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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Week-in-Review: Reid’s Agent Classless, Two Lockouts, ESPN’s Absurd Poll, more

          I have a few things to get to this week, and a few that I haven’t gotten to previously. Here’s my rapid fire Week-in-Review:

·       It didn’t take long for Andy Reid to blow through the sympathetic feelings flowing his way after his son’s tragic death. Just six days later his agent, Bob LaMonte, was at Eagles training camp sniffing around for a contract extension for his client. It was the most disgraceful attempt to play the sympathy card in a very long time. Even if common sense doesn’t make it obvious, multiple reports made it clear Reid would have had to approve this action by the agent. The move was classless.

·       It was probably just agent speak, but LaMonte’s claim that Jeff Lurie once said he wanted Reid to be his coach for as long as he owns the team should spook the hell out of Eagles fans.

·       Howard Eskin was the first person I saw to report that the rumblings that Lurie’s soon to be ex-wife would be getting a significant part of the team were false. With consecutive tweets @howardeskin Eskin reported, “Few big stories out of [Eagles camp,] so 1 overdone, Lurie divorce. I’m told Christina Lurie has same amount of shares as other minority partners. NY Post story on Lurie divorce states C lurie got sizable amount in settlement. In world of fan that’s anything over mill. Overblown story.” Sorry, Eagles fans. Maybe she would have fired Andy Reid.

·       According to his stats, Chase Utley hasn’t missed a game since July 15th. Ryan Howard has played in every game since July 7th, though I think there are a few pinch-hit appearances in that streak. I thought these guys needed more rest after coming back from major injuries? Today’s day game might break the streak for both players, but the question remains. It’s especially questionable in Utley’s case, as he reportedly has a degenerative knee condition. If he keeps playing this much in meaningless games and starts next year on the DL, somebody – likely Charlie Manuel – should have to give some real answers.

·       I haven’t actually read quotes or heard it directly from Doug Collins, but I heard on WIP’s Morning Show that Sixers’ head coach is making a point to continue to defend Andre Iguodala in interviews about last week’s trade. Enough, Doug. We get it, you have your players’ backs. Iguodala is overrated and everybody’s thrilled the Sixers finally got to move on from him. Join the party. There aren’t many for the Sixers.

·       I’m so giddy about the trade I’m not even allowing myself to be concerned about Andrew Bynum’s pending procedure on his knee that needs to take place outside of the United States. Kobe Bryant, Grant Hill, and others, have had success with the procedure. I’m actually wondering why Utley, who I believe is losing or has lost knee cartilage, hasn’t had it since they reportedly inject liquid cartilage into the knee.

·       It seems like labor strife is a continuous part of sports. Despite dodging what most pundits were certain was going to be a lockout shortened season last year, the NFL is inching toward playing regular season games without their regular officials. I don’t know which side comes off as dumber in the NFL’s lockout of the guys who call the games. A billion dollar business like the NFL, which has been doing everything it can to show the world it cares about player safety with lawsuits from former players hurling at them, refuses to come up with the relative pittance to pay its referees. At the same time, the referees have to be kidding themselves if they think they can win this battle. Preseason games are already going on with “scab” refs, and the regular season isn’t threatened at all. The media and fans will gripe about the referees every week – not exactly a new phenomenon – but no one will stop watching over the regular referees being in a lockout.

·       Somehow the NHL is also involved in a lockout, but this one is with its players. It wasn’t that long ago that this league missed an entire season and part of the next one – and, aside from devout hockey fans, no one cared. I know I’m just a blogger, but there’s a reason I have this item listed below NFL referees being locked out. More people care about that than the NHL potentially missing games. Both sides need a reality check – you make a great living off a sport most people don’t care about. Settle before no one misses your sport . . . again.

·       An umpire at a minor league game throwing out an organist for playing Three Blind Mice made national news recently. Yet, I didn’t hear a single reporter talking about the story even wonder aloud where the hell an umpire got the authority to throw out a stadium employee. Umpire the game, and shut up.

·       ESPN Sports Nation – on which I confess I’ve just added a profile for the Ink – recently had the audacity to ask in a poll question, “Which award would you rather win?” The choices were A) ESPY, or B) Oscar. The only thing dumber about the possible answers is that 40% of 94,000+ responders chose B.

·       As alluded to above, I’m back to flipping back and forth between WIP and 97.5 for my fix of sports talk not long after tweeting about the WIP corpse. Essentially, it’s WIP in the morning and 97.5 from noon onward. I tried to do a little digging on the Harry Mayes move from midday to nights, but couldn’t get anywhere. I still can’t listen to Michael Barkann very long at all, but with Mayes moved and Tony Bruno now at 10 AM there’s no reason to tolerate ESPN’s Mike and Mike. It’s almost a relief not to hear Mike Greenberg’s self-indulgent pomposity. It may be time for another post on WIP versus The Fanatic.

·       Speaking of Eskin, perhaps Mike Missanelli tried to stick the fork in him a bit too soon. Eskin announced on Twitter that he’s returning to Fox 29 as sports anchor Monday through Friday at 5, 6, and 10 PM. (He later made a point to add that he was still on WIP on Saturdays and involved with the Eagles broadcasts.) I asked Eskin via Twitter when he was starting, and he replied that it would be September 4, the day after Labor Day. It will be interesting to see if Eskin does just a typical two-minute sports report, or if he’ll be given expanded time.

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