league, 2 good running backs and a capable quarterback. They did not meet their potential. The whole team was inconsistent. Previous stars like Roy Williams regressed. The coaching was far from top notch.

But can Terrell ever just say the "right" thing? The thing that won't draw negative attention to himself? The thing that won't subject the fans to endless T.O. SportsCenter bashing? The thing that will help ensure he receives the $3 million roster bonus that the team will have to decide that they want to pay him in June?

I know Terrell says certain things to get attention, but I don't believe the things he says are disingenuous. I've never heard him tell anything but the truth (or at least his version). Generally speaking, people who tell the truth are worthy of respect and trust. And while you may not always be able to tolerate that person, you can't forget the honor therein. And I try to remember that concerning Terrell Owens. It ain't always easy.

They'll Print Anything, I Suppose

There's a rumor on foxsports.com that the Oakland Raiders are interested in trading Randy Moss, Jerry Porter and a 1st round draft pick for the Atlanta Falcons' Michael Vick and their 1st round draft pick.

This rumor is stupid. The trade makes no sense at all.

It's not financially possible. The Falcons would take a huge cap hit for trading Vick. Around $20 million. Then we would be stuck with about 26 wide receivers. The wide receivers we have lack trade value so they too would have to be cut, also at a severe cap hit (our WR's are overpaid 1st rounders). Then we would be stuck with the burden of signing a #1 draft pick, which currently cost about $25 million to sign. Right now, the Falcons are about $10 million under the cap. Like I said, the financial ramifications of the alleged trade make the whole idea ridiculous.

The Falcons don't want Randy Moss or Jerry Porter. Sure, we need receivers who can catch, but the Falcons pride themselves on being a "character" franchise. They won't take two headcases. Even if the organization changed its mind about the importance of character, Randy Moss has become injury prone and nonchalant about playing hard. And I can't see him getting "up" to catch the ball from Matt Schaub. (But if Moss comes to the Falcons to catch from Vick, that's another story. I'll accept Moss as a Falcon, begrudgingly.)

The Falcons don't want to be stuck with Matt Schaub. Let me clear something up that has been skirted over in the media. Matt Schaub is a decent quarterback, but it's not like Peyton Manning is riding the bench. I have been particularly perturbed this whole season about Schaub's alleged trade value. Schaub has been available for a couple of seasons now. Do you really think that if the Falcons could get a 1st round pick for Schaub, they wouldn't have taken that deal by now? I do feel like there is a little bit of media conspiracy against Michael Vick when they hype up Matt Schaub. Schaub might be a Brad Johnson/Drew Bledsoe level quarterback. He's good enough, but he's not the savior for any team.

Michael Vick is too valuable to the Falcons franchise. It's way easier to sell season tickets, luxury boxes and jerseys with Vick as the QB than Matt Schaub. Arthur Blank eventually wants a new stadium and he has to keep the fan base excited.

Black and silver #7 jerseys would fly off the racks, but it's not going to happen.

Monday, January 22, 2007

I Hate Peyton Manning

I'm a bad person. Harboring hate for another human being makes me a bad person.

I don't even know Peyton Manning. The worst thing he's ever done to me is parade around in jean shorts.

However, even after his triumphant victory yesterday, I have no more respect for Manning. Instead, I'm rationalizing by thinking that the Colts didn't beat the best Patriots team. There's nobody on that roster. And I'm delighting at the possibility that Peyton could go to the Superbowl and lose to possibly the worst quarterback ever, Rex Grossman. That would be deliciously ironic. That would be hilarious. There would be no dignity in the "best" quarterback losing to that bum in the big game. And that's the outcome I'm rooting for.

Like I said, my hate for Peyton is irrational. It's not really him. He's a good player. I'm not blind. It's all the analysts who tithe to him season after season. He is the Great White Hope. Even last week, after he stunk it up in two playoff games, his followers still believed he would win. Their faith was dumbfounding to me.

The truth is I'm jealous. I have no Great Black Hope. Maybe if I had my own Great Black Hope to cherish, I would be more secure in myself and not have to be so angry at the Great White Hope.

I don't know about my prognosis though. I don't really put people up on pedestals. But I've got to do something about my hate for Peyton. It can't be good for me.

Coming soon: An introspective examination of my hate for Kobe Bryant.

BTW, It's Two Black Coaches Meeting in the Superbowl

Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith are the first Black head coaches meeting in the Super Bowl. Not African-American.

In case you didn't know, generally speaking, Black people do not refer to themselves as African-American. Jesse Jackson just kind of popularized the word and everybody ran with it. I was watching Shannon Sharpe on NFL Today yesterday and he "corrected" himself, saying "Black, uh, African-American head coaches." Silly man.

"African-American" is a silly phrase for many reasons, but it is not offensive. Neither is "Black." However, White people seem to prefer saying "African-American" and so some Black people adopt the term when they are around White people. If you want to say all those syllables, knock yourself out. I'm staying Black.

And I Thought Steve McNair Set Black Quarterbacks Back 10 Years

Last week, I was cringing at Steve McNair's awful play against the Colts.

But now, Ron Mexico has made his triumphant return.

By now, you've heard all about Michael Vick Aquafina-gate. Apparently, Vick is going to be exonerated from doing anything illegal. (Nice work on the speedy coverup, Falcons organization! You and I both know that's where he keeps his weed stash.)

Vick's stupidity and immaturity may still hurt the team. The League could still put him in the substance abuse program (if he isn't already, ;>)) just on suspicious association with illegal drugs. Regardless, the incident has been an unwelcome distraction.

And now I'll have to listen to even more criticism of Michael Vick, his leadership ability, aptitude for reading defenses. Just because he has no common sense doesn't mean he can't play quarterback. There's really no correlation. Joe Namath, Rex Grossman, Sean Salisbury...

Atlanta fans are mostly mad that he got caught. They consider him an affront to all the people with two and three jobs that manage to maintain a weed habit with dignity. It is no surprise to anyone living here that Vick smokes weed. Vick lives the lifestyle of many 20 somethings in this town.

Vick used poor judgment, but I really don't care. All I care is that he does his job. And I certainly hope the Falcons are learning the lessons of trying to be a "character team". None of these guys are who we think they are. Vick doesn't even make the cut into the illustrious group of NFL bad guys like Shawne Merriman, Albert Haynesworth, Jamal Lewis, Ray Lewis, Tank Johnson, The Cincinnati Bengals, etc., etc. And I hope the organization remembers the lesson when they think about not signing talented players to the team because of perceived "character" issues.

If Mike thought the critics were loud before about how overrated he is, wait until next year. And he brought it on himself.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Random Gossip

Will Joumana Kidd reveal in her divorce filing how she and Jason Kidd got herpes?

Yao Ming denies dating Nia Long. Dumbass. At least, Antonio Romo can be relieved that there's an athlete out there with less game than him. You don't deny dating a beautiful woman. I thought Yao had assimilated into American culture. Apparently, he hasn't learned about street cred. He would be getting mad respect in the paint if the brothers knew he was hittin' their Love Jones/Friday/Boyz in the Hood crush.

Rapper The Game is going to kick David Beckham's ass, presumably when the studio gangsta runs into Becks and Posh at The Ivy.

Barry Bonds is still dating Arsenio Hall. Barry, Arsenio and Eddie Murphy were spotted hanging out at the Golden Globes after parties.

Derek Jeter was no where to be found at the Golden Globes. That gave his lady friend Jessica Biel an opportunity to get to know Justin Timberlake. Cameron Diaz wasn't pleased.

Superbowl commercial spoiler. Kevin Federline will be playing a burger boy in his Nationwide Insurance commercial.

What T.O. Should've Done

I knew this would become a series...

Right after having surgery on his hand last week, Terrell Owens confessed to Dan Le Batard that he wished that it would have been him instead of Antonio Romo losing the ball and costing the Cowboys a playoff win. Owens said that not only did he just feel really bad for Romo, Terrell expressed that he would've been better able to play martyr and shoulder the scorn that comes from botching such a critical play. Why did bad things happen to good people, he wondered. Well, I thought that was a nice thing for Terrell to say, so I reward Terrell with more free advice. Yay for Terrell!

Last week, Terrell Owens finally fired his publicist, Kim Etheredge. I'm glad he finally realized that he could do better. Etheredge made her first mistake when she called 911. Unless Owens was not breathing, bleeding or unconscious, Etheredge, acting as his representative with his business interests in mind, should have tried to get Terrell care in a much more discreet manner. She should've tried to transport him to a hospital herself. She could have gotten a neighbor or a doorman to help her. She could've even waited a few minutes for a friend or teammate to come over. But calling 911 should have been her last resort. As we all know, 911 calls are public record. And once things go public, you lose control of the situation. And as his publicist, Etheredge's job is control his image. By calling 911, she lost control and made an unforgivable mistake.

And, of all things, Kim managed to link Terrell to a suicide attempt. Suicide ranks just under amputation as the ailment most likely to take money out of Terrell's pocket. You can't put that genie back in the bottle. Teams, fans, etc. are always going to wonder whether he did it and whether he's mentally and emotionally strong and stable (okay, everybody already wonders that). And then to top it all off, Etheredge couldn't even manage to make the media feel sorry for Terrell this season. If you can't leverage a suicide attempt into some compassionate media coverage, I just don't know what you're doing.

Reportedly, Etheredge and Owens disagreed over Terrell's participation in interviews with Michael Irvin on ESPN and Deion Sanders on NFL Network. Ironically, Etheredge didn't realize that the loyalty Owens was showing by granting interviews to his homeboys, Irvin and Sanders, was the same loyalty he was showing to Etherednge by keeping her on the job.

So when Owens selects his next publicist, he should try to find someone who is committed to and skilled at balancing his image. Note that I didn't say change his image. I don't think he should change. However, Terrell should become more adept at showing more sides of himself in public. Being show-me, brash and controversial is only going to get you so far. He's got to plan for his next career. And by controlling his image, he will consequently control the options he has available to him after football. The children's book was a good first step. I think he should also try to repair his relationship with certain members of the media. Only having Michael Irvin and Deion Sanders defending you won't persuade many viewers to jump on the Team Owens bandwagon. Owens should make nice with the smarter, fairer ESPN personalities and writers like Dan Patrick, John Clayton and Michael Wilbon. That way we wouldn't have to listen to "Terrell Owens is an asshole" stories all day long. Only half the day. That would be welcome progress.

And Owens shouldn't worry about all those "will T.O. come back to Dallas" stories ESPN is forcing every program to openly ponder. Owens has a nice sized ($3 million) roster bonus owing to him, but other than that, his future in Dallas is all good. I have proof:

The owner loves him (drama and productivity).

Antonio Romo needs his favorite receiver to help him continue to develop as a quarterback.

And the Dallas fans love him too. And when Terrell gets control of his image with the help of some competent professionals, maybe the rest of football can show him a little love too.

Good 'Ol Boy Network

New Atlanta Falcons head coach Bobby Petrino has completed the selection of his coaching staff. Boy, he has undertaken one of the most innovative and open-minded hiring processes that I have ever seen. Just hire all of your buddies! I can't believe no one else has thought of this cutting edge hiring technique.

Friends of Bobby include:

Mike Zimmer - Defensive Coordinator; worked with Petrino at Weber State. (Used to run the less than spectacular Dallas defense which couldn't do much against any team, much less the Falcons' chief division rival, the Saints. The brilliance of this hire is so obvious.)

Hue Jackson - Offensive Coordinator; worked with Petrino at Arizona State.

Paul Petrino - Wide Receivers Coach; Bobby's brother and from Louisville staff.

Tom McMahon - Assistant Special Teams Coach; from Petrino's Louisville staff.

Mike Summer - Offensive Line Coach; from Petrino's Louisville staff.

Petrino retained 3 assistant coaches from the old Falcons staff, Quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave, running backs coach Ollie Wilson and secondary coach Emmitt Thomas. Petrino is probably just biding time until he can find some of his play cousins to fill those slots next year.

I can understand the appeal of hiring people you are familiar with, but that doesn't mean you've hired the best person for the job. We now have 3 people on our staff who have never coached in the NFL at any level. The coaches with NFL experience don't exactly come from the most winningest programs in the league. I'm underwhelmed.

I am most excited about the addition of Hue Jackson. I don't know about his transition from wide receivers coach to offensive coordinator, but I'm happy that our wide receiving corps of Drop, Drop & Drop LLP will finally be getting some attention and instruction. And... I think that's all I'm excited about. Yeah, that's about it. We'll see how it goes...

Monday, January 15, 2007

It's Cheaper to Keep Her

As I am an attorney by trade, whenever people ask me for a divorce attorney referral, I quickly tell them, "STAY TOGETHER!" Most people can not fathom the economic consequences of divorce and don't have the spiritual perspective to accept the responsibility of the choices they made. In many cases, it is monetarily less expensive to carve out the lifestyle you require to co-exist with a despised spouse (e.g., separate bedrooms, separate homes, more vacations, secret lover, etc.) than it is to withstand a divorce.

Case in point, Michael Strahan. I have no love for Michael Strahan. In fact, he comes off as kind of a jerk. But I have to say, he got hosed. I feel bad for all citizens that don't have proper legal representation. And, boy, did Mike have a sorry lawyer. Apparently the terms of his pre-nup allowed his wife 50% of the marital assets PLUS 20% of his yearly salary for every year that they had been married. At the end of the day, Jean Strahan is walking away with over $15 million, more than half of Strahan's net worth. Why the fuck anyone would agree to this in a non-community property state is beyond me. Either Strahan's lawyer was terrible or Strahan is a sucker for love (and all the cousin emotions - bitterness, jealousy, rage, etc.). Either way, Strahan should have had a lawyer to protect him. Sure, Strahan can appeal, but that's just going to cost him more money. And, given that police had to be called to the Strahan home over the weekend, Michael better watch out for mounting criminal lawyer bills.

I have no problem with a spouse being "taken care of", however Mrs. Strahan ended up with way too much. A good lawyer would have forced a settlement. The judgment essentially means that Strahan will have to make a lump sum payment to Jean. A settlement would have allowed a payment plan. To quote Kanye West, don't be surprised to see Strahan "leaving the Superbowl in a Hyundai."

Michael Strahan's counsel seemingly ignored several strategies to protect him. Even if Michael Strahan fully contemplated the large payout, it should have been drafted with a larger time threshold. A large payout is more justifiable when you've been married 20 years versus five or so. Another strategy would have been for Strahan, realizing he had a bad pre-nup, to pay Jean Strahan during the marriage to induce her to sign a more reasonable agreement. A couple of million dollars then would have saved him the strain of the payout he faces now. Also, Strahan could have asked Jean to restructure the division in the pre-nup so that it was more asset based than cash based. Again, that would have saved Strahan some pain today. However, his legal counsel apparently didn't consider these things. Simply put, Strahan's lawyer was trash.

And what remains to be seen is whether Jason Kidd will fall in the same trap as Strahan. Again, I have no love for Kidd. In fact, he comes off as a jerk. However, the public wrangling will not save him and may, in fact, backfire. My advice would be to settle and settle quickly. There's no benefit to embarrassing himself and Joumana just to save coin. And, as Strahan's case illuminates, Kidd probably won't save a dime. In the meantime, the Kidds will be front page fodder for the Post and the Daily News. Will it be worth it?

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Week in Junk

The past few days have seen an inordinate amount of news about junk.

Pittsburgh Steeler kicker, Jeff Reed's junk

Sean Salisbury's junk

(Sean hasn't hit me on the chirp with the photo yet. Close your eyes and use your imagination. Mmmm, delicious..)

Rex Grossman's junk

Or maybe the other guy's junk... Don't forget to check out the homoerotic comedy stylings of Kissing Suzy Kolber on Sexy Rexy.

Kobe Bryant's junk

And at the end of the week in junk, I have to say Kobe Bryant is the loser in the D.I.A.B. power poll. He got bucky naked and didn't generate much attention. Not much buzz at all... And Kobe is actually handsome! His goatee is way better than Sean Salisbury's. Jack Bauer may be feeling good about himself because his new "24" jersey is the biggest seller in NBA stores and he is lately racking up more assists than points, but Kobe couldn't buy attention right now. It's a sad, sad day when you can't get attention for teasing us with your junk.

Although I suspect Gilbert "Quality Shots" Arenas would display his junk if asked, he doesn't have to. He's the new "it" boy of the NBA. And, thank God. I was wondering if I was the only one who saw him go mano a mano with Lebron in last season's playoffs. But, no, the Community that David Stern Hates has embraced him. He is the Man. Kobe is not. And he shall never be again, even if he gives the world his dick in a box with a purple and gold bow on it.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Playing the Pregnancy Card

I was getting my nails done the other day and one of lovely nail techs happened to be pregnant. Very pregnant. Yet she continues to come to work every day, grooming feet and breathing in acetone, acrylic and other nail related fumes. I was pretty impressed that the nail tech still came in and did her job to the best of her physical ability as long as she could.

So why do women in sports like Lisa Leslie (taking a year off) and Lindsay Davenport (who is missing a season and may be retiring) get to take off so much time when they have children?

Now if you're rich or otherwise have it like that and can afford to take off work for extended periods of time, great. However, as someone who is in favor of gender integration in sports where it is at all possible, I don't think it sets a positive precedent for women trying to follow in these ladies' footsteps when they let pregnancy interfere with the commitment they made to sports.

First, let me state the obvious. A woman is going to be physically unable to compete in a sport for a portion of the pregnancy. And a woman should never unreasonably place her baby in harm's way. Having a baby is a great physical effort and a woman has to be allowed to nurture the baby pre-natally and physically recover and recondition after the birth.

That said, if a male athlete can play hurt, female athletes can at least play pregnant (and they should have the right to do so for their respective organizations, but that's another article).

Although I wouldn't necessarily take it this far, University of Louisville basketball player Connie Neal played until she was 8 months pregnant. Diving for balls, lifting weights, the whole nine. She did this, in part, because she was afraid of losing her scholarship. But she dropped that kid and six weeks later was back in uniform for team. But, at a minimum, a woman could be 3 or 4 months pregnant and not even know, so unless the woman is playing a violent contact sport, a female athlete could spend that trimester playing.

Men don't take off for births. A basketball player might get a game off. I don't think a football player would have a prayer for getting excused from a game for the birth of a child. Of course, I assume fathers want to bond with their babies. But given the career they've chosen, they can't.

And the women in sports should be held to the same standard. Even athlete wives often take one for the team, regularly inducing labor and/or choosing to have scheduled C-sections to accommodate a father's schedule. A female basketball player like Lisa Leslie should make a reasonable effort to avoid disrupting her team. Leslie could have planned her pregnancy around the short WNBA season. There is plenty of technology available to help women do that and, if necessary, the players, union should facilitate access to fertility therapies.

Female athletes can stay conditioned during pregnancy. Absent medical excuse, pregnant women can exercise. Certainly not 100%, but if an athlete stayed at, say, 60%, she would have a quicker recovery time back to professional-level conditioning. And a female athlete owes that commitment that to her sport.

Women could also deal with pregnancy by adjusting their roles on the team. Using Leslie as an example again, she could choose play more in the open court than in the post. Sure, it's a disadvantage to the team, but it's better to have Leslie in any capacity than not at all.

Women, including female athletes, should have a right to choose the circumstances under which she wants to have a baby. But it's tantamount to a slap in the face to the women who get kicked out of the hospital barely 24 hours after having birth and use their breast pumps during 15-minute breaks from their full time jobs to pretend you need to sacrifice a whole year to have a baby. However, I hope certain female athletes aren't treating pregnancy like some kind of extended snow day to duck the commitment they made to sport. No, it's not an easy thing to expect. However, the male athletes make certain sacrifices when it comes to family and female athletes should expect to do the same. After all, fair is fair.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Yao Ming Likes the Brown Sugar?

The most reputable newsite in the world has published a report that Nia Long and Yao Ming are dating and "sparks are flying."

Supposedly, Yao Ming became infatuated with Nia from watching reruns of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" and he's been stalking her pursuing her for a date ever since he arrived in the US.

Some things to know about Nia. She's about 5 foot nothing, so just the visual of them as a couple is hilarious. Nia was married to an investment banker type that she recently split from. Since said split, Nia was out with another man when her husband approached them in the streets. Accounts say her husband got his ass kicked. To this day, the smart money is on the ass kicker being one New Orleans Saints player Reggie Bush. That being said, Yao better be ready to deal with the stresses of walking the streets with a vixen like Nia.

And since Yao is a big fan of Fresh Prince, I have to ask, has he seen Tatyana Ali?

T.O. Needs a New Publicist

Clearly, I'm stating the obvious.

However, Owens actually does need a new publicist because he finally fired Kim Etheredge. I can't believe he employed her for so long. Her hijinks at the suicide presser were unforgivable. Terrell does enough to make himself look bad. He doesn't need an employee, especially his publicist, on the assist.

Apparently, Etheredge and Owens disagreed about Owens' ESPN and NFLN interviews (she didn't want him to do them.) And whether she was right or not, she didn't control the interviews (which is her job) or otherwise develop an effective PR strategy for Owens. So, good riddens.

Are the Falcons Being Set Up For the Hustle?

So a smooth talking guy, 40 something year old walks into the owner's office and wows him with presentation, ideas, concepts, theorized innovations and plans (no actual track record) and Arthur Blank signs him right up to coach the Falcons. Sound familiar? It's deja vu for Falcons fans. Not only was this the scene with Jim Mora, the same thing just happened with the hiring of Bobby Petrino.

They say you have to know where you've been to know where you're going. It's unfortunate that the Falcons organization doesn't have much of a sense of history. I'm still unsure why the Falcons chose to take the risk of hiring a college coach. And hiring a college coach is, in fact, risky. Their track record doesn't lie. Not only do college coaches' skill set usually not translate well to the NFL, college coaches lack one of the great motivators that NFL coaches have - shame.

There is no consequence for a college coach failing in the NFL. When a NFL lifer gets let go from a head coach job, what happens? For a while, unemployement. If you're lucky, you get an analyst job during your unplanned sabbatical. If you're determined to get another head coaching job, you usually wait years for your prior transgressions to be forgotten about. If you want to work sooner, you go to a more lowly team than the one you were fired from. And the truly humbled, even those who have winning records, playoff appearances, etc. meekly reappear on the sidelines as someone's coordinator or assistant head coach. And they pray they don't get fired from those jobs.

And what happens to a college coach when they fail in the NFL? Let's review. (Don't forget that they usually get paid premium salaries when they come into the league, so they're usually already well ahead of the eight ball.)

Pete Carroll fails in the NFL. Oh, well. He'll just go collect his millions and be lord of Los Angeles. His QB hooks up with Paris Hilton and Will Ferrell is one of the many celebrity guests that get to come to practice.

Steve Spurrier fails in the NFL. Oh, well. He'll just go collect his millions and be king of South Carolina.

Nick Saban fails in the NFL. Oh, well. He'll just go collect his millions and be Jesus Christ-elect of the state of Alabama.

See, the colleges coaches have wised up to the game. Try your hand at the NFL for kicks, for pride, for ego. If it works out? Great. If it doesn't? "Settle" for millions and a better coaching job than the one I left. There's no shame in that. Let's hope the Falcons aren't the latest in a long line of victims.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Darrent Williams' Death is More Than Just a Senseless Tragedy

Darrent Williams, former Denver Broncos cornerback, was laid to rest this weekend.

I guess this is my last chance to speak my peace about the circumstances surrounding his death.

I became suspicious early.

Darrent died during the holidays, a slow time for important news stories. And very few news organizations can resist the urge of playing crime blotter. Consequently, his death ended up being top news in many venues. But let me be frank with you. Before last week, I had never heard of Mr. Williams. Please be certain that I'm not trying to diminish the value of his life by disclosing that. But I am more fanatical about the the NFL than most. However, I live in NFC country and I don't otherwise follow the Broncos. As a result, I'm not going to pretend that I can name players on the Broncos except for a few bold face names like Champ Bailey or Jake Plummer. And I doubt that I'm the only one.

I say that to say, except for the timing, Williams' death really shouldn't have gotten that much coverage, especially with the playoffs and coaching changes to obsess about in the NFL. He was far from a household name. However, the coverage continued through the holiday up until now. And there's a reason why.

You may have been fooled into thinking ESPN and the like were just covering a senseless tragedy, but really it was just another thinly disguised opportunity to infer, imply and outright portray Black athletes as cornrow wearing thugs and criminals, living a reckless lifestyle and/or too caught up in the glamorized violence of hip-hop culture. Take your pick.

Examine the headlines.

A neutral headline would read as follows: Darrent Williams, 1982-2007.

A "loaded" headline would read more like: Darrent Williams, Murdered in Drive By.

See the difference? Unfortunately, many headlines were of the latter persuasion. It was like the writers couldn't wait to use the word "drive by" as often as possible. Like they got to dust off one of the great oldies but goodies.

And what about this picture that many media outlets chose to run?

An interesting photo, yes. However, if the angle is senseless tragedy, this is not the type of picture you would put in an obituary. It shows a total lack of respect. If you had any respect for the subject in the first place.

The media has been showing you one thing and telling you another.

It's not so much about the tragedy as it is another convenient opportunity to remind you of the undesirable and dangerous lifestyle that these athletes choose. Senseless tragedy on the surface, but it happened to just another thug athlete... ESPN narrates what a nice guy Darrent was while simultaneously showing you a crime scene complete with yellow tape on Sportscenter and publishing a list of guys who have been shot in the NFL as a sidebar to the article about Williams' death on its website.

See, they're showing you one thing and telling you another.

I'm not fooled because they do this all the time. It's just like when they devote consecutive days of coverage to Stephen Jackson (another non-household name) because he fired a gun at a strip club. Of course, the crime scene and the yellow tape were on blast. ESPN is on the scene, embedding a reporter, buying footage from the local stations... They're going all out to bring you an "important" story. Like when Terrell Owen's teammate, Terence Newman, exonerates him from being a bad teammate. Yeah, ESPN plays the statement, but only along with a montage of all of Owen's drops and unhappy outbursts from the season. Said montage is not directly related to the news story, but serves to undermine Owens. And undermining Jackson, Owens, Williams and people of their ilk is the ultimate agenda.

See, they're showing you one thing and telling you another.

And other interesting off the field stories happened during that slow news week. What about Ross Verba getting arrested for writing bad checks because he's basically a degenerate gambler? Rex Grossman quitting on the field because he was distracted by the prospect of his pending New Year's festivities? And isn't quitting on the field the greatest sin in sports? Instead, Darrent got the honor of being the posterboy for what some people think is the greatest sin in sports - all the so-called "thugs" infiltrating pure and dignified athletic competition.

And, as usual, the media dwells on the "thug" angle while ignoring other interesting stories. And there are so many interesting stories within the Darrent Williams story. Give the fans an opportunity to get to know Williams, even posthumously, with no mixed messages. What about the stress on the organization to have a player die so tragically? What about Javon Walker having his teammate die in his arms? That's unfathomably heart-wrenching. If you're going to do the CSI/crime angle, why not actually investigate what happened? After all, there were hundreds, if not thousands of people in the nightclub where the incident allegedly originated from.

And, in the end, Williams had a lovely funeral. His whole team gathered except for Javon, still too grief-stricken to attend. John Lynch gave touching comments. His coffin was draped with his jersey, an ending that should touch the heart of any sports fan.

But we won't get that information and those images because bias drives the media. I'm just making you aware.

Et Tu, Blank?

So, I guess Dan Reeves isn't coming back.

The Atlanta Falcons have hired Bobby Petrino, formerly of the University of Louisville, to be the new head coach.

Petrino was hired a mere six days after Jim Mora was fired. To me, the speed of this hire says that Arthur Blank and/or Rich McKay knew who they wanted all along, especially given that the financial details of the contract were hammered out so quickly.

And hiring who you wanted all along was one of the issues that the NFL mandated minority interviewing requirement was supposed to address. Consequently, I would like to express my disappointment that the Falcons organization brazenly trivialized the minority interviewing requirements in the way they went about hiring Petrino.

I thought it was just odd when McKay and Blank fired up the ol' private jet and went to Chicago to interview both Ron Rivera (Hispanic) and Mike Singletary (Black) in quick succession last weekend. In hindsight, they were just quickly taking care of two NFL mandated problems. I thought Singletary was an especially odd head coach interview, considering that he was only a linebackers coach. But in hindsight - if I was the cynical type - I could guess that the Falcons deliberately chose two minority candidates who seemed legitimate but would not draw much ire when they were passed over. Maybe that's why Norm Chow wasn't even interviewed.

And I'm not pining for a minority head coach for the Falcons. I want the best head coach available for the team. However if you mock the minority interviewing requirements, then I don't know how seriously you take personnel selection. Any organization committed to the human resources process would have no problem with the requirements. In fact, they would embrace them. After all, it just gives you the opportunity to cast the broadest net. So, by skirting the minority interviewing requirement, it shows a general lack of commitment to personnel selection. And, most definitely, Rich McKay's overall personnel selection has been questionable so far in Atlanta.

What was the rush? Even with the Miami job opening up, the Falcons job was probably still the best job available (the Pittsburgh job is likely going to be an inside hire). The Falcons had the leverage. Where was the effort? Wayne Huizenga allegedly flew to Costa Rica to get face time with Pete Carroll. That's serious recruiting. Alabama set the example for displaying incredible patience and getting their #1 pick, Nick Saban. That's serious recruiting. So the Falcons couldn't wait one more weekend to go fishing with Jimmy Johnson? See if Tony Dungy wanted a change of scenery after the Colts got bounced out of the playoffs? Make one good pitch to Bill Cowher? Wait and see if Bill Parcells became available? I definitely think the Falcons could have waited a little while longer to get a slam dunk choice. Frankly, the hot new college coach du juor are a dime a dozen.

Obviously, there is a reason why the Falcons hired Petrino. He is known for running an aggressive and creative offense. And we need that in Atlanta. But there are some questions with this hire. Frankly, I'm underwhelmed.

1. He is yet another college coach trying to successfully transition to the NFL. The odds are against him. And he doesn't even come from a big time program (sorry, Louisville fans).

2. The Falcons overpaid. They are paying Petrino $24 million over 5 years. That's a lot of change for an unproven college coach. Indeed, there aren't too many coaches at any level that you can't get for that price.

3. Petrino has ONE year of experience in the NFL, as an offensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He went 6-10 with Mark Brunell as QB.

4. He has 12 jobs in 24 years, despite Blank claiming that he wanted a coach that would stay here for 10 or 15 years.

5. He's got a little Saban in him. He famously boarded a booster funded private place to interview for the Auburn job a couple years back when the job wasn't even open.

Mostly, I'm bitter we ended up with a college coach. To me, that is not the hire of an organization that claims it is serious about winning now. Any guy making that kind of transition needs a little bit of time for the learning curve. But I don't know if Falcons fans have that time to spare. Michael Vick isn't getting any younger. But as a Falcons fan, I'll give Coach Petrino the benefit of the doubt. But the rope is short.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Fashion Round Up - The Michael Irvin Intervention

How could you do this to me, Mike?

I stood by you through thick and thin this season... The Antonio Romo race-baiting, the wide knot ties... And then you betray me.

I had an end of the season slideshow planned. A frickin slideshow!

I should have seen it coming.

It started with this suit.

The look was off. Garish tie. Bad fabric. The pieces weren't really matching.

Then he followed up with the checkerboard horror.

I mean, this is God awful. There is no excuse for this. Even imagining that Irvin had on a fabulous pair of red gators to pull the outfit together wouldn't salvaged this. Where to start? The fabric... Flea market velvet. The pattern... Bad in any fabric. The coordination... It would be an insult to the term "matching" to use it anywhere near this outfit. What happened Mike? Did you lose a bet? Are you trying to scare Jackson off the set? (If that's your goal, then you have my full support)

But it gets worse...

I don't even know what this monstrosity is made of. Velvet? Feathers? Horse hair? (Somebody check Barbaro's stall, stat!) You're dead to me, Michael Irvin.

Coach Ditka accused Mike of wearing roadkill. Mike thinks it's funny. I don't. It's going to take some tremendous outfits for the balance of the season to get back in my good graces, Irvin. If you want that slideshow, you better get back right.

I think Mike's ugly suits made Shannon Sharpe cry.

Then hide his head in shame lest he be associated with the fashion of other pass catching analysts.

Let's move on, please.


There was holiday fashion.

Surprisingly, Dan Le Batard doesn't look much goofier than he normally does.

T.O. was a sad Santa after the Cowboys loss. For the record, I don't like the hoop earring Owens is sporting these days. If you insist on wearing earrings, manly man, wear studs.

Like your homeboy, DeAngela DeAngelo Hall.

I see Hall wore his good suit for his snitching interview about Spit-gate.

Thanks for nothing, Nutri System. You gave Sean Salisbury the confidence to grow a goatee. He thinks he's sexy now just because he lost a few pounds. He's not.

I like JaMarcus Russell's lightweight bomber jacket/uni alternate look. Way to look like you're not trying too hard while picking up your Sugar Bowl MVP.

Anquan Boldin celebrated his Pro Bowl nod with a lei.

Bill Cowher contemplates retirement in a sweater vest.

Oregon football takes unis to the next level. I'm still undecided on these edgy uniforms. The helmet glows in the dark though. That's cool.

Between Mike Irvin and Jeff Garcia, velvet might be ruined for me. Garcia's clothes are actually great but he is an ugly dude. Not fugly, but ugly. U-G-L-Y, you ain't got no alibi. You ugly, yep, yep, you ugly.

Suzy Kolber had rain hair.

Merril Hoge is feeling good about his fashion again. Me too.

This is kind of summery, but JB looks good in the light stripes.

Think Howie is too much of a man to care about his fashion? Nope. This is a fancy suit. Look at those lapels. The high point and spread set this look apart. It's the kind of detail that distinguishes a $500 suit and a $3000 suit. I see you, Howie.

Daryl Johnston is flagged for improper use of a tie clip. I understand his idea to take a traditional accessory and make it new again, but it's just not working for me. And neither is Curt Menefee's Rock impression.

I actually like this jacket with the shawl collar on Jerry Jones. It's quite stylish on his own. However, on an old man, it just looks an old man sweater. Ironic.

And here's Jerry's favorite wide receiver, Terrell Owens, doing his "stunna shades" look. Not really feeling it, 81. It's just not pulled together.

And finally, a moment of silence for all the animals that gave their lives to clothe the backs of athletes.

The cows that gave their lives for Deion's leather coat.

The sheep that were shorn for Chad Pennington's jacket.

And the beavers, minks and/or chinchillas that gave their live for Jeremiah Trotter's fur jacket with hood. Rest in peace.