Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is part of a group considering formation of a football league that would compete with the NFL for players drafted lower than the second round.
The league, still very much in the preliminary stage, would play its games on Friday nights. The NFL does not play then because of the potential conflict with high school football.
“It’s a pretty simple concept,” Cuban said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. “We think there is more demand for pro football than supply.”
The proposal was first disclosed by The New York Times on its Web site, which said it was the idea of Bill Hambrecht, a Wall Street investor who was a minority partner in the Oakland Invaders of the USFL, which played in the spring from 1983-85. Sharon Smith, a spokeswoman for Hambrecht and Company, had no comment and said Hambrecht was traveling and unavailable to talk about the idea.
Cuban said in his e-mail he believes the salary cap makes it easier to compete financially with the NFL because of the salary imbalance that leaves lower-level players with lower salaries. That would allow the new league to fill its rosters with players taken lower than the second round, as well as late NFL cuts and free agents who escape the NFL draft.
Despite the failure of the USFL and Vince McMahon’s XFL, I have a terrible feeling Cuban is on to something here. There might well be just enough football degenerates who’d enjoy a Friday evening slate of pro ball as a precursor to the weekend’s other action. And imagine how deep the talent pool might be if the new league were willing to employ all the players Roger Goodell has either banned or is about to ban?
Not only am I beyond psyched for the possiblity, however remote, of Austin hosting one of the league’s proposed 8 franchises, but a lineup featuring Michael Vick, Pacman Jones and Chris Henry would be awfully tough to beat.
The only thing more inevitable than a Fall lineup change or the umpteenth occasion of Mark E. Smith following a relative dud album with one that’s shockingly good…would be TV or radio appearances like the one above. Surely Mark’s autobiography could be the greatest case of setting-the-record-straight since Lance Rentzel’s “When All The Laughter Died In Sorrow”?
First of all, this isn’t the first time the Post has connected A-Rod to an adult entertainment establishment. Secondly, there’s a word for male celebrities who are regularly linked to strip joints. But since I don’t have Kevin Spacey’s number, I can’t ask what he thinks of all this.
It seems to me that sites like Deadspin, Can’t Stop The Bleeding, Kissing Suzy Kolber, and With Leather brought on the Liz Smith version of sports coverage. My railing against Will Leitch is mainly sour grapes. It sounds like he has a fun job [but I have an inkling of a doubt about that Berman story which propelled Deadspin into my consciousness (and likely the consciousness of others.)] Meanwhile, I spend more time posting here than performing my boring paperpushing that I’m supposed to do in this adult day care center that is called my job.
Hey, hang on a minute, pal. Not only does CSTB predate each and every member of the yuckster blog frat cited by a wide margin, but a) I don’t get the comparison and b) much as I’m happy to characterize their daily offerings as one-giant-suckfest, since when did tabloid gossip columns take their cue from blogs? Believe it or not, when Jose Canseco was seen leaving Madonna’s apartment in 1904, said story wasn’t blog-inspired. When Wade Boggs was in the midst of Margo Adamsgate, he couldn’t have spelled blog if you’d spotted him the log (and perhaps he still can’t).
If you’re the kind of person who cares either way, tonight’s San Antonio/Utah Game 5 should be available in vibrant technicolor on the Scoot’s flat screen. The volume will have to be turned down, however, so as not to drown out the sounds of King Tubby with Jeff Van Gundy’s commentary.
Also, if you can’t make it, don’t feel obliged to write, text or call explaining why. I’m just going to assume that each and every one of you are (extremely) fair weather friends. But you’ll note the weather today is quite fair.
“I would like to be traded, yeah,” Bryant said. “Tough as it is to come to that conclusion there’s no other alternative, you know?”
Bryant, interviewed by Stephen A. Smith, was asked if there was anything the Lakers could do to change his mind?
“No,” Bryan said. “I just want them to do the right thing.”
Earlier in the day, Bryant said team owner Jerry Buss masterminded the trade of Shaquille O’Neal — and Shaq later confirming Kobe’s account.
Bryant was left “beyond furious” by a report in Tuesday’s Los Angeles Times that read, “as a Lakers insider notes, it was Bryant’s insistence on getting away from Shaquille O’Neal that got them in this mess.”
“He (Buss) met with me at the Four Seasons Hotel here [in Los Angeles] across from Fashion Island, which is now the Island Hotel,” Bryant told Smith. “I went up to his penthouse suite. [Buss] looks me dead in the face and says: ‘Kobe, I am not going to re-sign Shaq. I am not about to pay him $30 million a year or $80 million over three years. No way in hell. I feel like he’s getting older. His body is breaking down, and I don’t want to pay that money to him when I can get value for him right now rather than wait.
“This is my decision. It’s independent of you. My mind is made up. It doesn’t matter to me what you do in free agency because I do not want to pay [Shaq], period.’ “
“Dr. Buss said that,” Bryant told Smith. “And I haven’t said anything for years because I’ve always felt like folks were just looking to create controversy. Now I know. I realize what extent [the Lakers] will go to, to cover themselves.”
Reached afterward, O’Neal told Smith that be believed his former teammate beyond reproach.
“I believe Kobe 100 percent,” O’Neal said when reached in Los Angeles. “Absolutely. There’s no doubt in my mind Kobe is telling the truth. I believe him a thousand percent.
“I would have respected Dr. Buss more as a man if he would have told me that himself, because I know he said it. But he didn’t [tell me]. He never said a damn word to me.”
Ryan Freel is on the disabled list, and the truth is out.
Why wasn’t Freel’s catch of Humberto Cota’s long drive one of ESPN’s Web gems? Because Freel didn’t catch it.
With evidence mounting, Norris Hopper confessed that he put the baseball in Freel’s glove after they collided and Freel was knocked out and taken to the hospital.
“I didn’t have to touch Freel,” said Hopper. “The ball was right there, inches from his open glove, and I just had to roll it in quickly.”
Said Griffey, “That was smart. Saved Kyle Lohse an earnie (earned run).”
Griffey thought he had Monday off, but had to replace Freel in the third inning, and after the game said kiddingly to Lohse, who pitched a shutout, “Thanks for throwing that pitch that got Freel hurt and ruined my day off. I was in the clubhouse eating nachos.”
Efforts by manager Jerry Narron, Griffey and Adam Dunn to reach Freel by telephone Tuesday were not successful, “Probably because he lost another cell phone,” said Griffey. “He lost three of his own last month and one of Hopper’s.”
While Willie Randolph felt comfortable enough trotting out the old “speed kills” line when chatting with Erin Andrews after the game (and much like two weeks ago against the Cubs, Jose Reyes can easily drive a reliever to distraction) and Carlos Delgado (2 HR’s, including the game winner in off a discombobulated Armando Benitez in the bottom of the 12th) is most assuredly All-The-Way-Back, much credit has to go to the evening’s undisputed star.
“Once again, the public have paid to see Bob Davidson!” howled Howie Rose during the first of Armando Benitez’ two 12 inning balks — the first moving Reyes into scoring position with none out, the 2nd scoring the Mets SS from 3rd with two outs in the frame. Benitez hadn’t balked in almost 4 years and you won’t find too many human Giants fans (nor Chris Russo) who won’t feel as though they were jobbed Tuesday night.
If you’re wondering why I’d resort to the dulcet tones of Howie Rose and Tom McCarthy when the contest was otherwise available in glorious HD nationwide, let’s just say that even the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay didn’t have to put up with both Dusty Baker and Rick Sutcliffe commenting on the same game. In addition to Sutcliffle’s lengthy defense of Barry Bonds (ie. the Sultan’s accomplishments occurred on “a level playing field” because pitchers had access to the same drugs, though “I’ve never even seen a steroid!”), the former Cubs reliever observed the Brewers — losers of 6 straight — were trailing the Braves, 3-0, in the 1st inning in Milwaukee.
“With John Smoltz on the mound, you might as well make that 7 in a row.” scoffed Sutcliffe.
Not only has New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson shown terrible disloyalty to the Albuquerque Isotopes, but his flip flopping on that most crucial of political questions is even worse than declaring himself a Devil Rays fans, claims the Herald’s Rob Bradford. From the Associated Press :
Democrat candidate Bill Richardson, vying for the right to hold the nuclear football, swears allegiance to both Red Sox Nation and the Evil Empire.
œI™m a Red Sox fan, said the New Mexico governor, who was born in Pasadena, Calif., but spent his early childhood in Mexico City, where his father worked for a U.S. bank.
As a teenager, Richardson attended boarding school in Concord, Mass., and graduated from Tufts University in 1971. He also pitched a season in the Cape Cod summer league.
He said yesterday, œI™ve always been a Red Sox fan. But I said if I weren™t running for president, I would like to be No. 7 – Mickey Mantle – playing center field for the New York Yankees.
œMy favorite team has always been the Red Sox. I™m a Red Sox fan. End of session, he said. But, he added, œI™m also a Yankees fan.