The NCAA is ridiculous. Yet again, they have chosen to punish a school in a way that does nothing to actually deter schools from doing things wrong. I’m talking, of course, about Memphis’ moronic punishment that was handed down yesterday. If you missed it, the school has been forced to vacate all 38 wins from two years ago – the year they lost in the championship game to Kansas by blowing the last couple of minutes of the game then tripping up badly in overtime. They will also be on probation for three years, though they lose no scholarships or postseason eligibility during that time. There are a couple of violations at issue, but the main one is that Derrick Rose likely wasn’t eligible for the season.
Sports Betting Section
MADDUX'S WINNING PICKS
MADDUX'S LIVE ODDS
Preseason games are ridiculously stupid. I can’t think of a single reason why there needs to be four preseason games. Well, I guess there is one, and it’s the only one that matters – four games means that owners can charge full price for two more home games every season. The league is all about money after all. I don’t endorse or enjoy preseason games, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t obviously some value in paying attention to the games. Here are ten things that have jumped out for me from what has transpired so far:
Haven’t yet figured out why the Vikings signed Brett Favre? I haven’t really, either, but here’s a big part of it – in the 24 hours following the signing they sold 3,000 season tickets and 10,000 individual game tickets. They have 7,000 season tickets left, and you can only go to the Green Bay game with a season ticket, so they will certainly sell even more. The extra ticket sales and jersey sales alone will pay for the contract, and now the team won’t have to struggle with blackouts like they have in recent years.
I went to bed last night in a world that sort of made sense. At least it was one that was, for once, relatively free of all-consuming, ridiculous sports drama. But then I turned on my computer this morning only to discover that a plane with the Vikings logo on the tail had landed in Mississippi and that Brett Favre and his life were listed on the manifest for his return trip. That was soon followed by the news we have probably all heard by now – that Favre is in Minnesota, and he has a deal done for between $10 and $12 million pending a physical today. Head coach Brad Childress has confirmed that the team intends to sign the player. In short, the third retirement is over – almost before it started.
I wasn’t entirely sure that it was going to happen, but even the lowly and pathetic Washington Nationals couldn’t screw this one up – they got Stephen Strasburg signed with minutes to spare. His $15.067 million contract is a far cry from what lunatic super-agent Scott Boras wanted, but it is still almost $5 million more than any other player has ever got from the draft. The deal includes a $7.5 million signing bonus, and extends through 2012.
I tend to be an emotional football fan. It doesn’t take much for a guy to get on my bad side, and once he does it can be very hard for him to get off of it – I can really hold a grudge. Here are five guys who don’t fit my definition of the ideal NFL player, coach, or owner:
Every year there are guys who have been around for a while who seem to suddenly figure out how to play. Whether it’s a change in their approach to the game or training, a a new system or teammate that makes them more valuable, something changes and their stats show it – often in a big way. Here’s five guys who could see a big boost in their production and value this year:
Peterson is the best running back on the planet, and I don’t even think it is close right now. The rushing title is his to lose again this year, and I don’t bet that he will unless he gets injured. There are a bunch of other strong running backs out there who could pick up the slack if Peterson falters. Here are five at the top of my list:
For the most part, being a NFL head coach is not a place to be for long term job stability. The odd guy lasts forever, but for the most part they have precious little time – usually too little – to try to prove themselves before they get replaced by the next big thing. This season will be no different than others – some really bad coaches, and a few pretty good ones, will run out of time. The stakes are particularly high for coaches this year because of all the talent that is on the sidelines waiting for an opportunity – MikeShanahan, Jon Gruden, Bill Cowher, and so on. If I was anyone of these guys I would be looking over my shoulder all year:
I never thought that the Lions, as bad as they were, would be able to pull off the 0-16 miracle last year, but they did. I don’t think that another team will be that bad this year, but if a few teams get just a little bit too unlucky then anything can happen. Here are the five teams that seem most likely to flirt with the disaster: