Preseason football means very little, but I was glad to see some of the air taken out of the Mark Sanchez balloon last night as well as Matthew Stafford over the weekend. Being an NFL quarterback is tremendously difficult, and way too many people fail to appreciate how extraordinary what Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco did last year was. Sanchez started just sixteen games and lost the toughest road games he played in. Pete Carroll flat out said he wasn't ready when he put his name into the draft. Despite that, the NYC media is trying to make him out to be Joe Namath already. A star level performance will not happen this season, for either guy. It also shows why the Bucs should take their time with Josh Freeman.
How hard is it to find 20-25 healthy, talented athletes in the state of Florida who are capable of making it as a college football player? Apparently a lot tougher than I realized, since 11 of USF's signees for football may not qualify academically. Jim Leavitt has done an amazing job of developing a program as Bulls head coach, but it seems like things have gotten stale lately. Whiffing on eleven guys will be hard to overcome on the roster or at the box office, especially when one of them is your first ever Parade All-American and a hometown guy to boot.
Fox did it for the BCS title game, and now ESPN plans on making a big college football battle available to people in 3-D. They plan to show USC at Ohio State in each school's home town as well as ESPN's Hartford gathering and a Dallas suburb. I got a look at the 3-D broadcast in the press box at UF-Oklahoma, and it didn't wow me. If you've got a big hi-def screen, you were probably better off than you would have been with Fox's 3-D. I imagine ESPN's version will be about the same, and that doesn't hold much appeal for me.
There are still some people who question whether or not Erin Andrews was involved with the leak to the web of the illegally filmed videos of her in her hotel room. Those promulgating this idea argue it must have been a publicity stunt despite the fact Andrews has done nothing to capitalize on her resulting "exposure" since it happened. Next Thursday, she returns to the sidelines for ESPN's coverage of South Carolina at NC State. The tabloid TV crapfest "Inside Edition" requested a credential for the game - not so they could actually cover it, but rather so they could follow Andrews around trying to get her to talk about the video episode. As they should have, the NC State folks turned them down. If Erin Andrews had a goal of publicity or moving from sports to entertainment, Inside Edition's a call she would want to take. She clearly has no intention of doing so, which should convince any skeptics to stop unfairly doubting her innocence in what happened.
Tim Donaghy, who was a crappy NBA ref even when he wasn't throwing games, got arrested yesterday evening for violating the terms of his probation. Donaghy never had the "come clean" press conference or interview that would have explained just what went so wrong with him. For the damage he did to the reputation of sports officials everywhere, he should have still been in jail from his first sentence.