ROME IS BURNINGThe Americans may have gotten by the Australians, but trust me. They're going to lose again. Initially, I gave these guys credit for at least accepting the invite, but half of them still look like that's the last place on earth they want to be. You can see it in their body language: they're thinking I didn't come over here to play defense. I came over here to party, throw some alley oops to my teammates, get the gold medal, get paid and get the hell out. This isn't what I signed up for. I want to go home. Except for LeBron James. He does want to be there. He does care. And if they're going to have any chance, they better put LeBron James on the floor and put the ball in his hands late in the game, like they did Thursday.
He's only been there a little over a week, but general Kellen Winslow Jr. is already shaking things up in C-Town. First, he lowered his shoulder and blew up cornerback Roosevelt Williams in a 7 on 7 non contact drill. Then he challenged his teammates to match his level of aggression. One, I don't think a guy who has never taken a single snap in an NFL game should be telling others who have, what they need to do to get ready to play, even if he is a solider. Two, jacking a guy up in a non contact 7 on 7 is like flying across the cafeteria and laying someone out at the milk machine: they're not expecting it. Not cool. Having said that, the Browns need more of this. General Winslow the second just needs to learn how to practice and check himself.
Oddest scene of the week took place in Anaheim where Tigers pitcher Nate Robertson and his ten career wins were up in future Hall of Famer Pudge Rodriguez's grill. Ivan went out to the mound, perhaps to remind Nate Robertson that he was Nate Robertson, and Robertson started yelling at him.. How do you suppose that argument went? "Hey Ivan get back behind the plate, I am Nate Robertson." Yeah, well I have more All-Star appearances than you do career wins, I won a World Series last year, I'm a former MVP, I'm headed to Cooperstown, do what I say jerk, or I'll have you cut from the team. Robertson's manager Alan Trammell actually liked what he saw, "It shows that he wants it real bad. I like that. He has fire." Fire? Is that what you call it now? I call it arrogance and stupidity.
Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa finally volunteered to bat fifth and then went out and took the collar Wednesday night, going 0-5. Maybe he should have volunteered to bat 6th. Look, no props for doing something that you should have done weeks ago and only are doing now because of all the heat you're getting. Better late than never, I suppose, but dude showed his true colors and selfishness by not doing it the first time his manager brought it up. Cardinal third baseman Scott Rolen, a legitimate MVP candidate volunteered to move out of the clean up spot the second Larry Walker came over in a trade. Sosa, who was just killing his team in the 4-hole refused to move down. Herein lies the difference between those two teams and is a big reason why the Cards are running away with the division.
Memo to all MLB purists, dorks, and baseball romantics: the wild card is not only not the worst thing to ever happen to the game, it's probably the best. And this season is another example of that.
Look at the National league: all three races are pretty much over. But you have three teams in the cubs, Giants and Padres in a virtual tie for the final playoff spot. How is that bad for baseball? And it's just as compelling in the American league. And no, purists, it doesn't diminish the integrity of a divisional race or cheat us of that great Yankee-Red Sox battle down the stretch. Shoot, without it, there'd be no possibility of the Yankees playing the Red Sox in the playoffs. Baseball is better because of the wildcard. If you want to fix something's that broken, ditch the DH. Now that's something that is ruining the sport.
Falling, Greek sprinter Kostas Kenteris. The 2000 gold medalist in the 200 meters is not a smart guy. Kenteris is a Greek icon, a Michael Jordan to his people, and the guy the entire nation was looking to in the upcoming games. So what's he do? No shows for a drug test right before the Athens games. And as we all know, a no show equals a positive drug test equals no Olympics. Hey, no big thing: he was only scheduled to light the flame in the opening ceremonies. Worst of all, he said he missed the drug test because he was involved in a motorcycle crash. A motorcycle crash? How stupid do you think I am? Why not just say you were abducted by aliens? Well done, instead of being Michael Jordan, you're now Greece's' Ben Johnson.
Rising, Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones. He comes on the show last week and then goes out and hits career homerun number 300. That's what's known in these parts as JRIB karma. This is one of the standup guys in sports. He runs into some trouble off the field, admits to wrongdoing, comes correct, and is accountable and responsible for his actions. I respect that. And he's a total team guy. Someone who won the MVP yet agreed to go from third base to left field to help the team. A guy who always plays hard, never makes excuses, shows up ready to play and always plays to win. Congrats on #300 my man, you earned it.
Former heavyweight champ Riddick Bowe is coming out of retirement for his first fight in 7 and a half years. That should end well. Most neurosurgeons I know suggest the best way to treat brain damage is to get back in the ring and get busted in the head some more. Those close to Bowe say he has checked out and is fine physically. Really? Then how do you explain him going to jail for 17 months for kidnapping his family? If that doesn't suggest brain damage, I don't know what does. How long before somebody tries to put him in the ring with Mike Tyson? He's probably one of the few guys that Mike can beat. I'd pay 50 bucks to see two guys who are broke and completely insane fight one another. Maybe after it's over, Riddick can kidnap Mike's family and Mike can eat Riddick's children and everyone wins. Count me in.
Jacko has really done it this time. Mikey rolled his giant tour bus and broke out an all white suit and gold armband for his child molestation hearing. His family, including mom and dad Jacko, sisters Janet and Toy, (yes, I said Toy), and brothers Jermaine, Jackie and Randy all geared up in white suits also. You know what Mike? You win. I've gone 180 degrees with you. Everything you do is weirder than the previous stunt you pulled. What else have you got MJ, because I'm in. I can't wait to see what he does next. Let's see just how weird you can get. And I think now would be a real good time for all you Jacko haters to roll off my guy. What did he ever do to you? What did he ever do to anyone? Well, I mean other than give kids wine in a soda can and molest them? (Allegedly). My man, Michael Jackson, let's see what you got. Bring it on! I've got your back.