Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Of 7 billion people in world, exactly 1 thinks Randy Moss is greater than Jerry Rice

If the draft is the worst event on the NFL calendar -- and, I swear on a stack of Mel Kiper's hair, it most definitely is -- Super Bowl Media Day is the goofiest.

I covered several of them and always came away with a good column or story. Not trying to claim I wrote well; just saying there were many good stories available to be told. The actual quality of my writing was for others to judge, be it excellent or merely great.

And speaking of braggadocio, we have this year's silliest story:

Randy Moss said he is the greatest receiver in football history.

"No disrespect to Jerry Rice," he told the zillion reporters who were listening.

                 REC      YARDS      TD    1000  PRO BL  TITLES

RICE       1,549      22,895        197       14        13            3

MOSS       982       15,292         156       10         7             0

No wonder why Moss believes he's the greatest ever. Except for huge deficits in receptions, yards, touchdowns, 1,000-yard seasons, Pro Bowl appearances and championships, he has it all over Rice.

Next from Moss: He's a better singer than Freddie Mercury ever dreamed of being.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Every once in a while, I get a wild hair up my you-know-what to write something political ... and I've done it again.

This time, the Charlotte Observer was kind enough (or crazy enough?) to publish it. They even ran a "teaser" for the column on the front page of the op-ed section in Sunday's paper.

It's about Hillary and Benghazi and the hypocrisy of politicians, as you'll see if you take a look right here.

And remember, there will be a quiz!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Unfortunately, "aloha" also means goodbye!

Roberta and I at Kauai's Waimea Canyon at the end of an hour-long climb. It is known as the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific," and it is spectacular!

A sea turtle at Poipu Beach in Kauai. A week later, we saw several of his relatives while snorkeling off the Maui coast.

That's me enjoying my all-yellow breakfast: Maui Gold pineapple, scrambled eggs, peach yogurt, orange juice, corn muffins, butter and a banana. Wait ... did I say yellow? I meant to say "gold," as in Marquette gold and blue!

Taking a break after diving into Queen's Bath on the north coast of Kauai.

Katie and Ben at a waterfall after hiking through a bamboo forest off the road to Hana.

The happy family on our last day in Hawaii. We got through the week and still seem to like each other!!

Ben and I at a wildlife preserve on Maui.

Roberta and I at the same wildlife preserve.

Roberta snapped this pic of a humpback whale's tail during our snorkel trip off the coast of Maui. Two male whales were battling for the affections of a lady. It was more than just a little cool.

The only thing bad about the vacation: It had to end!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A rough week for cheaters

First, there was dopey doper Lance Armstrong vaulting past Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire into the No. 1 spot in the Lying Sleazeball Hall of Shame. Has any athlete ever cheated his way to more glory over a longer stretch than Lyin' Lance? As it turns out, his most noble act was helping Oprah get good ratings for his network. Given all that he overcame to be such a dominant sports figure, I never thought I'd utter this sentence: Lance Armstrong is a coward. 

Then came Manti Te'o. I'm still not buying the Notre Dame linebacker's lack of complicity in the whole "my fake girlfriend is dead" scam. For those who feel sorry for him, he did lie to both his father and to reporters about supposed face-to-face meetings with his online love. Come on, Manti ... even Jan Brady fessed up about George Glass shortly after inventing him.

Finally, it was Bill Belichick getting completely outcoached by the Ravens' John Harbaugh, who seemed to know what the Patriots were going to do before Belichick's team did. It's now been nine long years since Belichick's last title. I guess it's tough to be a genius without illegally spying on one's opponents.


Roberta and I just got back from Hawaii, where we spent six nights relaxing on Kauai and then six nights on Maui having fun with Katie and Ben. Aside from seeing the kids and enjoying fantastic weather, the highlight had to be our 5 1/2-hour boat trip -- during which we snorkeled with huge sea turtles, oohed and aahed as two male humpback whales brawled for the affection of a female and watched four spinner dolphins frolicking in the surf.

We also ate lots of good food, enjoyed a cold beer or three, got pummeled by humongous waves, hiked into Waimea Canyon and also into a bamboo forest, caught up on our sleep and watched an NFL playoff game that started at 8 a.m. local time.

Everybody defines paradise differently, but it's pretty hard to spend time in Hawaii and not believe you've found it.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Hall of a situation

Yes, it was headline-worthy that not one candidate was elected to the Hall of Fame ... but really, was it that big of a surprise?

Even if any of the Royd Boyz do eventually get in, it is not the least bit shocking they were denied on their initial year as candidates. I specifically said I wasn't going to give the likes of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens the special honor of being first-ballot HoFers, and I'm sure dozens (if not hundreds) of my fellow voters felt that way, too.

Craig Biggio also didn't quite make it on the first ballot, but he has an excellent chance next year because there are many, many BBWAA voters who save first-ballot HoF status for only the best of the best.

Other observations:

-- I knew Sammy Sosa wouldn't come close to getting in but I was surprised he received fewer votes than Mark McGwire did. While those two will be linked forever in baseball history, Sosa finished with better numbers and also had more skills than McGwire did.

-- Again, I'm not stunned that Jeff Bagwell didn't get in, but I did think he would get more votes. I was relieved he didn't miss by one, because I already am second-guessing my decision to leave him off my ballot.

-- Don Mattingly received enough votes to stay on the ballot for next year but Bernie Williams didn't. There is zero doubt in my mind that Williams was the better, more important Yankee.

-- Lots of get-a-lifers -- yahoos who spend a good chunk of their time obsessing about the HoF -- said only idiots would refuse to put the Royd Boyz in the Hall on the first ballot while stating we very well might vote for Bonds and Clemens in future years. Well, here's what another first-ballot candidate, Curt Schilling, told ESPN:

"I think it's fitting. If there ever were a ballot or a year to make a statement about what we didn't do as players, this is it."

Schilling went on to say that even players who weren't juicers were complicit in the Steroid Era and deserved to be denied Hall entry. And he went out of the way to include himself among the guilty.

Schilling, who finished just ahead of Bonds and Clemens, got my vote. And now I feel even better about it.

-- Sad to see two guys drop off the ballot: Dale Murphy couldn't get anywhere near enough votes during  his 15 years of eligibility but truly embodied all the great things in sports; and Kenny Lofton, a fine player during his prime who almost surely deserved more than one year as a candidate (he didn't get the required 5 percent of the vote).

-- I sure as heck hope that the one writer who checked the box next to Aaron Sele's name did so as a protest vote.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Today's High 5: Observations from the make-believe college football championship game

5. Well, so much for all those narrow victories being a sign that fate was on Notre Dame's side.

4. Fate, apparently, couldn't make up for the fact that Notre Dame's players weren't anywhere near as good as Alabama's players.

3. My sources at the Vatican tell me Pope Benedict XVI was so impressed with the Crimson Tide that he converted from Catholic to Catho-hick.

2. Hold on ... I think 'Bama just scored again.

1. Touchdown Jesus lost to a guy who is one letter away from being Satan. (Think about it.)