As the NFL Lockout persists a walk of the undead searching for scraps of cash to split amongst themselves, a rebirth has emanated.
Arising from the Sporting News graveyard to find itself alone with neglected souls, a ghost has again taken shape to wail a lament. As it journeys to the Gab, it is best recalled as POINTLESS PONDERING.
Ohio State. Who here said, "ABOUT DAMN TIME!"?. Since the days of Woody Hayes and probably beyond, unscrupulous actions are as much of a mascot to this school as the Buckeye itself.
Now it obviously isn't all them. Bo Schembechler took his Hayes teachings to Michigan, which probably had long played dirty pool itself in this storied rivalry.
USC, a program barely slapped on the pinkie recently after just a few infractions were allowed to be printed in public forum, now has a reason to complain to the Heisman Trophy Committee.
Their alumni, Reggie Bush, had his 2005 trophy confiscated and eradicated from the record books after proof emerged he accepted cash and gifts while playing college football.
There is a good reason to believe practically every Heisman winner the past 50 years also did likewise acts, but Bush's downfall was accelerated by his Alma mater's illegal activities finding itself in print throughout several publications.
Now there may be a day Troy Smith follows Bush. There is one report that the 2006 winner accepted cash once in college, but there has not been much digging for facts at Ohio State before. Not that the media is clamoring for facts with journalistic integrity now, almost afraid to expose a program that means so much to college football and it's history.
If there is an excavation of the decades past, there is a chance the recent actions of Ohio State is just the tip of the iceberg. One big enough to temporarily allow this titanic program to take a few drops of water before going back to business as usual much like USC has been lately.
Since USC and Ohio State have had many Heisman winners, one can only speculate that Reggie Bush is not alone in misconduct. It is far from being far fetched theory, but it would take a journalist to find these facts and there just aren't many journalists left.
The media is filled with glad handing lobbyists quick to become the public relations spokesman of a school so as not to rock the boat or tamper the cash flow of the NCAA.
The NCAA itself is a long running joke. There wasn't even a sniffle from their offices after Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel blatantly lied to the cameras after being exposed. Ohio State recently tried to save some face by firing him.
Yet Ohio State knew what type of man they were hiring. Best described by one sportswriter as the NCAA equivalent to the warden in the movie "Shawshank Redemption", Tressel carried around a Bible while screwing people over to suit his means for years before his hiring at Ohio State.
As the stories of fixed raffles and questionable recruiting practices in his pre-Buckeye days now surface, it shows those moments had purposely been buried up until now. Now they leak out with purpose, almost as if to abscond the school from these acts and absolve them from what their illegal ex-coach perpetrated.
Yet they most likely knew. Heads will probably roll eventually. School president Gordon Gee recently tried to say athletic director Gene Smith's job is safe, since he did not hire Tressel, but many pundits expect both to soon be fired for overseeing and allowing Tressel to run amok.
As bad as Tressel looks right now, he is not alone is his lechery. College football is full of men like him, and it is feasible quite a few sit on the NCAA committee. Paying them to look the other way seems too easy, especially after watching USC and Ohio State exposed after decades of unsavory practice.
Perhaps now is the time for the NCAA to man up and come clean. Much like professional sports, money rules it. Those who have will stomp those who have less time and time again.
While most of the kids who play the games are rewarded with free education, food, and housing, some think they deserve much more since they make the schools and NCAA so much money. That is where the debate of amateur and professional athletics comes into play.
Regardless, a polarizing football giant had a chink in a thick armor fall fr all to see. The clamor isn't all that loud because few can feign surprise, because the only way to blow the observers minds is to clean up this mess head to toe with every athletic program there is in college athletics.
Ain't gonna happen, because greed and sloth is primal.
Speaking of sloths, Shaquille O'Neal retired this week, though some think he will emerge around playoff time again next year. His is a career some consider to be of unfulfilled potential, regardless of his four championship rings.
This is a guy who bolted from the Orlando Magic in 1996 because Hakeem Olajuwon schooled him in the 1995 Finals. He had owned the regular season, bullying anyone who dared to square off against him.
He was so effective that Hall of Fame center Wes Unseld lamented how Shaq was allowed to commit an offensive foul virtually every time he scored. O'Neal was on a young team, but he saw the glitz of Hollywood and bailed out for the Lakers.
After three rings, he was traded to the Miami Heat in 2004 and maybe had one of his best years in 2006. While it may not have been his prettiest year statistically, he provided that needed presence at center and helped Dwayne Wade go wild on their way to a championship.
His health betrayed him after that. Shaq never took care of his body, preferring to run his yap while making B movies and low grade rap albums. He then spent many of the next years collecting a check from home recovering from assorted injuries annually.
Yet his affable personalty drew the media to him. He liked to be called "Superman", something Dwight Howard has lately been calling himself as well. Howard could be the next big man to bail on Orlando because of an inability to win it all.
The NBA will miss O'Neal for one big reason. He is probably the last legitimate center n the game today. Most of the modern NBA centers are power forwards forced to play the position, which includes Howard.
O'Neal had the ability to end his career amongst Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the Mount Rushmore of NBA centers. Yet his lack of work ethic drops him far lower.
He still might be amongst the ten best, but men like Olajuwon, Unseld, Willis Reed, Nate Thurmond, George Mikan, and others can now be put at least alongside him on that list.
Still excellent company, even if once unexpected.
Well, it is time to crawl back into the coffin. As they say in Ole Mexico, "A.M.F."