Let me start with a couple of housekeeping notes. I was going to write about Duke basketball, but decided I will do a separate preview on the Dukies in the next day or two. Next, my appearance on today’s George Rogers Show is up and posted at www.georgerogersradio.com. My segment is the last 15 minute segment of the show. Now, onto my thoughts for today…
“Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya have signed to fight in May. This is the best fight Mayweather could possibly schedule in that a) it will yield the most money for him (minimum $10 million) and b) it is a fight that he is virtually guaranteed to win. If he retires as he claims after this fight, he is bound to go down as one of the best fighters ever. This fight will draw a ton of interest. De La Hoya is as big a name as the sport has, despite being a good but not great fighter. In addition, the Golden Boy is trained by the Pretty Boy’s father. Bottom line, lots of people will buy the pay per view, but this will be a one sided affair, as Floyd is way too quick for Oscar, and will bruise that face before knocking him out and going out of top. Personally, I would rather see Mayweather go out by fighting Winky Wright, a more unorthodox but better fighter than De Lay Hoya who could give Floyd all he could handle.
Speaking of mismatches, the Eagles demolished the Redskins on Sunday, ending the Mark Brunell era in Washington, and in all likelihood in the NFL in general. I argued on the George Rogers Show last week that the ‘Skins should go to Campbell, as it is clear they are going nowhere this season. They need to get the former Auburn star some game action to a) prove to themselves he can lead this team in the future, and b) so that, if that is the case, he gets valuable playing time so he is less green when next season rolls around. That is why Joe Gibbs is a Hall of Famer. It only took him one more week than it took me to figure all this out.
Word out of Detroit is that Matt Millen is on his way out as Lions President. I find this shocking. Here is a guy that was clearly the most inept sports executive West of the New York Knicks, and yet he has somehow kept his job. He is on his 3rd coach in 6 years. He has mangled the draft by picking bad players in the same positions over and over again. His teams all stink on the field. The only good part about having him in this job is that we do not have to listen to him in the broadcast booth, where like in his current role, he is not good, but somehow he is overrated in that capacity. Anyway, he has been awful since day 1, but somehow the rich, out of touch owner of the Lions gave him an extension before last season, proving beyond a reason of a doubt that Millen had blackmail materials that he was holding over WC Ford’s head. What a year for sports fans from Michigan: the Tigers had a fantastic season and went to the World Series out of nowhere, the Wolverines are playing in the biggest football game of the century on Saturday, and now the Lions are finally doing the right thing and getting rid of this cancer.
Quick switch of gears to hockey. The Flyers have played 17 games. They have won 3. This is a franchise that has not won a Stanley Cup for 31 years, but were ALWAYS in contention. What changed? Among other things about the game itself, the league implemented a salary cap last year. Now you cannot just outspend and be competitive any more. Sound familiar? Yes, that is right, this is why baseball needs a salary cap. So that you cannot outspend other teams and be competitive. Level the playing field. I am not, by the way, saying the Yankees would go from annual contender to winning 3 of 17 games if baseball implemented a salary cap. In fact, I think the Bombers could compete just fine under that scenario. They have a sound general manager, which, in fact, would put them at a distinct advantage against their biggest competitor, who is run by an overrated dope, Theo Epstein, who has made many more poor decisions than good ones, but who has a free pass because he happened to win one World Series. No, my point is that they should add skill to the equation in place of blind spending, and add a salary cap. Let the teams with the best organizations, not the deepest pockets, win. America would not root against the New York Yankees so much in this scenario.
If there were an award handed out in the NFL for “Worst Coach of the Year”, how could you not give the award to Marvin Lewis this year? This guy got a lot of credit for turning this team around over the last couple of years, and rightfully so. But this team had so much talent coming into this year that I, in my infinite wisdom, selected then to win the Super Bowl. And I am a genius (this is what I learned to say when I attended Bill Belichick’s Executive Management program this year!). Not only have the Bengals lost three straight games this year, but they have blew a 21-point lead (that they had twice) last week and gave up 42 second half points to the Chargers last week. Duke does not even give up 42 points in a half. I would jump off the Bungle bandwagon but, at this point, I am the only one left on it, so there is lots of room to stretch out and recline.
Is anybody else of the opinion that Bobby Bowden’s team has quit on him? In the past I have gone on record that I am a huge fan of what Wake Forest has accomplished this year (Grobe was one of my three deserving coach of the year candidates in my 11/8 post). But how can Florida St, with their magnificent stable of blue chip prospects and splendid athletes, lose at home by 30 to a team that cannot even recruit the Seminole leftovers. Wake has to take NC St and South Carolina leftovers. But they thumped the Seminoles by 30. I recognize that Bobby Bowden is desperate to hold off Joe Paterno and die as the winningest coach in Division 1A history (which is a joke since 11 of his wins came at Samford, which is not 1A but which somehow count), but Joe’s teams are still competitive (#3 in country last year, respectable and competitive this year), while the ‘Noles have fallen off the cliff.
I am rooting for Rutgers to run the table and go undefeated this season. It is just a fantastic story. But more than that, college football needs Rutgers to go undefeated. Because if they go undefeated, they are going to get screwed, and not get to play for the National Championship. And that will make the voices clamoring for a playoff a little louder, maybe just loud enough to create change. We need a playoff, but clearly the bureaucrats in charge lack the guts, the foresight and the creativity to make that a reality. If the Scarlet Knights can pull this off, the Championship game should be called the Rutgers Bowl from here on out. To illustrate how much of a no brainer a playoff system is, think about how ridiculous the following would be: imagine if someone suggested that college basketball needed to change their system and get rid of the NCAA Tournament and just have a bunch of individual game matchups for the best teams, and the Champion would be decided by a single game between the top two rated teams in the country at the end of the season. People would clearly have the person that made said suggestion committed to an insane asylum. The same principles are in place in college football. Fans would overwhelmingly support it, the idea would make a ton of money, and we would have a real National Champion. GO RUTGERS.