Thursday, July 30, 2009

Blogging from Pac-10 Media Day

We are in the middle of the initial press conferences for Pac-10 Media Day and there have been no major news or nuggets so far. UCLA linebacker Reggie Carter said he's looking forward to hearing "Rocky Top" and playing at Tennessee.

Other Notes:

*The QB Situations at Washington State and Arizona are not settled yet.

*Steve Sarkisian is an excitable guy and eager to get started at Washington

*UCLA's Rick Neuheisel is high on new QB Kevin Prince

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Vick Deserves a Second Chance

So Michael Vick is now a free man, but is he really free? He will be living with the stigma of his crime for the rest of his days, a man who blew nearly $200 million for a dogfighting ring that may have produced $200,000 at best. The man who slaughtered innocent dogs when they weren't up to the task of being vicious killers of other dogs.

He spent nearly two years in prison, lost his status as an NFL star, role model and leader of the Atlanta Falcons franchise. He is no longer a star, he is an also ran who soon will be looking for a job. He is no longer a role model, except for those young athletes who should stray away from his catastrophic mistakes and not drown in their arrogance and stupidity.

It's time for Michael Vick to have a chance to earn a living and if playing in the NFL is his aspiration, he should be allowed to pursue it. Obviously Vick's plight might be helped by the recent 24-day jail sentence of Donte Stallworth, who killed a man in a vehicular accident while legally drunk in March. Kill a man, get 24 days. Kill a dog, get two years.

It's not fair, but Vick can't think about being wronged because he put himself in this avoidable position. He has to move on and hopefully NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell can allow us all to move on by reinstating Vick immediately. No more suspensions. No more Vick watches outside of his Virginia home. Let the man live in peace because he's already paid for his mistakes and will continue to play with the staunch of being a dog killer.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Welcome to Vegas for the NBA Summer League

LAS VEGAS - OK Folks, we're giving some occasional reports from the NBA Summer League and we already have our first disappointing effort from a lottery pick. Stephen Curry scored 16 points in the first game a 73-69 Golden State loss to Houston. He finished 4-for-14 from the field with seven fouls (10 foul limit) and four turnovers. Curry missed five of eight 3-pointers and dominated the ball in stretches.

It's game one, so don't get too excited, but Curry got off to a slow start.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

McNair Set the Groundwork for Black QBs

James Harris doesn't get the credit he deserves as the trailblazing black quarterback. In my childhood in Los Angeles, Harris was the starting QB for my Los Angeles Rams, and I remember a day he threw for 436 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-28 win at Miami in 1976. Harris, from Grambling State University, was eventually replaced by Pat Haden, a 5-foot-11 spark plug from USC who hardly had the physical tools of Harris.

Doug Williams continued that Grambling tradition by taking the Redskins to the Super Bowl, pushing aside Jay Schroeder and leading the Redskins over the Denver Broncos. Williams was a fine quarterback, but Steve McNair possessed awesome physical skills and a cannon arm. McNair, who passed away Saturday, rejuvenated professional football's interest in the black quarterback.

His success in the NFL paved the way for Donovan McNabb three years later, Vince Young and LaMarcus Russell currently. McNair proved black quarterbacks could be athletic (I think everybody assumed that), have the mental capacity to run an NFL team and be a leader (that was in major doubt for some reason) and had the toughness to play through pain and adversity (which will be McNair's legacy).

McNair might be the first major black athlete to be more regarded for his guile and endurance than his pure physical skills, which were also impressive. McNair is a trailblazer because he made black quarterbacking cool again and open the road for athletic black quarterbacks to be considered franchise players and allowed to utilize their skills in passing and running. No more wide receiver, defensive back or all-purpose player.

Black quarterbacks from high school, college and the NFL should praise McNair today because his skills -- and toughness -- put his brethren in a whole new category -- team leader.