Mind Over Sports

Archive for March 2012

I’ve written about Bill Parcells before but now that he’s being considered to take over the head coaching job of the New Orleans Saints, I believe what I wrote before bears repeating.
One of the biggest complaints NFL players have about coaches is that they feel some really don’t care about their personal problems and issues and are only interested in exploiting them to win games. Which seems to have been the case when you look at Bill Parcells’ treatment of Lawrence Taylor when Taylor was a New York Giant and Parcells was head coach. As we now know, Parcells looked the other way and allowed Taylor to continue to use illegal drugs and cheat on his urine tests, and to constantly violate team curfew hours, all in the name of winning. Parcels did not do Taylor any favors since he (Taylor) later tearfully admitted on national television (“60 Minutes”) that he was an addict. When this happened, it didn’t sit well with some of the Dallas Cowboys players who were, at the time, being coached by Parcells. And I don’t believe it was a coincidence that the Cowboys lost two out of their next three games and were eliminated from the playoffs. In my opinion, Parcells should not be allowed to coach any NFL team, ever! And by the way, he seems to have built his reputation based on “fear.” He has, in the past, been proud of the fact that his players feared him but I can tell you that fear is not a motivator. In fact, it actually distracts from performance.

I don’t get it. Pete Rose bets on baseball games and gets banned from baseball for life. Sean Payton endorses a bounty program among his players that can permanently hurt an opposing player for life, and he gets suspended for a year. Something’s not right here.

According to today’s USA Today: “Some current and former players criticized the unnamed whistleblower who tipped off the NFL to New Orleans’ bounty program. Former defensive tackle Warren Sapp identified former Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey as the ‘snitch.’ Shockey denied the charges via Twitter.”

If Jeremy Shockey was indeed the “whistleblower” he deserves a medal, not condemnation. It took guts to do what he did (assuming he did it) and his actions could well affect the future health and well-being of NFL players who might have been targeted. From my perspective, I think Commissioner Roger Goodell was TOO LENIENT! I would have banned head coach Sean Payton, general manager Mickey Loomis, assistant head coach Joe Vitt and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, FOR LIFE. And that also goes for any defensive player who may have participated in the Saints’ (or any other teams’) bounty program, including Warren Sapp. One has to wonder if Sapp would have made that comment had he been a former quarterback or running back who, later in life, was confined to a wheel chair because of an illegal hit.

During the KU-Purdue game last night, I was appalled at how the officials allowed the Purdue players to physically abuse and constantly foul KU’s Thomas Robinson. Almost every time his teammates tried to work the ball into him at the post, some Purdue player was hanging on his arm or not allowing him to break to the middle to receive a pass. If they had refereed the game properly, Robinson could very well have set an all-time NCAA record for free throws taken during a single game. As it was, he made 7 out of 11 attempts, but should have been on the foul line 25-30 times!

I was speaking to a young man who played football for a club team and found out that the team owner did not provide insurance for him to cover any kind of injuries he might experience as a result of his playing. And the thought occurred to me that perhaps “health care reform” was not really such a bad idea, not only for the millions of children in our country who are uninsured, but also for this young athlete. And though he’s playing at his own risk (and because of his love of the game) I’m sure if he became severely injured he would not have the funds to pay for his own hospital care. On the other hand I noticed recently that U.S. Senator Roy Blunt underwent a successful coronary stent implantation in January of this year, after doctors located a blockage in front of his heart during a physical examination. Since Blunt is an avid opponent of “health care reform” providing all Americans with the same type of health care he enjoys, one has to wonder if he allowed the federal government to pay for his stent implant or, realizing how wrong that would be, he dug into his own pocket in order to save the government money. I doubt that it was the latter. If all of our US Congressmen and US Congresswomen and US Senators had to pay for their own health care insurance, instead of having the federal government provide theirs free, you might see fewer of them opposing Universal Health Care. Perhaps the time has come for one of our federal legislators to introduce a bill that requires all members of Congress to be responsible for their own health insurance. And by the way, I don’t see much difference between a mandate requiring everyone to have health insurance and a mandate requiring everyone to have automobile insurance.  Am I missing something?


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