Supreme Court rulings don't often come into play in the sports world, but the unanimous decision in yesterday's American Needle case against the league was important. Had the NFL won, they would have been able to be vastly more aggressive in the coming labor battle with the players union. Make no mistake, the owners still have the upper hand, but losing this case will make them much more likely to be willing to negotiate rather than overplay that hand. There's simply no reason for us to miss a second of football because billionaires and millionaires can't get their acts together. Hopefully this will prevent that from happening for the first time since 1987.
If you're reading this after 7 AM, we now know what Michigan's self proposed penalties for their NCAA violations case are. The real hearing isn't until August, so this is the school's bid to avoid anything worse than these penalties at that hearing. Don't expect them to offer anything too meaningful, because the NCAA hasn't hammered a program in years. Between this and USC, maybe that's finally going to change. It's worth noting that Rich Rodriguez may face penalties specific to him for the practice time violations both in Ann Arbor and potentially at West Virginia as well. Maybe instead of Michigan paying a high price, it eventually turns out to be Rodriguez who does. That would void his contract out, something I'm sure the school could cope with.
For some reason its being treated as big news that Tiger Woods is not a sure thing to be a part of the Ryder Cup team this year. At this point, what can be taken as a given with Tiger? We have no idea where his game will be in a few months, what his physical situation is, or even whether he would want to play. Beyond that, the last US team won the Cup without him. Tiger hasn't exactly been great in the Ryder Cups he has played in either - not disastrous, but certainly not irreplaceable. If you're Corey Pavin, why would you make any public indication that having Woods as a part of your team is a priority right now? if Tiger's playing well, of course he'll be offered a spot. If 80 percent of his drives are still missing the fairway, why would it be a good fit for either party?
LOST wrapped up Sunday, and Jack Bauer put down the torture tools for good on 24 last night. We'll see what the ratings are for that, but it probably won't be better than what LOST did. I wasn't a LOST viewer - haven't watched any episodic TV on a regular basis in over a decade. Despite that, I knew the basic story of the show and the names of the key characters. The end of the show was an official BIG DEAL EVENT, which is why it blew me away to see it didn't even beat Mr. Belvedere's final episode in the ratings. That list speaks volumes about how much more fractured our entertainment interests are as a society. Only four of the forty most watched series finales happened in the past decade, while mediocrities like Growing Pains and Who's the Boss? are in the top thirty. With the options available to us all now, even the best the networks can crank out isn't good enough to hold a big portion of the country's interest anymore.
People like having the last word, but it appears Mark Twain is going for the all time record. Volume one of the author's autobiography will come out this fall, with two more to follow. Apparently he's not pulling any punches but wanted to wait a hundred years after his death so none of his contemporaries knew what he had to say. My question is this: who that's currently alive is a big enough figure that they could write a book people would be interested in 100 years after their death? It's easy to focus on political figures, but I'm not sure a Woodrow Wilson "tell all" autobiography would be a hot ticket right now. Right now, Oprah's a giant but by then she'd be long since forgotten. I'm seriously trying to think of someone - Dalai Lama? Bill Gates? Anyone have an idea?