5:00 PM The Belfast Telegraph reports Rory McIlroy's lawsuit against his former agents is likely to go to trial next year. McIlroy claims Horizon Sports Management gave him a worse Nike endorsement deal than fellow golfing client Graeme McDowell.
4:30 PM The Baltimore Sun reports Ravens running back Ray Rice will be suspended two games by the NFL for violating the league's personal conduct policy. Rice was arrested last February for assaulting his then-fiancee at an Atlantic City casino.
While the economy might be starting to show some signs of life, it’s still not a particularly good time to embark on any ambitious projects that might be considered unnecessary. Like, oh, I don’t know, a new stadium for the Atlanta Falcons. Arthur Blank respectfully disagrees.
Despite having a current stadium that’s only 17 years old, and toting a fanbase that jumps ship faster than Somali pirates when the team isn’t playing well, Blank thinks that it’s a good idea to build a new dome. Of course, the only reason is so that he can own most or all of the stadium his team plays in. The Georgia Dome is owned and operated by the state.
The whole thing becomes much more angering when you see what one of the sites being considered for development is.
While things went very well for the Atlanta Falcons in the first week of the NFL season, they learned yesterday that things change quite a bit when you’re not playing the Detroit Lions. A week after quarterback Matt Ryan had an impressive NFL debut and Michael Turner ran all over, the Falcons were handed a big dose of reality with a 24-9 loss by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers yesterday. The devastation was enough to lead at least one Falcon to drinking.
Lawyer Milloy was arrested early this morning for speeding and driving under the influence.
Arthur Blank has been keeping in touch with Michael Vick. And the Falcons owner tells the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS that his former meal ticket has found a hobby while harbored in the hoosegow - playing football.
Vick’s currently serving a 23-month sentence after pleading guilty to dogfighting charges. But Blank says his prison pen pal has been passing time in the federal pen by passing the pigskin around:
ESPN’s Len Pasquarelli reports that apparently Arthur Blank is undaunted by his most previous experience in hiring a head coach. Blank was burned by Bobby Petrino last month, when the former university ace spurned the Birds after coaching only 13 game. Now the Falcons are back on the hunt for a head man, and Pasquarelli reports their short list includes USC’s Pete Carroll.
Unlike Petrino though, Carroll does have significant NFL head coaching experience. And based on the events of the past 24 hours, the timing may be finally right for the Trojans coach to take a long, hard look at an exit strategy.
But Pasquarelli reports that there could be some hangups in the Falcons’ pursuit of Carroll.
We’re happy we’re not the only people perplexed by the Atlanta Falcons. We all know about the organization getting jilted by Bill Parcells and bailed on by Bobby Petrino, and most of us had sympathy for owner Arthur Blank, especially in the wake of the Michael Vick nightmare.
But here we are in the new year and the Falcons still don’t have a new coach or, more importantly, someone running the overall football operation. Rich McKay was removed from that post weeks ago, and now has been offered the job of team president (with a raise). But McKay will no longer have final say in football decisions.
While that’s rather curious, Mike Florio of PRO FOOTBALL TALK (our favorite site without permalinks) has even stranger news about how the Falcons are going about finding a GM.
FALCON OWNER RELEASES TERSE STATEMENT ON TUNA MELT After he told the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS today that he didn’t think there would be “any major hangups” on accepting an offer from Falcons Owner Arthur Blank to take over Atlanta’s football operation, Bill Parcells has reversed field and is now considering an executive role with the Miami Dolphins.
Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank’s statement today on getting played by Parcells: “Late last night it was revealed to the media by a source outside the Falcons that we were close to reaching an agreement with Bill Parcells to lead the club’s football operations.“Prior to the information becoming public, we had reached an agreement in principle with Parcells, and we met with him this morning to complete the contract. At that time, we were made aware by Parcells that he was considering a revised offer from the Miami Dolphins. He later informed us that he would not be signing a contract with us.”
On the bright side, that was the first good night’s sleep Blank has gotten since Mike Vick was indicted.
FALCONS GO FISHING; BLANK HOPES TO REEL IN BIG TUNA: The Atlanta Falcons are going after Bill Parcells. And if he won’t be their coach, he can at least help them find one:
ESPN reports that the Falcons have offered Parcells the position of vice president of football operations with the NFL club. The job would allow the ex-sideline stalwart to select the team’s new coach and reorganize personnel.When contacted by phone on Tuesday, Parcells answered, “I’ve got nothing to say,” before hanging up. However, sources say that the Big Tuna is seriously considering the offer, and he may even make a decision by today.
The possible hiring of Parcells could mean the end of the road for general manager Rich McKay. But Falcons owner Arthur Blank reportedly wants to maintain McKay as president of the franchise.
The zany situation in Hotlanta is enough to drive a man crazy - or worse, drive a man to Arkansas.