THE SPORTS DOCTOR- Are you kidding? Who's ‘most ridiculous' this week?
Sometimes it feels like we've heard it all before, doesn't it? Thanksgiving's over, and we're back to the same old news and the same old discussions: who should play in the national title game? Will the BCS ever give us playoffs? Can Michael Vick be the best quarterback to ever live and the worst person to ever live? Will the Redskins ever find a way to make it work? Will Mike London find a way to make it work?
For all but the most zealous of fans, by late November it can get a little tedious. Sometimes it's all a little too much. So rather than get bogged down by all the same old questions, let's have a little fun. Let's give out some, "Are you kidding?" awards for the past week.
First place goes to the University of California's defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi. Last Saturday the Golden Bear's athletic director announced that Lupoi had been suspended for the game on November 20 (a loss) against Washington. Why? Because in the November 13 game against Oregon, Lupoi told nose tackle Aaron Tipoti to fake an injury in order to make a substitution.
I haven't heard anything that ridiculous since Plaxico Burress decided the waistband of a pair of sweatpants was the best place to tote a loaded gun. A note to coach Lupoi and the others suspected of duplicity against Oregon: enroll your players in drama class before having them fake injuries. Standing up one minute and dropping to the ground the next isn't convincing. It helps if there is an actual play going on.
Second place (or first runner-up, however you want to look at it) goes to the ever-entertaining Miami Heat– or rather Dywane Wade, LeBron James, and the other guy ("Chis" Bosh, according to Google's leader for the NBA's official website). A word of advice for you Heat fans: if you ever win a cruise with those three, don't go. Chances are you'll find the captain tied up in the engine room while Wade and James stand at the helm, arguing over which way is aft. (The other guy will still be standing on the dock yelling, "What about me?")
After losing to the Mavericks last Saturday, the 9-8 Heat held a players-only meeting during which, according to King James, "Everybody had a chance to get off whatever they had on their chest."
I'm sure point guard Mario Chalmers was brutally honest about James' ego. And I'll bet rookie center Dexter Pittman didn't hesitate to remind everyone that Erik Spoelstra, not Dywane Wade, is Miami's coach. Do you think 12-year NBA veteran Zydrunas Ilgauskas had the guts to tell LeBron it was disrespectful for him to bump (it looked intentional) Spoelstra on his way to the bench? Is that a realistic scenario?
Second runner-up, which is actually third place, goes to the Denver Broncos' team video operations manager, Steve Scarnecchia, who picked the wrong time to jeopardize his job. With the U.S. unemployment rate hovering around 9 percent, Scarnecchia should have thought twice before filming the 49ers' practice in London last month.
One would think Scarnecchia would have learned something from 2007's Spygate, considering he took part in the criminal videotaping of the Jets that left the New England Patriots without a first-round draft pick. But Broncos' coach Josh McDaniels hired Scarnecchia; he must have thought he had the green light to try his old tricks. Considering he and McDaniels worked for the Patriots at the same time, it was a pretty fair assumption.
Imagine Scarnecchia's surprise when McDaniels refused to look at the 49ers' tapes back in October. It must have been a real punch in the gut, ultimately for McDaniels too. By not reporting the incident for two weeks and keeping Scarnecchia on the payroll, he found himself $50,000 poorer. I think that deserves a (dis)honorable mention, don't you?
Juanita Giles lives on a farm in Charlotte County with her husband, son and many dogs.