Folks, thanks for another excellent week. Good times.
It was mentioned in the mailbag, but we have to give a shoutout to A's slugger Josh Reddick, who has been mashing since changing his at-bat music to "Careless Whisper" by George Michael. Yes, that George Michael of Wham fame.
This poses the double-edged question, what would be the best at-bat song and the worst? Discuss.
From the "Talks too much" studios, Ned, how did you know that was a mail plane?
I heard you and David P. on Press Row talking about the Michael Sam movie and Oprah. You were cracking me up, and when that caller said the guy from 'Friday' should play Michael Sam, I about crashed my car.
You guys have a great show -- seriously.
You never did say who you would cast in the Michael Sam movie --so that's my question.
Thanks for the 5@10 and for making the drive home so much fun on Press Row.
Thanks for the kind words and for playing along. It's the interaction between the callers that make it as much fun as it is for Paschall and the blockheaded TFP sports editor.
OK, here's one man's guess at the cast for the Michael Sam movie:
The first question is whether Sam will play himself. If this is going straight to Oprah's O Network, then that's one option. If we're going to cast him, we'll go with...
Oprah will play Michael Sam's momma. (She owns the story after all so we're going to have to get her in there somewhere.)
Tom Selleck's cheesy mustache will land him the role of Rams coach Jeff Fisher.
Steve Martin will play the role of Falcons coach Mike Smith. (Not sure Mike Smith is an important role, but man do those two cats look a lot alike.)
Omar Epps will play the role of Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. (Again, a bit part but the resemblance is scary.)
Andre 3000 from Outkast will play the role of RGIII, who will become a mentor for the young Sam.
Chris O'Donnell will play the role of Rams QB Sam Bradford.
Kevin Spacey will be Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel.
Donald Faison willl play the role of Michael Sam and Michael Cera will be Sam's boyfriend.
Little Miss Sportsfan and her teammate qualified for a national sporting event last Sunday for the second year in a row. She and her partner qualified with a time that is nationally competitive. The national event was to be her final competition in this sport. On Tuesday she broke her wrist which will require her to scratch from the event. Words cannot express her disappointment. She didn’t expect last weekend to be her final competition. What does a father say to his daughter at a time like this? I’m at a loss.
Wow. That's tough. Please offer our best to the Lil' Miss Sportsfan and here's hoping for a speedy recovery.
Not sure there is one single thing to say or do, but like with so many parts of sports, this is one of life's great lessons. Unfair things happen to good people. It's how they handle that and move forward that defines and shapes and personifies that goodness. And the fact that sports is such a microcosm of life on so many parallels is what makes sports so important in our eyes.
In truth, very few athletes get to isolate ad identify their final event or orchestrate their exit. That doesn't make it any less painful for Lil Miss Sportsfan of course, it's just the nature of the game unfortunately.
Aa far as the emotional part of this, the pain of the now is hard to get past, especially for young adults. Have you considered putting together a scrap book of her accomplishments or get something framed of her in action to help remember the highlights and good times beyond the current disappointment?
If that doesn't work, try chocolate. Or cash.
Have you thought about going to the national event any way and cheering on her friends? A trip is a trip and the empathy and well-wishes from her competitors could be a nice tonic.
And when the wrist heals — whether it's next month or in three years — get Lil' Miss Sportsfan and her teammate together, rent some equipment and stage one more 'final' race with a shindig afterward. Make it a ceremonial retirement-type gig. Heck, if Derek Jeter is going to get a going-away party at every ballpark in the big leagues, Lil Miss Sportsfan can have one race into the sunset.
Thanks as always for the question and good luck.
A good question for Friday - is there a risk in sports of there being an economic bubble ? Can you continue to pay $1.5 billion for a franchise and hope to sell it years later for $3 billion ? Can pro sports continue to build stadiums at rising costs and make it cost effective? Can SEC schools continue to build facilities and pay coaches millions based on future TV revenues that they are projecting to keep going up and up (could a point of diminishing return kick-in ) As much as pay-per-view and Conference networks seem like the holy grail, however we don't know if future technolgy could help or ultimately hurt this? 10 years ago the markets were saying cable companies are dead and satellite is the future and now its not. .. Could College football hit a bubble like NASCAR did? What if college presidents, who have more power than ever just say STOP with the arms race ? Dont think it can't happen . . . . .Remember sports IS A BUSINESS now, and if history has shown us anything in business, is that no business is immune from a bubble or even a collapse.
Great question that has several layers.
Let's start peeling.
NASCAR is an excellent example. It's model is not designed for long-term success because the sponsorship money has to be renewed annually. This should be of particular note for college sports that are relying on donations to get by.
It's tough to see the kind of return that say Donald Sterling will get when/if he sells the Clippers. Turngin $13 million into $1 billion-plus from 1981 to today would translate to Haslam's Cleveland Browns being worth $18 billion in 2047. That's hard to fathom.
We believe the trends will skew smaller stadiums with more expensive tickets and incredibility amenities to make the experience of the event as big a part of the ticket as the game itself.
The biggest crippler that pro sports could face is if the tax code is changed and companies can no longer write off sports tickets as business expenses. That would rock ticket sales, which in turn would rock individual owners, because ticket revenue is huge to each individual franchise.
The reason football has been immune so far is the weekly schedule on the weekend and the day-long event/lifestyle choice that tailgating and season tickets offers. It becomes part of the way of life for a lot of us, and that's cool.
The danger there of course is the schedule adjustments for Thursday night games and late Saturday night games and the alterations to the routine.
There has to be a point of diminishing return, but for the NFL and the SEC that horizon is still off in the distance because we have not reached the zenith of TV dollars.
As for college presidents, as long as they are making money — and they have to balance the knowledge of the non-college-like activities that happened 'on occasion' in college athletics with the revenue as well as the overall increase in donations a successful sports program can generate — they will keep on keeping on.
That said, Roger Goodell is shooting to more than double the NFL's revenue — from 12 to 25-plus billion — in the next 12 years. So who knows.
It's definitely possible that they could tap out, but for the power leagues, that seems much later rather than sooner.
Great question, and a worthy summer topic for a week's worth of discussion.
Thanks so much for the draft contest and the prizes. The Masters Tervis Tumbler is awesome and I am looking forward to the Best of Preps banquet.
I must have missed you draft wrap up. What do you think the best picks and worst picks and where do you see the four SEC quarterbacks that were drafted in five years?
Also who are you top five draft picks for next year?
Thanks again for the contest and prizes -- winning stuff is fun.
You are more than welcome and we're excited about the BoP banquet as well.
As far as the draft — well, we're kind of fond of the draft, you may know this — this year the best picks in a lot of ways were the clear ones.
Houston taking the best player in Jadeveon Clowney. Atlanta taking the tackle it has longed for is another example.
As for next year, in no particular order, here's our top-five prospects:
DEFENSE: USC defensive end Leonard Williams, Oregon cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (yes we had to look that one up), FSU defensive end Mario Williams, Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley and Alabama safety Landon Collins
OFFENSE: Texas A&M tackle Cedric Ogbuehi, Stanford tackle Andrus Peat, FSU tackle Cam Erving, Georgia running back Todd Gurley and Alabama receiver Amari Cooper
QUARTERBACKS: Oregon's Marcus Mariota, FSU's Jameis Winston, Baylor's Bryce Petty, UCLA's Brent Hundley and Michigan State's Connor Cook
As for the best and worst picks, well let's do one from each round. Deal? Deal.
Best: Johnny Football at 22 is narrowly ahead of the Vikings taking Teddy Bridgewater at 32. Very good value for both those teams considering each was penciled in to making similar picks in the top 10.
Worst: Did not like the Buffalo Bills move dealing next year's No. 1 to move up for Clemson WR Sammy Watkins, but maybe they'll get lucky and Watkins will be close to Julio Jones. The worst pick for us was Tennessee taking Taylor Lewan mainly because it ignores so many needs. So it goes.
Best: Eagles taking Jordan Matthews was very good but the 49ers adding the best running back in the draft in Carlos Hyde at 57 was the best. There were a lot of good second round picks.
Worst: Did not like the Titans taking Bishop Stankey, but the Patriots taking a guy who will be their third-string QB in Jimmy Garoppolo at 62 was awful. And puzzling.
Best: Rams added a stud in Auburn running back Tre Mason
Worst: Morgan Moses underwhelmed for most of his career at UVA and Washington made him the second pick in round 3.
Best: The 49ers won the draft, and stealing Bruce Ellington in round 4 is part of the reason why. The Steelers landing for Clemson wide out Martavis Adams could be a steal, too.
Worst: The Cardinals went after Logan Thomas with pick 120 when there were a slew of more polished QBs still on the board.
Best: Kansas City getting Aaron Murray, who we think could be a 10-year NFL player and the Steelers getting Vandy tackle Wesley Johnson was a good pick too. There were a slew of very good players nabbed in round five.
Worst: Who knows, at this point a missed fifth rounder (and beyond is not that big a deal).
Best: There were a slew of interesting QB picks — loved the Jets taking former Tajh Boyd — former Auburn fullback Jay Prosch was a good get too.
Best: One pick before Michael Sam's smooch melted the interweb, the Dallas Cowboys took Ahmad Dixon, the former Baylor safety, who is athletic and talented enough to start in the NFL.
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling sits courtside at the NBA basketball game between the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Clippers in Los Angeles on Sunday. On Saturday, April 26, 2014, the NBA said it is investigating a report of an audio recording in which a man purported to be Sterling makes racist remarks while speaking to his girlfriend.
From Grateful Dawg
I've already spent more time talking about Donald Sterling than I ever intended to. That being said, after watching Donald Sterling's interview with Anderson Cooper and getting somewhat up-to-speed on the Marshall Henderson Twitter deal that Niner wrote about yesterday...You have freedom of speech in the country, not freedom from criticism and the occasional backlash. Donald Sterling's, that crazy girl tricked me into saying those things defense. Marshall Henderson's, I was conducting a psychological experiment for an unnamed friend of mine explanation(this is just a hunch, but I figure if you ask Henderson if he is more Jungian or Freudian he would just give you a blank stare and some awkward silence). Fertilizer prices should drop as we have an excess of bullstuff these days. If you want to be racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, etc., that's your call to make. If on the other hand you want to make statements putting down an entire segment of the population, but then whine like a petulant child when people rebuke your statements...Until such a time that you can develop the courage of your convictions and understand the relationship between freedom and responsibility, it's probably best just to keep those thoughts to yourself.
We realize this is not a question, but this post was so well done, we thought it deserved a rewind. And multiple bonus points for the Jung reference. (We'd give 3-to-1 odds that if Marshall Henderson saw Carl Jung's name on a piece of paper, he'd think Jung was the guy that awfully sang 'She Bop' on American Idol five years ago.)
If this were a cheesy 1980s movie, this would be the point where the fringe character who picked on our movie's hero would start the slow clapping and everyone would join in. Think 'Can't Buy Me Love' or 'Lucas' or any of that ilk.