Sports world wide, especially in America, are taking a terrible beating.
The Tour de France, for example, was in shambles when it finished Friday. Two teams had pulled out and two individual stars — Alexandre Vinokourov and Michael Rasmussen — were expelled because of failed blood doping tests. Furthermore, Levi Leipheimer of the Discovery Channel team was penalized 10 seconds when TV cameras revealed he was pulled along by his team van. No yellow jersey, but he gets the Rosie Ruiz Award.
Here in America, sports wouldn’t even pass a stress test. Go ahead … name a sport, name a league. You need a broad brush.
The NFL has ordered Michael Vick and Adam “Pacman” Jones to stay away from training camp. Jones is the biggest nuisance in NFL history, and Vick is being hounded from football by animal-rights groups.
An NBA ref is accused of fixing games — the worst offense anyone in a striped shirt can commit. Imagine a defensive claim that he’s not guilty — he’s only inept.
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig is so embarrassed about his game’s steroids scandal that he took forever to decide on whether he would be there in person when steroids poster boy Barry Bonds breaks the all-time home run record. Everyone in the game should lower their eyes in shame, especially on the weekend of the Hall of Fame inductions in Cooperstown, N.Y.
In college sports, not everyone wears a sweater vest. An assistant football coach at UCLA was arrested this week as part of a burglary ring.
Arkansas football coach Houston Nutt recruited a highly-touted quarterback and a highly-touted wide receiver from the same high school by promising that he would run a pass-oriented offense. To seal the deal, he hired their high school coach. A year later he reneged on the promise. The two recruits transferred to Auburn. The high school coach quit the Arkansas job and took a coaching position at Tulsa.
However, there is also much good about sports and I am happy to share some positive stories which have been overlooked by a negative media.
Let us begin with the Arkansas coach because he’s fresh in our minds. Coach Nutt apparently has ended his relationship with TV reporter Donna Bragg. Their scandalous affair was not good for either of their ratings. Coach Nutt is now a role model again.
Las Vegas sports books will make refunds on all NBA games officiated by crooked referee Tim Donaghy. Call them and tell them how much you lost. They’ll send you the money. Those who won their bets on those games are asked to send their money back. Everybody is on the honor system here.
As for Michael Vick, Nike has suspended his endorsement contract, Reebok and the NFL pulled products bearing his name from store shelves and replaced him with Air Bud, the wonder dog. Vick’s football career also will be interrupted by a dogged federal prosecutor, but I have some cheery news for him. If he wants to see a game here in Cleveland, I can get him a ticket in the Dawg Pound.
Speaking of the Stadium, I learn that the plumbing contractor who installed the toilets is a Steelers’ fan, which explains everything.
Brady Quinn has still not signed with the Browns, but you’ll be happy to know that he seems to be getting along without charity — cancel that fundraiser. Last week, while his agent and Browns general manager Phil Savage were deep in negotiations, Brady was working. He was signing autographs at $75 a signature at a local mall. When he signs his name on a Browns contract, it probably will be worth $20 million guaranteed. Otherwise, John Czarnecki, a veteran pro football writer with foxsports.com, recommends that he sit out the season and re-enter the draft next year.
English soccer star David Beckham is almost a month into his $50 million contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy and he has played only 12 minutes, due to a bad ankle. I have figured this out. Beckham is payback for suckering Great Britain into the Iraq war. I now consider us even.
Contact Dan Coughlin at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.