January 20, 2006


Offensive Ass Interference

...In the new issue of Sports Illustrated, National Football League commissioner Paul Tagliabue offers his opinion of baseball by saying that it’s “about as exciting as standing in line at the supermarket. Baseball doesn’t test anything but your ability to withstand boredom.”
...At first, a baseball fan might be upset with such a remark. Then we count to 10, breathe deeply, and consider the source.
...This judgment is from a man whose “professional” league pushed to have running back Jamal Lewis, who pleaded guilty to setting up a drug deal, serve his four-month prison sentence during the off-season so that it wouldn’t interfere with his statistics. The only punishment that Lewis received from Tagliabue’s NFL was a two-game suspension for violating its substance abuse policy.
...This judgment is from a man whose “professional” league—around the same time as the Lewis incident—threatened to fine quarterback Jake Plummer $20,000 (in addition to a $10,000 fine from the previous week) for wearing a sticker on his helmet with the number “40” on it to honor the late Pat Tillman. Tillman, who was a teammate and friend of Plummer in Arizona, was killed in Afghanistan after turning down a lucrative NFL contract so that he could serve in the Army. Plummer eventually caved-in to the league’s pressure and removed the sticker from his helmet.
...A $20,000 fine was also issued by the NFL against running back Clinton Portis for wearing the wrong socks and shoes during a game last year. Meanwhile, the NFL issued a $17,000 fine to safety Sean Taylor—who was previously fined $5,000 for wearing the wrong socks—for spitting in another player’s face during a game.
...Yes, that’s correct: a fine of $20,000 each for a little sticker and improper footwear, but $17,000 or intentionally spitting in another player’s face.
...Considering the kind of judgment that Tagliabue has, baseball fans should take any and all of his insults as compliments. It’s similar to having a crack addict criticizing a health-nut on their lifestyle choice.


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