KOBE PUT THE "HOT" IN HOTLANTA. Just got back from a trip to Atlanta where I saw the Lakers-Hawks game Tuesday night. I stayed downtown near the Atlanta Underground/CNN/Phillips/Ga Dome area in which we walked pretty much everywhere.
I got to see (a) a moving tribute to the late Jason Collier....(b) Phillips Arena, which is a pretty sharp place....(c) the Lakers win....(d) Kobe dump 37 on Joe Johnson.
I also got to see and meet several displaced evacuees from New Orleans. The hotel where I was staying had a few living there. On an elevator, a guy gets on with me with a grocery bag with food [hot dogs and bread, I saw] and a grocery bag with clothes and says "they're moving me today." He told me he was from N'Awlins and how rough it was trying to get anything going in his new "home". There were several other evacuees wondering the streets and sleeping in a nearby park.
Humbling to say the least.
ANOTHER COMMISH WANES ON NEW ORLEANS. Paul Tagliabue publically stated that he wants the Saints to stay in New Orleans....but that if the team has to move it will. The DaVinci Code Breaker here is "don't get bent that we are moving this team to Los Angeles. I mean, we want to stay in New Orleans but it isn't viable." Whether that is spin or a PR damage control is yet to be seen. Now the NBA's David Stern is doing the same thing. Last week, he said that he wants this team back in New Orleans. This week, he admits that this team may move and that Oklahoma City [which is the temp home for the Hornets] is the frontrunner for the team if New Orleans isn't viable. Again...preventive damage control. To be honest...I have no problems with either move. This isn't greed as much as it is a business decision. Oh...there still is GREED involved...but that isn't the lone motive this time.
PETEY ROSE GETS ARRESTED. Something about an acorn and a tree?? Career minor leaguer Pete Rose Jr was arrested in a steroid bust in which Rose was to supply steroids to minor league players. I'm sure the entire Pete Rose family was really happy to see this come about. The familyhas already been linked to betting on baseball....now the juice???
While this should not reflect on the elder Rose and his kissing-baby campaign to try to get back in Selig's graces...it doesn't help either. Petey is 35 years old and his own man and this is HIS mistake....but public perception is "bad guy...bad husband...bad dad...great ballplayer".
FANTASY FOOTBALL GETS A HUGE JOLT. Two of fantasy football's biggest money makers are now gone. We all know the Terrell Owens saga [I will get to that in a moment]....but Priest Holmes is gone for the year too. Wow. Fantasy wise, I am sure that will kill those guys owners [it has in my league]. Real life wise....it may not be that bad. Sure, TO will be missed on the field...but off the field it seems that this is best. As for Holmes...well, Larry Johnson has done fine as his backup thus far. I'm sure Vermeil is hoping nothing happens to him.
EAGLES ARE DOING THE CORRECT THING. If they allow Owens back on the team....they will essentially alienate half the team [Donovan's half] while making everyone in that locker room unconfortable. Cut your losses in March guys.
SELIG IS COOL WITH LEGISLATION. Of course he is. He doesn't mind that the US Government is getting involved with the steroid discussion. The Players Association runs MLB and Selig cannot get anything of any merit done. With the Senate legislating steroid punishment....Selig can wipe his hands of the problem ["hey, I didn't do this....McCain and Bunting did!"] and can be made out to NOT be the bad [read: incompetant] guy in this situation. Donald Fehr gets that nod as his union was too slow to react to anything the committee wanted.
MAYBE PHIL JACKSON WAS CORRECT ABOUT COW CITY. Nice to see that Sacramento is in touch with it's feelings. Christopher Walken's favorite arena ["I need more cowbell!!!"] got off a crappy blast on D-town. With the Pistons coming to town....they Sacto scoreboard featured a burned down and decadant Detroit. Great. Nice move guys! Not onlyis it a horrible stereotype....but just out of touch. Why not just have a halftime show of "how far can you throw a blue cup???"
NBA SURPRISES, DISAPPOINTMENTS. Let's see...Detroit is 4-0 while New York is 0-4. Larry Brown WAS the reason the Pistons were so great, eh?? Also, it wouldn't surprise me to see all five Central division teams in the playoffs. Wouldn't surprise me at all! Take the Pistons, Pacers, Bucks, Bulls and Cavs....along with the Heat, Nets and the Wiz or Celtics....and there is your Eastern Conference playoffs. Nice to see the Clippers in first place and the Kings in last, huh??
DON'T BURY THESE NFL TEAMS!!! I know...I may be in a minority. But don't bury the Eagles yet. They are in last place...but only 2 games behind New York. They get the Giants twice...and the Cowboys and Redskins in Philly. So they can take that division. Same for the Patriots. Sure, they are 4-4 and have been run up at home by San Diego and Indianapolis....but they are the best team in the AFC East and have a pretty easy sked down the stretch. I've stated my case about the Vikings...who can still win the NFC North.
COLTS WILL NOT GO UNDEFEATED. But they will win the title. They are the best team in the NFL. They can run the ball very well. They can pass the ball very well. The can defend very well. They have a great kicker. They have a darn good coaching staff too. But they will slip up somewhere down the road. But, dude...they have at least TWO LESS LOSSES THAN EVERYONE ELSE IN THE NFL!!!