A fistful of comments, asides and quick hits on the state of sports.
Although it may be time to shift to writing politics, now that the presidential candidates outnumber the players on the Falcons training camp roster.
Hmmm, what would Donald Trump say about …
… Tom Brady: “All quarterbacks are cheaters and liars. But at least he’s not as bad as that Mark Sanchez.”
… Jordan Spieth: “He’s got to do something about that hair. Two words for you, kid: Comb. And Over.”
… Caitlyn Jenner: “She looks great. In fact, great enough to enter the Miss USA Pageant, I think. And maybe bring ESPN with her. Please.”
… Serena Williams: “Sure, she is on the brink of a Grand Slam. She is a special, lasting champion. An athlete for the ages. But I make so much more money than she does, so I win.”
… Peyton Manning: “Not a hero. I like people that don’t lose, OK?”
Name that Brave
So, who is the most valuable member of the Braves in this season of the interchangeable Lego roster?
Here’s a vote for the equipment guy responsible for applying all the new names to the back of the jerseys. His fingers must be raw, his brain fogged by fatigue, his nerves frayed by some new strain of post-traumatic stress.
With the signing and immediate appearance of Kansas City cast-off Jason Frasor last week, that brought to 51 the number of players the Braves have used this season. Yes, that’s a record (the team used 50 in
2007). And it’s only July. Triple digits are surely doable.
Fredi Gonzalez’s biggest need this season: A memory course just to stay on top of his roster. Making any sense at all of this ever-changing collection is justification enough for the manager’s recent contract extension.
All the coming and going of players – ah, remember Donnie Veal, good times – has made it double difficult to form any lasting attachments to this team.
So many temps and rentals – whatever happened to John Cornely, anyway – that home games began taking on the feel of date night at Charlie Sheen’s place. You never know who would show up.
There is a special place in fan heaven for anyone who in October can name every member of the 2015 Braves. For that matter, there’s a nice little corner reserved for anyone who would even make the effort.
What is a Russell Wilson Worth?
The great quarterback conundrum playing out in Seattle is far too interesting to confine to one corner of the country.
Having won more games than any quarterback the last three years, appearing in two Super Bowls over that brief time, Russell Wilson certainly is worth more than the $1.54 million he is due this season, here at the end of his rookie deal.
He just saw Cam Newton sign for five years and $103 mill, and the Panthers quarterback does not have Wilson’s track record. Matt Ryan makes $20 mill a year, and do we really need to harp further on that postseason resume?
And yet here are the Seahawks weighing some real other concerns: They have a large core of other veterans to re-sign; they are more driven by other offensive factors (namely Marshawn Lynch) than other teams; they rightfully worry about committing so much salary to a single player; they wonder how much longer Wilson can stay healthy given his style of play.
In the Wilson case we have the most interesting set of variables yet to the eternal question: How much can you devote to one player in a salary-capped enterprise and still win?
And having thousands of miles between us and an emotional attachment, all we need do is lean back and enjoy the conflict.
Tom Brady will win, he always does
There is no possible way the New England Patriots quarterback is ever going to serve that four-game suspension handed down after Deflate-gate.
Here’s why: He’s Tom Brady. He’s married to a super model. He wins Super Bowls like other guys win gin games. Greg Hardy just got his suspension for domestic abuse reduced to four games – and if that’s the standard they should give Brady a Presidential Medal of Freedom just before he goes out for the season opener.
And now there is the notion, as professed by football savant Peter King, that the NFL needs to defer any action on Brady until it completes its scientific survey on just how much air escapes a ball over the course of normal use. Yes, the league is studying that this year. I’m sure the NFL will get a government grant.
OK, I give up. Just forget the whole thing.
One last hip, hip hooray
He passed quietly the first of the month, with nary so much as a 21-backflip salute to see him off. Let’s pause once more to give the man his due.
Lawrence Herkimer, often called the grandfather of modern cheerleading, was 89 when he died in Dallas.
His legacy, according to his New York Times obituary, was to elevate cheerleading “into an aspirational goal for generations of youths.”
He also patented the pompom and invented a leap known as the “Herkie jump.” There was big money to be made spreading the elements of good cheer – it made Herkimer a millionaire many times over.
So, one last time, with feeling:
Gimme an H. Gimme an E. Gimme an R. Gimme a K. Gimme an I. Gimme a M. Gimme another E. Gimme an R.
Herkimer, Herkimer, Herkimer.