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Monday, July 31, 2006

Captain Jet Wants You!! - Bill Chachkes At NY Jets Training Camp



Jets Training Camp-Captain Jet

As I walked up and down the sideline in 90+ degree heat at Hofstra university this weekend, I kept hearing a voice in the back of my head saying " Come on People, make some noise for your Jets, Let em know your in the stands." Normally I would tell you that as a coach I'm used to hearing voices in my head, both my own and someone else's.

But this was different. This voice belonged to "Captain Jet" of Staten Island NY, and he was mad as heck. Our brief conversation went like this:

FP: So Captain, can you give me a few quotes, just a few lines?

CJ: What kind of quotes you want pal? What do you need me for, you cooperate types have all the answers (referring to the VIP passes hanging from the necks of pass holders, which look similar to the Media credentials)

FP: Hey Captain (framing credential with hands) does this look like a VIP pass?

CJ: Oh! (smiles now) a Scribe! I thought you were one of those Madison avenue guys who know all about football. You're a bit smarter I guess.



FP: So why are you so annoyed Captain?

CJ: Because some of these fans here just aren't motivated enough ( turns his back to me). Come Ooooon People WAKE UP! This is an NFL Training Camp, not some POP Warner Middle school game(turns back). Sorry, but someone has to do it. A young kid comes over and asks the "Captain" for his autograph, and he gladly signs the mini football.

FP: So what's the one thing you want Jets fans to know Captain, I mean after all, you are the Captain!

CJ: I want people to know that I'm everyman's Jet fan. That Jets fans are the best fans, the best in the world. I want them to know that I'm here, dressed like this to show my support for the Jets and their fans...

FP: So what do you say to the fans further down the fence (who spent the day heckling the Players, coaches, and even us media types)?



CJ: New York Fans are supposed to be smarter then that, that’s why the rest of the world doesn't think we are that smart, because of fans like those guys (waves hand in their direction -- about 30 yards down the fence).

FP: What about the QB competition??

CJ: Doesn't matter who the #2 and #3 are...just the #1


either Pennington or Ramsey will win it. We will see who the back up is after that. Too many other questions to be answered right now.

FP: So Captain, mind if we get a few Photos?

CJ: No Problem, it'll help me get the word out.

FP: And that word is?

CJ: Real Jet fans don't give up on their team…

Roger Goodell One More Step Closer To NFL Commissioner



NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
280 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017
(212) 450-2000 * FAX (212) 681-7573
WWW.NFLMedia.com

Joe Browne, Executive Vice President-Communications
Greg Aiello, Vice President-Public Relations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NFL-43 7/30/06
SEARCH COMMITTEE SELECTS FIVE CANDIDATES
TO SUCCEED NFL COMMISSIONER TAGLIABUE

The special eight-man Search Committee appointed by NFL Commissioner PAUL TAGLIABUE to recommend
candidates for his successor today announced the names of five individuals to be placed before NFL club owners at a
meeting on August 7-9 at the Renaissance Hotel in Chicago.

The five nominees, according to Committee co-chairmen DAN ROONEY of the Pittsburgh Steelers and JERRY
RICHARDSON of the Carolina Panthers, are:

- ROGER S. GOODELL, 47, New York, New York. Executive Vice President and COO, NFL.
- GREGG H. LEVY, 53, Washington, DC. Partner, Covington & Burling law firm.
- FREDERICK R. NANCE, 52, Cleveland, Ohio. Partner, Squire, Sanders & Dempsey law firm.
- ROBERT L. REYNOLDS, 54, Concord, Massachusetts. Vice Chairman and COO, Fidelity Investments.
- MAYO A. SHATTUCK III, 51, Baltimore, Maryland. Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Constellation
Energy.

In addition to Rooney and Richardson, the Search Committee includes AL DAVIS, Oakland Raiders; CLARK HUNT,
Kansas City Chiefs; WOODY JOHNSON, New York Jets; JERRY JONES, Dallas Cowboys; ROBERT KRAFT, New
England Patriots; and MIKE MC CASKEY, Chicago Bears.

The finalists were nominated by the committee from a group of 185 candidates which was narrowed to 11. These 11
candidates were interviewed by the Search Committee in Detroit earlier this week. All candidates underwent an
extensive interview process assisted by the executive search firm of Korn Ferry.

The balloting procedures set forth by Commissioner Tagliabue, who will chair the meeting, will be as follows:
- Each candidate will make a presentation to the 32 clubs on August 7th in Chicago.
- Each club will be represented by an owner or owner designee.
- After these presentations, the clubs will divide into subgroups. Each candidate then will be interviewed by
owners or club representatives in each subgroup for a specific period of time.
- When these interviews and subsequent discussions among the league’s members are completed, the voting
will begin.
- Procedures will be set for determining whether particular ballots will be secret or open.
- commissioner. Attendance by every club in the league is mandatory.
- Deloitte & Touche USA will count the votes.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Joseph Addai - Video Shows Talents No Other Indy Colt RB Has

Joseph Addai could very well be the steal of the NFL Draft at least considering that he hung around long enough to drop into the lap of the Indianapolis Colts.

This video you're about to see shows a running back with a great combination of size and speed, who not only can catch out of the backfield, but has done this deep downfield several times. He's not as quick as Reggie Bush in the video, but check the competition: Arizona State, Miami, and other speedy teams. Bush had his best games against teams like Fresno State. I'm not taking anything away from Bush at all, just putting things into perspective.

Also note that Addai played in a system very much like that of the Colts: single-running-back formations, runs out of the shotgun formation, and so on. If I'm Head Coach Tony Dungy, QB Peyton Manning, and Colts Offensive Coordinator Tom Moore, I'm excited.

Here's the video:

Saints WR Joe Horn - Press Conference - Scout.com



The Saints Joe Horn talks to the local media. Here is the transcript...

Q: Can you discuss your first impressions of this camp?

Joe Horn: "I've been in this game 11 years now, so it was camp. The first day of camp is usually like that. We ran a little bit this morning, so it was kind of hard, the evening practice. It's football; it's all a part of training camp."

Q: What was the first practice like under Coach Payton as opposed to Coach Haslett?

Joe Horn: "It was fun. I was more happy for Coach Payton, because in his first year as a head coach he gets to show the world what he can do as a head coach. I was more happy for him. It was too hot and I wasn't thinking about Coach Haslett. He's doing his thing in St. Louis."

Q: Do you think Drew Brees is progressing?

Joe Horn: "Sure, he's getting more reps and obviously his arm is strong enough to throw the passes that people didn't think he'd be able to throw right now. He got through today throwing the ball very well and I'm sure they'll be highlighting that a lot tonight on ESPN."

Q: What does he bring to this team that Aaron Brooks couldn't bring?

Joe Horn: "Next question."

Q: How is this team offensively different aside from the addition of Drew Brees?

Joe Horn: "Obviously we added some talent in terms of drafting Reggie Bush and some other guys we got on the roster. We'll see. You can always talk about guys you got on your team, but until that first snap on Sunday when the bullets start flying, you really can't tell, but we definitely have some talented guys that we drafted and some free agents that we brought in here."

Q: What do you think of Reggie Bush not being here?

Joe Horn: "He has to do what he has to do. Every guy is blessed to get drafted, they have to take their time and weight out their options. Reggie Bush is not the first one who sat out training camp being the second pick in the first round. I understand. Reggie was here in the off-season and OTAs and the mini-camps, so he showed New Orleans, Mississippi and the whole world that he wanted to be with the New Orleans Saints. I'm sure he'll be here soon."

Q: How important is it that he be here sooner rather than later?

Joe Horn: "I think it's more important for him because he wants to show the world what he can do. He wants to get in here and learn the plays. He wants to show everybody that he's ready to go. We definitely want Reggie here, but he has to take his time and sort out his options and get the best deal for him and his family."

Q: What kind of impact has Drew Brees had on this team?

Joe Horn: "Big-time leadership from day one when I met Drew, he was 150 percent downhill ready to go. Then when he got on the football field, knowing he couldn't throw the ball, he was still involved. He was still trying to be the general, still trying to be the leader and I like that. I expected that out of Drew and he showed it once he started throwing the ball. He basically told the guys what he expected as the leader of this football team and that's what he stated. He wanted everyone to know that he was the captain; he was the leader of this football team. We didn't have to vote on who the captain of this football team would be, because we all knew Drew would come in here and made that a fact."

Q: Did that happen yesterday?

Joe Horn: "Yes."

Q: What do you think of holding the camp in Jackson as opposed to Metairie?

A: "I think the fans there in New Orleans, they've had us there so many years, and after Katrina, the people in Mississippi and New Orleans, a lot of people suffered and I think for us to be here, you should tip your hat off to the fans in New Orleans. We're here in Mississippi. We're giving the Mississippians a chance to come out and see us practice and be a part of the New Orleans Saints. Some of them couldn't go down to Airline Drive to see us after they get out of work for us on Friday and Saturday. It's good for us to be here and Mr. (Tom) Benson is definitely showing his love here to the fans in the Mississippi area. They should be grateful and I'm sure that they are."

Lendale White Signs With Titans...



And he did so, just as Profootballtalk.com reported that White was "supposedly" taking the whole deal of where he was going in the NFL Draft with a grain of salt, hanging out with Snoop Dog in the process.

No kidding.

Profootballtalk.com's staff is so busy trying to afect that African American slang that blacks like me see through, they miss the story, again and again.

Thank God.

I'm not going to go on a rant, ....but maybe these guys will get a story right, eh?

Makes you wonder what they care about.

Indy Colts Sign Joseph ADDAI - Profootballtalk.com



Profootballtalk.com reports that Indianpolis Colts First Round Pick, Running Back Joseph ADDAI signed for The deal pays $4.7 million in guaranteed money and has a total value of $11.165 million. That's a steal, because Addai is as fast as Reggie Bush, has hands as good as Bush, and is going to a team that's better than the one Bush's on. Period. There's no learning curve that everyone's going through, unllike that for Bush and the Saints.

It takes time to field a winning team. If Head Coach Sean Peyton does it in his first year, he's a genius. Hey, Jon Gruden came from another system that he brought to the Bucs in Tampa, and had the added advantage of seeing that West Coast / Bill Walsh Offense nomenclature repeated around the NFL.

So what? Come on! It means that Jon Grudent had a ready-made set of veterans to call on for help, that's what!!

That was less true for Jon.

Reggie Bush Inks Six-Year, $60 Million Deal With The N.O. Saints- Jay Glazer Of Fox Sports



The single best journalist in sports reports on the top deal; Fox Sports Jay Glazer says that the New Orleans Saints Running Back Reggie Bush signed a deal for six-years and $60 million.

The agreement guarantees that Bush will not only be in Saints camp, but playing for the organization during the regular season, making several thousand season ticket holders and ticket scalpers happy in the process.

I figured that Bush would sign a deal after Vince Young did, just because the QB arguably outplayed the USC tailback in the 2005 National Championship, and already secured a deal with the Tennessee Titans.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

ESPN - First Rounders Get Signed: Ravens Sign Ngata; Cowboys Lock-Up Clayton; Steelers Ink Santonio Holmes; Reggie Bush Remains

John Clayon and Len Pasquarelli For ESPN

Roundup: Ravens reach agreement with Ngata
ESPN.com news services

The Baltimore Ravens reached agreement Friday on a five-year, $11.9 million deal with first-round choice Haloti Ngata, the 12th overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft.

Ngata, a 6-foot-4, 337 pounds defensive tackle from Oregon, was considered one of the key offseason additions to the Ravens' defense because he is a big, body along the defensive line who will eat up blockers and make it easier for middle linebacker Ray Lewis.

"I'm really relieved that it's done and I can go play football. I couldn't afford to miss too much time because I only had that one minicamp," Ngata told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "It was a good deal. The Ravens were very fair to me."

-- John Clayton

Cowboys hammer out deal with Carpenter
The Dallas Cowboys completed their draft choice signings by striking an early Friday agreement with first-round selection Bobby Carpenter of Ohio State.


The 18th player chosen overall, Carpenter will sign a five-year contract with a maximum value of $11 million, including $7.5 million in guarantees.

A tall, athletic linebacker (6-foot-2, 256 pounds), Carpenter possesses the kind of size head coach Bill Parcells has long favored at the position. He is the son of former New York Giants and Houston Oilers running back Rob Carpenter, grew up around the game, and has a strong sense of the league.

A starter in 26 of his 50 appearances for the Buckeyes, Carpenter finished his college career with 191 tackles, including 23½ tackles for losses, 14½ sacks, three interceptions, seven passes defensed, two forced fumbles and two recoveries.

Not surprisingly, given his bloodlines, Carpenter is an instinctive player with good diagnostic skills. Although the Cowboys have retooled their linebacker corps over the past two seasons as they continue to transition to a 3-4 defense, Carpenter should vie for playing time as a rookie.

-- Len Pasquarelli

Holmes agrees to five-year deal with Steelers
First-round draft pick Santonio Holmes reached terms on a five-year contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers, a deal that apparently does not include added contract language protecting them against additional off-field problems.

By reaching terms with Holmes minutes before coach Bill Cowher held his first full-squad meeting of camp, the Steelers locked up their last remaining unsigned player. Earlier in the day, they signed third-round pick Willie Reid, the former Florida State receiver.

Holmes, a former Ohio State star wide receiver, has been arrested twice since being the No. 25 pick in the April draft. He faces an Aug. 15 trial on an assault charge involving a woman in Columbus, Ohio, who is the mother of one of his three children. He also pleaded innocent to disorderly conduct charges brought Memorial Day weekend in Miami.

Despite Holmes' off-field problems, which clearly agitated Cowher and cast doubt on whether Holmes has the maturity and focus to be a productive NFL player, Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert said the team is protected enough by the standard player's contract.

-- The Associated Press

Bills reach agreement with McCargo

The Buffalo Bills have reached an agreement in principle with one of their two first-round draft choices, defensive tackle John McCargo.

McCargo, a 6-foot-2, 302-pound three-year starter at North Carolina State, agreed to a five-year deal worth more than $8 million that included $5.2 million in guarantees. The Bills began practice Friday morning, and McCargo, the 26th overall pick, will try to get to camp at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y. for the afternoon practice.

It's likely, given the turnover in Buffalo, that McCargo will battle for a starting spot as a rookie. At worst, he figures to be a part of Buffalo's tackle rotation in 2006 and log considerable playing time. McCargo has a nice mix of power and quickness and can play either tackle spot. He is one of three former Wolfpack defensive linemen chosen in the first round of this year's draft.

He had 134 tackles in 30 appearance, all but one of them as a starter.

The Bills still have to work on safety Donte Whitner, the eighth pick in the draft.

-- John Clayton and Len Pasquarelli

Jaguars sign first-round pick Lewis
First-round draft pick Marcedes Lewis signed a five-year contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Friday, a day before the team opens training camp.

The tight end, chosen with the 28th overall pick, is expected to back up veteran Kyle Brady. But the Jaguars are counting on rookie's versatile skills to help replace Jimmy Smith, who abruptly retired in May and left the team with little experience at receiver.

Lewis' deal is worth about $7.5 million, with a little more than $4.8 million in guaranteed money.

Linebacker Clint Ingram, a third-round pick from Oklahoma, also signed Friday. He had been the last unsigned rookie.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Vince Young Signs - NFL Rookie Signing Tracker



Vince Young signed with the Tennessee Titans Thursday. Young, the No. 3 overall pick out of Texas, agreed to a five-year deal, with an option for a sixth, with $25.7 million guaranteed and an overall value that could reach $58 million with option and roster bonuses and salary.

That would top the six-year, $54 million deal with $26.5 million guaranteed for the top draft pick, defensive end Mario Williams of Houston. That essentially means Young has opened the door for Reggie Bush's agent to argue that his client deserves a contract at least as good as Vince Young's.


Latest Transactions From Scout.com

Atlanta Falcons - Signed second round pick CB Jimmy Williams

Dallas Cowboys - Reached contract agreements with third round pick DE Jason Hatcher and sixth round pick DT Montavious Stanley

Detroit Lions - Reached contract agreements with RB Brian Calhoun, fifth round pick OL Jonathan Scott, sixth round pick CB Dee McCann, seventh round pick LB Anthony Cannon

Jacksonville Jaguars - Reached a contract agreement with first round pick TE Marcedes Lewis.

Minnesota Vikings - Reached a contract agreement with first round pick LB Chad Greenway

New York Giants - Signed 1st round pick DE Mathias Kiwanuka

New York Jets - Reached a contract agreement with first round pick C Nick Mangold

Thursday, July 27, 2006

New NFL Player Agents Not Prepared - Profootballtalk.com



This was bound to be the result of so many new players coming into the athletic representation game, and some at such a young age. Until the NFL Players Association starts actually enforcing its own rules and regulations without prejudice -- again, without prejudice -- this pattern of allowing green agents will continue. Good for Profootballtalk.com to point to this problem. IT seems the way things are going, some player would be better using a Verbot (pictured) to negotiate their contracts.

TEAMS PISSED AT NEW AGENTS

In conversations we have had today with several NFL front office personnel, the same point is being hammered to us: the newer NFLPA Contract Advisors are increasingly pissing off NFL contract guys with their lack of preparation and/or "I am the sh-t" attitude. Club statements to us such as "the guy has no fu--ing clue what he is doing, " "it's a joke how stupid some of these guys are" and "don't they have to pass a test or something?" are some of the mild complaints we are getting from the management side.

We were the first to acknowledge that the absence of a definitive CBA and the inherent conflict between what the player wants and what the team is willing to pay is the basis for some of this frustration. But as noted on this site before, the increased dollars going to players has caused more individuals -- whether competent or not -- to enter into the agent business and entice players to sign with them for a variety of reasons other than their competence (think green paper, female companionship and method of transportation, but not necessarily in that order).

As one experienced front office type told us "Hell, they don't even talk to their own union before they do these deals. The benefit of sneaking things past them is almost outweighed by the friggin' time I waste dealing with some of these knuckleheads."

Monte Poole On Oakland Raiders WR Jerry Porter

Oakland Tribune Columnist Monte Poole presents an excellent and revealing column that presents a different side of the Raiders WR. Don't forget to catch "The Monte Poole Show" September 8th.

NAPA -- Jerry Porter gazes at his image in the darkened window and recoils. He is displeased, because there is too much darkness and too little contrast to allow full appreciation.

And if there is anything J.P. wants, it is to be fully appreciated.

So he makes the adjustment. He steps back until he's in full sunlight.

Porter nods, poses with his hands on his hips, glances down upon the brightest, blingiest, sickest belt ever imagined — gold dollar signs linked together, accented with a massive rash of gleaming studs at the center -- and admires not only the shiny accessory but also the way it hangs on his new physique.

A physique that arrived in camp 23 pounds lighter than it was last year, down to 220, apparently cut from the same stone and by the same sculptor who chiseled Terrell Owens.

Porter's fitness stands as visible evidence he has no plans to let his discontent affect his dedication to the Raiders.

"I'm here to do my job," the seventh-year wide receiver said Tuesday as he stood in thefrom Sports 1
midday heat after team's first training-camp practice.

He addressed the topic because he is the Raider most often described as disgruntled, floating in a sea of rumors that he wanted out, that his attendance in the team's off-season program was at an all-time low and that there was friction with his new head coach, Art Shell.

Truth or fiction?

"It's not BS," Porter acknowledged. "But I'm under contract for two more years, so they have me for two more years."

Which sets the stage for Porter to join the long and distinguished list of Raiders who have encountered frustration with the organization. Remember Marcus Allen? Howie Long knows the feeling. Tim Brown had his moments. Chester McGlockton was consumed by it. Steve Beuerlein's differences became irreconcilable, leading to a bitter parting.

Porter's conditioning implies that any hints of animosity will serve as fuel. One has to assume he didn't arrive in the best shape of his life just to loaf through camp, sleep through meetings and roll his eyes at the coaches.
This, J. P. insisted, is about fulfilling an obligation. It's a matter of professionalism.

"That's all it is," he said. "Everybody, no matter who you work with, has somebody at their job they don't like. What do you do? You work through it. You don't have to like everybody."

What the Raiders appear to have is a player ready to mine his talent — partly because he believes there is more and partly because he's ticked.

"A lot of things went on that I didn't agree with," Porter said, without being specific. "There were a lot of things that were basically done out of spite, to me and around me, that I didn't like. So, in turn, I did a couple of things."

One of which was to attend fewer "voluntary" off-season workouts, something bound to irritate his coaches. J. P. went his own way, did his own thing, and the results are nothing less than spectacular.

"Usually every year, I'm here for the off-season program," he said. "But this year I went down to Florida. They saw me maybe eight times all off-season. Usually, I'm here for 40-plus workouts."

Shell has low-keyed his relationship with Porter, insisting things are fine. Maybe they are, now. But more likely, their relationship — like that between all players and a new coach — is a work in progress.

"I've never dealt with an old-school guy, and I mean that honestly." Porter said. "But (Shell) seems to be paying more attention to detail. He wants guys to make sure everyone is onside. He wants everybody on time for meetings. It's about the little things.

"I guess, with the parity in this league, everybody is basically the same. So it's a matter of execution. If you pay attention to the little things, on and off the field, I guess it can't do anything but help you."

Porter finished last season with a team-high 76 catches and was second, behind Randy Moss, with 942 yards. Yet both wideouts were at times neglected. That should change, assuming Aaron Brooks can unload more quickly and be more efficient than the quarterback he replaced, Kerry Collins.

Inasmuch as J.P. is in his prime, having turned 28 this month, he knows this season is important, for him and the team, in terms of perceived attitude, established reputation and results.

"It's not like they're going to fold the organization," Porter said. "But it's time to do something. It's really nothing to be said. We have the pieces in place. There are no excuses. It's time to go play."

Time to sharpen the focus. Time to define the point of view. Time for the pro to come forth, shine like that belt and perhaps receive due appreciation.

Oakland Raiders WR Jerry Porter Defying Raiders Head Coach Art Shell? Differing Views



There are many views of Oakland Raiders WR Jerry Porter, but at present many of them aren't good. The fleet pass catcher has been exposed by the SF Chronicle's Nancy Gay in this article as a whiner who's already going against the program. Monte Poole's column, which we feature here, paints a story of a more understanding Porter.

Whatever the case, Raiders fans are hungry for a winner and will not tolerate anything less, or anyone that goes against Art Shell's program and that includes Porter.

The vast majority of fans polled want him traded, even before the preseason ends.

Who's Jerry Porter? Here's one off season view of him as plain old gamer:



Here's another view of Porter's on the field potential. In this video he takes apart Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey in the snow, and in what many call his best game. He had four catches for 122 yards.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Agent Carl Poston Removed From Working With NFL Players

From my research, this grew from the matter of how Lavernious Coles was signed. Read the ESPN article first, then the one right after it.

NFLPA suspends agent Poston indefinitely
By John Clayton
ESPN.com


The NFL Players Association notified the NFL that agent Carl Poston has been suspended indefinitely.

The league office officially informed 32 teams in a memo that Poston can't be involved in negotiations for any player, nor can he be an adviser on any deals. The term of the suspension was "until further notice." It was unclear why the union termed the suspension "until further notice" when the original length was two years.

Poston filed suit in U.S. District Court in New York claiming his two-year suspension should be overturned. Congress was also inquiring about the NFLPA's agent certification process and how it related to Poston.

An eight-member NFLPA disciplinary board recommended a suspension when it claimed Poston had been negligent in negotiating a contract for former Redskin LaVar Arrington. The union claimed Poston signed the contract without ensuring it had a $6.5 million bonus clause that had been agreed upon.

Previous legal challenges of agent certification have been upheld at least two times in previous court cases. It is not known how the House of Representatives inquiry will affect the union's decision.

Poston recently signed cornerback Ty Law to a five-year, $31 million contract with the Kansas City Chiefs.



Arbitrator upholds NFLPA discipline for agent over employee's actions

By LIZ MULLEN
Staff writer - Sports Business Journal


An arbitrator has upheld a decision by the NFL Players Association to discipline an agent for the actions of one of his employees, even though the agent was cleared of any wrongdoing.


Arbitrator Roger Kaplan upheld the NFLPA's action to send a letter of reprimand to agent Carl Poston for the incident, which involved an employee who was accused of arranging for a plane ticket for NFL player Laveranues Coles while he was still in college.

Coles was declared ineligible to play one game of the regular season at Florida State University as a result of an FSU investigation that found that the incident violated NCAA rules.

The decision "sends a strong message to NFLPA-certified agents that they will be held responsible for people who work for them," said Richard Berthelsen, NFLPA general counsel. "It is important because more and more agents are starting full-service agencies and are having people on their staff help the players. Each person working for the agent has to be held accountable for the agent's knowledge of NCAA rules and incidents that could jeopardize a college athlete's eligibility."

Although Kaplan upheld the letter of discipline for Poston, he struck down a $5,000 fine the NFLPA had imposed on Poston and his brother and business partner, Kevin Poston, and struck down a letter of reprimand the union had issued to Kevin Poston.

Carl Poston noted that the letter of reprimand was the lowest form of discipline the NFLPA could administer. Still, Poston said the decision was unjust and his attorneys were reviewing ways to challenge it.

And finally, this article from April 23rd

Arrington supported his agent in court, in case involving him
By LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press Writer
April 23, 2006

NEW YORK (AP) -- LaVar Arrington showed up in court to support his agent, who is challenging a two-year suspension over the handling of the linebacker's contract extension with the Washington Redskins in 2003.

Arrington appeared Thursday before U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones in Manhattan to support Carl Poston, who claims he was unfairly disciplined by an NFL Players' Association committee during the union's meetings last month.

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The dispute centers around a $6.5 million bonus that Arrington claimed was left out of his contract by the Redskins.

Jones didn't immediately rule.

Arrington signed a $49 million, seven-year deal Saturday with the Giants. The deal came just days before a May 4 arbitration hearing in which Poston's suspension could be ordered to take effect.

Arrington didn't speak at the hearing but his lawyer, H. Stephen Brown, said the football player "cares a lot about this proceeding."

At one point, the judge acknowledged Arrington's presence, saying: "I see him here today and I recognize that he's very loyal to Mr. Poston."

Poston's lawyer, Paul Aloe, said during the hearing that the players' union was determined to "take away his livelihood for two years" by subjecting him to an arbitrator who has never ruled completely against the union.

Aloe said it was surprising and unusual that the players' union was pursuing its claims in arbitration proceedings.

"LaVar Arrington does not at all agree, is very supportive of Mr. Poston, does not believe there was any concealment or anything wrongfully done and, in fact, supports him," Aloe told the judge.

Jeffrey Kessler, a lawyer for the players' union, argued that regulations require agents to follow arbitration procedures outlined in the union's collective bargaining contract. Those provisions, Kessler said, make clear that the union has the authority to choose the arbitrator and that the arbitrator must resolve any and all disputes.

"He has no standing to do this," Kessler said of Poston's lawsuit and insistence that an impartial arbitrator be assigned to the case.

Arrington, the third overall pick in the 2000 draft and a three-time Pro Bowler, bought his way out of Washington in March for $4.4 million after a tempestuous final two seasons in which he suffered from knee injuries and was benched by defensive coordinator Gregg Williams for freelancing.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Reggie Bush, My Mom's Upset With You!



Memo to Reggie Bush: my Mom's not happy with you at all. I'm down here in Georgia visiting my Mom as I do about every other month since her husband and my stepdad passed last year, and as part of my visit we always keep up with the sports news. Today, you and the New Orleans Saints seemed to be the focus of all of the shows, so we couldn't miss you and your contract woes.

Which gets to my point. We -- Mom and I -- are sitting down watching Jim Rhome's show (she can't stand him but will tolerate him for as long as I'm visiting) when the subject of you comes up and Jim starts his rant. Well, I didn't hear Jim because Mom was giving me and our guest an earful about you. "I used to like Reggie Bush," she said, "But I don't anymore. He's just turned selfish."

You should pay attention to my Mom; at 71, she's old enough to be your grandmother, was one of the first black professionals ever to work at United Airlines, and last fall actually worked for the Small Business Administration in issuing loans to people who's businesses were impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

In other words, she speaks for the common American who cares about the plight and future of New Orleans. Do you? Don't rub your desire for more and more money in the face of those who've lost everything. Stop thinking of yourself, and fire your agent Mike Orenstein in the process.

Reggie, this is important. Treat New Orleans right. Sign with them today. Don't blow it.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Matt Leinart, MySpace, CAA, NFL and Webcams - On Technorati



For some reason related to a prank, when I typed "CAA NFL" in my Technorati search to learn what more was written about CAA's rumored acquistion of two NFL agents and their clients, all I got was a lot of Matt Leinart listings under "webcams" and other stuff related to sex.

I guess some people can't get off -- or are getting off on the idea -- that Matt's a kind of sex symbol in the negative way for whatever reason. Either that or it's that MySpace guy playing a prank on Matt for coming to that Atlanta event while he was hanging with Matt's ex.

Who knows?

Well, once the season starts, it's all decided between the white lines, right Matt?

NFL Network's Adam Schefter Reports On Raiders Deal For Michael Huff



Who's Adam Schefter? According to NFL.com... "After covering the Broncos for 15 seasons, the longest continuous stretch of service by one reporter covering the team in franchise history, Adam Schefter has joined the NFL Network, where he will contribute in a variety of ways, including regular on-air reports, features and commentaries for the only year-round NFL news show, NFL Total Access, plus stories for NFL.com. He was named Colorado Sportswriter of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association in 2002 and 2003."

(July 24, 2006) -- When the Raiders rookies report to work on July 24, first-round pick Michael Huff will be there with them.

Huff and the Raiders reached an agreement on a five-year deal that will be worth between $22.5 to $26.5 million dollars, including $15 million in guarantees, sides close to the deal confirmed.


The Raiders think taking a chance on Michael Huff at No. 7 in this year's draft will pay off.
Should Huff go on to become the superstar that the Raiders envision, the contract contains enough language that the former University of Texas standout could earn up to $43 million, making it an even more lucrative contract than the one that Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed recently signed with Baltimore. But Huff would have to become a premier safety to achieve such levels of pay.

Nevertheless, the Raiders will have their first-round pick in camp on time, and Huff is expected to win the starting safety job, paired opposite Stuart Schweigert to give Oakland a young and talented safety tandem.

Huff's big deal is expected to be one of two in the AFC West that gets done July 24. The San Diego Chargers also are closing in on a deal with their first-round pick, former Florida State cornerback Antonio Cromartie. With Chargers rookies due to report by the night of July 24, Cromartie is not expected to be late.

And with the Kansas City Chiefs signing Pro Bowl cornerback Ty Law, the quality of defensive backs in the AFC West has been dramatically upgraded.

Roger Goodell Still Front-Runner For NFL Commissioner - AP



But there are 11 names and the NFL's not revealing who the non-NFL-staff candidates are. So don't pop the cork for Roger just yet... Goodell's in the lead, as he should be.

ROMULUS, Mich. -- The list of candidates for Paul Tagliabue's job as NFL commissioner is down to 11, although with two weeks to go until the final selection meeting, a majority of the owners still don't know who is on it.

The owners met for about three hours at the Detroit airport Monday to help narrow down the potential successors. Then the search committee continued discussing procedures for getting down to a workable number of finalists for the meetings in Chicago on Aug. 7-9 to choose Tagliabue's successor.

"We are pleased with the way it went," said Pittsburgh's Dan Rooney, co-chairman of the selection committee after a three-hour meeting that followed the main session. "Things went well and the other owners came up with some ideas."

Asked if he thought a commissioner could be selected at the Chicago meeting, Rooney echoed what Tagliabue earlier said: "We're very confident."

Despite the secrecy, the front-runner remains Roger Goodell, Tagliabue's second in command. He appears to be one of three league office people in contention -- the others are Jeff Pash, the league's chief lawyer, and Eric Grubman, its top financial officer.

The reason the owners have not been told any names is that Tagliabue and the search committee want to prevent leaks of the kind that plagued the last commissioner search in 1989.

"Sure I've heard the usual names. We all have," said John Mara, co-owner of the New York Giants. "But we haven't heard anything officially and that's the way it should be. I think the committee is going about it just the right way."

The 11 candidates will meet with the search committee this week at an unspecified site, then the field will be narrowed. Tagliabue didn't specify how many finalists there would be, but said the owners might be divided into small groups to interview the candidates.

The process is in stark contrast to the one 17 years ago, when it took seven months after Pete Rozelle announced his retirement for the owners to choose Tagliabue. He was elected after the late Jim Finks, then the New Orleans general manager, led for most of the process.

One of the problems then was that the search committee was made up entirely of owners close to Rozelle, all with long histories in the league. They were set to elect Finks when a group of newer owners, including Dallas' Jerry Jones, rebelled and ended up supporting Tagliabue.

This search committee includes such non-traditionalists as Oakland's Al Davis and Jones, who despite his early support for Tagliabue ended up differing with the commissioner on many issues. The committee also includes both high-revenue and low-revenue owners, men on both sides of the debate that still remains the NFL's most divisive: how to split income.

Mike and Jean Strahan aren't kissing in the tree anymore

Most people don't know this, because they only see the "pro" in Pro Athlete. I have been a teacher for most of my adult life, But in the 1980's and 1990's I taught profoundly disabled young adults. I also volunteered my time as a coach for NY special olympics. The Director of the Bronx chapter at that time was a mentor of mine, and a former college football player. He asked me, i guess because i had some background in Media, to do back stage interviews of sports personalities at a charity event.

One of the players was a young second year defensive end from the Giants named Mike Strahan. The Mike Strahan i met that night was personable, warm, and talked about his Families' football legacy( his dad played millitary service football in Germany in the 60's, and his uncle played for the Giants in the 1950's). No one reading the NY post each day ever got to see the Strahan i met that night. The Strahan who chatted with the parents of disabled children and teens that night, or the Strahan who actually bid on several items in the auction. The Mike Strahan who shook my hand at the end of the interview.

I wonder if the NY post will spend time kissing up to Mike after the case is over.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

More On Michael Strahan’s Divorce



Regardless of how this ugly matter turns out, I do hope Michael Strahan’s not one of those "Down Low" brothas. Yikees!

NEWARK NJ (UPI) — The nasty divorce between New York Giants Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Strahan and his soon-to-be ex-wife is stunning even seasoned divorce lawyers.

The case features sordid details like adultery, beatings and rampant overspending of money, the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger reported. The highly public case, taking place in Superior Court in Newark, is a culmination of 17 months of a very bitter battle between a couple, who once projected a clean, wholesome image.

Accusations include Michael Strahan’s alleged “alternative” affair with television doctor Ian Smith, an accusation that Michael Strahan secretly videotaped his sister-in-law getting undressed and Michael Strahan’s allegation that Jean Strahan cheated on him with other women, the newspaper said.

The case, far from settled, has turned into a spectacle that most celebrities try to avoid. Michael Strahan, who once appeared in television commercials for Campbell’s Chunky Soup, is trying to refurbish his image with the help of Sports Media Challenge, a firm that helps athletes deal with the press.

NY Giants Michael Strahan Explains His Side Of Sad Divorce



It reads like his wife's trying to dig up every bad black male stereotype she can think of. Well, something triggered the whole deal.


By MICHAEL O’KEEFFE
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER


Giants football star Michael Strahan calmly tells Daily News he wants divorce to be dignified, especially for the sake of his 5-month-old twin girls.


Two years ago, Michael and Jean Strahan were lovingly restoring Montclair mansion




No, Michael Strahan says, there was no mistress in Toronto, no hanky-panky in Jacksonville. No road rage on the Garden State Parkway. No psych test mandated by the New York Giants.
He loves his twin baby girls and plays a big role in their lives.

He didn't dump his wife because she doesn't like rap.

And no, Michael Strahan, says, he is not interested in getting into a bloody public brawl with his estranged wife, Jean.

"Despite all this, I still like her," he says. "I still respect her. I love her."

In an exclusive interview with the Daily News, the football star says the marriage is over but he wants to end the relationship with dignity for the sake of his family - and especially for his 5-month-old daughters.

"You realize that everything really boils down to them," he says. "If I were a man without kids, without family, then this would be, 'Hey, you want to duke it out, let's duke it out.'

"But I got kids. I got nephews. I got nieces. I got a mother and father and brothers and sisters. And Jean has the same. And I think just for our families' sake, I don't want to slug it out.

"I'm not looking to fight, because I think our families are going to be the biggest losers in this. And to me, it's not worth it."

The 13-year National Football League veteran says he feels compelled to set the record straight because he feels his wife has taken some dishonest, painful shots since their marriage - which looked like a fairy-tale relationship to his friends and fans - collapsed in the 10 days since Jean Strahan called police to their Montclair, N.J., mansion.

She claimed he threatened to beat her.

Michael Strahan quickly filed for divorce, claiming his wife withdrew $3.3 million from their bank accounts. Jean Strahan slugged back, claiming in court documents that he had affairs with two women, rammed a slow-moving driver with his Cadillac Escalade on a Jersey highway, spends no time with his girls and was forced by the Giants to undergo psychological tests.

Last week an Essex County, N.J., judge dismissed Jean Strahan's abuse claims but admitted into evidence photos she says were taken after he abused her years ago.

Michael Strahan, dressed casually in a dark shirt and slacks as he sat in the Chelsea offices of a media consultant, calmly rejected her other claims during the interview with The News.

There wasn't a girlfriend in Toronto, as his estranged wife claims, and no affair in Florida during Super Bowl week, he says.

"I don't know why she would say that," Strahan says. "I never gave her any reason to say that.

"I don't have anybody in Florida. I don't have a girlfriend in Toronto."

Strahan says his wife's claim that he rammed another car with his sport-utility vehicle isn't true, either.

"We were on our way to dinner, and we got into a car accident," he says. "But it was just that - a car accident. I can't imagine being mad enough to wreck my own car. ...

"The police were called, a report was filed, officers came. My demeanor was calm, as it always is."

The Giants, he adds, didn't make him undergo psychological testing after the incident. "I've never had a psychological evaluation by anybody," he says.

Strahan also denies his wife's allegation that he spurned his family after she gave birth to their babies last fall. Jean Strahan says he ignores their kids and turns his back to her in bed.

In court papers, she claims he "looks for excuses to absent himself from our house, playing in every imaginable golf tournament, participating in every boondoggle to Las Vegas, shooting the pilot for a television show in Los Angeles."

But Strahan says he's been part of his girls' lives since the day they were conceived. He was injured in the middle of the last NFL season, which gave him a lot of time to spend with his daughters.

"I've been strapped with a Baby Bjorn for more hours than I can remember," the 275-pound football star says, referring to an infant carrier.

"It was a totally great experience," Strahan says of the birth of his girls. "They're fun. They're two totally different personalities. One sleeps quite a bit, and the other stays awake all the time.

"They like to hold hands. It's the most amazing thing to have twins."

Strahan laughs when asked about his wife's allegation that he left her because she didn't share his taste in hip hop.

"If you're in love with somebody, it doesn't matter what kind of music they listen to," he says. "Actually, I'm grateful for Jean teaching me to like Waylon Jennings, the Bellamy Brothers, James Taylor, all those good people I wouldn't have listened to without knowing her."

The grid star looks remarkably at peace for a man whose image was eviscerated for days last week.

He credits his cool to the support he's received from his teammates and other NFL pals, and from family and friends. Strahan says the rips he's gotten have been fortunate in one sense: He's heard kind words from friends he hasn't spoken to in years.

"I feel compelled to say something publicly because it involved my family in a very private matter that is now very public. Hopefully, this will end it, and everybody will respect that it is a private family matter," Strahan says.

Anger and frustration flare, however, when he talks about what he calls unfair treatment in the New York Post, which his camp says is serving as a mouthpiece for Jean Strahan and her attorney.

"If you're going to write a story, I'd prefer that it at least be true. If it's not true, you shouldn't write it," he says.

Strahan is a lock for Canton - the football hall of fame. The defensive end set a league record for sacks in a season in 2001. But like Joe Namath, Walt Frazier and Derek Jeter, he's more than an athlete - he's one of those rare New York stars who seems to transcend his sport.

He's a regular on the TV sports talk shows, a Chunky Soup pitchman and a tireless worker for good causes.

In an era when many people assume athletes are self-absorbed jerks, Strahan has always been known as one of the good guys. And he says nothing has changed.

"I think it's pretty hard to fool people for 12 or 13 years," Strahan says. "I'm the guy who everybody knows - the guy who's been in New York for 13 seasons."

The couple married in 1999 and became one of New York's hottest sports couples, a fixture at charity events and on the gossip pages. Michael called Jean his rock and admits he still has warm feelings for her.

But the marriage, he adds, is definitely over. It wasn't the pressures of an NFL career - the public spotlight. There isn't any one thing he can pinpoint as the fatal wound.

"I can't particularly look back at any event and say, 'Okay, this was the moment that things weren't working out.' I don't think it was like that," he says.

"It was just, over the course of time, things deteriorated.

"It's a marriage that in the long run didn't turn out with the fairy-tale ending."

Although the judge threw out a restraining order that barred him from his home, Strahan says he won't return because he doesn't want to disrupt his little girls' lives.

Strahan, on the advice of his lawyer, won't talk about what happened at his Montclair home on March 10. He won't talk about the $3.3 million he says in his divorce papers Jean Strahan swiped. He just hopes the split can be handled with maturity and grace.

"We owe it to each other to respect our kids and their future and their privacy - to end this in the right way," he says.

"If you end it the right way, it still allows you to both be a great influence in your kids' lives, and I think that is very important."

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Texans' Bob McNair A Genius - Bush Agent Threatens Holdout From Saints



When I talked with Texans owner Bob McNair at The NFL Draft he said he wanted to draft a player that was signable, ad certainly did that with Defensive End Mario Williams. Now, even as many questioned McNair's decision, it seems he was right after all. Reggie Bush's agent is threatening to not only hold him out of camp, but have him reenter the NFL Draft!.

If Reggie does this, it will be a slap in the face of New Orleans at a time when Bush can't afford it.



Will Reggie run a reverse?
By Jason Cole, Yahoo! Sports
July 21, 2006


No. 2 overall pick and Heisman Trophy-winning running back Reggie Bush not only appears headed for a holdout with the New Orleans Saints, a league source said Bush is toying with the idea of sitting out the entire season and going back in the draft in 2007 if he doesn't get his price.

"No player has ever had the kind of leverage that Reggie Bush has right now," the source said. "The Saints made it clear what they were willing to do before and now we'll see if they're going to get there."

It seems unlikely the Saints will do that in time for Bush to report to training camp with the team on Thursday in Jackson, Miss. Two sources said that talks between the Saints and agent Joel Segal have been nearly non-existent.

On Wednesday, Mike Ornstein, who is Bush's marketing agent, told the Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Miss., that he didn't think Bush would be signed in time for camp. Ornstein is not allowed to negotiate contracts, but he is acutely aware of all of Bush's business matters.

One of the sources took that a step further, saying Segal was considering not having Bush sign at all. Segal declined to comment when contacted Friday and messages left with multiple members of the New Orleans organization weren't returned.

While it appears unlikely on face value that Bush would sit out, he appears well-positioned to do so if he really wants.

Bush supposedly has more than $5 million in the bank from multiple endorsement deals Ornstein has negotiated since Bush left the University of Southern California. That money is guaranteed regardless of whether Bush plays this season.

Next, Bush could probably sit out 2006 and still be a high pick next year.

Furthermore, Bush probably has the public sentiment running in his favor. Even though holdout players are generally unpopular, Bush has caused tremendous excitement in New Orleans.

In May, shortly after Bush was drafted, the Saints had already set a franchise record for season-ticket sales, having topped 55,000 at that time. That's extraordinary, especially considering the condition of the hurricane-ravaged city.

Moreover, team owner Tom Benson is immensely unpopular in New Orleans. Ranging from his hard-line negotiations with the city and state to constant threats that he will move the team, Benson is often treated with open scorn by Saints fans.

Bush has also worked hard to endear himself to fans in the city after it came out that he didn't want to play in New Orleans. Bush has made multiple donations to hurricane relief.

Jason Cole is an NFL writer for Yahoo! Sports.

Kirk Wright - NFL Hedge Fund Scandal Czar's Bond Revoked

According to the blog Letter of Apology, Kirk Wright, the focus of the NFL Hedge Fund Scandal, had his bond revolked by U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper. The AP Story is below

Judge revokes bond for hedge fund manager accused in fraud scheme
HARRY R. WEBER
Associated Press

ATLANTA - A federal judge revoked bond Thursday for a hedge fund manager accused of bilking investors ranging from NFL players to his own mother out of millions of dollars after a prosecutor disclosed the suspect kept a journal in which he mused about the best place to flee.

U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper said no amount of bail he could set would guarantee that Kirk Wright would appear in court to face fraud charges.

Cooper's decision to detain Wright pending trial reverses a magistrate judge's ruling in Florida to allow Wright to remain free if he posted $1 million bond.

A group of people who say they were victims of Wright's scheme clapped and cheered when Cooper announced his ruling in federal court in Atlanta. The group included former Denver Broncos safety Steve Atwater and former Philadelphia Eagles safety Blaine Bishop.

"That's why I came. I wanted to see him," Bishop said afterward. "He was a coward and wouldn't look at anyone, which is what he is."

Atwater said "most definitely" when asked if he was satisfied with the judge's ruling. The two are among a group of seven current and former NFL players who have sued the league and the players union seeking to recover the $20 million they lost in the scheme.

At the hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Anand said that when Wright was captured in Miami Beach on May 17, three months after a warrant was first issued for his arrest, a journal was found in his possession in which Wright listed various U.S. cities and the "pros and cons" of hiding in each one.

The journal also included passport information and the phone numbers of embassies in Mexico and the Dominican Republican, which Anand asserted showed Wright was thinking about fleeing the country.

Nearly $30,000 in cash, several fake ID's and seven prepaid cell phones were also found in the luxury hotel room where Wright was staying when he was arrested, Anand said, adding that Wright withdrew $500,000 the month before the first warrant was issued by a Superior Court judge.

"This is a very obvious case of a risk of flight," the prosecutor said.

But defense lawyer Natasha Silas said Wright was in almost daily contact with his previous attorney for a month after the federal warrant was later issued and was trying to negotiate his surrender.

Silas said that if Wright was really intent on fleeing, he would have left the country, rather than staying in Florida, where his mother lives.

Silas also said that Wright and his wife had received death threats from some of his investors and he wanted to make sure his family was safe before turning himself in.

"I would concede that the actions of Mr. Wright when viewed at first blush do look like someone who is on the run," Silas told the judge.

But, she added, "It's a lot more complicated than that."

While the prosecutor described Wright's mother as one of his victims, the defense lawyer said his mother and other relatives wouldn't be willing to post bond for him if they were truly victims. She asked the judge to keep the $1 million bond set in Florida.

Cooper sided with the government, saying the "preponderance of the evidence" suggests Wright is a risk of flight.

According to authorities, Wright and his company collected as much as $185 million from at least 500 investors since 1997 and misled some of them to believe the value of those investments was increasing, using false statements and documents.

As recently as Jan. 25, the firm reported $166.6 million in assets spread across five hedge funds it manages and advises. That money is now missing, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The prosecutor said Wright used some of the money on personal items, including property, jewelry and to make child support payments to an ex-wife.

In the lawsuit filed June 23 by the football players, they claim the players union endorsed the services of the investment firm Wright headed even though Wright had liens against him. The NFL has said the suit does not have any merit, while the union has declined to comment.

Rayfield Wright - NFL Hall Of Fame Press Conference 2006



An interview with:
RAYFIELD WRIGHT by ASAP SPORTS

Q. What is your best memory of your
years with the Cowboys?

RAYFIELD WRIGHT: Oh, my goodness. I have a lot of memories with the Cowboys starting back in 1967 through 1980. To recapture all of that, I have to start with the Ice Bowl game in Green Bay back in 1967, my rookie year, being known as the team in the late '60s, as the team that couldn't win the big game, then getting to the Super Bowl in 1970 against the Baltimore Colts, even though we lost, having an opportunity to come back in 1971 and winning our first Super Bowl. That was really overwhelming.

Q. Can you share the story about moving positions in the first game against Deacon Jones?

RAYFIELD WRIGHT: Yes, I can. I remember after playing tight end for two years, my first two years, Coach Landry called me into his office, told me that, Rayfield, he said, I want to move you to offensive tackle. I looked at him with amazement because I never played tackle before in my life. I looked at him and I said, Coach, are you sure? He said, yeah, you'll make a good tackle. You learn fast. You block good at tight end. You just need to gain some weight. Coach, I said, you believe I can best help this football team by moving in this position that I never played before in my life, I give it everything I
have. The only thing we did after that, after he said, I believe you can do it, Rayfield, we just shook hands on the deal. I didn't have to call an agent, renegotiate a contract or nothing, you know. So I went into that position not knowing anything about it.

After practice one I was trying to figure out how to pass block because I never set up the pass block before, even though I was watching game films of all of the greatest tackles I thought that had played the game like Forrest Greg, Bob Brown, and St. Louis had two tackles, Ernie McMillan and Bob Reynolds.

I was studying these guys, trying to go out on the field the next day to try to imitate these guys, and I couldn't do it, you know, because each individual is a different person, their makeup is different, they have different abilities and things about them. It just came to me one day that what I really was trying to do was protect my quarterback, and in order to do so the similarities of playing basketball really hit my mind in saying, Okay, if I'm guarding a guy playing basketball, I'm going to stay between him and the basket. You do that by quickly shuffling your feet, whether you go to the right or left. If you cross your feet, you get beat. The guy will drive on you and get a layup or adunk. So what I did was I said, well, the quarterback is the basket, and the defensive end is the guy dribbling the ball. So I just got to stay between these two guys, I'll be okay. So I just hadto gain a little bit more strength.

After about halfway during the season, Ralph Neely, who I was backing up at right tackle, got hurt. Coach Landry called me in his office again and said, Rayfield, you’re going to start this week. I said, Okay. We playing the Rams, right? They had the Fearsome Foursome at that time. I said, Okay, I have to block Deacon Jones, who at that time was the most feared defensive end in all of football. I think even today he's probably the best defensive end I think I've ever seen play the game. So I got prepared to play the game and everything.

Offensive linemen are taught one thing, and that is to listen. You’re supposed to listen for one voice, and that's the quarterback's voice, because he can call a color or number, change the play at the line of scrimmage. We were out in Los Angeles at the Coliseum. There was 80,000 people, television, everybody screaming and yelling. You're supposed to listen and hear one voice. Roger Staubach called the play. We go up to the line of scrimmage. I'm looking at Deacon Jones square in his eyes, his eyes seem to be red as fire, he's kicking his back leg like a bull. I'm saying to myself, my God, what have I got myself into?

The thing is the ball is going to be snapped on two, and I knew exactly what my assignment was. The play was going to go to the left side, but I knew what my assignment was. Staubach said, hut, the ball for the first count, and then as this pause between the first and second hut. I hear a voice that came out to me. This voice came out at me in a real heavy, deep, meaningful kind of voice. He said, boy, does your mama know you out here? And I heard it.

When Staubach said the second hut, I never heard it. You can imagine what the “Secretary of Defense” did on that play? He came across the line of scrimmage, hit me, knocked me completely backwards. I rolled over, looked over at our sideline thinking that Coach Landry was going to take me out of the game since it was my first play and I screwed it up.

By that time, Deacon Jones reached his big arms down and said, Hey, rookie, he said, Welcome to the NFL. I said, Well, Mr. Jones, you don't know my mama, so don't talk about her. You want to play the game this way, we'll play it. I got the game ball for that game. I was the MVP of that ballgame. Deacon Jones certainly enlightened me to that position, no question about it.

Q. Can you explain a little bit about your coach at Fort Valley State, Coach Lomax, and why you chose him to be your presenter.

RAYFIELD WRIGHT: Yes, sir. Coach Lomax was a father figure to me and still is today. Coming out of high school not having the financial resources to go to college, I volunteered for the Air Force my senior year.

My cousin that was at Fort
Valley State College, John Willis, we called him Bubber, he was at Fort Valley. Coach Lomax was the new coach that came in out of Brunswick, Georgia. He was trying to build a football team. Coach Lomax, my cousin told Coach
Lomax about my athletic ability in basketball, football, that he should consider getting me to Fort Valley. So, Coach Lomax contacted me. I told him I have this situation. I'd love to come to school at Fort Valley but I've got this situation that I've
already committed to. He just simply would not leave me alone. He continued to contact me.

I said, well, coach, here is what you need to do. You need to come to Griffin, Georgia, which is my hometown, and you need to talk to my mother, my grandmother, my Boy Scout master, which I'm an Eagle scout, need to talk to my minister and the recruiting officer. He said he would. So I got all those people in our little house.

He came up. And back in those days, when elder people would get together, they always sent the kids outside. You never kind of hung around when the elders were talking. So I went outside and sat on the front porch. I sat out there for almost three hours, didn't know what was going on inside while they was talking about my life and my future. All of a sudden, the front door opened and my mother came out, she was crying.

Then my grandmother came out, and she was crying. And I didn't know whether to cry, get mad, because I didn't know what had happened. Then the recruiting officer came up to me and said, Larry, he said, you can go to college. He said, but if you drop out of school, flunk out of college, he said that you'll be drafted into the Army immediately.

So Coach Lomax is responsible for that, and when I went, September had already began, so I missed the first quarter at Fort Valley. I didn't start college until January in '64. Basketball season was halfway over at that point. In a couple of weeks, I made the first team in basketball at Fort Valley. That was my love for the game anyway. I thought that I had a basketball
scholarship. After the school year was over in June that year, I went back to Griffin. I was working at a mill. Coach Lomax called and he was very upset with me because I wasn't at spring football practice. I said, well, coach, I didn't know I
was supposed to play football. I thought I had a basketball scholarship. He said, No, you have an athletic scholarship, so getyour fanny back down here.

I had to quit my job, I went back to Fort Valley and I started playing football because I couldn't make the high school football team. That's when I really started playing football. My first position was free safety, I was a punter, I played
defensive end and I played tight end. The Cowboys drafted me as a tight end.

Q. You were talking about changing all these positions, changing sports, willingly doing so on the advice and trust of your
coaches. Do you think the game today has gotten so sophisticated and specific that it would be very difficult for a player to change sports or positions like you did, and the type of athlete today would be so willing to make some of the changes and adjustments you made?

RAYFIELD WRIGHT: Well, number one, you're looking at the game as it is today, everything pretty much is specialized. What's really, really interesting is that Coach Landry had a system back in those days. He knew his system would work if he could simply find the right athletes to place in that system. It wasn't necessarily by position that you played in college or high school, it was whether or not you were an athlete. He wasn't changing his system. He knew it would work if he could find the right player. Cornell Green was a basketball player, Bob Hayes was a track star. You just go right down the line of the athletes we had back there.

As of today, you know, I don't see that happening today because everything is so specialized. Even offensive linemen and defensive linemen today, if you don't weigh 300 pounds, you can't even go out and play football in college or some of these schools today, which is ridiculous to me. You don't need to weigh that much to play the game of football, especially on the offensive line. That situation is a pretty interesting situation because, you know, the players today are more specialized in a position than we were.

We were interested in just playing the game, so it didn't make any difference what position we played, you know, as long as we had the opportunity to play, we could play it. Because, you know, there's a lot of difference between, as I see it, from my standpoint, a good football player and a good athlete.

A football player specialized in that position, but an athlete is different because an athlete can play any position. It's like when I was growing up as a kid, when it was football season, we played football in the streets or in the park or
someplace. When basketball season, we played basketball, and track season we ran track, baseball season we played baseball.

We just didn't have golf in our community back in the '40s and '50s back in Georgia. But, you know, I would have
learned how to play that back then if we had had it. Then that particular person that can get involved in all these different sports he becomes a true athlete instead of just a good player in a game. And the players today, if you look at every
team, you have position coach. We didn't have that growing up. In high school, there was one coach, and that was it. He was the head coach. He coached football, basketball, baseball, the whole deal.

Today, everybody has a coach, specialties in every position.

Q. Have you been to Canton before? What do you anticipate that is going to be like in a couple of weeks?

RAYFIELD WRIGHT: Well, I tell you, you know, I have been to Canton. We played a pre-season game up there many years ago with the Cowboys. It's going to be an interesting, interesting week for me because I'm going there not to play a football game, I'm going there to be inducted into the highest honor a professional football player can receive, and that's being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I really don't know, I can't say right now my true feelings on that day of enshrinement. That day have to come.

But it is going to be a tremendous honor. It's not just going to be an honor for Rayfield Wright, it's going to be an honor for a lot of people, especially the offensive linemen that have played for the Dallas Cowboys over all the years because of one fact, and that is out of all the great teams that the Cowboys have had over the years, there has not been an offensive lineman placed in the Hall of Fame. I will be the first one.

You know, I will be carrying the weight on my shoulders from the offensive line, Coach Jim Myers, and all the offensive linemen that have played the game for the Dallas Cowboys especially during the era in which I played, because we had a lot of players on our line that was all pro and that played in the Pro Bowl game. Roger Staubach, really played behind an All-Pro offensive line. John Niland, Ralph Neely, Blaine Nye, myself, all these guys played in the Pro Bowl game.

I remember Coach Landry making a statement to me after I got into that position of offensive tackle. He said, no matter how many accolades you receive or how many awards you receive, he said, you will never be greater than the team. So the Cowboys were not operating as individual players; we were operating as a unit, as a team. That's what wins ballgames and also wins championships.

Q. Can you talk about your wait. You were on all the decades best lists. You had so many close calls. Talk about the wait to get into the Hall of Fame?

RAYFIELD WRIGHT: Well, my last season was '79. I retired in '80. Staubach and I both retired in 1980. I think my first year of
eligibility would have been '85, I believe. It's 2006 now. You know, I didn't really think about the Hall
of Fame based on my performance for the Cowboys. I joined the Cowboys to do one thing -- well, to do two things. One was to help the the club win football games, and secondly was to help my family, my mother and my grandmother, you
know, in Georgia. My performance on the football field was not thought about one day becoming a Hall of Famer.

Until after I had retired and a lot of the news media had started talking about it andlooking at the things that I had accomplished in the game and saying, Hey, this guy should be considered for the Hall of Fame. Once a player and once that information comes out to a player, then it gets in his heart and in his head. He's saying, Hey. He get to looking at the players that are in the Hall of Fame, and based on the position that he played, saying, Hey, maybe I should be there, you know. I did help our team go to five Super Bowls.

Maybe I should be there. I was one of the co-captains for seven, eight, nine years, something like that. You know, it's going to be an interesting week for me, like it will be for the others. It's going to be a great week for each of the teams that these players and Coach Madden was with. I'm just honored for this opportunity because I think it's going to be great, it will open the doors for a lot of -- hopefully will open the doors for a lot of other offensive linemen.

Q. Even though you didn't play with him, does it mean anything to be going in with Troy Aikman, another Cowboy?

RAYFIELD WRIGHT: I think the only two players from the same team that have gone in from the Cowboys was Randy White and Tony Dorsett, if I'm not mistaken. To go in with Troy Aikman, even though I didn't play with him, I certainly admired his ability to play the game and his leadership qualities that he possessed. It’s going to be an honor to go in with him. Troy is a
fine young man and I think that he certainly is deserving of the honor. It's just going to be an honor to go in with him, no question about it.

Q. Can you talk about the whole process of getting the bust made, what that was like for you.

RAYFIELD WRIGHT: It's really interesting because when I was over in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl game, they took all the measurements of everything, your head, your eyes, your nose, your mouth, the whole deal, your ears. You know, they took those measurements. What they did at the Hall was they have people, which I didn't know, wasn't aware of, around the country that make these different busts for different players, I guess. If you live in this part of the country, then they have
a guy that does that. You live in this part of the country.

Well, you know, down here in Texas, there's a guy here that did Elvin Bethea's bust. He's the one that made my bust. I'm going to tell you something, he called me. He took those measurements, that was done over at the Pro Bowl game, and he looked at all of the pictures that he had of me that had been passed on to him.

He took that and from that he began making this bust of me. I was shocked when I saw it the first time because he came over to my house, he and another gentleman, and he had something wrapped up in a bag. You couldn't see it. Openly, he had the bust of Elvin Bethea. I saw that. He showed me what he had done. I said to myself, I said, Well, that's really nice. Did you do that? He said, yes, he's the one that did that.

Then he unwrapped the one that was wrapped up. It was what he had done of me. I had never in my life ever seen myself that way, you know. I don't know about you, but it was so devastating to me, I almost ran out of my own house when I saw that. I said, Hey, guys, I'm still alive, you know.

It was totally -- it was awesome when I really saw that. It's hard to explain because I had to call my mom and tell her, you know, so she could settle me down a little bit. It was really interesting to see that.

Q. A good likeness of you?

RAYFIELD WRIGHT: Well, absolutely. No question about it. And once you see it, you going to see what I'm talking about because it's just like a split (sic) image of what I was back in the '70s, how I looked, played, everything else. The expression on my face, it's just an awesome, awesome bust, picture of me.

Q. Over the last six months or so, since the announcement, can you talk about whatthat has been like? More people shaking your hand, calling you, that sort of thing?

RAYFIELD WRIGHT: Well, no question about that. I just came out of Virginia for an autograph-signing session up there. I was there over the weekend. I cut my computer on this morning, even today, I had 261 emails on my computer today. It's kind of been that kind of a thing for me since that has happened, because all of the people I went to high school with, grew up in
Griffin, all my teammates and students I went to Fort Valley State with, my business associates all around the country that I have worked with for so many years, kids that I had spoken to for my speaking engagements that I do, it's just been
overwhelming to me.

You know, it's hard to say when you going to kind of slow down because this point is coming now where you got to really focus and settle in, you know, on the activities that's going to happen in a couple of weeks. But it's been overwhelming, no question about it.

Q. What has been the best part of that? Any one particular phone call or memory, somebody congratulating you that you didn't expect to hear from?

RAYFIELD WRIGHT: What's interesting is I heard from most of all the guys in the Hall of Fame already, you know, coaches that I played against around the league. It's just been so many people that I have heard from that have been a part of the National Football League, whether they was coaches or players, trainers, doctors, so forth. I can't really recall one in particular that
really stands out. It's just so many calls and letters that I have received.

I'm keeping all of those for future reference and so forth for my own personal use and memories because I think to hear from some of these guys really, really, really was a shock to me and also a sign of respect that they exemplified in their words to me, in their letters and so forth, emails.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Terrell Owens - T.O. On Jimmy Kimmel Live ( Video)

On July 17th, Jimmy Kimmel hosted the appearance of Terrell Owens on this late nigh talk show and so that T.O. could talk about his new book.

T.O doesn't say that he was misquoted, but that he doens't feel that he's a hero compared to the firefighters and police after 911, but more blessed than anything else.

He says he still has Eagles fans and that people respond positively at his book signings.

On Eagles QB Donovan McNabb, T.O. claims that McNabb said "a number of things." He's not talked with him to this date. On the question of if he will make an effort to talk to McNabb, Owens said that "I will make an effort to beat the Eagles."

T.O. has gotten skewered by -- amoung others -- ESPN's Tom Jackson for not keeping his mouth closed and working to fit in with the Dallas Cowboys.

T.O. says that he's not going to have any problems with the Cowboys or Head Coach Bill Parcells. But he said if he does, he'll write a book about it.

I think he should have said that he wants to write a book on winning the Super Bowl with the Cowboys.

Here's T.O.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

SF 49ers To Move To Santa Clara?



This is a more logical move for Santa Clara County, than going after the Oakland A's. The A's are blocked by the Major League Agreement. Whereas the Oakland Raiders are already in the 75 mile zone of the Bay Area as established by the NFL.

Niners discuss move to Santa Clara

NFL.com wire reports

SAN FRANCISCO (July 18, 2006) -- The 49ers would consider moving to Santa Clara if plans for a new San Francisco stadium fall through, team and city officials said.

"If for whatever reason things don't work out in San Francisco, we need to have a backup," said Lisa Lang, vice president of communications for the 49ers.

Team vice president and chief financial officer Larry MacNeil has met twice with Santa Clara city officials in the past month to discuss the option of building a stadium in the parking lot of the Great America amusement park, said Ron Garratt, Santa Clara's assistant city manager.

The 49ers on Monday unveiled an updated design plan for a new stadium at Candlestick Point.

Candlestick Point remains the 49ers' "absolute top choice," Lang said. "We really do feel it's a spectacular site."

But the team has been "very up front" with the city of San Francisco that "it was very important we build a new stadium," she said.

Plans to replace the 46-year-old stadium at Candlestick Point have been under consideration since 1997, when city voters authorized a $100 million bond to help pay for the project.

The team hopes to finance the building of the new San Francisco stadium, estimated to cost between $600 million and $800 million, entirely through private funding.

But acquisition of that funding depends on city approval of a residential, entertainment, and retail complex on vacant land adjacent to the stadium, according to team officials.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Terrell Owens Claims Media Saya He's Selfish Player - AP

T.O. blames media for portraying him as selfish player
Posted: Monday July 17, 2006 8:21PM; Updated: Monday July 17, 2006 8:29PM

IRVING, Texas (AP) -- Terrell Owens blames the media for portraying him as a selfish player, although he admits a tendency of saying things about others that he wouldn't want said about himself.

In an interview with Bryant Gumbel airing Tuesday night on HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, Owens acknowledges dishing out more criticism than he's willing to take.

"The only thing I can really think of is maybe it was the way I grew up, you know," he said, according to a transcript released Monday to The Associated Press. "I got picked on so much, and it's like I feel like I'm still constantly being picked on."

Owens said he doesn't think reporters are necessarily conspiring against him as much as using him "to gain viewers' attention." As a result, he believes that he is "misunderstood." He said other players have been, too, "but I feel like I have been one of the main guys who've been vilified."

Why?

"That's the million-dollar question," he said. "Why me? ... At some point it does get to me. And I can't say it enough. Dude, I'm human and that's what I'm trying to get people to understand."

Owens also discussed his spat with quarterback Donovan McNabb that eventually led to his release by the Eagles.

As he wrote in a recently released book, Owens said he believes McNabb was jealous of the attention Owens was receiving in Philadelphia and that things boiled over when McNabb cursed at him in a huddle after a play. Owens said he took it as more than something said in the heat of competition.

"When I tried to address that after the game, he blew me off," Owens said. "So, that let me know it's more than just being competitive. It was more than that."

Owens is scheduled to report to his first training camp with Dallas Cowboys at the end of next week.

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Wecoming Walter Anaruk Of FieldPosition.com



Walter Anaruk runs Fieldposition.com, the most popular NFL football podcast in the World. Walter graciously accepted my invitation for him to join this NFL Business Blog and our team of contributors, Anja Crotts, Bill Chachkes, and myself. I'm totally jazzed to have him here.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Zennie on Fieldposition.Com - Talking About The NFL Hedge Fund Scandal



Fieldposition.com is the number one football podcast on Yahoo! Walter Anaruk is the founder and host of Fieldposition, and someone I was introduced to via our own Bill Chachkes.

Walter was kind enough to seek out my view on the NFL Hedge Fund Scandal. The result is a podcast that you can hear with a click here: NFL Hedge Fund Scandal.

This show starts with Walter and Mark's discussion on Reggie Bush and how he will fit into the New Orleans Saints personnel groupings. Mark says that Saints Halfback Deuce McCallister will not be happy with sharing time with Reggie Bush as the season progresses. Walter says that Deuce wants to win.

They then turn to the matter of Ben Rothlisbugger and the Steelers offense, and other topics.

After that, they turn to the NFL Hedge Fund Scandal, and my talk.

On the whole, Fieldposition.com is an entertaining and informative podcast, and it's no wonder that it's number one in its category.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

NFLPA Hedge Fund Scandal - The Word From Kelly McKean at Blue Corner



To get more in-depth answers on the NFLPA Hedge Fund Scandal, I turned to my friend Kelly McKean, who's the founder and Principal of Blue Corner.

Blue Corner is a boutique marketing and capital introduction firm based in San Francisco. They specialize in building relationships with clients who use the services offered by independent research analysts and both alternative and traditional investment managers.

The firm was founded on the belief that by combining industry best practices with integrity, professionalism and hard work, that they can deliver tangible results to their clients.

1. Kelly, what is a hedge fund?

A private investment vehicle whose manager receives a significant portion of its compensation from incentive fees tied to the fund's performance -- typically 20% of annual gains over a certain hurdle rate, along with a management fee equal to 1% of assets.

The funds, often organized as limited partnerships, typically invest on behalf of high-net-worth individuals and institutions. Their primary objective is often to preserve investors' capital by taking positions whose returns are not closely correlated to those of the broader financial markets.

Such vehicles may employ leverage, short sales, a variety of derivatives and other hedging techniques to reduce risk and increase returns. The classic hedge-fund concept, a long/short investment strategy sometimes referred to as the Jones Model, was developed by Alfred Winslow Jones in 1949.


2. What, if anything, can the NFL PA do to recover their losses?

The assets for the rogue hedge fund have been frozen -- I suppose a judge will decide how the assets are returned to investors on a pro-rata basis.


3. The players are suing the NFL PA. Can they win?

I cannot speculate the answer to this. If the Players Association did not perform proper due diligence on the fund, they could be liable.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

NFLPA Hedge Fund Scandal

Two players are suing the NFL Player Association in a hedge fund scandal.

According to this Yahoo! Report:

"The two former NFL defensive backs insisted Friday that the league and its players' union are to blame for the $20 million they and five other current and former players lost in an alleged investment scam.

The seven players have sued the league and its union to recover the money, claiming the union endorsed the services of an investment firm even though its manager had liens against him.

According to authorities, Kirk Wright and his company collected as much as $185 million from at least 500 investors since 1997 and misled some of them to believe the value of those investments was increasing using false statements and documents. As recently as Jan. 25, the firm reported $166.6 million in assets spread across five hedge funds it manages and advises. That money is now missing, according to the SEC.

While Steve Atwater, 39, and Blane Bishop, 35, wouldn't disclose how much money they each lost, they said the scam has affected their lives and perhaps their futures, as they have relied on their NFL earnings for their retirements and vacations."


Geoffrey Rapp at The Sports Law Blog writes that..

The leading negligence case by an athlete against his own union is Peterson v. NFLPA, in which the court found for the NFLPA in an athlete's claim for misdirecting him to an "injury grievance" procedure when he ought to have filed a "non-injury grievance."

The court explained:

A union breaches its duty of fair representation only when its conduct toward a member of the collective bargaining unit is "arbitrary, discriminatory, or in bad faith." . . . The Supreme Court has long recognized that unions must retain wide discretion to act in what they perceive to be their members' best interests. . . . A union's representation of its members "need not be error free." . . . We have concluded repeatedly that mere negligent conduct on the part of a union does not constitute a breach of the union's duty of fair representation. . . . [A] union's unintentional mistake is "arbitrary" if it reflects a "reckless disregard" for the rights of the individual employee, but not if it represents only " simple negligence violating the tort standard of due care."


But there's no clear evidence in this new lawsuit that the NFL was trying to poorly invest funds. But according to Atwater and Bishop the NFLPA hired Wright without checking his background. Both players signed up for the NFLPA's Financial Advisor Fund , and that's how they were matched with Kirk Wright, who had been apprehended by authorities.

Will this have impact on the NFL's retirement fund? I don't think so. This was a program that some -- not all -- players particpated in, so it should have no impact at all on the total NFLPA retirement system. What should change is the NFLPA's way of evaluating hedge fund managers.

Oh..What is a hedge fund? It's bascially defined as a private investment fund or pool that trades and invests in various assets such as securities, commodities, currency, and derivatives on behalf of its clients, typically wealthy individuals. Some Commodity Pool Operators operate hedge funds, though there are many variations on this definition.

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