TELANDER: Wringing out the Stew year
BY RICK TELANDER firstname.lastname@example.org December 28, 2012 11:44PM
There’s at least one vote Barry Bonds will never get when he’s up for Hall consideration. | Winslow Townson~AP
Updated: January 31, 2013 6:48AM
As this will be the final ‘‘Stew’’ for 2012, let us clear the dreck — excuse me, deck.
◆ Will I vote for Sammy, Roger, Mark, Barry for the Baseball Hall of Fame? Never.
◆ Vote for anybody I feel was a drug cheat and/or lied about his cheating? Never.
◆ Is this fair? Maybe. Maybe not. Sucks to be part of the Steroid Era, guys. I didn’t invent it. I just watched it fester.
◆ Clear Language Award: Jonathon Lowy, director of the Brady Center’s Legal Action Project, on why assault weapons with huge clips might not be needed by civilians: ‘‘They have the capacity to massacre large numbers of human beings in a short amount of time.’’
◆ A sign that college football is continuing its own arms race, unabated: USC assistant coach Monte Kiffin makes more than $1.5 million a year. Clemson’s assistants make a combined $4.2 million. Eighteen D-I assistants made over $600,000 this year.
◆ The ESPN documentary ‘‘Broke’’ explained how highly paid athletes, year after year, no matter how many warnings they get, constantly lose much of their money. Thus, it was sad to see nice-guy Bear Israel Idonije in the paper recently, being sued by a failed restaurant in the South Loop, of which he was a part-owner, for nearly half a million dollars.
◆ Could a handful of major football conferences split from the NCAA and form their own master association? They could.
Why don’t they? They’re hampered by the endless minutiae of figuring out how and when to do it, and how the super association (“Super Pack’’?) would support its members’ other sports programs.
◆ You probably didn’t know: Some of the 120-member Football Bowl Subdivision ‘‘big-time’’ schools take in less than $4 million a year from athletics. Some take in over $140 million.
◆ Dear God, How Much This Must Hurt Jerry Jones: Next year the Houston Texans’ home field, Reliant Stadium, will be equipped with a nearly-15,000-square-foot video screen, the biggest in sports, 25 percent larger than the Dallas Cowboys’ current monstrosity. Can Jerry declare war on East Texas?
◆ The Big Ten expansion cracked me up. I remember when coaches and athletic directors talked about schools in a conference as being ‘‘rivals’’ and “historic foes’’ and ‘‘nearby enemies.’’ Those men got big-veined and passionate and seemed to mean it.
Now we have . . . Maryland and Rutgers? So close to Minnesota and Nebraska. So ready to do battle with Iowa. So much in common with Michigan and Northwestern.
◆ Splendid Comment From a Lotto-Hitting Athletic Director/Lamprey That Has Found a Lake Trout to Feed Off of in Perpetuity: Rutgers AD Tim Pernetti, on joining the Big Ten: ‘‘It’s the perfect place for Rutgers. For us, it means stability, and it has secured our future.’’
◆ Have you ever heard of Larry Fedora? He’s a D-I football coach who makes $2.5 million a year. How about Dan Mullen? He makes $2.6 million. How about Bill O’Brien ($2.3 million)? Todd Graham ($3 million)? Mike (‘‘Not Jack’’) London ($2.6 million)? And, oh, let’s see . . . Jim Grobe? He makes $2.3 million a year.
Their schools? In order: North Carolina, Mississippi State, Penn State, Arizona State, Virginia, Wake Forest.
◆ I’m not even going to mention the heavy hitters like Urban Meyer (Ohio State, $4.3 million), Les Miles (LSU, $3.9 million) or Mack Brown (Texas, $5.4 million). Why bother? None of those salaries is including bonuses that can top $1 million. Plus, this is last year’s pay.
◆ Scum of the Year . . . Actually, Make That the Decade, or Half Century, If You Want: Lance Armstrong. Why such harsh judgment for the much-praised, much-decorated man who cheated and lied and fabricated his way to seven Tour de France (non)wins and the covers of countless magazines and thereby the walls of millions of young believers and cancer battlers? Because of his exquisitely brazen skill in creating an identity that was so polar opposite from his true self as to be the work of the rarest con artist, the Madoff-style Ponzi scheme genius, the guiltless prevaricator who can justify anything, lie without qualm, ruin others’ lives — as long as he gets what he wants.
Scientists have speculated that Armstrong’s drug taking might actually have caused his original cancer, and that, at the least, the drugs he took assuredly make tumors grow. Simply, and this is a big arena, Armstrong might be the biggest fraud in the history of sport.
◆ The NBA’s Nets fired coach Avery Johnson after his team dropped to 14-14. Word is they might try to pursue Phil Jackson.
That would be interesting. Inside sources have told me Jackson wanted part ownership and other wild things like no road travel when the Los Angeles Lakers approached him earlier in the year about taking over for fired Mike Brown. Could it be possible, this one time, that Zen Phil might be quirky enough to actually ask for the Brooklyn Bridge? And get it?
◆ Name of the Year: Barkevious Mingo. LSU.
◆ Snooze of the Year: NHL Lockout. Day 104, 105 . . .