Before I get into this, I want to re-assert that you could only describe me as being avidly involved with youth sports. This is my eighth year as head coach of Palmyra Jr. Wrestling, and I have been coaching Pal-Riv soccer for 12 years. Each year, I spend hundreds of hours planning practices, attending meetings, conducting practices/training, coaching matches and games, and communicating with parents. [Read more →]
Okay youth coaches, it’s game time. You have a choice to make: Are you a coach or are you a fan?
There comes a point in every marriage where one partner tells the other: “I want to take a break from you and our child and the life we’ve built together to be a prostitute in Las Vegas—see you soon.” Granted, my wife and I haven’t reached this point yet (give us time, people). Nor have any of our friends. Nor has… well, anyone else I’ve ever met or heard of, besides the husband of former Olympian/call girl Suzy Favor Hamilton. For decades, he offered his spouse a love equal parts heartbreaking devotion and spectacularly questionable judgment. [Read more →]
Just as I expected, a judge from New York, Richard Berman, tossed out the NFL’s suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady that was handed out in the wake of the so-called “Deflate-gate” scandal. Details are not fully available yet, but the entire suspension was removed and Brady will be eligible to play in next week’s season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
I have been totally perplexed at the NFL’s insistence on fighting this thing all the way to this point, as they clearly had no real case and were very likely to end up with a really bad look. I guess the league felt that a compromise would somehow look even worse (it wouldn’t have), and since Brady flatly refused any deal that involved an admission of guilt, the NFL felt like it needed to follow through with the judge. Bad choice. Now the league has been thoroughly embarrassed, and all for something that was so ridiculous and trivial in the first place. Millions of dollars (for the Wells Report plus legal fees) later, all that was accomplished was a foolish look and the loss of some serious clout.
More to come.
I’m a few days late on this, but the story really never gets old. After all, how often does an NFL starting quarterback get his jaw broken by a punch delivered by a player on his own team? That’s exactly what happened to Geno Smith of the New York Jets last week. [Read more →]
Many athletes have gotten themselves in trouble by using social media without thinking things through before posting. I have highlighted many of them here in this space. Today, we found out that this kind of gaffe is not limited to just players. Vanderbilt University tweeted out a doozy this morning.
Two years ago, four Vanderbilt football players were indicted on rape charges after an incident that happened in a dormitory that summer. Two of the players were found guilty back in February of this year, while the charges against the other two players are still pending. Despite all that ugliness, the team’s official Twitter account put out a new ad campaign today. The tweet looked like this:
Wow. Someone got paid to come up with that. The program then sent it out to the world. Even if it wasn’t so clearly a huge mistake, it also doesn’t even make sense. My guess is someone will be out looking for a job tomorrow.
These athletes just make it all so easy sometimes. Digging for stories is fun, but it’s simpler to just let one of these overpaid, spoiled children write the story for you. Sheldon Richardson, star defensive end for the New York Jets, has done just that this week.
A few weeks ago, Richardson was suspended for the first four games of the upcoming NFL season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Marijuana was reportedly the substance in question. The 24-year-old said all the right things in the wake of his suspension, although it was clearly just lip-service, as it turns out. Less than two weeks later, he was arrested in St. Louis for an incident that just got worse the more you read about it. Police clocked him driving his Bentley at a ridiculous 143 miles per hour. When they began to pursue him, he left the highway, went through a red light, and reportedly tried to pull into someone’s driveway to hide. If that weren’t bad enough, check out this trifecta of brilliance: he had a loaded semi-automatic handgun in the car, there was a strong smell of marijuana detected by the arresting officers, and there was a 12-year-old kid in the car with him. Wow!
This guy is one of the best young players in football. His prodigious skill looks very likely to be missing from the playing field for a lot longer than the four games he was already going to miss, and justifiably so. If he were a scrub, he would have already been cut. I am interested to see what the Jets do with him.
From time to time, the bad sports and good sports are so intertwined that it is hard to figure out which one wins out. This may be one of those occasions, although I’d give the edge to the good side. This past week, EA Sports, a video game company, revealed the cover of the next edition of its popular soccer game, titled “FIFA 16.” For the first time ever, a female player appears in the picture. Alex Morgan, a star on the U.S. women’s national soccer team, is shown next to male star Lionel Messi. [Read more →]
By the time Donovan McNabb left Philadelphia, the former Eagles quarterback had most certainly worn out his welcome. People here were just tired of his act. Andy Reid, the head coach, was in the same boat, and although he hung around a bit longer than his hand-picked quarterback, fans were just as ready to see him leave. Donovan had a very successful career here, and since retiring from the NFL, he has moved into a broadcasting role. It remains to be seen, but that career may be over too. [Read more →]
I try to always limit the news I discuss to things that happened during the most recent week. I decided to throw this little bit out there on its own because it’s too good a story to never make it to Bad Sports, Good Sports.
Jason Pierre-Paul, the star defensive end for the New York Giants, managed to blow his hands up while shooting off fireworks over the holiday weekend. He suffered burns on both hands, and injured his right ring finger so badly that doctors were forced to amputate it on Wednesday. This is a man who makes his living by trying to fight his way past 300+ pound offensive linemen to get to the quarterback. His hands are kind of important in that effort. He was designated as the team’s franchise player this offseason, guaranteeing him almost 15 million dollars next season, while his agents and the Giants try to work out a long term deal. There was supposedly a $60 million deal on the table, but that has now been pulled after the injury.
Exactly how big a moron can a person be? Hey Jason…go watch a fireworks show somewhere. Leave the incendiary devices to professionals and far away from your $60 million hands.
The most amazing thing about this story? The number of fingers Pierre-Paul lost was one fewer than the number lost by C.J. Wilson, a defensive back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, doing the same exact thing this past weekend. Wilson is not the big star that Pierre-Paul is, and he doesn’t have a big pending contract offer at the moment, so the coverage of his story has not been nearly as widespread. Still, two NFL players lost fingers to fireworks on the same weekend.
For anyone who has been looking for BSGS these past two weeks (you know who you are), I apologize for being AWOL. After a wonderful anniversary trip to Paris, I will be back writing the column next week.
Ah, college football. The bastion of amateurism and sport played for the love of the game. When I think of it, I think of beautiful fall afternoons, green grass, cheerleaders, wide goal posts, and, of course, erstwhile rappers/music moguls assaulting conditioning coaches. Maybe that’s just in Los Angeles. [Read more →]
As a sports fan, I understand the idolatry that goes on with professional athletes. The few occasions I had to meet or even just be near one of these guys was very exciting for me as a kid. I remember standing down by the field with a pen and paper waiting for my favorite Phillies to come by and scribble their names. My baseball glove has Jim Eisenreich’s autograph on it to this day. I have to say, though, that the culture around collecting and selling autographs is a very odd one to me. This week, a man sold a urinal signed by Barry Sanders on eBay for $3000. Yes, you read that correctly.
We stand for justice here at BSGS. I show my biases regularly, but I usually root for fairness. At least, I like to think I do. So when an athlete that I really dislike is getting the short end of the stick, I am happy to stand up for that individual. OK, maybe “happy” isn’t the right word, but at least “okay with it.” This week, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, one of my least favorite people in all of sports, got the shaft from the National Football League. There is little doubt that the league is being very hypocritical here. [Read more →]
Last weekend, my eighth-grade son’s soccer team, The Inferno, played their last game together.* Eh, maybe it’s really not that momentous in the grand scheme of the great world, but this is their sixth year playing travel soccer, and it’s been one heck of an enjoyable ride. [Read more →]
Last Wednesday, the corrupt house of cards known as FIFA came tumbling down. FIFA, or Fédération Internationale de Football Association, is the governing body of international soccer, which includes the enormous event called the World Cup. Every four years, this tournament is held somewhere in the world, and the teams that have made it through the myriad qualifying rounds compete for the championship in a city that has been selected to host. Now I am not a big soccer fan, and don’t follow the sport anywhere nearly as closely as many people out there, but even I had often heard rumors of corruption and bribery involving the FIFA officials. Last week, fourteen people were indicted as part of an investigation into mass wrongdoing within the organization. [Read more →]
Oh, Ruben Amaro Jr. Really? Are you genuinely this clueless? I find it hard to believe that a man in his position can be so completely tone deaf. The embattled general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies stuck his foot firmly in his pie hole the other day and then spent Tuesday trying to put out the fire. [Read more →]
A brief personal trip followed by a work trip has had me away for a while and I am unfortunately short on time to get a column together. We’ll return next week with something brilliant, I’m sure. In the meantime, here are a few stories to check out.
1) Pitcher Time Lincecum falls down.
2) Carlos Gomez gets hit in the head with a pitch.
3) Tiger Woods helps a stutterer.
4) Corey Kluber strikes out 18 and 12 in back-to-back games.
5) Rory McIlroy shoots a 61 at Quail Hollow.
6) Kentucky Derby winner American Pharaoh wins the Preakness.
Please make it stop! The self-righteous grandstanding by all of the haters of the New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady is making me crazy. If you don’t know what I am talking about, then you haven’t paid any attention at all to national news over the last couple of weeks. In the aftermath of “Deflate-gate,” about which I wrote back in January, the NFL has suspended Tom Brady for the first four games of this next football season, fined the New England Patriots a million dollars, and docked the team two future draft picks including its first round pick next year. How absolutely absurd. [Read more →]