Thursday, April 22, 2010

More sports

You may have heard about this draft thing. Not sure that I agree with the move to split it across Thursday and Friday nights – really, honey, I'd love to go see Worthless Remake 2, but the draft's on – but here is it. Ndamukong Suh is a Lion (yes, I spelled that without looking it up, and you'd see my victory dance if I actually danced), Sam Bradford is the #1 pick, and Tim Tebow is in Denver, which means his career and Josh McDaniels' should end at approximately the same time, and I don't mean 2020. The Raiders did not take a WR, which means Al Davis has been officially declared dead. New England appears to have used their own first-round pick, so maybe Belicheat is growing soft in his old age.

And apparently Detroit has acquired Minnesota's first-round pick, trading up to pick up Jahvid Best. Sounds good, except that he had a big concussion last year. (Remember Ernie Sims, the guy basically shipped out for TE Tony Scheffler? Yeah, same deal. Concussion history.) I hope it's behind him.

Ben Roethlisberger has been suspended six games for possibly sexually assaulting another woman, this time in Georgia. (I'm not really sure how best to put it. He's been accused twice, let's put it that way.) The Smoking Gun has some details, and they're not pretty. As the cliche goes, we may never know what really happened, but what things we do seem to know indicate a couple of things. One is that the QB is getting some horrific advice in terms of what to do with his spare time. (He's not getting advice? He damn well better get some.)

The other is that he's a shit. Let's leave out what may have happened in the hallway: what we can learn without much effort is that Roethlisberger likes to get drunk women really drunk and then lead them away from their friends. Look, asshole, you're an NFL quarterback. If it's about sex, you don't need the alcohol and you don't need force. Hang out in the right places and just be yourself. (Of course, sexual assault really isn't about sex, it's about force, power, control, whatever, and that certainly seems to explain why we keep seeing male athletes charged with sexual assault.)

Commissioner Goodell says the Pittsburgh QB "made some bad choices" and "has a tremendous amount of remorse." Yeah, we've heard that BS before. What the athlete usually means is "I'm sorry I got caught" and "I'm sorry you read about it." If he meant what he said, he'd be making restitution to the victim right now (she may or may not be a victim of sexual assault, but she certainly seems to be the victim of something), and he'd leave his comments about what happened to something like this: "I did some really stupid stuff. I was way out of line. I know you hear about this a lot these days, and the only thing I can do is shut up about it and change my behavior."

And if he's in the same situation again, the Steelers should cut him. Immediately. As in "dump his stuff outside Steelers headquarters."

End rant.

The NCAA is going to expand to 68, not 96. Apparently the conversation went like this:

CBS: Hey, we lost some money on this deal. I don't like it so much.
ESPN: You know, if you let us show the games, we can handle more, maybe as many as 96 teams.
CBS: Hey, did you know we lost money this year? With more teams, you're not going to be making more money. You know that, right?
ESPN: You're just saying that.
CBS: No, srsly. But go ahead and bid it up if you like.
ESPN: No, that's cool. You might be right. I mean, we dropped the NHL because their ratings suck. Notre Dame-Illinois probably would draw about as well as Chicago-Columbus.
CBS: Right. So, you out?
ESPN: Yeah. You guys got it?
CBS: Sure. Hey, NCAA. How about filling out the opening-round games, one per region?
CBS: Well, a little more, but that's it. And you better help us make money this time!

Again, we can't have a I-A playoff because games in December would take time away from schoolwork, but we can expand the tournament during March because that doesn't take time away from schoolwork. 16 teams = too many. 32 extra teams = just fine. I mean, even readers know this. (At the time I write this, of 50,000 fans or so, only 13% picked the 96-team field as the best idea. The remainder were pretty evenly split between 65 teams and 68 teams.)

Off to watch the Tigers. Anaheim's starter is out of the game in the third. Woo!


  1. I just had a conversation on Friday with two co-workers about good old Ben. It is amazing to me that people (Steelers Fans) are so willing to defend him, shrug their shoulders and say he had "poor judgment". WTF, he is a criminal and he should be treated as such. It is almost as they are giving him a much bigger break than Tiger and Tigers female friend was quite willing. How is rape considered more socially acceptable than infidelity?

  2. What's just as bad is that it used to be much worse. In the old days, when something like this happened, it was almost always a "boys will be boys" thing.

    Unfortunately pretty much every sports league still has the same philosophy: if you have talent, your misdeeds will be forgiven, regardless of how many felonies they involve. You can get convicted of vehicular manslaughter, get another DUI after that, and still play in the NFL. (The NFL is taking this more seriously now.)

    None of these cases can be dismissed as simply "poor judgment". They are, for the most part, simply a series of careless actions by people who have been allowed to do whatever they like for almost as long they have been making decisions. Others have always been willing to smooth over bad decisions for these people as long as they continued to play well ... it's no wonder, but still disappointing, that so many of them never change.

  3. There are a lot of people, though, who don't like it, and quite a few people are willing to identify patterns.