Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Maybe the bill got lost in the mail?

Sports Business Journal is doing a tremendous job of covering every angle of the ongoing College Football Agent Crisis. So far this week, they've turned up the fact North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin worked out at a facility called Proactive Sports performance which often has trained clients of agent Gary Wichard (who has denied any involvement with Austin). Would be interesting to know who paid for Austin to do that, right? Remarkably the only person who would know that won't be available until late August. You'd think there might be billing information available to employees even when the owner's out of town, but there isn't in this case. Remarkably convenient for folks hoping this story will cool off, but it's not going away anytime soon.

Tim Tebow's expected to sign with Denver by the time the team brings veterans into camp over the weekend. I've heard some people including Fox Sports Radio's Ben Maller floating the idea that not signing on time would be greedy on Tebow's part and un-Christian of him. Not sure where they got the idea the Bible contains camp reporting dates, but to me it's pretty silly to argue a guy shouldn't get as much value as he can when it's his time to negotiate his salary. Tebow did sign one deal yesterday, becoming the new spokesman for Jockey undergarments. CNBC's Darren Rovell matches his public awareness numbers against Michael Jordan, who shills for Hanes. This is the first Tebow endorsement deal to push the envelope a bit - video games and Nike were natural tie-ins, but Tebow unleashing his inner Jim Palmer may not work for some fans.

I'm a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and I think they're about to make a poor decision. The current president indicated yesterday that the FWAA is strongly considering awarding its 2004 national title to Auburn in the wake of USC's NCAA penalties. This is just absurd. There's no way to justify declaring Auburn the champs over an Oklahoma team that finished the regular season ranked higher than them and thus had to play the tainted USC squad. Utah also went undefeated that season, and their Fiesta Bowl win was considerably more dominating than Auburn's 16-13 win over Virginia Tech. Who's to say the Utes weren't better than anyone but USC? The reality is there's no way to know, which is why you shouldn't try and retroactively pick champions more than half a decade after the season wrapped up. If the FWAA wants to strip USC of their championship that's fine, but no one should be "awarded" the trophy out of the trash.

There are very few female play by play voices on mens sports, which is part of the reason ESPN's Pam Ward stands out so much. Opinions on broadcasters always vary, but I have yet to meet anyone who enjoys her call of a game. She doesn't have a good flow to what she's saying and frequently struggles to pick up key details, understand rules questions, etc. There are plenty of mediocre male play by play announcers who do the same thing. None of them, however, are on the pages of the Washington Post asking "I wonder why no one has even bothered to at least talk to me about the possibility" of working NFL games. Pam, let me help you with that. For a network to discuss an announcer working an NFL game, they're looking for one of the better voices out there. You, Pam, are not one of those voices. There will likely be a female NFL play by play voice one day, but it will be someone who's much better at it than you are. Hope this helped you solve the puzzle.

Boise State wants to be considered a big time college football program. They're not coming off that way in a public spat between them and Idaho. BSU's president is aghast at the nerve of Idaho fans mocking the academic offerings at the Harvard of Boise, so he wants to stop playing road games against the Vandals. The gist of his argument is "Boo hoo, they made fun of us - they're a bunch of drunks anyway!" Instate rivalries don't just die off because someone's feelings are hurt by an article in a school paper. Time for Boise State's president to put on the big boy pants and grow up.

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