Premiere Edition of a new weekly column, reviewing the top sports news of the week. This week I review “Bountygate”, Bill Parcells possibly going to the Saints, Tim Tebow as a Jet, Dodgers being sold for $2 BILLION, Andrew Bynum’s benching, NCAA Championship Preview, and Nash to Miami? All this and my highlight and lowlight of the week.
The fallout over “bountygate” continues as Sean Payton recently appealed his season long suspension, along with general manager Mickey Loomis, and assistant coach Joe Vitt. Also, the Saints are appealing their $500,000 fine and loss of a 2nd round draft pick this year and in 2013’s draft. To me, Payton, Loomis, Vitt, and the organization have no chance of winning these appeals, and they know it. They’re using the appeal process to buy them more time so they can come up with a plan for next year, with their focus being Bill Parcells to become the interim head coach. Payton was an assistant head coach for Parcells during his time in Dallas, where they formed deep friendship, a friendship that could cause Parcells to come out of retirement at the age of 70. However, by letting the cat out of the bag that Payton wants his mentor to take over his team, the Saints may face further discipline by breaking the Rooney Rule, where the Saints are required to interview a minority candidate. By hiring Parcells, it would be a blatant violation of Rooney Rule. I may not agree with the rule, but rules are rules. But I don’t think this rule should apply for an interim head coach. If Parcells accepts the offer, it would this season and this season only. Parcells sees this as helping out a friend, not a desire for another run as head coach. Maybe the Saints should be less worried about getting Parcells and more concerned about signing Drew Brees to a long term contract. A definite pitfall of this scandal will be the suspension of current Saint defensive players, which means they’ll have to rely on Brees and the Saints offense more than ever. Look for Brees to have another record year, because the Saints will need all the points they can get to get through next season.
Tebow to the Jets: HUH?
When I heard that Tim Tebow was going to be a Jet, that was my first reaction. Total bewilderment. We all figured that Tebow’s days as a Bronco were numbered when Denver signed Peyton Manning, but for all the places for Tebow to go, I’m shocked it ended up being the New York Jets. I thought for sure it would be one of the two teams in Florida, Jacksonville or Miami, with Jacksonville being a shoe in. Although the Jaguars did pursue Tebow, theie offer didn’t match the Jets, where they traded a forth-round and a sixth round draft pick for Tebow and a seventh round draft pick. Now, only one question remains: WHAT THE HELL WERE THE JETS THINKING?
This move makes NO sense for the New York Jets. They just signed their starting quarterback, Mark Sanchez, to a three extension. Sanchez had his best statistical season as a quarterback, but it was also the first year that he didn’t lead his team to the playoffs, as the Jets finished with a 8-8 record. Both fans and even his own teammates have put most on the blame on Sanchez. Anonymous teammates have called out Sanchez for his poor work ethic not improving to the elite status of quarterback. After Plaxico Burress became a free agent, you would think the Jets would go after Vincent Jackson in the off season, but no, he went to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They could go after Mike Wallace, but he wants Larry Fitzgerald money. So what do the Jets do to solve their problems: get a starting quarterback to play backup. Again, WHAT THE HELL WERE THE JETS THINKING? This screams publicity stunt. The Jets saw that their New York counterpart, the Giants, were getting all the attention and decided what better way to get back into the limelight than to get the most talked about player in the NFL. I’m sure Sanchez will be fine with this, I mean it worked out fine for Kyle Orton. WAIT A MINUTE, it did the exact opposite of that and I have a feeling history’s going to repeat itself. I doubt Sanchez had any say in this move, and it should make him question the organization about how much faith they have in him as their starting quarterback. How’s Sanchez going to react when he throws his first interception of the season and he starts hearing the TEBOW chants from Jets fans? I don’t see any upside with this move, but at least there’s one thing I can say: Tebow’s excited.
Dodger’s Sold for $2 Billion: Wait, How Much?
2.15 billion. That’s how much the new ownership group paid for in a recent auction for the team. Led by Guggenheim Partners and Magic Johnson, the group’s offer was more than $500 million more than the next highest bid. The purchase shatters the previous record of $1.1 billion for the Miami Dolphins and more than doubles the previous record baseball purchase of $845 million for the Chicago Cubs. Now the question remains: Can the Dodger’s turn a profit after being bankrupt under previous owner Frank McCourt? The first thing the new owners should work on is getting a new cable deal after their current one with Prime Ticket ends next year. That is where they should recoup most of their money spent. But the new owners shouldn’t forget that the Dodgers play in a 50 year old stadium, which means spending more money on making updates and improvements to Dodger Stadium. And I haven’t begun talking about roster salary. I think it’s a foregone conclusion that the the new owners will probably lose money with their first few years with the franchise, it’s only after their new cable deal and hopefully a more successful team that they’ll probably see a return on their investment. Also, it doesn’t hurt having the most popular LA sports figure as part of your new ownership team.
Andrew Bynum Ain’t No Ray Allen
Andrew Bynum has only taken 8 three pointers in his career and has only made one. So what the hell was he thinking taking a 3 pointer with 16 seconds left on the shot clock with the Lakers only up 6? Apparently Los Angeles Laker’s coach Mike Brown was thinking the same thing I was as he benched Bynum after the shot and only played Bynum for the first three minutes of the 4th quarter. After the game, you would think Bynum would understand that he made the wrong play, but instead, Bynum said “I guess don’t take 3’s is the message. But I’m going to take some more.” I don’t think that was the response Mike Brown was looking for. This isn’t Bynum first case of immaturity. Bynum was suspended for the first five games of the the regular season due to his cheap shot of J.J. Barea as the Lakers were getting swept by the Dallas Mavericks in last year’s playoffs.
There’s no question that Bynum is talented. He’s probably the second best center, behind Dwight Howard, but it could be argued that he’s a better offensive player then Howard, as long as he stops shooting threes. If Brown’s benching didn’t make it clear for him, then maybe Kobe Bryant should step up and talk to Bynum, because right now, the Lakers don’t stand a chance of winning the Finals if they continue displaying this nonchalant attitude.
NCAA Championship Preview
Nash to Miami
Steve Nash will become a free agent at the end of the year and has made it abundantly clear to the Phoenix Suns that if they want to keep him, they’ll have to produce a team that will contend for a championship. That’s unlikely gonna happen, so where will Nash end up next season? One team that Nash is willing to listen to about joining is the Miami Heat. Nash would have to take a massive pay cut, as Miami will have little to no cap space in the off season. But if Nash wants to win a championship, Miami would make the most sense. The Bulls and Thunder each have all-star point guards in Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook. The Heat have decent point guards (Mario Chalmers and rookie Norris Cole), but Nash is the current season leader in assists and one of the most consistent shooters in the league. One concern is how will Nash coexist with Dwayne Wade and Leborn James. All three are at their best when the have the ball in their hands. Also, Nash is not the defender Chalmers is. One thing is definitely for certain, Steve Nash wants to win a championship and that desire to win, not desire for money, will probably sway his decision to the Miami Heat.
Highlight of the Week
Lowlight of the Week