In the era of cable TV, the Internet and social media, we sometimes think there’s never been as much hype in sports as there is these days.
The recent death of Billy Cannon, the 1959 Heisman Trophy winner, is a reminder that even back in the day, players could become larger than life heroes even without today’s hype.
Cannon was one of them.
Playing running back and defensive back, he helped LSU win the national title in 1958 and his 89-yard punt return for a touchdown that helped beat Mississippi, 7-3, in 1959 is still one of the most iconic moments in the history of college football.
Both teams were undefeated and LSU was ranked first and Mississippi third.
Continue reading “Billy Cannon didn’t need the Internet era to be larger than life”
The Aaron Hernandez case is now closed except for the various lawsuits winding their way through the courts, but the fascination with his rise and fall remains.
The book about the case by best-selling author James Patterson (who has a new novel out written with Bill Clinton) and two co-authors came out in January and quickly became a New York Times best seller. CBS did a “48 Hours’’ episode on it. So did the Oxygen cable channel, and the movie rights have also been sold.
Still, all the attention has not resulted in any answers for why Hernandez became a murderer and then committed suicide, which wiped out his conviction because the case was still on appeal.
The authors believe Hernandez killed two other men, but he was acquitted on those charges. He also shot a drug dealer — who was supposedly his best friend — in the eye.
Hernandez shot four people in three separate incidents … and nobody knows why.
Continue reading “Aaron Hernandez case remains a fascinating mystery, perhaps forever”
The NFL owners had a choice to make last week as they grappled with the issue of NFL players kneeling to protest police brutality.
Would they stand with Sen. Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran who lost both legs in the conflict or would they stand with Donald Trump, who received multiple deferments for bone spurs during the Vietnam War and never served in the military?
After the NFL passed its new policy on standing for the national anthem, Sen. Duckworth tweeted a picture of her prosthetic legs and said, “One day my coffin will be draped with our nation’s flag just as it did with my husband’s and brothers. I will always stand on these legs for the flag and the anthem but ALSO my honor to defend people’s right to free speech.’’
Sen. Duckworth isn’t the only veteran who understands the members of the military protect the right of free speech.
Naturally, Trump took the opposite view.
Continue reading “Botched anthem policy shows how much cowardly NFL needs new leadership”
The NFL “Hard Knocks” show is a lot more popular with the fans than the teams.
Many teams don’t like the idea of cameras being in their inner sanctums in camp. They sometimes act as if they were working on The Manhattan Project instead of putting together a football team.
And since NFL Films produces it, there is little chance a team will be embarrassed.
Still the NFL had to put together guidelines for teams that can’t turn down an invitation so they all can’t refuse.
If a team has a new coach, has been on the show in the last 10 years or has been in the playoffs the last two years, they can’t refuse to do the show.
Continue reading “‘Hard Knocks’ producers will have their work cut out making the Browns interesting”
It might seem logical for the NFL’s highest-paid player to be the league’s best player, too.
But that obviously wasn’t the case when Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons became the NFL’s first $30 million man, even though he isn’t the best quarterback or the best player in the league,
Ryan, though, was able to take advantage of good timing.
He’s only 32, young enough to get a big deal, while Tom Brady has a history of taking below-market deals and Aaron Rodgers’ current deal isn’t up yet.
Is Ryan worth the money? Well, any player is worth what a team will pay him.
Continue reading “Timing, not talent, helped Matt Ryan become the NFL’s highest-paid player”