1. I think there's one thing I don't get about Jonathan Vilma: how he has as his Twitter avatar the Sports Illustrated cover, screaming "Bounty Culture'' with Vilma front and center, very big, jumping out on the cover. If being degraded by being identified with the bounty story is a sue-able offense for Vilma, and if he accuses Roger Goodell of disparaging his character to the point where it's going to be difficult for him to ever find work in or out of the NFL, why does he identify himself with something so reprehensible? How on the one hand can you want something like the SI cover representing you to the Internet world, and on the other hand you sue the man responsible for allegedly making you so infamous?
2. I think this is one of the best things I've read about a player coping with retirement: It's written by former linebacker George Koonce, with an assist from ESPN's Mike Sando, and it's one of those things that should be required reading for all players trying to find their way after play football.
3. I think the end of the line of Junior Seau's popular restaurant in San Diego -- and the downfall of his other restaurant interests in southern California recently -- leads me to ask this question: How much of a factor was financial trouble or financial pressure in Seau's suicide? Not that I know anything, but I now think the question has to be asked.
4. I think I have only one piece of advice for the Wilfs, in the wake of the news about the new Vikings stadium being approved and on schedule to open in 2016, and as it concerns whether to fork out the extra dough to cap the place with a retractable roof rather than a permanent one: Do it. Bite the bullet. You'll never regret it, especially on beautiful autumn October Sundays when it's cloudless and 48 degrees outside. And one other piece of advice: Make sure Christian Ponder, or whoever the quarterback in 2016 is, isn't one of those indoor-loving guys who will want the roof closed all the time. No reason for it on nice days.
5. I think if I'm a Saints fan, I'm not really pleased with the prospect of GM Mickey Loomis becoming either the official or de facto director of basketball operations with the NBA Hornets in New Orleans under the new ownership of Tom Benson. That's what the New Orleans Times Picayune reported Sunday was a likely outcome when Benson's Hornets ownership becomes official. Last time I checked, being the general manager of an NFL team was a full-time job.
6. I think the person who has any association with the NFL today who I feel most sorry for is Brian Price, the promising young Tampa Bay defensive lineman. After losing two brothers to gang violence in Los Angeles while growing up, Price saw the car driven by his sister Bridget (a mentor to him) get smashed by a hit-and-run driver, then hit by two more cars, killing her and leaving his two nephews without a parent. What a tragedy. Good luck to Price picking up the pieces.
7. I think the Baltimore Ravens must get driven absolutely nuts by Ed Reed between February and July.
8. I think, not to be negative about reporting on the perimeter of offseason practices 197 days from the start of the NFL season, I wouldn't get too caught-up from breathless pronouncements from Organized Team Activities around the NFL beginning today.
9. I think I forgot to mention this last week, with Jason La Canfora taking Charlie Casserly's job at CBS. But Casserly's smart, and pretty good at TV. He deserves a good role somewhere, and if it's only at NFL Network, his job needs to be bigger.
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:
a. Most depressing in-flight movie in the history of in-flight movies: Young Adult, with Charlize Theron. You're too good to play cheesy and creepy, Charlize -- especially when the script drags and the story's lousy. Sheesh.
b. Love the British papers. Saturday's edition of The Times featured a long dispatch from Australia focusing on the Southern hairy-nosed wombat being endangered because of the potato weed, a noxious plant that damages the wombats' livers. Not many other papers covering the decline of the Southern hairy-nosed wombat.
c. Really miss being at Tom Coughlin's Jay Fund golf tournament today. Always a great time with a tremendous cause -- helping families whose budgets have been laid waste by an unexpected battle with cancer. They're really going to miss all the money I contribute by plunking so many shots in the water at 17 at TPC Sawgrass.
d. There can't be an athlete under more pressure today than LeBron James.
e. Rachel Nichols is really good at her job.
f. Best documentary program I've seen on TV in a while: Weight of a Nation, on HBO. Tremendous job of telling us about the obesity epidemic we're facing. Stark stuff from Bogalusa, La., regarding long-term effects of weight gain on the population -- and how history is repeating itself on a new generation of kids there.
g. Give you a lot of credit, Rangers, for shutting out the Devils in the biggest game this year at the Prudential Center in Newark. Never mind the yammering of the fans and the coaches and whoever -- that's a heck of a win under some pressure-packed circumstances.
h. Al Michaels, for all the L.A. Kings pain he's endured over the years, must be happy to be watching the best team in hockey. You didn't know Al was a two-decade Kings' season-ticket holder?
i. Hard to imagine anyone beating the West's eighth seed for the Stanley Cup.
j. Hard to imagine anyone beating whoever the West's NBA championship series rep is.
k. Imagine the Thunder and the Kings winning the NBA and the NHL, respectively. What odds would you have gotten for that daily winter-pro-sports double last September?
l. Mike Aviles, Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Keepers of the Sox flame.
m. At some point, we're going to have to take the Orioles seriously.
n. It's May 21, David Wright. You're not supposed to be hitting over .410 seven weeks into the season.
o. I was never much of a fan of the Bee Gees or of Donna Summer. But I do recognize the talents of the group and the lady, and both Robin Gibb and Donna Summer deserve our respects. Rest in peace.
p. Coffeenerdness: Had more than my share of Costa Coffee, England's Starbucks (and there is Starbucks over here as well) in the last three days. The espresso's a little milder than I'd like it, but the milk in the latte is superb.
q. Beernerdness: Had the good fortune of drinking Marston's Pedrigree bitter at the cricket match Saturday. Funny the way they serve it if you're getting multiple beers at the concession stand -- you put the beers in a light cardboard holder with a grip on the top of it, and you carry the three or four pints like a beer suitcase. Re the beer itself, it's a copper-red-brown and it had a thin head, but a head that stayed heady for the life of the beer. Like many beers here, the carbonation was less than American beers, and it's served not as cold. The taste was a little bland, but easy to drink, and the kind of beer that you can have three or four over the course of the afternoon and not be affected.
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