By Brian Hanley-
(CBS) In honor of the baseball general managers meeting Monday in Milwaukee, time to spray to all fields while waiting to see if Carlos squared (Quentin and Zambrano) are sent packing.
I don’t know Lovie Smith’s politically bent but, unlike Detroit coach Jim Schwartz, he was both fair and balanced Monday when the extracurricular took place Sunday.
Smith said he agreed that cornerback D.J. Moore should have been ejected for fighting with Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. Smith also argued, rightfully so, Stafford also should have been given the heave-ho for being ”the instigator” of the incident that sparked a melee in the Bears’ 37-13 victory at Soldier Field on Sunday.
”After reviewing the video of it–first off, you shouldn’t retaliate on something that happens,” Smith said of Moore’s actions. “The officials are supposed to be looking at the instigator in situations like that. D.J. was not.
”Stafford grabbed him by his helmet–can’t do that either. Those situations I can understand the officials throwing out a guy. But it seemed like both guys should’ve been thrown out in that situations.”
Then there’s Schwartz. He all but had his Lions up for sainthood while whining about the Bears not flagged for 15-yarders.
Schwartz said Julius Peppers could have been called for clothes lining Calvin Johnson on the first-quarter play that forced a fumble and led to the Bears first touchdown.
“Julius attacks Calvin,” Schwartz said Monday. “Calvin’s seven-foot tall. And Julius is just as big. ‘That’s a basketball game between those two. He hits him with a clothesline–technically that’s a penalty. You don’t hear us calling them dirty.”
Not until Monday, anyway.
Schwartz also disputed rookie Nick Fairley’s roughing-the-quarterback penalty and Cliff Avril’s face mask penalty against Matt Forte. Furthermore, he said the play where Ndamukong Suh ripped Jay Cutler’s helmet off his head, which did not draw a penalty, was the correct call.
Schwartz’s slanted view aside, Fairley and Suh best have their checkbooks ready because big fines are coming their way.
The league shouldn’t fine Lance Briggs for his clean shoulder hit on Johnson but guessing it will just to look like it is being fair and balanced.
The NBA players rejected the league’s latest offer Monday and have begun the process to disband the union.
Bottom line is the owners never wanted to negotiate. The same fiscally-irresponsible owners which willingly gave max contracts over the years to middling players now want to take every last scrap off the table.
The mess now heads to the court, one which has a clock that works in terms of months not 24 seconds.
“We’re prepared to file this antitrust action against the NBA,” union executive director Billy Hunter said. “That’s the best situation where players can get their due process.”
Commissioner David Stern, who has had his authority severely stripped by hard-line owners when it came to these so-called labor talks, called the union’s move to decertify a “big charade.”
Hunter, however, said players were not prepared to accept Stern’s ultimatum, saying they thought it was “extremely unfair.”
“This is the best decision for the players,” union president Derek Fisher said. “I want to reiterate that point, that a lot of individual players have a lot of things personally at stake in terms of their careers and where they stand. And right now they feel it’s important — we all feel it’s important to all our players, not just the ones in this room, but our entire group — that we not only try to get a deal done for today but for the body of NBA players that will come into this league over the next decade and beyond.”
Fisher, flanked at a press conference by dozens of players including Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony, said the decision was unanimous.
Stern had urged players to take the deal on the table, saying it’s the best the NBA can offer and warned that decertification is not a winning strategy.
Over the weekend, he also said he would not cancel the season this week.
But it’s looking like it is as good as gone.
And if Stern and his owners don’t know it now, they will soon realize, unlike the NFL, people will learn to live without the NBA. They can call Bid Selig and ask him how long it took baseball to get back from it’s last labor stoppage. Without steroids fueling the home-run derby the game became, it may never have made it all the way back.
The proposal rejected by the players called for a 50-50 division of basketball-related income and proposed a 72-game season beginning Dec. 15.
On Sunday, the league made a very public push on the positives of the deal — hosting a 90-minute Twitter chat to answer questions from players and fans, posting a YouTube video to explain the key points and sending a memo from Stern to players urging them to “study our proposal carefully, and to accept it as a fair compromise of the issues between us.”
In the memo, posted on the league’s website, Stern highlighted points of the deal and asked players to focus on the compromises the league made during negotiations, such as dropping its demands for a hard salary cap, non-guaranteed contracts and salary rollbacks.
Memo to Stern: A hard cap was a non-starter. Ditto, the non-guaranteed contracts and salary rollbacks. So your “compromises” were as relevant as Carlos Boozer’s rebounding last season.
Monday marked the 137th day of the lockout; the NFL lockout lasted 136 days.
Last week I said on the show Jim Delany, the Big Ten’s ultimate leader, had to take the name of Joe Paterno, never again to be the conference’s ultimate legend, off the league’s championship trophy.
Delany did just that Monday.
Delany said Monday that it is “inappropriate” to keep Paterno’s name on the trophy that will be awarded Dec. 3 after the first Big Ten title game.
Paterno, who was fired last week after allegations of child sex-abuse involving Jerry Sandusky, his former trusted assistant coach.
The trophy had been named the Stagg-Paterno Championship Trophy. Now it is the Stagg Championship Trophy named after Amos Alonzo Stagg who won 319 games in 57 years, most at the University of Chicago. Paterno’s 409 wins are the most by a major college coach.
Congratulations to Ed Belfour and Doug Gilmour who were inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame Monday night. I enjoyed having had the pleasure to get to know both while covering their respective days with the Blackhawks.
Brian Hanley co-hosts The Mully and Hanley Show, weekdays, 5am-9am, on 670 The Score and 670thescore.com