Friday, February 13, 2009

Free Kicks

I normally have a long, involved lead-in where I drop some personal anecdote, but this time I just feel like lining up for the kick…

Selig’s Talk is Cheap
Bud Selig, the man who turned a blind eye to steroid use for the mass majority of his tenure as baseball’s commissioner, is now once again reeking with the stench of hypocrisy as he has turned his judgment on Alex Rodriguez, saying that the All-Star and MVP “shamed the game” with his steroid use, and even going so far as to consider suspending him. Bud Selig is the one who has shamed the game. He enabled these sluggers by never doing anything beyond an occasional memo to curb drug use in his sport, by ignoring it until the public had started to walk away from the game. His long tenure is stained by his inaction and arrogance from on high, ridiculing the debauched state of the sport that he helped create.

Bud Selig has no right to criticize any steroid user; he is like the corrupt cop who does nothing to stop drug dealers on his beat. He knew what was going on- if not individuals than in general, and as the commissioner it was his job to tackle these problems head on. For all my criticism of David Stern (not much on this blog, but personally), he has taken aggressive action to clean up his game, and the first thing that Roger Goodell did when he became the NFL commissioner was to attack the problem of player conduct head-on. All the while Selig has sat by until it took the most incompetent group of individuals in the nation- Congress- to step in and demand answers. I guess Congress is only the second most incompetent group of individuals… aside from Mr. Selig.

Thoughts on the 2009 Schedule
Yesterday the UMD athletic department released the 2009 football schedule, and as a fan I am very pleased by it. Yes, it is backloaded like most Maryland seasons, with Virginia Tech, Florida State, and Boston College in consecutive weeks to end the season, but the Terps luck out on their home games this season. They get Clemson, Boston College, Virginia Tech, and Rutgers as key home games, though they will start the season with a major contest going across the country to face Cal in a rematch of last year’s Terps rout. Luckily, win or lose they will return home to face 1-AA James Madison, which will ensure that this team doesn’t get battered two weeks in a row, particularly after flying back. There are tough dates on October 10th at Wake and November 21st at Florida State, but that is a small price to pay for the other rewards this schedule offers. I am not that bullish on the Terps just yet, but it looks like their road might be easier than last year’s.

The Last Ever Favre Mention on ATH?
That’s right, this could be it. There isn’t much I haven’t said about Brett on this blog, from defending his decision to come out of retirement last year and blasting Packers management on through the offseason. I never said he would be great if he returned, but that he deserved the right to retire whenever (and how ever many times) he wanted. However, after watching his body break down towards the end of last season and his team listlessly flounder to a 9-7 finish after starting the season 8-3, I am glad to see this quarterback end his career for good. He has realized that, unlike last season, his body is now unable to perform at the level it used to, and it is time to walk away. This time the great gunslinger is out of bullets, and gets to ride off (much more quietly this year) into the sunset. I wasn’t all that into NFL football (as opposed to the college ranks) until 1998, when I watched Brett Favre lose the Super Bowl to John Elway and the Broncos- that game alone made the Packers my #2 team for the length of Favre’s career in Green Bay, and though he lost made me appreciate what a great quarterback he was. Enjoy Mississippi, Brett. While everyone else is saying good riddance, I still say good luck to you.

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