Tuesday, February 20, 2007

While I was away...

Bear with me, as I wanted to add my 2 cents to some of the topics that made news while I was away from TWFE...

Dre' Bly wants a trade, and the Lions are willing to listen to offers: If things couldn't get any worse for the Lions, we learn that Dre' Bly wants out of Detroit. Why couldn't it be Matt Millen making that demand? Damn...

If that wasn't enough of a hoot, I then read that many fans are saying, "Don't let the door hit you on the ass, Bly!" The one question I want to ask those fans is, "Just who do you think is going to replace Bly?" You hear any manes, other than "Bueller?" I sure don't.

Bly isn't the prototypical Tampa Two corner, but he is still the best (When Shawn Rogers is taking the play off, that is...) defensive player on the Lions. If Millen lets Bly go, they best have a replacement under lock and key, let alone under contract, and get more for him than what they got in return for Joey Blue Skies from Miami. (That being a 2nd day draft pick, Ricky Williams' bong, a gift certificate to Shula's Steakhouse, and a Betamax copy of the pilot to "Miami Vice." Millen sure played hardball with the Fish...)

I doubt Bly isn't the only veteran, on either side of the ball, who wants out of Detroit. He is damn near the only one worth anything in return. Put Fernando Bryant on the block, and the silence from other NFL teams would be deafening.

To put it simply, the Lions are a joke, wrapped in a clusterfuck, surrounded by a fiasco.

Tomas Holmstrom signs an extension with the Red Wings: Good, good, good! In my mind, this is another nice move by Ken Holland.

Since the Wings renaissance over a decade ago, there has been one constant with their roster. That being the lack of players who are willing to do the dirty work of pissing off opposing goaltenders by working the front of the net. Save for Homer, of course.

I was thrilled to see that the Wings will have Homer for another 3 seasons. He's sacrificed his body for the greater good more times than any other Red Wing this side of Steve Yzerman. I'd bet that Psycho Eddie Belfour alone has carved up the back of Holmstrom's legs to the point of leaving them looking like a road atlas. I'm happy to see a blue collar player who does whatever is necessary to win get rewarded.

Scottie Pippen contemplates a return to the NBA: Migraine Boy wants to come back to the league? Amazing! Even more amazing was reading NBA writers were actually taking Pippen seriously, thinking he could actually contribute to a playoff team! Who in the NBA would want a 41 year old used-to-be, who has never won a damn thing unless he was acting as Michael Jordan's caddy? Well, other than Pat Riley. I know there are a boat load of incompetent GM's in the NBA, but there's no GM that certifiably stupid.

40-somethings don't improve your chances of winning a NBA title. Players who retire, then con someone into giving them a shitload of money to return a few years later don't improve your chances either. Jordan couldn't do it. Magic couldn't do it. And Pippen is nowhere near as good as those two. (Don't get me going on Pippen being on the "Top 50 NBA players of all time" list. A travashamockery of the highest order) It's sad to see players tarnish their careers by attempting to come back, even though they are only a shadow of their former selves.

Michigan is still in the hunt for a (very) low NCAA seed: Honestly, I'm not all that thrilled about it. What does the fact that U of M is still on the NCAA bubble prove? Just that the Big 10, save for Wisky and tOSU, is God awful. (Considering that God awful state of the Big 10, just how good are Wisky and tOSU? Probably not as good as their records) Say the Wolverines do somehow manage to sneak into the NCAA's as a double digit seed. I'll give you odds that Michigan gets knocked out in the first round, and it won't be in a close game.

It's sad to see how far the program has fallen, hoping against hope to get one of the last at-large bids. It's obvious that Tommy Amaker is not the coach to make the Wolverines a NCAA tournament regular, and the sooner Michigan AD Bill Martin realizes as much, the sooner this embarrassing farce of a Big 10 program can move on.

NASCAR throws the book at Michael Waltrip's team for cheating: I thought that NASCAR was actually going to begin enforcing their rules with an enthusiasm they have never shown before. Get caught with an illegal car in the past? NASCAR will fine you 25K, and say "Tsk, tsk, don't do that again." When a top tier team spends 15-25 million a season, that's probably what they spend on baseball caps for one weekend. Big damn deal.

But they actually made an example of Waltrip, and Toyota for that matter, when inspectors found some sort of combustible substance (Jet fuel, Hank Hill endorsed propane, Micheal Jackson's hair, NASCAR's not talking) in Waltrip's intake manifold. Waltrip got a 100K fine, 100 drivers and owners points were deducted (That really hurts, his chance at a championship ended right there), indefinitely suspending his crew chief and team manager, and impounding the car. I thought, "Good for NASCAR, about time they started doing more than just giving slaps on the wrist for cheating violations."

Then Jeff Gordon's 24 car was found to be not quite kosher after his qualifying race. NASCAR's ruling? "You can keep the win Jeffy, you aren't disqualified from the Daytona 500, you just have to start next to last. 'K?" Same old same old. Then there was the fiasco on Sunday, when NASCAR just plain ignored their rule book at the end of the race.

I'm sorry, but if NASCAR wants to be taken seriously by more than the hardcore race fan, the series has to be consistent with how, and when, they apply their own rules. Get caught cheating? Make it hurt. Hurt the owner, the driver, and most importantly, the sponsor. If that means sitting a team for a week or more, so be it. Send home a team with a big dollar sponsor for a week or three, and you'll see cheating become the exception, rather than the rule.

For example, say Chad Knaus, the crew chief for defending Nextel Cup champ Jimmie Johnson, who has a long history of bending the rules, gets caught again. Do you think that their big time sponsor, Lowes, would be happy to hear that the 48 team, the team they give an enormous amount of money to, the team that is literally the face of their company to much of the public, was sent home for blatant rules violations? I think there would be Hell to pay in the boardroom of Lowes, and that Hell would roll all the way downhill to Johnson, Knaus, and Hendrick Motorsports.

Penalize the sponsor, and you'd see the teams follow the letter, not just the spirit, of the law in Nextel Cup. As it stands currently, the old racing adage, "If you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin'" is still true.

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