The NFL schedules are out, and a few things stand out about each of the three Florida teams. Tampa Bay has to play four of its final six games on the road including a trip to Seattle in December. They get no primetime games at all, and will deprive their fans of a home game against New England so the Glazer family can try and leverage their Manchester United investment by having the team play in London. With the only early home games against Dallas and the Giants, this is a very difficult slate. I could easily see them opening 1-6 or 2-5 going into the bye week. The Jaguars avoid multiple week road trips all year until the final two weeks - at New England and Cleveland. Ouch - better have the wins you need for a playoff run by week fifteen. Miami has to go on the road four times in five weeks, with one game a Thursday night road trip to Charlotte. Seeing the Jets twice in twenty days is going to be odd for them as well. None of the teams got a perfect setup, but I think the Jaguars did the best of the group and Tampa Bay by far the worst.
Greg Paulus never came close to living up to his hype during his basketball career while playing for Duke. Now, he's apparently revisiting the idea of playing football in college. Despite Duke winning more games than Michigan last season, Paulus apparently is looking at playing for the Wolverines. Exactly why Rich Rodriguez would want to turn his offense over to a one and done player who hasn't taken a snap in four years is beyond me. Paulus did have a bunch of hype as a QB coming out of high school from New York, that hotbed of high school football. There's just no way the recruiting gurus in football completely blew it too, is there?
I find it hilarious that Alabama offensive lineman Andre Smith has fired his agent less than two weeks before the draft. There were plenty of observers who questioned Smith's choice to represent him, and he certainly has appeared poorly prepared throughout the process. But firing the agent as if it's mostly his fault would make me even less likely to select Smith if I was an NFL GM. Anyone with a functioning brain knows that a college player who's being evaluated for pro football needs to be in as good a shape as possible. Unless Smith's agent was recommending he eat entire honey-baked hams every day and wash them down with 32 ounce bottles of melted butter, I'm not sure how he's to blame for his client's woeful conditioning. An agent is supposed to help a player make the best possible case for himself, but if a guy lets himself go like Smith did there's not much he can do to stop it from happening.
A group in Dallas is trying to bring the College Football Hall of Fame to their city. Do you even have any idea where it is right now? The answer is South Bend, Indiana. While convenient for Notre Dame fans, that's not exactly a vacation destination. The hall belongs somewhere people may actually visit to be able to enjoy the museum and appreciate the history of the sport. I don't now if Dallas is the right spot either, but it's a lot closer to fitting the bill than South Bend is.
This Thursday is the deadline for bidders to submit their offers to purchase controlling interest in the NHL's Montreal Canadiens. There's been a great deal of buzz around the idea singer Celine Dion is going to be the buyer. While I'm sure that would have VH-1 drooling at the possibility of a reality show or stealing the concept and using it with someone else ("Scott Baio takes over as GM of the Lansing Lugnuts! It's gold, Jerry!"), this would not be the first time Celine has crossed paths with sports. When I first began working at 900/1230 in Gainesville/Ocala back in March of 1998, I did afternoons but also sometimes filled in as part of Buddy Martin's morning show. Each and every morning, Buddy ended his show by playing Celine's "Because You Loved Me" in its entirety. I think I can safely say we were the only sports station in the history of the format to do that.