Monthly Archives: July 2007
Just a few things I’m thinking about right now:
* Shout out to my friends Andy and Laurie who survived taking the Virginia State Bar Exam earlier this week. I am incredibly proud of both of them. Results won’t be announced for several months, but surviving taking the exam is half the battle.
*I can’t seem to get that song “This World Is Not My Home” out of my head. I’m on day 2 of it being stuck on repeat in my brain.
* Wake Forest Basketball Coach, Skip Prosser, Dies
by UNC Athletic Comm.
Posted Jul 26, 2007
University of North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams comments on the death of Wake Forest Coach Skip Prosser …
“I am absolutely shocked and deeply saddened. Today the world has lost not just an outstanding basketball coach, but a great person and great friend. I was fortunate to be friends with him even before I came back to Carolina. Over these last four seasons there have been several occasions on which he was the first coach to call and offer his heartfelt congratulations. I’ll always remember him calling after the 2006 season to say what a great job we had done after losing all the players from the championship team. That call meant so much to have come from another coach. This April, I heard from a hundred or so coaches after the Hall of Fame announcement, and Skip was the first to call. But Skip was someone who will be measured in terms of his actions, not just words. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. The world has lost a great person and great family man.”
*Michael Vick barred from training camp until further notice
I’m not going to make the headline “Michael Vick pleads not guilty” because seriously…who expected him not to do that? But I am pleased thus far with the NFL and Falcons’ decisions. The Falcons’ owner, Arthur Blank (God bless him) was prepared to go so far as to cut Vick, but settled on suspending him for the maximum 4 games allowed by teams under the collective bargaining agreement, but Roger Goodell, being the smart guy that he is, asked them to hold off on that until his independent review by his hired outside investigators and lawyers could be completed. This was two fold actually. If the Falcons hand down the 4 game suspension, Vick still gets to go to training camp and the suspension can be appealed and go before an arbitrator. But with Goodell banning him from training camp, that creates a temporary fix where one was needed. Then after the review is completed, Goodell may choose to hand down a heftier suspension based on the results of the review. When the Commissioner hands down a suspension, any appeal goes directly to the Commissioner and is not sent before an arbitrator effectually creating a dead end and making the suspension STICK. And that’s what I want. I want whatever the NFL chooses to do to STICK and not have the benefit of an arbitrators decision. I was pleased that both Goodell and Blank stated that these charges were heinous and that neither of them would tolerate such actions by an NFL player, but I’m also pleased that they’re going about this the right way by looking as deeply into the charges, the investigation, and the evidence before making a final decision. What I was not pleased with was this smirk on Vick’s face when he entered the courthouse yesterday. You can tell he still doesn’t get it. You can tell he still thinks he’s above the law. And whether he did this or not, he shouldn’t believe he is above the law EVER.
*SEC Media Days make a circus out of Nick Saban
I’m cautiously optimistic. I want desperately for Alabama to do well this season, but I’m concerned about the people who have reserved Nick’s ticket for the National Championship already. Good grief. Let’s give the man some time. Nick Saban makes the 6th head coach at Alabama since my freshman year in 1996 (7 if you count Joe Kines as acting head coach). Since 1892, Alabama has had 27 head coaches, and only 4 of them have won National Championships for us. What makes people think that Nick will be the 5th? I hope he is, but the head coach to championships ratio is seriously against him. That said, I’m excited about the 2007 Alabama football season even if we do fall flat on our faces. I’m still excited as I always am every year.
*Colts Set To Open Training Camp 7/29
…And Anthony Gonzalez, their 1st round pick, will be reporting on time because he signed his contract yesterday. I think it’s kind of a low dollar amount, but I wasn’t part of the negotiations, so I don’t know what was discussed. There are still 6 of the 9 draft picks left to sign, but there’s always today and tomorrow. I’m about a 3rd of the way through Tony Dungy’s new book, Quiet Strength, and so far it’s really great. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, and I’ve underlined statements. It’s not preachy at all, but just lays out one example of how to lead a life for Christ. He never says this is the only way, just that this is his way of being a faithful Christian. I’ll give a better, more detailed review of the book once I’ve completed it.
This news saddens me greatly. I thought I at least had one more season before I had to come to grips with the idea of him not being at left tackle to protect Peyton’s blindside since he would be a free agent at the end of the 2007 season. Granted he could give me fits with his tendency to commit false starts, but how great of a person and player he was incredibly outweighed those penalties. In fact there isn’t much about him that I didn’t like. A three time (04, 05, 06) pro bowl offensive lineman whose menacing ways on the field could fool you into believing this guy has no heart, but once he turns on the charm with that smile that could light up a room, you realize who the real Tarik is. #78 is one of the good guys, and I’ll greatly miss watching him deny defenses access to his quarterback. My heart aches right now, but I understand and appreciate Tarik for recognizing when the passion has gone out of him and choosing to step aside rather than hurt the team. He has always done what was best for the team.
It’s funny when I think about the fact that I wouldn’t be a Colts fan if it weren’t for Peyton Manning. Sure I might have followed them a little when Tony took over as coach because I love me some Tony Dungy, but my becoming a Colts fan was decided by the 1998 draft. And if it weren’t for that, I never would have fallen in love with so many great people, especially Tarik. When I look back many years down the road when I hope to one day be a Colts fan for more years than I wasn’t, I will see Peyton Manning and immediately look to his left to find Tarik Glenn because for me no one can replace him on that line. Sure someone will try to fill the void, but he brought so much more to his position than anyone ever asked for. I felt so safe, so secure when he was out there with Peyton because Tarik really was his bodyguard.
But I get it. I understand. He needs to walk away now, while he still can, when he knows his heart isn’t in it any longer. So, for 10 seasons, sweet Tarik, I say, “Thanks for the memories! See you in Canton!”
Here’s a Q&A with him from March of this year that will tell you more about the kind of man Tarik is.
Dear Commissioner Goodell,
I have to hand it to you. You are 3 weeks shy of finishing your first full year as the Commissioner of the National Football League, and you have easily cemented yourself as my favorite sports commissioner of all time with your zero tolerance, strong arm approach, which isn’t difficult since I tend to dislike most any commissioner of any sport. Although, Bud Selig is doing some things that make me smile from time to time.
The new conduct policy that punishes everyone from the player to the mailroom clerk is a thing of beauty. Players seem to be sitting up and taking notice, watching what they do and with whom they choose to keep company. The Pacman Jones suspension was nothing short of spectacular. I thought the Tank Johnson suspension was a bit late, but at least you didn’t make any idle threats. The fact that the Cincinnati Bengals can still field a team is a miracle in and of itself, but they’re getting by. Some people in the media are saying that the intent of the new conduct policy is to penalize those players who are repeat offenders. However, I thought your intent with the policy was to penalize those players and franchises whose conduct casts a negative light on the League.
So yesterday, oh yesterday, Mr. Commissioner, the best opportunity of your career landed on your door step in the form of a 19 page Federal Grand Jury Indictment. Michael Vick, quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons and former #1 overall draft pick, has been charged with competitive dogfighting, procuring and training pit bulls for fighting and conducting the enterprise across state lines. The indictment is graphic and quite frankly turned my stomach when I read it as it should with any human being. Dogs are living creatures, and these dogs were perfectly normal loving dogs before they were trained to fight to the death. Whoever is responsible for these acts deserves whatever is coming to them, and if Michael Vick is guilty, I’ll grant you, playing football should be the least of his worries.
Here’s the thing Mr. Commissioner. You can choose to let the legal system decide Michael Vick’s guilt or innocence (They did so well on that OJ Simpson case, why not leave it up to them.) or you can stand up for what is right and enforce what you said you would enforce…the need for proper conduct by NFL employees from the top down. Say Michael Vick is innocent, if these are the kind of people he allows to live on his property, he’s not keeping very good company, which is one of the things you reportedly stress when you speak to players about their off the field infractions. Also consider that while this may be the first time Michael Vick has been charged with anything, it’s not the first time he’s done something with negative consequences. Case in point, you fined him during the 2006 season for using an obscene gesture towards the fans while exiting a stadium.
You’re not alone in this situation though. The Atlanta Falcons Franchise has some thinking to do as well. Just a thought, but Humane Society and PETA picket lines outside of Falcon games could get old around the 3rd game of the season and losing corporate sponsorships could affect the Franchise and the League in the long run. Federal Grand Juries don’t typically indict someone over 19 pages of narrative without at least probable cause and viable evidence. So, given your options Mr. Commissioner, I’d stand up for what is right and prove the point you’ve been trying to make the last 11 months: conduct unbecoming the League’s definition of an NFL player will not be tolerated. The decision is yours, but keep in mind that this decision may very well define your entire career.