There are some times when people find trouble and the news stuns you. Lawrence Taylor is not one of those people, but the rape of a 15 year old being what he's accused of is a stunner. LT's life has alternated between stability and train wreck for decades, but his problems have typically always been about hurting himself rather than others. We'll see if these charges are true, but the initial reports are extremely disturbing. For some this will once again bring up the Hall of fame question. Sam Kouvaris, who holds the Jacksonville market's Hall of fame ballot, insisted that Taylor should not be voted in because of his off the field escapades. The NFL's rules say differently - the vote is supposed to be about what you do on the field and nothing more. The ultimate question would have been if something like OJ Simpson's situation had happened during the five years between retirement and when he was eligible to be voted in. Would the NFL have actually let the acquitted OJ go into the Hall? I doubt it.
Nothing's official yet, but it appears Zach Mettenberger's first game as a college quarterback could come in Athens after all. The former Georgia QB has reportedly been offered a scholarship by Louisville. The Cardinals will play at Georgia to start next season. It's always interesting to see how a new coach handles disciplinary measures and whether kids deserve second chances after criminal behavior. Under Bobby Petrino Louisville gave second chances to guys like dozen time arrestee Willie Williams if they had talent. Steve Kragthorpe tried to move away from that, but it got lost in the fact his tenure was a disaster from the start. It appears Charlie Strong may lean more to the Petrino approach.
Illinois head coach Ron Zook is one of a group of college coaches going overseas to see the troops. The appropriate radio/blogger thing to do here is make a wise guy comment about that, but it shouldn't be. This is a project that's been going on for the past three years, and all the coaches who come back seem to be at least a little changed by the experience. They aren't going to see the true horror of combat, but they will see guys dealing with its aftermath as well as the tedium of a difficult day to day existence even in the "safe" areas the coaches will travel. I'd think experiencing that would make a little harder to get too ticked off about a reporter's question or angry fan posts on a message board. Bravo for Zook and other coaches who are taking part in the trip.
A soldier returning home from a lengthy combat tour to surprise his NFL cheerleader wife is the kind of story local television loves. It seems hard to imagine how anyone could find a way to screw that up. Never underestimate the sheer pettiness or PR incompetence of the Washington Redskins though. They managed to not only turn the soldier's request for his hometown station, an ABC affiliate, to film his return into an exclusive for the NBC station in DC that the Redskins have a media partnership with but they also managed to threaten to fire his wife from her cheerleading spot if she talked to the NBC outlet. The Redskins have since apologized, which is par for the course for this deplorable organization under owner Daniel Snyder. There are worse people who own pro sports franchises, but the list is very short.
Politics is not something I typically mention on this blog, but one story is too ridiculous not to pass along. A group of twenty Republicans angry with Charlie Crist's decision to run as an independent rather than compete in their party's primary have requested he give them back the money they donated to his campaign. Seems reasonable enough, but then it turned out that 13 of the 20 haven't given Crist any money for his senate race. How does it occur to someone to send a letter demanding money you didn't give back? Wouldn't just having the seven people who did give write a letter have been more effective?