If you cover sports for a living, inevitably you will witness some moments of stupidity during interviews. Normally they come after tough losses, when someone's emotions run too raw and they let it rip. (Kellen Winslow, for example) Conference media days are not that way - typically everything is very straightforward and focused on the coming year. Thursday, that all changed as Hawaii coach Greg McMackin unleashed the most bizarre media days comment I have ever heard of. He referred to Notre Dame's players as doing "a little faggot dance" prior to their bowl meeting with Hawaii. If the head of a state university's football program dropping an anti-gay slur intentionally at a WAC press event wasn't crazy enough, McMackin then tried to convince the press not to report what he said. He had a better chance to levitate than he did of pulling that one off. McMackin is now in damage control mode, but is expected to survive the controversy and keep his job. If he'd gone racial, no way that happens. How, if you're a coach holding a press conference, could it possibly not dawn on you that might not be a great story to tell?
If you don't follow USC football, the news tailback Broderick Green has been cleared to transfer to Arkansas and play without sitting out a year may not register as signficant. It should. Green adds a talented big back to Michael Smith, the shifty kid they already had. Combine that with a gifted quarterback in Ryan Mallett and Bobby Petrino is now officially dangerous this season. The Razorbacks will beat some teams that do not see them coming.
With Jerry Jones's new Cowboy palace opening this season and hosting the Big 12 title game, some reporters got to tour the place as part of the conference's media days. How absurd are the costs for fans in the new venue? Well, if you shell out for a suite you also get the opportunity to buy a large pizza with no toppings for ninety dollars. Sounds great, if your entire clientele is made up of active and successful strippers or drug dealers. To the rest of the world, those kind of prices add up to real money.
Word came down Thursday about Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz being among those who tested positive for performance enhancing drugs in 2003. The disappointing thing about it yesterday was that no one seemed even the least bit surprised. Instead, debate shifted to the latest wild, unsupported Jose Canseo claim about a juicer already being in the Hall of Fame. The guy's strip mined his career with two gossipy books about this subect and he supposedly has info about a Hall of Famer he kept to himself until now? Yeah, sure he does. Doesn't matter though - at this point MLB's credibility is so low Canseco could claim Bud Selig is a witch and people would take him seriously.
With football practice opening next week, I'm stepping away for a few days prior to the beginning of the six and seven day work weeks I'm accustomed to each fall. I may head up to Charlotte to get on board the red hot Jack Stratton for mayor campaign (have your speakers on and trust me, it's worth the click) as a volunteer. The blog takes a break as well - the next entry should be Thursday August 6. Enjoy your next few days and I'll see you then.