Monday, June 22, 2009

Why not bring back Leeman Bennett too?

Somehow I had been blissfully ignorant of Tampa Bay's plans to unearth the dreaded pastel pirate Bucco Bruce this fall. The Bucs gave up the Creamsicle look after the 96 season, and immediately began the most credible run the franchise has had in its history. Now, as they seem to be in the middle of a radical rebuilding project, they think the time's right to show off the old look. I assume this is about merchandise sales, because that's a curious choice at best. Since the plan is to wear them against the Packers, maybe they can get Steve Young to flip the coin. I remember him trying to pick the snow out of his face after geting drilled into the frozen Lambeau turf one too many times in the infamous 1985 Snow Bowl.

USC hired Kevin O'Neill as their basketball coach this weekend. I've been interested in O'Neill's career since reading about him in Armen Keteyian's terrific book Raw Recruits. When he got the Tennessee job, I thought they had set themselves up for a great future. He got top talent, but couldn't get along with the administration long enough to coach it. Unfortunately for O'Neill, that's never changed. He seems to grate on people's nerves quicker than any person in the coaching profession. O'Neill actually looks like Paul Hackett, who inexplicably had the USC football job for three years before they brought in Pete Carroll. That's about how long O'Neill's likely to last too.

Like most sports fans, I have a collection of memorabilia I've acquired over the years. I've bought things like signs and banners from stadiums, and I've got tons of different team t-shirts and hats accumulated during my travels. Sometimes there's stuff I might want but don't feel I can justify purchasing at the price asked. I now have a new standard bearer for largest gap between what's being asked and what I would pay. The NFL Shop online thinks 449.99 sounds good for an autographed Ryan Leaf Chargers jersey. Shipping's not included, of course. Deals like that don't come along everyday. No, the money won't go toward Leaf's bail on the drug and burglary charges.

From the first time I heard about plans to make a movie out of Michael Lewis's Moneyball, I was puzzled. It's an excellent book, well worth reading as almost all of Lewis's stuff is, but it doesn't really have the kind of plot arc that lends itself to a movie script. Brad Pitt was signed up to play Billy Beane and it was about to start filming this month. Normally if Pitt wanted to make a Chinese food menu into a drama with him in the starring role and Stephen Soderbergh directing, someone in Hollywood would give the green light to Egg Foo Yong: The Movie. These are not normal times. Instead of making new movies the industry is busy screwing up stuff they got right the first time, like The Taking of Pelham One Two Three. For their next trick, they'll try to ruin Meatballs. Good luck to whoever tries to fill Bill Murray's shoes in that one - they'll probably go with someone like Johnny Knoxville or Dane Cook.

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