Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Wednesday 12/19 A.M. Quickie:
Parcells, Pro Bowlers, Clemens, Vitale, More

Today's Names to Know: Bill Parcells, Roger Clemens, Florida State, John Salmons, Dick Vitale and More.

Bill Parcells to run Falcons football operations? Wow. What a U-turn by the Falcons -- it would be such a P.R. and strategic coup for a team smacked down by both the Vick and Petrino scandals.

If this works out, huge credit to owner Arthur Blank for making the boldest move possible. For Parcells, it's a good deal: The Falcons have nowhere to go but up and really need to remake their entire image.

(And, hey, the Falcons sure could use a starting QB: How 'bout Parcells fave Vinny Testaverde?)

NFL Pro Bowlers, The Top Storylines:
Sean Taylor starting: Symbolic gesture of the year in sports.
Starting QBs are Brady, Favre: Well-earned, both.
Rookie sensation: Adrian Peterson. Much-deserved honors.
Biggest snub: Fred Taylor. He deserved it over Joseph Addai.

Roger Clemens goes the "denial" route: I wouldn't keep him out of the hall for the cheating, but I would keep him out of the Hall for lying to fans.

Mitchell proffered at least a minimum of evidence, which you can take for what you will; Clemens offered only his word, which you should take for very little.

If he is telling the truth in his denial, the damage from the Mitchell Report will never be undone; if he is lying, he has just looked all fans in the face and lied to them -- that's brutal.

Here is the question, although it will never be answered: Has Andy Pettitte personally ever seen Roger Clemens do steroids? Let's have someone ask him.

(Meanwhile, isn't there a way for the Feds to call Clemens as a witness in a small case against Brian McNamee, if only to force Clemens to testify under oath -- and either perjure himself or reveal his denial is b.s. by taking the 5th?)

Must-Read: The ghostwriter of Canseco's "Juiced" sent a fascinating Letter to the Editor to the New York Times. Here's a link.

Bud Selig and Don Fehr agree to meet to talk about making baseball's drug-testing policy stronger: "Agreeing to meet" isn't anything close to the same as "agreeing on a deal."

MLB Hot Stove: Are the Mariners about to sign Carlos Silva?

Florida State suspends 25 players in academic-fraud scandal: With those kind of numbers, it will be interesting to see what kind of team they will field in the Music City Bowl against Kentucky.

West Virginia Coaching Search: Assistant Bill Stewart is interim coach, but that's only because they have to play a bowl game. Presumably, he will not be Rich Rodriguez's replacement. Stewart may be a fine man and a fine coach, but in this hiring era, he's not "name" enough.

CFB: Tim Tebow named AP college football player of the year. (And, based on the photo of him floating around the Web with an unnamed hottie, he may also be considered as AP's "playa" of the year.)

NBA Stud: John Salmons, who scored a career-high 31 in a Kings win over the Nets. I have been tracking Salmons as a fantasy value pick-up all season long, but haven't pulled the trigger because I keep expecting him to cool off. Instead, he just keeps getting better, it seems.

College Hoops: Kansas seemed to have a little bit of trouble with Georgia Tech... Texas earned a quality non-conference win over a mid-major with a gritty win over Oral Roberts.

Get well, Dickie V: I'm not the world's biggest Dick Vitale fan as an analyst, but I appreciate what he does for the sport of college hoops -- and, of course, I wish him a full and healthy recovery. (Meanwhile, I think fans who haven't yet grasped Jay Bilas' TV brilliance will be pleasantly surprised by a Dan Shulman-Jay Bilas TV tandem.)

Don't forget to vote for this lowly 14-seed in the 64-blogger tournament. (Warning: Site holding the tournament is nominally NSFW... lots of pics of bikini-clad people.) Vote here/now!

-- D.S.


Brian in Oxford said...

I think Bilas is very good on TV, but does this mean they'll be pulling him off the Big Monday team with Sean and Raf? Isn't it his job to chaperone those two on the towns of the Big East after the games end?

pv845 said...

I would be a lot bigger fan of Jay Bilas and ESPN in general if the announcers could look to anyone outside of Tobacco road.

Ed Lamb said...

Assuming Roger Clemens is telling the truth when he denies having taken PEDs -- which is a huge assumption -- exactly how could he prove that he didn't? There is no way to prove that negative because MLB didn't conduct drug testing until a couple of years ago.

Clemens can't produce negative PED tests because he was never administered any such tests. So please stop demanding the impossible of the man -- that he prove a negative.

John said...

Jay Bilas' TV brilliance? Bilas is a Major Conference apologizer and often roots for Duke. He's one of the toughest commentators to listen to during a game.

Beetle said...

Has a player ever made the HOF without being elected to the Pro Bowl??
What if Fred Taylor puts together 3 more seasons at an average of 1,000 per? Doesn't seem like a long shot given the way he is playing right now. He'll finish with about 13,800 career rushing yards, and push ahead of the Bus of 5th all time.
Wouldn't he HAVE to be in elected to the HOF??

Anonymous said...

Basically the "evidence" that you allude to is just one person's testimony against Clemens' testimony. That is not exactly guilty beyond a reasonable doubt or a preponderance of evidence. Personally I think he is lying. I probably would too though in his position. He was juiced and so were the opposing players in an era where 95% of the players were on something.

As a fan, I like the Mark McGuire stance, let's talk about the future, not the past. Either impose real testing, be willing to regularly suspend 10-20 superstars per year and destroy your fan base or let this whole thing wash over.

I have seen drug scandals ruin pro cycling. It is not that cyclists are dirtier than any other sport, they just get tested FAR more.

If we test baseball players, we will find cheats. We will suspend cheats and fan interest will wane. Be careful what you wish for. Do we really want to watch a bunch of no name minor leaguers battle for the world series?

Joey said...

Biggest Pro Bowl snub:

Jonathan Ogden of Joe Thomas.

Ogden has missed 5 games this season. Baltimore went 4-1 in thos games. They are 0-9 WITH HIM. He's had a great career, but Joe Thomas may be the best LT in the AFC this year having given up only 1 sack and has formed a dominate left side of the line with Eric Steinbach (who could also be very deserving).

I thought Winslow had a pro bowl season, but you can't complain too much with the guys going instead although he averages more yards per catch than Gonzalez. I wouldn't want to see him play in it anyways with his knee.

I'm pumped up that Josh Cribbs made it. He's been one of my favorite players to watch since he was a freshman QB at Kent.

Unknown said...

Tim Tebow as "playa" of the year. Didn't Marques Slocum retire that award?

Unknown said...

Sally Jenkins wrote a fantastic column on the stark double standard that exists between white (Clemens, Pettit, McGwire) and black (Bonds, Marion Jones) athletes involved in the various PED scandals.

Not sure if it's overt, but it is certainly eye-raising.

Nelvis said...

"Meanwhile, I think fans who haven't yet grasped Jay Bilas' TV brilliance will be pleasantly surprised by a Dan Shulman-Jay Bilas TV tandem."

Great 2 hours of Bilas talk about wingspan