Tagged with "Roger Goodell"
Dignity After Football
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL NFLPA Brent Boyd Mike Ditka Joe DeLamielleure Bruce Laird Roger Goodell DeMaurice Smith Gene Upshaw Wayne Hawkins Jerry Shirk Dave Pear

Some of you may may know my feelings about the NFLPA, an organization as greedy, underhanded, sleazy, and willingly blind like the NFL itself.

An organization presided for year by former player Gene Upshaw, who screwed over his brethren at every opportunity. Even his own teammates that helped him win championships and other personal glories.

When Upshaw died, few tears were shed by former players.

Now the NFLPA is being run by an ambulance chaser who point blank told a former Redskin, a team he supposedly is a fan of because he grew up in the District of Columbia, that things would be "business as usual."

This means thousands of people who dedicated their lives to the game are basically brushed aside and forgotten. The same people who made professional football a billion dollar empire that has so much power, it had their blackout rule pass through Congress, the House of Representatives, and White House in one day.

You don't even see declarations of war get done that quickly.

Yet there are brave people who have tried to let the public know the sordid side of the NFL, even knowing that the machine would be there to try to block them at every turn.

Men like the Joe DeLamielleure and Mike Ditka are Hall of Famers who have long been vocal about the lack of support their brethren get medically, financially, and spiritually.

Bruce Laird, Jack Kemp, Tom Addison, Ricky Harris, and many more, have also tried to get the NFLPA to at least give respect to those who made the game what it is today.

While there is a lock out, the NFL is giving lip service about player safety for the first time since the league was born in 1920. The countless amount of players who left the game permanently damages and forgotten by the NFL would take more than just a calculator to recall.

When I was calling ex-players to garner support for Chris Hanburger's induction into Canton last year, I was astonished to find many players suffering for Lou Gehrig's Disease.

It seemed the amount of gridiron legends stricken with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) was far more prevalent with NFL players than any other sport or other lines of work.

As we learn more about head injuries with the advances of science, we start to understand better the hell men like Mike Webster, Jim Tyrer, Andre Waters, and others went through just before their deaths.

I also encountered many ex-players with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease in my Hanburger quest. While some players were unable to converse, some lit up at the mention of the game they love and held lucid discussions recalling the time they sweat and bled for the NFL.

This is why the work DeLamielleure, Laird, Ditka, and others are so very important and MUST be supported by anyone who claims to be a fan of football.

But I want to tell you about the work of Brent Boyd.

Boyd is a former offensive lineman with the Minnesota Vikings for seven years. He has testified before the House Judiciary subcommittee on how this former starter is a single father who found himself homeless because he suffers from brain injuries brought on by several concussions.

He still suffers today from depression, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue from his post-concussion disorder. But it has not stopped Boyd in his fight to get the NFL and NFLPA to take care of their own.

He runs Dignity After Football, an organization that tells the stories of players like him still hurting after retiring.

DeLamielleure, Kenny Easley, Wayne Hawkins, Dave Pear, Ed White, Jeff Nixon, Delvin Williams, and Jerry Shirk are just a few ex-players supporting this mission and offer their own stories on this site.

The work Boyd is doing is needed. The NFL pockets every penny possible, which is tax-free. The NFLPA is their puppets who have never shown interest in former players. Boyd terms it "Upshaw Thugocracy," and this mode is still running today.

"The bottom line is I don't work for them. They don't hire me and they can't fire me. They can complain about me all day long. They can have their opinion. But the active players have the vote." — Gene Upshaw to the Charlotte Observer, 2006

This infamous quote by Upshaw is exactly the mission DeMaurice Smith continues. Smith never played the game and he recently pulled a stunt by decertifying the NFLPA because of the lockout, yet he has shown the Upshaw message remains.

The message of a puppet working for team owners who seemingly treat players like product instead of human beings. Product used to fill their pockets by any means necessary, even if it costs lives.

Please visit Boyd's site and sign his petition. Even if you have no interest in a player once he leaves the game, much like the NFL and NFLPA, then do it because you are a fan of the game.

A game that has cost humanity much more than mortality can acknowledge.


If you want a taste of how the NFLPA works against even their own employees, then read a letter on the Dignity After Football website from someone who spent years working for Upshaw.

I am a former employee of the NFLPA (1983-1988 and 1999-2003). I worked in the Special Events/Licensing (1 yr), Research(4 yrs), Legal Departments (4 yrs) and the Financial Advisers Program (detail 6 action. I would not accept intimidation and pursued my rights. 10 years of administrative and legal maneuvers followed. I was reinstated to my job in 1997 - NFLPA refused and in 1999 I returned via court order. I worked on the 7th floor but could only get access up to the 6th floor because the NFLPA refused to give me an elevator key and office keys.

Thus, I was required to walk up the public stairwell without a choice for approx. 20 months. (morning, noon and afternoons) I received an e-mail that the reason for no keys was because of my Title VII litigation and union activity.

I was fired in 2003 after my mother died suddenly and unexpectedly. NFLPA mgt. actually expected me to call or come to work on the day of the funeral.

You will be astonished to hear the details of my plight. They sued my 1st arbitrator and boycott the hearing.

NFLPA mgt. refused to honor the decision and retaliated against me through work conditions, monetary considerations, etc. (judge, jury, prosecutor) The 2nd arbitrator was the former executive secretary and past chairman of the NLRB. The NFLPA has the largest settlement against the NFL in the history of the NLRB. NFLPA mgt. and its representatives distorted the truth during arbitration, to EEOC and the US District Court. NFLPA mgt. denied receiving documents that I had confirmation receipts, denied receiving phone calls that I have phone records ofs.)

I have been involved in 20 years of litigation with the NFLPA regarding Title VII violations and Union activity. In 1988 I was reduced in force and told that I would be fired if I filed grievances or took it, distorted the context of conversations - that I have documentation for, disparaged the reputations of the arbitrator, medical professional, sued and taxed the finances of the union that represented the staff and burdened the attorneys that represented me. Thereby stressing my relationships with my own representatives.

Effectuated unfavorable decisions against me through unfathomable misrepresentations. I was entitled to Family Medical Leave but received no assistance during my family crises. I was fired for excessive and unexcused absences when my job should have been protected like the professional organizations that extended that consideration to my 3 siblings.

It's no wonder that I didn't have permission to deal with my loss and overwhelming grief. I didn't have the NFLPA's permission to return to work in 1999.

In Feb. 2002, until satisfaction thereof, the NFLPA had to pay over $400,000 in Title VII fees to my attorney (not me). My firing in April 2003, and the subsequent fiascos - grievance meetings, arbitration, EEOC and Federal Court - were done in retaliation and were discriminatory.

The actions that I have experienced are unethical and unprofessional at best and at worst - well look at how you all and Congress are being treated. Deja vu.

Litigation is pending - the judge allowed discovery, subpoenas were issued, deposition was held, status - waiting for trial date. The union (Local 2) is not responding.

I am not surprised by their exodus - after all - how could this union have allowed me to walk up a public stairwell for 20 months?

Regretfully submitted, I hope to have a favorable resolve to the moral indignation that I have experienced from this "professional and caring" organization. NFLPA mgt. has spent money in order to destroy my life. It is vindictive and unacceptable.

I returned to work at the NFLPA with the expectations of professionalism. NFLPA mgt. purposely created a hostile environment. My career in sports and union affiliations have been derailed.

I have a Master degree in Urban Planning, Paralegal certificate and years of experience in many areas. I am a wife and mother of two children (11 and 15).

Your support is welcome.

Deep Thoughts
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NCAA tournament committee Fishing naked NFL...Roger Goodell



Well, it's Wednesday again and time again for a few deep thoughts. I have really enjoyed writing each Wednesday, but today it seems that all the "good" stuff has already been covered. The NCAA tournament has been discussed at length as has the pending NFL strike. Baseball is just around the corner, but as we are in the middle of spring training; there is really nothing new to discuss in MLB. I will do my best to scratch around a few interesting thoughts...






How do you get a position on the NCAA tournament committee? Generally, I think that the committee does a pretty good job of getting the right teams into the tournament. This year, it is apparent to most that they missed badly. Anyone see the UAB game vs Clemson tonight? Clemson opened the game on a tear and led 25 to 7 out of the gate. I think that Harvard or Colorado would have given a much better showing. It has not been a good week for Ohio State...which of course is where the tournament chairman hails from. Jay Bilas has been very vocal regarding his dissatisfaction with the make up of the tournament committee. He would like to see a few folks on the committee that actually played basketball. Okay...sounds reasonable to me. On PTI this week, Bilas made this statement as well as suggesting that the tournament committee did not know that a basketball was round...well okay then. Bilas was obviously upset; does he have a valid point? Kornheiser countered that to have a bunch of former players or coaches on the committee that you run the risk of "cronyism". Bilas replied, "and how would that be any different than now?" Good point...

John Feinstein also had a few thoughts on this issue. Here is a bit of his article:

And while only one member of this year’s tournament selection committee has actually coached Division I basketball — Stan Morrison, who last did so in 1998 — the process isn’t necessarily the issue either.

The problem is accountability — specifically, the committee’s utter lack of it. Without it, we have no way of knowing whether the process was fair or not.

Something is rotten in Indianapolis.

Through the years, the tournament selection committee, especially whomever is chairman, has mastered the art of the non-answer. Ask a committee member whether the sun will set in the West today, and you will be told that a very careful study will be done on that question and the committee will do a great job coming up with the answer and that the sun is extremely well-coached but it may or may not have enough votes to set in the West.

This year’s committee chairman, Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith, who probably should have resigned that position last week to tend to his day job in Columbus, wouldn’t answer the simplest and most obvious questions Sunday night. 

Why didn’t Virginia Tech make the field? Smith’s answer, once you filtered out all the babble about “quantifiable criteria” and how well-coached the Hokies are, was this: The Hokies didn’t get enough votes.

No kidding, Mr. Chairman.

When Smith was asked whether the ACC tournament championship game between Duke and North Carolina had decided who got the final No. 1 seed, he went off on a body-of-work tangent and claimed one game didn’t decide the last No. 1 seed.

Does he seriously think anyone believes that? Is he saying that if North Carolina had beaten Duke for the second time in the past eight days and had lost one game in two months, Duke still would have been the last No. 1 seed? If so, then the committee is doing an even worse job than people think.

The committee’s hypocrisy is in trying to keep all its decision-making processes secret while at the same time claiming “transparency".

Smith says Virginia Tech didn’t get in because it didn’t get enough votes. Fine. Who voted for the Hokies? Who voted against them? If members of Congress have to vote publicly on tax increases or whether or not to go to war, why in the world shouldn’t tournament selection committee members have to explain why they voted for or against teams? All the voting is done by computer now; every single vote should be made public.

Committee members have absolutely no problem with accepting the many perks that come with their roles, but they don’t seem to own the responsibility. No one forces anyone to be on the committee. If you want to be a member, you should have to explain what you did and why.

Here’s another question that should be answered: Who was responsible for scouting the ACC this season? Before the season, each committee member is assigned three conferences (presumably someone takes four because there are 31 altogether). The NCAA supplies each member with satellite TV and any game tapes necessary to keep track of the leagues throughout the season.

So, who was the ACC’s scout this season? Did he vote for or against Virginia Tech? What did he say about Virginia Tech in the room? Who was the scout for Conference USA? What did he say that got UAB into the field? Is the scout for the Big Ten being given a “man-of-the-year” award by Comissioner Jim Delany for somehow getting seven teams into the field?  


Funny how we have a Big Ten guy as chairman and 7 teams from the Big Ten make it to the tournament...but we wouldn't want to have any "basketball" folks in the committee because they might be guilty of cronyism? It looks like Smith took pretty good care of his buddies in the Big Ten this year. No offense to the Big Ten fans, this was a down year for Big Ten basketball. Feinstein makes a very good point about transparency. In the age we live in, transparency is held up as being of vital importance. Why is there no transparency with the selection committee?

As much as I have lobbied for a playoff in college football, this very issue is one aspect of a playoff that I have not been able to come up with a viable solution. How do you determine the teams in the playoff? Perhaps the selection committee is just  a flaw that we have to live with? I would much rather have a tournament determine the champion than have a system like the BCS. Oh and by the way Mr. Smith...why is Texas a 4 seed and Florida a 2 seed?? Freaking hilarious logic...or pretzel logic?









As you all know, I love to fish. I am always looking for a reason to talk fishing. I think that I have found a fishing trip that has Beezer's name on it...okay MadMan, you can come too:








I think all of us have had a frustrating situation with insurance at one time in our life or another. We have hammered the NBA players quite a bit (with good reason) recently, so I thought it was important to note that not everyone is a douche in the NBA.


Former Los Angeles Clippers coach Kim Hughes is used to helping players, but it was players who stepped up for him in his time of need.

In September 2004, while he was a Clippers assistant, Hughes was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He was premed at Wisconsin, so he had an idea what he was up against. His doctor told him that he could wait a few months for surgery, but the team was preparing for training camp and he didn't want to miss a chunk of the season recuperating. So Hughes went for a second opinion and found a doctor who would do the surgery a week later.

"But he wasn't covered under my insurance plan," Hughes told ESPNLosAngeles.com. "We had a certain group of doctors we could go to. So if I elected to use him, it'd be out of my pocket.

"[The Clippers] didn't talk to me directly about it. They told, I believe my agent, that the reason they couldn't pay for the surgery is if they paid for mine, if anybody else had a problem -- head coach, secretary, assistant coach -- if they paid for mine, the onus would be on them for everybody else.

"I said, 'That's fine. I choose to try and save my life, and if I have to pay for it myself, I will.'"

Then coach Mike Dunleavy, who had recommended the new doctor, mentioned Hughes' plight to some players.

Several players on that team -- including Corey Maggette, Chris Kaman, Elton Brand and Marko Jaric -- offered to help.

"Kim was one of our coaches and he's a really good friend of mine, too," Maggette said, according to the Journal Times of Racine, Wis. "He was in a situation where the Clippers' medical coverage wouldn't cover his surgery. I thought it was a great opportunity to help someone in need, to do something that Christ would do.

"It shows your humanity, that you care for other people and not just yourself. Kim was in a life-and-death situation."

Hughes' desire to get the surgery over with quickly proved to be a smart move. The cancer had progressed and was threatening other parts of his body.

"Normally it's a very slow-growing cancer," Hughes told ESPNLosAngeles.com, adding that his father and twin brother also had prostate cancer. "It's one of the slowest, but mine was caused by genetic factors and it was a very aggressive and fast-spreading cancer."

Hughes had his entire prostate removed and didn't miss training camp, thanks to the players.

"Those guys saved my life," Hughes said, according to the Journal Times. "They paid the whole medical bill. It was like $70,000 or more. It wasn't cheap.

"It showed you what classy people they are. They didn't want me talking about it; they didn't want the recognition because they simply felt it was the right thing to do."

Maggette, who now plays for the Bucks, said that Hughes thanks him every time they see each other.

"I've said to him, 'Kim, come on. You don't have to do that. You're good,'" Maggette said, according to the newspaper. "It just shows you what kind of person he is, to keep thanking me all the time for that. Like I said, it was just my time to serve another human being.

"I think if anyone on my team is in that kind of situation, I would try to help him out if I could. That's just the person I am. I was raised that way."

Hughes, who took over for Dunleavy last season but was not brought back by the Clippers, said that the players showed that you can't judge an NBA player by the flashy exterior.

"Corey is perceived by some people as not being a good person because he seems to be aloof and arrogant," Hughes said, according to the newspaper. "But they don't know him. He's a good man; he's a great man.

"You can have all the money, all the success, all that stuff, all those so-called important things in life, but in the end, you're judged by what you did for your fellow man. Corey will always be an important part of my life. What he and those other guys did for me put things in perspective."

The Clippers did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Hughes' situation. 


Cool stuff...








Here is another story that is not so "cool". I have read much about the NFL labor situation. Some blame the players and others blame the owners. This is a take that I have not heard, but after reading, it was on the mark for me. Have a read:


It was December, and the clock was still ticking. Yes, remember when there was still a labor clock? There was hope Laborgeddon "I think it's critically important to avoid" a work stoppage, Goodell said in remarks to the media after his talk with fans. "We need to have a system that works for everybody, but I think everybody would agree that what's most important is football, and that we should work very hard to avoid that."

When Goodell took over for Paul Tagliabue as commissioner in September of 2006, his sole job in many ways was to avoid the disastrous circumstances the league faces today. Obviously, he failed.

It's not a coincidence the NFL is experiencing its first work stoppage in nearly a quarter of a century during the Reign of Goodell.

Goodell is a good man with solid intentions. But his reputation for heavy-handedness with the players over the past few years -- the excessive punishments, the harsh suspensions -- led to a level of distrust that carried into negotiations, several players say.

The distrust in Goodell has been building for years -- not weeks -- and the failed talks were a symptom. As Goodell suspended players for entire seasons, union player reps watched. As Goodell sometimes displayed an attitude that he was a king and they were serfs, players watched. As Goodell and the owners asked for a cool $1 billion refund without giving a detailed explanation why a league swimming in an orgy of cash was suddenly broke, they watched some more. When Carolina owner Jerry Richardson was condescending in meetings with the players they ... watched.

After the bungled attempt to use television money as a lockout fund became public, anger and distrust, building for some time in the player ranks, mixed into a highly volatile brew, several players said in interviews with CBSSports.com over the past week. The distance between Goodell and some players may in fact now be impossible to close.

There was one example of that anger after mediation collapsed. In a news conference, league lawyer Jeff Pash stated a litany of things owners were said to have offered the players. One person close to the players association responded bluntly: "Pash lies and Goodell isn't doing shit about it." A player added: "Pash is standing there saying things he knows aren't true, and Roger is right there, not stopping it." 


How much blame should be placed on the commissioner's shoulders? What is the job of commissioner? What could Goodell have done if anything to avert this stalemate? If we are indeed headed for a year without NFL football, Goodell's legacy will certainly wear the stain of this train wreck...It does appear that the entire story has not been portrayed entirely accurately.



That's all I have for today, but I will leave you a bit of Jack Handey to chew on for the rest of your week:



"I wish I had a dollar for every time I spent a dollar, because then, yahoo!, I'd have all my money back."  


"I think one way police departments could make some money would be to hold a yard sale of murder weapons. Many people, for example, could probably use a cheap ice pick."  




Thanks for stopping by and feel free to add any thoughts...




NFL Lout : Why Roger Goodell Is Bad As Hell For The NFL
Category: FEATURED
Tags: AFL AAFC UFL NFL Roger Goodell NFLPA Bert Bell Pete Rozelle Ben Roethlisberger Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl XLV Notre Dame Uiniversity

The muckerism known as the Roger Goodell Era began in the National Football League when he barely won the job as commissioner by two votes in 2006. Though he tried to push this image of being a strict disciplinarian since then, but he has mostly shown to be a watered down version of his mentor and predecessor Paul Tagliabue.

Goodell began working with the NFL as an intern thanks to the fact his dad was a Senator in the same state that NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle lived in. When Tagliabue replaced a retired Rozelle in 1989, Goodell was taken under the wing of a former college basketball player who knew very little about the game of football.

His role increased as the rules began to heavily favor the offenses and the quarterback position especially. Goodell has even taken this many steps further to sickening proportions since 2006 to the point even touching a quarterback results in a penalty and fine.

The 2011 season has been his worse, yet it may be a blessing for the NFL. It is quite evident Goodell is the wrong man for the job more than ever and replacing him would benefit the league. The league has made mistakes here before, so admitting they made the wrong hire would be nothing new for the NFL.

Jim Thorpe was the first NFL Commissioner ever from 1920 to 1921. He was an obvious figurehead much like Goodell is. Thorpe was a Hall of Fame football player who won two Gold Medals in the 1921 Olympics, played Major League Baseball, and basically excelled in any athletic endeavor.

Carl Stork, a co-founder of the NFL, was commissioner for two years until stepping down due to illness. Austin Gunsel stepped in when Bert Bell died in 1959, but was replaced by Rozelle four months later. Elmer Layden, one of the famous "Four Horsemen" from Notre Dame University, held the job for five year before being replaced by Bell because owners thought him too much a gentleman and not forceful enough for the job.

While Goodell has tried to pretend his was forceful regime, it has been severely tainted with hypocrisy. He reduced a suspension of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger by two games this year, but then proceeded to tell people, right before the quarterback was to play Super Bowl XLV, that at least two dozen Steelers did not support Roethlisberger.

The reporter, Peter King, tried to back peddle soon after, but most likely because he was ordered to by Goodell. Still, the damage was done and the timing could not have been more inappropriate. The Super Bowl is the biggest game the league has, one where billions of dollars are involved and where more viewers from other parts of the world tune in.

Not only was the big game marred by Goodell's boorish behavior, but perhaps the worst pre-game and halftime entertainment shows in Super Bowl history followed in a game where hundreds of fans were displaced because Goodell's people did a poor job preparing Cowboys Stadium for the event. These fans are now suing the league.

These debacles took place on the eve of a players strike that is almost certainly going to occur. Players strikes are nothing new in the NFL, having occurred in 1968, 1970, 1982, and 1987. Yet each strike dealt with different issues.

When the players threatened a strike in 1968, the owners countered by declaring a lockout. Since players salaries were low in that era, which caused them to hold second hobs, this strike was brief. There was another brief strike during training camp in 1970.

Just nine regular season games were played in 1982 because of the strike. When the 1987 strike went down, players missed a month of the regular season but the games were still played.

Owners hired replacement players, which was largely a group of players who had been cut in training camps. Many unionized players, including Hall of Famers like Joe Montana, Steve Largent, and Randy White, crossed the picket lines to play.

This strike may be different because NFL players see how Major League Baseball players get paid. The NFL is the king of professional sports right now and players want a bigger piece of the pie. Considering an average career lasts less than two years, their request doesn't seem ridiculous.

The players today are afforded luxuries like never before. Though the game still contains hard hitting at times, the rules today make it a much less violent game. Goodell is now saying the league cares about players suffering concussions, an issue they ignored since their beginnings.

Past players suffer today, ignored by their own brethren who are enjoying the path paved for them. Yet the players see how the legends are doing today and are trying to prevent repeating that in their own future. Goodell's recent claims of caring are generally considered just lip service by most so he can resolve the impending strike sooner.

Besides continuing Tagliabue's mission to pamper quarterbacks and offenses while castrating defenses, there are many other things about Goodell that anger players. Many feel he is out of touch, sitting in an ivory tower with a blind eye as his wallet fills up at a rapid pace.

Many players lately have been echoing the same sentiment in regards to their commissioner. They feel he has too much power and control over the game while maintaining a constant predilection of making wrong decisions ultimately. He once was referred to as an obtuse fascist who has ruined the integrity of the game in favor of money.

Though it is unknown if things would be much better or worse now if Goodell did not retain those two votes in 2006, the question if he is the right man for the job gets louder each day. Whether the owners are listening or even caring is the question.

Bell and Rozelle, generally considered the best commissioners in NFL history, never uttered such ramblings like Goodell has while holding the office over 30 years combined. Neither besmirched their players like Goodell has. Though it is doubtful a person as good as Bell or Rozelle is out there right now, it would behoove the NFL to try and find out while firing Goodell.

If the league stays complacent behind his questionable leadership, the United Football League could very well find success the the American Football League did in the 1960's, forcing the NFL to allow all 10 of their teams to merge. Before that, the All-American Football Conference had the NFL take in three teams in 1950.

Though the game of football needs the upstart UFL, now entering their third season, to compete with the NFL to make their product better, the NFL learned 41 years ago from the AFL that it can take a long time to get back on top after being the only game in town several years. A game that has been eroding under the direction of Roger Goodell.  

Rants and Raves
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL Antonio Cromartie NFL Roger Goodell DeMaurice Smith Texas Rangers New York Yankees

Is there are riff between the NFL players?? Booster wants money back?? Texas takes shot at Yankees?? What’s going on here?? All this, in this weeks edition of Rants and Raves.

New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie spoke his mind about the contract talks between the NFL and the NFL Players Association. "To me, you need to stop bitching about it, and if you wanna say you're gonna get into a room and meet and greet, and say you're gonna do what you need to do, then do it. Don't just talk about it." Antonio will be a free agent at the end of the season and cannot sign a new deal until the Collective Bargaining Agreement is negotiated. The CBA expires on March 4th. Cromartie also stated "Especially when you don't get no information about nothing from the union or the owners, so to tell you the truth they need to get their damn minds together and get this [expletive] done. Stop bitching about money. Money ain't nothing. Money can be here and gone. Us players, we want to go out and play football. It's something we've been doing and we love it and enjoy it. It's our livelihood."

Now, after Antonio Cromartie said what he had to say about the NFL and the NFL Players Association, several NFL players came out against the New York Jet. Baltimore Raven Ray Lewis and Arizona Cardinal Darnell Dockett say that Cromartie does not speak for all the players. Darnell said "We have leaders, we know what is fair and the players are behind our leadership." Lewis stated that he supports DeMaurice Smith, the union's executive director. "Great leaders are servants first," Lewis said. "That is who our leaders are. Players are not going to turn on each other. We are blessed with what we have and it is on all of us to keep it fair. I'm resolved to do that." Lewis and Dockett are not player representatives for their teams but still felt like speaking out on the issue.

Of course Cromartie had to respond to Lewis and Dockett. "I don't give a who about Ray Lewis or Darnell Dockett talking about what I said. There's 10's of thousand people who will lose jobs. They taking our healthcare away and for players that have surgery can't even get rehab once March 3rd gets here."

Now the NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said that if there's a lockout, he will reduce his salary to $1. In which the President of the NFL Player’s Association DeMaurice Smith countered that if they can get a deal done by the Super Bowl, he'll take a pay cut to 68 cents.

I can’t believe that a booster wants his $3 million dollars back because he doesn’t like the choice of football coach the college signed. But, it did happen, and it happened to the University of Connecticut and supporter Robert G. Burton. Mr. Burton wants his donation of $3 million and his name removed from University’s football team’s training facility. This all happened because the school hired former Syracuse football coach Paul Pasqualoni, and Burton had no say in the matter. I guess he is sore because Burton did have a say in the hiring of former Husky coach Randy Edsall. It looks like the school has no intention of giving him his money back. I don’t blame the school. I would hope they would take the Burton name down from the facility. That would keep Burton from opening his mouth in the future.

The GM wants to stay and the team wants him back. That’s the love fest called the Cashman - Yankees affair. The Yankees General Manager has a year left on his contract and Hal Steinbrenner say he absolutely want Cashman to return. But if the Yankees GM is true to his heart, as he was with Rivera, Jeter, Posada and other Yankee players, he will wait until the end of the season to negotiate his contract. Of course Hal can override Cashman, as he did with the Soriano signing, and sign Brian during the season. Brian Cashman has done an outstanding job in restocking the minor league system. The Yankees have outstanding catchers and pitchers ready to produce.

Wow, are the Texas Rangers getting cocky or what? They make it to their first World Series and all of a sudden they are flexing the mouths with a war of words with the New York Yankees. Texas Owner Chuck Greenberg commented that the Rangers kept the chase for Cliff Lee going long enough for the Philles to sneak in and take Lee from the clutches of the Yankees. In response, Yankees President Randy Levine fired back that Greenberg was “delusional” and mind your own business and keep your team off “welfare.” "I think Chuck is delusional," Levine told ESPNewYork.com. "He has been running the Rangers for a few minutes and seems to believe he's mastered what everyone else is thinking. I think he should let Cliff Lee speak for himself. I'll be impressed when he demonstrates he can keep the Rangers off welfare. What I mean is make them not be a revenue-sharing recipient for three years in a row, without taking financing from baseball or advance money from television networks. Then I'll be impressed."

Here is a clip of my cousin and his son having a great time driving in the snow, singing along:

This just goes to show you America does have talent!!!

Navy Term:

Sea Lawyer: Old Navy, a person who is forever arguing about everything and anything aboard the ship, with a view of getting out of work. Today’s Navy a Sea Lawyer is one who thinks they know everything and parts that information on the less knowledgeable.

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Five Minute Frags - A Season Without Sports
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL NBA Lock-out Strike Roger Goodell



There are days when I wish that I had a crystal ball. The ability to look into the future would not be lost on me one bit.

Certainly, I could make like Biff in Back To The Future II, when he hands the sports almanac from the future to his past self in order to get rich quick by betting on sports, but lets be honest here, I would really only want it so I can cut out the drawn out anticipation of what’s really going to happen.

Case in point, we have an unprecedented dilemma on the verge of hitting us that could result in each and every one of us being utterly bored to death a year from now. That’s right, I’m talking about the possible labor stoppages in both the NFL and the NBA that could result in either a lot of college sports and NHL hockey in 2011 after the World Series or a lot of reality television.

And let’s face facts…I don’t handle a lot of reality television well! I don’t care if “Snooki wants smush-smush” or not, I just don’t want it on my TV on any given night and neither should you.


Roger Goodell is saying all of the right things in trying to preserve labor peace and to get a deal done. He’s willing to work for $1 if there is a work stoppage and he damn well should. He’s trying to bring more games to the season, which is a good thing as far as the fans are concerned. However, the players have a valid point in regards to their safety on the field and in life after they walk away from the game. Why should they undertake additional damage each year for the rest of their careers only to have sub par health insurance down the road?

The NBA on the other hand is a different story. The owners want a complete overhaul of the pay structures and salary caps, similar in impact to that in which the NHL undertook a few years ago. The players on the other hand are willing to concede some ground, but are in favor of only tweaking the current system. Neither is willing to budge much on either side of the deal.

Reality check; if your league is hemorrhaging money at close to $350 million a year, then you don’t need a overhaul, you need a whole new structure and quickly. You just can’t spread around a negative number and the players need to see that as part of the bigger picture or instead of basketballs, they’ll be bouncing checks like MC Hammer.

So there you have it, two different leagues with two different sets of issues that could result in the same outcome, a lot of empty arenas and stadiums with absolutely nobody getting paid in the meantime.

So where does that leave us in the blogosphere? As much as we love to dissect and debate sports, teams, and players, shutting down two of the leagues during the winter months are going to leave us with a serious lack of things to discuss. Sure, we can all post constant updates and thoughts on who’s making progress and who’s saying what to get a deal done but that is all trivial when it comes to the constantly changing landscape of actually covering game action, transactions, etc. If we wanted to discuss suits and their dealings, we’d be better off kicking the political or religious soapboxes than passing the pigskin. Sports unite the masses while politics and religion divide them, and let’s be honest, we didn’t start blogging to begin windbags did we?!

So we’ll have to wait and see how this plays itself out in the coming days, weeks, and months. In the meantime, I know one thing is certain though; the NCAA and the NHL are about to get a lot more exciting!

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