Thursday, January 10, 2008

Not Here to Talk About the Past

Carroll + Falcons = WTF?!

So USC coach Pete Carroll apparently talked to Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank on Wednesday, with regards to the head coaching job left vacant by professional sleazeball Bobby Petrino.

Which leads me to wonder ... why?!

The Falcons are an organization in shambles right now, and that's not even taking into account the 3-13 record this past season. Petrino's cowardly departure was just another in a long line of embarrassments for the team this year, and let's not forget the little issue of the star, multi-million dollar quarterback in federal prison on dogfighting convictions.

Oh, and Bill Parcells thought he was going to be the team president before he changed his mind and went to the Dolphins. The Falcons were spurned at the expense of a team that won ONE game this season.


So naturally, the Falcons aren't a good job for Carroll right now. Carroll had moderate success his first go around in the NFL -- with the Jets and Patriots -- but the man is a virtual deity in SoCal, what with his NFL-caliber recruiting classes and being a year-in, year-out contender for the BCS national title. Hell, one might even suggest his Trojans could actually beat the Falcons right now, so why would Carroll want to coach them?

If Carroll were to return to the NFL, he'd want control over player personnel -- which Blank might give him. He'd also want a fat salary -- which, again, Blank would probably give him. But most importantly, Carroll would want a situation in which he could win fairly soon, and the Falcons don't provide that. Carroll would be better served going to Washington if that were the case.

Because let's face it, the Redskins actually have a quarterback.

Congress taking its time

If you set your TiVo is catch Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte and Brian McNamee squirm and bicker before Congress on Jan. 16, you might want to reset it. The committee overseeing the hearing has rescheduled the affair until Feb. 13 to give the committee time to coordinate its investigation with that of the Justice Department and to talk to the witnesses in private under oath before the public hearing.

Note the committee didn't do that the last time baseball had to face the government with regards to steroids. You know, when Mark McGwire refused to talk about the past and Sammy Sosa suddenly forgot how to speak English.

I'm no legal expert, but to me, this is Congress' way of saying it's serious this time. If they're interested in talking to Clemens and Pettitte and McNamee in private under oath first, there's no telling what juicy little nuggets might come out of that. But more importantly, such homework before the hearing should prevent said hearing from becomin a farce.

It's going to be a media circus regardless, but the more credibility Congress can add to the proceedings, the better. And I think that's just what this delay does.

Countdown to Daytona

Not that I'm looking forward to it or anything, but we are just 38 days away from the 50th running of the Daytona 500. NASCAR's biggest race is celebrating a milestone anniversary, but perhaps more interesting are the potential storylines coming into the 2008 season.

Will Jimmie Johnson -- who was fastest during testing this week -- become the only driver other than Cale Yarborough to win three straight Cup titles this season? Will teammate Jeff Gordon beat his protege and take his fifth career championship? Will new Hendrick golden boy Dale Earnhardt Jr. break into Victory Lane this year and contend for his first Spring Cup?

Or my personal favorite, how long until new teammates Kyle Busch and Tony Stewart try to kill each other? I've got the over/under at the first Martinsville race in March.

Do I know the answers to those questions? No, but I can't wait to find out. Just 38 more days ...

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