Posted: Monday March 6, 2006 9:45AM; Updated: Monday March 6, 2006 11:58AM
So don't go telling me football will be like baseball if this deal doesn't get done and there isn't an extension of the collective bargaining agreement. It's a scare tactic by the NFL. And it's a lie.
I heard this from my AFC GM on Sunday night, and I threw back my baseball/football points, and he said, "You know, you're right. But it still will be a catastrophe for our game.''
No it won't. It just won't. Remember the "catastrophe'' free agency was supposed to be? Covering the Giants in the '80s, I used to listen to the highly respected George Young, New York's late and great GM, tell me how free agency would ruin pro football. What did I know? I bought it. And today, would anyone say free agency's been horrible for the game -- other than the died-in-the-wool classic football traditionalists?
It's been great for football. Reggie White went to Green Bay and helped the 'Pack win a Super Bowl. The Patriots bought a whole slew of middle-class free-agents -- the same class of players Young and others thought would be left behind when only the great players would get paid in free agency -- and those free agents helped New England build the foundation for three Super Bowl winners in four years.
So I'm hoping the two sides get a deal done this week and you can stop being bombarded with business stuff and we can focus on the really important things, like VinceYoung's Wonderlic score. (Uh, just kidding.) A pox on both houses if it doesn't get done. But if it doesn't, football will still be a great, great game -- and a very good business.
Factoid That May Interest Only Me
This is the nicest thing I've heard in a long time. J.T. Snow, who will platoon at first base with the Red Sox this year, petitioned the team to allow him to wear No. 84 instead of a normal, lower baseball number. His father, Jack, a great Rams receiver and more recently a Rams broadcaster, died earlier this year. He wore No. 84 for the Los Angeles Rams and J.T. is doing it as a tribute to his dad.
Aggravating/Enjoyable Travel Note of the Week
Flew to Arizona the other day. Had the aisle seat in the exit row, luckily, on a jam-packed flight escaping the latest winter in New Jersey history. (Seems that way anyway.)
I can take pretty much anything on airplanes. You may remember the incessant farter on the puddle-jumper to Providence a couple of years ago. And I've had long waits, vomitous turbulence, overheated cabins, six-hour red-eyes in the middle seat of non-exit-rows. I have never had what I had on this flight: FelixUnger across the aisle.
Remember Tony Randall on the The Odd Couple? Remember the sounds he'd make? "Uh-ehhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!'' with his nose. Sinusy, throaty noises, trying to clear something in there. And nose-blowing, loud, when nothing was up his nose. Welcome to my nightmare. Five hours of nose-blowing with nothing up the nose, into a totally dry, plaid handkerchief, with constant sniffling and um-hummmmming to clear up a nose that wasn't clogged. You're sitting there, starting to doze and KA-POW! There goes the bugler.