Archive for July, 2006

Bravo… Young Daniels

Big Props to Rangers GM Jon Daniels for trading for slugger Carlos Lee.

The AL West is winnable and if the A’s deal ace Barry Zito to the Mets, the Rangers and Angels will be the ones fighting it out for the division title.

I had enough of watching Coco Codero blows leads and give up runs in the 8th inning. I think Coco is shot. The NL is an easier league so maybe he can make a comeback in Milwaukee.

OF Kevin Mench is a great person and I’ll miss talking with him in the clubhouse, but he teased Ranger fans too much with his talent. Same with OF Laynce Nix.

The Rangers needed a bat and I don’t think they gave up any major pieces to do it.

Lee has 28 homers. The highest on the Rangers was Brad Wilkerson’s 15.

Good deal my Daniels.

Newy Scruggs

Frogs Picked To Repeat In Mountain West

Last year the folks in the Mountain West didn’t know about those TCU boys. They picked them to finish sixth. All Gary Patterson’s crew did was run rough shot over the league going undefeated and leaving a whole lot of teams crying after defeats.

Go back and look at how Utah, BYU, and Air Force moaned after taking a loss to TCU.

This week the Mountain West media days kicked off. 16 of the 25 1st place media votes went to TCU who finished the 2005 campaign 11-1 (8-0 MWC).

The Frogs have Jeff Ballard back at quarterback and a trio of superb running backs to give offensive coordinator, Mike Schultz, one of the best offenses in the country.

TCU will have to take care of business against two Big 12 South teams early in the season. They travel to Waco on September 3rd against Baylor. 13 days later they host the highly powered Texas Tech Red Raiders.

Look for 2006 to be another bowl year for the Frogs.

Newy Scruggs

Cliff Notes on T.O.’s Book: Chapter 15

Chapter 15: The Interview

The “soft” interview was not “soft” at all. TO goes deep into his unhappiness with the Eagles, his contract, and McNabb. Owens is asked about Irvin’s comments on ESPN, claiming the Eagles would be undefeated if Green Bay quarterback, Brett Favre, lead the team instead of McNabb.

Page 172: “I just feel like just what he brings to the table..I mean he’s the guy. Obviously, a number of commentators will say he’s a warrior. He has played with injuries. iIjust feel like [with] him being knowledgeable about the quarterback position, I just feel we’d be in a better situation.”

Page 174: “If there is a situation where they have a change of heart and they want to come to their senses and do the right thing, I would be more than happy to be here. But at this time, I’m being honest with myself and really trying to look toward the future. And I just don’t see myself really being here. And that’s not because I don’t want to be here, but I just don’t foresee them trying to do the necessary things to keep me here.”

TO figures out “friend” is not what Bensinger was to him. ESPN cut all the negative parts of his interview and played them over and over. That was the last straw for the Eagles. TO never played another game after that “soft” interview.

Cliff Notes on T.O.’s Book: Chapter 14

Chapter 14: The Calm Before the Storm

T.O. causes a stir by wearing an old school Michael Irvin Dallas Cowboys jersey to and from the game at Texas Stadium. The Eagles lose the game 33-10.

Owens scores his 100th TD in an Eagle win over the Chargers. The organization never recognized it. Owens was upset and later called the Eagles “classless”.

Owens gives a college student an interview. After beating up former Eagle defensive end, Hugh Douglas, wearing a pair of flip flops in the locker room, Owens does his interview with Syracuse student, Graham Bensinger.

Page 161: “Graham contacted me and told me would hire him to do an interview with me in my home. He asked me to do him a favor. He said it would be a soft, positive piece that was supposed to appear on the Internet at”

Cliff Notes on T.O.’s Book: Chapter 13

Chapter 13: Chemistry

T.O. comes back to Eagles training camp. Owens and McNabb still aren’t speaking to each other. They start the season the same way.

Philly drops the opener to Atlanta. T.O. rips his old team, San Francisco in Week 2 with 143 yards of receiving and 2 scores on five catches. The Philly fans love him for it but things were still not right with the star wide receiver or quarterback.

Page 151: “Although I made those attempts on the field, he never did anything to try to reconcile things off the field. To be fair, neither did I. Don’t get me wrong, we both wanted to win, more than anything, and on game day, we’d do whatever was necessary. It was between Sundays that we couldn’t let go of our grievances with each other. It was a battle of wills, when it should have been water under the bridge.”

Cliff Notes on T.O.’s Book: Chapter 12

Chapter 12: When Tempers Flare

T.O. gets sent home from training camp. Coach Andy Reid and TO tell each other to shut up over an autograph session.

Owens was told to leave camp for a week. He went on ESPN during halftime of a preseason game and blasted the club.

Page 139: “Whatever level of our confrontation was on before, this took it to a whole new one. No owner, coach, or general manager wants to see a player get up on national television and tell it like it is. I called out the Eagles’ management, coaches, and my quarterback on national television. This is just not done in the league.”

James Took The Money… and He Should Have

The Mavericks wanted to lock up Mike James, but the free agent point guard took more money and more years to sign in Minnesota.

Good for Mike James. This is guy who didn’t come to the NBA through the front door. He wasn’t a first round draft pick, he wasn’t drafted at all.

James had to hone his game in Austria, some French league, and the CBA before making an NBA roster in 2001. He’s played in Miami, Boston, won a ring with Detroit, bounced to Milwaukee, Houston, and Toronto before cashing in a check for $23.4 million over 4 years to play next to KG in Minny.

I respect James for telling Mark Cuban, Houston and Minnesota he was looking for a long-term deal with big dollars. At 31, James had to get while the getting was good. What are the chances of this one time underdog hitting the NBA lotto again? Probably never.

James could have helped the Mavs, but after being part of a championship team in the Motor City he wanted security for the rest of his life. I don’t blame him for that.

I was never 100% sold on James the way the Mavericks were. He averaged 20 points for the first time in his career last season in Toronto. You know the Raptors had the first pick in the draft so that means James got a buck of points on a bad team.

Beware of big numbers on bad teams. It’s the old L.A. Clipper rule. You had to be wary of “good” Clipper players because they usually couldn’t score the same on good teams like they did on the old lottery Clipper teams of old.

Here’s a recent example. Bobby Simmons. He left the Clip joint after averaging 16 points and 6 rebounds a game. The Bucks threw $47 million his way for five years. Of course Bobby’s numbers went into the tank. 13 points and 4 rebounds were his averages last season in Buckland.

All of his numbers went down as the Bucks finished with a losing record but made the playoffs in weak Eastern Conference. Simmons was the 9th best scorer on the team in the playoffs.

Losing James in not a big deal. Greg Buckner will fit into Dallas just fine.

The Mavs wanted Samuel Dalembert last off season and had to settle for DeSagana Diop. Sam got 6 years and $60 million. The Mavs were lucky not to get saddled with that contract versus Diop’s 3-year deal for $6.5 million.

Newy Scruggs

Cliff Notes on T.O.’s Book – Chapter 11

Chapter 11 Training Camp

This chapter is very revealing. Owens goes into how he reported to Eagles training camp unhappy with his contract and was not going to accept the team’s position of not renegotiating.

At this point McNabb was trashing Owens in the media and did not support him on securing a new contract with the team.

Owens wanted a trade if the team wouldn’t play ball. They said no. Play for us or don’t play at all.

Page 123: “They made their point that they would not redo my deal or trade me. They made it clear that they weren’t willing to compromise in any way. They had no intention of do anything to make me feel better about the situation at all. In return, I told them that I was not happy with their position. I made it clear that I was gong to honor my contract and work hard to win football games on Sundays, but that his wasn’t going to be a good situation.”

Once again Owens felt disrespected and was not happy with anyone who didn’t support his position. He admits being angry at head coach Andy Reid. He was upset with the media.

Page 127: “I have no respect for the media anyway. Not just one, but many members of the media have tried to sneak down to Alabama and pry into my childhood. Through lies and manipulation, they’ve investigated the private lives of my family to get their story.”

Owens was raised by his grandmother and mother. Where was his father?

Page 129: “I eventually met my father, under circumstances that were not ideal. When I was eleven years old, I had crush on the girl who lived across the street. When my father found out about it, he told me I shouldn’t think that way about that girl, and when I asked why not, he told me the girl was my half-sister, and that he was my father. That’s how I finally learned who my father was.”

Damn. That’s pretty heavy stuff for a child to handle at eleven years old.

Newy Scruggs

Cliff Notes on T.O.’s Book – Chapers 9-10

Chapter 9 A New Sheriff in Town-Me!

T.O. dumps his long time agent and now former friend David Joseph. He hires Kim Etheredge to handle his publicity and daily affairs. Drew Rosenhaus becomes his agent and they look for a new contract from the Eagles.

Joseph is portrayed as a small time agent who the Eagles took behind the woodshed and got him to agree to a 7-year $49 million contract with most of the terms very favorable to the Eagles not Owens.

Page 97: “I then looked at how many other receivers had bonuses and salaries in their contracts during the first two years that totaled more than $12.41 million. I wasn’t even among the top ten receivers in pay the first two years of my contract. That downright bothered me, especially since the contract was for seven years without the option to void out and become a free agent. No wonder the NFLPA encouraged me to turn the Eagles’ offer down.”

Bottom line, Owens went to the bargaining table with an agent who wasn’t very good. T.O. says, “I realized that the bad situation I was in was completely my fault, not David’s. The ultimate responsibility was mine.”

Now he was stuck with a deal in which the big money was in the back end of the contract. NFL deals, unlike NBA and MLB contracts, are not guaranteed. The only thing NFL players get is an upfront bonus. Players can and are routinely cut for not performing up to contracts.

Owens was due a bonus in his third year for $7.5 million in 2006 at the age of 33. He was worried he’d never see it because the Eagles had a history of cutting players once they reach the age of 30.

He wanted a new deal in 2005. The Eagles said no way they were tearing up his contract after one season.

Chapter 10 The Principle

T.O. lays out his argument for a new deal from Philly after one season. He tries to use layman examples to the reader to understand his point and why the Eagles needed to redo his deal.

I don’t buy them because it all comes back to Owens having a whack agent who didn’t know what he was doing. I always thought the Eagles could have tried to guarantee more of the deal and tried to make a key member of their team happy and not have to tear up the deal.

T.O. explains his comment to at the Pro Bowl, “I wasn’t the guy who got tired in the Super Bowl.”

Owens pulls a Bill Clinton by telling readers he never said Donovan McNabb’s name. We know he wasn’t talking about Greg Lewis or Bobby Taylor. The comment was about McNabb. Two other Eagle players were also on record saying McNabb was tired in the Super Bowl, but Owens’ comments were played up bigger. Of course they would be, who knows Hank Fraley and Freddie Mitchell (teammates who called out McNabb)?

Page 116: “I wish he had come to me, because we could have cleared the air between us, and that would have helped out everybody. But he didn’t come to me and I didn’t go to him. He never apologized to me for embarrassing me in the huddle in the Giants game. He never apologized to me for getting defensive and confrontational in the locker room. He never apologized to me for walking away from me in the locker room… He wasn’t in my corner. For all these reasons, I didn’t see any reason to apologize to him.”

At this point you can see it’s gone to a Kobe Bryant-Shaq feud. The Lakers were torn apart because both players could never see eye to eye and neither wanted to apologize to the other for perceived slights and disrespect. McNabb and T.O. were going down the same path.

Newy Scruggs

Cliff Notes on T.O.’s Book – Chapters 5-8

Chapter 5: The Turning Point

The Eagles were 7-0 and getting ready to face the 6-1 Pittsburgh Steelers. Owens says one of the coaches told him before the game to be very supportive of Eagle quarterback, Donovan McNabb, because he “can get nervous and tight in big games.”

That is the game where McNabb had a bad game, but the video we all remember is T.O. on the sidelines stalking McNabb talking to him. Owens says he was trying to pump his signal caller up and let him know they could still win the game, not berate him for having sub par performance as it looked on the cameras.

The next Eagles game was on Monday Night in Dallas. Before the game aired, the Eagles and ABC asked Owens to do a skit with “Desperate Housewives” star Nicolette Sheridan.

The racy scene has the gorgeous blonde actress, dressed in only a bathroom towel, trying to convince T.O. he should forget about playing the Cowboys and tend to her needs. In the skit, Sheridan drops the towel and runs into his arms after he agrees he won’t play.

I watched the skit live and thought it was creative and cool. After the game, Eagles owner Jeff Lurie went on the record and said he loved it. When the phone lines at ABC went bonkers with complaints, the Eagles backtracked and said they wished it hadn’t aired.

Page 44: “I have to admit that I felt a little betrayed by the way the team left me hanging out to dry. Controversy was nothing new to me, and on the one hand, I can understand parents (or grandmas like my own) on the West Coast at six o’clock Pacific time being upset about their children seeing a women drop her towel and jump into the arms of a football player. On the other hand, I was doing something the team asked me to do, and they should have made that clear to everybody. Also, to be perfectly honest, I can’t help suspecting that many of those calls were from racists who were angry to see a pretty blonde woman throw herself at a black jock.”

Soon the Eagles were 10-1. Things started to break down for Owens and McNabb against the Giants. After missing T.O. on a pass play where Coach Andy Reid called specifically for him, Owens went back to the huddle and let McNabb know he was open.

Owens said he was friendly as he let his feeling be known in the huddle only to have McNabb tell him to, “shut the #$%& up.”

After the game Owens went to McNabb looking for an apology and to clear the air but almost found himself in a fight. They were separated, never threw blows, Owens says things weren’t the same. He felt disrespected.

Chapter 6: From Bad to Worse

Owens says he was not mad because McNabb didn’t throw him the ball in the Giants game. He just can’t take being disrespected.

Cursing is a way of life in the NFL. I have seen Bill Parcells and Cowboys passing game coordinator, Todd Haley, let lots of expletives fly during practices. Players cursing at each other is an everyday thing in the NFL.

At 12-1, Philly was rolling along until Cowboys safety Roy Williams horse-collared T.O. on a tackle and broke his leg. Doctors said Owens would need 10 weeks to recover and that meant missing the Super Bowl.

Owens felt slighted again by McNabb.

Page 66: “When the media asked Donovan about me, he said, ‘We can win it with out T.O. But if he is there, we can win it with him and we are definitely going to try and win it without him.”

Chapter 7: Super Bowl XXXIX

Owens surprised everyone by coming back from injury to play a great game in the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots. Owens line: nine catches for 122 yards.

T.O. was hurt by media accusations he was just looking for the spotlight by coming back early from his injury in the Eagles Super Bowl loss.

Page 71: “I put my career at risk and went against medical advice to try to help my team win a Championship. Isn’t that what old-school athletes are supposed to do? Was Curt Schilling being selfish when he pitched in the playoffs on his bloody ankle? Was Willis Reed selfish when he limped onto the court for the Knicks? For people to label me as selfish for trying to help win a Super Bowl Championship is terribly unfair.”

Chapter 8 The Off-Season

T.O. finally fires his agent David Joseph after 8 years of service.

Page 91: “David had certain responsibilities, and I got a lot of complaints about his handling of those responsibilities. I made various assumptions that my affairs were well in order; they weren’t. I started to get a bad feeling about things. David was in charge of everything.”

Newy Scruggs

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