Much to cover today and not all of it sports-related, need to get some things off my chest. Will start AND end with the world of sports.
It's The Vaughn Of A New Day...
Regarding what happened on the Eagles Post Game Show on Comcast this past Sunday between Vaughn Hebron, Ray Didinger, The Governor Ed Rendell and Michael Barkann...
In case you missed it, things got a little testy between Vaughn and the other panel members, especially between he and Ray, all over the issue of how Donovan McNabb is treated in this town.
I think Ray hit the proverbial nail on the head when he said it comes with the territory of being an NFL QB. Not to simplify it but that's really what this is all about. Ray's reference to John Elway and Peyton Manning were right on the money and I found it most interesting that Vaughn disagreed with his recollection of these QBs facing the same scrutiny as Donovan. He (Vaughn) made reference to the fact that during his time in Denver he neither saw nor sensed any of the same sort of scrutiny on Elway PLUS he also made a reference to Indy and said he was there at one point in his career? I do not recall him being in Indy during his playing time?
And with all due respect to Vaughn Hebron, I don't think he would have been cognizant of any type of scrutiny that was under during his time as a Bronco. It's not like this is we're talking about. We're talking about Vaughn Hebron, a nice, solid NFL player at best. My point is Vaughn wasn't exactly front page news during his tenure the way Elway was and I just don't think he would have been either aware of any scrutiny or quite frankly care about it. I think he was more concerned about making the team itself. This is all based on than my gut feeling and nothing else.
I also found it quite interesting that Vaughn essentially dismissed any talk about what Ron Jaworski endured during his tenure, which was exponentially worse than ANYTHING Donovan is dealing with. Ray, the Gov and Barkann ALL were around to see what Jaws went thru and you can't just dismiss it just because you weren't here to see it. But from where I sat, that's precisely what Vaughn was doing, dismissing it.
As for Donovan... I agree completely with Ray's take that some QBs can take it (the pressure) and some cannot and Donovan cannot. Period.
Now having said that, I am on record as saying I do not believe it is entirely Donovan's fault for what ails this team this year. Clearly he was not provided with the weapons one needs to be successful in the NFL.
So to me the choices are rather easy.
Either you go get Donovan some weapons, players opposing defenses must account for, other than #36 OR you trade him, get what you can and rebuild. The problem with the latter is you will essentially be wasting the prime of Brian Westbrook's career.
Note to Vaughn Hebron: There are some things in life you just don't do.
- You don't tug on Superman's cape.
- You don't spit into the wind.
- You don't pull the mask of that old Lone Ranger.
- And you don't question Ray Didinger's football knowledge!
I was out a few days so perhaps I missed it but when did the Aruban Police hire Barney Fife? How else can you explain the utterly ridiculous and embarrassing chain of events surrounding the disappearance of Natalee Holloway OVER TWO YEARS AGO?
For those of you who have been living under a rock, Holloway disappeared on May 30, 2005, the last night of a trip with members of her Mountain Brook, Ala., high school graduating class. She was last seen leaving a bar with the three suspects: Joran van der Sloot and brothers Deepak and Satish Kalpoe, who all lived on this Dutch island off the coast of Venezuela.
The three have now been arrested AND released TWICE and the case is now officially considered cold. The statute of limitations is six years for involuntary manslaughter and 12 for homicide. But for now if the three suspects were put on trial, the lack of evidence "would lead to an acquittal," the Public Prosecutor's Office in Aruba said in a statement. Prosecutors have said the case could still be reactivated if "serious" new evidence emerges.
Are you kidding me??!!
"Serious" new evidence? You supposedly had that the last time you arrested them! Somebody get me Columbo, Mannix or even Jim Rockford on the phone cause the Aruban Police have been in the sun too long.
Anyone with a reasonable modicum of intelligence can see these three "gentlemen" were either involved or know much about the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. It's also quite obvious, at least to me, that Aruban officials have tried, quite unsuccessfully, to obtain some sort of confession or act of contrition from these men.
The bottom line is without evidence, AKA the body --- and without a confession, this case will never be solved. And that is truly a shame for the families involved.
Note to CNN: Spare us the Breaking News label the next time you get wind of possible movement in this case. Short of finding her body or getting a confession, save it for the REAL Breaking News.
Somewhere In The Swamps Of Jersey...
This week New Jersey became the first state in many moons to repeal the Death Penalty including repealing the death sentences of 8 who currently reside on Death Row in the Garden State.
My initial reaction was shock and outrage. I thought the deterrent was now removed.
However since the days of the announcement, I have (somewhat) come to my senses and realized that the Death Penalty was no more a deterrent to committing murder than a $10,000 fine for a uniform violation was a deterrent to a professional athlete making millions of dollars.
But I still vehemently disagree with the decision to end Capital Punishment.
The following is an excerpt of a Time magazine article:
Early this year, a commission appointed by the New Jersey legislature concluded that capital punishment — which requires a more elaborate process at trial and in appeals — costs too much, financially and emotionally, to maintain it as an empty gesture. One study considered by the commission estimated that New Jersey communities and courts had spent a quarter of a billion dollars above and beyond the cost of non-capital murder trials to try to satisfy the exacting standards for death penalty cases established by U.S. Supreme Court and interpreted by skeptical lower courts. A more conservative estimate put the excess cost at $1 million per inmate. A life sentence without possibility of parole can accomplish as much, the commission decided, but without the added burdens.
So why then do we not fix the system and processes rather than eliminate the punishment? Why are so many appeals allowed which cost the millions of dollars this article refers to?
Look I realize no system is perfect and the last thing I want is to see an innocent person put to death BUT when you have cases like the Megan Kanka case in which the defendant not only confessed but was also found guilty by a jury of his peers... you're going to tell me this piece of garbage deserves to live?
Again for you under-the-rock dwellers, Jesse Timmendequas was tried for the July 1994 kidnapping, murder and rape of 7-year-old Megan Kanka. The case gave birth to the federal and state laws commonly known as "Megan's Law," in which sex offenders are required to register with local police when they've moved into a neighborhood and local authorities are often required to provide community notification of the sex offender's presence.
On May 30, 1997, the jury returned a verdict of guilty on all counts of murder including capital murder, kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault. The arguments during the penalty phase began on June 9, 1997 and he was ultimately sentenced to death. That was OVER TEN YEARS AGO!
Why does it take so long?
And now, because it did take so long, this convicted murderer of a 7-year old girl will be spared his life and spend the rest of his days in jail.
Am I the only one who has a problem with all of this?
You want to repeal the Death Penalty? Ok, not happy about it but why make it retroactive?
Rank You Very Much...
Currently on ESPN.com you can rank all 32 NFL QBs. After you make your selections you can then compare them to the averages of all voters.
I will not bore you with all 32 rankings but will share some of my picks with you.
#1's & 2 for both my picks and the average are the same: Brady followed by Manning, Peyton that is.
The rest of my Top 10 are Romo, Favre, Anderson, Brees, Hasselback, McNabb, Garrard and Roethlisberger.
The average of the voters differs from mine and perhaps most surprising is the ranking of Roethlisberger #5 by the consensus.
One other difference? I have Donovan ranked in the Top 10, the consensus does not, ranking him #11 as of yesterday.
Some other surprises include the consensus ranking Rams QB Marc Bulger at #13 while I had him much lower at #22.
At the bottom there is yet another surprise, at least to me, in that the consensus does NOT rank Bears QB Rex Grossman as the worst of the 32 QBs, something I did almost immediately.
No, the consensus ranks Grossman #28 ahead of Alex Smith, Joey Harrington, Luke McCown and Cleo Lemon.
Sorry consensus, I don't care how bad those other QBs may be, no one is worse than Rex Grossman. No one.
'Til next time.