Ryder Cup Intrigue
You have to like the Ryder Cup if only because it's the only time the world's most incredibly boring "sport" actually encourages it's "athletes" to speak their minds, get a litte controversial and walk around wearing the same sleeveless sweaters.
The fact it's a team event seems to build greater pressure on each player, rather than diffuse it throughout the group. It was with that in mind this week that it was interesting to hear Tiger Woods defend his model wife at a news conference after pictures were published and insinuations were made about porn sites. Maybe he was really upset, and good for him to defend his wife. But given that she is a former international bikini model who has pictures pasted all over the Internet, I'm guessing this is an issue Mr. and Mrs. Woods have dealt with many times. You have to wonder if making a big deal of it in Ireland this week wasn't Woods' way of reducing the focus and pressure on the rest of the team, which includes four rookies.
With the U.S. having lost four of the last five Ryder Cups, it was undoubtedly helpful for the Americans to have the world press focussing on non-golf issues for a day or two. Kind of reminiscent of Wayne Gretzky at the Salt Lake Olympics.
At first blush, six years and $24 million for Brenden Morrow of the Dallas Stars seems like way too much money and way too much term. To put Morrow in the context of the game's elite, remember he was a spare on the Canadian 2002 World Cup team but wasn't even a consideration for Turin. That said, maybe this is a statement by the Stars that the commodities Morrow brings to the rink - grit, character, physical play, backchecking - are as much worth paying for as goals and assists.
I'm thinking that Darcy Tucker, four years old than Morrow but with similar numbers and style, had to be thrilled to see Morrow's new deal. Tucker makes about $1.6 million in the final year of his deal.
"Fitness" has become the buzzword of the Leaf camp. Being fit, however, is the bare minimum for an NHL player. It's not an achievement. ... I really like the idea of identifying the top 50 CFL players all-time. I just can't imagine how it can be done with any true accuracy. ... Several great matchups in Week 3 of the NFL season including Colts-Jags and Bengals-Steelers. But the neat twist is the former Cleveland Browns (Baltimore Ravens) going to Cleveland to play and the St. Louis Rams heading to Arizona to play the former St. Louis Cardinals. ... The idea of having the New Jersey Nets moving to Brooklyn to become the first pro sports team to play out of the city since the Dodgers left in '57 was a quaint, fun story. But the Nets owner, Bruce Ratner, can't seem to get an arena built and the Nets have quietly signed a new lease to continue playing out of the Continental Airlines Arena. Have to believe they'll eventually end up at the Devils' new arena in Newark.