Monday, October 12, 2009

Fifteen and counting

Tim Tebow played against LSU and the sky did not fall, despite all the panic mongering by commentators leading up to the game. It was obvious that UF protected him with their playcalling, especially early, but he seemed fine. Hopefully the country got a reminder just how ridiculously good Florida's defense is, because that's what makes the current team special. Charlie Strong's resume was on display again, just in case anyone feels like paying attention. The Arkansas game this week will be very interesting, because it's had trap written all over it since the season began. If UF handles this one as they should, they aren't losing before Atlanta.

Over in Tallahassee, the supposed blackout protest went the way of almost all such internet "movements" - nowhere. The Seminoles are still out at Doak looking for the pitch man on Georgia Tech's option plays. They're 0-3 and have ten days left before a road Thursday night game with a mediocre UNC team. Lose that, and it's just about certain Bobby Bowden's final game as a coach will be getting pounded one last time at the Swamp. Georgia looked awful in losing to Tennessee - the offense put up just three points! Things are getting very tense in Athens.

As if getting humiliated 41-0 wasn't bad enough for the Jaguars, they're about to reap another harvest of bad PR. Quentin Groves, Jacksonville's second round pick last season, was involved in an accident on his way to the airport for the flight to Seattle. Reports claim Groves was given only a warning despite being to blame for the accident and then not staying at the scene initially until compelled to do so. There had been a spark of optimism for the franchise as a result of their two game win streak. This weekend certainly stomped that out. The only thing uglier than Jacksonville's play yesterday were those Broncos throwbacks.

Too much is being made of the possibility of Rush Limbaugh being a partner in one of the groups attempting to buy the St. Louis Rams. Much like the recent slew of celebrity co-owners in Miami, should Limbaugh and company purchase the team he'd own around 1-2 percent of it. The NFL Players Association came out against Limbaugh becoming an owner yesterday. This isn't about politics as a whole, it's about race. Remember, Limbaugh got bounced from his role as "voice of the fans" at ESPN in 2003 over his absurd remarks about the media protecting Donovan McNabb because of wanting a black QB to succeed (regardless of what you may think about political journalists, there is no such thing as the "liberal sports media" - people's views in any press box are wildly divergent). Many NFL owners are politically in line with Limbaugh's views, but there's not a chance they'll vote to approve him as an owner if they think it will damage the NFL or their team's standing with black players or the community. There's simply no incentive for them to do so.

I've always despised the NCAA's policies toward "student-athletes" because they define bullying. Think they would ever be arrogant enough to insist that any coach negotiating a seven figure contract with a university has to do the deal by himself without any help from an attorney? Of course not. Yet when college baseball players negotiate with MLB teams, that's what the NCAA demands they do. After they declared an Oklahoma State pitcher ineligible for the heinous crime of having direct involvement in his negotiations with the Minnesota Twins by an attorney, he sued and won. The bully had gotten punched right in the nose. Last week just before the damages phase of the case was to go to trial, the NCAA bought him off for 750 grand. Part of the terms were the dropping of the judge's order barring the NCAA from enforcing the ridiculous "no attorney" allowed rule against anyone. The bully's back in business - but remember, this is an amateur sport!

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