Say What?

Tyson not so reformed after all, curses  reporter on TV

Mike Tyson, the former heavyweight champ, was accused of cannibalism and rapism before redefining himself as a Hollywood and Broadway actor/entertainer.  But the Bad Mike came around again when Toronto television newsman Nathan Downer interviewed him about his support of crack-toking Rob Ford for re-election as mayor. Using the sly dodge of “Some of your critics say . . . ,”  Downer questioned how helpful Tyson could be to the Ford campaign given that “you’re a convicted rapist.”  Outraged that the newsman would bring up his trial of 22 years ago, on live television, Tyson said: “So interesting that you come across like a nice guy but you’re really a piece of shit.”

Dear Mike: This was an obvious ambush.  The reporter was trying to provoke you into something dramatic that would boost his ratings.  He’s thanking you all the way to the bank.


Stephen A. strikes again, says NOW prez ‘lost her mind.’

You thought you’d heard the last of Stephen A. Smith for a while after the ESPN analyst drew a two-week suspension from the network for comments that seemed overly supportive of Ray Rice in his domestic violence scandal.  But back on the job, Smith took on Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women.  When O’Neill joined other public figures in calling for the removal of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Smith said she “is off her rocker. . . I think she’s lost her mind.”

Skip Bayless, co-host of First Take, sharply disagreed with his partner, and as USA Today television reporter Chris Chase put it:  “It’s never a good thing when the voice of reason in a segment is Skip Bayless.”


Motivation from Coach Leach:  ‘We don’t play very well’

Washington State’s Mike Leach is like Texas’ Charlie Strong – and much unlike most of their coaching cohorts in their emphasizing the negative.  Leach characterized his Cougars thusly:  “We’re a team that practices well, lifts well, trains well.  We don’t play very well.”

Between the Lines:  “Two out of three is good enough to keep my job.”

Leach and Strong believe in what Bob Knight in his memoirs titled The Power of Negative Thinking.  When Strong was coaching at Louisville, he told his players the upcoming Sugar Bowl opponent, Florida, would pound them all night long.  Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater stood up and yelled“Who are you coaching?  Louisville or Florida?”  Bridgewater bolted from the room, and some teammates followed.  With his reverse psychology Strong was hoping to inspire someone on his team to become a leader.  Bridgewater responded.  Two days later, Louisville, 14-point underdog, won the Sugar Bowl 33-23.

But that came after a couple of 7-6 seasons.  Reverse psychology is not an instant cure.  So far this season Leach and Strong are each 1-2.


Marshall points finger at Romo for finger-pointing

Chicago Bears receiver Brandon Marshall in his new role of weekly commentator on Showtime’s Inside the NFL, said of Dallas QB Tony Romo:  “Sometimes I see a lot of finger pointing. . . . I’d like to see my quarterback say, ‘That’s on me.’

Between the Lines:  “Yes, Jay, I’m also talkin’ about you.”


Reed calls the untimely mistakes ‘Romo Plays’

Romo came under even more reproach from fellow Insider Ed Reed, who cited “what I call ‘Romo Plays,’” and he proceeded to narrate an interception (among three) in the opening game against San Francisco:  “He shoulda threw it away and now he gives it away.”


Jeff Pearlman sees Rice playing again in NFL

Jim Rome on Showtime addressed the future of Ray Rice, 27-year-old former Pro Bowl running back on indefinite suspension for beating up a woman.  Jeff Pearlman, noted author of sports books, said:  “Ray Rice is a good running back.  I guarantee you he will come back.”  But fellow panelist LaVarr Arrnington disagreed.  He said, hopefully, it seemed:  “He will have to walk around with the scarlet letter on his chest for the rest of his life.”


Fitzgerald runs from his dad’s comments

Larry Fitzgerald (Sr.) is a retired sportswriter who took offense when Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians all but took his son out of the offense for the season’s first Monday Night Game.  Fitzgerald, Jr., perennial Pro Bowl receiver, was targeted only four times in that game and caught one.  Prompting Larry Sr. to tweet, cryptically:

“The world saw on Monday Night Football the politics and business of football.”

To which Larry Jr. tweeted back:  “My father’s inflammatory comments don’t reflect my feelings or mood.” 

The feelings of Arians were not easily discerned.  When asked about Fitzgerald’s declining role, he said, “You’ll have to ask the quarterback.”  He said the plays he signaled had an option to throw to Fitzgerald but that Palmer preferred elsewhere.  With Palmer injured for Game 2, against the New York Giants, backup Drew Stanton completed six passes to Fitzgerald. 

Between the Lines:  Arians and Palmer prefer third-year pro Michael Floyd to Fitz, who turns 31 this month and is guaranteed $15 million if he’s on the team next year.  Thus, “the Politics and Business of Football.”

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