Friday, February 25, 2005


Well, the Steelers have commenced house cleaning. It'll be interesting to see what else they do and if any of this will lead to Plax coming back.

This is too funny:
Could the sports arena in downtown Boston, smack in the middle of Red Sox Nation, would be named after one of the hated New York Yankees?

Maybe, for one day. Or maybe not. The FleetCenter hasn't decided.

It's been selling one-day naming rights for charity while it tries to line up a new long-term naming deal.

The winning bid for Tuesday's naming rights was made by a New York attorney. Kerry Konrad bid $2,300 on eBay. He wants the arena to be known as Derek Jeter Center, in honor of the Yankees' captain and shortstop.

Not so fast, said FleetCenter spokesman Jim Delaney. Delaney said he told Konrad that his naming request might not be accepted.

Konrad is a Harvard graduate with a 20-year rivalry with some of his Boston classmates.
I say rename the Fleet Center. Who cares? Does it change the fact that the Red Sox won the World Series, or that A-Rod is still a nerd, or that Kevin Millar is an even bigger nerd? I don't even think it qualifies as disrespectful. I mean, if you make the Celtics play in Yankees uniforms, that's one thing, but naming the place the "Jeter Center" for one day is hardly a big deal; plus, you get the added benefit of taking two grand from some dopey Yankees fan who thinks he's pulling a fast one on the city of Boston. If pulling a "fast one" entails parting with $2,000 for no clear reason, then knock yourself out -- multiple times.

In fact, the Red Sox might want to think about memorializing A-Rod's purse-toting-jaunt-down-the-first-base-line-as-he-tried-to-mug-"Brandon"-Arroyo in a similar manner. Specifically, they should consider renaming the first base coaches box something like, "A-Rod Way," or maybe for the less pithy, "Please be careful, you are entering a designated A-Rod mugging zone." And to turn a profit, the Sox could charge advertisers to rent the space. Just thinking out loud here.

OK, maybe I spoke to soon. Yesterday I mentioned that Temple head coach John Chaney was serving a self-imposed one game suspension for sending in 6'8" 250 lb. bench warmer, Nehemiah Ingram to rough up St. Joe's as retribution for perceived illegal picks. Well, Ingram fouled out after four minutes of hack-a-shaqqing, and yesterday we found out that he actually broke St. Joe's forward, John Bryant's arm. And he could miss the rest of the season. As someone commented yesterday:
"I hate Duke but at least his goon did not break anybody's arm, especially a senior whose career was just ended. Chaney is lucky with one game."
Fair enough. And unless they give Patrick Davidson a billy club and a taser, he's in no real danger of doing any lasting harm -- if nothing else, he's just a nuisance on the court. But I still think my Ingram - Davidson Goon Off is a good idea.

ESPN is recruiting the Bus for full-time studio duty next fall even as he tries to work out a deal that would bring him back to Pittsburgh for one more year. It's really no surprise that Jerome would eventually end up as a commenter/analyst/announcer given that he's always been well spoken, has a good relationship with the media (sans Mark "I'll eat your children too" Madden), and seems pretty smart. Of course I'd like to see the Steelers give Jerome the $1.5 million he's allegedly asking for, and then all of this would be moot. But I'm sure the Bus sees it as a win-win. If he gets a new contract, he'll get one more shot at a Super Bowl, or if he goes straight to the Worldwide Leader, he can be the third amigo in the Stuart Scott, Stephen A. Smith traveling clown show. Like I said, it's a win-win.

Seriously, if Bettis does go straight to television, I'm sure he and Jaworski would offer some much needed balance to the likes of Boomer and Michael Irvin. Either way, I'm sure he'll do well. Now if ESPN can just find a way to get Rush Limbaugh back in the mix ...

Speaking of the Steelers, guess what these guys have in common:
Hines Ward, Kendrell Bell, Kendrick Clancy, Matt Cushing, Clark Haggans, Chris Hoke, Chris Hope, Brett Keisel, Lee Mays, Chukky Okobi, Joey Porter, Antwaan Randle El, Oliver Ross, Chad Scott, Mike Schneck, Russell Stuvaints, Ike Taylor, Deshea Townsend, Keydrick Vincent, and J.T. Wall.
That's right, they're the Steelers traveling basketball squad known as the Footballers. Not surprisingly Chris Hoke is the best player, after honing his skills on the mean streets around Brigham Young University. OK, I'm kidding. But what's really funny is that while the Footballers visit area high schools, it's not the students that get to suit up; instead it's the teachers and coaches. Nothing like watching the overweight P.E. coach look completely outmanned -- and not overweight at all -- as he tries to D up Oliver Ross. And given his demeanor on the field, I'm sure that Joey "squeaky" Porter doesn't talk a lot of smack on the court.

Of course not all of the Footballers show up to every game. In fact, if you're really unlucky you could get stuck watching Mike Schneck, J.T. Wall, Kendrick Clancy, Chris Hoke and Brett Keisel go up against five stiffs posing as local school administrators. I think the only thing that's missing is Jeff Reed.