Another great from one of the undeniable golden periods of heavyweight boxing, Ken Norton, has passed away. Along with most other people who actually read up on fighters at that time, I believed Muhammad Ali would have an easy time of it against Norton coming into their first fight. Boy, were we all wrong. Norton broke Ali’s jaw and won by split decision in their first bout. Ali won a split decision six months later. The two men fought 39 competitive, hard fought rounds all told after Ali won a decision in their third and final match. Norton reportedly thought he won all three of their bouts and many agreed that at least there was little to separate the two men in their hard fought contests.
In the nobody-should-raise-an-eyebrow department, the Browns traded Trent Richardson to the Colts for a first round pick in 2014. Yawn. Wait. Big Yawn.
In other news, the Yankees are playing out the string. Thought I’d never see the day the Yanks’ main strategy for a baseball season would be to begin paring payroll enough in order to be under the salary cap season after next. They almost had more old guys playing than the number I wait on in the senior living dining room I work part-time in as a server. Guess they aren’t trying to buy the pennant anymore (which is just wrong I tell ya). Plus, it’s hard(er) to hate ‘em when they start developing players on their farm teams again like everyone else, instead of buying up free agents.
I like Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon on ESPN’s Pardon The Interruption. But I really like the time limits on all the pieces they debate, more. Having a time limit comes in handy when some topics are not particularly interesting. Can we please move on from RGIII and the Redskins guys? There are other teams and players out there.
Tim Tebow being signed by the Jags would not be the first time a player has been signed solely for the purpose of putting fannies in the seats and generating some much needed interest; a team whose name rhymes with Mets comes to mind. All signs from Jaguars management are that they won’t bite on Tebow. Seems a shame. I was living in the Denver area when Tebow took over a beleaguered Broncos team and while it wasn’t pretty, led them to the playoffs and a win over the now beleaguered 0-2 Pittsburgh Steelers. Say what you want, but Tebow was exciting and fired up the wine and cheese Mile High crowd (the old Mile High Stadium was more of a beer and brat kind of crowd with John Wayne, I mean, Elway, in the saddle). I know Elway, Rex Ryan and Bill Belichick gave up on Tebow but I’d like to see him get one more chance to make good. Sadly, I won’t hold my breath and will kindly call his ever taking a snap again as a quarterback in the Not For Long, an extreme longshot.
Speaking of the Steelers…mm, okay, okay, I’m taking them over the Bears Sunday night. While the Bears are winning, I’m still not sold. The many faces of Eve, I mean, Jay Cutler, the modern day Jeff George, remains at the helm, so you can see my healthy skepticism of all things Bears, the offensive guru formerly known as Marc Trestman notwithstanding. And the Steelers just plain have to have this win. Never underestimate who wants it more when it comes to who wins. The Steelers easily need it more than the Bears. If they don’t get it done at home, I’ll stop mentioning them here for a while (unless it’s something really bad).
If the Broncos go deep in the playoffs it’ll be because of their D and not Peyton Manning and the offense. The loss of LT Ryan Clady for the season makes it even tougher offensively and the defense will have to continue to stop opposing offenses like they have to date. Thought I’d never see the day when the Broncos D would dominate by dropping three and outs on offenses regularly again.
Witnessed the passion Portland fans have for their soccer team (Timbers). But soccer is still too hard a sell for me. I just keep coming back to the fact it kind of reminds me of the metric system. Although it’s used and enjoyed by some folks, it still hasn’t been widely adopted. There still needs to be more offense in soccer. Not as much as NFL football—I’m one of the throwbacks who still enjoys a defensive struggle (with a 3-3 tie at the half), but perhaps a happy medium between what soccer scoring is now and the pinball football that NFL offenses are ringing up. Find that, and then soccer has some legs.
In another game you shouldn’t stay away from, I like Philadelphia to ruin Andy Reid’s return if only for the simple fact Philly’s defense can’t be any more porous than it has been so far, can it?
The Internet is great and has been a panacea for eye doctors. Our eyes deteriorate more rapidly reading things from screens rather than papers. I wish traditional daily newspapers and the Internet could co-exist though. It was exciting to receive a morning and evening edition of the local daily paper. The stories were more in-depth too. All that said, the dailies aren’t coming back. And I don’t have studies to back this next one up, but I’m thinking there was less anti-depressant medication use back then, too. You can’t beat the Internet’s immediacy of news breaking but there’s no denying the higher levels of stress and anxiety that result from being constantly bombarded by electronic news, are part of the bad that comes with the good.