Monday, February 09, 2009

From the Weekend That Was

Raise your hand if you knew the Pro Bowl was yesterday. Anyone? If I hadn’t seen a link about it this morning, I never would have known. And nor would I a month from now think, “Did they play the Pro Bowl this year?” if I had missed that link. It’s sort of like the old consolation game in the NCAA Tournament, except the NCAA figured out a long time ago that their consolation game should be cancelled because it doesn’t matter. The season is over, the game means nothing, and the players are about as interested in playing as Lane Kiffin is in not being a schmuck.

But, the NFL is making an effort to make the game, at the very least, appear on people’s mental calendars by moving it to the weekend before the Super Bowl. Next year, the game will be played in Miami instead of Hawaii, thus bringing the game into a time zone not 18 hours behind the rest of America, which will allow it to be played at night, which hopefully creates more excitement around half-speed pass rushes and offensive players terrified of contact (Could I have used any more commas in that sentence? Holy crap.). I have no idea if this will help interest in the game (most likely not), but it will give residents of Miami something other than the Marlins to ignore.

Ole Miss took Saturday off and a loss to Vanderbilt was the predictable result. I suppose this will be the norm for the rest of the season. A stretch of a few good games, followed by a big, fat stinkbomb. True freshman Terrico White continues to dominate and has become the best offensive player on the team. As long as he’s playing like this, just give him the SEC Freshman of the Week award and don't pretend like he doesn’t deserve it. I’m not really big on these weekly awards, but I at least want them to go to the most deserving person. Not giving it to White is like that year Karl Malone won NBA MVP over Michael Jordan simply because the writers were tired of giving it to Jordan (not that Terrico White is Michael Jordan).

It’s official: Everyone in baseball took steroids. The latest guilty party, Alex Rodriguez, admitted today that he took steroids while playing with the Texas Rangers after a report that came out over the weekend claimed he did. This, of course, happened under the watchful eye of Bud Selig, who, as I mentioned on Thursday, sat by during this era and did nothing. Technically, steroids were illegal in baseball since they were illegal in the United States (without a prescription), but there was no testing when Rodriguez used them, which makes complete sense.

While there are many people out there who are greatly distressed that such a huge star in the game now has a tainted record (most notably Buster Olney and Tim Kukjian, who are both gently weeping as we speak, now that “America’s game” is heading straight down the crapper), one man who is not upset is Michael Phelps. Phelps probably could not be more elated that he can now watch SportsCenter without seeing a reference to or a picture of the bong he used in the fall, which set off a media shit-fit last week. There’s no doubt in my mind Michael Phelps is the happiest man in America right now.

However, for the rest of us, we have to hear about steroids and Alex Rodriguez ad nauseam. The only shot we’ve got to not hear about this anymore is if another big name is on that list of players that tested positive in 2003 or if Kobe and LeBron face each other in the NBA Finals. Until then, get ready for a steady diet of Baseball Tonight roundtable discussions with John Kruk, Fernando Vina (a cheater) and Karl Ravech.

Actually, Andruw Jones did not take steroids. Unless steroids are found in fatty foods that are a part of a daily 25,000-calorie diet, I don’t think he did. However, Andruw did sign a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers over the weekend. If he makes the team out of spring training, he’ll be owed $500,000, plus possible incentives. By my math, if he makes the team, he’ll get $500,000 per hit.

Remember when I said almost anything remotely interesting would make it on here? Well, this is one of those stories. Tom Glavine is currently mulling a contract offer from the Braves that could pay him as much as $3 million next season. Glavine is quoted as saying he’s not sure right now if what it takes to pitch is worth the amount offered. Going 6-9 with a 5.42 ERA next season is much pricier than I thought it would be.

I’m on a boat. I got my swim trunks and my flippie-floppies.

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