Say What?

Dez-appearance a recurring problem for Cowboys

Dez Bryant is as volatile as he is talented. The Dallas Cowboys continually put up with his emotional outbursts on the field and sidelines and in the locker room and sometimes away from the workplace. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that during his 7-year pro career Bryant has been late or missing from more than 20 team meetings and medical appointments. Last week the Pro Bowl wide receiver failed to show for practice on two consecutive days, skipping his appointment for an MRI after a hairline fracture in his knee.   He stayed away out of fear of what the examination might reveal. “I made a poor decision,” he said. As always, coach Jason Garrett was forgiving: “He’s a very passionate person. . . . He’s a driven guy, and his response to this was not the right one.” But ESPN analyst Mark Schlereth, a former NFL player, recommended tougher love. “At what point are you going to quit making excuses for bad behavior? At what point, as an organization, are you going to quit enabling people to behave this way? . . . ‘Oh, it’s passion, he’s so passionate.’ No, that’s selfishness. You have 52 other guys on that roster who count on you. You’ve got a bunch of young guys who are trying to learn how to be professionals. That’s as unprofessional as you can possibly be in your seventh year.”

NotepadDear Dez: Perhaps it’s time to pass the diva baton to Odell Beckham, Jr.


Raiders fans arrested for injuring Ravens fan

A Maryland man was hospitalized in critical condition after being assaulted by two Oakland Raiders fans at Sunday’s NFL game in Baltimore. Joseph Bauer, 55, became involved in an argument near the end of the game at a concessions stand at M&T Bank Stadium, police said. Scott Smith, 30, of Mount Vernon, N.Y., and Andrew Nappi, of East Chester, N.Y., were both charged with assault. The victim’s sister, Susan Bauer, told the Baltimore Sun that her brother, a retired Marine, was knocked down, and his head struck concrete. She said doctors at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center were giving him only a 30% chance of survival. “My brother is in critical condition, on life support, over a football game.”


Newsday headline writers find humor in pitcher’s death

Three days after the death of their 24-year-old All-Star pitcher Jose Fernandez, in a boating accident, the Miami Marlins were playing the New York Mets, who won the game behind their own ace pitcher, Noah Syndergaard. The distinguished Long Island newspaper, Newsday, ran this clever headline: “Smooth sailing with sharp Noah.” 


Tal’s Hill about to be razed at Minute Maid

When plans were being laid out for Enron Field, later to be Minute Maid Park, Houston Astros president Tal Smith proposed a distinctive feature: a hill in center field that would add adventure to routine fly balls. It came to be known as Tal’s Hill, and there’s no question it added interest to the game. But Smith is retired, and his successor, Reid Ryan, announced the hill will be removed when stadium renovations begin next month. Ryan has cited danger to outfielders losing their footing on the steep incline, but Smith contends: “There haven’t been any injuries despite the naysayers that thought there would be. I’ve seen more people trip over pitcher’s mounds than tumble on the hill.” The real purpose of the change in topography is to create video screens and venues for eating and drinking that can bring revenues that could not be obtained from Tal’s Hill. Former Astros pitcher and manager Larry Dierker, in an interview with the Houston Chronicle, called it “a continuation of a trend to homogenize the sport” and create “electronic profit centers. It’s sad to me. I’m an old guy. I asked my son and my daughters if this bothers them, and it doesn’t bother them a bit.”

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