Reading Between the Headlines

You may have noticed that I like to point out some of the discrepancies between the real world and the professional sports world. Yeah, there aren’t too many jobs where you can just decide to stop showing up in an effort to get paid more, or be welcomed back with open arms after a drunken night out that ends in a sexual assault charge. However, they are human beings just like you and I, and they go through some of the same disappointment and grief we do. Just on a much larger basis. Think about that while you peruse these headlines:

Coincidence?  I think not.  Anyone think Tiger had a few things on his mind the last few weeks?  I think most people can relate: the feeling you get when you a know a doomed relationship is ending is a weird one: sure you’re sad, but you know that a toxic relationship has reached it’s end and that’s a relief. Besides, sadness ain’t nothin’ a little Ambien and a few hookers won’t fix!

And when the Board of Regents stopped laughing, they asked Hawkins where he scored his weed, because in order to suggest something like that, he must be stoned.  Dude, you have a record of 16-33.  You make Rick Neuheisel look like Joe Paterno!  Try winning the Champs Sports Bowl and we’ll talk…

Oh look, it’s the big kid bullying the little kid once again.  Hey NFL players, you tired of being worked yet?  I don’t know if DeMaurice Smith will try to make his bones with this next labor agreement, but if has any cojones, he will punish the NFL for years of manipulating the players.  No guaranteed contracts, shortest average career length, life-threatening work conditions and they want to make the season longer while increasing the players’ revenue share?  What, are we still in the Gilded Age?  Aside from rendering most modern individual and team records useless, this is a ridiculous request.  NFL owners, pay attention to major league baseball.  They collectively bitch-slapped the players for about 75 years then the players got pissed.  Now you have guys wearing pajama pants, long hair and playing at 50% while making $20 million a year.  Which brings me to my next headline…

Oh hi, Manny!  We were just talking about you.

Anyone see the connection here?  The Orange Bowl is played in Miami.  The Discover Card is only available to people over the age of 80.  Florida is littered with old people.  Brilliant stroke of marketing genius here, Discover Financial Services.  Hey fellas, want to find out the quickest way to end a date?  Head to a bar with a lady friend, order a round of cocktails and then when it comes time to pay, flash the Discover Card.  ”But they give cash back!”  Yeah, but try telling that to your date, player.

After listening to highlights of Bryce’s presser, I think it’s pretty clear there is a high probability that Bryce Harper has an ego that makes Pete Rose look humble.  And since Steve’s gonna probably flame out (Tommy John? Ouch) I think the Nats should hedge their bets and create a new reality show to insure against poor performance. They could call it “K Street” and it would chronicle Steve’s repeated elbow surgeries and rehab outings. Special guest appearance by Rob Dibble, whom Steve will punch in the face when he tries to give him advice. Meanwhile, watch Bryce as he tries to pickup college chicks in Adams Morgan while wearing gobs of eye black and extra-small Hollister polo shirts. It’s gonna be hawt!

Ok, that’s it for me.  Everyone have a great weekend.  As I sit here waiting for the next wave of “Steve is Prior” posts, I’ll be getting my hair cut like Bryce.

Balls To The Gong: European Tour Style

The PGA Tour could take a few lessons from the European Tour. The first is to embrace John Daly no matter what. The second is to challenge its top players to make ridiculous shots in random locations.

The PGA should do the same with its top golfers. Imagine Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and John Daly being forced to hit random shots in places like Hoover Dam, Death Valley, a WV strip mine, the Bunny Ranch, Somalia, etc. They should be allowed to bet on the shots as well as drink while they’re playing. Guaranteed ratings killer no matter how bad Tiger does during tournaments.

I’m pretty skeptical of surveys — after reading through the fine print in most of them you come to realize one of two things: 1) the questions were created in a way to create a predetermined result; or, 2) most of the people in this country were raised similarly to wolf-boys Romulus and Remus.  Think I’m exaggerating?  Well, where else can an accused rapist (and philanderer) overtake a sex addict (and philanderer) as the most beloved athlete in sports?

Anyways, the other day, Street Smith’s Sports Business Daily released its “Most Marketable in the MLB” survey.  Not shockingly, Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter ranked #1, appearing on 47 of the 49 ballots.  This is the third time since 2003 Jeter has topped the list.  In other words: yawn.

Wouldn’t it be pretty great if Street Smith’s actually released a “least marketable” list?  A few seasons ago, this list would have been too easy to make — with guys like John Rocker and Carl Everett still pulling on jerseys, the list writes itself. Instead, it’s left to me.  The criteria: I can’t think of one thing these guys could legitimately advertise that would make people want to buy the product… even if they were cool enough to parody themselves (not likely).  Here we go:

Milton Bradley: I’ve heard all the stories about how Milton is misunderstood.  And yes, the story of his upbringing is horrendous.  While there is no doubt he is an incredibly talented player, his personality makes it tough for people to get attached to him.  With over eleven seasons in the big leagues, he’s already on his eighth team.  When he’s not confronting umpires, he’s been known to go after writers and fans.  Oh, and he’s admitted he suffers from mental problems. At least he puts himself out there…

Julio Lugo: Lugo has carved out a decent career for himself earning close to $50M while playing parts of eleven seasons with six teams.  Pretty non-descript and boring, save for the wife-beating.  Real gentleman.  Huzzah to the

"Now, did I miss the entire 2006 season or 2007? Oh wait, it was pretty much both."

Boston Red Sox, who gave the shortstop with the career .723 OPS 40 of that 50 million.  So, overpaid, under-performing, and a batterer: three keys to endorsement success.

Carl Pavano: Baseball’s “American Idle” signed a four year, $40M deal with the Yankees in 2004.  His output those four seasons: a record of 9-7.  In 2006, he wrecked his Corvette and broke two ribs while rehabbing another injury.  Which one?  I can’t remember.  Take your pick: the “Idle” was sidelined with shoulder, back, buttocks and elbow injuries throughout his time in New York… or should I say Tampa, where he spent most of  his four year deal doing rehab.  While it is never fair to blame a guy for injuries, he somehow recovered well enough to pitch 200 innings last year and is on pace to do the same in 2010.  Even former flame Alyssa Milano thinks he’s a flake.  I considered maybe a deal with a medical equipment company, but I’m pretty sure if there was a way to injure yourself in an MRI machine, Carl would figure it out.

Vincente Padilla: Oh Vicente, you have a mound of talent but choose to hide it with extreme disregard for everyone around you, including your own organization.   Other than his multiple DUIs and other assorted alcohol problems, he’s been known to fight, headhunt (even ex-teammates), and just be an overall prickly fellow.  Probably not someone you want selling Cadillacs.

These guys may have a tough road back to respectability, so they are going to need some help.  I recommend these guys — they run a hell of a pitch meeting:

If you thought that Tiger Wood’s female troubles weren’t going to have an impact on the sales of all things Tiger, look no further than with his video game.  Copies of EA Sports “Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11″ were down…WAY DOWN.  According to Destructiod:

According to, sales were down 68% year-over-year across all platforms, but the drop for the Wii version was the most precipitous at 86%; with some simple math, that comes out to a meager 38,100 sales in June 2010 versus 272,400 in June 2009.

Wow that is HUUUUGE. Don’t think Nike and any other company using Tiger’s likeness to sell their shit isn’t paying attention to this. Makes one wonder where Nike’s Tiger apparel sales are currently as compared to a year or two ago.

I’m betting they aren’t nearly as good. I mean who wants to be caught rollin’ around town decked out in Tiger’s gear. Even if you fashioned yourself as a bit of player, if you’re wearing that gear you have got to be radioactive to women. There will be a fallout zone of at least 5 feet around you for sure.

Just when Tiger needs the money the most, its getting tougher and tougher for him to make that cash.

No wonder he’s not winning anything right now.

From Destructiod

ed. note: Yes, i do know the headline is using horrific grammar. It is supposed to be horrific.

New LeBron James Commercials

Hilarious new commercials for LeBron James that kinda mash up the Tiger/Eldred commercials of a few months ago with young Bron Bron. I think Cavalier’s majority owner Dan Gilbert needs to put up the cash to actually put these spots on the air.  He’s just crazy enough to do this. I’d give it a watch, but make sure your headphones are on, there’s some NSFW language going on in here.