Monday, August 2, 2010

For some reason I can't access anymore

While teams were signing first round draft picks all over the NFL this past weekend, the move I was most interested in barely registered on the radar. Tampa Bay released Ole Miss quarterback Jevan Snead, the guy who began last year being touted as a top five pick by supposed ESPN draft guru Todd McShay. I never bought into Snead as a future NFL star, but even I would have assumed he could make it to a training camp. It's too late for Snead, but hopefully some people learn lessons from this. For players it's simple: don't get caught up in what you're supposedly going to be at the expense of what you actually are. QBs who throw 20 picks in a college season have no business declaring for the draft early, no matter what some empty suit with good hair said about their potential on an episode of College Football Live before the season. For everyone else: don't believe in guys who are afraid of competing. Snead bailed on his Florida commitment because he was afraid of Tebow. He bolted from Texas because he was going to have to keep fighting for PT with Colt McCoy and wanted a guaranteed starting job at Ole Miss. After two years there showing talent but being wildly inconsistent, Snead went pro rather than fight to stay the starter in Oxford. Players looking for the easy way are generally losers, yet every recruiting season you see school fanbases panting after some of them. Stop.

It was really classy of the Miami Heat organization to handle their new found status as the hot ticket in Frontrunnerville, USA by firing their entire season ticket sales staff. They could have assigned those people other duties with the organization, things like making sure all those new season ticket customers are getting top notch service on gameday or handling the extra demands for merchandise sales and community involvement. Someone's going to have to be responsible for hand peeling the "King"'s grapes, too. This way saves Heat ownership a couple of million bucks though, so who cares whether you're screwing over people with families who did absolutely nothing wrong? Words can't do justice to how much I want this team to lose, which is too bad considering I like Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller a lot.

ESPN quietly let word out over the weekend that they wouldn't be disciplining reporter Arash Markazi for the way he reported the LeBron in Vegas piece the network killed last week after it appeared on its website for a few hours. Let's review the facts:

1. nothing Markazi wrote has been alleged to be inaccurate (in fact other non-ESPN reporting on the evening backs up details of his piece)
2. LeBron's people claim they had nothing to do with the story being yanked
3. ESPN maintains Markazi walked in with LeBron's crew and got access to LeBron's personal table at the club, but they somehow didn't know he was an ESPN reporter (which ESPN somehow is now aware of despite "fact" 2).
4. Now, despite the supposed journalistic transgression by Markazi, he faces no penalty for his actions.

When ESPN denies they pulled this piece because of pressure from James and his people, they are insulting everyone who hears them do so's intelligence. Remember the confiscating of any video footage from LeBron's camp last year that showed him getting dunked on? The "King" and his people believe he makes no errors, and when he does they demand the evidence be erased. ESPN should be ashamed of themselves for toadying up like this, but it's completely unsurprising that they have.

Reggie Bush still doesn't get it. He could have saved USC from a huge portion of the problems its football program faces, even after he chose to take money from agents while still in school. Once Bush and his family decided not to live up to their business agreements with the aspiring agents, it should have been obvious they would have to be paid back the money they'd put into the venture. Instead, Bush tried to ignore the problem and hope it would go away even after lawsuits and other actions had made it very clear it wouldn't. I can't say what percentage of Bush's horrible decision making gets credited to greed versus being stubborn and outright stupidity, but it was almost entirely his years of poor judgement that got the program hammered. Rather than take responsibility and apologize, in his first comments since the probation came down Bush says it "bothers me and it sucks" that the university is whitewashing all evidence of his existence from the school's football program. USC should sue Bush for every dime his selfishness cost them, but they won't because of what that would do to recruiting. That Bush thinks there's a chance on Earth he'll eventually be welcomed back only further illustrates how oblivious the guy is.

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