Telander’s Sunday stew: Read ’em and weep
BY RICK TELANDER firstname.lastname@example.org August 18, 2012 12:47AM
FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2009 file photo, Penn State coach Joe Paterno shouts before an NCAA college football game against Temple in State College, Pa. On Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012, family says Paterno, winningest coach in major college football, has died. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
Updated: September 20, 2012 10:20AM
It takes awhile to get your American brain in order after 19 days in London, but here we go:
◆ News that former Penn State defensive coordinator and current prisoner Jerry Sandusky is writing his second book has me reaching for that now-vanished intercontinental airline wretching bag.
Sandusky previously wrote a book with an astoundingly inappropriate title: Touched.
This new work of his — Jailed, perhaps? — is already No. 1 on my list of ‘‘Books I Will Never Read.’’
◆ Sadly, No. 2 on that list is Joe Posnanski’s soon-to-be-released Paterno. Posnanski is an outstanding journalist, arguably the best pure long-form sportswriter in the land, but he started this star-crossed biography of late Penn State coach Joe Paterno at the worst time possible, just before the pedophilia scandal blew up like a detonated septic tank. Posnanski should’ve folded his tent and retreated from the stench. I’m sorry, JoePos, but there’s nothing more I want to know about JoePa. Ever.
◆ What is it that drives people and organizations to want to see their faces on TV, regardless of how they’re presented? My old pal Emily Dickinson once compared the shallowness of blaring me-ism to a frog croaking endlessly to ‘‘an admiring bog.’’
But the Miami Dolphins, lame as they are with a new coach and a botched attempt at signing Peyton Manning, wanted to be on ‘‘Hard Knocks,’’ the HBO reality show that gives us inside NFL football stuff, warts and all.
So we just received a heavy dose of Chad Johnson, the prancing, jabbering narcissist who assaulted his wife, then was fired from his reality show, ‘‘Ev and Ocho,’’ which was to have run on VH1, after being arrested by Florida police, then cut from the Dolphins. Two reality shows gone in one head-butt? Thrifty.
In an earlier episode of ‘‘Hard Knocks,’’ Dolphins coach Joe Philbin scolds Johnson — the former ludicrously named Ochocinco — for using profane language on camera. Johnson had used F-bombs and said he was considering a career in porn, etc., to the cameras. You know how it goes. Attention is all.
Ocho, excuse me, Chad had even promised to get arrested on a day off. It was a joke. It seemed. About as funny as a previous arrest for assaulting his girlfriend.
It’s all pitiful, really, and makes one ponder again the people who covet stardom. But as long as we watch, the clowns will dance.
◆ New York Giants players, who have had five of their group miss practice with back-related injuries, are complaining that the beds at the University of Albany (N.Y.) are too hard. Too small. Too lousy.
“We’re big humans,’’ 6-6, 265-pound tight end Martellus Bennett told reporters. “You can’t put a dinosaur in a twin-size bed.’’
Well, but you can try. But you shouldn’t.
I sympathize with those ballplayers, and so should management, if not from decency, then from bottom-line accounting.
The players are valuable property, at least as valuable as prize steers and threshing machinery are to a big farm. Great sleeping along with great eating are the two things every NFL team should offer its herd of cattle. Players recover better, concentrate better, play better and learn better when they sleep well. Good food keeps their engines burning bright.
Why have your beeves lying on hard little slabs when they could be relaxing on cloud-like buns? Pamper them. Until you cut them. That’s how sacrifice works.
◆ Coaches as paragons of civic and economic leadership is an old story that won’t die. Indeed, successful coaches are always writing books, giving lectures, telling us how to run the world, how to succeed at everything. Like they know anything beyond whistles and chalkboards.
That’s why I got a brief chuckle when former Marshall and Georgia coach Jim Donnan was busted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for co-running an $80 million Ponzi scheme disguised as an investment firm.
It seems Donnan fleeced a bunch of other high-profile football coaches with his sales pitch, including Dennis Franchione, Frank Beamer, Tommy Tuberville and former Oklahoma and Dallas Cowboys coach Barry Switzer.
I feel sorry for the men who lost millions. But it just shows you that even coaches aren’t impervious to coaching BS.
◆ Steve M c Michael for mayor of suburban Romeoville. What do we think about this?
The former Bears defensive tackle and Super Bowl starter has thrown his helmet into the ring to become mayor of the town where he just moved and where he also owns a restaurant called Mongo McMichaels Sports Bar.
All I can say is that if old Texan bad boy McMichael is elected to replace current mayor John D. Noak, city- hall meetings will likely be wild and X-rated. And there will be no rattlesnakes anywhere in town.
◆ Now that San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera, the 2012 All-Star Game MVP, and a onetime candidate for National League MVP has tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone and been suspended for 50 games, you have to wonder about Major League Baseball’s claim that its drug-testing program is working.
With 2011 NL MVP Ryan Braun having gotten off for his failed drug test on a processing technicality, it seems former BALCO drug guru Victor Conte is right: Fast-acting synthetic testosterone is the doping drug du jour.
And it’s hard to argue with his statement: ‘‘The only people that get caught are the dumb and the dumber.’’
Back to school, Melky!