Saturday, June 02, 2007

On The Roady

The bowl game in Boise is already the laughing stock of the college football world. Events of this week did not help them.

The Boise bowl game signed a three-year naming rights deal with Roady's Truck Stops. The game will be called the Roady's Humanitarian Bowl.

Humanitarian is nice. It was the original title of the bowl game, taking its name from the Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame in Boise. But Roady's?

I have to admit, I had never heard of Roady's Truck Stops. According to their website, it is a chain of independent truck stops.

It's bad enough that teams have to go to the cold and snow of Boise to play in a bowl game on the blue turf. Now, they have to deal with the embarrassment of playing in the Truck Stop Bowl. This makes the Poulan Weed Eater Independence Bowl look high-class. The Weed Eater Bowl is still a laughing stock, though Weed Eater hasn't sponsored the bowl in several years.

A coach will get fired for taking his team to the Roady's Truck Stop bowl this year. Of course, Miami went to this bowl last year, and Larry Coker was fired.

Would you like regular, or diesel?

Thursday, May 31, 2007

This Guy's Awesome

LeBron James is the real deal. If there were any doubts, they went away tonight. LeBron scored 48 points in tonight's Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, as the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated Detroit, 109-107 in double overtime. He scored 29 of the last 30, and the last 25 points of the game for Cleveland. It was a truly awesome performance. At times, it looked like LeBron was taking on the Pistons all by himself. The Cavs have a cast of spares surrounding the great LeBron James.

The Cavs now lead the series, 3 games to 2, with a potential series-clincher Saturday night in Cleveland. The Cavs have never been to the NBA Finals. The city of Cleveland has not had a team play for a championship since 1997, when the Indians lost to the Marlins in the World Series. However, a Cleveland team has not won a championship since 1964, when the Browns won the NFL championship. That was before the Super Bowl came along. It was also before I was born.

Thanks to a guy from Akron, Cleveland has a chance.

Ya gotta look out for CLE...

By the way, what is Chris Webber doing wearing the number 84?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

They're Crazy

Word is that Mark Cuban is part of a group that is investigating the formation of a new professional football league, to compete with the NFL. This league would begin with eight teams, and would play on Friday nights.

Cuban has a good point: the NFL salary cap drives down the salaries of players drafted in the third round and lower. He sees where the new league could offer those players more money, and can build their league around them. They don't see the need to start a bidding war for stars, like the AFL and the USFL. Like NFL scouts, they see plenty of quality players chosen on the second day of the draft.

However, I'm not sure if there is a market for another pro league. First, there are stadium issues, as most quality stadiums are occupied by NFL teams. There are a handful of universities willing to rent out their stadiums (are you listening, SMU, Rice, and U of Houston?), and there are the old reliables of Birmingham, Memphis, and Orlando (I think Birmingham has had a team in every pro league not called the AFL or NFL). Second, who is going to televise this league? The NFL is on every broadcast network except ABC, whose sports department is now owned by NFL TV partner ESPN. Friday nights are a wasteland for networks, but what network is going to risk the wrath of the NFL by televising its competitor? I guess they could join the NHL in anonymity by playing on Versus. Third, playing on Friday nights in most of the country is suicide. Friday nights are traditionally reserved for high school football. Will a second-rate pro team in the South or Midwest be able to compete with lower-priced high school football? I don't think so. There would be a TV audience, as Friday night college games draw viewers. However, pro games from empty stadiums get really dull really quick. Ask the XFL or USFL.

I like renegade football leagues. I loved the USFL in the 80's. I watched one week of the XFL, then turned it off like the rest of America. However, unlike Mark Cuban, I don't see enough remaining market for pro football to justify the creation of a new league.

Good luck with all that..