Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Is it worth it?

Michael Vick was released from prison last week after serving 23 months for his involvement in an illegal dog fighting ring. He will now spend the next two months in home confinement until July 20th, when he will be officially released.

The great debate regarding Vick has been whether or not he should be allowed to play in the NFL. There are some who believe that his crime was so heinous that he should never be allowed back. Others will say that he’s paid for his crime and should be allowed back in the NFL.

I love my dogs, and when I first heard about what Michael Vick did I was physically sick to my stomach. I wanted to throw up. However, I agree that once he’s officially released, he should be allowed to seek employment in the NFL; but it’s not my decision.

The final decision will rest on the shoulders of Commissioner Roger Goodell; who has already said that he will consider reinstating Vick if he feels like he is remorseful for what he has done.

I believe that Vick will be reinstated by Goodell, most likely under some sort of zero tolerance stipulation coupled with a short suspension.

Once Vick is officially eligible to join a team, a lot of people are going to wonder who is going to pursue him. My question is who’s going to want him? His original team, the Atlanta Falcons, have already stated that Vick will not be coming back to Atlanta.

Vick was a phenomenal athlete, one of the best that I’ve ever seen. Honestly though, he wasn’t that great of a quarterback. I looked back at the Falcons record during his tenure as the starter in Atlanta. From 2003-2006, the Falcons were a mediocre 40-39. Sure, he could cause problems for opposing defenses because of his ability to run the ball, but he was very one dimensional.

Now, after being out of football for the past two years, he’s going to attempt a comeback (with the Commissioner’s approval). I’ve got to believe that playing football against the other prison inmates in the yard hasn’t kept him as sharp as teams would like him to be.

He’s going to be rusty…very rusty.

Ask yourself one question. If you are coaching a team in the Super Bowl, it’s the 4th quarter of a tie game with 2 minutes left on the clock. You have your choice of Michael Vick or Tom Brady to lead your team…who would you choose?

Needless to say, somebody will bring him into camp this summer. Heck, Lawrence Phillips even got a second chance. Leonard Little drove drunk and killed somebody, and he’s still playing!

Whichever team does decide to give him that chance will have to weigh the positives versus a lot of negatives that go along with bringing Vick into camp. The day that his signing is announced, a wave of protestors are going to show up at the team’s headquarters waving their signs and chanting their disapproval of Vick joining an NFL team.

So, to answer the question on whether or not Michael Vick should be allowed to play in the NFL; I say yes. He should be allowed. The real question is will he play. I say no. His actions have made him too much of a risk.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

ESPN encourages attention craving ex QB to think about unretiring again

As I was listening to a sports talk radio show the other day, they asked the question; who’s more pathetic; Brett Favre or the Minnesota Vikings? My answer to that is C. None of the above.

In my opinion, that dubious honor goes to ESPN. ESPN seems to have daily Favre updates on whatever he is doing, no matter how meaningless.

Just a few weeks ago they reported that a corporate jet had taken off from Minneapolis and was headed to Hattiesburg Mississippi…the home of Brett Favre!


No, later on in the day it was reported that the plane from Minneapolis to Hattiesburg unfortunately was filled with executives from the Target Corporation.

Now I keep hearing reports from them that Favre has hired a new trainer and he is working out with the high school football team again!


Maybe not…ESPN reported that Favre had to stop practicing after 10 throws because his arm hurt.

They have even stationed a reporter, Rachel Nichols, down in Hattiesburg. When the anchor on SportsCenter went to the live feed of her in Hattiesburg, he asked her if there were any sightings of Favre that day. She replied that she saw many #4 jerseys that day, but none of them were Favre.

What a waste of time, talent, and money! Each year this always happens on their network. Will he come back or won’t he? Do the Packers regret letting him go? What team would be the best fit for Favre?

I’d like to take the time to help ESPN out with these burning questions.

No, Favre won’t be coming back. He’s 40 years old! The only people in the NFL at 40 years of age are either coaches or kickers.

No, the Packers do not regret letting Favre go. The chaos and distraction that he has caused them these past few years because he can’t make up his mind have been enough to drive a team crazy.

The team that would be the best fit for Favre would be the Hattiesburg Tigers. That team would benefit the most from having Brett Favre around.

I didn't even realize it, but this Favre/ESPN fixation was illustrated to me by my 3 year old nephew. He was doing something silly during dinner, so we all started to laugh. Once we laughed, my nephew decided to do it again. Then we all laughed again.

That’s when it hit me, my nephew is like a Brett Favre comeback attempt and we were all like ESPN. We kept giving my nephew attention. As soon as we stopped, he realized that what he was doing wasn’t funny to us anymore and he stopped.

Word to the wise ESPN, if you stop giving something attention, it will soon go away. So please, rescue Rachel Nichols from Hattiesburg. There are more valid sports stories out there to cover.
It’s time for Favre to go away.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

San Diego's Tyler leaving school early to turn pro

Jeremy Tyler, a 6’11 center from San Diego, is leaving school a year early to turn pro.
I know what you’re thinking; this isn’t really headline breaking news, is it?

Here’s the kicker though, Jeremy Tyler is leaving HIGH SCHOOL a year early to turn pro. He’ll be playing overseas (reportedly somewhere in Spain) until he’s eligible for the NBA draft in 2011.

I’m sure that this is going to bring about a lot of discussion amongst sports talk show hosts and fans alike, especially those that don’t like players leaving school early for the fame and fortune of being a professional athlete.

Many players have skipped college altogether and entered the NBA straight out of high school. Players like Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, and Lebron James have become stars in the league. They most definitely made the right choice for their career. Others have made the wrong choice. Players like Korleone Young, Leon Smith, and Taj McDavid listened to the wrong people and believed that they were ready for the NBA. These former high school stars are either out of the league or were never drafted at all.

A few years ago, the NBA instituted a rule stating that a player is not eligible for the NBA draft until he’s been out of high school for one year in hopes to avoid situations like Young, Smith, and McDavid’s. This rule brought many players to college that would have otherwise turned pro out of high school. Players like Greg Oden, OJ Mayo, and Derrick Rose all went to school for a year before they turned pro.

Brandon Jennings had a different idea. Jennings, one of the top high school players in the country last year, didn’t want to go to college. He wanted to be a professional basketball player. Instead of going to college for a year before he turned pro, Jennings signed a professional contract with a team in Europe. He has been playing over in Europe for the past year and will be eligible for the NBA draft this June.

Now Jeremy Tyler is following the same trail that Brandon Jennings blazed, only a year early. Tyler told the New York Times that he's making the move because he's too focused on getting better at basketball to spend time hitting the books, adding that "people look to college for more off-the-court stuff versus being in the gym and getting better."

I’ve got to say that I think that it’s a mistake for Tyler to be leaving high school a year early, but I’ve got no problem with him heading overseas to pursue a pro basketball career.

I never liked the rule that the NBA put in that required athlete’s to be out of high school for at least a year before they are eligible for the NBA draft. Players like Oden, Mayo, and Rose all in a sense took a scholarship away from a good student athlete that wanted to get their college education. These players more than likely took blow off classes during their first semester so that they could maintain their eligibility, and then stopped going to school altogether during the second semester because they knew that they were going to go pro.

At least in the Jennings and Tyler cases, they were honest enough to admit that they weren’t interested in a college education. They wanted to play professional basketball, and Europe offers them the chance to do that. They’ll still be learning, it will just be in a real world setting instead of a college classroom…just think of them as college exchange students who can dunk a basketball.