2005-02-24

Catching Up: Sports Notes


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Once again I've been on the road. One thing I've discovered in my travels: There seems to be no corner of Kentucky that can escape the reach of ESPN Radio. With baseball starting up, the NBA approaching its trade deadline and College Basketball in the stretch run to March Madness there has been a lot of news.

Drew Bledsoe to the Cowboys: I really like this deal. It's one of those situations that feels like it will work well for everyone concerned. While he may not have lived up to his past hype, Bledsoe is a capable quarterback. What's more he's being reunited with Bill Parcells with whom he shared a Super Bowl appearance in New England.

Dallas is a much better team now, and Bledsoe's career might just be gaining its second wind.

Randy Moss to Oakland: This is one of those Raider crapshoots, and I'm skeptical. I don't know if Al Davis has lost his touch or if the economics of the league are too prohibitive, but gone are the vintage Raider-esque deals that had re-treads leading Oakland to glory in years past. These days Oakland's "bold" moves smack more of desperation than genius.

People may look at this deal and think that Moss fits the classic Raider mold. Wrong. Past Raider greats have been colorful and somewhat troubled off the field which is Moss for sure. But on Sunday afternoons they lined up and each gave 110% in playing as a ferocious team. There is no team in Moss.

On a more practical level, without Duante Culpepper pitching to him, Moss' game can only suffer.

Chris Webber to Philadelphia: This could be the juiciest transaction of the week, and I'm wondering why it isn't getting bigger coverage. Sacramento sends the guy who was the Cornerstone of the team's resurgance (although I'm not sure if they were ever good before so perhaps it was just a regular old surgance) to the city of brotherly love.

Webber being traded isn't a huge surprise. C-Webb and his massive contract were responsible for both the Kings' rise to Western Conference Championship level and their failure to go any further. Webber always seems to disappear in the clutch.

The elephant in the room here is a player who wasn't involved in the trade - Alan Iverson. AI is a great team player provided he is teamed up with guys who don't want to score, as he has been for the better part of his career. Webber enters Philly on a 20 ppg scoring pace. As long as the NBA continues to insist on playing with only one ball, this move isn't going to work.

I suspect the 76ers are setting up to deal Iverson in the off-season. I also suspect that once they get a look at Webber's post-season "fire," they won't know who to get rid of. Either way, I'll be very suprised of they enter the 2005-6 season with both of these guys still on the roster.

Kobe Bryant: I hope he's happy. Before he lacked "street cred." Now he lacks respect, any shred of potential for post-season success, endorsements, etc. Keep an eye on Amazon for Kobe's new book, "How to deflate your career in two years or less!"

North Carolina: I am so happy to see the 'Heels back in the hunt. This was everything I had hoped for back when they made their first overture to Roy Williams. Now they just need to give Duke a good smack!

Barry Bonds: Funny thing ... Jason Giambi is every bit as guilty as Bonds on the 'roid front. Yet the already likeable Giambi doesn't seem to have suffered one bit in the court of public opinion.

The difference? Giambi met the issue head on, dealt with it and is moving on. Bonds continues to play games, to deny, to downplay, to shift blame, and to exhibit all sorts of disengenuousness toward the fans and writers. Bonds already had image problems. Using steroids didn't help anything. If it's possible for his reputation to sink any lower, the way he's handling the current situation ought to do the trick.

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