The average cost of the increased wages and benefits won by the officials in the settlement was little more than $100,000 per team per year. Why would you run the risk of tarnishing the stature and efficiency of your multi-billion a year golden goose plus aggravate your dear pals in Vegas for what amounts to chump change while also drawing unwanted attention to a rather ''unholy'' relationship, about which all parties agree... the less attention the better? Never have the NFL owners been so dumb.
But they'll survive it. In the meantime, we can be thankful to this strange flap for having inspired one of the odder flip-flops of this endless political season. When the Packers got rooked the two Wisconsin politicians who were the most vocal in denouncing the NFL and demanding that the owners settle their grievances with the field officials were Governor Scott Walker, who had triumphantly busted the state's public service unions, and Congressman Paul Ryan, who had marched with him happily every step of the way.
Apparently, if you're a Wisconsin politician a hatred of unions can never be allowed to get in the way of your allegiance to the Green Bay Packers.
Some short takes
His mistakes have been well documented nor has he disputed many of them and maybe in the end there was no choice but to send him packing. But some of the complaints about Bobby Valentine were poppycock. It remains amazing that some players actually thought him ''insensitive'' for chiding Will Middlebrooks when the rookie butchered a couple of plays. Poor darlings! Too bad they couldn't have played for John J. McGraw, or maybe Ossie Vitt.
The boorish behavior of pseudo-patriotic American brats made the stunning European comeback in the recent Ryder Cup Classic seem like justice. The galleries all weekend were rife with fools willfully violating the protocol of championship events. Do they realize how they must look to the rest of the world? Rooting is one thing. Striving to alter the outcome with your antics, is quite another. Moreover, it proved counter-productive and a grave disservice to the American golfers. They were too polite to say so but the nonsense could only have inspired the Euros.
He was surely a curious character at times but you have to be a hard person to be unsympathetic to the considerable plight of Curt Schilling whose baseball fortune has apparently been drained away by highly publicized misadventures in business. For it to come down to him having to sell his bloody sock, however, seems irony beyond the cruel. If you have wondered about who would want to buy the thing, bear in mind that sports collectors will buy anything.
On the other hand, if you appreciate true and rare excellence you must be pleased for the Yankees' Ichiro Suzuki. Given the chance so late in his marvelous career to cavort on the big stage and play for the big stakes, Ichiro's response further illustrates the brilliance of an entire career played out with memorable dignity and class. The man deserves such a moment and it is mighty pleasing to see him have it.
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