ROME IS BURNINGNot surprisingly, New York Giants coach Jim Fassel has been told that he will not be brought back next season. He'll coach the last two games of the season and resurface somewhere else, perhaps Arizona or even Oakland. He's a solid guy who always got more blame than he deserved and not as much credit as he deserved. Now, I'm not saying Fassel is without blame, but make no mistake about it, his players rolled on him. They quit a month ago. They have no pride as evidenced by their allowing Joe Horn to bust people calls form his cell phone in the endzone. If they were looking to get Fassell fired, mission accomplished. Consider your season a success.
Now, if you're looking for me to crack on Joe Horn or Chad Johnson for their endzone celebrations, you're barking up the wrong tree. I'm not mad about it. It doesn't signal the end of civilization or the moral decay of society. It's one guy acting like a fool after making a play. My concern is, Chad Johnson sees that Horn's cellphone blew his placard out of the water and will look to one up him this week. It's like an arms race that's escalating to dangerous levels putting the rest of the world at risk. How long before one of these guys pulls one of their groupies out of the stands and gets after it right there in the endzone? Week 16? Week 17. No, it doesn't make me mad, it makes me laugh. And I'm not laughing with them, I'm laughing at them.
Memo to George Steinbrenner: Back away from general manager Brian Cashman, he's had enough. Steinbrenner exercised an option in his contract meaning he's going to have to deal with the boss degrading him for an extra year. Cashman reportedly was telling friends that he was looking to bust out of the Bronx zoo after '04. Not happening. Steinbrenner isn't letting Cashman talk to the press, reportedly keeps him in the dark on key issues, ignores his input, berates him and frequently tells him he's overpaid. But wants to keep him around another year? Cearly to spite him. That's George at his worst, petty, vindicative and cruel. Ease up, George or you'll never find any quality people willing to take your money.
And here's the worst idea of this or any other week. Organizers in South Korea are reportedly trying to stage a rematch of the 1988 Olympic 100-meter race between Carl Lewis, Ben Johnson and six others. You might recall Johnson had his medal ripped after it was discovered he had enough 'roids coursing through his veins to kill an elephant. Both have apparently agreed to do it. Of course they have. It's not like pesky little things like 'pride' and 'dignity' are going to prevent this from happening. I think those qualities went out the window when Johnson started racing horses and Lewis was a guest analyst on Man v. Beast. Unless they plan on jacking Ben up with enough juice to get his 100-time into the 4's, you can count me out. I'm not down for a senior circuit for sprinters.
Well, at least Saddam Hussein went out with both guns blazing just as he said he would. Hiding in a hole in the ground with a few Mars bars and $750k in cash. Wasn't this the guy who said he would never be taken alive? The guy who urged loyalists to fight the American infidels to the death? Just like the guy to roll over without firing a single shot. And having some US serviceman check his beard and lettuce for lice and while poking through his chicklets. That probably wasn't too degrading. I don't see George Bush getting his china inspected by any Iraqi soldiers. Props to the US servicemen who dug him out. Had you dug a little deeper maybe you have found those weapons of mass destruction.
Falling, Bruce Cassidy, who was fired recently as coach of the Washington Capitals. Cassidy was whacked after calling out the players for worrying too much about their sick kids and pregnant wives. Goalie Olaf Kolzig has an autistic son and Brendan Witt's wife nearly died from complications caused by pregnancy. Hey Bruce, I know you were a coach and not a doctor, but autism is not the same thing as a cold. You can't cure it with baby Tylenol. And that pregnant wife blast was just as out of line. I'm all for being focused, but even more for being a human being. Easy, Bruce.
Miami Heat coach Stan Van Gundy delivered the smackdown of the week, taking out Toronto's Vince Carter with an on court collision. Carter, looking like he was hit by a Mack truck instead of Jeff Van Gundy's brother, stayed on the floor for several hours or seconds before a timeout was called and glared back at Miami's bench after getting up a few minutes later. My man, getting taken out by Jeff Van Gundy's brother isn't exactly going to help your rep for being soft. As for the brothers Van Gundy: Stop muscling up on NBA players. First Jeff attacked Alonzo Mourning's ankle and then Ron Jeremy's stunt double puts Vinsanity to sleep. Cool it fellas.
Conference play hasn't started yet and Texas Tech coach Bob Knight has already had a major meltdown. After a mere 6100 fans showed up to support his team recentlyKknight cracked the fans, saying, "If that is all we are going to get, then Texas Tech should think of giving up basketball." Hey Bob, they brought you there to rebuild the program, not give it the death penalty. You're not in Indiana anymore: you're in Texas, where football is always going to be king. They care about BJ Symons and Kliff Kingsbury not your gutty little Red Raiders. What, are you just now figuring this out? If coaching at a football school where basketball is always going to play second fiddle is inevitable, why not just sit back and enjoy it.