It IS the offseason, after all, so I hope you'll allow me to step out of the football uniform for one brief moment and give voice to something that bothers me greatly. China. The Olympics, or more pointedly, Olympic blindness that sees the Games as an excuse for any number of excesses.
Chinese police on duty in San Francisco? "What if we sent a SWAT team to China?" Mr. Heistad writes. "Do you think they would allow us to police their citizens?"
Of course not. That's only one thing wrong with this whole picture. Another is the wimpy position many Olympic people take when human rights clash with the Olympic movement. China, with its miserable record of abuses -- Tibet, Darfur, jailing their own dissidents -- never should have been awarded the Olympics in the first place, but now that they're the host nation, it's time to put pressure on it. And you do that by attacking its most visible image, the Olympic Games.
"Politics and sports should not mix," was the rallying cry of
After that? In Mexico City there was the slaughter of the students in the Plaza of the Tres Culturas, neatly hushed up by the Mexican government. I remember I had to file my stories by giving them to a Pan Am pilot to hand carry back, because the government cut off our filing facilities. In Munich it was the death of the Israeli athletes by the Black September terrorist faction. In Montreal it was the steroid explosion, the full scope of which only was felt in the German athletes' lawsuits years later. In Moscow it was the American boycott.
And always, I heard the same bleating of the same sheep that I'm hearing now...kill the demonstrations, stay away from the Olympics, and so forth. Britain's Prime Minister
But that's not the politician's way.
• OK, I'm off the soap box. Back to the innocent world of football we go, and thanks for listening to me (you DID listen, didn't you?). A deuce from
"Which one hit harder?"
• I'm getting ripped for my preference for the 15-yard interference penalty over the point of infraction call. It 's my own fault. I told
So stepping in with a left hook to the groin is
Brian's complaint: cut the size of the penalty down to 15 yards and you'd kill the long passing game in the NFL. Receivers would be getting hacked to death downfield.
The answer is that coaches aren't going to coach their DBs to hack people to death downfield. They don't want to give up 15 yards any more than they want to give up 40.
In the army, and before, I played both tackles and found them equally hard. Then for a week my army coach decided to shift me to center. Oy vay! Nose tackles -- middle guards they were called in those days -- were taught to beat up the center. I had a headache every night. I wrote my mother that I wanted to come home. Then my buddy,
Bingo! And thank you, my paisan Joe! Back I went to tackle. Yeah, center was toughest for me. Later I was a guard in the semi pro leagues and I didn't like that much, either. Didn't like much of anything, actually. A wideout! That's what I was born to play. But there weren't too many of them in our league who ran a 6.8 forty.
• The name,
"You could of included more of what Mr. Kraft had to say that elicited the standing ovation in the first place," he adds. I could of, uh, could have, if said ovation had actually taken place. The actual incident elicited a smattering of applause, a few owners getting doused by the smatter. The only thing he could have said that would have induced an ovation would have been, "Drinks are on me."
I particularly liked friend Bill's closing remark: "Upon further review maybe it is time for you to move on as your constant cynicism has clouded your ability to do your job. Bring on the redhead."
Hold on a minute. "
This Kraft thing gets deeper. Next email is signed
Dom-baby, you really had fun with these, didn't you? I mean I haven't had a collection like this since the old
• Whoops, this next one is halfway sane. From
• Pittsburgh's division-winning 10-6 in a so-so division shouldn't get as high a playoff seed as Jacksonville's 11-5 in a tougher division, the AFC South, says
• How have disasters befallen Cincinnati, let me count the ways, is the cry of
Oh oh, here's another one. What the hell are they doing to me?
• Now here's an email I can really sink my teeth into.
You've given me a lot to chew on, so rather than giving you a biting reply, I will turn it over to said Redhead for an address. And here it is: "Next time I make it, I promise to send you an eight-pound block of it. With cinnamon. If groucho doesn't like it, tough."
• Three good ones to close this chapter, accompanied by the tinkle of wedding bells and shrieks in the night...no, make that cries of delight.
What do I think of it, asks
Personally I think it's a good deal all around. They're both pairing up with nice people, Andy with a bright, clever young woman, Brookie with, well, that's hard to say. He visited our taping two times last season. The sight of me drove him wild. He was heard to tell a technician, "I can't stand the sight of my Brooklyn with that obviously paid gigolo." After the show he challenged me to a duel. I declined because I didn't feel it would be professional to hurt the lad. The pipers struck up