Friday Findings

(In the interest of full disclosure this post was originally titled Thursday Thoughts.  But seeing as it’s actually Friday, i figured I had better rename it.  I wish I had finished it and was able to post yesterday b/c the title Friday Findings kind of sucks.  Feel free to hammer away in the comments section.)

I FIND the Flyers’ effort in their game against the Penguins last night to be encouraging.  Having witnessed live the disaster of a game against New Jersey on Saturday night, missing the “best effort of the year” game against Boston on Monday, but having sat through the absolute debacle in Pittsburgh on TV Tuesday, I went to the Wachovia Center last night with relatively low expectations.  Happily, though, the Flyers played hard for 65 minutes and even restored some of the nastiness to the rivalry.  (Hartnell’s legal but monster hit in the 3rd period was especially enjoyable) Though the Flyers only came away with a point, I hope they will be able to use this game as a way to get things moving in the right direction.  However…

I FIND the fact that the Flyers completed a shootout without registering a single shot on goal to be both hilarious and disturbing.

I FIND Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts’ march towards an undefeated season to be somewhat underrated.  Everybody wants to talk about the Saints (and it’s easy to understand why) but the Colts have an entirely new coaching staff and rookie wide receivers.  And now they’re 14-0.  Unbelievable.  I mean, Peyton HAS to be coaching that team right?  I know i’d love to be able to listen in on the conversations between Peyton and his “offensive coordinator.”  Do you think that guy suggests plays or just asks Peyton what plays he’s gonna call so that he can take notes?  I’m just wondering…

I FIND myself losing more respect for Johnny Damon by the hour.  The guy is a below average left fielder/DH who made $13 million last year.  Sure, he had a monster season (thank you Mark Teixeira) but NOW he tells the Yankees he won’t take a pay cut.  Normally, I might side with the player after the season he just had.  But the Yankees are offering $10 MILLION!!! Really, Johnny?  1o mil isn’t ENOUGH for you?  Your team just won the World Series, you play in a lineup and a ballpark that hides your weaknesses and you’ve already made boatloads of money in your career.  But 10 million isn’t enough for you to play out the last few years you have left on a winner?  You REALLY NEED that extra 3 mil?!?  PATHETIC.  Ya know what Johnny? You’re why people hate professional athletes.  I personally hope that the Yankees sign Nick Johnson and tell you to shove it up your you-know-what.  Then I hope you get your money by signing with some crap team that won’t even sniff the postseason while you’re on its roster. 

I FIND Cliff Lee’s most recent comments about his trade to Seattle and his exit from Philly frustrating.  It’s not as though I expected him and/or his agent to thank the Phillies for sending him away.  But they really are doing a PR number on Phils’ GM Ruben Amaro.  Cliff saying that he was “shocked” by the trade and in “disbelief” and that “he really thought he was gonna finish his career in Philly” are tough to hear.  I personally would’ve loved to have him for another 3-4 years, especially if we could’ve locked him AND Halladay up.  But that was never gonna happen.  Lee says he made what he thought was a nice counteroffer to the Phils but however it was put out there, Amaro was convinced Lee wouldn’t sign an extension that the Phillies were happy with.  So Cliff Lee is now a pissed off Mariner and not only am I still sad to see him go but I wonder if Amaro’s credibility will take a hit.  Is it me or is Ruben Amaro becoming just the slightest bit greasy/weasel-y??

Lastly, I FIND the tragedy of the Chris Henry story to be truly upsetting.  Though he spent most of his early years in the league as a troublemaker and a symbol for what was wrong with professional athletes, over the last year and a half he had turned himself into quite the opposite.  He came to embody everything that’s great about professional sports.  He used the structure that the Bengals provided him and the belief that the organization had in his ability (as well as his humanity) and he used them to turn his life around.  Like so few among us, he recognized that he was headed down a very dark path and made a conscious decision to change before it was too late.  Not only had he become a better and more successful teammate but by all accounts he had become a better man and a better father.  It’s always sad when you lose someone at the age of 26 (a feeling I am all too familiar with) but in this particular case, it stings more than most.  My thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family.  May he rest in peace.


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