It’s Day No. 71 of the year, and hooray to the men who wore 71 for the Chiefs over the years, including Ed Budde, along with Dave Lindstrom and Tom Barndt.
On March 12, 1955 Charlie Parker died in New York from pneumonia and a bleeding ulcer, which were all exacerbated by his drug and alcohol abuse. The Bird was just 34 years old. Despite the fact he never wanted to see his hometown again, Parker’s body was returned to Kansas City for burial.
And on March 12, 1987, famed Ohio State football coach Wayne Woodrow “Woody” Hayes passed away in Columbus. He was 74. Over his career with the Buckeyes he was 205-61-10, with five national championships. Woody was an irascible old bastard, even when he was still in his 30s. He left behind some of the great coaching lines in sports history:
- “So many times I’ve found people smarter than I was … But you know what they couldn’t do? They couldn’t outwork me. They couldn’t outwork me!”
- “Anything easy ain’t worth a damn!”
- “To hell with exciting. I’d rather be drab as hell and win.”
- When asked why he went for two despite a 36-point lead against arch-rival Michigan, Hayes quipped, “Because I couldn’t go for three.”
- “Without winners, there wouldn’t even be any god damned civilization.”
- “Football represents and embodies everything that’s great about this country, because the United States of America is built on winners, not losers or people who didn’t bother to play.”
Long live Woody.
From a New York Times story on former Denver RB Travis Henry:
The Denver Broncos gave Henry a five-year, $25 million contract in 2007. Cut last year by the team, which cited injuries and off-the-field commotion, he received only $6.7 million. Piling on to the child-support issues, Henry failed an N.F.L. drug test. He successfully appealed, avoiding suspension, but faced another penalty from the league for what he said was missing subsequent test dates. Though Henry insisted his body has three more seasons in it, his quandary all but dooms any chance of his suiting up again.
Henry is seeking to modify child-support obligations. Some mothers and their lawyers will have none of that, saying he has squandered a small fortune on luxuries like cars and jewelry. “I feel sorry for the guy, trust me,” Wellon said. “On the other hand, when you take those kind of actions, there are consequences. He could have taken care of the money.”
Henry argued that, within the context of richly paid athletes, he was not out of line. He contended that he owned no more than three vehicles at once and figured he had spent $250,000 on jewelry. “That ain’t a lot,” he said. Nevertheless, he was hoping to pawn some jewelry to pay off one of many debts and gain freedom.
What a sad story, one that has only one villain: Travis Henry. We can blame the folks in his life growing up in Florida, and we can blame the people at Tennessee that obviously did what they could to keep him eligible while probably ignoring so many things about his character. We can blame the Buffalo Bills who drafted him in the second round, paid him big money for the first time in his life. We can blame the Tennessee Titans and Denver Broncos who also paid him big money at various times.
Henry blames the golddiggers he allowed into his life and his bed for his problems.
But there is only one person to blame: Henry. Along the way, I can guarantee you he had a lot of opportunities where people tried to help him. He ignored those. Now, he wants to talk to young NFL players about how to avoid this type of situation? The NFL would be crazy to have him involved in any fashion.
I don’t know the eventual outcome of the drug trafficking charges that Henry now faces, but his only hope is that he’s forced to confront himself in a very small room, with bars on the doors and windows. Maybe then, he’ll understand that the problem with Travis Henry is Travis Henry.
From a FOXSports.com piece by Jay Glazer on Pacman Jones:
I was chosen to host next month’s “Pros vs. Joes” largely because I’m somewhat out of my mind, but partly because of my ability to connect with athletes. But my bread is buttered as FOX Sports’ NFL Insider.
That job requires objectivity, but hey, I have preconceptions, too. I envisioned Pacman pissing me off at some point (I don’t have the longest fuse in the world) and me attempting to block the circulation of blood flow to his brain.
Instead, I came away hoping that the kid who seemed to “get it” in our few days together has turned the corner. He never once shied away and tried to say he did nothing wrong. To the contrary, he openly talked about how much he’s screwed up and how he relished the chance to change and prove he has changed. I don’t really know how I should feel about this.
“I got a little girl. I’m engaged now, so I have other things that interest me other than going to strip clubs, hanging out with 20 guys ’til four or five o’clock in the morning,” Jones said in an exclusive interview. “I want to play football and you can’t do those types of things with my lifestyle and all the controversy I’ve had.”
Read again the last line of the excerpt, the quote from Jones about him wanting to play football and his lifestyle and the controversy. Are we to suddenly believe that Pacman gets it? After everything that has happened does this hapless soul finally understand, or is it still somebody else’s fault? Glazer did this interview while filming this TV show and even talks about Pacman staging a fight to spice things up.
Pacman has been a great actor all his life. Glazer just fell for that acting ability.
But if Pac wants a place to play, read on.
From the San Francisco Chronicle: The list of failed challengers for the NFL’s monopoly on pro football audiences is long, but the organizers and coaches of the United Football League are convinced their model will be successful.
The UFL announced its plans Wednesday at a news conference at AT&T Park. Green will coach the San Francisco team; Fassel will coach the Las Vegas franchise; Haslett will coach Orlando and Cottrell – most recently the Chargers’ defensive coordinator – will coach the New York franchise.
UFL backers are convinced their business and game features – $20 tickets, hard caps on coaches’ and players’ salaries, a game ball with a GPS chip, a free spirit about end-zone celebrations and cameras televising fiery halftime speeches – will add up to a winning product.
And yes – a guy like Michael Vick is welcome to sign with the United Football League, commissioner Michael Huyghue said. But this doesn’t mean the UFL intends to be an outlaw outfit.
The UFL had a big press conference on Wednesday in San Francisco and there was very little national coverage of the event. As someone who has started a small business in the worst economy of the last 30 years (maybe 70 years), I can’t imagine why these guys think this thing will fly given the current financial conditions.
Listen, I’m all for competition for the NFL. Sometimes the league and its teams act like they invented the game and the whole idea of professional sports. It would be nice to see somebody really challenge them, whether it was for players, coaches or fan attention.
But given the way things are right now, I’ll be shocked if the first UFL Championship Game gets played in Las Vegas at Thanksgiving.