Monday, July 11, 2011

Rants, Rants, and More Rants--Monday, July 11

I have completely lost track of what day we are in the lockout, but the number of days really doesn't matter to me at this point. What does matter, however, is that we are now quickly approaching the halfway point in July and we still have yet to see much progress in the Labor talks between owners and players.

We are less than two weeks away from what would have been the start of training camps, and the 2011 rookies have still haven't gotten to meet with their respective coaches, and haven't been able to get in to team facilities because of this looming lockout.

Luckily talks have resumed today, with one of the hot topics being the rookie wage scale. But we have lost so much meaningful time without the summer mini-camps, and the entire preseason is now in jeopardy to add on to that.

I am not going to go on and on ranting about the lockout, because it's rather obvious to us fans in the sporting world--the owners and players are simply trying to figure out how to split billions of dollars and can't seem to come to an agreement on how much the other side would be willing to take.

The rookie wage scale also factors in to how long these talks will go on, but with July 15 (this Friday) approaching, I'm not so sure we will get to see a complete 2011 preseason.

The negotiation talks have irked me to no end, so I am not here to continuously vent about it on here. Rather, I would like to talk about a few other things that went down over this rather eventful weekend. Both in the NFL world, and in the professional sporting world in general.

First thing's first, the NFL talk:

*There were a couple of different arrests of current players this past weekend, one being a first-timer and the other a repeat offender. Actually, both just so happened to be AFC North players.

Super Bowl XL MVP and 2011 Dancing with the Stars winner Hines Ward was arrested by officers in Georgia for suspicion of DUI. This came as a shock to me, and as well as every other NFL fan I'm sure. Ward also seemed to me to be a role model-type, coming from a respectful family and playing for an organization in Pittsburgh that prides itself on staying out of trouble.

Perhaps Ward and his quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who was accused of sexual assault last off-season while on a night out in Georgia, should just stay out of that state. It would do us all some good in the end.
As for the other arrest? I really have nothing to say about Adam "Pacman" Jones, who was reportedly arrested at a Ohio bar for disorderly conduct on Saturday. Other reports have come out since then, stating Jones was not drinking and he was simply caught up in a confrontation between his wife and another woman.

Jones later said he doesn't drink (I take it he means anymore), and that he was not under the influence. Deion "Primetime" Sanders backed up Pacman on Twitter.

Since we don't know the whole story, we really can't judge Jones in this situation--especially since he's in a neck brace in the mug shot, for crying out loud. All I know is that he can't afford another slip-up like this. In fact, I don't even know if he can afford this one. We'll see what Cincy does once this lockout is lifted.

*It's official: Former Pittsburgh, New England and Kansas City linebacker Mike Vrabel has retired from the game. He already has another job lined up as he was just hired by his alma mater, Ohio State, as the team's linebackers coach.

In his 14-year career, the 35-year old Vrabel recorded 505 tackles, 57 sacks and 11 interceptions, winning three Super Bowls with New England and making the Pro Bowl and All-Pro roster in 2007.

I don't think the league's 103rd-leading career sacker will get a call from the Hall, but he certainly left his mark on the New England Patriots' team history. In his eight-year reign as the Pats' outside linebacker, Vrabel made top 10 in career tackles (404; 10th), sacks (48; fourth), passes defensed (34; fifth) and forced fumbles (13; fourth). Solid career indeed, for Mr. Vrabel.
*Thank goodness for this next bit: Brett Favre's mother and brother are pretty confident Favre will stay retired, according to an article on That's all I have to say about that.

Non-NFL talk (the rest of the sporting world):

*Congratulations to future Hall of Fame shortstop Derek Jeter, who, on Saturday, reached one of the top milestones possible for baseball players: 3,000 career hits.

Jeter, the career New York Yankee, became the first player in team history to reach this feat, and just the 28th player to ever do it. Only Jeter and Wade Boggs managed to hit their 3,000 hit with a home-run. Congratulations to one of the more consistent shortstops in the game today.

*America has more to be proud of after yesterday's Women's World Cup quarterfinal victory over Brazil. Abby Wombach tied the game in the dwindling seconds of extra-time with a thrilling header. With some help from the hot goalie babe Hope Solo, Team USA defeated the Brazilians in a shootout, 5-3, to move on to the semifinals on Wednesday.

*Tonight is Major League Baseball's annual Home run Derby, featuring eight of the league's hottest power-hitters. The American League consists of David "Big Papi" Ortiz (captain), Boston teammate Adrian Gonzalez, Toronto's Jose Bautista and New York's Robinson Cano, while the National League features Prince Fielder (captain), Milwaukee teammate Rickie Weeks, St. Louis' Matt Holliday and LA's Matt Kemp. Who ya got taking the '11 crown? I think it will be Bautista taking out Kemp in the heard it here first!

Breaking News: NFL Players desperate for face-time

It's true, imagine that. Players are getting antsy and would like access to team facilities, doctors, physicians, coaches, even fellow teammates!

Don't worry, guys. I think the fans are even more antsy for the lockout to end. Without us, there would be no you! Let's pray it ends as soon as humanly possible.

(Note: I just looked it up, and yes, we are on day 122 of this frustrating lockout. Will it ever end??).

Photo credit
Jones' mug shot: Hamilton County Sheriff's Office
Mike Vrabel: borrowed off

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