Here we go...
NFL issues growing
As if Roger Goodell didn’t have enough trouble with the Super Bowl snafu (You can read about a local guy involved by following this link to my column in today's paper ), now the NFL labor talks appear to be heading south. Quickly.
Goodell, the NFL commissioner, has said he’s dropping his roughly $10 million annual salary to a dollar if there’s a lockout. Here’s hoping Goodell clan has put away some extra sawbucks for a rainy day.
At first, the 5-at-10 thought there was no way that the owners or the players could let labor unrest disrupt the unbelievable momentum the NFL has among fans and sponsors. Now, it seems the March 3 deadline set for the lockout is a mere formality. It could be sometime later today or sometime later this summer but a lockout appears all but certain.
Unless, of course, you think the these two recent events bode well for negotiations:
— Last week the owners walked away from the bargaining table for what’s reported to be little more than semantics.
— Then Monday, the NFL filed an unfair labor practice charge against the players’ union with the National Labor Relations Board.
College hoops primer, Vol. 4, Chapter 2
Two of the biggest puzzles in college hoops this season have been Kansas State and Michigan State.
Each started the season ranked in the Top 10 nationally, and each has floundered — be it under the pressure or under their own errors on and off the floor.
Kansas State finally delivered on the preseason promise last night, thumping newly-minted No. 1 Kansas 84-68.
Michigan State has a similar chance tonight when the Spartans go to Columbus to face No. 3-ranked Ohio State. Could be interesting. Could be a Buckeyes blowout. Could save Sparty’s season and jumpstart their tournament hopes.
Here’s a side note for you Johnny Vols Fan: You need Ohio State to roll. You needed Syracuse to beat West Virginia last night. You need the ranked teams to knock off your fellow bubble riders.
Because no matter how much you tout your RPI of 25, you have 10 losses and your on the NCAA tournament bubble whether you want to admit it or not.
More on the golfer formerly known as Tiger
Here’s a piece of advice to 5-at-10 fans:
If you make a breach of etiquette, be it using your dinner fork on your salad or spitting on a golf course or stepping on someone’s foot, and feel the need to apologize, do not, Do Not, DO NOT do it on the Twitter.
That’s good advice for everyone. Now if you’re Eldrick Woods, it’s especially true. For the love of pitching wedges, Woods has people on his payroll to schedule the people on his payroll. No one had time to release a statement or make a phone call. Twitter was the best idea the Woods Inc. think tank could deliver?
The 5-at-10 thinks the "controversy" about Woods spitting on the green during Sunday’s final round at Dubai is much ado about nothing. But let’s handle the matter properly, huh, and yes, "I’m sorry," is way fewer than 140 characters, but c’mon gang.
UnderArmour’s new rep
Cam Newton reportedly became a millionaire Monday.
Yes, the number of jokes that could be made are approaching triple digits about the former Auburn quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner who made as many headlines for his father’s involvement in a pay-for-play recruiting scheme with Mississippi State as he did with his play leading the Tigers to the national championship. In fact, go ahead, the 5-at-10 will wait.
(Like that one.)
(Heard that one.)
(Done? No? One more?)
OK, great job. The report by CNBC did not have exact dollar amounts but stated the deal surpassed the $1 million deal Adidas gave Reggie Bush. (Yes, more comedy material.)
Newton joins Tom Brady on the UnderArmour roster of endorsers and is part of the deal UnderArmour will highlight Newton in an effort to push Auburn-themed gear and shoes.
This and that
— No matter what color the college flags your have hanging from your car window, it’s tough not to feel for Ben Martin. The former five-star recruit from Cincinnati tore an Achilles tendon Monday. Again. It’s another tough break for a program that has been beset by them, for a fan base that’s becoming all-too-used to them and for a player that certainly does not deserve them.
— The Philadelphia Eagles reportedly will place the franchise tag on Mike Vick, meaning the former Falcon and felon will be back with the club, provided there’s NFL football next fall and franchise tags for that matter. What a comeback for Vick, huh? He was on the MVP short list for much of the season and the franchise tag will mean he’s in line for a $20 million salary next season. Well, if there’s a next season, and if the new labor contract allows for you know players to be paid in dollars and not team merchandise vouchers.
— Albert Pujols set a deadline for negotiation for Wednesday at noon for the St. Louis Cardinals. Holy buckets, what would you do? Invest $300 million for 10 years on a first baseman — yes, he may end up being the best first baseman ever, but still — that will be 39, 40 and 41 for the final three years of the deal. Ugh. And what if goes to the hated Cubs? Somebody makes sure there’s a lot of Goody’s headache powders and Budweiser in the Cards’ front office tonight, OK?
— Jadeveon Clowney, the nation’s top-ranked high school football player decide to stay in state and picked South Carolina on Monday. Two things: One, Clowney had 84 sacks the last three season. Great googlimoogly that’s a lot of bruised high school quarterbacks. Two, South Carolina is an underrated high school football state. Marcus Lattimore came out there, so did Alshon Jeffery, and so did three players — DeQuan Bowers, Robert Quinn and A.J. Green — who are going to be high first-round draft picks this April.
Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...