Monday, February 12, 2007

Yo, Meathead!

Sorry I was gone this week—I was in the Big Easy taking cooking lessons! But I still have my fingers on the pulse of the sports world!

SEASONINGS: Have you seen how noncommittal Bud Selig is about congratulating Barry “Steroid Boy” Bonds if and when Bonds breaks Hank Aaron’s home run record? Selig said he will not make a point of going to San Francisco Giants games when Bonds gets close, and if Bonds does break the record, he can expect only a phone call from the commissioner. Selig used Trevor Hoffman’s breaking of the career saves record as an example of a record that was overtaken while he was not in attendance. Also said Bud: “I wasn't there when Roger Clemens won his 300th game.… I have said before, if and when Barry Bonds breaks that record, it will be handled the same way that every other record in baseball that’s been broken was handled.” Isn’t it a shame that baseball’s grandest record is being treated with such apathy by its highest executive? Thanks to Bonds for that.

Speaking of baseball, it’s hard to believe that pitchers and catchers report Tuesday. It’s only been a week since the Super Bowl! But the NBA is not really holding my interest this year, so now that football is over, it’s nice that baseball is on the horizon. Incidentally, I have no picks right now. Talk to me after the All-Star break and we might be able to have a discussion about that.

By the way, congrats to Peyton Manning and Tony Dungy for leading the Colts to victory over the Bears in the Super Bowl. Even after Devin Hester’s return for a touchdown on the opening kick, I thought the Colts would win the game. Rex Grossman has nothing on Manning, and the Bears’ defense had no chance. Maybe now, Manning can relax and enjoy the rest of his career as he racks up more and more records. And maybe he’ll be able to enjoy any future playoff appearances without having to answer any of the endless, tedious questions about how he could never win “the Big Game.”

I thought I would respect the Dallas Cowboys a little more if Jerry Jones decided not to hire Norv Turner as the new head coach. But Wade Phillips—to follow Bill Parcells, no less—makes me laugh almost as hard. Compared to the Tuna, Phillips should be called “the Cream Puff”—T.O. will tear him apart and walk all over him next year. You can be sure that Jerry Jones will be holding the puppet strings attached to Phillips and will orchestrate his every move. And when T.O. acts up, Jones will let Phillips know who wears the pants! I expect nothing but disarray and dysfunction coming from the Cowboys during Phillips’s tenure as head coach, no matter how fast Tony Romo develops. Look for the Eagles and Giants to win the NFC East every year until the ’Boys get a new head coach who has a spine.

Lastly, I have occasionally mentioned my amazing wife in my column, and she’s going to get praise again. She took me on a surprise trip to New Orleans for my birthday last week to learn how to cook gumbo. The trip was awesome, the gumbo was incredible, and I can’t thank my wife enough! But I just want to add that even though the Superdome looks great again compared to the pictures from after Hurricane Katrina, there are sections of the city that are still devastated and whole neighborhoods that seem practically abandoned. So if you are looking for a place to go on a trip, I urge you to consider New Orleans. Bourbon Street is still Bourbon Street, and some of the finest cuisine and music on the planet is still in the Big Easy, but some restaurants and stores are only half-staffed because the people and the money just aren’t back yet. So go to Mardi Gras this year or next, if it’s something you always wanted to do. Attend the annual jazz festival. And of course, see some games there. Go to the Superdome to see the Saints next year. Once the Hornets come back on a regular schedule, go take in some hoops. The city of New Orleans would appreciate it, and you’d be helping your fellow citizens recover from a terrible disaster. Face it—if your city was hit by an earthquake, a hurricane, a tornado, or some other awful catastrophe, you’d want other people to come help you, too.

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