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When Will Manziel Show Some Poise?

August 21, 2014

On a night when football fans viewed the Cleveland Browns and the Washington Redskins on a preseason edition of Monday Night Football, they were hoping to see some glimpse of how Johnny Manziel would fare against NFL competition. The Browns rookie quarterback did not show much while running the offense. It was an action he did after the whistle blew that caught national attention. 

After an unsuccessful play, Manziel was caught by ESPN cameras flicking off the Redskins sideline. What set Johnny Football off, you ask? Washington safety Ryan Clark claimed on national radio that all he and his mates reminded the controversial quarterback is that he is no longer in college. Clark added that Manziel obviously did not like hearing the talk. My first thought was that I kind of expected more than that to set Manziel off. My second thought was a question. When was the last time a TV camera caught any NFL quarterback flipping the bird to anyone? My answer to myself was that I have not. 

I grant you that Manziel is a passionate athlete when on the field. And I know that he has a huge ego to go along with some flair. But if someone talking trash about the NFL not being college, which is a true statement, causes you to fire the bird their way, what are you gonna do when people start talking about your family and your mom and your girlfriend or wife. 

I have said it before in these pages. I just do not see Manziel making an impact in the NFL. Having a lack of composure and awareness will make it even tougher.     

Show Some Class, Rory 

There are times when world class athletes should just stay quiet. Rory McIlroy upset women all over the world last week when he stated that he felt his breakup with tennis star Caroline Wozniacki is the reason his golf game has improved. 

To review. Both McIlroy and Wozniacki were both ranked number one in the world in their sports when they began dating in 2011. They each struggled in their sport immediately. They each started to work their way back to the top after becoming engaged this past New Year’s Eve. 

Rory McIlroy

Then, in late May, McIlroy broke off the engagement just days after sending out wedding invitations. Over the next few months, the 25-year-old golfer from Northern Ireland has added two more major victories to his resume, making him just the fourth player in the last century to win four majors at 25 years or younger. 

Now, I do understand the correlation. But did he really have to throw Wozniacki under the bus. How about taking ownership of your performance? It is not like all his competitors on the golf course have not been or are currently in love. And they manage to win golf tournaments.  

Will Rose Bloom Under A New Commish? 

Major League Baseball named a new commissioner last week. Rob Manfred will inherit the position from Bud Selig in the very near future. One thing I hope he addresses in his early days is the Pete Rose situation. 

I, for one, think it is time for baseball to forgive Pete Rose. 

It was not going to happen under the Selig regime. It has become quite clear that Selig has a grudge against Rose. He does not like Rose and he wants the all-time hits leader to suffer. 

But Selig is leaving, and in January when baseball has a new commissioner, it will be Manfred’s call.

Though Manfred was Selig’s right-hand man for years and is Selig’s hand-picked successor, he must have a mind of his own. Surely, he and Selig have differing views on something. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was Paul Tagliabue’s right-hand man and brought many changes to the game immediately. The same with David Stern in the NBA when he replaced Larry O’Brien. In all walks of life, right-hand men become their own man when they get to take over. 

Some day soon Rose will ask Manfred to consider lifting the lifetime ban. It is hard to believe for those of us who grew up watching Rose become the best hitter of all time but time is running out on him. He’s 73 years old, and who knows how much time he, or anyone else in their mid-70s, has left. Rose has lived a hard and stress-filled life. Especially over the last 25-plus years. 

Pete Rose enjoying a crowd’s affection

I am with those who say enough is enough concerning Rose and his punishment. Baseball wouldn’t be sending a message of weakness to anyone considering betting on the game, the cardinal sin Rose broke. Betting on baseball is horrible, something all players are reminded of with a sign in every clubhouse spelling out the punishment. But letting Rose back into the game after 25 years, letting him back when he’s alive, wouldn’t let players know it’s OK to bet on baseball. If anything, it would get this topic back in front of the public. We could talk of how the game banned the all-time hit leader for a quarter century. They humiliated him. They embarrassed him. Would players not say to themselves that if they can do that to the best hitter of all time, they would do worse to me. 

I understand that 25 years is not life. But I also understand that a life sentence in our court system does not always end up being a life sentence. People are paroled because our system feels like there are instances when the prisoner has done their time. In other words, forgiveness is okay and second chances are also okay.

I think the game, and Manfred, should look at giving Rose a second chance.  

More Trouble In South Bend 

Notre Dame fans have to be saying here we go again. Just one year removed from having star quarterback Everett Golson suspended from the school’s football program due to academic dishonesty, the Irish have announced more suspensions for the same offense. 

Notre Dame announced last week that academic fraud has led to the immediate suspension of four key players. The suspended players include cornerback KeiVarae Russell, defensive end Ishaq Williams, linebacker Kendall Moore and wide receiver DaVaris Daniels. 

The NCAA had been notified of the infractions, and that if it “determines that the student-athletes would have been ineligible during past competition, Notre Dame will voluntarily vacate any victories in which they participated.” 

According to the university there is evidence that students had submitted papers and homework that had been written for them by others” was supplied to the Notre Dame athletics compliance office in late July. 

Other students outside of the football team have also been part of the investigation and could face discipline from the school. The South Bend Tribune has reported that a former player or players could also have a role in the investigation. 

The once-stellar reputation Notre Dame had continues to take hit after hit.
















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