1. I think the football event of the weekend had to be the one organized by Champion Charities, founded by former Niners Harris Barton and Ronnie Lott, to raise money for brain tumor research and the First Tee Program of Northern California. The organization got five Super Bowl MVP quarterbacks with Bay Area connections (Joe Montana, Tom Brady, Steve Young, Aaron Rodgers, Jim Plunkett) to meet for breakfast and tell stories, moderated by Bob Costas. Young revealed his offensive coordinator with the 49ers, Mike Shanahan, wanted him to throw for more touchdowns when he already had six against San Diego in that high-flying Super Bowl 17 years ago. Sounds like it was a great morning.
2. I think Pacman Jones had better win the appeal of the huge damage case he lost the other day in Las Vegas. Jones was found to have set off a near-riot in a Vegas nightclub in 2007 that left the major plaintiff in a wheelchair -- and due $9.6 million in damages after being shot in the melee. The bouncer left paralyzed, Tommy Urbanski, told Fox 5 in Vegas that if Jones doesn't have the money -- and no one thinks he does -- that he'd "better start working, maybe get a second job like most of the United States."
3. I think these one-day contracts to retire as a member of some organization -- as Tomlinson is doing today in San Diego -- are just silly. Who cares where you retire? Now Chris Chambers wants to retire as a Dolphin. Why? Who cares?
4. I think you'll all be relieved to know the Arena Football League has reached a deal with its union to finish this season without interruption. I suppose.
5. I think if your fantasy draft is tomorrow, you'd be smart to pick Isaac Redman ahead of Rashard Mendenhall, who is not ready to play football because of offseason knee surgery and should miss at least the first six games of the season.
6. I think the Browns should hang onto Colt McCoy. I do like Brandon Weeden, but how sure a thing is he? And if he plays poorly over the next two years, you're happier with Seneca Wallace than Colt McCoy? I'm not.
7. I think if I'm Andy Reid or Mike McCarthy, I'm calling Cleveland GM Tom Heckert and sending a 2013 sixth-rounder to Cleveland for McCoy. Perfect backup quarterback who, in time, might be good enough to start for your team for multiple seasons. Take out the tape of his game at Pittsburgh last season, before he got blasted by James Harrison, and tell me he doesn't have the poise, decision-making and presence to have a chance to be a good player.
8. I think the good news from this offseason is that the momentum for the 18-game schedule has slowed to a crawl. In fact, I haven't heard a word about it all offseason, and I think one of the only real proponents to play 18 is Roger Goodell. But if it surfaces again, the only way I'd back down from my anti-18 stance is if a rule were passed that the rosters would expand and the maximum games any player could play in a regular season would be 16.
I don't even like that, but I certainly wouldn't be in favor of any schedule in which players were asked to play more than 16 regular season games, even if the preseason schedule were reduced from four to two per team. It's a different level of football in the preseason; you just can't equate the intensity or the number of snaps regulars play in the preseason with the regular season.
9. I think the Chiefs should be congratulated for taking 150 members of the organization, including some players, to Joplin, Mo., on Friday to help build and landscape five homes -- with the homeowners on hand to work with the groups, and with Habitat For Humanity, to get the buildings up so efficiently. Good job of follow-up by the team, which went to Joplin a year ago to help with the cleanup after the disastrous spring tornado.
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:
a. That's one of the cutest things I've seen all year -- Eli Manning, with daughter Ava in his left arm, throwing out the first pitch to David Wright at the Mets-Reds game Sunday. Manning, in a Mets No. 10 jersey ... Ava in a lovely white dress. Now that's a golden Father's Day moment.
b. If you hung with Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals until the end, and followed the postgame to NBC Sports Network, you saw a fairly poignant scene -- Al Michaels in the stands at the Staples Center hugging and kissing his family after the Kings won the Cup. Now that's not something you see very often: veteran play-by-play guy getting all mushy when his team in another sport wins. Cool sight.
c. Well-deserved, Kings ... 16 wins, 4 losses as the eighth seed, with one road loss in four playoff series. A fantastic job by the team that's always been an afterthought in L.A.
d. Good story from Michaels, about being careful when you drink from the Stanley Cup, about former Avalanche and current Rams owner Stan Kroenke: "Stan is a man who keeps himself in tip-top shape and never gets sick. When his Avalanche won the Stanley Cup in 2001, he got sick as a dog a few days later and was bedridden for two weeks. He told me he traced it to drinking out of the Cup after the game. So celebrants beware.''
e. Hope you don't go, Zach Parise; I really hope you stay a Devil in New Jersey. But if you leave in free agency, thanks for so many great nights of all-out hockey. You're a winner.
f. I find myself pulling for the Thunder in the NBA series, and so being down 2-1 with the next two in Miami is troubling. But there's part of me that hopes LeBron James wins, just to kill this LeBron-can't-play-big-in-big-games thing. Ridiculous.
g. LeBron in his last 13 games: 32.6 points per game, 10.9 rebounds. Heat 9-4.
h. I mean, it's fine to hate a guy, and to boo him. But to not acknowledge James' greatness is downright foolish.
i. Wish I had a guy who played that great for my team every night.
j. If you want to see my star turn on the USA Network's "Necessary Roughness" show (Wednesday, 10-11 p.m.), don't blink. I'll be on as a know-it-all TV football analyst -- wow, life imitates art -- and then again later in the season. I expect skyrocketing ratings Wednesday, readers.
k. Someone hire exiled San Diego columnist Tim Sullivan, please. You'll be ecstatic you did.
l. I'm a fan of fellow Ohio U. Bobcat Thom Brennaman, and I have great fondness for his dad, Marty, one of the best baseball play-by-play men on the radio ever. (I listened to Marty for five years while living in Cincinnati, and he's one of the great ones -- most of you just don't know him.)
I was watching the Mets and Reds Saturday night when Thom uttered these words about red-hot Joey Votto: "Over the last month, he has been virtually impossible to get out.''
Very hard, maybe. But virtually impossible? In the previous month, between May 15 and June 15, Votto reached base 62 times. He made 60 outs. That's scorching hot for a baseball player. But he was retired half the time, and reached base half the time. Virtually impossible to retire Votto would have meant reaching base, say, 110 times and making 12 outs. That's never going to happen, obviously. I just felt Thom could have chosen his words better.
m. As I should on many occasions. I am Mr. Exaggerated Metaphor more often than not.
n. This Aroldis Chapman -- if he stays healthy -- is going to be a joy to watch over the next few years.
o. Bizarre Stat of the Baseball Season: Cliff Lee has been active for 48 games, started 11 of them, and won none -- despite having a 10-strikeout game and a 12-strikeout game. He had a 10-inning, no-run performance, too, and didn't get the win there.
p. Gregor Blanco, Matt Cain says you are The Man. And after that catch with a perfecto on the line, I believe.
q. Is it just me, or was this U.S. Open all about players who missed shots and not about players who made them?
r. A shame I didn't read Calico Joe by John Grisham before I did my Father's Day book list last week. I read Grisham's absolutely terrific baseball novel Friday night (in two and a half hours -- it's a breeze), and it was a home run. Terrific idea for a story, told by the idealistic son of an embittered, end-of-the-rotation, C-minus major-league pitcher, about the kid's love of baseball and love of the biggest phenom ever to be called up from the minors, set in 1973. I love how Grisham adds the pitcher and phenom to a real, live National League pennant race, with names you all know. And the ending is riveting, sort of a Pelican Brief page-turner.
s. So happy so many of you wrote and tweeted that you'd be picking up That's Why I'm Here, the Chris Spielman book I wrote about last week. You won't regret it.
t. Coffeenerdness: Come to New York, Peet's. Come on. You know you'll kick tail here.
u. Beernerdness: In my short time in Seattle last week, I really was quite smitten with Georgetown Brewing Company products. I know everyone loves Manny's Pale Ale, and it is well worth loving, but the Lucille India Pale Ale is the best thing they have on tap.
v. So sorry about the death of your lab, Ashley Fox. Remember the good times -- I know you and your family will.
And now for the near future, while I take my summer vacation ...
See you back in this space in the wee hours of Monday, July 23. I'll write my Tuesday column this week, but the Tuesday mailbag column will then vanish until July 24. For the next four Mondays, as I've done the last few summers, you'll have my pinch-hitters. Next week, I've got a good idea who the writer will be, but I need to nail it down today. For the three weeks after that the MMQB guest columnists will be, in order, Indianapolis rookie tight end Coby Fleener, writing just after he attends the NFL Rookie Symposium, on July 2; Washington general manager and football history nerd Bruce Allen on July 9; and Tampa Bay Buccaneers free agent defensive tackle Eric LeGrand on July 16. I hope you're looking forward to reading them as much as I'm anticipating what they write.
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