Terrell Owens’ tenure in Dallas was marked by plenty of controversy, and with good reason; it’s hard to get a “clubhouse cancer” label without really earning it. At the same time, the slavish efforts of reporters like Ed Werder - usually seen camping outside the Cowboys’ compound, reporting minutiae that wouldn’t be ESPN-worthy for 90% of the league - seemed to indicate that ESPN almost just covering their own coverage of the team.
(This sounds serious!)
But now that T.O.’s off in the hinterlands of Buffalo, keeping his mouth shut while his offense freezes to death, ESPN’s forced to pimp their Dallas outpost, even as no stories really seem to exist. Ah, but soft! What light through yonder breaks? It is Irving, Texas, and Crayton’s displeasure is the sun! Has Mr. Crayton got horrible things to say about his coaches as a front-page ESPN line would indicate? Well…
Sometimes, all you can ask for is closure. Not revenge or punishment or the eye for the proverbial eye; just enough to begin the healing process.
And so, according to the MIAMI HERALD, the family of Mario Reyes, the man Donte’ Stallworth stands accused of killing in a March DUI accident, have been described by prosecutors as “the primary force” in a plea deal that is expected to be accepted today. And rather than spending years and years in prison, Stallworth may only have a short jail stay:
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth is expected to plead guilty Tuesday to driving drunk when he struck and killed a pedestrian on the MacArthur Causeway in March, The Miami Herald has learned.
Stallworth’s attorney, Christopher Lyons, confirmed that the case was expected to be resolved Tuesday in court. Lyons declined to detail terms of the plea, which are not yet public.
While this is good news for Stallworth and his family, it doesn’t mean his NFL career is back in play; even after the jail stay imposed by the judge, Stallworth will still have to be reinstated by the notoriously unsympathetic Roger Goodell. This will be a remarkably tough decision for the commissioner; no matter what length of suspension he decides on, it’s still going to be met by (not entirely unreasonable) protests of “Oh, so that’s how many games a human life is worth?”
But all the same, the person who’s really going to be haunted by the specter of death here is Stallworth, not Goodell. That he, even accidentally, killed a fellow man is a fact that will saddle him long after he’s gone from the league.
*UPDATE*: Stallworth gets sentenced to 30 days in jail & two years of house arrest.
The milquetoast play-by-play announcer for FOX had put together a decent, meh-but-not-terrible first episode, with appearances by Brett Favre (more on him later), Michael Irvin, Chad Ochocinco, and other famous members of the sports world. And then to close it out, he had on longtime friend Paul Rudd, a practically non-existent Jason Sudeikis, and, inexplicably, Artie Lange.
The audio is ludicrously NSFW, but if you’ve got earphones and/or a door to your office, you’ll want to check out Lange single-handedly derailing the show:
And then yes, Favre. Favre Favre Favre. He was the first guest on the show, and allowed make unironic claims like he’s not looking for attention. While he’s on, y’know, a nationally televised talk show. And to his credit, the fact that this is his first public appearance while ESPN has hammered coverage of his dalliance with Vikings management into viewers’ brains (we think Ed Werder’s been tasked with rifling through the trash down at Favre’s ranch in Mississippi) should be noted. That said, this happens every damn year, and it’s so tiresome. Here we are in June, with training camps underway. Teams want to have their summer rosters in place. So is Favre going to play this year? “Maybe.”
(Here we go again.)
Also, the fact that Favre’s first public comments aren’t to ESPN should be noted as well. So rather than think of Favre as a caricature of an attention whore or drama queen or whatever, perhaps it’s best to - yes, we know this is neither fun nor easy - recognize the shades of gray and think that while he knows how easy it is to attract attention after spending two decades in the spotlight, part of him actually is a country-bred bumpkin from Mississippi who would play football forever if he could.
But then again, we don’t know where the annual retirement charade fits into either side. And how many years in a row is this? Eight? C’mon, man.
Look, this is clearly not the appropriate forum to discuss the ongoing turmoil in Iran. We’re not nearly qualified enough to comment on it, and that’s not what you’re here to read anyway. That said, if you’re wanting to find out more about watching the seeds of revolution occur in real-time, Andrew Sullivan’s blog is a good place to start. So why even bring it up? Only for the most epic picture in tOSU history, via 11W(click here for higher res, pops):
The federal judge in charge of the Phoenix Coyotes bankruptcy case has rejected their sale to Jim Balsillie, the Canadian billionaire who intended to move the franchise to Hamilton. This is a victory of sorts for the NHL and Gary Bettman, who has incredibly poor judgment.
According to the CELTICS BLOG, Boston GM Danny Ainge is reportedly shopping Kendrick Perkins and Bill Walker to Memphis GM Chris Wallace for the #2 pick in the draft. The Celtics aren’t actually that enamored with anybody in the draft; they just want to see first-hand how easy it is to rip off Chris Wallace.
Orlando’s 2010 hopes take a hit as the ORLANDO SENTINEL reports Hedo Turkogluwill opt out of his contract and file for free agency. It’s a shame; Dwight Howard is the “face” of the franchise, but anyone who watched the Magic’s playoff run could tell Turkoglu was the MVP of the team.
Yesterday on ESPN both Chris Mortensen and Ed Werder reported that the Minnesota Vikings and head coach Brad Childress had set a deadline of Friday for Brett Favre to decide whether or not he was going to come back again and play for the Vikings. Since Favre is just coming off of arthroscopic surgery on his throwing shoulder word is he would like to wait a little longer before deciding. In other words, he wants to wait until training camp is a few weeks old so he doesn’t have to go through it.
I mean, we all know he’s going to come back at this point because why else would he have the surgery on his shoulder? So it doesn’t hurt when he throws a football in his next Wrangler commercial? So if Favre isn’t “ready” to make his “decision” yet and the Vikings want one by Friday, does that mean he’s not going to be back this season? No, because according to Sirius radio host Pat Kirwan the boys over at ESPN are making this whole deadline thing up.
The Worldwide Leader dropped the bomb around midnight that Terrell Owens, whose given name could be Mercurial T. Owens, has been let go by the Dallas Cowboys. Clearly, anticipated chemistry issues with Jon Kitna forced the move. Kitna is on the record as preferring Sweet’n'Low while Owens is all about the Equal.
(”Ha ha ha ha… pack your stuff.”)
On SportsCenter last night, ESPN’s Michael Smith reported there would be significant financial penalties for the Cowboys to cut Owens as much of his 4-year, $34 million contract signed less than a year ago is guaranteed cash. We hope this means Owens will continue to have at least twenty million reasons to come back to camp this summer.
(Note to ESPN: Neil Everett is monumentally awful at ad-libbing. Never tell us how cool it is to be the one on the dais when news breaks. When a big story hits, break the glass on Bob Ley. Surprisingly good: Stuart Scott. Also, how did Ed Werder not break this story?)
(Note 2 to ESPN: Please remind Keyshawn Johnson that Charlie Manson comparisons may be a bit dated, not to mention a little racy.)
In brighter news, the Cleveland Cavaliers claimed the first musical chair in the Longines Symphonette that is the NBA playoffs with a 91-73 triumph at home against Milwaukee. The Cavaliers move to 48-12, which is exactly how LeBron James hopes his Knicks career starts in two years. (We kid, Cleveland, we kid.)
Then, when the Van Gundy with the honest living fussed about the sad little move, there was a Shaqhissy, captured on Miami’s 790 THE TICKET by Jorge Sedano and reproduced below in the popular MP3 format:
None of this, of course, helped the Suns win in Orlando or Miami. The Suns dropped their second Florida game in the “He Hate Me” series of former O’Neal teams last night in Miami, 135-129. No defense in here anywhere.
We feel compelled to note again that Shaq’s a complicated fellow. We recently saw him encourage his kids post-game to say hello to a fragile 7′ 6″ teen that sat near courtside after being featured on the local news the previous night. This was done under the stands with little fanfare, maybe a few dozen witnesses and none from the media.
When his young son was too shy to do so and tried to hide under Dad’s massive jacket, Shaq gently insisted until his son shook the adolescent hand. Shaq could relate to the teen’s condition better than nearly anyone on the planet and made sure that young man felt welcome. Also, Shaq showed his own son the importance of graciousness.
Shaq makes that gesture damned near every day of his life, often without credit. He’s also the same man that made the comments to the media above. He may have been compared to a meteorite by this author yesterday, but not in the most important way: Shaquille O’Neal is a force of nature. Try to comprehend him at your own risk.
Same for Terrell Owens. Same for LeBron James. Maybe not so much for Jon Kitna.
The biggest news out of the NHL trade deadline: Olli Jokinen moves from Calgary to Phoenix for a pretty bauble or three, allowing him to work for a team that has a half-decent chance of being solvent next season.
I know, I know, you’re shocked there could be some discord among the Dallas Cowboys. But rest assured, Ed Werder’s “scoops” will be a thing of the past, now that Herr Jones has put his jackbooted foot down on the loose lips that have helped sink Cowboy ships these past few years.
There’s a gag order in place now in Dallas, perhaps three months too late. Now any news out of Cowboy camp will come through one source: Jerry Jones himself. Still, I have to wonder how wise it is, if you have to limit the team to one voice, to make it the biggest mouth in the south. Read more…
We’ve been robbed this morning, America (hey, I’m Bernie Mac). I know that like me, you were hoping to spend your whole spring and summer listening to all the latest reports from an ESPN reporter embedded in his shower on what Brett Favre was going to do. Would he retire? Come back? Force the Jets to trade or release him so he could go to the Vikings? All of that suspense we needed to get us through another long NFL offseason, it’s gone.
Brett Favre is retiring. Again. He may even mean it this time.
Never mind that the Cowboys now lead the NFL in sacks and that Damarcus Ware is making a serious run at Michael Strahan’s single-season sack record; he has 19 already, after all. No, this game was all about T.O.! And that’s just as he likes it, of course. No matter what happens next, can someone please tell Owens and Romo to stop wearing those horrendous Gatsby hats? They’re making us embarrassed for being members of their sex.
That’s more than enough analysis of America’s Team and it’s constant spotlight. Here’s the full video of the team’s jihad on all things Werder, if you’re so inclined.
Of course, the Cowboys weren’t the only team stirring up plenty of controversy on Sunday; the team they just beat a week before stoked about as much controversy as you can while still winning by capping off it’s second fourth quarter comeback in as many weeks with a touchdown that, on further review, really doesn’t look like a touchdown. Here’s how everything went down: Pittsburgh trailed by three in the final two minutes, and got off another impressive, length-of-the field drive that appeared destined for a heart-attack inducing Ben Roethlisberger escape. Well, that’s what the Steelers got when wide receiver Santonio Holmes had a catch ruled a touchdown with 44 seconds remaining.
The only problem is that the catch was originally ruled down outside the end zone, and there’s almost no way you can see enough video proof in the replay below to overturn that call, can you? We sure can’t. YAHOO! also has a pretty condemning screen shot right here. Judge for yourself, all the while considering that this is the second time this year where an official’s call on a play at the end of a Steelers game has been cast in spurious light by gamblers across the globe. We’re not incriminating anyone here, we’re just pointing out the facts.
Oh, and the Packers are officially not going back to the playoffs. How’s that Brett Favre trade looking, Mike McCarthy? You think you’d be eliminated from playoff contention with two weeks to go if No. 4 is still in a green and gold uni? You sure about that? We’re not.
Don’t ghasp, this really might be true: Is Michael Turner the NFL MVP? At least one YAHOO! writer thinks he’s on track. It’s hard to argue that he hasn’t been the best free agent signing, and that’s remarkable in itself.
According to FANHOUSE, Ball State’s head coach is cashing in on his team’s BCS-less undefeated regular season, reportedly agreeing to become the head coach at San Diego State. Sure, the weather is a huge upgrade over Indiana, but Brady Hoke couldn’t have landed an OC gig at USC or something like that? We hear they’re about to be in the market for one.
Forget about the Titans losing to the Texans on Sunday. The real loss was Albert Haynesworth. If that knee doesn’t come around, this could be a shockingly early end for Tennessee in about a month.