Joe Montana was reciting from the old Bob Davie book of excuses in South Bend yesterday. The legendary QB claims Notre Dame's problem is that their academic standards are just too high to compete with the likes of Florida and Oklahoma. That might fly if ND was losing to those teams. They've been losing to Syracuse and Navy. Beyond that, Jimmy Clausen and Sam Young were the most sought guys in the entire country at their positions coming out of high school. Neither player's career has progressed very fast compared to talented guys at other programs. It's not reasonable for anyone to be stuck in the Forties and thinking Notre Dame should dominate college football. That will never happen again. To absolve Charlie Weis and his staff of their dreadful performance over the past two years because the academic standards aren't totally accomodating is absurd though.
With football taking center stage now and the Reds fairly irrelevant to MLB all season long, maybe no one will pay much attention to Bronson Arroyo's USA Today interview that's been posted this morning. That would be a mistake, because he's as blunt about the performance enhancing drug debate as anyone's ever going to be...
"As far as looking at Manny Ramirez like he's Ted Bundy, you're out of your mind. At the end of the day, you think anybody really (cares) whether Manny Ramirez's kidneys fail and he dies at 50?"
Arroyo makes it clear that he's still taking anything which could provide him an edge that isn't specifically banned by MLB. Not sure why Arroyo's willing to be as candid as he is here, but you can definitely believe there are plenty of others who feel exactly as he does.
That Arroyo interview is the kind of thing you'd think "60 Minutes" would come up with when they choose to focus on sports. Instead, they've tended to be remarkably soft on the athletes they profile. This weekend, odds are very strong that trend will continue. Michael Vick is doing his first post prison interview with them. Which reporter will handle Vick - maybe the outstanding Scott Pelley? Perhaps a special appearance by Mike Wallace? Try James Brown on for size. JB is a well respected pregame host for a reason - he's great at keeping the mood light and balancing out all the competing egos on a set. Those skills fit what's needed to do a good job on the Vick profile extremely poorly. I hope Brown holds Vick's feet to the fire on why a team should trust his judgement or his choices of friends, but I'm not betting on it.
The NFL has had a recent tradition of holding a "big name" concert as part of the first night of their season. They've done a great job of geting quality artists for Super Bowl halftime shows the past few years - Springsteen, Tom Petty, Prince, McCartney and the Stones are hard to match up with. When it comes to the opener, it doesn't seem like they even want to try. As a result, prepare to enjoy the musical stylings of the Black Eyed Peas and Tim McGraw four weeks from now. Maybe they can do that super clever "I'm so 2008, you're so 2000 and late" song - just what pro football fans enjoy! For a halftime show, they could hire the guy from this video to come out and catch laptops with his butt.