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Unnecessary Toughness

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Unnecessary ToughnessI’m back baby…

Yes, after spending some time covering the Philadelphia Film Market, I have returned to my rightful place. Well, perhaps rightful is not the, um… right word. I thoroughly enjoyed covering the Market as I am a screenwriter in my other life as you may or may not know.

But I wanted to get some things off my proverbial chest re: the world of sports. So I called up my man Joe Vallee. Turned out to be a brief call.

 Me: Yo Joe, I got some things I wanna say, you gotta problem with that?

Joe: Who are you again and how did you get my number?

He’s a funny guy…

DONTE’S INFERNO…

Help me out here, people. Really, I need someone to help me understand this. Former Eagles WR Donte' Stallworth admitted to police that he drank up to four shots of premium tequila while partying with friends at a Miami Beach club before killing someone – yet his punishment was 30 days in jail? 30 days. That’s only 30 days more than you and I got and we didn’t kill anyone. He also must serve two years of house arrest and spend eight years on probation.

On the other side of the dog bone sits one Michael Vick, who in December, 2007 was sentenced to 23 months in prison Monday for running a cruel and inhumane dog fighting ring and then lying about his involvement.

Now, Lord knows I am not saying Michael Vick did not deserve his sentence. Hell, I thought he deserved more. Much more.

But 23 months compared to 30 days? Am I missing something? Oh wait, that’s right. Donte' also came to a financial settlement with the family of the man he killed. Ol’ Mike couldn’t do that. He couldn’t “pay off” the other members of the dogs’ families. Or could he? I wonder if he and his defense team thought of that?

DON’T MAKE ME PULL RANK…

Not sure if you heard about this one. A few weeks ago, ESPN The Magazine – I periodical which I do not subscribe to, I get enough ESPN thank you very much – unveiled its 7th Annual Ultimate Standings, or rankings of all 122 professional teams from the four major sports.

The criteria in which they based their rankings were as follows:

Bang For The Buck: Wins during the past three years (regular season plus postseason) per revenues directly from fans, adjusted for league schedules.

Fan Relations: Openness and consideration toward fans by players, coaches and management.

Ownership: Honesty and loyalty to core players and local community.

Affordability: Price of tickets, parking and concessions.

Stadium Experience: Quality of arena and game-day promotions as well as friendliness of environment.

Players: Effort on the field and likeability off it.

Coaching: Strength of on-field leadership.

Title Track: Championships already won or expected in the lifetime of current fans.

Coming in at Numero Uno was the Los Angeles Angels, or the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim or whatever the hell they’re called these days. I still call ‘em the California Angels.

The rest of the Top 10 are, in order: Carolina Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Steelers, Detroit Red Wings, Cleveland Cavaliers, Washington Capitals, Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Antonio Spurs and St. Louis Blues.

And where do the Philly teams rank?

Coming in at #22 are your World Champion Phillies.

At #44, your Philadelphia Eagles.

At #54 are the Flyers.

And coming in at #99 are your 10, 9, 8, 76’ers.

The highest ranking any of the 4 Philly teams received in any one category were the Phillies, who came in at #6 overall for Title Track. I wonder what they ranked last year? The only other single-digit ranking for a Philly team was the 8 scored by the Flyers for Ownership.

And what of your Eagles and Sixers?

Well the Gold Standard received a ranking of 69 for Ownership. Clearly those doing the ranking did not think Jeff, Joe, et al are very honest and loyal to the players and fans. Go figure.

But the worst individual ranking goes to the Sixers, who scored a stellar 109 and 120 for Players and Coaching, respectively. And in case you were curious, the only two teams to score a lower ranking for Coaching were the dreadful Sacramento Kings and the equally dreadful Los Angeles Clippers.

AND FINALLY…

Couldn’t let this opportunity go by without saying a few words about the completely egregious act perpetrated by Fox and Major League Baseball this past Saturday, AKA the Fourth of July.

In case you missed it, the scheduled national game featuring the New York Mets at the Philadelphia Phillies, AKA the World F%$cking Champion Phillies, was interrupted to show each and every at bat of one Manny Ramirez. The same Manny Ramirez who was suspended for 50 games for cheating.

Former Phil and current Fox broadcaster Tim McCarver, who I like not a little, had this to say:

"It's almost as though Manny Ramirez is being treated as if he'd been on the disabled list for 50 games. ... Why all the adulation for a guy who has served a 50-game suspension when guys like Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro and A-Rod served no suspensions, yet they're branded?"

Couldn’t agree more Timmy.

Look, everyone knows Bud Selig is as much a commissioner as Commissioner Gordon. Hell, I’d rather have him. But, Holy Sellouts Batman, what in the world is going on here?

Oh, by the way, this wasn’t even Man Ram’s first game back from suspension.

This ranks right up there when the time that other bastion of bastardization, ESPN, awarded Michael Jordan the Comeback Player of the Year ESPY after “coming back” from playing baseball. Who did he beat out for this completely meaningless award? Monica Seles who came back from being stabbed and Mario Lemieux who came back from cancer.