Posted: Monday June 27, 2005 12:39PM; Updated: Thursday June 30, 2005 8:52AM
TEN THINGS I THINK I THINK
1. I think, with or without Terrell Owens, there is still ridiculous Eagles fever in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the team has 60,000 people on its season-ticket waiting list. The capacity of Lincoln Financial Field is 68,400. Which tells me that a good number of the people on the waiting list will be dead before their name comes up.
2. I think if he pushes the holdout, Owens will be traded by Sept. 1 if the Eagles get a fair offer, or an offer that gives them a useable receiver and a high draft choice. If that doesn't happen, he'll sit. The Eagles will take the medicine.
3. I think I can't believe Travis Henry is still a Buffalo Bill. The Bills should get a third-rounder in the 2006 draft for him from some team. Now I suspect it'll be Jacksonville if there are health or contract concerns about Fred Taylor early in training camp. The biggest problem for the Bills will be if Henry doesn't come to training camp. Then they'll lose some leverage. Teams will say, "Hey, you're not getting anything out of the guy. Why should we pay anything more than a fourth- or fifth-rounder?'' Whatever happens, now that he's waited this long, Buffalo GM Tom Donahoe has got to hang tough and make sure he gets a first-day pick for Henry.
4. I think I've softened my stance that the Saints will move to L.A. They might stay in New Orleans now, even if the Louisiana legislature doesn't come up with the $15 million it must commit to the team by July 15. Ex-Saints GM Bill Kuharich tells me that owner Tom Benson won't move the team under any circumstances. Benson told him a few years ago this wasn't a money thing. Now we'll see if it is or it isn't.
5. I think the most important thing about Ricky Williams to Dolphins coach Nick Saban is what the running back can produce in the form of a trade bait. I might be overstating that, because obviously Williams is going to have to show something good on the field to get something back in trade. If Williams plays great in November, maybe Saban won't deal him. But I think Saban looks at Williams and thinks: "Wouldn't it be great if I could trade him for the 65th pick of the draft next April?''
6. I think Nick Saban might have lost his trust in GM Rick Spielman when Spielman starting talking about how much he liked Akron quarterback CharlieFrye, and Saban remembers Frye as the guy who threw the ball into the third row of the RCA Dome bleachers at the Scouting Combine. That's what I hear, anyway.
7. I think it was interesting to read BillRhoden's column in the New York Times the other day, where he noted everyone he knew was watching the NBA Finals and wondered why the TV ratings were so microscopic for the games. Well, Bill, we live only a couple of area codes apart, and I can answer the question for you. None of my friends watch the NBA. I wish I could get into it, but I just can't. Bores the stuffing out of me.
8. I think we will all miss Myron Cope, who retired as the voice of the Pittsburgh Steelers last week. His was the most unique voice, in the history of sportscasting. Now that's taking in a lot of ground, but you know I'm right if you've heard Myron. Guys like VinScully, Johnny Most and Ernie Harwell are hugely famous for being identified with one specific team. But no voice was more important to the history of a sports franchise than Cope was to Pittsburgh. My in-laws lived there, and I can't tell you how many people in that town turned down the sound on the TV to listen to Myron. It's going to be mournful to be in Pittsburgh and not have Myron Cope to look forward to on the radio.
9. I think, however, that Tunch Ilkin, long-term, is going to be a terrific radio analyst in Pittsburgh. Insightful, tough when he has to be, and a lover of the inside of the game.
10. I think I'd like to wish everyone a happy summer. I'll be back in three weeks. See you in training camp.