Category: Sports Rage Page

06/04/12

New Low: Terrell Owens Cut by "Indoor" Football Team

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-Digger's Daily-

Indoor Football League's Allen Wranglers flat out dumped Terrell Owens. According to Allen Wranglers team owner - Owens could "no longer be tolerated." T.O. was released by the Allen Wranglers and lost his ownership stake. Gone was one of the leagues most anticipated acquisitions due to - what else - Terrell Owens lousy attitude on and off the field of play.

Wranglers owner Jon Frankel issued the following statement announcing Owens termination:

"Our fans are amongst the best in the league and it is impossible to maintain a player when even our fans notice and comment on a player's lack of effort both on and off the field. We need to do what is best for this team, our fans and this community."

Once again, the NFL's former six time Pro Bowl wide receiver wore out his welcome. He's a community service nightmare evidenced by his no show for a scheduled appearance at a local children's hospital with other players and coaches. He also told the team he wasn't planning on playing in two upcoming games with playoff implications.

Terrell never tires of failing teammates. A player who used to call himself misunderstood is anything but what he claims. Owens proved time and time again he's not a team player. Not interested in community service. Not able to keep contractual agreements. Not worthy of praise.

You won't find Terrell's phone ringing for endorsements, future contracts or guest commentary appearances. He's effectively head gamed himself out of professional sports for good. It's hard to imagine anyone wanting to give this guy a 10th chance to bring disgrace to an organization. A sad ending for a physically talented individual with a terribly poor attitude.

03/23/12

Unsportsmanlike Conduct Sacks Saints

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-Digger's Daily-

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell slammed the New Orleans Saints "bounty" program. "A combination of elements made this matter particularly unusual and egregious." Goodell's statement also said, "a strong and lasting message must be sent."

In an unprecedented move Goodall suspended head coach Sean Payton without pay for the 2012 season, ordered Saints to forfeit second round draft picks for two years, indefinitely suspended former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, suspended GM Micky Loonis for 8 games, suspended assistanct coach Joe Vitt for six games and fined the organization $500,000. This all stems from New Orleans coaches offering cash bounties to their players for targeting/injuirng opposing players.

Good for Goodall. A harsh sentence for unsportsmanlike conduct. It's no secret NFL players try their best to levy hits to remember against opponents. But, it's another thing when coaches offer cash "bounties" to take out opponents.

Payton becomes the first NFL coach suspended for any reason. He's been accused of covering up extra cash bonuses to players by ignoring instructions from the NFL and Saints ownership to make sure bounties weren't being paid (after the league first caught wind last season). The NFL took down Payton for "falsely deny that the program existed," and for trying to "encourage the false denials by instructing assistants to 'make sure our ducks are in a row."

This was as blatent as it gets in professional football. Coaches paying players to inflict harm. I can guarantee you bounties exist far beyond the NFL. I'm willing to bet it happens in college & high school football too (probably without cash payments).

Football is a tough game. New Orleans will pay a heavy price for their actions. Quite frankly, losing second round draft picks for two years isn't harsh enough. First round picks are justified in a situation where the commissioner's office directly forewarned Saints coaches to end this practice - they did not. No denials coming from New Orleans either. Plenty of apologies - suggesting this practice was in place for at least a few seasons.

Hats off to NFL officials on using the Saints as examples. I'm amazed their shenangan's remained a secret for this long. It shouldn't surprise anyone to learn this practice has been in place with many teams in the past. Hard to imagine legendary Bears, Raiders and a handful of others not instituting bounties. There's one glaring difference - the NFL will no longer put up with this kind of behavior.

11/09/11

Scandals, Strikes & Fines

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-Digger's Daily-

It's been a week filled with ugly news coming from the sporting world. Shocking scandals ending a legendary coaching career, sickening NBA negotiating impasse and disgruntled NFL players reacting to another round of fines by Commissioner Goodall. What's next? Hopefully nothing else to shock our systems.

NCAA
Penn State's football program sent shock waves throughout America. The scoop is Paterno's former defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, was charged over the weekend with 40 counts of molesting eight young boys between 1994 and 2009 through his charitable foundation The Second Mile (for at-risk youths). Also charged - in an apparent cover-up from 2002 - Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice President Gary Schultz for failing to notify authorities.

It's an ugly scandal. Legendary coach Joe Paterno is taking the news hard. Earlier this afternoon, Paterno announced his retirement effective at the end of this season.

"I have come to work every day for the last 61 years with one clear goal in mind: To serve the best interests of this university and the young men who have been entrusted to my care. I have the same goal today," Paterno said in his statement.

"That's why I have decided to announce my retirement effective at the end of this season. At this moment the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status. They have far more important matters to address. I want to make this as easy for them as I possibly can.

"This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more. My goals now are to keep my commitments to my players and staff and finish the season with dignity and determination. And then I will spend the rest of my life doing everything I can to help this university."

This is a bitter pill to swallow. Brooklyn born Joe Paterno "JoePa" is one of the most respected men in all of sports. A walking legend and Hall of Fame coach compiling over 400 victories. This is no way for a man of his stature to retire. However, this scandal isn't going away any time soon. Paterno will forever second guess, and be questioned, for not contacting law enforcement when learning of Sandusky's conduct with a 10 year old boy years ago in Penn State football's shower facilities. He did notify Athletic Director Tim Curley the next day. Paterno was cleared of wrong doing. But - On November 7, Pennsylvania state police Commissioner Frank Noonan said that though Paterno and others may have fulfilled their legal obligation to report suspected abuse, "somebody has to question about what I would consider the moral requirements for a human being that knows of sexual things that are taking place with a child," and that, "I think you have the moral responsibility, anyone. Not whether you're a football coach or a university president or the guy sweeping the building. I think you have a moral responsibility to call us" (from CBSSports.com).

Sandusky's story is certain to get uglier before it gets any better. Many will fall from ranks within Penn State. Stay tuned, more to follow.

NBA
What will it take for NBA owners and players to finally settle their differences? Caught in the cross fire are plenty of non-millionaire pay me more money non-players. Street vendors, parking attendants, concession stand employees, ushers, ticket takers, local transportation, restaurants, hotels and right on down the line. Wake up folks! Commissioner Stern has been slammed by pro-union media types. Owners called "Plantation owners" by NBAPA's executive director Billy Hunter (who seems less than honest in media dealings). 133 days of lockouts now threatens the entire NBA season for the first time in league history.
Hey players - when is enough enough? The world is burning. Finances of millions in ruins. The players holding out for more - despicable. Let's face it, next round (season) of tickets from arena to arena will skyrocket. Average families, already snake-bit by rising costs of everything from heat to milk, will now bear the burden of lining pockets of individuals least in need. I, for one, am fed up with sports labor negotiations. Days of owners taking advantage of players are long since over. Nowadays, it's clearly the other way around.

NFL
The Steelers have been fined 13 times for more than $182,000 this season for questionable tackles. Their latest fine has one player mighty miffed. NFL leveled a $40K fine against safety Ryan Clark and he's lashing out at Commissioner Goodall. NFL has levied many fines this season with the goal of curtailing head to head tackles which often lead to concussions. Players all know if they intentionally launch helmet first into another players helmet - a heavy fine is coming. However, during the natural course of a game, head to head hits will happen and aren't always intentional. In most cases, it's not intentional but NFL hands out fines nonetheless.
I suspect it's difficult to determine players intentions beyond clearly obvious launching hits. Defensive players around the league have become a bit miffed at Goodall's fines. How is a player to avoid helmet to helmet contact when players on offense often lower their heads a split second before a tackle is made. The original intent of fining players was for protection from clear helmet leading tackles. Not so anymore.

All Pro LB Ray Lewis:

"You can't stop playing defense the way defense has always been created to play," Lewis said. "When the receiver has the ball, your job is to disengage him from the ball. You never want to hurt nobody. I've been in this business too long. I just think once you start getting into these fines I don't know how they come up with the numbers most of the time."

It's time for the NFL to refine their system. Protecting player safety is always of utmost concern. But, let us not lose sight of the fact football is a dangerous game. There's a certain amount of risk on every single play. NFL needs to find a better way of determining avoidable hits from unavoidable hits - something they've yet to figure out.

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