Goodbye, NFL

NFLI’m a lifelong sports fan. I have a master’s degree in sport management. I worked and consulted in professional and college athletics for many years. And I’ve been a fantasy sports geek for decades. I’ve invested untold amounts of time and money in sports. But in the case of pro football, enough is enough. I’m done with the National Football League. Continue reading

Not your father’s 49ers

49ersMaybe I’m naïve, but today’s San Francisco 49ers bear so little resemblance to the dynasty I grew up watching that it’s hard to imagine they wear the same red and gold. Bill Walsh, Joe Montana, Dwight Clark, Ronnie Lott, Jerry Rice, Steve Young…these aren’t just names in 49ers history – they’re symbols of a team that won with class, with integrity, and with character.

Surely there were legal issues and other misdeeds among the 49ers of yesteryear, and ultimately owner Eddie DeBartolo’s legal problems in an unrelated business venture cost him the franchise, but I don’t recall anything like what we’re seeing from today’s players. Continue reading

Another Lanning hits the big leagues

Spencer Lanning

Spencer Lanning, Cleveland Browns

As I wrote about last year, three Lannings have played Major League Baseball (the last retired in 1947), and I’ve had a fun time over the years tracking down artifacts and history of those long-lost ballplayers and linking them to my family tree. In fact, not too long ago I finally found a photo of Lester “Red” Lanning from his college days as a baseball star at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, before his short-lived career in the majors. However, there’s never been a Lanning in the NFL (or NBA, or NHL)…until now. Continue reading

PEDs: Here We Go Again

Yes, here we go again…

Just as the Super Bowl approaches and baseball’s spring training follows closely afterward, sports news is being dominated not by positive, feel-good stories, but by a gaggle of new allegations against NFL and MLB stars for performance-enhancing drugs.

ARod

ARod won’t be doing much smiling anytime soon.

First came news from Miami that a suspected PED-dealing doctor’s files contained some big names. Once again we see Alex Rodriguez among the suspected cheaters. No surprise there. Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon, two players whose positive tests and subsequent suspensions made news last season, are also among those named…which certainly doesn’t bode well for the others on the list. Gio Gonzalez, suddenly a 21-game winner last year, and Nelson Cruz, the 2011 ALCS MVP, are also on the list. And, along with these guys, others appearing in the files included the University of Miami’s longtime strength and conditioning coach; a Cuban boxer; and a professional tennis player who has already been suspended from tennis for trafficking in HGH. Continue reading

Dr. J the latest reminder that fame doesn’t always pay the bills

Dr. J at his height as an NBA superstar

I was saddened to read that Julius Erving – THE legendary figure in professional basketball in the mid- to late 1970s, before Bird and Magic, and the guy who was Michael before Michael – is auctioning off the mementos from his illustrious career, including his two ABA championship rings and his 1983 Philadelphia 76ers NBA championship ring.

While he denies he’s liquidating his collection to pay off a reported $200,000 debt to a Georgia bank, and in fact this may just be a case of a former star clearing out the closets, it’s hard to imagine his Most Valuable Player awards from both leagues and his three championship rings are just taking up space. Continue reading