Friday, April 30, 2010


Instead of scouting colleges all over the country, scouts should spend time in prisons talking to wardens.

Get a list of their nastiest inmates and find out if they can kick, pass, block, run, tackle--and if they enjoy inflicting pain and season-ending injuries on opposing players.

If you think this is far-fetched, here's an NFL reality check.

Charles Grant, a 6-foot-3, 290-pound defensive lineman for the New Orleans Saints, was indicted recently for the fatal shooting of a pregnant woman and her unborn child.

Pacman Jones, a Dallas Cowboys corner back, has a rap sheet that hardened criminals would envy. He's been charged with assault and vandalism in a nightclub, a violent habit that began back in his high school days. Jones got in a fight at a strip club and beat a stripper's head against the bar, then threatened to kill one of the club's employees for trying to stop him.

The Dallas Cowboys assigned two burly bodyguards to keep their costly investment out of trouble. He ended up attacking them.

Marshall Lynch, a Buffalo Bills running back, has been arrested for possession of a loaded firearm. Last summer, while driving his luxury SUV, he drove into a woman and sped away. She was left with a bruised hip and 7 stitches. Marshall got fined $100 and received a 3-game suspension. There's no record of his doing time. But then, you probably wouldn't do time either if you were considered the #1 running back in the country.

Tank Johnson, a tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals, has been arrested for possession of 6 firearms, resisting arrest, attacking a police officer, and driving while drunk. His coach, Lovey Smith, has been known to visit Tank in jail.

Brandon Marshall, nicknamed “The Beast,” is a wide receiver for the Miami Dolphins. “The Beast” has been arrested for drunken driving, domestic violence, driving without a license, and punching his fiancee for a reason not yet explained.

Donte Stallworth, a wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns, hit and killed a pedestrian while driving drunk. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison. But with skills like his, I'm guessing he'd be out in a year.

Michael Vick, as any football fan knows, was released from prison after serving 2 years for operating an illegal dog-fighting ring and killing the dogs that didn't do well. The ex-Atlanta Falcons quarterback is now a backup QB for the Philadelphia Eagles. Apparently committing despicable acts is not a hindrance in the NFL, it's a prerequisite.

And I would be less than thorough if I left out the names of Ben Roethlisberger and Plaxico Burress.

Ben, star quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, is being accused of sexually assaulting a drunken college student in a bathroom somewhere in Atlanta. So far he's been given a 6-game suspension by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. The odds makers in Las Vegas are betting it'll end up being a 2-game suspension and giving 50-yard-line tickets to the ravaged co-ed.

Plaxico Burress, former wide receiver for the New York Giants, is currently serving a 2-year prison term, but will likely get out in 20 months for good behavior. Plaxico has a long string of domestic disturbances and civil lawsuits.

But the criminal behavior that launched him into the national spotlight and highlighted his lack of anything resembling common sense was tucking his Glock pistol into the waistband of his jeans and bringing it to a New York City nightclub. While there he accidentally discharged it, shooting himself in the thigh literally and in the foot figuratively.

How this man learns intricate pass patterns is beyond me.

Maybe they should give big fat bonuses to football players who get through a season without being arrested. Either that, or make NFL stand for NATIONAL FELONS LEAGUE.


Friday, April 23, 2010


As we all know, earthquakes are caused by promiscuous women. This breaking news from the Middle East caught my eye and made my wife giggle.

The source of this revelation, Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi, is a senior Iranian cleric who apparently had failing grades in Science and could have benefited from a refresher course in Logic.

Mr. Sedighi claims that women who wear revealing clothing, lead innocent young men astray, and conduct themselves in a manner considered seductive are the root cause of Iranian families being buried under tons of rubble.

I could understand if he had pitched this wild plot to a local film director to depict the growing strength and influence of women. But without the underpinnings of a broad spoof or satire, it crumbles under its own weight.

According to this cleric, the wanton women of Iran are clearly more powerful than the scores of tectonic fault lines straddling the city.

But why limit lustful women with the singular and seismic power to induce earthquakes? Let's stretch the boundaries. Imbue them with the ability to choose and create tsunamis, hurricanes, floods, volcanic eruptions, and other natural disasters.

Who knows? Women with a relaxed moral code could also be the ones responsible for hunger, drought, and global warming.

Women in that part of the world aren't laughing like my wife did about the absurdity of being blamed for earthquakes. Perhaps they don't want to be humiliated, tortured, killed--or have all of the above done to their families.

And finally, President Ahmadinejad –when told that an earthquake hitting Iran could kill as many as 12 million inhabitants-- suggested that they move.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010


In the world of advertising commercials, inanimate objects have far too much to say.

I've been spoken to, hollered at, and nagged by such things as chairs, clocks, windows, ovens, the sun, detergents, a tub of margarine, a sandwich, soda cans, razor blades, a beard, sneakers, a bucket of water, and a toilet with attitude.

I don't know where ad folks got the idea that objects with no pulse and therefore no credibility would be a smart solution for selling products and services. “The way that pothole talked to me, I just knew I had to replace my brakes immediately.”

I'm also not too fond of a talking Gecko with an Australian accent that acts worldly and sophisticated and talks to me in a condescending manner. Geckos, in the reptile family, are mostly found in India and Australia. Normally they make chirping or croaking sounds to communicate with one another. But the one from Geico has far exceeded his chirp and croak limitations by becoming a pitchman for a major brand.

For reasons that could be construed as inconsistent on my part, I seem to be okay with icons like Tony the Tiger, Mr. Clean, Mr. Peanut, The Jolly Green Giant, and Speedy Alka-Seltzer. I guess it's the common objects that suddenly come alive and try to be hip and persuasive that rub me the wrong way.

I'll tell you one thing. Any inanimate object that shouts at me to buy something is in big trouble. I swear, and I mean it, I will yell at my TV! These lifeless forms don't know who they're messing with.