Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Here's the wind up ...

HOF voting issues?

Am I the only one who thinks it's strange letting sports writers vote for the various Halls of Fame? Particularly in light of yet another Baseball Hall of Fame ballot passing without Jim Rice's name on it?

It took Goose Gossage (the guy who's only third on the all-time saves list) far too long to break into Cooperstown, and the fact that Rice still hasn't been enshrined is ridiculous.

"But he wasn't friendly with the media," some have said. Well, so what? Who cares if he wasn't all sunshine and lollipops when the recorder-and-notepad brigade shuffled up to his locker? Rice, a career .298 hitter, was an eight-time All Star and the American League MVP in 1978 for the Boston Red Sox. With 382 career home runs (he led the AL in homers three times -- 1977, 1978, 1983), Rice was one of the game's best power hitter ... BEFORE the Steroid Era.

And we're gonna leave him out because he was prickly with a few writers?

Just fuels my argument that sports writers have no business voting for such matters as a sport's Hall of Fame. Who should? I'm not sure, but the writers -- who apparently hold grudges like this -- aren't it.

Same goes for you, Pro Football Hall voters. How Michael Irvin is in, but Art Monk isn't is beyond me.

Snyder faces key hire

With Joe Gibbs' announcement Tuesday that he's retiring as coach and team president of the Washington Redskins, the organization sits at a crossroads.

As does its owner, Daniel Snyder.

Snyder's had five coaches in his tenure in Washington, and at first had a George Steinbrenner-like approach of signing expensive, high-profile free agentswhile eshewing and even ignoring the draft. But with Gibbs at the helm, that attitude cooled some, and Snyder would be well served to continue his level head now that Gibbs is out the door.

And the first move that could show us which Snyder takes over will be the hire of Gibbs' replacement. Does Snyder go for the big splash and try to lure Bill Cowher out of the CBS studios, or does he undergo an exhaustive search that'll likelt end with him hiring an assistant, possibly even one of his own?

Virtually every big splash Snyder has made as Redskins owner has failed -- Steve Spurrier, anyone? So I'm inclined to say avoid the big name, avoid the big news maker. Take your time, do your homework and hire the person you feel best serves the team you put on the field every Sunday.

The Reskins have the potential to be a playoff team again next year, but the wrong hire at head coach could set the organization back another couple years.

Playoffs?! Playoffs?

University of Georgia president Michael Adams claimed Tuesday that college football needs a playoff system and proposed an eight-team format. Adams, a chairman of the NCAA executive committee, has long been an opponent of a playoff system, but said Tuesday the current BCS system is "undercutting the sportsmanship and integrity of the game."

Well, of course Adams would feel that way, since Georgia was one of the teams said to have been left out of the national championship picture this year. Funny how the whole BCS thing looks when the computer numbers don't fall in your school's favor.

Not that I oppose a playoff system -- I actuall endorse it. But for Georgia's president to be the one to step up and complain about the inadequacies of the BCS ... I'm sorry, but that smacks of sour grapes to me.

Memo to Georgia: You played some good ball at the end of the year, and who knows what you would've done if a playoff had been in place. But you didn't win your conference -- hell, you didn't even win your division. I'm of the mindset that if you don't win your conference, you shouldn't have a shot at a national championship. In my mind, that's the only thing the current formula gets right -- even if it is an unwritten rule.

You didn't win the SEC, so shut up and enjoy your Sugar Bowl win over Hawaii. Pipe down and try again next year. Let those of us who weren't screwed over by the BCS gripe about the lack of a playoff. You just go run your school.

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