Monthly Archives: July 2012

Hope Solo = the Terrell Owens of Soccer

My girl Hope Solo is at it again.

First, there was the dust-up that involved Brianna Scurry during the 2007 World Cup.  You  remember when then-U.S. coach Greg Ryan who benched Solo, then a young goalkeeper for the veteran Scurry, who was Solo’s backup but had a more decorated career at the time (two gold medals and a world championship).

We remember the story: Brazil shellacked us in the semifinals of the World Cup 4-0 behind Marta’s dazzling performance.  Then came Solo’s memorable quote:

“There’s no doubt in my mind I would have made those saves.  And the fact of the matter is, it’s not 2004 anymore. … It’s 2007, and I think you have to live in the present. And you can’t live by big names. You can’t live in the past. It doesn’t matter what somebody did in an Olympic gold-medal game in the Olympics three years ago.”

Fast-forward to last week, when Solo went after former Team USA star/current NBC soccer analyst Brandi Chastain.  After the U.S. women beat Colombia 3-0, Chastain criticized U.S. defender Rachel Buehler during the NBC telecast.

Chastain pointed out that a defender’s responsibilities are: “Defend. Win the ball. And then keep possession. And that’s something that Rachel Buehler actually needs to, I think, improve on in this tournament.”

Well, Ms. Solo (appropriate name, isn’t it?) didn’t take too kindly to Chastain’s analysis.  Solo took to Twitter, saying “its 2 bad we cant have commentators who better represents the team&knows more about the game.”

As if that wasn’t good enough, Solo fired off more tweets against Chastain.  Here ya go:

“Lay off commentating about defending and gking until you get more educated @brandichastain the game has changed from a decade ago. #fb”

“Its important 2 our fans 2 enjoy the spirit of the olympics.Its not possible when sum1 on air is saying that a player is the worst defender!”

And my favorite: “I feel bad 4 our fans that have 2 push mute, especially bc @arlowhite is fantastic.@brandichastain should be helping 2 grow the sport #fb”

Look, I like Solo a lot.  I love her game, the chip she carries on her shoulders, her swagger – and of course her looks.

But ol’ girl has to stop with blowing up folks in the media.

Sure she doesn’t have to like people criticizing her teammates.  She doesn’t have to like Chastain period.

But last I checked, Chastain is getting paid for what she is doing: analyzing Olympic soccer matches.  Any analyst in any sport will tell you that part of being a good analyst is telling the truth – even when no one will like it.

Solo needs to check herself before she finds herself in a lot of trouble.  If Terrell Owens wasn’t able to get away with it, why should Solo?

Penn State Players Loyal to a Fault

First, let me commend the football players at Penn State for vowing not to renege on their commitment and staying with the university.  They maintained that not one person built Penn State, and not one person is going to tear it down.

You have to respect those young men for wanting to finish what they started.  I know I sure as hell do.

That said, I’ve got some advice for those young men: get out, and get the hell out NOW.

Here’s the deal, those young men will not play in a bowl game at least this season (four-year bowl ban).  That means the incoming freshman will not only not get to participate in a bowl, they won’t even get to play in the Big Ten championship game during their four-year run.

Again, I admire and respect the hell out of those young men for their commitment to Penn State.  But fellas, c’mon ya’ll!  Get out while the getting is good…

NCAA Is Headed Down a Slippery Slope

The NCAA is expected to make a ruling on Penn State at a press conference tomorrow morning at 9 AM.  NCAA president Mark Emmert made the announcement earlier today that he will announce penalties levied against Penn State in relation to the Jerry Sandusky child molestation crimes – and the school’s unwillingness to do anything to stop it.

Now while I agree that a statement must be made for other schools to take notice of what happens when they value football over the safety of children (and anyone else for that matter), I think the NCAA is headed down a slippery slope.

First of all, Emmert is asserting his authority without the enforcement process that takes weeks and sometimes months.  He is doing it without any notice of allegations.  There has not been a Committee on Infractions hearing, which gives schools the chance to respond to allegations from the NCAA.

In short, he is turning into college sports equivalent of Roger Goodell.

The NCAA is so by the book.  It’s hard to believe to see someone, let alone its president, go outside of the box like that.

The NCAA has also opened itself up for criticism from colleges, fans, and the media.  How would it be taken seriously when it investigates other athletic programs?  It would risk itself being branded as inconsistent in its future investigations at best.

Is this the beginning of the NCAA acting in cases where the primary issue does not center around athletics?  Would the NCAA act in the same manner pertaining to sexual harassment cases?

I am not saying the NCAA is beyond reproach in handling violations and its perpetrators.  If anything, the NCAA are in most cases lacking in that regard.  But at least I could say the process it takes along the way has been consistently bad.

Again, I am not against Emmert and the NCAA using Penn State to send other schools a message.  I just think it will make us wonder even more of makes the NCAA tick – even if it would be a more painful endeavor.

JoePa’s Statue Had to Go

Penn State’s president decided to remove Joe Paterno’s statue early this morning.  I’ve got one thing to say to this gentleman.

“Bravo”.

Good for the president in making the right, albeit courageous decision.  And congrats to the Board of Trustees in backing him.

Simply put, Penn State had to remove that statue because it has become a lightning rod of so much controversy.  After all, Paterno enabled a child predator in Jerry Sandusky for so long.  Paterno is lucky that he is not alive to face charges of perjury and witness the backlash to his legacy.

As they say, it takes one act of stupidity to erase many acts of good.

Of course, this is not the end for Penn State.  You better believe there will be civil suits coming in the form of tens – if not hundreds – of millions of dollars.  The state of Pennsylvania may consider pulling its funding from Penn State.  And there is the matter of the NCAA coming down with “unprecedented penalties”.

One more thing: in watching the reaction of the students and alums, it is downright sad to see otherwise intelligent people be so (plucking) delusional.  If that’s not proof as to why the statue had to come down, I don’t know what is…

Joe Paterno Statue Poll

College Athletes Should not Be Paid – Just Do the Math

Another college football season is upon us in T-minus 41 days (or something like that).  WHOO-HOO!!!  Salvation is approaching us all – well, maybe not the football widows.

And with the college football season comes the age-old question that STILL goes unanswered: should college athletes be paid?

Of course the answer should be twofold – no and “hell no”.

Look, I’m not going to go on the tired-ass arguments of why a scholarship at a top-notch university (or any college) is priceless.  That a scholarship is payment enough.  That having access to top-notch facilities is worth the time spent blah, blah, blah.

I’m going to look at this from an economic point of view.

In order for colleges to pay for their athletes, they have to have a huge budget.  Do you know how many players are on a football roster: 53.  There are 12 basketball players (men and women), 25 baseball players and usually 20 soccer players (men and women).  And we have not touched the other welfare, ERRRR, Olympic sports.

A lot of colleges operate in the red in terms of athletics.  So given that those schools lose money and therefore have limited revenue streams, how in the hell are they going to come up with the extra cheese to pay those kids?  What are they going to do, cut certain sports like the University of Maryland did?

And who do colleges pay?  Should they pay just the football and basketball players, since those are considered the revenue-producing sports?  What about athletes in the other sports?  That doesn’t seem fair, doesn’t it?

And let’s focus on football for a minute.  Should all the athletes be paid equal amounts per month?  What about the star QB, or the Heisman candidate running back?  Shouldn’t they be paid more than the fifth-string linebacker riding the pine and playing on special teams?

As for the effect it may have on the Title IX sports, I don’t even want to imagine that.

Let’s not stop with just the mere logistics of how and who the cheddar would be spread to.  How about the adverse effect paying college kids would have on certain schools’ abilities to remain competitive?

If the BCS 2.0 – ERRRR, I mean the upcoming college football playoff creates a gap between the five powerful conferences and the others, could you imagine how worse it would be when it comes to paying college kids?  Schools such as Boise State, East Carolina, Fresno State and even a school like South Florida would not have a chance against the likes of Alabama, Texas, Florida State, Clemson, USC, Oregon, Ohio State, Michigan, and even an NC State (shout out to my alma mater).

And never mind the FBS schools, how about the FCS schools?  Schools such as Appalachian State, Furman, NC A&T, Florida A&M and Montana would belly up because they do not have the athletic budgets as the aforementioned bigger schools.  Those FCS schools would not have the money to compete in college football.

Here’s the deal: it would be nice if these kids could receive a little sumthin’-sumthin’ in big-time college athletics – particularly football and basketball – because of the money those schools make off of them.

It’s just that financially doing so doesn’t add up.

Knicks Smart not to Re-Sign Lin

Looks like my New York Knicks may not be Linsanity believers after all.

The Knicks have completed a sign-and-trade for Portland PG Raymond Felton for three years and $10 million.  That gives New York at least two solid point guards (the other being future Hall of Famer Jason Kidd).  This makes it highly unlikely that the Knicks will match the offer sheet the Houston Rockets made to Jeremy Lin.

Why, you might ask?  It’s simple when you break down the math.

The Rockets’ offer sheet for Lin is a little more than $25 million and breaks down as so: $5 million in the first year, $5.225 million in the second and $14.8 million in the third.

Now ask yourself the following question: is Lin really worth $14.8 million dollars for a season?

After only starting 35 games?  Really?

Plus keep in mind that this is the same cat who sat out of the playoffs despite being at, in his words, “85%”.  Think the Knicks could have needed Lin against Miami in the first round?  At least it would have been a more competitive series.

I don’t blame Lin for protecting his money, but why commit that much loot to a guy who said something like that?

Look, I was on Lin’s bandwagon last season.  If the price was not so exorbitant (again, $14.8 million in the last year of his deal), I’d be clamoring for my Knicks to bring him back.

However, there is a time and place for common sense.  Common sense dictates that a team should not commit that much money to a player based on a small sample size.  Good luck to whoever has to trade Lin’s contract during the final season of the deal.

Besides, there is a player named Chris Paul who will be a free agent after next season who on more than one occasion professed his desire to play in New York alongside Carmelo Anthony.  Ya think Paul is not an upgrade over Lin?

I’ll tell you what, Houston will have a big-ass egg on its face this summer when they realize they’ll have to pay Lin all that money AND miss out on Dwight Howard.

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