Sports Notes: Aug 1

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I'll just go ahead and answer the inevitable question before it is asked. "Yes, I am ready for some football."

Surprisingly however, here amid the doldrums of summer, MLB has provided some juicy news: Rafael "Never, Ever, Period" Palmeiro was suspended ten games for steroids. This is huge. He's a big name - the newest member of the 3000/500 club. He's one of the guys with a clean image. Palmeiro wouldn't have even been suspected, had it not been for comments about him in Jose Canseco's book. And Palmeiro was the poster child for the "don't believe Canseco, he's a crazed, attention-grubbing, has-been," movement.

As time goes by, Canseco is looking more like the straight-shooter and everyone else in baseball like sleazeballs pimping the national past-time.

-- B --

And, with Barry Bonds and Palmeiro having been "outed," the mantra has taken shape. "I don't know how it got there," with "there" being the athlete's bloodstream! We already knew that none of these guys had any respect for the intelligence of their fans, but this has to be the strongest evidence yet. "I don't know," is the best you can do? Granted, testing for steroids is new, but an athlete having to closely monitor everything that goes into their body is not. Here's hoping that a few years down the road a group of voters says, "Gee, Rafael, I don't know what happened to your place in the Hall of Fame."

-- B --

I am so happy to have Steve Spurrier back in College Football and in the SEC to boot! Love him or hate him, you've got to enjoy the color that he adds to things. He may not be poised to resume the SEC throne, but I bet he beats Florida in his first year with the Gamecocks. This is partly a tribute to Spurrier's prowess ...

-- B --

... and partly a tribute to the U of Florida's new-found knack for making disastrous coaching personnel moves. No disrespect to Urban Meyer. He did a great job in his very brief stint at Utah, lighting up the likes of Wyoming, New Mexico and Colorado State. One could argue that there wasn't an SEC-caliber opponent anywhere in Utah's storybook undefeated run last year. Even their momentous BCS win came at the expense of Pittsburgh who won the gutted Big East only because someone had to.

How many Alabama coaching disasters do you have to watch before you realize that you can't plug just any coach into the SEC and make a go of it? Two years isn't nearly enough time to vet a coach. It's not even enough time to see his recruiting work bloom. Meyer goes from being one of a handful of good teams on his side of the Mississippi to the weakest of three teams in his own state and the weakest of a whole host of teams in the south.

At Utah he could promise an offensive prospect sick offensive numbers in 75% of their games, and a defensive prospect could count on looking like a monster against some of the nation's weakest teams. Now he can promise TV exposure, but there's no telling whether that will work for or against his young stars as every week will be a war.

I say Spurrier passes his old team by within two years.

-- B --

Back on the Palmeiro story, the best answer I've heard in a while. On an ESPN online chat, the Buzzmaster was asked if Jose Canseco was owed an apology as bit by bit the parts of his book that were mocked are coming true.

Buzzmaster: "You can bank on Jose making himself available for apologies via TV/Radio etc."

True dat! Canseco may be right, but there's just no getting around what a media slut he is.

-- B --

Finally, with Louisville moving to, or should I say taking over the Big East this year, I'll miss taunting my friend Little A and our former conference rivals, TCU.


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