On a separate note, Garland and Cowherd both agreed that they liked the BCS and did not care to see a playoff for a novel reason: that they liked the ambiguous ending. Garland noted that, in the same vein, he prefers foreign films to American ones, because you’ve got to figure out for yourself what it all meant on the drive home.
I confess I haven’t heard that one before. And, I don't really know what to say about it.
2) I was reading through the Salt Lake City Tribune to see what their writers had to say about the surprising Utah Jazz, 11-1 so far, despite playing without (arguably) their best player, Andrei Kirilenko. There’s was nothing of particular note on that front, but I was struck by a column from the keyboard of Lya Wodraska, written ten days ago and titled “NBA Sets Bar on Discipline for the NFL.”
Wodraska whole heartedly endorsed Commissioner Stern’s efforts to change the NBA’s “thuggish” reputation. Referring especially to the new zero-tolerance policy concerning arguing with referees, Wodraska wrote: “if players such as [Rasheed] Wallace are the subject of a few unjust whistles, we shouldn't feel sorry for them. His team's brawl with the Pacers two years ago did more harm to the league's image than any pain a few fines are going to cause him.”
As I mentioned when recounting Jeffrey Williams law review article about the NBA and race , prosecutors considered that brawl to have been the responsibility of the fans that night, and not the players. It’s clear that Wodraska is not interested in such nuances, however. She’s content to take at face value the idea that reputation and reality are indistinguishable from one another. (And, to clarify here, one can argue that the commissioner cannot afford to make that distinction, for the business reasons I’ve discussed in the Williams post, but what’s Wodraska’s excuse?)
But, what really caught my eye was her comment about the reasons why the NFL needed to learn some lessons from the NBA:
“The league has had
its share of scuffles, outbursts and spitting incidents in the past, but bad behavior
is reaching a new high mark this season.
We've had the stomping on one player's face by Tennessee's Albert Haynesworth, the kneeing to the groin of Seattle's Jerramy (sic) Stevens by Oakland's Tyler Brayton and a temper tantrum directed to the refs by Pittsburgh's Joey Porter that drew him a $15,000 fine.
Then there are all the transgressions made by Dallas receiver Terrell Owens, the most recent being the outburst he had after coach Bill Parcells admonished him for celebrating a touchdown by acting like he'd fallen asleep in the end zone.”
I’ve commented before that it’s bizarre how sports commentators lump things together that ought not to be lumped together, especially when it comes to Owens. Is Albert Haynesworth’s stomping on a guy’s head, resulting in the stompee receiving 33 stitches, really in the same category as T.O getting mad on the sideline? Is there a union rule for sportswriters that I am unaware that mandates mentioning T.O. in any column about behavior issues in sports, no matter how far removed his antics from the more serious ones under discussion?
And, by the way, is T.O. really hurting his team now? Do you think Tony Romo - who’s looking an awful lot like the last guy to replace Drew Bledsoe as his team’s starter – is bumming that he has T.O. on his team? Owens is on pace to catch about 90 passes, for about 1200 yards and 15 TDs this year. What a disgrace.
Look, if you want to call T.O. immature and self-absorbed, I won’t argue with you. But “all the transgressions?” Please.
Wodraska’s column is an unfortunate example of recycled conventional wisdom, with nary an original thought or serious effort at analysis anywhere in sight.