Tag Archives: Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley Should Be Rolling Over In His Grave

As the legendry Phoenix sports figure Charles Barkley might say “First of all Ernie, let me tell you something. The Phoenix Suns are turrible. Charles Barkley should be rolling over in his grave.” Now that the near miraculous Arizona Cardinals season has ended in disappointment, the only teams we have currently playing are the Suns and the Coyotes.

The Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks have had pretty similar paths over the past several years. The Suns have finished at or near .500 in three of their past five seasons, with one decent season in 2013-14, and a terrible campaign the year before. The team has not even made the playoffs since 2009-10. The Diamondbacks have also finished exactly at or very close to .500 in three of their last seasons, with 2014 being a very forgettable year.

While this comparison does not seem very encouraging at first, what we have learned from the Diamondbacks is that there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. This offseason the D-Backs shook up the baseball hot stove with their huge signing of right handed pitcher Zach Greinke, and also signed RHP Shelby Miller from Atlanta.

During the offseason the Phoenix Suns did everything they could to try and sign coveted free agent LaMarcus Aldridge, but they did not succeed. It seems as if they will need to do something similar this year to try to get a big free agent that can turn things around. At this point the team would be best off trying to tank and lose as many games as possible so they can get more ping pong balls in the draft lottery. If they can get a high draft pick and a big name free agent, the Phoenix Suns might get back to being respectable faster than Charles Barkley can yell for their hated rival “Ginobili!”

 

20 Years Ago Today, He Said Two Words That Changed The NBA

It was the night of June 20, 1993. The home team: The Phoenix Suns. The visiting team: The Chicago Bulls. The Phoenix Suns were led by league MVP Charles Barkley. The Chicago Bulls were led by Michael Jordan. The Bulls go into the sixth game of the NBA Finals with a 3-2 lead over the Suns..

With 14.1 seconds left in the 4th quarter, the Bulls are down by two, 98-96; the Bulls have possession. Jordan in bounds the ball in front of the Bulls bench; the ball goes back to Jordan to run it up the court. He gets to the three-line and sees Horace Grant. Grant makes a move towards the basket to tie it up, but then sees John Paxson wide open for a three. Grant passes it to Paxson. With 3.9 seconds remaining, Paxson nails the three to go up by one, 99-98. The Suns calls a timeout.

The Suns’ Kevin Johnson in bounds at mid-court. Johnson gets it back and drives up the middle. Johnson goes up for a lay-up, but is blocked by Horace Grant, and the Chicago Bulls win their third straight NBA Finals.

You see a shot of MJ on the ground and hugging the ball in an emotional scene. You go backstage for the celebration, and you see MJ hugging and kissing the NBA Championship trophy and crying while he was doing it. What an emotional celebration it was for ‘The Airman’. During the offseason, tragedy strikes ‘Sir Airness’.

On August 3, 1993, the body of Michael Jordan’s father, James Jordan, was found floating in a South Carolina creek with a single gunshot wound to the chest. James had been missing for three weeks.

On August 5, two days later, James’ red Lexus was discovered being stripped of everything in a wooded area in Fayetteville, NC; his tires and stereo speakers, both the front and back windshields were broken into, and his personalized license plate that read ” UNC0023″ in reference to his son playing at North Carolina University, and his number 23. Police would later arrest two teenage boys, Daniel Green and Larry Demery, in connection to the homicide, in which they were later found guilty and are now serving a lifetime sentence in a North Carolina prison.

On October 6, 1993, Michael Jordan announces his retirement citing the loss of desire to play the game. Jordan later stated that the loss of his father persuaded his decision to step away from the game. This announcement definitely sent out shock and ah throughout the NBA and it made front-page news throughout the world.

On February 7, 1994, Michael made another announcement that made the front pages, and sent shock waves throughout the sports world. Michael Jordan became a baseball player by signing a minor league deal with the Chicago White Sox. He reported to spring training in Sarasota, Florida, and was assigned to the teams minor league system on March 31, 1994. Jordan stated that his decision to become a baseball player was a dream of his late father, who always wanted Michael to pursue a career as a Major League Baseball player. In 1994, Jordan played with the Birmingham Barons, a minor league team affiliate with the Chicago White Sox. Jordan’s stats include a .202 BA, 3 HR, 51 RBI, 30 SB, and 11 errors. Later that year on November 1, 1994, his 23 number was retired by the Bulls in a ceremony.

During Jordan’s retirement, the Bulls would go onto a 55-27 record during the 93-94 season, and would lose to the New York Knicks in the second round of the NBA Playoffs. The 1994-1995 season saw a different kind of Bulls that were far from what you saw two years prior. The Bulls were 31-31 mid-March. But then something happened on March 18, 1995 that needed to be done in order for the Bulls to make the playoffs.

Back then, there was no such thing as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or whatever have you. Back then, the only way you could get on the internet was with a floppy disk through American Online software. AOL reached its peek with 1.5 million subscribers in February 1994, but those users only had limited access. Can you imagine what the millenials would think about how we lived back in those days? They probably wouldn’t survive.

The fastest way possibly to break news throughout the world at the time was via fax, and did Michael Jordan take full advantage of the fax machine.

Michael was handed a couple versions on how to break the news to the world, but he wanted to do it his own way. So, he grabbed a pen and paper, and simply wrote those two famous words: “I’m back.”

Michael’s decision to come out of retirement was because the MLB had gone on strike and he has cited that he feared that he was going to become a replacement player. The next day after his announcement, he was seen wearing a Bulls jersey that dawned the number 45, his number with the Barons.

After his announcement, many people began to think to themselves ‘Does he still have his wings to fly?’

He took to the court the very next day facing the Indiana Pacers, his first game back since that faithful night on June 20, 1993 against the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals. He would go onto score 19 points that evening. The Bulls would go 19-4 in Jordan’s return and make the playoffs that year.

In the end of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Orlando Magic, Magic guard, Nick Anderson, would strip Jordan of the ball and go on to make the game-winning shot to defeat the Bulls. Anderson was quoted after the game as saying “he didn’t look like the old Michael Jordan.” The very next game, Jordan came out wearing his old number 23, and would go on to average 31 points a game for the rest of the series, in which the Bulls lost in six games. The Houston Rockets would go on to win the NBA Finals to repeat from the following year.

Starting the following season, which was the 95-96 season, the Bulls would go on to make a second three-peat during the 90’s.

My favorite childhood memory was of when I had the pleasure of seeing Michael Jordan play in person. It was back in October of 1997, which would later be his last season with the Chicago Bulls. It was a preseason game against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with my best friend Caleb Harris and his family. The starting roster was Michael Jordan, Luc Longley, Scottie Pippen, Ron Harper, and “The Worm” Dennis Rodman. One of the things I remember about that game was that Rodman didn’t dress due to injury or illness. When he came out of the locker room to sit on the bench, he was wearing sweats with a neon leopard skin top hat.

The thing I remember the most about that game was when Michael Jordan had a break away; there was nobody within 30 feet of him. He goes up for a dunk, does a 360…he bricked it.

It doesn’t seem like it’s been 20 years since he came out of retirement, and thank God he did with that now famous fax he sent out. To me, the NBA wasn’t worth watching. Michael leaving was like having a piece of me amputated, like my childhood would never be the same again.

I remember that every single shoe he came out with, I had to have them. I remember going to school wearing my first pair of Jordan’s, the Jordan V that were named “The Fighter” back in 1990. I remember wearing the Jordan VI, the Jordan VII, the Jordan VIII (which my parents did buy me a pair of 3 years ago for my birthday), the Jordan IX, the Jordan X, the Jordan XI (Oh, how I would love to get a hold of another pair of those that my sister in law bought for my brother a couple Christmas’ ago), and so on and so forth.

Thank you, sir Airness. Thanks for the great memories growing up while watching you play on television and in person. It certainly feels great that I share a birthday with a historical moment in sports history.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sports + Saturday Night Live = Pure Gold.

For the past 40 years, Saturday Night Live has entertained millions of people all over the nation. They have many memorable sketches that can never be forgotten such as “More Cowbell” featuring Christopher Walken, Chippendales Audition featuring Chris Farley and Patrick Swayze, “Like Buttah” featuring Barbara Streissand, The Weekend Update, and you will see the political spoofs of Bill Clinton, both George Bush and George W. Bush, Al Gore, Barack Obama, and various other political figures.

With last nights celebration of Saturday Night Live’s 40th Anniversary, you watched many of those iconic sketches that I just mentioned. Pop culture has played a huge part of Saturday Night Live sketches throughout the shows 40 years of air. It seemed no one was safe from a joke or two, The sports world was no exception.

Many professional athletes and sports icons were also a huge part of the success of Saturday Night Live. Many athletes either made cameos in sketches, and there were some that turned out to be pretty darn good hosts of the show once or as many as three times, in which Dwayne Johnson and Charles Barkley have hosted three times, and all of them were willing to come onto the show and humiliate themselves to make people laugh. And when the sports world was mixed in with Saturday Night Live, the result, was mostly, pure gold.

Here are some of the most memorable sports moments of Saturday Night Live.

 

Derek Jeter: Yankee Wives: ‘The Captain’ wasn’t afraid to show off his comedy chops back on December 1, 2001 when he hosted the show for his first and only time. He had skits on the show that were outstanding, this skit is possibly the best skit he had when he performed on the show.

https://screen.yahoo.com/yankee-wives-000000820.html

 

Michael Jordan on Bill Swerski’s Super Fans: ‘Bill Swerski’s Super Fans’ skit made many appearances throughout the shows history. Bill Swerski (George Wendt) hosted the show along with Todd O’Connor (Christ Farley), Pat Arnold (Mike Myers) and Carl Wollarski (Robert Smigel). The show took place in Chicago at a restaurant/bar. The gang loved anything and everything that had to do with the Chicago Bears and the Chicago Bulls. As you can imagine, when Michael Jordan stopped by, the sketch was one of the most memorable sports moments.

http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/bill-swerskis-super-fans/n10094

 

Tim Meadows as O.J. Simpson: I the wake of the infamous O.J. Simpson trial, Saturday Night Live didn’t shy away by cracking a few jokes about such a serious issue going on at the time. O.J. Simpson, played by Tim Meadows, decides to ‘admit his guilt’ during an on-field interview with then Bills coach Marv Levy, played by Will Ferrell, which left the coach very uncomfortable.

https://screen.yahoo.com/o-j-simpson-cold-opening-000000362.html

 

“B.Y.O.B—Bring Your Own Booyah: When Ray Romano hosted the show back in March of 1999, he delivered one of the best sports skits along with Tim Meadows to parody ‘Sportscenter’. Romano played the new sports anchor of the show, Chet Harper, and Tim Meadows played the late Stuart Scott.

https://screen.yahoo.com/sports-center-ray-romano-000000679.html

 

Will Ferrell as Harry Caray: Will Ferrell played many iconic characters and impersonated many pop culture icons during his tenure on the show. One of those many impersonations that he played throughout his years with the show was his impersonation of the late Cub announcer Harry Caray.

https://screen.yahoo.com/harry-caray-space-infinite-frontier-000000505.html

 

Jay Pharoah as Stephen A. Smith: Thank God someone imitated Stephen A. Smith and how much he is infatuated with the Miami Heat during the Lebron era. This who impersonation is spot on.

https://screen.yahoo.com/weekend-stephen-smith-miami-heat-000000825.html

 

Eli Manning as host: Just soon after his first Super Bowl win, the very shy and non-spoken Eli Manning joined the list of many athletes that have hosted Saturday Night Live. Many thought that the show wasn’t going to be all that great. It turns out that the majority of the people were wrong.

 

Peyton Manning: Whoever thought that Peyton Manning could be so funny? The older brother of Eli certainly proved he has a sense of humor when he hosted the show for his first time. He certainly left that night with one of the funniest and most memorable sketches in the shows history.

http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/united-way/n12129

Revamping NBA All-Star Weekend

Evidently sick of all the speculation about his worthiness of an All-Star roster spot, Kevin Durant presented a challenge in an interview with NewsOk.com. “Whoever want my spot can play me 1-on-1 for it,” Durant dared with a wry grin.

We have come to expect this type of comment from KD. He is always genuine with the media and self-assured enough to crack a joke now and then. While no one is likely to accept Durant’s invitation, I imagine that he would willingly engage in the competition if prompted to do so.

Even though the NBA would not adjust the All-Stars to honor Durant’s offer if he was bested in such a contest, that 1-on-1 battle would still make for quite a spectacle. In fact, just about any fan of the NBA would love to watch KD square off against a disrespected and retribution-seeking Damian Lillard. Of course, Lillard has since been named as an injury replacement for Blake Griffin, but the point remains intact: a 1-on-1 game between NBA stars would be a captivating watch, one that could be included during All-Star weekend.

As it currently stands, the format of the NBA All-Star weekend events is in need of renovation. Luckily, Commissioner Adam Silver appears to be open to any and all changes to improve the league, so an upgraded All-Star weekend may soon be on its way. If I was selected by Silver as the head and sole member of the Committee to Revamp All-Star weekend, my new format for the weekend would look something like this:

Friday:

NBA All-Star Celebrity Game This event typically features little to no quality basketball, and the term “celebrity” is liberally applied to most of these competitors. Somehow it manages to be reasonably enjoyable, mostly thanks to mainstay Kevin Hart. Plus watching a 50-year-old white guy with silver hair (Arne Duncan) completely dominate the game is pretty entertaining. Other than pushing for greater star power, I would not change anything about this event, mostly because it’s just not that important.

Rising Stars Challenge – The 2015 version of this event features a weirdly creative and somehow acceptably jingoistic twist: a roster of U.S. players vs. a roster of foreign players. The Rising Stars Challenge has been searching for a new identity since it changed from its original setup of rookies vs. sophomores. I rather enjoyed the Charles Barkley vs. Shaq dynamic that the challenge used a couple year ago. Even if the challenge does not pit Chuck and Shaq against each other every year, it should retain the concept of two celebrities drafting their own teams from the pool of chosen Rising Stars and battling for braggin’ rights on the courts. The two celebrities who are drafting the teams should be noteworthy names/rivals of the moment, such as Chris Evans (Captain America/Patriots fan) vs. Chris Pratt (Star-Lord/Seahawks fan) or Kanye West vs. whoever topped Beyoncé for the best album Grammy that year.

Many people probably think that All-Star weekend begins on Saturday, so this event is far from the main attraction, and therefore is not the focus of my revamping. It’s just a chance to showcase some of the league’s future stars. Let’s move on.

Saturday: 

Shooting Stars Challenge – King of the half-court shot Chris Bosh may object to this, but this competition needs a total overhaul. The purpose is to reveal the best team of shooters in terms of relevant shots, not half-court heaves. At least that’s the purpose when I’m running the show.

The setup does not need to be particularly elegant; something simple will suffice. The event should stick with its four teams of three competing in a first round followed by championship format. That element is acceptable. The changes made will revolve around the shots that these players attempt.

A basic outline: Each player is given his or her own ball. The team must make a total of eight shots from pre-selected floor locations. The first six shots—in order—must be low block, free throw elbow, free throw, mid base line, opposite free throw elbow, top of the key. The teams will divide up the shots so that each player is making two. After making the first six shots, the group will gather at the three-point line directly behind the top of the key. From this location, the team must make a total of two shots. Whichever team finishes in the least amount of time is the winner.
Skills Challenge – N/A. It’s lame. I’m scrapping it from my event list.

2-on-2 Tournament – While I really like the notion of a 1-on-1 contest, I absolutely love the 2-on-2 idea. So if this 2-on-2 idea goes well, maybe I’ll add the 1-on-1 next year. For now, the tournament would consist of four teams of two, each of which is comprised of teammates from their own NBA squad, playing games to seven scoring the baskets by ones and twos.

Imagine this setup with teams of LeBron & Kyrie, Durant & Westbrook, Steph Curry & Klay Thompson, and Chris Paul & Blake Griffin. This would instantly become the most exciting event of the night.

3-Point Contest – I have nothing to change here. This year’s challenge even boasts what is perhaps the best cast of contestants in the event’s history. As long as the star power is high, the 3-point contest is a lot of fun.

Slam Dunk – The current dunk contest has three problems: no stars are involved, there are too many missed dunk attempts, and no freaking stars are involved. Resolving the dreadful number of missed dunk attempts is easy: allow less misses. The current rules allow three attempts per round. My contest would allow two. One less–big deal, right? In isolation, this probably would not have a huge impact, which is why I would also make one other critical change: if the dunker misses his first attempt of the round, his second attempt must use a different dunk. This would avoid the painful tedium of watching the same dunk missed twice and then finally completed successfully on the third try. At that point it’s hardly even exciting.

Of course, even these upgrades cannot single-handedly save the dunk contest. The key is who is doing the dunking. I just cannot imagine anyone springing from their seats while viewing a Mason Plumlee jam. Even if he pulls off something special, I’m still going to be wishing that I was watching LeBron throw down.

The only way to restore the Dunk Contest to its former glory is to bring back the stars. I would search for the proper incentive to attract the household names. Be it money, a car, or a marketing opportunity, I would find the bait and reel in the big fish. The most likely incentive to actually draw stars to the event is probably the marketing opportunity. Most of these stars are looking to gain more acclaim and grow their brands, so the prize for winning the contest should be an endorsement deal with the event’s sponsor.

Let’s say that this year Victor Oladipo wins the Dunk Contest. He would be rewarded with an endorsement and commercial deal with Sprite, the event’s sponsor. Oladipo and Sprite collaborate to create an epic commercial that plays over and over again on ESPN. Oladipo is lauded as the dunk king of the NBA. The stars of league watch this commercial and it hits a competitive nerve. Someone (maybe LeBron) sees Oladipo receiving all this attention and he decides that he wants to compete in next season’s contest. He wants to be the king.

This may be a bit of a long shot, but I’m willing to consider any idea that may bring LeBron James to the Dunk Contest.

Sunday: 

NBA All-Star Game – At long last, we reach the main event. Brace yourself, these changes are going to be radical. I would begin my revamping of the game by overhauling the entire selection process. I would eliminate the East vs. West dynamic. The West is the better conference; everyone already knows that. As such, the West should rightfully boast more All-Star representation.

In my selection process, the pool of 24 players throughout the entire league (i.e. not necessarily 12 from each conference) would be decided by a combination vote from fans, coaches, and the players. This way, ideally, the 24 best players in the NBA will make the All-Star roster. Of the best players in the league today, how many reside in the Western Conference? I estimate around 15 or 16. With that being the case, it just makes more sense to allow the superior conference to send more players to the All-Star game.

Since the roster is not evenly comprised of Eastern and Western Conference players, a new way to divvy up the two teams must be arranged. In this new system, the top two vote getters become the captains of the two teams. These captains and their head coaches then draft their teams from the pool of the remaining 22 All-Stars. This would create so many potential salivation-worthy matchups. Depending on how the draft played out, at some point during the game Kevin Durant could be guarding Russell Westbrook. Or perhaps an opportunity would present itself for Kyrie Irving to showcase his filthy handle while defended by Cavs teammate, but All-Star foe LeBron James. These are the dream matchups between friends and teammates that we never have a chance to witness during regular game action. That’s what the All-Star weekend is all about: dream matchups and fun. And there is nothing more fun than burying a sweet J in the face of a friend.

Kosar and Dufner, Ohio Boys in Biased Observer

The Intro

What a strange week it’s been. Baseball went crazy, we saw the first full week of NFL football, a guy from Ohio won the PGA Championship, and a different guy from Ohio was forced into an apology that that has a bunch of other guys in Ohio angry at the world.

Again.

I am going to be a married man by the time you read the next Biased Observer[1. It’s going to be a while. The honeymoon is in Las Vegas, and there’s no telling how long I’ll stay], and it seems I’m practicing for married life by drinking a bottle of water instead of beer while writing this. There’s also a good chance I will be doing yard work while you read this column, too. See? I’m already not complaining about married life[2. Really, though. I can’t wait].

If you are looking for a Cleveland Indians losing streak post-mortem, you need Dan’s Cleveland Sports Week in Review. Also this week, Jeff Rich shines his light on Stanford in Is Hogan a Hero and Mike looks past the PED controversy in baseball and focuses on the best clean[3. Or, at least not suspected of being dirty] players in baseball’s steroid era.

Go ahead and read those. I can wait. Just leave this window open so the metric for average time on page looks more impressive.

Jason Dufner is the New Tiger Woods

Of course Dufner is not the new Tiger Woods. They are nothing alike. I mean, Dufner won a major this year[4. Seriously, though, a Golf column without Tiger and Woods in the copy is tantamount to SEO suicide].

The 2013 Major Championship winners this year have been pretty eclectic group. Adam Scott took home the Masters Championship[5. Adam Scott is also the subject of the coolest golf picture since the last cigar selfie I took, but I’m not going to embed it because it’s famous and I don’t feel like getting sued. Just search “Adam Scott Masters Picture” and be amazed], Justin Rose elicited the most outdated headline ever when he won the U.S. Open Championship[6. A Kiss From a Rose. Seal sang that song for the Batman Forever soundtrack in 1984], Phil Mickelson won the Open Championship, and now Ohio’s own Jason Dufner finished off the 2013 Majors schedule by holding off Jim Furyk to win the PGA Championship.

I really wanted to see Tiger or Phil succeed and make a huge push for renewed dominance on the golf landscape, but I have to admit that seeing three players win their first major of their careers around a Lefty final round for the ages made this an incredibly fun golf season to watch. The fact that Dufner is an Olmsted Falls, Ohio native is just a tiny feather of this former Bulldogs’ cap.

Bernie, Bernie, Bernie

This whole story about Bernie Kosar criticizing the St. Louis Rams to the point where Jeff Fisher – Rams Head Coach – and Peter King – TheMMQB.com Editor – need to complain has so many layers that I decided to put together a list of my thoughts about this issue.

In no particular order:

  • Bernie Kosar is a Browns homer on a Browns homer, preseason telecast. Lighten up.
  • Play-by-play man, Jim Donovan, walked an old school, rough-edged football player into what was probably supposed to be a Catholic joke. Ooops.
  • Kosar needs to take some responsibility for not knowing when to shut up.
  • I was not offended, but I am also not going to pretend like I should be the moral barometer for our civilization. That would not go over well.
  • Jeff Fisher stuck up for his players. Good on him.
  • Jeff Fisher stuck up for his players by acting like a whiny little kid who won’t stop crying because he didn’t get a participation trophy for stinking up right field on his little league team. Bad on him.
  • Bernie was right, Kellen Clemons and most of the St. Louis receiving corps is painful to watch.
  • Bernie mentioning that family would be disappointed in those players because they stink at NFL football is about three quarters of the way to bush league. No one was hurt, but family should always be off limits. Even when trying to make a joke about crappy players.
  • Writing anything about Bernie’s family here would amply illustrate that point, but it would be a little too bush league for me.
  • Bernie only said the type of things that Charles Barkley says all the time.
  • Bernie isn’t Chuck. He will never have the panache and leeway that Chuck has, almost no one does. Who knows if that’s fair, but it’s true.
  • Peter King made a “Drunk Bernie” joke on twitter. THAT is just as bush league as anything Bernie said.
  • Both Peter King and Jeff Fischer are represented by Marvin Demoff – whose son Kevin is Executive Vice President of Football Operations & Chief Operating Officer of the Rams.
  • Read the last point again.
  • Bernie privately apologizing to Fisher in order to keep civil relations with a possible trade partner was a quick, painless, and fair way for Browns CEO Joe Banner to have dealt with the situation.
  • Bernie would have had to apologize to Fisher regardless of King’s tweets. What King did was turn this small, regional story into national news because of his relationship with Fisher and the Rams.

There. That is my list. I love Bernie, I like Jeff Fisher, and I have always enjoyed Peter King’s work. None of those things change. Although, in this particular case, I think King is the only guy who deserves the proverbial fist of rage.

King had no involvement in anything, and only opened his mouth because his boy Jeff Fisher had a tizzy. I can understand Fisher’s actions because a coach sticks up for his team. I can understand Bernie’s commentary because he’s a colorful, brutally honest, Cleveland guy. I can understand Joe Banner’s solution because he wants to keep St. Louis in the Browns’ good graces. I cannot understand why Peter King had to throw his considerable weight into the ring and crack a drunk joke about a guy whose had more concussions than Caligula had concubines.

Eh, King was probably just so excited over his fourth rack of ribs that night that the euphoria got to his head and he didn’t know what he was tweeting. Get it? He’s fat.

And Peter, I’ll apologize when you do.

{UPDATE 8/13/2013 7:18 AM}

Peter King tweeted that he was going to apologize.

THIS is what was actually buried on the last page of his MMQB:

Kosar’s a good guy, and I have always liked him. But I found the comments pretty far over the top and asked rhetorically, on Twitter, whether Kosar had been drinking. Which brought on a raft of criticism from the Twitterverse, saying I’d gone over the top. I don’t think I was over the top, but many of you felt I’d gone too far given the sea of trouble Kosar has had in his personal life. (None of which, from what I can tell, involve treatment for alcohol, or any admission of alcoholism.) My point was, I think there’s a way to be critical of players and teams, and analysts should definitely do that. But Kosar went too far, in my opinion. And not just mine. Kosar called Rams coach Jeff Fisher Sunday to apologize, and Browns CEO Joe Banner said Sunday the Browns “don’t condone the personal and unprofessional approach” Kosar used.

We’ll see what ends up in Tuesday’s MMQB column, as it hasn’t been posted at the time of this update.

{UPDATE 8/13/2013 1:36 PM}

Peter King apologized in his Tuesday MMQB Mailbag column.

I was at the Rams’ headquarters Saturday on my tour of training camps, but I didn’t hear about the story till the evening, when The MMQB team was en route to the next stop, Kansas City. I found Kosar’s comments to be over the top—very surprising for a former NFL quarterback who was watching the first preseason game. Saying the parents of the players would be embarrassed if they were watching? And the religion reference? I thought it was wrong. And so I tweeted, “My question for Kosar after comments in Cle-STL preseason game: Were you drinking? Good guy. But waaay over the top here.”

I was trying to be funny in an unfunny situation. Of course, I didn’t think Kosar had been drinking. It was hyperbole. I should have just said, “What were you thinking?”

On Sunday, the Browns stated that they “don’t condone the personal and unprofessional approach’’ Kosar used in the game. Kosar called Rams coach Jeff Fisher and apologized for what he’d said.

I thought it was over—but the Twitterverse didn’t. You slammed me for asking Kosar the drinking question, for being Fisher’s lackey, for having the same agent (Marvin Demoff) as Fisher. My first reaction was: Kosar’s the one who erred here. I’ll be damned if I’ll admit I was wrong. But after being off the grid for most of Monday at Vikings’ camp, the more I thought about it, the more I started thinking I was just as wrong for jumping on Kosar with a bad joke that some would take as me accusing him of drinking during the game. And so, Monday evening, I tweeted that I was wrong for an insensitive tweet—and I was. No excuses. I could have been critical of Kosar without being crass. Altogether my fault.

There are scores on Twitter who wanted their pound of flesh from me even after I said I was wrong, which is their right. The bile was subhuman, but I think overall Twitter served a good purpose here. It was right that so many of you who read me and follow me called me out on this; in the old days, pre-social media, I’d likely have forgotten about it. You didn’t let me. It’s good that we have our readers/followers/listeners to remind us that we ultimately are reporting and opining for them. None of that should change the stories we report, but hall monitors can be good when our opinions cross the line.

About my relationship with the Rams: This is the third time I’ve written about this, and as I’ve said in the past, it’s your right to stop reading me or following me if you’re offended by the fact that I have the same agent as Jeff Fisher … and the agent, Marvin Demoff, is the father of Rams COO Kevin Demoff. I’m not the only one in the business with an agent who also represents people in football. And I don’t apologize for it. For those who think Fisher had something to do with my tweet about Kosar, he didn’t; we never spoke about it, and still haven’t. If you think it colors my judgment when it comes to criticizing or not criticizing people such as Fisher, that’s your right. I believe in being up front with you when there’s an issue like this, and I’ll continue to be that way.

After this, he apologized additionally to an email comment in his mailbag.

I suppose by now that I need to weigh years of King’s fantastic NFL work against making a dumb comment about one of Cleveland’s sports heroes. Maybe King was just apologizing to save face, but I doubt it. I think King is a guy who always tries to be on the up and up, he just took a wrong turn by misjudging his sense of humor.

So, Peter, I’m sorry for the fat joke. I could stand to lose a few pounds myself.

 


Jack McCallum's "Dream Team" is a Must-Read Book

by Ryan Isley

As soon as I had watched the Dream Team special on NBA TV a couple of weeks ago and saw that Jack McCallum had a book coming out chronicling what may have been the greatest basketball team to ever take to the court, I knew I had to order it.

Every now and then when I pick up a book to begin reading, it is so intriguing that I simply cannot put it down. That exact thing happened to me this week when my pre-ordered copy of “Dream Team” arrived on Monday afternoon.

Listen – I am not a book reviewer and Jack McCallum doesn’t need someone like me to talk about how great of a book it is and justify his writing the book.

Compared to McCallum, I am just some schmuck who writes for a sports website that he has probably never heard of – or maybe never will for that matter. In fact, if I ever ran into McCallum in a media room somewhere, the respected writer would probably look at me the way the 1996 US Olympic basketball team looked at Juan Antonio Orenga at the opening ceremonies in Atlanta. (You will understand this reference after you read the book).

That all being said, I am still going to write about the book.

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Golf Channel Hit A Hole-in-One With 'Feherty'

By Ryan Isley

It is the middle of the summer, which in the golf world means the US Open and British Open will be played within weeks of each other. What it means for me is that I will be watching a lot of Golf Channel.

While doing precisely that, I saw a preview for their new show, Feherty (Tuesdays at 9:00pm), featuring none other than, well, David Feherty. As Feherty said at the top of the first broadcast, “My name is David Feherty. Welcome to my world and a show that we’re going to call Feherty because that’s my name and using anybody else’s name would just be weird.”

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