Friday, March 03, 2006

Around the League

Late start today, hence a late post, which means it’s going to be less substantial. The freakin’ NFL threw a wrench in my plans for today’s column by extending the commencement of the league year until Monday. I’m still miffed at the lack of progress demonstrated by both sides, but I will reserve final judgement until the situation is resolved (or declared unresolvable).

In the meantime, you can satiate your football needs by visiting Pro Football Talk, where editor Mike Florio is seemingly going insane with updates about the labor situation. Most of your questions can be answered by reading his plethora of articles from the past week.

For a different perspective, you can head to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune for an interview with Vikings center and former players union representative Matt Birk. He posits an intelligent opinion, and his credibility is mentioned throughout the article.

Chances are that if you read me, you also read Bill Simmons (which makes sense, since his style is paving the way for guys like me). But in case you don’t and missed his “Curious Guy” segment with author Malcolm Gladwell, you can read it here. This is easily his best “Curious Guy” column yet, mainly because Gladwell is such an affable character. An except to whet your appetite (especially if you’re a Knicks fan): “I'm just glad that you passed me on Isiah's ‘smug writers whose asses I want to kick’ list.”

I’ll close today on a Yankees note. Now, it’s well known that I deplore most New York baseball columnists. But that hatred extends to most columnists in general, mainly because they just don’t know what they’re talking about. Take, for instance, this article in the Tampa Tribune by Joe Henderson:

The mushroom cloud that awaited them last spring has long since dissipated. There is no steroid scandal, like the one that followed Jason Giambi. There is no great playoff collapse against the Red Sox to explain. The only celebrity free agent is Johnny Damon, brought in from Boston to play center field. But hardly anyone notices because he cut his hair and has been nothing but agreeable since he got to town.

Hardly anyone notices? Well, Mr. Henderson, I beg to differ. In fact, go to Pro Sports Daily’s Yankees page and count how many stories revolve around Damon. No, no one’s noticing that he’s the new center fielder at all. Joe Henderson, we may share a first name, but you sir are a jackass scraping for material. And when you can’t find that material, you just make stuff up.

That’s it for this week. Hopefully I can get a few words in about the NFL labor dispute on Monday, though I’d much rather have some Yankees tidbits to write home about.